Leaders & Controversies

Transcript: Source3

A secret plan drawn up by the British and French foreign ministers, Hoare and Laval, 10 December 1935
(Catalogue ref: PRO 30/69/621)


I. Exchange of Territories

The Governments of Great Britain and France agree to recommend to His Majesty the Emperor of Ethiopia the acceptance of the following exchange of territory between Ethiopia and Italy.

(a) Tigre. Cession to Italy of eastern Tigre approximately limited on the south by the River Rheva and on the west by a line running from north to south passing between Axum (on the Ethiopian side) and Adowa (on the Italian side).

(b) Rectification of Frontiers between The Danakil Country and Eritrea leaving to the south of the boundary line Aussa and the extent of Eritrean territory necessary to give Ethiopia an outlet to the sea to be defined below.

(c) Rectification of Frontiers between the Ogaden and Italian Somaliland. Starting from the tri-junction point between the frontiers of Ethiopia, Kenya and Italian Somaliland the new Italo-Ethiopian frontier would follow a general north-easterly direction cutting the western Shebeli at Iddidole leaving Gorahei to the east, Warandab to the west and meeting the frontier of British Somaliland where it intersects the 45th Meridian.

The rights of the tribes of British Somaliland to the use of grazing areas and wells situated in the territories granted to Italy by this delimitation should be guaranteed.

(d) Ethiopia will receive an outlet to the sea with full sovereign rights. It seems that this outlet should be formed preferably by the session [cession], to which Italy would agree, of the port of Assab and of a strip of territory giving access to this port along the frontier of French Somaliland.

The British and French Governments will endeavour to obtain from the Ethiopian Government guarantees for the fulfilment of the obligations which devolve upon them regarding slavery and arms traffic in the territories acquired by them.

II. Zone of Economic Expansion and Settlement

The British and French Governments will use their influence at Addis Ababa and at Geneva to the end that the formation in Southern Ethiopia of a zone of economic expansion and settlement reserved for Italy should be accepted by His Majesty the Emperor and approved by the League of Nations.

The limits of this zone would be: on the east, the rectified frontier between Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland: on the north the 8th parallel: on the west the 35th meridian: on the south the frontier between Ethiopia and Kenya.

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