675.77/8–1352: Telegram

The Ambassador in Ethiopia (Childs) to the Department of State1

secret us eyes only

102. FonMin and Spencer have had several interviews with BritAmb and Cumming re hand-over. GOE extremely exasperated continued reversals by Cumming and constant raising fresh difficulties transfer power. After several fairly stormy sessions it has been agreed here subject London’s approval Federal Act will be ratified Sept 11 on which day Emperor’s representative and Ethio federal officials [Page 426] will enter Asmara.2 Period from Sept 11 to 15 will be one during which Brit will hand over to federal and Eritrean authorities. Brit will evacuate by Sept 15 except for 50 officers and men of their mil forces who will be left for one month with permission GOE to settle up their accounts.

In view of what GOE interprets as menacing intimation Cumming he wld wash his hands all responsibility for safety Emperor if latter entered Asmara 11, tentative decision reached for Emperor defer his visit Eritrea to Ethio Meskal holiday on Sept 26.

In view foregoing, Embassy recommends visit Greenwich Bay and Admiral Hughes be deferred until Emperor’s visit. It is strongly recommended visit vessel and Admiral shld not under any circumstances be omitted. Emb has every reason believe GOE wld welcome visit French and Ital vessels at same time while GOE completely indifferent visit British vessel.3

  1. This telegram was repeated to Asmara, London, and the Navy.
  2. Telegram 118 from Addis Ababa, Aug. 19, reported that the United Nations had accepted Sept. 11 as the date for the entry of Ethiopian officials into Eritrea and Sept. 15 as the date for the completion of the British administration. (675.77/8–1952)
  3. Telegram 89 from Addis Ababa, Aug. 8, had reported the Emperor would enter Asmara on Sept. 11. (675.77/8–852) His visit was later changed to Oct. 4. Despatch 200 from Addis Ababa, Oct. 21, transmitted a brief review of the Emperor’s visit to Eritrea. It was considered an unqualified success, and the Emperor expressed appreciation for the visit of the Greenwich Bay. (775.11/10–2152)