The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Italy (Kirk)23
37. Your 121, May 4, 10 a.m.24 On the assumption that the Italian Government is aware of the serious situation now prevailing in Addis Ababa and the danger in which foreign residents find themselves since the Ethiopian Government has disappeared or ceased to function as a result of the Italian military advance, you should inquire without delay of the Italian Government what steps it is taking to meet its [Page 260] responsibility to protect, as far as possible, the lives of foreigners in the Ethiopian capital, and when it may be expected that Italian forces will reach that city for that purpose.
For your information, in taking this step you should be careful to convey the impression that you are making no request or much less asking for any favors of the Italian Government. You are merely inquiring as to whether the Italian Government is prepared to assume its inescapable responsibilities in the light of the situation which it has created.