HC Deb 23 April 1951 vol 487 cc4-5W
48. Mr. Awbery

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the work carried out by the Military Mission to Ethiopia set up in 1942 during its stay in that country.

Mr. Younger

When the Italians were defeated in Ethiopia the Allied Military Government of Occupied Territories started to reform the Ethiopian army on modern lines and a Military Mission was formed. Its strength in June, 1941, was 99 officers and 158 N.C.Os., and the training organisation and administration of the Ethiopian Army were carried out by British ranks as part of the Ethiopian units. The duties of the Mission were confirmed by the Military Convention between His Majesty's Government and the Emperor of Ethiopia in January, 1942.

The Anglo-Ethiopian Agreement of December, 1944, made the head of the Mission responsible to the Ethiopian Minister of War for the organisation, training and administration of the Ethiopian army. The strength of the Mission at that time was 119 officers and 113 other ranks.

When the Chief of the Imperial General Staff visited Ethiopia in December, 1947, the Emperor agreed with his suggestion to reduce the size of the Mission to 62 all ranks. The rôle of the Mission was also changed to an advisory one. The Mission advised on the most suitable organisation on which the Ethiopian Army should be based, and on administrative matters, and provided training teams which were attached to Ethiopian formations. In addition, the Mission provided the chief instructor and five other instructors for the Haile Selassie Military Training College, which combines the functions of a cadet school and a staff college.

The strength of the Mission at the time of its withdrawal in March, 1951, was 26 officers and 23 N.C.Os.