The Ambassador in France (Straus) to the Secretary of State

No. 1279

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s instruction No. 582 of September 27, 1934,7 enclosing the paraphrase of a telegram dated September 22, 1934, from the American Ambassador at Moscow, and a report dated August 29, 1934, from the Military Attaché at Rome regarding the proposed action of the Italian Government in Ethiopia. It is noted that the Embassy is requested to submit comments [Page 759] on these reports with particular reference to the portions intimating that France and Italy have reached an agreement regarding Ethiopia.

Previous to the receipt of the Department’s instruction under reference, the Embassy had been interesting itself in the continued rumors of a proposed Italian military adventure in Abyssinia, and on one occasion a member of the Embassy, during the course of a routine visit to the Foreign Office, took the opportunity of raising the issue with Decloux of the American Section, an old acquaintance. The too obvious manner in which Decloux side-stepped the question, somewhat naively suggesting that Ethiopian dislike for Italy was in itself a sufficient deterrent, promoted suspicion, and on October 9, 1934, Mr. Marriner,8 in the course of a conversation with …, again broached the subject. This last was, of course, after the receipt of the Department’s instruction No. 582.… said, with reference to present bargaining between France and Italy, that the latter desired a free hand in Ethiopia, and that Italy’s desire had been observed with favor in British and French quarters, the Powers last named feeling that the Ethiopians could take care of themselves …

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

Respectfully yours,

Jesse Isidor Straus
  1. See footnote 5 above.
  2. Theodore Marriner, Counselor of Embassy in France.