882.124a/90: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Liberia (Reber)


77. Your 113, September 8, noon. In spite of the fact that the parties to the 1926 loan agreement have not reached an understanding relative to the alleged breaches of the agreement, the Department understands that, for humanitarian reasons, the Finance Corporation is considering acceptance of the Secretary of the Treasury’s order for $11,000, on the understanding that ample authority will be given the Sanitary Adviser to carry on his work under conditions that would be best designed to insure its success through the elimination of handicaps, such as those Dr. Smith has hitherto experienced. It is the Department’s understanding that, in accepting this order, the Finance Corporation is to make it clear that, by so doing, they are not prejudicing their position as regards the alleged breaches of the agreement mentioned, but are treating this order as an exceptional request to which for purely humanitarian reasons they wish to accede.

If you deem it advisable, you should discuss this matter fully with the Financial Adviser, the Chief Medical Adviser, and Firestone’s representative, Hines, and then promptly telegraph the full recommendations and comment you may have in mind on this or any other line, so that consideration may be given them with a view to their incorporation in the Finance Corporation’s statement accompanying the $11,000.

The Department is of the view that it would be well for you to consider, judging by conditions best known to yourself, the issuance by the President shortly of an Executive Order (later to be submitted, if necessary, to the Legislature for approval) to establish a special sanitary police corps (together, possibly, with a sanitary court) [Page 428] with authority to enforce the sanitary regulations laid down by the Sanitary Adviser under the full legal authority as granted him by the Liberian Government. The Sanitary Adviser’s control over the public health service, which would include both sanitary police and sanitary court, probably would be best assured by the grant to him of independent control over all sanitary finances, which would include disbursing the salaries of either the sanitary police or a sanitary police magistrate.