Sonntag, 30. Juni 2013



….. The mere existence of a fund of knowledge is not enough; unless knowledge is nurtured and nourished by devoted teachers and eager students alike, it will, like a pool of water following the rains change its hue and slowly disappear …..

It gives Us great satisfaction today, at the end of the academic year, to observe the number of students who have successfully passed this University’s requirements and who are assembled here today to take part in this commencement ceremony. This is a rewarding and long-awaited occasion for each of you, as it is for Us personally, and We congratulate each one who will today receive his diploma from Our hands.
Although you have reached this high landmark in your academic training, your education is not complete; there is no end to learning. During your years of study We hope that you have come to understand and appreciate the significance and the importance of education, educational institutions, and of this University in particular. We hope that you have come to realize what this University is today, what its role in the life of the nation is in 1966, and what its potential is for the future.
For Us, the importance of this University – indeed, of any institution of higher education – is fourfold. First, it provides the institutional framework wherein ancient and tested and proven knowledge can be passed on to the present and future generations. Lacking such a framework, neither a country nor an educational system can bequeath and transmit profound knowledge to posterity. In this same fashion, the existence of Ge’ez and Amharic have enabled Ethiopia to preserve and pass to later generations the civilization and culture of her ancient people.
Second is the discovery and development of new knowledge through research. A university which does not expand the frontiers of learning through research can only be short-lived.
Third is the discharge of the obligation to teach others which the very creation of such an institution implies and embodies. This is its supreme function. The creation of the institutional framework alone does not guarantee that teaching will be effective; nor does the growth of learning within the university’s walls by itself ensure that knowledge will be spread and diffused. The mere existence of a fund of knowledge is not enough; unless knowledge is nurtured and nourished by devoted teachers and eager students alike, it will, like a pool of water following the rains change its hue and slowly disappear.

Practical Aspect Emphasized

And since a university is established and maintained through the will and support of a people and a government, We may consider, lastly, the use to be made of the knowledge which it has acquired or developed and which it is now transmitting to others. Clearly, this knowledge must be devoted to the ultimate fulfillment of the needs and desires of those to whom the university owes its being. A university which is unconcerned with the practical impact of thework on the people and the nation, which limits its horizons to the theoretical and the abstract and its activities to the library and the laboratory, cannot long expect to enjoy the support of the people and the nation.
It is Our most earnest wish that this University meet all of these requirements so that the full force of the promise which it holds out to the future of Our beloved country may be well and gloriously realized. You graduates who have had, through your year of service to the nation, the opportunity to see at first hand the impact of your education upon your country and to observe at first hand the nation’s needs, are in a better position to understand and evaluate the extent to which this is today being accomplished. This is the essential purpose of the National Service Programme: the development within each one of you of the inner sense of service to the nation. Only through dedication and sacrifice can one truly help and benefit his country.
Although the pressure imposed by the need for training more teachers is still felt, We note with great satisfaction that the number of Ethiopian teachers has increased in the five years of the University’s existence. In order to attain self-sufficiency, we must give priority to overcoming this shortage. We cannot depend always on others. “The disciple is not above his master.” We urge you, the teachers, who have a close acquaintance with the conditions of your country, to use your education for conducting valuable research directed towards the alleviation of the problems of your country. Teach, learn, and thereby extend increasingly the frontiers of your knowledge.
Some of you graduates of the Class of 1966 were unable to pursue fulltime university education. Despite this, you devoted your spare time to your studies, determined that this should not constitute a serious impediment in your work. You have been found worthy, and you, in particular, deserve congratulations.

Ranks Must Be Filled

Today, Our eyes and Our hopes are on all you graduates. We hope that the seeds of learning which you have received will, in the service which you render, ripen into an abundant harvest. We assumed the obligation to foster and expand education in Our nation both as a solemn duty, because the nation can flourish and grow only as the ranks of the teachers and students are expanded and filled; as a matter of free will, because man would prefer to speak of his nation in terms of its educated men and women rather than by recounting the size of its population.
Those of you who have not yet completed your studies look forward with hopes and impatience to the day when you, too, will attain this honour. To you We give the message of St. Paul: “Who looks back, having once put his hand to the plough?”
These words remind Us as well of the need for more universities, for more teachers, more schools, more students and more work. They commit us ever more fully to the search for the outer limits of the frontiers of learning. Until these have been achieved, no one can enjoy peace of mind.
Dynamism, coupled with a conscientious concern for the well-being of the nation are the necessary qualities of the youthful mind. You have had a better educational opportunity than many. Evaluate your ideas; separate the good in them from the bad. Your hands once put to the plough, do not look back. Education moulds human elements in man. It develops him from adolescence to manhood. Let usefulness be your hallmark today, not adolescence.
Once again, We congratulate you all, and we thank Almighty God that you have proved yourself deserving of this occasion.

June 30, 1966

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 38 –        

Donnerstag, 27. Juni 2013

Speech of The Day (259): VISIT TO ERITREA


As We appear among you today, as is customary with the visits We make now and then to witness for Ourselves the administrative efficiency on the spot and also to effectuate matters of major importance, We shall now talk to you not only as an Emperor but also as an Ethiopian. There is nothing particularly new at this time to account for Our intention to give you a broad view of our opinion today. You, who are listening to Us now, the old, the young and those in school out in the country, since it is We who are bearing the responsibility of guiding the present and coming generations on the right path, it is imperative that we all should serve our country and people dedicatedly and according to God’s wish.
It is no surprise to Us, either now or before, if an aggressor should make any kind of move through Eritrea, since there is nothing unusual in this. What We have found a little surprising, however, is that, whereas the people of Eritrea have always supported their freedom and gallantry by deeds, there should still exist among a people with such a fine record of history some hypocrites who are serving as instruments for marring past history and betraying it to aliens.
You know that, though small in number, there have always been among us some alien puppets. Though they are insignificant in number, we can attain practical results in the endeavours of progress we are making only if there is absolute unity among ourselves. We have been patient until now with the hope that they will improve sooner or later through examining for themselves the current international situation and thereby learn something from it. This hope was based on the belief that when any people acquires its freedom and runs on its own, it will have more appreciation for the love of country and people, and so create absolute unity.
In the days when supremacy of arms decided victory, it was through Eritrea that the enemy successively carried out acts of aggression on us; today, our enemies are trying to conduct propaganda campaigns against us through this same part. If Eritrea, as Ethiopia’s outlet, now becomes the scene of a propaganda campaign as it was the entrance of the enemy to the country, who is to lose and who is to gain? The people of Eritrea have felt what it means to live under foreign rule during the 60 years of subjugation. The other parts of Ethiopia have also experienced alien domination during the five years of tribulation.

Fought for Eritrea

As such there can hardly be any other who knows the disadvantages and advantages of foreign rule better than we do. Who was there to voice the cause of Eritreans either on international or other forums during all that period when we were separated and at which time you were sweltering under the heels of colonialism? Did not those who are now trying to divide some of us through using some traitors as instruments, then know of the existence of Eritrea? Was there any nation or government which, other than organizing itself, had uttered a word on religious lines before the time Ethiopia was fighting on the international arena for the rights of her brothers after she fought for her freedom following the Second World War?
Ethiopia began fighting for the liberation of Eritrea long before she recovered from the economic depletion suffered through the war. Ethiopia made this struggle in the interest of Eritrea because she knew that Eritreans are her blood-brothers.
You know that there are a lot of reasons for Ethio-Eritrean oneness. The relation of the people of Eritrea with Ethiopia is not confined to the political aspect. Not only are the two people joined by culture, geography and language, but historically the Adoulis heritage shows that the other Ethiopian tribes originated from Eritrea. Throughout Ethiopia’s long record as an independent entity, Eritrea was separated from us for only 60 years and even if we were separated by political and artificial barriers during this short span of time, we were unseparated in our way of life and mutual feeling.
Throughout the period when Eritrea was under colonial rule, a great number of not only those elders who previously knew the value of liberty, but also Eritrean youth who were born during the foreign occupation and who subsequently left their parents fled to Our Capital. This is adequately proved by the large number of Eritreans who, since a long time, disseminated in other parts of Ethiopia, found jobs in various government institutions and other services and thus lived among us. It is equally known that every time they came to us we sent them, knowing that they were time-separated brothers, to various places for higher education abroad. Upon their return they were placed in responsible positions so that they may be helpful and a source of pride to Ethiopia and particularly to their foreign dominated kinsmen. Though We need not elaborate on this list of people, the ones who are still alive from among those who got this opportunity are living evidences of this fact.

Valiant Stand

When our country was invaded, a great number of Eritreans, who were physically and otherwise fit, abandoned the enemy and fought on our side at Maichew and Neghelli. Those who survived death have made valiant stands with patriots throughout the five years, by deeds of patriotism and shown with their blood that we are one and the same. Though We do not mention the names of those whom we know and ones who were with Us on the battlefield, their memories will be passed on in the pages of history. When later on the federation of Eritrea with the motherland was being debated, they came on Our side recalling their past historical riches, and proved Our historical oneness before the world forum.
Those who, in the light of all these historical ties and evidence of unity, are coming between Us on religious, ethnical and other grounds are doing so not for our benefit but for that of their own. This can be easily understood. That former colonial powers are benefiting from creating discord among geographically, economically, historically and ethnically linked people in Africa and other parts of the world in order to maintain their former authority is known not only to those who can read but to the illiterate as well. Nobody knows better than We Africans that the policy of divide and rule are the aspirations of those who seek to benefit at others’ expense. That it is the obsolete method of dividing to rule in order to rule by divining is apparent.
Being aware of the attacks and tricks of imperialism, Ethiopia has been the first African country who waged war against such powers and through her unity, has preserved her liberty through victories as in the recent case of Adua. More than being an example to the rest of the African states, after the Second World War, Ethiopia struggled alone in International Conferences, for African independence with no other free African nations to support her as at present. No greater testimony could be available to the resistance made by Our patriots against the enemy on seven fronts with the use of out-dated weapons than the heroic activities of Our fathers, relying upon God the Almighty.

Bad Intention

You should be aware of the fact, that as Ethiopia has been a country which fought against imperialism more than any other, those who approach you with a contradictory propaganda against Ethiopia do so with the intention of belittling our historical standing considering Us as wishing to use our power to control others. Being proud of Our admirable and outstanding history We have been enthusiastically engaged in guarding Our own rights and there has been no time that We interfered in the internal affairs of other countries. We have signed and respected the resolutions passed by the Afro-Asian Conference at Bandung, that no one nation shall interfere in the domestic affairs of another. We shall continue to uphold this policy for future use also. It is up to the Ethiopian people to consider the short-comings and difficulties in their internal administration and solve it by themselves. Ethiopia does not desire to exist by formulating false external propaganda with the intention of hiding her internal difficulties.
That unity is the basic foundation for progress in this era is being proved through the massive movement made in Europe, the Middle East as well as by African countries towards reaching this goal. We will waste no more time in details since there is no one here unaware of the strength to be gained through unity in the protection of a country.
Existing conditions have made it impossible for the former colonialist powers to remain in Africa. They have resorted to the idea of dividing the peoples. You are aware that conferences are being held to federate in order not to lose their independence through the man-made boundaries laid by the colonialists. Ethiopia has consistently expressed her desire for African solidarity as a participant in these same conferences.
There are certain states who participate as supporters in conferences held for African unity and are at the same time engaged in acts that would divide Africa. Can we then accept this as in support to Our cause? No doubt that people of a country who have fought incessantly for their independence understand that unity is the foundation of liberty. Co-operation and unity are the sources of respect. It is also the source of strength. It has been known from time immemorial in human history that no person is able to understand and solve one’s own problem than one’s self.

False Propaganda

There is no better example than the privilege enjoyed by the Muslims and other foreigners in engaging themselves in all kinds of business activities in this country to disprove the false propaganda made against Ethiopia in connection with religious and racial discrimination.
Why did the Islamic population of Ethiopia remain faithful and fight along with Us as patriots for the independence of their country if they had been discriminated against in religion according to the false saying? Especially the Arabs and Muslims of the neighbouring countries, have been closely tied up with Us from the time of the Prophet Mohammed, not only geographically, but also in blood relations, and other Arab nationalities are residing, widely scat-tered throughout the whole land in the cities, towns and the countryside, running large business and commercial enterprises with no restrictions for residence permits and passports like other aliens are doing in accordance with the law of Our country. Equal rights granted to foreigners and equally to all Ethiopians without any religious or racial discrimination is an outstanding example to prove the compatibility of the Ethiopian policy and administration. Would it be poss-ible for foreign Muslims to migrate into Ethiopia in excessive number and live and assimilate here for three or four generations if the Government practised any religious discrimination against them? It is because of the long-standing friendship, dating back to the past several centuries, that they are permitted freely to lead their own society from generation to generation and that We never stopped the Muslims from transferring the wealth they acquired in Ethiopia with an ample opportunity not enjoyed in any other country, for the economic development of their respective governments.
It is probably due to the increase in the number of defaulting debtors that Our generosity has not been acknowledged.
The fact that Ethiopia’s kindness and goodwill has not been acknowledged by the beneficiaries led Us to mention all this and to make known at the same time Our ability to react to the full extent to any criticism not only to show how baseless is the propaganda on religious matters launched against Us, but to explain that the effect will be only harmful to its instigators.

Mutual Respect

It is not only through acceptance of foreign immigrants from neighbouring countries that Ethiopia has maintained good relationship with other nations, but also by respecting in good faith the diplomatic sentiments of these same countries. When international questions arise directly affecting her neighbours, Ethiopia cautiously takes her time before making any rash decisions. It must be realized that Ethiopia passes her own resolutions only after those countries affected have taken a deliberate consideration of the question. It is not out of fear that Ethiopia pays special attention to the resolutions freely passed by countries that claim to be bound by religious ties, but it is for the sake of maintaining the feeling of friendship and to respect the spirit of understanding. Furthermore, it is in realization of the fact that love, generosity and understanding are evidence of the administrative experience of any government.
As for development in the economic field, Eritrea has partaken in the progress so far achieved by the whole of Ethiopia. In the study of the development programme of the Empire, the economic problems of Eritrea have been considered with the other twelve parts of Ethiopia on equal footing. Lying as she does at our sea outlet, and since her agricultural potential cannot be developed as much as those of the other part of Ethiopia, Eritrea has, in fact, had a greater share with respect to water power, the construction of means of communication as well as industries and ports.
In the period of the last ten years which followed the re-union of Eritrea with the motherland, a total of more than $74,819,817 has been allotted to the general economic development of the area. This money has gone for work on the construction of roads, airport, the opening of air communications, schools, hospitals, clinics, as well as the training of nurses, the setting up of development projects, the building of churches and mosques. In addition, you all know that We have done everything possible to help by way of exempting you from taxes when locusts occasionally destroyed the harvest or when a general epidemic struck the territory.

Part of Ethiopia

As Eritrea is a part of Ethiopia, were it not for other reasons, it would have been unnecessary to make mention of what has especially been done for her. As long as God offers Us the opportunity to do so, it is Our wish to improve on it and help more. What led Us to talk on this is the false propaganda of certain detractors who talk as if nothing has been done for Eritrea.
We are concerned with the advancement of the people of Eritrea for the future as well. Since industrial progress and development works are linked with the culture, climatic conditions, sources of power and raw materials, no project will get underway before the necessary study is first made. In accordance with this, We have decided to set up a federally composed development committee. The committee, planned to start work shortly, will be entrusted with the task of studying the condition, needs and requirements of Eritrea with a view to working on projects best suited to solve existing problems and improve the standard of living of our people.
With the aim of speeding up agricultural development, We had earlier rather hastily dammed Zula. A further study was, however, found to be necessary. The result of the study, made by an American research bureau has now been received. It is for this reason that work on the dam has been delayed. On the basis of the study for the work remaining to be done before the dam reaches completion, it has been made known to Us that a further $19,000,000 would be required. Since it would take time to complete the dam with the amount of money allotted for the job, We have further been given to understand that it would be advisable for farmers to settle in the Zula valley while work is going on there. Since it has been found out to be a basic requirement to create an organization that would supervise the remaining work and see to it that the farmers settle in the place in question according to plan, We have decided to set up a department – to be administered by a special board – the Zula Valley Authority.
You have to understand much more that development programmes and administrative reforms can only be carried out when law and order is maintained in the area. When a certain outlaw takes to hiding as a result of his own criminal acts, foreign enemies and those among us who allowed themselves to be used as the tool of alien propaganda have, by attempting to make this appear as if it had any political aim, endangered the peace and the right of people to their property. We have realized how detrimental the effect of this has been on the country’s economy. The maintenance of a more adequate order in future is a matter of concern. We have passed orders to Lt. General Abbiye Abebe and Bitwoded Asfaha to see to it, as Brig-General Tedla Oukbit has done along with the Police, that the work is done.

Taxes Remitted

We will pay the taxes, due for the last two years, of those people whose harvests have been destroyed by locusts.
We are doing this so that the Eritrean treasury may not face a deficit.
What We wish to remind not only the people of Eritrea but those of the entire Ethiopian Empire as well is the fact, that for countries such as ours that are not economically developed, poverty and ignorance are our common enemies. It is evident that any opposing force can only undermine our efforts with the support of these same two weaknesses. For this reason, the eradication of poverty and ignorance is a tested reason, of attaining meaningful independence free of economic and political dependence. The means of destroying poverty and ignorance are education and work. Mere talk is the instrument of the lazy and would not take us anywhere. The aim of those leaders that is based on ambition for power and personal gain is one with no firm foundation and will, consequently, crumble easily.
We would like to make it clear to you that, as We have already repeatedly pointed out, you should bear in mind that unity is the most lasting foundation for progress and development, as well as for greatness and freedom. To imagine our transitory existence here on earth to be permanent and not to make what we say correspond with what we feel and think is detrimental to a country and its people and is something that could be considered as pushing ourselves into an unforeseen precipice.
The age we are living in is one in which the value of unity is being appreciated more than ever before. On ourpart, we have triumphed over the attempt that was made to divide us. A foreign hand is concerned about itself: it will not work for us. It is essential that we bear in mind the fact that at a time when we are exploring ways and means of forging unity with neighbouring countries, division among ourselves will not only be an obstacle but that it will also open the door to our enemies. May God the Almighty guide you in the carrying out of the heavy responsibility with which We have entrusted you.

June 27, 1962.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 462 –      


Speech of The Day (258): 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF U.N. CHARTER


The occasion being observed today marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Charter of the United Nations Organization. At the same time also, the current year, 1965, has been designated as International Co-operation Year and is being observed as such in accordance with the suggestions made by the late Prime Minister Nehru of India for “laying more emphasis on the spirit of good co-operation and understanding existing between governments of countries whose relations are often known in terms of international problems, conflicts and misunderstandings.”
As a founding member of the United Nations Organization twenty years ago today, Ethiopia has been carrying out satisfactorily her obligations for strengthening the constitutional set up of the world body over the years. As a member of the various agencies of the world organization, in the discharge of her duties she has been also availing herself of the services rendered by the international body.
Today, the peoples of the world are about to succeed in overcoming the barriers of time and space by living as members of a closely linked family of nations as a result of the advances made by modern science and technology. It can be said, therefore, that the world has now reached the stage where matters affecting every individual country concern members of the entire international community.
How best then could a world more united, peoples more intimately linked, attain the noble goal of further strengthening the spirit of international co-operation, establishing an atmosphere of mutual understanding and comprehension, and of making an effort for creating a world of supreme peace and happiness? The answer to this fundamental question must be provided by the United Nations Organization which is now observing the twentieth anniversary of its founding. On the occasion of this 20th anniversary observance, it is indeed timely to contemplate what this organization is, what are its potentialities and on the assessment of its achievements during the past twenty years to project what it should be – this organization in which mankind has reposed its faith as a useful instrument for exploring ways of settling disputes and conflicts between states and governments and for the maintenance of international peace and security, making suggestions on how best to improve it still further.

Mankind’s Hopes

The Charter of the United Nations Organization embodies the fundamental hopes and aspirations of mankind, of safeguarding human rights, maintaining world peace, raising global standards of living, and for advancing educational standards without making any distinction of race, sex, language and religion. And these hopes and aspirations of mankind can only be of value when we ourselves are dedicated to pursue the goal set by showing abiding respect for the provisions of the Charter and by working for their ultimate realization. Unflinching dedication to the Charter is essential if world peace is to be strengthened and fundamental human rights are to be adequately safeguarded. In word and in deed, we must exemplify a resolute spirit to defend international morality when threatened and if necessary to suffer and die for truth and justice so that this international morality will be reinforced and strengthened. As Wesaid on various occasions in the past, the responsibility for safeguarding world peace is not limited to the Great Powers. Peace and war affect not only the Big Powers but all mankind and are therefore the concern of all the peoples of the world.
Co-operation and understanding are basic to the maintenance of world peace; therefore it is the duty of the international community to endeavour so that this spirit be strengthened and made universal among all nations who hold the responsibility of safeguarding world peace.
The peoples of the world draw new moral strength and hope from considering what the United Nations can do in achieving the objectives referred to above. Because of the existence of the U. N. disputes arising between two states wherein the interest of one of them is trampled upon by the other become eventually a matter of international public opinion which could influence the justice of the cause. The organization also has the power and influence to give international conflicts the opportunity of affording a period for the reduction of the temper of such conflicts and to mitigate the forces of evil before they reach a point of explosion that can destroy mankind.

To Find Solutions

The activities of the United Nations Organization can raise the living standards of people throughout the world. However, how could it be possible for this great task to be accomplished satisfactorily when some states do not implement the decisions of the Organization? How could that last hope of mankind achieve its noble objective when some states are pursuing their own selfish ends of defying the authority of the international organization? Does it not mean that, if the solutions to the problems facing the world are not founded by the Organization, and if these, when found, are not accepted by all member states, the international body is growing weaker and weaker? We feel that the U. N. in its efforts to provide a body of international law and to secure its respect has fallen short of expectation.
What course of action should the small nations pursue vis a vis the prevailing constitutional framework of the United Nations Organization and the existing international situation? Small nations ought to refrain from making themselves tools for igniting friction between the Great Powers. Receiving development aid and other forms of foreign assistance should not be conditioned by obligations to take sides. In order to achieve this goal, they must not only adhere to a policy of political non-alignment but they should also oppose and proscribe consistently all small conflicts brought about, and to be brought about, by the prevailing international cold war. At a time when We are striving hard to halt the armaments race, We are convinced that a nuclear war would devastate the whole world. However, we must work together for the ending of the little wars which are consuming the energies of the small nations and decimating our people.
The untenable doctrine of racial supremacy, being a threat to the maintenance of international peace and security as well as a serious set-back for establishing a salubrious atmosphere of understanding and co-operation in the world, we must work together against the philosophy of racism.

Has U. N. the Authority?

Has the United Nations Organization the authority for achieving these ends? Is the Organization showing a zealous spirit to pursue these ends consistently? If it has not authority for doing these things, are we ready and willing to vest it with enough power for the organization to carry out its task satisfactorily? If we are to survive the Organization has also got to survive. If it has to survive, it should be strengthened. And, to strengthen its structure, the Organization must get the requisite authority. The weak must not be mauled or molested by the strong. All states fulfilling conditions entitling them to membership should be admitted to the Organization. Because peace cannot reign in an atmosphere reeking with poverty and hunger, We should explore and strengthen the means of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and enlightening the illiterate.
Today the Great Powers should also wake up to the realization of the fact that the key to their destiny and future happiness does not lie in their own hands alone. There is no peace without co-operation. Be it known that the principles enshrined in the Charter and the resolutions adopted by the Organization are not there only for the small nations to respect and to implement. In efforts being made to ease the gravity of world problems, the small nations should have a say. Their voices should be heard. An atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence cannot be established when the rights of small nations are not accorded the same respect as those of the Big Powers. In order to accomplish these tasks, it is essential to rouse the conscience of mankind. Anyway, strength and mutual trust are two indispensable qualities for achieving the common goal. Even if there is strength, the common ground of mutual confidence must be established. To establish this, we must work diligently. Once we are able to do what is humanly possible, the rest could be left to the Almighty God. So that man whom He has created in his own image may not be destroyed, let us repose our faith in God.

June 27, 1965.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 378 –      

Speech of The Day (257): Toasting Yemeni President

Important Utterances of H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie I - page 581 -

Montag, 17. Juni 2013

Speech of The Day (256): RECEIVING “H.M.S. ETIOPIA”


We welcome the Officers and ratings who have brought this ship safely to Our shore. The ship, which We have christened Ethiopia, has been presented to Us by Our friend the United States of America under the aid programme.
This ship, which has taken her place as the flagship of Ethiopia’s Naval Forces, will contribute immeasurably to the discharge of the solemn duty which Our nation assumed nearly ten years ago with the return to the Motherland of Ethiopia’s ancient ports on the Red Sea.
The HMS Ethiopia, as she sails these waters which extend before Us, will serve as a symbol of Ethiopia’s determination to guard her extensive coastline and to protect her maritime interests. Equally, she will provide tangible and continuing evidence of the harmonious and felicitous relationship existing between the United States of America which, as part of the Military Assistance Programme, has made available this vessel now a part of Ethiopia’s Navy. We express profound thanks for this gift.
We anticipate that the acquisition of the HMS Ethiopia is the prosecution of a course of action which will continue until the Ethiopian Navy attains the capacity to make her proper and equitable contribution to the seafaring tradition of the days of Adulis. Though Ethiopia was robbed of her seaports, we remained seafarers in spirit.
We could hardly miss the opportunity to thank the U.S. Navy that has trained the Officers and ratings in the naval science that has enabled them to bring this ship safely to port through a long and arduous journey across thousands of miles. They have brought honour upon themselves and to the country.
They and their colleagues in the service of this area of Ethiopia’s Armed Forces comprise the nucleus around which will be built an efficient naval service. We hope that the present number of Our naval officers and ratings will grow to thousands.
The training which they have already received, the additional training which will be given in the classroom on this very ship, the practical experience which they will acquire, will fit them to uphold the glorious traditions handed down from generations of Ethiopians whose names live in history and in the hearts of their countrymen.
We would like to thank especially Norwegian and American senior Naval Officers who have commanded this ship. In addition, We take this opportunity in thanking Commander Iskender Desta for the great concern and effort he had shown for the growth of the Naval College. To the Officers and men of the HMS Ethiopia, We say, “Godspeed and good sailing.” We thank His Excellency the American Ambassador for his kind words and the effort he is making to strengthen the friendly relations between our two Governments.

June 17, 1962

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 199 –