124.84/126: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Italy (Phillips)

146. Your 441, November 4, 1 p.m. On November 1 the British Ambassador mentioned casually to an officer of the Department that his Government was considering changing the status of its representation at Addis Ababa but he refrained from inquiring regarding our plans. I have made no recent public statement on the subject.

We have thought it desirable for Engert to remain at Addis Ababa for the present in order to render assistance to the 30 or more American missionaries who are in a somewhat dangerous situation in the territory not yet occupied by Italian forces. At the same time we have contemplated sending an officer to Addis Adaba with the thought that he would take charge of our representation in a consular capacity when Engert departs upon leave of absence which he desires next spring.