765.84/4362: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Italy ( Kirk )

43. Your 141, May 9, noon, and your 147, May 11, 3 p.m.41 The problems mentioned in your 141 are being studied by the Department and only a preliminary indication can be given you of the method which may be proposed to deal with them.

[Page 196]

As regards the President’s Proclamation prohibiting shipments of arms to both belligerents, we are of the opinion that our action must be determined independently of the decisions of other countries and upon the basis of the actual situation existing in Ethiopia. This would involve such considerations as whether all effective resistance to Italian forces has ceased and whether any executive authority exists in Ethiopia other than that established by the Army of Occupation.

We realize that the decision of states members of the League with regard to the continuance of the measures which they have enforced would presumably be taken in the light of their obligations under the League Covenant and would entail consideration of the continued existence of Ethiopia as a sovereign state. On the other hand, the revocation of the President’s embargo Proclamation on the mere recognition of the fact that the conditions which caused him to issue it no longer exist would be based on the facts of the situation and would have no relation whatever to the question of recognition of rights to sovereignty over the territory.

  1. Post, p. 227.