The Secretary of State to the President of the Export-Import Bank (Pierson)35

My Dear Mr. Pierson: I enclose herewith copies of two recent communications from Mr. Yilma Deressa,36 Vice Minister of Finance of Ethiopia, who is at present in Washington, relative to the desire of Ethiopia to obtain a loan from the United States.

This is one of several requests which have been addressed to the Department by Mr. Deressa on behalf of his Government, the others relating to lend-lease aid, American advisers, American missions on agriculture, mining and engineering, et cetera. In short, the Government of Ethiopia is now looking to the United States for material and financial assistance and for advice in its efforts to rehabilitate the country and to contribute to the war effort. Its needs have been brought to the attention of the Department in various communications from Mr. Deressa and in letters to the President from the Emperor. For political and other reasons the Department is anxious to accommodate the Ethiopian Government as far as may be practicable and, in principle, is disposed to give its support to the request of the Ethiopian Government for financial assistance, both as regards aid in the stabilization of its currency and the furnishing of funds for other purposes which will contribute to the restoration and development of the nation’s economy.

As a first step in the consideration of this matter, in so far as it relates to possible financial assistance through the Export-Import Bank,37 it is suggested that a conference might be called for the purpose of discussing with Mr. Deressa such details as may be necessary precedent to a further exploration of the subject. The Department, upon receiving an expression of your concurrence, will be glad to arrange such a conference at a place and time agreeable to you.

Sincerely yours,

For the Secretary of State:
A. A. Berle, Jr

Assistant Secretary
  1. The same letter was sent on the same date to the Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau), with the exception noted in the last paragraph.
  2. Letter of July 12, p. 101, and letter of July 20, not printed.
  3. The words “in so far … Bank” were omitted from the letter to the Secretary of the Treasury.