Mittwoch, 18. September 2013

Speech of The Day (322) - address to the Nation 18.09.1959

On Friday, September 18, 1959, His Imperial
Majesty Haile Selassie I delivered the following
address to the Nation, over Radio Addis

"The development programme that We have outlined
to you on Our return from Our recent visit to
friendly countries, has invoked an enthusiastic response
from you and We are happy to say that We are satisfied
of the unflinching support you have given to Our decisions
on this matter. As you are anxiously awaiting to see the
implementation of these programmes started, We would
like you to share with Us the high hope that We have
for the achievement of Our objectives relating to these
We would like you to recognise that unity is in
itself strength. Form cooperative systems and work in
unity with your fellow-men for the benefit of the common
Your eagerness to see the programmes implemented
has given Us great encouragement for carrying out Our
development objectives successfully for the benefit and
welfare of Our beloved people.
Therefore, out of the programmes that have been
worked out to be executed during the course of the year,
We have already selected those which should be given
priority, and the necessary arrangements have already
been completed for their realisation.
As we have already made it clear to you in Our
previous statement, capital is an essential prerequisite
for initiating all undertakings, whatever their nature.
We have, therefore, made credit available for
you which, when properly used, would enable you to
achieve your development objectives in the fields of
agriculture, forestry, stock breading, health services,
and in the sphere of other development programmes.
For those of you who possess the land and labour
but lack capital, We have made credit available at low
interest. For those of you who have' the necessary
finance but do not possess land to work on, We have, in
accordance with Our Proclamation which entitled every
Ethiopian to ownership of land, established offices in
every province through which you may be able to acquire
land. Those who have neither land nor money will be
granted land and a financial loan at low interest. For
those of you who posses land, who have financial resources
and manpower We have made experts available to
furnish you with the necessary guidance and advice in
your various undertakings. With the knowledge that
unity and cooperationare in themselves strength, take
advantage of the possibilities that We have opened to you.
You have now to choose in your respective provinces,
up to the end of Hidar, twelve people who are known
for their integrity, loyalty and responsibility, who will
be charged to give out the financial loans and who will
collect them as they mature. The procedure which
would be the basis for your selection of these officers
shall be sent to you through the Governors of your
respective provinces. We shall appoint three persons
for each province to make preparation for the selection
which you are going to make and to supervise the execution
of this programme. The persons to be chosen by
you will be provided with a Development Bank regulation
which they would use as a guide in their work. The
interest on your loan would be 2 1/2 % and the loan is
repayable in five years time.
Therefore, We exhort you to follow the guidance of
your Creator; not to waver from the goal which We have
designed for your progress and well-being, and to labour
diligently for the early realisation of that goal.
We want the year E.C. 1952 to be a year in which
Our nation being aware of Our readiness to promote its
progress and advancement, appreciates the value of selfhelp
through co-operative labour.
         The abundant resources of Our country - its
virgin land, its mighty rivers, its minerals and its fertile
soil guarantee our nation a better and more prosperous
life. These natural riches and the prospect of exploiting
them should be the major driving forces in your endeavours.
Aside from this national wealth, each of you is
endowed with human energy and intelligence which you
should employ for the achievement of these goals.
It is a natural obligation for mankind to live by the
sweat of his brow. "He that laboureth not, neither let
him eat". Labour and nourishment are equally essential
for human well-being. Did not Our Lord Jesus Christ
Himself give us the parables of the ten virgins and of the
lazy man who burried his gold, just to teach us the fruits
of diligent labour? He called his servants and entrusted
to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to
another two, and to another one, to each according to his
ability. He who had received five talents went at once
and traded with them, and made the five talents more.
So, too, he who had the two talents made two talents
more. But he who had received the one talent went and
dug in the ground and hid his master's money".
So use this available capital in the most profitable
manner. Study your project; discuss it with specialists;
and have the perseverance to see it accomplished. If,
on the other hand, the capital remains unused; if laziness
and indifference is diverted to selfish and personal gains;
do not forget that you will have incurred upon yourself
and upon your country a debt of the heaviest kind.
There is no rose without thorns; there is no profit without
We have promised you specialists and technicians to
assist you in carrying out your projects. But the leadership
and initiative must always come from you. Do
not expect them to do for you more than you can do
for yourself.
Every labourer is a father - his labour is his child.
Choose your project carefully, and achieve it worthily,
so that neither yourself nor your country may be ashamed
on your account. You, who have left your home towns
and have fled to the cities in search of work, now is the
time to go back for there is work waiting for you. We
warn you in advance that those who are physically able
shall not be allowed to loiter about the cities.
Let us all follow the golden rule - "do unto others
as you would have them do unto you". Let the officials
follow it closely; let them serve their people and their
country with humility and diligence.
But diligence and humility and service to one's
country are not the tasks of officials only - they are not
the tasks of anyone alone. The present projects will
demand close contact and co-operation between all of
us. Officials to whom We have entrusted various degrees
of responsibility, guided by the example of Jesus Christ
Who, having declared "I came to serve you but not to be
served by you", brought Himself low and washed the
feet of His disciples, must render service to the people
without charge for these services. As We have repeated
many times over in Our last pronouncement, We would
like again to emphasise the value of time and urge you to
dedicate yourselves to hard work - and profitably
utilize your time.
There is no energy in the world, including that of
the atom that can not be controlled. However, there is
no scientist on earth who could control, even for a second
the flow of time. For this reason never idle away your
time, however, briefly.
Is it not you, her children that are referred to as
Ethiopia? Our lasting hope has ever been, with the help
of the Almighty, to help promote the interest and wellbeing
of Our people - not to get disillusioned by remote
hopes and wishful thinking.
May the Almighty God help us in the fulfillment of
all our undertakings."

Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie Ist Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions - page 162 -

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