865D.01/109: Telegram

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

206. Department’s 43, May 16, 1 p.m., and my 171, May 18, 4 p.m. Since the announcement of the law providing for the organization [Page 207] and administration of Italian East Africa, effective June 1st (see my 184, June 4 [1], 1 p.m., and despatch No. 1723, June 557) the measures relating to Italian executive authority in that territory have generally appeared in the form of decrees and ordinances issued by the Viceroy or Regent in Addis Ababa and it is assumed that that procedure will be followed in the future. Furthermore, accounts of any conflicts with Ethiopian bands or advances by Italian troops into unoccupied territories have been totally absent from the press and references to military activities have been confined to reports of submissions and disarming of native chiefs, the existence of banditry in certain districts and the surveillance by the air force over the unoccupied regions. Reports based on information available to the Embassy relating to the administrative and military aspects of the situation in Ethiopia since the declaration of Italian sovereignty over that territory are found in despatches numbers 1679,58 93 and 95 and 1716, 23,59 32 and 33 and in telegrams numbers 164, 171, 173, 177, 178, 184, 188 and 189.60 From this information it would appear that the Italians have established an executive authority in Ethiopia and that effective resistance to Italian forces no longer exists, although it is obvious that further administrative acts will be required to complete the establishment of this executive authority and that further military measures will be required to enforce and to extend that authority. Unless, however, entirely new elements are injected into the situation it may be assumed that future developments will be in the nature of a general process and will not result in conditions analogous to those created by and following the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. From the facts of the situation, therefore, insofar as they may be determined from information available and inferred from opinions expressed in foreign circles, a state of war between Ethiopia and Italy may be judged no longer to exist. On that assumption it is submitted that the problem of the revocation of the President’s proclamation of October 5th now becomes mainly a matter of policy which, in its larger aspects, only the Department can determine. If, however, this problem can be regarded solely in relation to its European aspects, it is further submitted that the revocation of the proclamation of the President would not only tend to eliminate one element in the already overcomplicated situation but if carried out at this time would further enforce the declared policy of the United States of independent decision based on the recognition of facts.

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. See footnote 87, p. 226.
  3. Apparently a reference to telegram No. 23, January 13, 11 a.m., from the Ambassador in Italy, p. 88.
  4. Nos. 93, 95, 1716, 32, 33, 164, and 188 not printed; for Nos. 171, 173, 177, 178, 184, and 189, see pp. 198204.