82.20/316: Telegram

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

28. Repeats of Department’s 20 now received and the message decoded. Have fully appreciated Department’s view regarding Outley’s status and this question was thoroughly discussed in my conversation with Barclay prior to the understanding reported in my telegram 22, February 13. Barclay took the position that, while there might be something to be said for our point of view in a technical sense, the fact remained that Outley had been nominated by the President of the United States for a position which was wholly analogous to that provided for in the 1926 loan agreement and that in the absence of any communication from the American Government on the subject Outley had continued to occupy the position specified in the 1926 [agreement?] de facto for over two years and a half. While Barclay did not raise the point, further color is lent to the Liberian view by reason of acquiescence of the Financial Adviser, Fiscal Agents and Finance Corporation in permitting Outley’s salary to be met from the assigned revenues. I was careful not to compromise the Department’s attitude on the question and in fact left with [him?] a memorandum on the subject in terms identical with those set forth in Department’s 20.

Barclay stated that the Liberian Government had no funds available to pay Outley’s salary other than the assigned revenues and indicated very plainly that the Liberian Government was not prepared at this time to spend over $8,000 per annum for salaries of American military advisers. He then made the proposition which was reported in Legation’s 22, which I accepted subject to the Department’s approval, as the most practical means of settling the question.

A further consideration in my mind in this matter is the fact that the Liberian Government has no particular desire to dispense with Outley’s services unless his nomination is withdrawn by the United States as his retention here affords them a convenient pretext for refusing to accept Lewis except on terms which he probably would not consider, namely, [$]5,200 per annum.

[Page 457]

I am convinced that the Liberian Government will not alter their position and therefore repeat my recommendation that Outley’s nomination be withdrawn by the Government of the United States as the most effective and practical means of obtaining the desired result. Both Financial Adviser and Hines31 are in agreement with this recommendation and, as reported in my 22, I have definite written assurance that if this is done Lewis will be appointed at $7,500.

I do not recall any mention of a contract with Lewis but I suggest that the Department verify this and other terms from correspondence on file in the Department. This correspondence of course should be read with reference to loan agreement. Personally I believe he requires no contract other than the loan agreement and that he should hold his position here in the same way as the fiscal officers who have no contract but are commissioned by President of Liberia. In this Financial Adviser strongly concurs.

Terms of service loan officials are governed by an Executive order of June 26, 1929, which makes due provision for transportation and travel allowance, travel time, leave of absence, accumulative leave, allowance for rent, medical expenses, et cetera. I am informed by Financial Adviser that advances for transportation to Monrovia for officers appointed under the loan agreement are made by National City Bank upon proper instruction from the Secretary of the Treasury of Liberia. In connection with foregoing I may state that no mention was made of a contract in my conversation with the Liberian Government and unless otherwise instructed will take the line that Lewis’s status will be governed in the same manner as that of the fiscal officers without any mention of a contract other than that indicated in the terms of loan agreement and the Executive order referred to above.

  1. W. D. Hines, representative of the Firestone Plantations Company.