File No. 882.51/680.

Chargé Bundy to the Secretary of State.

[Extract]
No. 136.]

Sir: I have the honor to report for the information of the Department that the Liberian Government has concluded and signed on October 29, 1915, an agreement with the Bank of British West Africa, Limited, which provides that all moneys collected by and/or paid to the Government, including taxes, fines, licenses, surtax on import duties, residue of revenue received from customs receivership, and in fact, all revenue of whatsoever nature, excepting postal revenue, accruing, or that may hereafter accrue to the Government shall be paid into the bank at its nearest branch or agency and there be placed to the credit of an account in the name of the Liberian Government.

The conclusion of this agreement is regarded as a most important step in the efforts that are being made to bring about reforms in the internal finances of the Republic. The agreement has the sanction and approval of the Financial Adviser. In fact, I understand, that [Page 641]he was freely consulted about its terms and provisions. Personally I expect material benefits to come to the Republic as a result of an effective operation of this agreement. A verbatim copy of the agreement is herewith enclosed.

I have, [etc.]

Richard C. Bundy.
[Enclosure.]

memorandum of agreement between the government of the republic of liberia and the bank of british west africa limited.

An agreement entered into this 29th day of October, one thousand nine hundred and fifteen between the Government of the Republic of Liberia (hereinafter styled “the Government”) of the first part and the Bank of British West Africa Limited (hereinafter styled “the Bank”) of the second part.

1. Now it is hereby agreed that from and after the 1st day of November one thousand nine hundred and fifteen all moneys collected by and/or paid to the Government, including, taxes, fines, licences, surtax on import duties, residue of revenue received from the customs receivership, and in fact all revenue of whatsoever nature accruing or that may hereafter accrue to the Government shall be paid into the Bank at its nearest branch or agency and there placed to the credit of an account in the name of the Liberian Government.

2. Revenues collected in kind, i. e. ivories, horses, cattle, animals of any description, or anything else that may be accepted in lieu of cash, are to be listed on arrival by the sub-treasurer at ports other than Monrovia and in Monrovia by the general treasurer, and one copy of such list shall be furnished to the Bank and one to the Secretary of the Treasury. As and when any or all of these revenues in kind are disposed of, account sales, duly certified shall be furnished to the Bank, and the proceeds of such sales paid into the Bank. Revenue in kind may be disposed of only in one of the following ways (a) sold for cash or (b) debited to the account of a Government officer or employee at an agreed price.

3. Pending further legislation, when an amendment may be added to this clause, all indebtedness certificates received by the Government in payment of those fines and taxes and licences prescribed by law shall be paid into the Bank together with cash collections. No credit, however, will be passed to the credit of the account of the Government in connection with these indebtedness certificates, but they shall be entered in a register to be kept by the Bank, and thereafter cancelled by the Bank, subsequently being handed to the Secretary of the Treasury against his receipt.

4. Liberian silver and copper shall be received from the Government by the Bank, when forming part of the Government revenues at the fixed rate of $4.80 to the pound sterling. At the request of the Bank, however, the Government will take back the whole or any portion desired by the Bank when drawing from its account with the Bank.

5. The account of the Government will be kept at the Monrovia branch of the Bank, and will be operated upon solely by the Secretary of the Treasury. Revenues paid in at branches or agencies other than Monrovia will be transferred by the Bank to Monrovia, and if desired by the Secretary of the Treasury, and provided safe transport facilities be available, will be transferred thence to any branch or agency in Liberia in order to meet the drawings of the Secretary of the Treasury. The Bank will be previously advised of all cheques drawn by the Secretary of the Treasury for payment at branches or agencies other than Monrovia.

6. The Bank will render to the Secretary of the Treasury a quarterly account of the operations of the Bank under this agreement and settlements will be made quarterly. As remuneration for their services under this agreement the Bank will be paid as follows:

For keeping the account of the Liberian Government and for transferring the Government revenues between ports on the Liberian coast as stipulated in Section 5 of this agreement, a commission of three quarters per centum (¾%) upon all moneys paid into the Bank by the Government. This rate applies to all revenues in kind however disposed of.

[Page 642]

For keeping a register of indebtedness certificates and cancelling same, a commission of one quarter per centum (¼%) on the face value of all such certificates paid into the Bank.

7. It is distinctly understood and agreed that the Liberian Government during the term of this agreement will confine the whole of the Banking business of the Government except that of the Postal Service to the Bank of British West Africa Limited.

8. If at any time during the term of this agreement the Bank shall be desirous of disposing of the whole or any portion of their business in Liberia this agreement shall thereupon immediately terminate.

9. This agreement shall remain in force for the term of two years certain from the 1st day of November one thousand nine hundred and fifteen, to and including the thirty-first of October one thousand nine hundred and seventeen.

10. This agreement may be amended at any time by mutual consent of the contracting parties hereto.

In witness whereof we have affixed our hands and seals at the city of Monrovia in the County of Montserrado and Republic of Liberia the day and date first above written.

John L. Morris,
Secretary of the Treasury for the Republic of Liberia.

Bank of British West Africa Ltd.
By their attorney
R. R. Appelby.

Witnesses:
Reed Paige Clark
.
G. Hope.