The Emperor of Ethiopia (Haile Sellassie) to President Roosevelt 33


It is with a sense of admiration that I learnt of your recent message to the Head of the German State and the Head of the Italian Government, requesting assurances of their peaceful intentions. I greatly appreciate your efforts to avert the catastrophe of a great European war and sincerely hope that they will be successful.

It was with satisfaction that I observed in your message that you recalled the monstrous injustice committed against my country. The Ethiopian people in their tragic plight turn towards the peace loving [Page 153] nations in the hope that these will one day liberate them from their present bondage.

My people know that the great American nation is firmly attached to the principle of national independence; and they gratefully know that your Government, true to the spirit of the Briand–Kellogg Pact34 and to the declaration of the American States not to recognise the acquisition of territories made by force, has refrained from recognising the Italian decree of annexation of Ethiopia.

The Ethiopian people, determined not to lose permanently their independence, are still successfully resisting the invader in several parts of the country; and reports received by me show that the Italians have been obliged recently to withdraw still more of their outlying posts leaving large stretches of the country under Ethiopian control.

I feel sure, whenever the opportunity may offer, you will desire to use your great influence to secure the restoration to my people of their freedom and complete independence.

Haile Sellassie I.
, Emperor
  1. Transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in the United Kingdom in his despatch No. 2553, April 29; received May 9. By instruction No. 738, May 25, the Ambassador in the United Kingdom was directed to make appropriate acknowledgment of the receipt of this communication by the President.
  2. Treaty for the renunciation of war signed at Paris, August 27, 1928, Foreign Relations, 1928, vol. i, p. 153.