The British Ambassador (Lindsay) to the Secretary of State

No. 357

Sir: With reference to your note of July 12th, 19297 and previous correspondence regarding health conditions in Monrovia, I have the honour, under instructions from His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to inform you that he has received reports from His Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires in Monrovia from which it appears that the American medical adviser is meeting with great difficulty in his work owing to the unwillingness of the Liberian Government to enforce their own sanitary regulations and to provide the funds necessary if Dr. Smith is to carry out his task. It appears, for example, that when a test prosecution was instituted by Dr. Smith for the violation of an essential Public Health Order the Public Prosecutor entered a plea of “nolle prosequi” and the case was dismissed; and that Dr. Smith was subsequently informed by the Liberian authorities that no prosecutions would be instituted against persons infringing the sanitary regulations.

As the United States Government are aware, His Majesty’s Government are most anxious that a real improvement should be effected in health conditions in Monrovia. Since the receipt of the abovementioned reports from Mr. Ford they have ascertained that steps have been taken by the American financial adviser to arrange for the provision of further funds in order that the campaign against disease may be pursued. They feel, however, that concerted pressure by other interested foreign governments, in addition to the Government of the United States and themselves, is desirable in order to ensure that the Liberian Government will continue to afford the necessary financial support and to show in the future more readiness than they have in the past to cooperate in making Dr. Smith’s recommendations and regulations effective.

Mr. Henderson8 has therefore requested His Majesty’s Representatives in Paris and Berlin to enquire whether the French and German Governments would be willing to instruct their Representatives in Monrovia to concert with His Majesty’s Chargé d’Affaires in urging the Liberian Government, whenever it may become necessary, to assist Dr. Smith by stringently enforcing the sanitary regulations, by punishing violations thereof and by every other means within their power. [Page 432] I am to express the earnest hope that instructions may be sent to the United States Chargé d’Affaires to cooperate with his colleagues in taking this action.

I have [etc.]

R. C. Lindsay
  1. Foreign Relations, 1929, vol. iii, p. 319.
  2. Arthur Henderson, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.