765.84/4719: Telegram

The Consul at Geneva (Gilbert) to the Secretary of State

247. Colson80 called on me this morning and in our conversation the following was brought out:

1. The Emperor is proceeding to Geneva. He will not, however, [Page 163] take part in the procedures, Ethiopia being represented by the Secretary of Legation at London assisted by Jèze.81 Their statements will be along the lines previously taken. Ethiopia is taking this action inasmuch as it is the only course left open, and while entirely pessimistic as to the outcome, they feel that in a complicated political situation something unforeseen may develop in their favor. They have no specific knowledge that any delegation will support them, but envisage that possibility.

They estimate that the Italians have effectively occupied something over half of Abyssinia. The Emperor has dispatched Prince Makonen to Abyssinia to continue resistance which he believes can be effective, or at least harassing, until the end of the rainy season inasmuch as the chief weapons of the Italians, aeroplanes and mustard gas, cannot be employed during the rains. The despatch of Makonen is also a tactical move in connection with the presentation of their case in Geneva. He is, however, proceeding via the Sudan and as the British have interdicted the passage of arms to Abyssinia through the Sudan it is possible the British will not let him through.

2. Colson believes, however, as do I, that this will mark the last official appearance of the Ethiopians in Geneva and that by the time of the September assembly the League will not recognize Ethiopia as a member state.

  1. Everett A. Colson, an American citizen, financial adviser to the Ethiopian Government.
  2. Gaston Jèze, professor of law at the University of Paris, legal counsel for the Ethiopian delegation at the League of Nations.