The Consul at Geneva ( Gilbert ) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 6—12:45 p.m.]
2. Consulate’s December 26, 11 a.m.11 Sottile12 called on me today and, emphasizing that he was only expressing his personal opinion, gave his views respecting the present status of the relations between the United States and Liberia. He made in substance the following statements:
- That the United States Government had made a categorical demand on the new Liberian Government that it at once put into execution literally all of the “recommendations” embodied in the report of the Commission of Inquiry;
- That Liberia had put into operation all of these recommendations that she is financially able to undertake at this time;
- That the only reason why Liberia has not placed the remaining recommendations in execution is for lack of financial means;
- That the United States Government has made the literal execution of all of the recommendations a condition precedent to the recognition of the new Liberian Government;
- That in taking this position the United States Government expresses its lack of faith in the sincerity of the Liberian Government.
Sottile dwelt a great deal upon the alleged circumstance that the Department had made no reply to Liberia’s request that the United States Government nominate “two commissioners” for the carrying out of the “recommendations”.
[Paraphrase.] Repeatedly Sottile announced he was speaking privately to me and not under his Government’s instructions. However, the obvious implication is that the Liberian Government is keeping him informed closely. While Sottile’s statements may be regarded as not important in themselves, they may be considered in [Page 655] relation to a special circumstance. At the January meeting of the League of Nations Council, when Liberian affairs are before it, it is understood that Liberia, in accordance with article IV of the League Covenant,13 will be represented, by Sottile presumably. I therefore inform the Department of his statements, since he may follow this general line when presenting the case of Liberia to the Council meeting. [End paraphrase.]