765.84/4347: Telegram

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

327. Department’s 209, May 9, 2 p.m. I have just received note dated yesterday from the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps informing me that inasmuch as the French Minister had been known to call on Marshal Badoglio he (the Belgian Minister) would also request to be received.

Unless I am instructed to the contrary I shall therefore likewise make an appointment to call upon the High Commander.

Since the Italian occupation I have been careful to act on the assumption that the functions of the Legation and Consulate General will continue as normally as the altered physical circumstances permit. I feel that the fewer questions of principle are raised the easier will be the practical solution of any difficulties that might arise. We shall be scrupulously correct and polite in our relations with the Italian authorities and shall yield only in matters of little or no importance or of course upon instructions from the Department. In this manner I hope to afford the fullest possible protection to American interests while avoiding all unnecessary friction with the authorities.

What reply shall I make to the note referred to in the Legation’s telegram No. 298, May 6?