765.84/1525: Telegram

The Ambassador in Italy (Long) to the Secretary of State

644. The following official communiqué number 10 is published in the press this afternoon.

“The order for general mobilization in Ethiopia under the pressure of the warlike and aggressive spirit fomented among the chiefs and ordinaries who have been clamoring for some time for war against Italy and recently forced it, represents a direct and immediate threat to the Italian troops in our two colonies in East Africa.

The threat is aggravated by the fact that the creation of a neutral zone announced from Addis Ababa with specious reasons merely constitutes a strategic move aimed at making a better arrangement for the mobilization and aggressive preparation of the Abyssinian troops. The continued and bloody aggression—documented by the Italian memorandum7—to which Italy has been subjected in the last 10 years is thus about to enter into a phase of greater proportions and wider scope entailing serious and immediate dangers which are evident and against which elementary reasons of security demand reaction without delay.

The High Command in Eritrea has therefore received orders to act accordingly.

The Italian troops are occupying certain advanced positions beyond our lines.”

The following statement is published directly beneath the communiqué but not as an integral part thereof: “A telegram from the Negus to the League of Nations speaks of the bombardment on the part of Italian aeroplanes of inhabited centers with women and children among the victims. This is an old and abused expedient the tendentiousness and bad faith of which are evident.”

I call the foregoing to your attention for possible consideration in connection with the joint resolution of the 74th Congress on the subject of neutrality.

  1. Submitted to the League Council, September 4, 1935.