884.001 Selassie, Haile/374

President Roosevelt to the Emperor of Ethiopia (Haile Selassie I)31

My Dear Emperor Haile Selassie: May I send you this personal word to tell you how happy I am in your return to Addis Ababa.

I shall always remember the visit of your distinguished son-in-law, The Ras Desta Demptu, to the White House in 1933. I found him a most interesting man and I was very glad to have the privilege of talking with him on many subjects. I heard afterwards that he was finally run down and killed by the Italians in a remote part of Ethiopia while he was still carrying on a brave resistance against the invaders. I am terribly sorry.

Very sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Roosevelt
  1. The President drafted this letter and asked the Under Secretary of State (Welles) “What do you think of my sending the enclosed?” On July 24 Welles indicated his approval and stated: “As you know, there have been various indications that the British Government intended to seize the present opportunity for establishing what would be tantamount to a protectorate over Abyssinia and I consequently feel that your suggested letter would serve a highly useful purpose as an indication of the policy of this Government with regard to the first victim of Axis aggression.” (884.001 Selassie I/373½, 375½) The signed original was sent to Welles on July 24 for delivery.