No. 743.
Mr. Barclay to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: The Hon. Charles H. J. Taylor, minister resident and consul-general of the United States to Liberia, having given official notice to this department under date of the 26th ultimo of his immediate departure for the United States, I have the honor, by direction of the President, to address you again on the subject of the claims advanced by France to certain portions of the territories of the Republic embraced between Cape Palmas and the San Pedro River, and to inclose for your information copy of a dispatch, with an inclosure, received from our chargé d’affaires in Paris, dated 8th September last, in which he informs this Department in a letter lately received from the French ministry of foreign affairs that the minister refuses to settle the matter in question with the minister of the United States, on the ground that our chargé d’affaires being the only agent acknowledged to represent the Republic of Liberia in France, the minister of the United States can not act for our Government.

Mr. Carrance further informs us that he has interviewed Mr. McLane on the subject, and, while acknowledging that the United States take the utmost interest in the matter, intimates that it is necessary that our Government send him immediately “a special power to settle the question, and full orders necessary to come to this conclusion,” etc.

[Page 1085]

Referring to the latter portion of the third paragraph of your esteemed dispatch of the 14th October, 1886, with relation to that “little natural fear on Mr. Carrance’s part that you (we) might credit in the wrong quarter the good result of his official efforts and services,” I would remark that that natural fear of Mr. Carrance alluded to in that communication seems to be greatly increased, since he has persistently endeavored to have our Government ignore the reasonable intervention of our next (best) friend, and to place the solution of the matter entirely in his hands, notwithstanding the admission made to this department two or three years ago “that he was on best terms of friendship with all the French Government men.”

In this connection I am directed by the President to inform you that so great is the confidence which he feels in the kind exertions of the Government of the United States on behalf of Liberia in this matter, that if the conduct of Mr. Carrance should constitute an obstacle in the way of an amicable settlement of the matter, he would feel no reluctance whatever to remove that obstacle, and leave the question to be finally settled between the French Government and that of the United States, acting on behalf of the Republic of Liberia.

Soliciting an expression from you as to the correctness of the information furnished by Mr. Carrance,

I have the honor, etc.,

E. J. Barclay.
[Inclosure 1.]

Mr. Carrance to Mr. Barclay.

Excellency: I have the honor to inclose herein copy of a letter which Mr. Flourens, minister of foreign affairs, has addressed mo concerning the claim the minister of the United States in Paris has been commissioned to put forward on your behalf.

As your excellency will read, the minister of foreign affairs refuses to settle the matter with the minister of the United States, stating that, as I am the only agent acknowledged to represent the Republic of Liberia in France, this agent can not act for your Government.

My only wish being the welfare of Liberia, I went to see Mr. McLane, minister of the United States, to let him know of the letter I had just received from Mr. Flourens, as this gentleman requires me only to interfere in the matter.

My opinion is that we will agree together and will come to a conclusion satisfactory to Liberia, for the United States take the utmost interest in the matter, but it is necessary that your excellency should send me immediately, and by wire if possible, a special power to settle the question and full orders necessary to come to this conclusion.

Your excellency knows me well enough to be aware that in every point I take and uphold the interests of Liberia, which are as dear to me as my own, and in this matter I feel the more confident that I shall be backed up by the minister of the United States, although I shall have to settle alone with the French Government.

I hope we will come to a satisfactory solution, but so as to act quickly it is necessary that your excellency should send me by the shortest way the full necessary orders and power.

In this expectation, I have, etc.,

Leopold Carrance.
[Inclosure 2.—Translation.]

Mr. Flourens to Mr. Carrance.

Monsieur: I have had occasion to inform you, in the month of July of last year, of a proposal made to my department by the United States minister at Paris, in favor of the State of Liberia, in regard to the incident caused by the calling of a French man-of-war at Beriby.

[Page 1086]

Mr. McLane, under orders from his Government, has just addressed to me a new communication, in which, always taking into consideration the interests of the Republic of Liberia, he proposes to us to determine precisely the frontier line between the eastern provinces of this state and the neighboring French possessions.

Though we are never disposed to reject the idea of a natural boundary (delimitation de nature) to prevent any difficulty with a country with whom we have sentiments of sympathy, it seems difficult to receive overtures which have not an official character, and that have not yet been regularly addressed by your agency.

I will he, therefore, very much obliged to you to inform me if you have been charged by the Government which you represent in France to transmit to us propositions tending to the determination of the common frontier, and I await your reply before having an understanding with the minister of marine upon the subject of the measures it might be proper to take, with a view of regulating, if necessary, the question which the minister of the United States has thought it his duty to call to my attention.

Receive, etc.,