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Appeal to the League of Nations – June 1936


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Letter of Application for Membership to the League of Nations – 1923

“In the name of the Queen of the Kings of Ethiopia, whose seal is represented above, we have the honour to present our application for membership, and to confirm the terms of the telegram we have sent concerning this subject.

Considering that the great war raised in Europe has ended, since long time the ethiopian government wants to be listed among the States that are members of the League of Nations, whose Pact grants unity, mutual aid and peace of all the nations of the world.

As the holy books testify, since the year 1500 since Salomon, we fight against the pagans that sorround us – as the map of our country helps to recognize – for the faith in God, the observance of his laws, the safeguard of the independence of our country and our religion. The God of our faith has helped us, and we have been able to baptize thousands of pagans, that have become our brothers, and we only had rest at the time of our emperor Menelik II.

Among these facts, seeing that the heir to the throne, Lij Iyasu, was tending towards the religion against which, with much strain, we have fought, and was taking a way that could create problems with the neighbouring governments, we stopped along the way of progress, taking care of putting things back in order.

In spite of that, during this small time of rest we have attained, looking for ties of friendship, we have built a railway, we have signed the Convention of Bruxelles, we became members of the Universal Postal Union. With the powers that have assembled to found this League, we have signed treaties and always respected their commitments. As we have received the Gospel of Christ at the same time as you, we really wished to harmonize our laws with yours, despite the difficulties that hinder us. We are confident that all we have done will be a guarantee, and that you will bear witness of that.

We know that the League of Nations grants the independence and territorial integrity of the States of the world, and keeps them in peace and agreement; that it takes care to increase the friendship among the children of men; that it wants to suppress the obstacles to that friendship, provoking wars when there is an offense; that it gives honor to truth and loyalty. Those principles are well done, especially for a nation that has always remained firmly Christian. The perpetual desire of this christian government is to rule its people in peace and tranquillity, and to develop this country in prosperity. All this suited us, and we agreed to send our plenipotentiary emissaries to sit at the League, and work according to the regulations set by the independent States. We therefore have the honour to ask you to let us know, through the mission we have sent, the decision of the League of Nations, as we have requested through our telegram…

We pray to God our ardent wishes that this friendly foundation of nations will be strengthened and our application favourably accepted.”

Taken from “L’Empire des Negus, Pierre-Alype, 1935 pp. 271-273 and from “Ethiopie Fidele a la Croix“, M.Cleret, 1957, pp. 137-141