882.01 Foreign Control/814a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Liberia (MacVeagh)

9. This afternoon I sent for Lyon, Liberian Consul General at Baltimore, and handed him a statement reading as follows:

“Liberia stands at the crossroads and faces the most serious crisis in her history. The League Plan of Assistance must be accepted by next week or this opportunity of cooperative assistance will be lost. I understand that doubt has recently been expressed in Monrovia respecting the attitude of the American Government. We reiterate that in our opinion the League Plan is fair and workable and that it amply safeguards Liberian sovereignty. We fear that a failure to accept the Plan by Liberia would lead to ultimate social disintegration, and it is our belief that if Liberia is to retain her place as an independent nation she must immediately have assistance in solving her problems. We believe that the League Plan offers this assistance.

“We have been told that one of the reasons which has impelled the Liberian Government to withhold its acceptance of the League Plan has been a belief that the American Government would under all circumstances protect Liberia from the consequences of ill-advised policy. This is not the case. On the other hand, should Liberia accept the League Plan, the American Government can be counted on to continue its traditional interest in Liberia and to use its best endeavors to make the Plan a success and fully to safeguard Liberian sovereignty.”

I explained to Lyon that I regarded this statement as a friendly communication between Governments and, to avoid embarrassment to the Liberian Government, I did not propose to release it to the press unless and until I considered it necessary. I asked that Lyon cable this statement immediately to his Government. You may make such discreet use of it as you see fit.