365D.1163/66: Telegram

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

159. This afternoon I gave Count Ciano the substance of your telegram No. 54, April 10, 4 p.m. and asked him whether he could now furnish me with a full report in regard to the expulsion of the three members of the American Bible Missionary Society. I emphasized that if they had not already left Ethiopia they should be given ample [Page 703] time to settle their affairs. In my presence Ciano called the Minister of the Colonies on the telephone and asked whether he had as yet received any detailed report from Addis Ababa. From the conversation it was apparent that nothing further had yet been received but the Minister of the Colonies assured Ciano that he would send a despatch this evening to the Viceroy requesting that the report be forwarded immediately and also requiring him to give ample time to the three missionaries concerned in the event that they had not already left.

Ciano then resumed his conversation with me and referred to the future of missions in Ethiopia. He said that he could now assure me that the Italian Government had adopted a policy of no discrimination against missions or against religions, that Protestant missions and Protestant missionaries were welcome in Ethiopia provided they refrained from political propaganda or any anti-Italian attitude. The expulsion orders therefore were against persons for individual activities and were not directed against the operation of the missions themselves.

Inasmuch as the representatives of the American press here have been pressing for information, I have with Ciano’s approval informed them briefly of the above.

Ciano also inferred that new missionaries to replace those who had left would be welcome.