765.84/4504: Telegram

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

178. My despatch No. 1695 of May 21st and telegram No. 167 of May 16, 6 p.m.51 The laws of May 18th which converted into law the May 9th decrees declaring Italian sovereignty over Ethiopia were published in the Official Gazette yesterday. All acts issued in the name of the King of Italy now include the title Emperor of Ethiopia.

The following resolution [provisions?] pertaining to civil and military measures in Ethiopia are taken from the Italian press.

Marshal Badoglio has departed for Italy leaving Graziani in charge. Graziani has been replaced as Governor of Somaliland by General [Page 202] Santini and a Vice Governor of Somaliland has also been appointed. General Guzzoni, hitherto Vice Governor of Eritrea, has been appointed Governor of the territory comprising Eritrea, Tigrai, Danakil and Aussa. The Civil Governor and Vice Governor of Addis Ababa have departed for Italy.

Troops in Ethiopia will be kept at full strength, only volunteers who hold political or syndical positions at home being furloughed. Reports are published of the methodical occupation of the entire country together with accounts of the advances made, accompanied by submission of tribes, military leaders and former Government officials. A high military official in Addis Ababa has denied any skirmishes in localities occupied by Italian troops. A large number of prisoners of war have been released. Fifty-three individuals are officially announced as having been executed between the occupation of Addis Ababa and May 21st, 39 of them having been caught in the act of looting or firing, and all of them guilty of serious crimes. An infantry battalion is being transported by air from Makalle to Addis Ababa for experimental purposes. It is said that while all undesirable foreigners will be expelled, persons engaging in honest business will be protected.

A scheme for the administration of civil justice in Ethiopia has been completed by the local government and is now in Rome for approval. Fascist party headquarters for Addis Ababa have been established and a Fascist Ethiopia youth movement organized. A commission of experts is shortly to arrive in Addis Ababa to study questions connected with the liquidation of the Bank of Ethiopia and the monetary situation. A Rome–Addis Ababa civilian air line is expected to begin operating in the middle of June probably via Khartoum. Airfields at Diredawa and Debra Marcos are being rapidly improved and the Addis Ababa field will be equipped to operate efficiently even at the height of the rainy season. Civilian air lines connecting all centers are now under study. Postal rates prevailing in Italy have been officially extended to Ethiopia.

  1. Neither printed.