740.0011 European War 1939/22070a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Egypt (Kirk)

520. This Government is considering the question of adherence by Ethiopia to the Declaration by United Nations.13 A few days ago the Department cabled the Embassy in London14 stating that if Ethiopia is in fact at war against the Axis nations and is or may be “rendering material assistance and contributions”, it would be advantageous to have associated formally with the United Nations the first state to fall as a result of Axis aggression. The Ambassador was requested to ascertain informally the views of the British Government.

We have a reply15 to the effect that if Ethiopia should express a desire to adhere to the Declaration, the British would raise no objection. However, the British appear to be adverse to encouraging such initiative by Ethiopia because they feel it would lead to demands for material assistance now which might be difficult to furnish and [Page 105] probably to some territorial or other claims after the war as a reward for adherence. Furthermore, they feel it might lead to a desire by Ethiopia to play a more active role in the war, thus resulting in confusion and difficulties.

We should like your views on this question. The text of the Declaration was sent to you with instruction No. 116 of March 30.16

  1. Signed January 1, 1942, vol. i, p. 25.
  2. Telegram No. 2321, May 23, 1 p.m., not printed.
  3. Telegram No. 2967, May 27, midnight, not printed.
  4. Not printed.