884.6461 Tsana Dam/388

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

No. 1138

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Legation’s No. 1133 of February 8th, 1933,23 reporting the arrival in Addis Ababa of the American, [Page 874]British, and Egyptian delegates for a conference with the Ethiopians on the Tsana Dam project, and recording their formal reception by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Emperor returned to Addis Ababa on the evening of February 9th, 1933, from his sojourn in the Somalilands and Aden. At 10:00 A.M. on February 11th, 1933, he received in formal audience the three delegates. At four o’clock of the same day he sent for Mr. Lardner, the American delegate, to come to the Palace to confer with him on how to open and proceed with the conference. The Emperor asked my presence at this meeting and while I think it best usually to avoid attending any of the actual business meetings about Tsana I could not decline such an invitation from the Emperor. He wished my advice as to whether the Ethiopian Government and the White Engineering Corporation should work out a proposal to give to the British and Egyptian delegates, or ask them to submit their proposals first. For obvious reasons of bargaining strategy I favored the latter procedure and Mr. Lardner, the American delegate, concurred.

The Emperor two days later, on February thirteenth, notified Mr. Lardner through the Minister of Foreign Affairs that he had arranged that the British and Egyptian delegates be asked to submit their proposal to a commission made up of the Minister of Foreign Affairs,24 Doctor W. C. Martin,25 Fitaurari Tafessa (Minister of Public Works), and Belaten Gheta Wolde Mariam of the Ministry of the Interior as members, with Mr. H. A. Lardner, Mr. E. A. Colson (American Financial Adviser), Dr. Johannes Kolmodin (Swedish Political Adviser in the Foreign Office), and Mr. Jacques Auberson (Swiss Legal Adviser to the Special Tribunal, etc.) as advisers. The conference will, the Legation thinks, be dominated or finally influenced in its deliberations by the Fitaurari Tafessa and the Belaten Gheta Wolde Mariam. …

The next step will be the submission to the above commission of the Anglo-Egyptian proposals, which will be communicated to the Department in an early despatch.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Respectfully yours,

Addison E. Southard
  1. Not printed.
  2. Belaten Gheta Herouy Wolde Selassie.
  3. Ethiopian adviser to the Emperor.