741.8411/9–2244: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Ethiopia (Caldwell)

135. The Department considers that before the impending Anglo-Ethiopian negotiations begin it would be advisable to call informally to the attention of the Ethiopian Government the most favored nation clause of the American Ethiopian Treaty of 1914.14

This Government did not invoke the 1914 treaty in connection with rights obtained by the British under the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement and Military Convention of 194215 since the agreement was understood to be temporary and was negotiated during a period of great military stress in the Near Eastern area. The war has now moved away from that area and conditions are gradually returning to normal. The Department, viewing its treaty rights in the light of present circumstances, would now be disposed to invoke the terms of the treaty if necessary to obtain for the United States the rights and privileges to which it is entitled under the most favored nation clause. In bringing this matter to the attention of the Ethiopian Government you should be careful to avoid giving any impression that this Government is attempting to bring pressure to bear on Ethiopia or to influence the course of negotiations with the British. It is intended merely to remind the Ethiopian Government of its commitments under the 1914 treaty.

  1. Treaty of Commerce signed at Addis Ababa, June 27, 1914, ibid., 1920, vol. ii, p. 243; for correspondence relating to the treaty, see ibid., pp. 229 ff.
  2. Signed at Addis Ababa, January 31, 1942, British and Foreign State Papers, vol. cxliv, p. 989.