The Secretary of State to the Secretary of the Treasury (Mellon)

Sir: I have the honor to refer to Mr. Winston’s letter of December 27, 192641 and the Department’s letters of December 31, 1926 and January 8, 1927, regarding the payment of the Liberian debt to the Government of the United States.

I am now in receipt of a letter, dated April 6, 1927, from the Receiver General of Customs and Financial Adviser of the Republic of Liberia, who is now in this country, which reads as follows:

“I have the honor to bring to your attention the debt of the Liberian Republic to the United States of America, and to advise you that matters are now being arranged with reference to the financing of [Page 162]the Liberian Republic to the end that certain moneys will be available for the refunding and the settlement of its debts on July 1, 1927. In this connection it becomes important to know what is the total amount of the debt and what is the detail from which this total is determined. At the same time it occurs to me that a certain portion of this indebtedness was incurred during the year 1921 as a part of the expenses of a commission, headed by the President of Liberia, which came to America at the invitation of the American Government to negotiate a loan which had been known as the 1921 loan. The history of this loan you are perfectly familiar with and also, if I am not misinformed, you had some conversation with the Liberian Secretary of State in 1925 when he visited the United States with reference to this debt and its settlement.

I am not aware of the present attitude of the American Government with reference to the settlement of the various items comprising the original debt and such charges as were added to it during 1921. I have not been instructed to negotiate any reduction in said debt. As I am, however, about to return to Liberia, and as I am endeavoring to adjust the various matters of official business here so as to avoid necessity for further negotiations in July, I would be glad to be informed as to what will be expected from the Liberian Government with reference to closing this account so that I may cable a report thereof to the Liberian Government and upon receipt of its instructions, make due provision therefor.”

It is my understanding that Mr. De la Rue is having informal conversations on the matter with an officer of your Department with a view to laying the bases for a prompt settlement.

I trust that no serious difficulties will arise to delay the final settlement and I shall be glad to furnish you, should you so desire, with any information in the files of the Department.

I have [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Wm. R. Castle, Jr.

Assistant Secretary
  1. Not printed.