Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conversation with the British Ambassador (Geddes), June 29, 1921
Liberian Loan. The British Ambassador inquired as to the present status of the Liberian Loan negotiations. The Secretary gave him the information stating that the Department was convinced that the loan should be made; that the President had approved the recommendation and that the matter was before Congress so that the authority which was needed could be given. The Ambassador said that he understood that the French had been approached for a loan and the British interests had also been approached; that he was [Page 366] informed that the French were agreeable to the idea; that the British were unwilling that the French should make the loan alone and that if the French went ahead the British would make representations in order to secure participation; that the British were entirely satisfied to have this Government proceed, but that British interests (private interests) were contemplating advancing the money and did not understand why they should not have the financial opportunity that was offered.
The Ambassador wanted to know if the Secretary would give him an assurance that the loan would be made by this Government. The Secretary said that he expected that the loan would be made but that he could not give an absolute assurance as it was the opinion of the Department that in view of the lapse of time and the changed conditions, an authorization by Congress was needed.
The Ambassador asked if he could inform his Government that this Government would regret the taking up of negotiations abroad while the matter was pending here. The Secretary replied that he could do so; that this Government would regret any negotiations of the Liberian Government for a loan as long as it was under consideration by this Government.
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