On Thursday, November 4, 1958, on the occasion
of the 28th Coronation Anniversary, His
Imperial Majesty Haile Sellassie I spoke to
representatives of the Armed Forces and the
Police. Following is His Imperial Majesty's
"After, through God's mercy, We were able to
liberate Our country from fascist invasion, one of Our ·
major administrative tasks in the process of raising the
standard of living of Our people was the organization of
the Armed Forces and the Police.
In pre-war days it was the custom to provide the
Armed Forces and the Police with provisions, and they
were given land holdings. This was superseded immediately
after the Liberation by a salary system together with
the supply of uniforms and other military requirements.
It was a mark of pride to see Our servicemen adopt their
traditional and customary habits to the modern military
organisation, to see them trained in the execution of up-to-
date tactics and in the use of modern weapons.
Although thorough military organization requires a
great deal of money and much sacrificial labour, We
still pressed forward with the programme of establishing
military schools to train Our Armed Forces.
In addition to promoting Our officers in the various
ranks in recent times We, being aware of the necessity
of other ranks and the rank and file to share in better
living conditions and in sound health, established
military hospitals, increased their salaries and added
allowances for their children.
Today the sum of Eth. $1,500,000 has been added to
the budget of the Armed Forces including the Police
which will provide salary increases over and above the
previous made for uniform, hospitalization and family
Moreover, We have given orders today that all those
who have not benefitted previously should be given one
gasha of free-hold land each. Officials have already been
assigned to see that this order is executed. The reason
is clear, for money is expendable while land, being real
estate, is permanent and transferable to your children.
It is not enough just to say that one owns land. The
grant will be organized so that the recipient could cooperate
together for its exploitation.
This land distribution declaration which We made
today includes the Police Force and is ordered effective
from November 23, 1958.
We should like to remind you before concluding
that, just as your fathers and forefathers, with the Almighty
as the source of their defence, never yielded to enemy
force or propaganda in preserving the freedom of Our
country, so you, strengthened by your inherited valour
coordinated with the modern military techniques you
have acquired, are expected to fulfil the high tasks with
which you have been assigned.
To maintain one's personal freedom in honour
demands self-sacrifice which, in turn, calls for valour and
loyalty. We commend devotion in duty so that by
your glorious military exploits, you could preserve the
honour and freedom of your country."
Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie Ist Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions - page 93 -