No. 323.
Mr. Smyth to Mr. Evarts.

No. 30.]

Sir: I have the honor to call your attention to a recent interview between the secretary of state of Liberia and myself at the department of State.

I was by that gentleman informed that the French Government desired that Liberia should become a dependency of France. As an evidence of this, a dispatch was shown me from the Liberian consul-general, addressed to the secretary, in which a protectorate was proposed and urged by that officer, who indicates the advantages to accrue to Liberia from such relation with France, which are of a commercial character and a postal one, due to the nearness of Liberia to Senegal, and desires immediate action to be taken by Liberia in the matter.

Prior to the receipt of this dispatch nothing had been said by the Liberian Government to their French consul-general as to becoming a dependency of France.

The secretary reminded me of a fact, known to me for some time since, of the existence, at least at Monrovia, of a faction, the leader of which is in disgrace, which is anxious for foreign intervention, and has indicated its preference for alliance of the government with the United States.

This officer distinctly and unequivocally stated the policy of his government to be averse to anything savoring of a protectorate.

That the sentiment of the people and of the administration upon foreign intervention, may be regarded as equally opposed to France and all other foreign states having control of their affairs, notwithstanding the general depression directly consequent upon the unsettled question of their right to the northwest boundary, and the secession of the aborigines from Cape Palmas to San Pedro, is shown by the result of their recent election in support of the present incumbents of the presidency and vice-presidency. These officers were elected without opposition.

I am, &c.,