The Ambassador in Italy (Phillips) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 3—3:20 p.m.]
506. Department’s 170, December 2, 7 p.m. I informed Count Ciano this afternoon of the Department’s decision to assign Hughes to Addis Ababa in a consular capacity and of your request that the Italian Embassy in Washington be instructed to grant him a visa. I added that it was the present intention of the Department to transfer Engert in the not distant future. Count Ciano expressed much appreciation adding that it is a “step in the right direction”. He would like to issue the following statement which he wrote out in his own hand but before doing so will await your approval: “Count Ciano has received the American Ambassador who informed him that the American Government had decided to appoint a consular officer to Addis Ababa to take charge of the American interests in the place of the former diplomatic representative”. Please reply as quickly as possible.