882.01 Foreign Control/469a: Telegram

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

7. For Reber. Since sending you our telegram 5, of January 17, 6 p.m., the situation in Liberia has grown steadily more serious. Information reaching us from Monrovia is to the effect that all fiscal officers on duty have received letters formally requesting their resignation; that the Supervisor of Internal Revenue has been officially discharged and notice given to all revenue collectors not to pay over moneys to him; that the Liberian Collector of Customs has been ordered not to deposit further collections; and that arrangements have been made to change the depositary without the approval of the fiscal agent.

Such measures are destructive of the very basis of the Loan Agreement. They are more than legislation passed in contravention to a signed agreement. In effect they amount to confiscation of moneys due to an American corporation and to destruction of the security on which funds were advanced.

I wish you would bring the foregoing to the attention of the President of the Liberian Committee, and if practicable to the members of the Committee individually. I am particularly anxious to avoid, if possible, taking independent measures in support of the rights and interests of an American corporation, and to continue unimpaired our cooperation with the Liberian Committee in seeking a solution of Liberia’s difficulties by international action. For these reasons, and as the situation is rapidly growing more critical, I am compelled to ask the immediate assistance of the Committee in bringing pressure on Liberia to respect its engagements without delay.

For your personal information I am submitting a memorandum10 in this sense to the British Ambassador here and am sending a further personal message to Lord Cecil. I am further considering the advisability of discussing the situation with the local diplomatic agents of the Governments represented on the Liberian Committee.

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