52. Memorandum From the Director of the Executive Secretariat (Calhoun) to the President’s Staff Secretary (Goodpaster)0


  • Ethiopian Reaction to U.S. Aid Offers

On May 23 I sent you a memorandum concerning the request of the Emperor of Ethiopia for additional military assistance and our plans for dealing with it.1 On May 25 we were informed of the President’s interest and desire to be kept informed.2 Accordingly, there is below a further status report.

Following a visit of senior Department of Defense officials to Addis Ababa in June to review the Ethiopian request with the Emperor,3 instructions were prepared for the new Ambassador, Arthur L. Richards, which authorized him to transmit our proposals for meeting the Emperor’s request, to reveal our plans for economic assistance in Fiscal Year 1961 and to reaffirm our opposition to threats to Ethiopian territorial integrity. The cost of the additional military assistance was estimated at $5 million in Fiscal Year 1961. The Ambassador was also instructed to seek agreement in principle to the acquisition of approximately [Page 195]1500 acres to augment our key communications facilities in Eritrea. The Ambassador-designate gave the President a brief status report on the above proposals on July 19.

Both the British and French were informed of our plans for responding to the Emperor’s request for additional assistance, and on August 29 Ambassador Richards presented our proposals to the Emperor.4 The Emperor’s reaction was quite favorable. The Ethiopian Government issued on August 29 a communiqué (see enclosures)5 which should help improve the position of the United States in Ethiopia and the Emperor has already taken steps toward granting the additional facilities desired by the Department of Defense.

We expect an unfavorable reaction from the Somali Republic, which views our military aid to Ethiopia as endangering Somali security. We have already taken steps to try to reassure the Somali Government.

Emory C. Swank6
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, White House Office Files, Project Clean Up, Ethiopia. Secret. A handwritten note in the margin reads as follows: “Reported to Pres 12 Sep 1960. JSDE”.
  2. Not printed. (Ibid.)
  3. In a memorandum of that date from John Eisenhower to Calhoun. (Ibid.)
  4. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Robert H. Knight met with the Emperor on June 14 and 16. He reported the conversations in telegram 1143 from Addis Ababa, June 15, and telegram 3685 from Cairo, June 18. (Department of State, Central Files, 775.5/6–1560 and 775.5/6–1860, respectively)
  5. Richards reported the conversation in telegram 181 from Addis Ababa, August 29. (Ibid., 775.5–MSP/8–2960)
  6. The enclosures consisted of copies of telegrams 182 and 183 from Addis Ababa, August 29 and 30. (Ibid., 775.5–MSP/8–2960 and 775.5–MSP/8–3060)
  7. Signed for Calhoun by Deputy Director Emory C. Swank.