The Secretary of State to the Ethiopian Vice Minister of Finance (Yilma Deressa)

My Dear Mr. Minister: I wish to tell you of the warm satisfaction we feel over the signing of the Mutual-Aid Agreement41 between your Government and the Government of the United States. This is a further happy manifestation of the friendship binding our two countries and of the desire of Ethiopia and the United States to work together in achieving victory over the common foe.

Copies of your communications relating to the needs of Ethiopia were forwarded to the War Department and the Office of Lend-Lease Administration under cover of favorable recommendations from this Department, and both the requests for military equipment and for civilian goods are receiving active consideration. It is the desire of this Government to render as much assistance to Ethiopia under the Lend-Lease Agreement as may be possible, and you may feel sure that everything practicable will be done in this direction within the limitations imposed by supply and shipping.

The Department has been glad to recommend to the Bureau of the Budget that sufficient funds be made available to cover the cost of sending [Page 112]an agricultural mission, a mining mission, and an engineering mission to Ethiopia from this country, in line with the wish expressed by you on behalf of your Government. We are pleased that your Government has manifested this mark of confidence in the United States by requesting it to send these missions to Ethiopia to assist your Government in its efforts to rehabilitate the economy of Ethiopia and to contribute in a greater degree to the winning of the war. It is hoped that it will be possible for the Bureau of the Budget to comply with the Department’s recommendation. If funds are made available, the missions will be sent at the earliest practicable date.

Our efforts to obtain the name of an American who might serve your Government as legal adviser appear to have been successful. Mr. John H. Spencer, who is understood to be well and favorably known in your country, has agreed to accept the position, subject to his release from the United States armed forces, where he is now serving. The Department has recommended that he be released to fill the post of Legal Adviser, and favorable action is anticipated.

We are pleased to know that you have been successful in obtaining the services of an American citizen to fill the post of Governor of the State Bank of Ethiopia. Mr. Blowers is favorably known to the Department. It is hoped that he will be able to fulfill your high expectations of him.

We are continuing our inquiries for a physician for the Emperor’s household. Because of war demands it has been difficult to locate a physician of experience who is free to accept this post. However, the search will not be abandoned.

With reference to your efforts to obtain American technicians and teachers for service in Ethiopia, the Department will be glad to support requests for priorities for sea transportation for any persons selected by you. It is regretted that because of the heavy military demand being made on our air transport facilities it will probably not be possible to make air accommodations available to them.

The request of your Government for financial assistance from the United States has been communicated to the Treasury Department and to the Export-Import Bank with an indication of the Department’s approval, and, as you have been informed, upon the submission of certain necessary data from your Government sympathetic consideration will be given by these agencies to the financial needs of Ethiopia.

The Department has officially confirmed to the Treasury Department, in compliance with your request, your position as Vice Minister of Finance of Ethiopia in order to enable the Treasury Department to begin work on the dies which you wish to have made, and it has also communicated similar information to the Security Bank Note Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in connection with your desire to [Page 113]have that company make some lithographic plates for the printing of Ethiopian currency.

The Department has been glad to lend its good offices in placing you in contact with American radio companies with a view to the repair of the radio station in Addis Ababa or, if this should be found impracticable, the construction of a new station. Should your Government decide to go forward with this work the Department will be pleased to give its support to the issuance of any export licenses that may be required, although, as you know, radio equipment of all kinds is in very great demand at the present time for urgent military requirements.

The Department was gratified that your Government was able to accept the invitation to send delegates to the recent United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture. To you, as chairman of the Ethiopian delegation, I would like to extend sincere thanks for the presence of yourself and your colleagues, Mr. Tesamma and Mr. Ababa.

As stated by the President in his recent letter to the Emperor, this Government will welcome the establishment of an Ethiopian Legation in Washington, but pending the establishment of the Legation it is hoped that your Government will feel free to take up with our Minister Resident in Addis Ababa any matters of mutual interest to our two countries.

In as much as you will be leaving the United States shortly to return to Ethiopia, I avail byself of this occasion to wish you, Mr. Tesamma and Mr. Ababa a safe and pleasant journey.

Sincerely yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Wallace Murray

Adviser on Political Relations
  1. Signed at Washington, August 9, 1943, Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 334, or 57 Stat. (pt. 2) 1043.