124.84/130: Telegram

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

498. Department’s 166, November 28, 3 p.m. In order to clarify the situation in regard to the assignment of a new consular officer to Addis Ababa I sent Reber to the Foreign Office this morning to discuss this point informally. He was told that the normal procedure would require an exequatur. On the other hand the Foreign Office recognized that this procedure might be considered as constituting “de facto recognition” and appreciated the Department’s position. Should the Department desire to make a change in the personnel or status of its office at Addis Ababa the Italian authorities, he was informed, would regard such change primarily as of American administrative concern; the new appointee would not however be recognized officially as Consul but would have the same status vis-à-vis the local officials as our present personnel.

Under these circumstances if the Department is not prepared to leave Cramp as consular officer in charge for the time being, which would raise no question of principle, there would appear to be no objection to following the British precedent and to advising the Foreign Office of Hughes assignment in a consular capacity. I do not consider it necessary first to assign Hughes to Rome.

Should the Department decide to adopt this course may I be authorized to inform Count Ciano97 of the proposed change in American representation?

  1. Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs.