124.84/145: Telegram

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

30. Your 87, March 4, 2 p.m. The only purpose of the Department in proposing the issuance of the press statement was to avoid possible misunderstandings, but if Count Ciano feels that such a step would create rather than prevent such misunderstandings, the Department will refrain from issuing the statement.

It is obvious, however, that in proceeding administratively to closing the office, through termination of the lease et cetera, and in connection with other matters that may arise, such as the warning of Americans who may wish to proceed to Ethiopia that there will be no American Government representatives there after March 31st, the fact of closing will become known in Addis Ababa or elsewhere. If inquiries are made here as a result of press reports, the Department will reply in the sense of the proposed statement.