882.01 Foreign Control/13a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Liberia ( Reber )17

11. The following is the substance of conversations yesterday between Mr. Castle18 and the Ambassadors of France, Germany, Italy and Japan:

“The American Government has learned that the British Government is suggesting to the Liberian Government that Liberia request [Page 660] international control until the abuses shown in the slavery report have been corrected, and the American Government has instructed its Chargé d’Affaires at Monrovia to inform the Liberian Government that the United States would have no objection to such a request on their part. In this connection, the American Government feels that similar action by the Governments of France, Germany, Italy and Japan both at Monrovia and ultimately at Geneva, would be most helpful.

While it would not accord with the established policy of the United States to assume any exclusive responsibilities on the African continent, the American Government, in view of the social and humanitarian principles involved and the traditional friendly interest of the American people in the welfare of Liberia, would be prepared to give sympathetic consideration to affirmative international cooperation destined to assist the Liberian people in a solution of the present problems concerning both slavery and sanitation.”

The contemplated British action referred to in the first paragraph quoted was communicated by the British Ambassador on January 14.

  1. Repeated, except for the last paragraph, to the Ambassador in France as circular of January 17, 1931, 11 a.m., with instructions to repeat to the Consul at Geneva, the Minister in Switzerland, and the Ambassadors in Germany and Great Britain (882.01 Foreign Control/13b).
  2. William R. Castle, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State.