882.20/312: Telegram

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


20. Your No. 22, February 13, 6 p.m. Records in the Department indicate that the United States Government has never formally nominated Outley under the loan agreement of 1926 and that, since the expiration of the loan agreement of 1912, he has been employed, at least in a legal sense, directly by the Liberian Government with no reference to any loan agreement, in spite of the fact, as is understood to be the case, of his compensation being paid out of assigned revenues. Therefore, the question of this Government withdrawing his nomination does not arise.

You may inform the Liberian Secretary of State that, if his Government wishes to dispense with Outley’s services in conformity with the terms of the contract it has with him, this Government has no objection. You may, within the limitation of the foregoing, phrase your communication to the Liberian Secretary of State in any way you feel will satisfy his Government and will attain the desired results.

Regarding the Department’s 19, February 17, 1 p.m.,30 it is deemed important for Colonel Lewis to be advised as soon as possible of his appointment. Therefore, the Department will welcome the receipt through you from the Liberian Government of definite word that Colonel Lewis has been appointed. Advices at the same time are also desired as to what arrangements for paying his expenses will be made by the Liberian Government.

Since it was you chiefly who conducted the conversations with Lewis at the time his services were sought, will you inform the Department what understanding, if any, was reached with him concerning the matter of a contract. Is it the plan of the Liberian Government to engage Lewis under a contract? If it is, has there already arisen the question of the terms and do these present any difficulties from the standpoint of either party? Please telegraph fully regarding these matters. Pending receipt of your advices, the Department will naturally not communicate with Lewis.

All questions relating to the appointment of a “second officer” should if possible, it is felt, be held in abeyance until after installation of Lewis. However, if the Liberian Secretary of State should request an answer to that part of his communication which deals with a second officer, you may inform him that there would appear to be no objection to his statement.

The question of possible reinstatement of Outley, if he desires reinstatement, is being urgently taken up by the Department with the [Page 456] War Department. You will be notified of any decision by the War Department as soon as it is received.

The Fiscal Agents and the Finance Corporation are in accord with the above.

  1. Not printed.