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tioned my concern over the possible fate of the Italian women and children in Ethiopia who might in certain eventualities be in danger of native uprisings, et cetera, and who were now unable to leave the country. I said I desired to offer my services in an informal approach to the British authorities in this matter if the Italian Government desired me to do so. I added that the Department of State knew of the step which I was taking and that it had their sympathetic interest.

Anfuso assured me that he would communicate at once with Mussolini and he hoped that he would be able to give me an expression of views tomorrow or the day after.


740.0011 European War 1939/9122: Telegram

The Chargé in Egypt (Hare) to the Secretary of State

CAIRO, March 17, 1941–3 p. m.

[Received March 18–6:30 a. m.] 121. It has been learned from a British official source that Berbera 1 was captured as a result of a fleet operation at 7 a. m., March 15, but thus far news of the event has not been released. Control of this port will give the British a much better supply line for their East African forces than from Italian Somaliland ports and will also facilitate planned utilization of air bases in British Somaliland and East Central Abyssinia as soon as advance troops are able to occupy those areas.


3650.1163/168: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Egypt (Kirk)

WASHINGTON, March 31, 1941–4p.m. 67. You are requested to advise the British military authorities through appropriate channel, for their information and the extension of such protection and courtesies as may prove possible, of the presence in Addis Ababa of the following American Mission personnel who are American citizens unless otherwise indicated :

Seventh-Day Adventist: Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Hanson, Miss Mae Mathews, Balle Nielsen (Danish), Rasmina Hofstad (Norwegian), Lisa Johannesson (Swedish). United Presbyterian: Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Henry and two children.


*In British Somaliland.

740.0011 European War 1939/9581 : Telegram

The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

CAIRO, April 2, 1941—3 p. m.

[Received April 3–8:50 a. m.] 173. The Legation's telegram No. 169, April 1, 6 p. m.? Today's

6 press announces the capitulation of Asmara and concludes that it marks the final collapse of the Italians in East Africa. A confidential military source reveals that the British are sending a brigade to Massawa which they expect to take without difficulty.

The Legation has also received a confidential report that Addis Ababa could only be defended at the Hawash River and that the Italians possess practically no means of defense even at that point. Consequently the British consider that Addis Ababa will fall without resistance and that some troops will enter that city within a short time. According to this report South African troops, advancing rapidly west of Diredawa, have reached Deder and probably are now beyond that point. The report adds that excellent results from bombing and machine gunning have been reported in the Dessie and Alomata districts.


8650.1163/170 : Telegram
The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

CAIRO, April 3, 1941-4 p. m.

[Received April 5–5:40 p. m.] 180. Department's 67, March 31, 4 p. m., concerning American mission personnel at Addis Ababa. The British Embassy states that this matter has been brought to the attention of the appropriate military authorities.


740.0011 European War 1939/9686: Telegram

The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

CAIRO, April 6, 1941-1 p. m.

[Received April 7–3:02 a. m.] 202. The Legation is informed that the report has just been received of the fall of Addis Ababa but that the report has not yet been released.


'Not printed.

740.0011 European War 1939/9741 : Telegram

The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

CAIRO, April 7, 1941–10 a. m.

[Received April 8–9:20 p. m.] 205. Press this morning likens the fall of Addis Ababa to that of Asmara in that surrender was by the civilian authorities after passage of retreating army through the city. The Duke of Aosta and staff are reported to have left with these troops which are supposed to be moving toward Dessie in which direction the Italian forces formerly in Eritrea are also retreating. In both cases it is stated the spirit of resistance of the Italian troops appears to be broken.

Royal Air Force communiqué published this morning states that Addis Ababa was heavily bombed prior to entry of the British troops and that direct hits were hangars, aerodrome buildings and barracks. In addition aircraft on ground were machinegunned.

According to the press the next objective of the British is Dessie which is junction on the road supplying the Italian force in the Gondar region and also commands the road to Assab and indirectly to French Somaliland.

The civil Governor of Massawa is reported to have refused to surrender despite the plea of the civil Governor of Asamara in order to relieve food shortage in the latter place. According to most recent information released to the press a free French patrol was within 8 miles and French and Indian troops within 10 miles of Massawa.


740.0011 European War 1939/9797 : Telegram

The Consul at Aden (Timberlake) to the Secretary of State

ADEN, April 7, 1941–2 p. m.

[Received April 9–3:05 p. m.] 17. Two squadrons Air Force left here yesterday for Egypt.

I am informed British were requested by the Italians to enter Addis Ababa Saturday to help stem massacres by Abyssinians. Native troops deserted the Italians wholesale during the past week. Only remaining points of resistance Massawa, Gondar region and Assab.

French Somaliland stated to have less than 1 month's food supply.

I can secure permission if so instructed to visit Addis Ababa, Berbera and Djibouti on grounds of American property interests and have close personal relations with a very well-informed local businessman who knows that country thoroughly who is leaving within the next few days and whom I could accompany. I believe I can obtain information of sufficient interest to justify the trip. Less than 3 weeks


would be necessary, telegraphic communication with the Department could be maintained and if circumstances warrant I could return to Aden by Royal Air Force plane. $150 ample.


740.0011 European War 1939/9797 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul at Aden (T'imberlake)


WASHINGTON, April 12, 1941–7 p. m. 10. For Timberlake. You are instructed to proceed Addis Ababa, Berbera and Djibouti for the purpose indicated in your 17, April 7, 2 p. m.


365D.1163/172: Telegram
The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

CAIRO, April 25, 1941.

[Received April 26—1:37 p. m.] 335. Department's 67, March 31. Legation is informed by British military authorities that following members American mission at Addis Ababa with other names to follow are safe and will be given all assistance necessary: Mr. and Mrs. Duncan, Henry W. Henry, H. Hanson and Mae Matthews.


740.0011 European War 1939/10360 : Telegram

The Minister in Egypt (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

CAIRO, April 26, 1941-noon.

[Received April 27–11:25 a. m.] 340. Commenting on information just released in London regarding armistice negotiations with the Duke of Aosta, informed circles in Cairo are reported in today's press to have observed that while a large proportion of the Italian civilian population in East Africa had been concentrated in Asmara and Addis Ababa there remained a number of small groups at outlying stations who had repeatedly appealed for British protection. It is emphasized that the Abyssinians had themselves shown great restraint and that there had been no evidence of their deliberately attacking Italian civilians but that native soldiers deserting from the Italian Army had formed marauding bands which were a source of potential danger to civilians. The British felt, however, that it was unreasonable that they should be required to protect civilians who had already been given an opportunity to leave since the principal object of the British was to finish the war in East Africa as soon as possible. As a consequence, armistice negotiations had been initiated although it is still not clear which side made the original overture. Continuing to cite Cairo informed sources, the press indicates that the Italians were prepared to accept the British terms but that they were constrained to adopt their present delaying tactics under pressure by the Germans who desired to see the British forces tied up as long as possible.


3650.1115/13: Telegram

The Consul at Aden (Timberlake) to the Secretary of State

ADEN via NAIROBI, May 8, 1941.

[Received May 9–7:45 a. m.] Following Americans with citizenship now safe in Abyssinia. Elizabeth Fargo and four children, passport 2155 issued Rome, December 14, 1939, and D. C. Henry, wife, two children, American Hospital Mission. Herbert M. Hanson, wife, and Mae Matthews, SeventhDay Adventist Mission. Marion H. P. Dusmot, passport 44922 issued Washington, August 23, 1939, two children. Mission Hospital being used by British with complete agreement Henry. General Officer Commanding Cunningham and Brigadier Lush, Chief Political Officer, Addis Ababa, desire use American ships assist evacuation Italian civilians numbering about 40,000 from Berbera to South Africa during next few months starting immediately, also anxious Red Cross ambulance with medical staff but [and] medical supplies necessary for field work this area over next year. Suggest Ford or Chevrolet since repair parts other vehicles unobtainable. I have received personal invitation from Haile Selassie and General Cunningham be present at Ceremony May 5th triumphant entry Emperor Addis Ababa. Outside British no other foreign representative invited. Suggest congratulatory message would be appreciated by Emperor. Telegraph in clear will reach headquarters Addis Ababa if addressed Political Officer Addis Ababa via Aden too. 1815 Thi 0635/GMT/8.


884.001 Selassie 1/371 : [Telegram] The Emperor of Ethiopia (Haile Selassie 1) to President Roosevelt 3

[Undated.] At this time of trouble and distress for all peoples who love liberty of conscience and justice to small nations, I know that you and the

8 Received under covering letter from the British Embassy dated May 9, (not printed), stating that the message was received by telegram from the British Ambassador at Cairo.

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