Home

Selected Speeches Of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I



ON FAR-REACHING ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS


In 1955, persuaded that events so required and so permitted, We promulgated a Revised Constitution. By virtue of this document a popularly-elected Chamber of Deputies today sits in Parliament and participates in the regulation of the affairs of their country. And this year, as has already been announced, broad and far-reaching studies have been launched to sweep away any obstacles which still stand in the way of further growth which, God willing, will proceed unabated until all Ethiopians stand proudly as citizens of a State which will not suffer by comparison with any on this continent or in this world, a State in which each man enjoys, without let or hindrance, those rights and liberties which are man’s most precious possessions. We shall devote Our entire being to this purpose, and We call upon each Ethiopian to take for himself this same pledge.

Within the past months, We have convened a number of special committees and have charged them with the task of exploring ways and means of speeding the development of Our nation in various fields. The work of these committees is proceeding rapidly, and the results of their deliberations and the recommendations which they make will be made known to you and, if required, you will be asked to act on them. The Committee on Constitutional Revision is to study the 1955 Revised Constitution and determine whether there is need to amend it in order that the system of responsible ministerial government which We have created, deliberately and of Our own free will, may be rendered more efficient and effective. Government today in Ethiopia has attained such magnitude that no single man nor any few men can control its every aspect and operation. Responsibility must be increasingly delegated to those who have demonstrated themselves efficient and devoted administrators. You, the members of Parliament, must take an ever-increasing part in government.

The Committee on Administrative Reform is undertaking a task which must be discharged periodically in all develop­ed nations, that of analyzing the form and institutions of government so that its working may be simplified. The Committee on Local Government is exploring the possibility of granting an increased measure of autonomy to local administrations within the unified provincial administration which already exists. Decentralization is required as administration grows in size and complexity. The Committee on Education is seeking the means of expanding Ethiopia’s existing educational facilities so that they may adequately meet the increasing demands being made—and properly so—for instruction in the learning and wisdom of the modern world. Other committees may, perhaps, have more immediate impact upon the course of events in Ethiopia; the work of none of them will be of greater importance in influencing, over the long term, this country’s future.

Pension And Civil Service

.... The first is the enactment of a pension law whereby Government employees who have devoted themselves to the service of their nation will be assured, when the time comes, that they may enjoy the leisure which the modern world denies during man’s active years, of continued financial independence. Man’s ingratitude to man is often manifested in the willingness to relegate human beings to the scrapheap of life when they enter the twilight of their careers and younger brains and stronger arms are found to replace them. This has, happily, never been the case in Our nation, and with the establishment of a Government pensions scheme, these rights, traditional to Ethiopia, are preserved and expanded.

Secondly, by Imperial Order We have, only a few days ago, established the legal framework for a public service system which will govern the hiring, promotion, dismissal and discipline of the great majority of government employees. This legislative act, which formalizes a custom followed in practice in the past, will facilitate the creation of a corps of career public servants who may devote themselves without stint to their duties, to the exclusion of personal or special preoccupations.

These two enactments are epoch-making in Ethiopian history; their significance cannot be over-emphasized. They may, at the outset, be administered less than perfectly. The full measure of their impact upon the carrying on of responsible government in Ethiopia may not be immediately felt. But impact there shall be. Henceforward, each employee will know of the conditions of his service. He will know what he must do to be considered for employment with the Government and what conditions he must meet to be enrolled in Government service. He will know that if he performs efficiently and well he will be promoted, and that if he slacks or shirks his duties or abuses his position for his personal financial gain, he will be disciplined and even discharged. He will be aware of his duties, his rights and obligations. He will be secure in his position for so long as he serves ably and well. And after having served his nation loyally, when he is old, or sick, or feeble, he will be guaranteed his pension to the end of his life. Upon his death, his wife, his children, even his parents, may enjoy the benefits to which his years in Government service have entitled him.

Both the pension scheme and the public service system will be administered by autonomous bodies headed by an independent Board of Commissioners. The fundamental task of these Commissioners, in addition to administering the organizations which they head, is to ensure that no outside influence is involved in awarding pensions and in directing the public service system. If freedom from political influence is achieved, every Ethiopian will know that public servants hold their positions by virtue of merit and worth, and that retired Government employees have earned their pensions by years of faithful and devoted service.

November 2, 1961.


Next Page




Support this project here.

Electronic edition created and published online by members of the
Emperor Haile Sellassie First Theocracy Reign
Order of the Nyahbinghi

April 26, 2017