882.5048/411: Telegram

The Consul at Geneva ( Gilbert ) to the Secretary of State

21. Consulate’s 19, January 23, 9 p.m. Report submitted and adopted by Council today as summarized in Consulate’s telegram under reference with the following changes to be noted:

Paragraph 14 [4]. Last line changed to read “to take part in its meetings as that Government may deem appropriate”.

Paragraph 6. Add “Spain”.

At the meeting of the Council this morning Zumeta25 offered the following amendment: Paragraph 4. After words “President of the Commission of Inquiry” add “and any expert opinion which may be needed in agreement with the Government of Liberia”. The significant portion of this is of course “in agreement with the Government of Liberia”. It is understood that Zumeta in presenting this was inspired by Sottile who has been active in employing all technical means possible to retain Liberia’s influence in the proceedings and who, it is understood, particularly objects to presence of Christy on proposed committee. Although this amendment was adopted it was accompanied by a statement on the part of Henderson to the effect that the Council did not wish to have its hands so tied that it could not get on with its work. This is interpreted as meaning that the leading representatives of the Council on the committee will not permit Liberia’s objections to any essential part of its procedures to be sustained.

After the adoption of the report, the Council voted Swiss francs 100,000 for the expenses of the committee.

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The committee held a preliminary meeting following the Council meeting this morning for the purpose of organization. Henderson was elected chairman. It is understood that the Secretary General will immediately communicate with the Government of the United States in the sense of paragraph 4 of the Consulate’s telegram under reference as modified by this telegram. It is not clear yet, however, whether the United States will first be asked if it cares to participate, and, if so, in what matter [manner], or whether a definite invitation will be sent. It is understood that the committee hopes to begin its work early in February.

  1. Of Venezuela.