882.74/50: Telegram

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


20. Your telegram 23 of August 3, 4 p.m.

Please forward by cable complete text of the license for operation of a general commercial radio station in Liberia which the Liberian Government proposes to issue to Firestone. This is being requested for use in a hearing scheduled to be held by the Federal Radio Commission on August 17 on the matter of the issuance to American companies of commercial radio licenses for communication with Liberia.
The issuance of a license by the Federal Radio Commission to the Radio Corporation of America for this purpose has encountered difficulties here, due to the decision of the Radio Commission to assign but one wave length for communication between the United States and Liberia. Such a decision is based upon a comparison of the present requirements of Liberian traffic with the pressing demand for wave lengths for communication with many other parts of the world. It seems unlikely that the decision will be modified until Liberian traffic shows a marked increase. The result is to limit direct radio communication between the United States and Liberia to a single company, either the Radio Corporation of America or the Firestone interests, depending on the Commission’s final decision as to issuance of a license.
Under the provisions of the Radio Act, Firestone must present evidence to the Commission showing that he has made arrangements in Liberia to enable him to conduct a general commercial radio business between the two countries before he can obtain a permanent operating license from the Commission. It is important for this reason to learn the exact terms of the operating license which the Liberian Government would grant to Firestone.
You may discuss the situation strictly confidentially with President King on the basis of the information given above and of the Department’s telegram 18 of July 30, 3 p.m., and report to the Department by cable.