The Emperor of Ethiopia (Haile Selassie I) to President Roosevelt 29


Mr. President: The distinguished President Roosevelt, Your predecessor and relative, had said of my country that Ethiopia is a state as well as a nation, and that this nation should not be effaced from the world. These hopes have today been realized. My country has regained her self-government and independence. Ethiopia has recovered her independence firstly through God and secondly through [Page 113] her friends the British. Moreover, Mr. President, she has recovered it through You and your great people.

In this respect we cannot forget the assistance You have rendered and the sympathy and friendship which You expressed during the period of our struggle for life and independence. Your country has confirmed to us through its action during the time of our difficulties that it is the guardian of true justice and good deeds. Your country has never recognized the Empire which Italy acquired by force, or the fruit of aggression. This has been to us great comfort and we shall never forget it. It will remain in the heart of Ethiopians from generation to generation. For this reason therefore, allow me to express to You the heartfelt thanks and indebtedness of myself and my people.

At this moment when Ethiopia is having her wounds dressed, war is consuming the world like fire, and spreading its work of destruction has reached Your great country. Nevertheless You have done everything to save the world from the terrible scourge. What have you not done, what have you not accomplished to this end? The renowned Messages which You sent forth to prevent war, and your heroic efforts of mediation failed to bear the fruit which they deserve. Your efforts have not been appreciated amongst the cruel, indeed they waged war upon You as is their custom by ruse and rejection of justice. And I marvel at the cool and steadfast stand which your people have made in the face of this affront. It is clear that when today the American People are thoroughly moved they are so not only for their own independence, their own honour and their own life, but also for the independence, the honour and the life of other peoples. Ethiopia is solidly with your respected country and the gallant British people, and if necessary is prepared to accomplish the supreme sacrifice.

There is no doubt, Mr. President, as to how this war will end. God is ever on the side of true justice which we all follow. Ethiopia subjected to Fascist oppression is the first country to receive true justice. Her conscience had been calm. Similarly God will in the near future show us the victory of the true justice the destruction of war-mongers, and the restoration of the independence of peoples who have fallen beneath the yoke of slavery. In this we have deep and certain confidence.

Haile Selassie I.
  1. Transmitted to the Department by the Minister in Egypt in his despatch No. 387, May 18, 1942; received May 28.
  2. This translation was furnished by the Emperor’s representative, Tsefaye Tegagn, when he presented the original. Original text not in Department files.