741.8411/10–2444: Telegram

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

214. ReLeg’s 212, October 20, 210 October 19 and 206 October 12.16 Negotiations for Anglo-Ethiopian agreement now in critical stage as [Page 77] British insist on retaining until after war of reserved area17 and Ogaden18 on both military and political grounds; Ethiopians consider former very weak and latter (involving possibly Greater Somaliland) real basis for insistence. British first stated their instructions were categorical and allowed of no negotiation regarding this matter but have now agreed to refer it to London. British have offered to lease only reserved area one-eighth of total of reserved area and Ogaden and propose to hold Ogaden, roughly one-third of area of Ethiopia, without recognition of Ethiopian sovereignty afforded by lease, I am informed.

Today Emperor personally instructed Spencer19 to ask me to inquire: Whether Department could indicate its views concerning British retention of Ethiopian territory; and whether Department could see its way clear to approaching British, not as an intermediary at the request of Ethiopia but as one of United Nations concerned over probable world effect of proposed British treatment of another of United Nations which was first of overrun countries to be liberated and whose territory in opinion of Ethiopians is to be treated by the British in same way as neighboring enemy Italian territory.

As reported in despatch 254, October 1720 Lord de la Warr21 in conversation for purpose of informing me of progress of negotiations inquired as to probable opinion of American people in case negotiations fail because of above British demands; I replied that without instructions I could not speak officially as to this, but personally I believe American opinion would be critical of British action which would probably be regarded as unjustifiable; Lord de la Warr said he considered it likely such would be opinion in U.S. and perhaps in England as well. Lord de la Warr said Department can obtain information as to treaty negotiations progress from British Embassy in Washington which is being kept currently informed.

  1. None printed.
  2. Certain areas of Ethiopia adjacent to the border of French Somaliland which, tinder the terms of the Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement of 1942 were placed under the occupation of the British Army forces in Ethiopia.
  3. The easternmost province of Ethiopia, placed under the control of the British Military Administration of Somalia by the 1942 Agreement.
  4. John Spencer, American Adviser to the Ethiopian Foreign Office.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Special representative and leader of the British delegation to negotiate the new agreement