1961 – Throne speech

1961 – Throne speech

People are the ultimate resource

“The ultimate resource of a nation is its people. Unless this resource is employed for the benefit of the nation, unless the latent good which it represents is exploited to the maximum for the common good, the nation will languish, poor in spirit, lacking in achievement. But no people can make their full contribution to the life of the nation to which they owe allegiance unless they possess and enjoy those few fundamental prerequisites indispensable to rendering their participation in the affairs of their country both possible and significant.

“The growth of a people is complex and interrelated. Man must be educated: he cannot come to grips with or cope with or understand the modern world unless he has been taught about it. He must be assured of a minimum economic security: he cannot concern himself with matters going beyond the day-to-day satisfaction of his physical needs unless he is fed and clothed and sheltered, nor can he acquire a sufficient degree of social consciousness to be able to subordinate his own personal interests to the good of the nation and the development of its society. Freedom, Liberty, the rights of man – these mean little to the ignorant, the hungry, the ill-clothed, the badly housed.

“All of this We have, from Our earliest days, recognized, and in the years during which We have guided and directed the destinies of the Ethiopian people and nation, We have endeavored to accommodate and give due consideration to this basic truth. To you the legislators of the Empire, has been confided the high responsibility of ensuring that the needs and the desires of those who chose you as their representatives are well and truly served in the legislative programmes which will be placed before you.

“You must ensure that in your desire to achieve immediate goals, long-term considerations of equal or greater importance are not ignored or irrevocably prejudiced. Those who will prepare your Government’s programmes will do so honestly and sincerely, seeking thereby to secure the further progress of Ethiopia and her people. But you, as well as they, share in the responsibility for guaranteeing that this progress is not only apparent but real and that each step forward paves the way for the next. May Almighty God grant you wisdom, understanding and judgment.”

November 2, 1961