882.01 Foreign Control/25: Telegram

The Minister in Switzerland ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State

18. Your 15, January 30, 1 p.m.27 Following is text of note addressed to you by Acting Secretary General, dated January 30th: [Page 670]

“I have the honor to inform you that the Council of the League of Nations at its meeting on January 24, 1931, adopted on the proposal of the representative of Poland a report regarding certain questions connected with the execution by the Liberian Government of the reforms recommended by the recent Commission to inquire into the existence of slavery or forced labor in that country. From this report I quote the following paragraph[s]:

‘Having adopted [I think] that the Council might appoint a small committee, selected from among its own members, to examine the problem raised by the Liberian Government’s request. This committee would consider in what manner it might be possible to assist the Liberian Government to carry out its decision to give effect to the recommendations and suggestions of the International Commission of Inquiry. The committee might among other matters examine the question of the administrative assistance necessary for giving effect to the social reforms suggested by the Commission of Inquiry and also the question of financial and public health assistance with a view to the carrying out of these reforms.

The committee will doubtless desire to obtain the assistance of the technical organs of the League, of the Secretariat and if necessary of the President of the International Commission of Inquiry and to secure any expert opinion which may be needed, in agreement with the Liberian Government.

Further, in view of the special interest which has been shown by the United States of America in the execution by Liberia of the reforms proposed by the Commission of Inquiry, the committee appointed by the Council might be authorized to invite the United States Government to take such part in its meetings as that Government may deem appropriate.

The committee’s report might be examined by the Council at its next session (…29)’.

The Council, which included a representative of Liberia, unanimously approved this proposal and appointed the representative[s] of the British Empire, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Venezuela, as well as the representative of Liberia, to be members of the committee. A short meeting of the committee was held immediately afterwards to consider the organization of its work. At that meeting the committee named the British representative as chairman and decided to act upon the suggestion of the Council as regards the participation of the United States in its work, requesting me to notify you to that effect.

In accordance with these decisions I have the honor to invite the Government of the United States to participate in the meetings of the committee in such manner as it may deem appropriate.

No date has been fixed for the first regular meeting of the committee but it appears probable that the President may desire to convoke it in the near future. I should therefore appreciate it very much if I might know the pleasure of your Government as soon as possible in order that I may duly inform the members of the committee.

I am forwarding you herewith copy of the two reports30 submitted to the Council at its sixty-second session by the representative of Poland, rapporteur, on the subject of the report of the International Commission of Inquiry in Liberia”.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Omission indicated in the original telegram.
  3. League of Nations documents C.90.1931.VI and C133.1931.VI (Geneva, January 20 and 23, 1931).