|Opening of First Parliament|
|Wednesday, November 2, 1932|
|Members of the House of Deputies:|
Ever since the establishment of the Government of Ethiopia, there has not been any appropriate parliament. We have now established a parliament which will stay and properly function for many years to come. We have declared this chamber as the House of Deputies and We have called upon you to deliberate as representatives of the people.
We have done this, guided by a strong motivation granted Us by Almighty God to work for the further progress of Our country and so that you may assist Us in the Just administration of Our Government by providing Us advice, that will fully benefit Our people.
Until now, there was nobody eager to understand the problems of other places, other than within the confines of his own birthplace. As a result, the individual's views and opinions about others were too shallow. But from now on, all of you must open your eyes and broaden your views and knowledge.
You must know and understand that besides your own birthplace, there are others next to you, and that besides your own cities, there are others around you, and that all these places and cities together make one big nation and those living in it are all sons and daughters of one Ethiopia and that these people from time immemorial lived as one family and one people thus being members of the greater family of man. You must, therefore, realize that besides issues concerning your own birthplace there are greater issues concerning all provinces and all families which, when put together, are of common interest to all, and that the protector of these common interests is the Government while the Emperor is the source of enlightenment to all.
It is in this realization that you can co-operate among yourselves for the sake of your unity. On Our part, We have long thought to assist your work as much as We could and We are fully determined to carry on this and to guide you in all spheres of co-operative works. In Our opinion, a nation, without co-operation, is like a heap of sand. We have called upon you representatives, selected from the provinces, to come to the capital city so that in getting closer to Us you may help advise Us on everything good for the unity of Ethiopia. Your get-together like this will enable you to know each other, to discuss your respective cultures and problems and, to discover your common interests or common obstacles, and to learn fully the administration of the Government. And finally, you will realize that you all belong to one family and that you are sons and daughters of Ethiopia. And then you must understand to love your mother and, as brothers, to love each other, and when you return to your respective provinces you will relate what experiences, broad knowledge, and greater views you gained here, to your fellow men and in such a brotherly and co-operative way, you will promote a good and brotherly spirit throughout Our country. Later, in the future, when Our people will be sufficiently educated, they will be able to elect and send their own representatives, and when they in turn learn how to properly execute their responsibilities, they will be of great assistance to Our Government.
The experiences you gain from your co-operative work will also assist the future representatives. As the price of honesty will be paid to the blessed sons of God so shall We lead Our people gradually to honest gain and prosperity.
Honesty means not to oppress anybody and deny him his deserved share. It does not mean being irresponsible or conceited and dictatorial. We, on Our part, will never cease to eliminate conceitedness, oppression, subversion and corruption in order to maintain peace and national security.
May God help you to understand and always bear in mind all that We have said! May He enlighten you! May He inspire your goodwill and initiative so that you may be able to produce fruits which would be beneficial to Our generation!
|Haile Selassie I|