882.01 Foreign Control/8

Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs (Marriner) of a Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the British Ambassador (Lindsay)

The Secretary said he had been thinking over the suggestions which Sir Ronald Lindsay had discussed with Mr. Marriner last week9 with [Page 653] regard to action or recommendations for action by the Council of the League at its forthcoming meeting, with reference to the situation presented in the report of the International Commission of Inquiry into the Existence of Slavery and Forced Labor in Liberia. The Secretary said that he felt that some sort of international endeavor along the lines suggested by Sir Ronald for a commission to be composed, possibly, of two Liberians and three foreigners, one of whom should be an American, would seem satisfactory, but that it would accord better with the American interests concerned if the emphasis in any recommendations made by the Council should be upon a supervision of Liberian affairs by a commission made up of Signatories of the International Slavery Convention of 1926.10

Sir Ronald said he understood this and agreed.

The question came up of whether or not any force might be needed to bring about the acceptance of a recommendation of this character by Liberia and the suppression of the slave traffic, and Sir Ronald said he did not think it would be necessary, because he felt that the combined weight of nations as represented by the League of Nations would no doubt cause the Liberians, who are equally signatories of the Anti-Slavery Convention, to consent to a plan of this nature, and that ultimately, at the worst, the only necessity might be to send out Commissioners on a cruiser of some sort and provide white officers for the Frontier Force. He agreed with the Secretary of State that it was very desirable to have the Liberians request such a type of control and he felt that this would be altogether possible.

J. Theodore Marriner
  1. See memorandum of December 30, 1930, Foreign Relations, 1930, vol. iii, p. 393.
  2. Dated September 25, 1926, ibid., 1928, vol. i, p. 419.