The Secretary of State to the Minister in Ethiopia (Southard)

No. 26

Sir: The Department has received your despatch No. 63 of September 14, 1928, in which you state that the Ethiopian Government has inquired whether the United States War Department as a special favor would purchase for the Ethiopian Government one aeroplane and two tanks suitable for military purposes. It has been noted that the Ethiopian Government also inquired whether it would be possible to obtain the services of two army officers to serve as military instructors in the Ethiopian army.

A copy of your despatch under reference has been transmitted to the United States War Department for its consideration. A reply has now been received19 stating that the War Department is permitted by law to concern itself with the sale to foreign governments of military equipment only when such equipment is surplus material from its own stores. The War Department states that at the present time it has no surplus aeroplanes or tanks.

With respect to the desire of the Ethiopian Government to obtain the services of two army officers for instruction purposes, the United States War Department states that its officers may be detailed for such purposes only in pursuance of a special Act of Congress. A copy of the letter is transmitted herewith for your information.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
W. R. Castle, Jr.
  1. Not printed.