276. Memorandum From William H. Brubeck of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant (Moyers)1

We are having a difficult discussion with Ethiopia over the issue of increasing our military aid program there (they already have the biggest MAP in Africa, but we have an important communications facility there). Ambassador Korry in Ethiopia has asked us for a Presidential letter to Haile Selassie because the Emperor is quite unhappy and feels that we have let him down personally.2

However, we think it better to hold the big guns until we need them more, so the attached cable3 simply instructs the Ambassador to soothe the Emperor and tell him the President wants to stay in close consultation with him on African problems. We are also going to ease the strain by giving him a little something in additional military aid.4

I don’t believe the President needs to see this until we take a step that involves him more substantially. However, I would appreciate your judgment as to whether to show it to him before I clear it.5

Bill Brubeck 6
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Hamilton Files, Ethiopia. No classification marking.
  2. In telegram 666 from Addis Ababa, January 17, Ambassador Korry reported that the rapid deterioration of Ethiopian-Somali relations on one hand and U.S. relations with Emperor Haile Selassie on the other prompted him to request that the Department consider whether an urgent Presidential message to the Emperor would be advantageous. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 32–1 ETH–SOMALI)
  3. Not attached; reference is presumably to Document 278.
  4. Telegram 586 to Addis Ababa, January 21, instructed Korry to inform the Emperor that the U.S. Government had agreed to provide “extraordinary additional aid in FY 1964 of not to exceed $1 million beyond programmed $8.5 million.” (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 19 US–ETH)
  5. A handwritten notation in the margin reads: “Pres wants a correspondence w/HIM on African problems. WB”
  6. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.