HC Deb 26 March 1941 vol 370 cc555-7
6. Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will circulate in the Official Report the text of the Proclamations issued by the Emperor of Ethiopia, and distributed by the Royal Air Force, in which the Emperor urges his subjects to forget the cruelties committed by the Italians in Ethiopia, and to refrain from all acts of vengeance which might embitter future relations between the peoples of Ethiopia and Italy?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir, I am arranging for this to be done.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Will His Majesty's Government take the opportunity of publicly expressing appreciation of the generous and statesmanlike policy followed by our Ally, the Emperor, in view of the many cruelties committed by the Italians against his subjects?

Mr. Butler

If hon. Members read the Proclamation, I think they will endorse the view of the Government that it is a valuable document, which should be read with all the consideration that it deserves.

Mr. McGovern

May we take it that the previous decision of the Government to recognise the King of Italy as Emperor of Ethiopia has now been cancelled?

Mr. Butler

It has been cancelled for some time.

The text of the Proclamation issued by the Emperor to his people on 24th July, 1940, is as follows: — Ethiopia stretches out her Hands unto God."




"In the previous Proclamation I informed you of my return and that we have obtained the assistance of Great Britain to liberate our country. You will get the arms of which you are in so much need. The powerful British Air Force is destroying the fortifications of the enemy.

"In the Second Proclamation, I have notified the Italians who are in Ethiopia and who have now been completely encircled that they should deliver themselves up to our authorities so as to save themselves from useless destruction. Therefore, I charge you solemnly to receive kindly and to protect those Italians who may surrender with or without their arms. Do not retaliate for the cruelty which they have inflicted on our people, but show yourselves honourable and humane soldiers.

"Do not forget that when the valiant Ethiopians made the Italians captive at the Battle of Adowa they handed them to their Emperor without doing them any harm, thus earning for Ethiopia honour and a good name. "17th Hamlé, in the Year of Grace 1932. (24th July, 1940.)"

Back to