882.5048/222: Telegram

The Chargé in Liberia ( Carter ) to the Secretary of State

17. Department’s 10, January 29, 4 p.m. No commitments or comments as to the attitude of American Government have been made by the Legation and none will be made without further instruction.

Liberian Government is seriously alarmed, and not without reason, over possible outcome and effect of investigation and would gladly seize upon any pretext—such as a proposal at this time to alter the terms of reference—to prolong discussion to point where investigation might fail of its purpose. In fact the rumor is already being circulated here, presumably by the Liberian Government, that the Commission has been entirely called off. Have some reason [Page 339] for believing that Meek’s views may have been influenced in part by recent communications reported to have been made by Liberian Government, but would point out that travel in Liberia will be possible up to May 1st and perhaps even later, thus leaving two months for field work outside Monrovia by the Commission, assuming it begins work March 1st, after which it could continue its sittings in Monrovia regardless of rains.

Can only repeat suggestions made in the Legation’s 14,15 which crossed Department’s 10, and recommend that League be encouraged to name Meek’s substitute before Liberian Government can take any action to forestall such step and to arrange to have him here about March 1st. In view of the importance which element of time has now assumed, I believe Department will agree that even the appointment by the League of a less prominent investigator than Meek, provided that it be made at once, would be preferable to the danger involved in a further postponement.

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