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

No. 201

Sir: The Department has been informed that the Embassy at London has transmitted to you a copy of its despatch No. 2011 of June 11, 1931,15 together with a copy of its enclosure, a note dated June 10, 1931, from the British Foreign Office with regard to the proposed modification of Articles three and seven of the Franco-Ethiopian Treaty of January 10, 1908. For your convenience a copy of the above mentioned despatch and a copy of its enclosure are attached hereto.

The Department is in agreement with the Foreign Office that it would be desirable to amend Article three of the treaty in question so as to permit the exercise by the Ethiopian Government of full fiscal autonomy, provided that the United States receives treatment not less favorable than that accorded to any third country. It is also of the opinion that it would be desirable to clarify and expand the text of Article seven of the treaty along the lines suggested in paragraph numbered four of the Foreign Office note.

You are, therefore, authorized to join with your colleagues of the Diplomatic Corps in discussing the character of the modifications in question and the means by which they may be accomplished. The Department is prepared to leave to your discretion and judgment the details of these modifications which it believes should be along the general lines suggested in the Foreign Office note.

Before authorizing you to accept definitely any arrangements that may be agreed upon by the Diplomatic Corps the Department would wish to receive a complete text of the protocol or other instrument by which the arrangements are made. In this connection it may be necessary, depending upon the character of the agreement which may be concluded, to furnish you with full powers to sign on behalf of this Government. In this connection the Department would also have to consider whether any agreement which may be made was of such a nature as to require the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification.

Very truly yours,

W. R. Castle, Jr.
  1. See footnote 9, p. 221.