124.84/142c: Telegram

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

25. It is the Department’s intention to issue a statement to the press on Friday, March 5, for publication on that day along the following lines:

“Mr. Cornelius Van H. Engert, American Minister Resident and Consul General at Addis Ababa, is departing from his post today on leave of absence. Upon Mr. Engert’s departure Mr. Morris Hughes, American Consul, will assume charge of American interests until the end of March, at which time the office will be closed.

“All American nationals in the interior have now been accounted for and several of these nationals have established themselves at Addis Ababa or have withdrawn from the country entirely. Inasmuch as [Page 690] our representatives have done all that is possible for the protection of the American nationals who remain in the country, and since there are no present or prospective American business transactions in Ethiopia, no reason any longer exists for the maintenance of American representation at Addis Ababa.”

We would appreciate as quickly as possible any suggestions that you may have on the form or substance of the above statement.