|The bitter experience of the 1930's has alerted His Imperial Majesty to the hard necessity |
of preparing for the defence and security of his realm. As could be gathered from the
speeches below, though Ethiopia cherishes peace, it is one of the primordial
responsibilities and the right of every nation to be able to defend itself against would-be
aggressors. The Emperor considers Ethiopia's defence and security exertions not only for
herself alone, but as a ready participant in collective security in defence of the sovereign
integrity, especially of small states.
|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 This was superseded immediately after the Liberation by a salary
together with the supply of uniforms and other military requirements. It was a mark of pride to see
Our servicemen adapt their traditional and customary habits to the modern military organization,
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 programmes of establishing military schools to train Our
In addition to promoting Our officers in 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
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 allowance.
Moreover, We have given orders today that all those who have not benefited 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 recipients
could co-operate together for its exploitation.
The 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, strengthended by your inherited valour co-ordinated with the
moder 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 command devotion to duty so that by your glorious military exploits, you
could preserve the honour and freedom of your country.
|Haile Selassie the First - November 15, 1948|