811.7482/11: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Liberia (Francis)

53. Firestone has shown the Department Hines’ [Ross’] cable to Akron No. 16 November 2832 concerning the Liberian Executive Order regarding the use of radio. Firestone points out that Article 2, Paragraph E of Planting Agreement33 is general in character and does not limit the use of radio to the confines of Liberia.

He further states that the wave bands reserved by the Liberian Government are of such magnitude that it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to set up practical transatlantic service in the wave bands allowed, as this would require the construction of a high power and extremely expensive transmitter and the chances are that even then interference in the United States would prevent successful reception. He observes that it would appear that the Executive Order works such undue hardship on him as to amount in effect to nullification of the privileges granted by Article 2, Paragraph E.

The Department believes that Firestone’s position is consistent with a reasonable interpretation of Article 2, Paragraph E and it therefore desires that you tender your good offices with a view to effecting an amicable arrangement. In this connection Mr. Firestone suggests [Page 255]that a change in the Executive Order to permit the private use of wave bands similar to those recently set up by the United States Radio Commission, that is one band from 5,700 to 7,005 kilocycles and a second band from 18,100 to 56,000 kilocycles would permit point to point communication between the United States and Liberia with a minimum of interference.

Please report action taken and the attitude of the Liberian Government by cable.

Kellogg
  1. A copy of this cable was left at the Department by Mr. Firestone on December 2. It reads as follows:

    Firestone,
    Akron.

    #16. Hines Code. Recent Government executive order covering radio regulations prohibits the use of radio equipment by individuals or corporations within the limits of aerial bands reserved by the Government, with a radius of 60,000 kilocycles to 1,000 and from 600 kilocycles to 429.

    Interpretation of agreement by Government is that we are entitled to use from our plantations station to this port but not for trans-Atlantic use. Secretary of State Barclay referred to conversation with Mr. H. S. Firestone, jr. after Agreements were signed as follows:

    ‘Mr. Firestone, jr., called at the Department and had a long discussion with us with reference to the then nebulous project of your Company getting an additional and separate franchise for the establishment of a wireless station for trans-Atlantic communication. He made then no definite proposal, but suggested that if experiment which was to be taken in hand demonstrated the practicability of the scheme, a proposal would be then made to Liberian Government for such a franchise.’

    He further states that the executive order does not conflict with Article No. XI [II], Section (e), and should our contention be admitted, there would be no hindrance to our using frequency outside that reserved for the Government.

    We are proceeding with the installation at the Du Group Center.

    Ross”

  2. Foreign Relations, 1926, vol. ii, p. 562.