File No. 882.51/742

Minister Curtis to the Secretary of State

No. 89

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of the loan and depositary agreement between the Government of Liberia and the [Page 889] Bank of British West Africa Ltd., signed February 21, 1917, as a substitute for the agreement heretofore brought to the Department’s attention.

I have [etc.]

James L. Curtis
[Inclosure 1]

Memorandum of Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Liberia and the Bank of British West Africa, Limited

This agreement entered into this twenty-first day of February in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seventeen by and between the Government of the Republic of Liberia (hereinafter called “The Government”) of the First Part and the Bank of British West Africa, Limited (hereinafter called “The Bank”) of the Second Part, witnesseth:

This agreement shall be supplemental to and shall be construed in conjunction with the agreement entered into between the Bank and the Government dated the 4th February, 1916, hereinafter referred to as “The Depositary Agreement.”
In addition to the services rendered by the Bank to the Government by receiving and accounting for moneys, etc., as detailed in the Depositary Agreement it is hereby agreed that:
The Bank shall upon the first day of each month at the request of the Government approved by the President, advance to the Government a sum not exceeding ($9,000) nine thousand dollars. The money so advanced shall be placed to the debit of Number 2 Account. If and when the balance standing to the debit of the Number 2 Account shall have reached the sum of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), no further advances shall be granted by the Bank.
In consideration of the agreement contained in the last preceding subclause (a) and of the advances to be made thereunder the Government hereby extend the life of the Depositary Agreement until the 31st December, 1920 or until such later date when the entire indebtedness of the Government to the Bank under this agreement shall have been repaid.
All the revenues and receipts of the Government specified in the Depositary Agreement and any sum or sums paid over to the Government by the Customs Receivership shall be placed directly to the credit of the Number 2 Account of the Government with the Bank.
So long as the Government shall be indebted to the Bank under this agreement no more than half pay as set forth in column 3 entitled “Minimum Emergency Mode of Procedure Act” of Exhibit “A” attached hereto which exhibit forms part and parcel of this agreement shall be paid in cash by the Government to any of its officials other than foreign officials in the service of the Government and employees paid by the Receivership.
If at any time during the life of this agreement owing to the exigencies of war or by reason of general or specific instructions issued by the British Government the Bank shall be unable to give effect to any or all of the provisions of this agreement or the Depositary Agreement it is understood and agreed that no liability shall attach to the Bank.
The terms upon which the Bank shall make advance to the Government under Clause 2, sub-clause (a) of this agreement are as follows:
A flotation commission of one-half of one per centum upon the principal amounts of each loan.
Interest to be charged at the rate of seven per centum per annum upon the daily balance standing to the debit of the Government’s Number 2 Account with the Bank.
The flotation commission shall be paid at the time each loan be made and a statement of interest shall be furnished by the Bank to the Secretary of the Treasury monthly, when settlement will be made.
When the Bank, under the provisions of Clause 2, sub-clause (a) or Clause 5 of this agreement, shall cease to make further advances to the Government all of the revenues deposited with the Bank up to the sum of nine thousand dollars ($9,000) monthly shall be available for expenditure by the Government for its support notwithstanding any indebtedness which may be outstanding against [Page 890] the Government with the Bank at that time. All sums deposited in excess of nine thousand dollars ($9,000) monthly shall be retained and placed toward the reduction of the Government’s indebtedness to the Bank.
During the life of this agreement the Bank on their part agree, subject to the provisions of Clause 5 hereof, to maintain a banking establishment at Monrovia, as at present, for the purposes set out in the Depositary Agreement as amended. If at any time during the life of this agreement the Bank shall dispose of the whole or any portion of their business in Liberia, the Bank shall have the right to transfer this agreement to any bank, firm or company that may thus become their assigns.
Clause 3 of the Depositary Agreement shall be read as if the words “at present” were inserted between the words “licenses” and “prescribed” and the Government shall not, during the currency of these agreements, make any reissue or any further issue of indebtedness certificates, paper currency, or other obligations of indebtedness evidenced by negotiable paper.
In the event of the Bank having in its possession at the expiration of the period provided by Clause 2 hereof for the termination of the Depositary Agreement any Liberian silver or copper coin received by the Bank under Clause 4 of the Depositary Agreement, the life of the Depositary Agreement shall be extended until the Government shall have taken back the whole of such silver or copper coin if so requested by the Bank as provided for in Clause 4 of the Depositary Agreement.
The Government being liable for certain existing claims as listed in Exhibit “B” attached hereto which exhibit forms part and parcel of this agreement, it is hereby agreed by the Bank that in the event of any or all of these claims being pressed and payment demanded, the Bank shall allow the Government to apply one-half of the available surplus revenues accruing monthly under Clause 3 and 7 hereof in satisfaction of such claims.
This agreement shall run concurrently and expire with the Depositary Agreement as set forth in Clause 2, sub-clause (b) and Clause 10 hereof.
The General Receiver of Customs shall, in his official capacity as “Financial Adviser to the Liberian Government”, sign this agreement as evidence that same has received his consideration and meets with his approval.
The Government agrees to forward a copy of this agreement to the British Consul General at Monrovia requesting him to take cognizance thereof and to communicate the terms thereof to the British Foreign Office.
In witness whereof we have affixed our hands and seals in the City of Monrovia in the County of Montserrado and the Republic of Liberia the day and date first above written.

[L. S.]
Jas. F. Cooper,
Secretary of the Treasury, R. L.

H. W. Ross-Bell, Mgr.,
For the Bank of British West Africa, Ltd.,

H. F. Worley,
General Receiver of Customs and Financial Adviser of the Republic of Liberia.

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of—
  • G. Hope
  • Joseph J. Sharp
  • B. L. MacLean