File No. 18222/48e.

The Secretary of State to Minister Lyon.


Mr. Lyon is directed to inform the Liberian Government that after attentive consideration of the contents of the report of the American commission, a copy of which is being transmitted by mail, and mature reflection upon the recommendations contained therein, the President has decided to lend Liberia assistance in the financial, military, and agricultural departments; that the financial assistance is to take the form of a loan to be negotiated by American bankers who are to have as partners British, French, and German associates; that the loan is to be of sufficient amount to pay off or refund Liberia’s present indebtedness, foreign and domestic; that as security for the loan, Liberia is to pledge her customs and head moneys, the collection of which is to be under the control of a receivership to be administered by an American general receiver, who is to be assisted by three assistant receivers of British, French, and German nationality; that the general receiver is to act also as financial adviser; that the good faith of Liberia to the fulfillment of the terms of the agreement with the bankers and the indication of the willingness of the President of the United States to designate the general receiver are to be evidenced by an exchange of notes at Monrovia; that the department has for some time been in communication with a large American banking house concerning the proposed loan, and has had submitted to it a proposal which it can recommend for acceptance; that it only remains for a few minor details to be settled before a representative of the firm proceeds to Monrovia to lay the [Page 710] proposition before the Liberian Government; that in the military department the President proposes to secure American officers for service in the frontier force, and in the matter of agriculture it is proposed to select for Liberia an expert for the position of director of agriculture, the salaries of these officials to be a charge upon the customs. Mr. Knox says this Government will also, at the proper time, enter upon negotiations to assure respect for the ascertained boundaries of Liberia. Mr. Knox states that the department would be pleased to learn how the proposed program is regarded by the Liberian Government.