Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray)
[Washington,] November 18, 1936.
I have discussed this matter with Mr. Dunn and we are in full agreement as to the following underlying considerations in the matter of our representation in Ethiopia:
- Both the Secretary and Mr. Phillips, our Ambassador at Rome, desire the early withdrawal of Mr. Engert from Addis Ababa. Mr. Phillips has pointed out in this connection that the early withdrawal of Mr. Engert would greatly strengthen his hand in certain negotiations at present in process with the Italian Government.
- It has been agreed that Mr. Cramp, the only other officer at Addis Ababa, should not be left in charge at that post and, for reasons of health, furthermore, must be withdrawn as soon as possible.
- Mr. Hughes, now on leave in this country from his post at Tokyo, has been selected to replace both Mr. Engert and Mr. Cramp for a limited period of time.
- In view of the stiffening attitude of the Italian Government regarding both the wording of the letters of credence of newly appointed ambassadors to Rome as well as the question of exequaturs for consular officers appointed to Ethiopia, it seems not at all improbable that the Italians may refuse to grant Mr. Hughes a visa unless we at the same time request for him an exequatur. Such a request would of course immediately precipitate the question of recognition of the Italian conquest of Ethiopia, which we are under no circumstances prepared to answer at this time.
- Mr. Phillips has informed us92 that, in response to a request from the Japanese Embassy at Rome for permission to send a consular officer to Addis Ababa, the Italian authorities stipulated that an exequatur would be necessary unless a Japanese officer serving with the Embassy in Rome were selected for such an assignment.
- Under the circumstances as set forth above Mr. Dunn and I are in agreement that the matter should be put up to Mr. Phillips in the sense of the attached telegram.93 Among the members of Mr. Phillips’ staff best qualified for the temporary assignment to Addis Ababa, Mr. Reber94 is undoubtedly the first choice by reason of his experience in Liberia under similar circumstances.
- If Mr. Phillips has other and better suggestions to make, they will be elicited by the present telegram.