882.51/1931

The Under Secretary of the Treasury (Mills) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of the letter of Assistant Secretary Castle, dated April 12, 1927, (WE: 882.51/1930). It is with great pleasure that I learn from your letter and from informal conversations with Mr. Sidney De La Rue, General Receiver of Customs and Financial Adviser of the Republic of Liberia, that Liberia is prepared to discharge in full on July 6, 1927, its indebtedness to the United States.

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It is my understanding that a duly accredited representative of the Republic of Liberia will, on July 6, 1927, present to the Secretary of the Treasury, a certified check in the amount of $35,610.46, in exchange for the demand obligations of the Republic of Liberia bearing a proper notation of payment. A statement of the advances which were made, the payments received from Liberia against these advances, is set forth in detail below and there is enclosed a statement43 covering the computations of the accrued and unpaid interest up to July 6, 1927:

It would seem from the letter which was quoted in your letter under acknowledgement that Mr. De La Rue is of the opinion 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. The records of the Treasury do not show that any of the advances were made for such a purpose. As will be seen from the information set out below, the Treasury made cash advances for two purposes only, viz., (1) $18,000 to meet the expenses of the Liberian Delegates to the Peace Conference, and (2) $8,000 to defray expenses of transportation of certain officials whom it was proposed to send to Liberia in connection with the American receivership administration and the preliminary work of rehabilitation and development of that country. The amount, date, and the purpose of each advance, together with the accrued and unpaid interest thereon to July 6, 1927, are as follows:

February 6, 1919. Advanced for the purpose of paying the expenses of the Liberian Delegation to the Peace Conference
(Liberia had passed a joint resolution authorizing the negotiation of a loan of $20,000 to meet these expenses.)
$12,000.00
Accrued and unpaid interest at 5% per annum from Nov. 15, 1919, the date to which interest was last paid in full to July 6, 1927 $4,584.78
Paid on account of interest due May 15, 1920. 31.15
4,553.63
[Page 164]September 10, 1919. Additional advance for same purpose as above, the first advance being insufficient due to the unforeseen length of the sojourn of the Liberian Peace Delegates 6,000.00
Accrued and unpaid interest at 5% per annum from April 15, 1920, the date to which interest was last paid, to July 6, 1927 2,167.21
October 24, 1919. Advanced for the purpose of paying the expenses of transportation of certain officials whom it was proposed to send to Liberia in connection with the American receivership administration and the preliminary work of rehabilitation and development of that country $8,000.00
Accrued and unpaid interest at 5% per annum, from April 15, 1920, the date to which interest was last paid, to July 6, 1927 2,889.62
Total amount due July 6, 1927 $35,610.46

As evidence of the above advances aggregating in principal amount $26,000, the Treasury now holds three demand obligations, in the form of certificates of indebtedness, of the Republic of Liberia, executed and delivered at the time of each advance, in the respective amounts, by Mr. H. F. Worley, for the Government of the Republic of Liberia, bearing interest at the rate of 5% per annum, payable semiannually. The President of the Republic of Liberia commissioned Mr. Worley as a special agent of Liberia with full power to sign for and on behalf of that government such documents or obligations as were necessary to render available the credit established by the United States Treasury, and to receive and deposit advances made from such credit as instructed by the Government of Liberia.

For your information the Liberian Government paid interest due May 15, 1919, on obligation dated February 6, 1919, for $12,000 in the [Page 165]amount of $161.10. Under date of November 29, 1920, the Treasury received from the State Department a check for $700 representing the unused balance of advances made by the Treasury, remaining in Mr. Worley’s accounts, and not needed for the purpose for which advanced. This sum was sent to the Treasury with the suggestion and approval of the Liberian Government that it be applied on account of either principal or interest, or both, due on the Liberian indebtedness to the United States. The Treasury applied the proceeds of the $700 check, together with $161.10 paid May 15, 1919, on account of interest, as follows:

Date paid Amount of obligation Period covered Amount of interest
May 15, 1919 $12,000 Feb. 6, 1919–May 15, 1919 $161.10
Dec. 5, 1920 12,000 May 15, 1919–Nov. 15, 1919 300.00
do 12,000 Nov. 15, 1919–May 15, 1920 31.15
(on account)
do 6,000 Sept. 10, 1919–Oct. 15, 1919 28.69
do 6,000 Oct. 15, 1919–Apr. 15, 1920 150.00
do 8,000 Oct. 24, 1919–Apr. 15, 1920 190.16
$861.10

To conform to the policy of the Treasury in allocating foreign obligations to the interest payment dates of April 15–October 15 and May 15–November 15 of each year, the interest on the demand obligation for $12,000 was considered as due and payable on May 15 and November 15 of each year, while the interest on the demand obligations for $6,000 and $8,000 was considered due and payable on April 15 and October 15 of each year.

Respectfully yours,

Ogden L. Mills
  1. Statement not printed.