741.8411/11–744: Telegram

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

225. Upon being informed by British delegation that British Government, after consideration by Cabinet in response to telegram mentioned in my 214, October 24, insisted that without Ethiopian acceptance of British administration of reserved areas and Ogaden during life of agreement there could be no agreement and complaining of Ethiopian ingratitude, Ethiopian delegation delivered memo (copy of which I am forwarding23) in which inter alia: Objection is made to application to Ethiopian territory of agreement between Britain, Russia and America24 mentioned by Lord de la Warr (ReLegs 206, October 1225) and question is asked whether this principle is to be applied to other liberated territory, reference is made to de la Warr’s allegation that this British demand is required by needs of war with Japan and his statement that policy of Britain and United States precludes present consideration of questions such as above-mentioned territories and it is suggested that as America is at present conducting main Pacific operations Britain should approach and reach agreement with United States, adding that as members of United Nations Ethiopia would place Ogaden (but not [Page 79] mentioning reserved areas) under British military administration until end of either agreement or Pacific War whichever is earlier if United States considers this necessary for military reasons and account will be taken of this action in post-war settlements.

Spencer states reference to United States was not due to effort to involve us in dispute but was unavoidable because of de la Warr’s statements.

I understand unofficially that de la Warr now refuses to confer with Ethiopian delegation but yesterday in audience with Emperor said no further negotiations are possible unless Ethiopia agrees to British military administration of both reserved areas and Ogaden; he had spoken frankly and his words had been used against him; tone of memo was discourteous and would be resented by his Government and particularly by Churchill if he should see it; reference to United States was objectionable; he had telegraphed for authorization to return home and reserved all space on plane leaving 9th; and requested Emperor’s reply today which was not promised.

Agreement regarding Ogaden while seemingly impossible at moment may still be reached; it will be much more difficult to persuade Ethiopians to accept British demands for reserved areas which Ethiopians consider less justified than demands regarding Ogaden.

  1. Despatch No. 274, November 7, from the Minister in Ethiopia, not printed.
  2. For Department’s comment on this alleged agreement, see telegram No. 164, November 9, 8 p.m., to the Minister in Ethiopia, infra.
  3. Not printed.