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

Dear Herschel: I wish to refer to your letter of July 3, 1940 in which you presented, without comment, a proposal made by Mr. W. Martin, the ex-Minister in London of Ethiopia, which was presented with the full knowledge and authority of the Emperor Haile Selassie, to enable the Abyssinian insurgents to be furnished armaments from the United States.

There is no need to go into the political aspects of this matter because, for all practical purposes, no arms could be supplied. The only armaments that would be available for sale by this Government to foreign Governments would be those which have been declared surplus and it is understood that the War Department supply of surplus arms is practically exhausted and that the British, Irish and Canadian Governments are now negotiating for what little is left. With respect to possible purchases of arms from private companies in this country, Emperor Haile Selassie would have to appoint a duly authorized representative to carry on negotiations direct with the companies, but this channel does not hold much promise as such companies are already booked to capacity and undoubtedly would not care to take on additional commitments.

With this picture in mind, I think you will agree that it is not necessary to take up the other aspects of the matter and it is noted that the entire business would be conditioned upon a loan from this Government, the collateral for which would be quite nebulous.

Sincerely yours,

James Clement Dunn