740.0011 European War 1939/22132: Telegram

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

959. Department’s no. 520, June 5, 5 p.m. Aside from the British Minister of State and British officials passing through Cairo to and from Ethiopia, there are few direct sources of information here which might aid in forming opinions as to the merits of general or special questions of policy affecting Ethiopia. It is on that account that I welcome the decision communicated in Department’s 435, May 15, 5 p.m., to cause Mr. E. Talbot Smith to make a report on the advisability of reestablishing diplomatic relations with that country.

As regards the question of the adherence of Ethiopia to the Atlantic Charter,17 it would appear that from the point of view of present, as well as post-war consideration, the definite alignment with the United Nations of as many countries as possible offers distinct advantages and the arguments to the contrary suggested by the British, in so far as Ethiopia is concerned, should not in my opinion control. Judging from the past, governments which hope to obtain material assistance from the United States and Great Britain do not await encouragement to request such assistance, and the only danger in making any gesture which might be interpreted as an invitation to solicit aid, would lie in a lack of a sufficiently realistic sense on the part of the Allies to withhold such aid unless it affords an immediate and valuable contribution to the war effort. The same realistic sense should succeed in dealing with the other British arguments in this particular instance. Unless, therefore, other considerations of which I am unaware are involved, I see no reason why the adherence to the Atlantic Charter of Ethiopia as well as of other countries should be discouraged or in fact why it should not be discreetly encouraged.

  1. In telegram No. 1033, June 19, 9 p.m., the Minister in Egypt advised the Department, “In my No. 959, June 9, 10 a.m., for ‘Atlantic Charter’ please read ‘Declaration by United Nations’ throughout.” (740.0011 European War 1939/22337)