The Ambassador in Great Britain (Bingham) to the Secretary of State

No. 1061

Sir: Adverting to my despatch No. 989 of October 15, 1934, concerning the relations between the Italian and Ethiopian Governments, I have the honor to inform the Department as of possible interest that in an informal conversation the Acting Chief of the Egyptian Department referred to the recent report of an attack by armed [Page 761] Ethiopians on the Italian Consulate at Gondar in Northern Ethiopia, which was repelled by the native soldiers on guard whose casualties were one killed and two wounded.

The official said the British Ambassador at Rome had been solemnly informed by the Italian Foreign Office that they believed the incident was a deliberate act of revenge for the efforts of the Italian Government to stop the slave trade. The British Foreign Office official pointed out that since the Italians had been far from helpful in assisting the British in the suppression of the traffic in slaves, the suggestion was utterly ridiculous, but he was amused at the ingenuity of the Italian thesis. He added that the British Colonial Office, in commenting on the incident, had suggested that the Italians themselves had probably contrived to bring it about.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Ray Atherton

Counselor of Embassy