HC Deb 09 July 1936 vol 314 cc1396-7
67. Sir A. WILSON

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs how long before the Negus fled from Addis Ababa he advised Sir Sidney Barton of his decision to depart; whether Sir Sidney Barton uttered any remonstrance or any warning of the probability of disturbances occurring in the capital when the people learned the Negus had fled; whether the British Legation were informed of the existence and situation of the large stores of ammunition in Addis; and whether any precautions were taken to safeguard these stores?


As regards the first part of the question, the answer is about five hours. Sir Sidney Barton has not reported in any despatch that he felt it his duty to dissuade the Emperor from his intention to leave Addis Ababa, or to warn His Majesty against the consequences which might result. His Majesty's Legation may have been aware of the existence of stores of ammunition in the capital, but I cannot say whether the exact situation of these stores was known to them. It appears from Command Paper 5213, which was recently laid before Parliament, that no adequate precautions were taken by the Abyssinian authorities to safeguard these stores. It was obviously not the duty of any foreign representative in Addis Ababa to undertake such a task.

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