884.001 Selassie I/371: [Telegram]

The Emperor of Ethiopia (Haile Selassie I) to President Roosevelt3

At this time of trouble and distress for all peoples who love liberty of conscience and justice to small nations, I know that you and the [Page 348] people of the United States of America will share joy in the restoration of freedom to Ethiopia. The greed of stupid brutality which has destroyed the liberties of Europe and now seeks to spread its cancerous growth through all lands, has met here in Ethiopia its first decisive defeat, when neither I nor my people have ever accepted the immoral conquest nor ceased to appeal to the judgment of God and the conscience of the world by offering of lives for our freedom. It was fitting that the first victim of the Axis greed should be the first to be delivered, that the cynical disregard of the verdict of fifteen Assembly Nations should first be punished. The unrebuked aggression of 1935 proved the forerunner of all later aggressions and the herald of world war, and since this first offence began the train of disaster. May its atonement prove the beginning of deliverance for all who love righteousness and the first among these stands England who, fighting alone, valiantly defends the liberties of all of us. In the midst of cruel attacks this brave nation found means to come to the aid of the Ethiopian forces still fighting alone in mountain strongholds, and in happy unity of effort drove the enemy from our borders. It was a source of joy to me that I was able before the final assault to take the field at the head of my own forces and reconquer all my territory lying west of the Nile. Elsewhere other patriots helped forward the brilliant advance of British Forces which in Eritrea destroyed the enemy’s sure stronghold, while from the South they drove him with a speed unequalled in the history of war from his defended frontier through his capital and beyond. It remains now for us to labour first to recompense our great ally by releasing his forces and helping his defences, and secondly to build here a State founded on the fear of God, liberty of conscience and Democratic institutions not by might or by power, but by spirit said the Lord.

  1. Received under covering letter from the British Embassy dated May 9, (not printed), stating that the message was received by telegram from the British Ambassador at Cairo.