INTERVIEWER: “Your Majesty, what in your opinion are Ethiopia’s greatest needs?”
HIM: “We have already begun the program most essential for Ethiopia, that is to raise the standard of living of her people through education and better health. These would be the primary objectives. The remaining needs will not be forgotten and will also be taken care of.”
INTERVIEWER: “Your Majesty has taken a personal interest and a personal hand almost in every phase of life in Ethiopia, but does Your Majesty not sometimes grow weary, and perhaps feel that this all too much work for one man”.
HIM: “This is really not significant. One individual naturally cannot shoulder the responsibility of a whole nation. We have already told this to our ministers and government officials. Our main objective in the administration of the affairs of 22 million people is that all should cooperate and share responsibility. This has always been our program and will continue to be our program. Our wish is to serve our country as an Ethiopian. It is our conviction that the administration of the country should not depend on one person, but is rather the concern of all, each in his own way must help his country.”
INTERVIEWER: “What does Your Majesty learn from the attempted coup d’etat?”
HIM: “You can say that they have learned from us, those who attempted the coup d’etat. There is nothing that we have learned from them. If you examine their demands you will find we have already started these reforms. We would have been delighted to learn something new from them.”
INTERVIEWER: “Does Your Majesty see Ethiopia emerging as a leader or perhaps even the leader of Africa ?”
HIM: “Ethiopia does not have any intention of being the leader of Africa as such. It hopes to live harmoniously with all its African sister countries. How long did the american confederation take to become united ? I believe you even fought a war about it.”
INTERVIEWER: “Would Your Majesty care to say a few words in english” ?
HIM: “My English is very poor. The most critical issue that has felt (?) the world in recent times was the Cuba-US conflict. The statemanship and wisdom of Prime Minister Khrushchev has greatly helped to ease the situation. We’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate both President Kennedy and President Premier Khrushchev as well as Secretary General U Thant.”