The Department of State to the British Embassy.
Washington, June 21, 1910.
In reply to the aide mémoire of the British embassy of June 9, requesting that His Britannic Majesty’s Government may be informed as soon as possible of the proposals of the United States Government with respect to the reorganization of Liberian finances, the Secretary of State has the honor to confirm what was said to his excellency the British ambassador in the course of a conversation at the department on the 10th instant, to the effect that the United States is disposed to lend its friendly assistance to Liberia in securing a loan from American bankers, who will have as partners British, French, and German associates, the amount of the loan to be sufficient to pay off or refund Liberia’s present indebtedness, foreign and domestic.
Before making known the intentions of the department, the Secretary of State has thought it advisable to inquire into the feasibility of the proposed plan as a financial undertaking and with that end in view has been for some time in communication with the banking house of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., of New York, and that firm has recently submitted a proposal which, if brought to final form, will, in the opinion of the department, accomplish the necessary financial reorganization which, from the report of the American commission and the information which his Britannic Majesty’s Government has been so kind as to furnish from time to time, appears to be so urgently needed in Liberia.
A representative of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. is now in Europe, and it is expected that his negotiations will very shortly reach such a stage that he can conveniently discuss the terms of the proposed loan with his foreign associates, who will no doubt immediately communicate with their respective Governments, and the embassies of the United States will be properly informed, so that they will be able to discuss the proposed plan if called upon by the foreign offices of the Governments to which they are accredited. The Secretary of State has impressed upon the bankers the urgency of the financial situation in Liberia and the necessity for the utmost expedition in the negotiations.
In the meantime, however, the Secretary of State is happy to inform His Britannic Majesty’s Government that the proposition submitted to the department contemplates the establishment of a receivership [Page 711] in Liberia to collect and administer the customs and head moneys, the general receiver, who is to act also as financial adviser, to be an American, and each of the countries whose nationals participate in the loan to be represented in the receivership by an assistant receiver.
Upon the conclusion of the agreement between the bankers and Liberia the department proposes in an exchange of notes at Monrovia to secure a pledge of Liberia’s good faith to the fulfillment of its terms, and at the same time occasion will be taken to indicate the willingness of the President of the United States to designate the general receiver of customs provided for in the agreement, and in further response to the requests already made by Liberia, which have been favorably reported upon by the Americn commission, to select a director of agriculture and officers for the frontier force and to assist in securing a definite settlement of the boundary controversies between Liberia and the neighboring colonies.