Date: Sunday, November 07 @ 11:48:12 UTC
Topic: Haile Selassie
By Haile Selassie
When a whole nation accepts and maintains a government in existence, it means that the nation
recognizes that government.
There is always something moving, brewing. There are ambitious people everywhere. Wicked
The only thing to do is to deal with them with courage and decision.
One must beware of uncertainty, weakness or conflicting emotions - they lead to defeat.
It is our opinion that the world has not changed at all. We believe that such changes have
modified nothing. We don't even notice any difference between monarchies and republics: to us,
they appear two substantially similar methods of governing a nation.
What do these words signify?
What have they changed in the world?
Have men become better, more loyal, kinder?
Are the people happier?
All goes on as before, as always.
One should consider the interests of a nation before subverting it with words. Democracy is
necessary in some cases and we believe some African peoples might adopt it. But in other cases
it is a handful, a mistake.
We are all adherent, whatever our internal political systems, of the principles of democratic
action. Let us apply these to the unity we seek to create.
Force must be used against force.
We ourselves, by virtue of our descent from the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, ever since we
accepted in trust, in 1916, first the regency of the Ethiopian realm and later, the Imperial
Dignity, right up to the present, we have set out to the best of our ability, to improve,
gradually, internal administration by introducing into the country western modes of civilization
through which our people may attain a higher level.
In explanation of the notion 'gradually': unless it is through coaxing a child and getting it
accustomed, it will not be pleased if one takes from it what it has seized with its hand. When
one gives such a baby any sort of food, it will not wish to eat it, unless one shows it to the
child and lets it taste it. Unless they give it milk or other soft food until it grows teeth, it
will not be able to eat when they place bread or meat before them.
And similarly with people who have lived by custom only, without learning at school, without
absorbing knowledge by the ear or observing and searching with the eye, it is necessary to
accustom them, through educations to abandon habits by which they have for long been living,
to make them accept new ways. yet not by hasty or cruel methods but by patience and study.
gradually and over a prolonged period.
Only a system which tolerates dissent can survive
It gives us great pleasure to appear before this distinguished assemblage and we bring you the
fraternal salutations of the Ethiopian people.
The people of Ethiopia and Trinidad and Tobago are joined in a massive and continuous effort to
create for themselves a new and better way of life. They face many of the same problems.
The hopes and aspirations which they share derive from the same essential beliefs in the nature
and destiny of man. It is thus inevitably true that there should exist between those two great
peoples strong and lasting ties of friendship and understanding
Your role as the representatives of the people is a particularly critical one in the councils of
the twentieth century. The manner in which a representative of the people should properly
discharge his responsibilities has long been a matter for learned discussion among philosophers
and political scientists.
The world of the developing nations is creating new problems for the scholars to ponder as
new societies are emerging to deal with the intricate and explosive questions of national and
Is a representative responsible only to a constituency or to the particular group or interest
which has chosen or appointed him? Certainly this responsibility Must be an element in the
thought and action of such a man, but there are higher values and greater interests and
responsibilities than these.
Sectional, tribal and other divisive factors often pose major obstacles to national
development. In their expanded sense, as narrowly national and ideological interests, they
threaten unity and progress.
No one is today so foolish as to believe thay any one nation constitutes a perfect monolith
of faith and ideology. Nor could anyone wish that there should be such utter vanity of thought
The systems of Government which have sought to impose uniformity of belief have survived
briefly and then expired, blinded and weakened by obsessive reliance upon their supposed
infallibility. The only system of Government which can survive is one which is prepared to
tolerate dissent and criticism and Which accepts these as useful and in any case, inevitable
aspects of all social and political relations.
The tolerance of dissent and criticism within a Government proceeds from a single essential
premise: that the Government exists to serve the people generally. Government servants, whether
designated as representatives or not, have a trust to work for the general welfare.
The same trust exists among the member states of international organizations. The members of
such organizations must adhere to some tacit or expressed conception of international welfare.
In the case of the Organization of African Unity, it is an African Unity, it is an African
welfare; in the case of the United Nations Organization, it is world welfare.
In one way or another, the member nation must accept in thought, spirit and action the basic
premise of their institutions that men of all races, beliefs and status share some essential
From this premise, no great and easy actions follow as corollaries. The representatives of
peoples and nations can only come together with open and objective minds and willing hearts
to engage in dialogue, without rigid dogmas and slogans and without violence.
Working in this way achieves no instant Utopia. It may, however, enable us to achieve together
what it is possible to achieve and to move forward steadily, if not always in great haste, with
some degree of harmony and mutual understanding.
Domestically, we can build strong and happy and resourceful societies. internationally, we can
force the end of oppression of man by man and nation by nation. We can bring about the security
and mutual trust which will open the way to the greater human achievements for which the needs
of mankind now cry out.
Permit me to express my heartfelt gratitude for the reception accorded me by the people and
Government of Trinidad and Tobago.