384.11/7: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Ethiopia ( George )

27. Your 45, June 10, 4 p.m.81 The Department has received confidential information from the British Foreign Office indicating the [Page 877] likelihood that serious difficulties will be encountered in protecting foreign nationals in the event of hostilities. As the Department understands the situation the most serious problem so far as American nationals are concerned is presented by the missionaries at Addis Ababa. After consulting in the strictest confidence with the missionary leaders, inform the Department of the earliest date on which American nationals can evacuate the capital. Upon receipt of this information the Department contemplates instructing you to urge these nationals to leave by the date agreed upon and to inform them that failure to do so may prove most embarrassing to this Government, which will doubtless be without effective means of extending protection.

The Department desires your suggestions and recommendations regarding the evacuation of American missionaries in the provinces. Presumably they are in a less dangerous position than those in the capital. In view of the difficulty of travel, however, there may not be sufficient time for them to leave via Addis Ababa. If this is at all likely to be the case you should now take steps to urge them to withdraw immediately to some nearby country.

Funds have been obtained for the repatriation of the 10 indigent negro citizens now in Ethiopia and instructions will be sent you as soon as details can be arranged for their placement in the United States.

It is assumed that you can make arrangements with British Minister for evacuation of American Legation personnel in case of necessity. British Foreign Office suggests that you confer with British Minister on this point. Advise Department of result of consultation.

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