Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Vernon L. Phelps of the Division of Commercial Policy and Agreements

Participants: Mr. Caldwell,16 American Minister to Ethiopia
Mr. Walker—OLLA17
Mr. Phelps—TA
Mr. Deressa, Vice Minister of Finance of Ethiopia
Mr. Ababa, Ethiopia
Mr. Tesamma, Ethiopia

The Minister brought Mr. Deressa and his colleagues in to discuss certain matters regarding lend-lease assistance to Ethiopia. Mr. Deressa presented a full power authorizing him to conclude with this Government any lend-lease agreement and to sign on behalf of the Ethiopian Government everything so agreed upon.

He was given a copy of the usual form of representations required by Sections 4 and 7 of the Act,18 and he agreed to prepare and submit these representations.

It was explained that the text of a master lend-lease agreement was in preparation and that it would probably be ready for his consideration upon his return to Washington from the Food Conference19 [Page 96]which he and his colleagues are attending as representatives of the Ethiopian Government.

Mr. Deressa stated that he had a list of articles which his Government desired to obtain under lend-lease which he will submit later. Mr. Walker explained to Mr. Deressa that we would be glad to give sympathetic consideration to the list, subject of course to the overall supply and shipping situation. Mr. Deressa was given no encouragement that any large amount of lend-lease assistance might be forthcoming soon.

As background information, a copy of the Seventh Report to Congress on Lend-Lease Operations was given to Mr. Deressa.

  1. John K.Caldwell.
  2. Office of Lend-Lease Administration.
  3. Approved March 11, 1941; 55 Stat. 31.
  4. United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture at Hot Springs, Virginia, May 18–June 3; for correspondence, see vol. i, pp. 820 ff.