The Counselor of Embassy in the United Kingdom (Johnson) to the Adviser on Political Relations (Dunn)

Dear Jimmy: I pass on to you the following matter, for whatever action, if any, it may be considered desirable to take.

Mr. W. Martin, the ex-Minister in London of Ethiopia, called to see me a day or two ago and asked if it would be possible for Abyssinian insurgents against Italian rule to be furnished armaments from the United States. The Minister said that until the loan was paid back his country could—provided it was successful in throwing off Italian rule—be placed under American protection; that facilities also would be granted for trade, for mineral and oil exploitation and Tsana Dam concessions.

I gave the Minister no encouragement, nor did I attempt to enter into any discussion with him as to the merits of his proposition or what the United States could or could not do. I merely told him that I would pass on the information to the Ambassador and that, if the Ambassador had no objection, I would forward an account of his conversation to appropriate officials in Washington.

Mr. Martin, who said that he was speaking with the full knowledge and authority of the Emperor Haile Selassie who is now in Great Britain, seemed to be quite confident that if Abyssinian tribesmen could be furnished with sufficient arms they would soon put an end to the Italian occupation. He also made the point that such action could only be beneficial to the Allied cause in that part of the Near East. He explained that the reason for coming to the Embassy about the matter instead of having it presented in Washington was that the Emperor had no representative, personal or otherwise, in the United States.

Yours sincerely,

Herschel Johnson