384.11/127: Telegram

The Minister Resident in Ethiopia (Engert) to the Secretary of State

276. British Legation very kindly sent not only three trucks but Consul Hope Gill, Military Attaché Taylor, and Captain Keene in command of 15 Sikhs of their Legation Guard. After obtaining from them latest information regarding general situation I decided to evacuate women and children only.

Following therefore left 1 p.m. for British Legation in two trucks escorted by the Sikhs: Misses Dommermuth, French, and Shippey with an adopted child; my two children and their governess; Clerk Fidele, British subject, wife and two children; family of our Amharic scribe, Ato Yohanness; and Weeks, colored American. Mrs. Engert desired to remain at the Legation to encourage other native servants whose family live in the compound and I consented.

With Cramp, Hunter, and our four radiomen, all of whom have shown admirable courage and coolness, I expect to be able to hold the Legation against anything but an organized attack from different directions. Following Americans are also assisting: Spencer, Ames, and Du Berrier, as well as Clerk, Hartman, a white Russian, Angelopoulos, Greek, representing International News, and a Czechoslovakian in my employ. Among us we have 9 rifles, 2 shotguns, and 10 revolvers with fair amount of ammunition. I feel very strongly, and my companions agree with me, that we should not abandon the Legation and radio station without determined effort to hold them as they would certainly be pillaged and burnt after our departure.

Should situation become much worse, which I do not anticipate, the Department may depend on my withdrawing before it is too late. The British have left us a truck for that purpose.

Several fresh fires have started in town but the Legation is not threatened by them. Shooting has been less intense during last hour or so.

Shall report again in the morning via Cavite.