865.014/8–1048: Telegram

The United States Deputy for the Former Italian Colonies of the Council of Foreign Ministers (Douglas) to the Secretary of State


3617. Itcol 151. Thirty-fourth meeting DepItcol held today with Douglas presiding and other principals as yesterday.

Soviet deputy1 stated that with regard secrecy of press during discussion disposition colonies, he still had matter under consideration and was not prepared discuss it further for present (Itcol 148).2 However, it was agreed that, until Soviet deputy ready state final position, a rule of secrecy regarding discussions Eritrea would prevail.

French opened with long statement pointing out strength of both Italian and Ethiopian claims but made no proposal. Following is order proposals made re disposition Eritrea.

British proposed Ethiopian trusteeship for all of territory with advisory council, as reported Embtels 3550, 3568,3 except that So. American adviser was omitted. British plan was not further elucidated during meeting.
Soviet deputy reiterated position his government that Eritrea be placed under Italian trusteeship for definite and reasonable period time. He made preposterous statement that 500,000 Eritreans asked for Italy.
I made proposal B Deptel 3126.4 When questioned by French I explained that US proposed that new frontier would roughly follow northern border Serai and Akkele Guzai divisions to a point on Gulf of Zula and include Danakil Coast to French Somaliland border.
After discussion of unimportant details, French proposed cession to Ethiopia of Danakil Coast from Gulf of Zula (as suggested [Page 940] by us) to French Somaliland frontier, which would include port of Assab, with remainder territory to be placed under Italian trusteeship.

Eritrea discussions will be resumed at afternoon session tomorrow.

  1. Georgiy Nikolaevich Zarubin.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Telegram 3550 not printed; telegram 3568, p. 936.
  4. Dated August 6, p. 934.