File No. 763.72/9551

The Chargé in Liberia ( Bundy) to the Secretary of State


Acute situation has apparently arisen between Liberian Government and French Government [Governor] General, Dakar, over measures proposed by latter for the protection of French wireless and cable stations here. These measures are understood to be: (1) erection of sand bag defence around cable and wireless buildings; (2) that Liberia permit landing of guns, gunners and ammunition now on the way to Monrovia on French patrol boat, expected tomorrow.

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At a conference today composed of British, French and American representatives, President of Liberia and Secretary of State, the following were stated as Liberia’s position with reference to proposed measures: (1) Liberian Government refuses to permit erection of sand bag defense outside cable and wireless buildings but will allow machinery inside wireless buildings to be covered with sand bags; (2) that landing of large guns, gunners and ammunition now on the way on French patrol boat will not be permitted; (3) that small arms and ammunition therefor for use of its own troops will be accepted but landing of foreign troops or artillery of any kind will not be permitted; (4) that Liberian troops are considered sufficient to protect foreign life and property if small arms and ammunition were furnished; (5) that Liberian Government is prepared to consider recommendation from Governments of Great Britain, France and United States on the question of land defense; (6) that better naval protection is desired and some evidence shown that patrol is being kept on Liberian coast, especially in the vicinity of Monrovia.

Liberian Government asserts that position outlined in the foregoing is taken upon the official expression of the British Government that it would pay Liberia better to have her ports as they exist at present rather than have them inadequately fortified.

Not having received instructions to conclude fortification of Liberian ports I have refrained from advising Government although asked.