Memorandum by the Receiver of Customs of Liberia ( Worley )

It seems to be generally understood that there will be a meeting of the Delegates of the Allied Nations prior to the assembling of the Peace Conference for the purpose of coming into agreement on a program and plan of procedure.

Diplomatic correspondence is now being conducted with Great Britain and France relative to the withdrawal of those Governments from the present Receivership in Liberia and from participation in the proposed financial aid to be granted to Liberia by the United States for rehabilitating and developing the natural resources of that Republic. This loan-credit is granted to Liberia in much the same way that others have been granted to the other Allied Nations.

Because of difficulties of transportation the Delegates from Liberia will be somewhat late in assembling.

From correspondence recently received from Great Britain, it would appear that an attempt will be made to have the whole subject of Liberian questions brought up for settlement at the Peace Conference and possibly at the prior meeting of the Allied Delegates.

It is respectfully suggested that the Delegates of the United States be advised of these facts and that they be asked, on behalf of Liberia, to urge that the administration of Liberia’s international obligations and affairs are now in the hands of the United States and Great Britain and France, and that the financial assistance to Liberia as well as her future status and relations with the United States Government are proper questions for decision by those three nations only, and to express to Great Britain and France the hope that affirmative replies may be received from those two nations to the diplomatic correspondence now being conducted.

Attention should also be invited to the fact that Liberia is an independent entity; a member of the Allied Nations and has contributed of what she has for the common cause and has suffered likewise in commerce, trade, revenue, and by bombardment; and that Liberia should not be considered in connection with captured German colonies in West Africa or any possible readjustment of territory. [Page 544] It might also be stated that the Liberian question is not one to be considered in connection with those of West Africa; that the United States has no designs on West Africa in general, but has a very real, continuing and increasing interest in Liberia.

Other items which might be called to the attention of the American Delegation are outlined in detail in three other memoranda which I have submitted to the Department on this same subject under even date.1

I trust the cable may be used for this purpose.

Respectfully submitted,

H. F. Worley
  1. Not printed.