The Secretary of State to the Chairman of the Federal Radio Commission ( Robinson )

Sir: I beg to refer to the Department’s letter of June 27, 1928, and your acknowledgment of June 28 regarding the question of the granting of licenses for general commercial radio communication with Liberia.

The considerations advanced in the Department’s letter of June 27 led the Department to make inquiries of the Liberian Government on the subject, and in the correspondence which ensued President King of Liberia requested the good offices of this Department in bringing the views of the Liberian Government to the attention of the Federal Radio Commission. Owing to a seeming inconsistency in the statements made by the Liberian Government to the American Minister to Liberia and to Mr. Hines, the Firestone representative in Liberia, respectively, the Department sought to obtain from the Liberian Government a clearer statement as to the nature and extent of the license which it proposes to grant to the Firestone Plantations Company as well as a further clarification of its policy as regards general commercial radio business in Liberia. A reply has now been received stating that the position of the Liberian Government is that set forth in President King’s telegram of July 30 to Mr. Firestone, the text of which is enclosed.50

From this it appears that President King is anxious that licenses be granted both to the Firestone Plantations Company and to the Radio Corporation of America to operate general commercial radio services with Liberia. From the point of view of this Department it would be desirable that the course suggested by President King be followed, provided that such action can be reconciled with the needs of other American radio companies for wave lengths. In the event that you should find it impracticable to issue licenses to more than one of the applicants, the Department feels that before final action in the premises is taken, you may wish to give careful consideration to the statement made by President King to the American Minister as reported in the latter’s telegram of July 26 [25] in order that the possibility of Liberia’s radio communications falling into other than American hands may be obviated.

In bringing President King’s request to your attention the Department [Page 272] encloses for your possible use in your consideration of the matter copies of the following documents bearing on the subject:51

Excerpt from Legation’s despatch No. 40, February 25 [24].
Department’s telegram to Legation, Monrovia, July 2.
Legation’s reply of July 7.
Legation’s telegram of July 25, transmitting President King’s request for good offices.
Telegram sent Harvey S. Firestone, Jr., by President King, dated August 1 [July 30].
Department’s telegram to American Legation, July 30, asking further clarification of the Liberian position.
Legation’s reply of August 3 (also copy of its despatch No. 91 of July 9).
Department’s telegram to Legation, August 7.
Legation’s reply, August 11.
Legation’s telegram, August 15.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
W. R. Castle, Jr.
  1. See footnote 46, p. 268.
  2. Of the documents listed, enclosures 3 and 9 are not printed; for the other documents, see pp. 258270 passim.