882.01 Foreign Control/821: Telegram

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

81. From Reber. Council this morning adopted a resolution in the following terms closing this phase of the Liberian assistance:

“The Council notes that the Plan of Assistance requested by the Liberian Government on January 23, 1931, drawn up by the commission of the Council and submitted by the Council to the Liberian Government has been rejected by the latter and decides in consequence to withdraw the offer of that Plan of Assistance to the Liberian Government.”

In a severe arraignment of Liberian policies of “oppression and misgovernment” Eden16 reviewed the whole history of the Liberian request for assistance before the League supporting the resolution that the Council must withdraw the offer of assistance. He stressed the sinister significance of the Kru Coast situation explaining that it caused the British Government grave misgivings as the latter could not be satisfied with Liberian denials. The whole history of the past 3 years shows that the strictures upon Liberia contained in the report of the Experts Committee applied today as they did in 1931. It was the view of His Majesty’s Government, he explained, that Liberia had so grossly failed to observe its obligations under article 23 of the League Covenant that “the League would be quite entitled to consider her expulsion under paragraph 4, article 16”. Realizing, however, that the expulsion of Liberia would not be the ultimate solution the British Government is not prepared to leave the matter in abeyance and proposes to approach the United States Government on the subject “in a desire to cooperate with the United States in an attempt to find a remedy” for the present tragic state of affairs.

Bogaerde17 attempted once more to gain reconsideration of the Liberian reservation and in answer to Eden stated that his Government [Page 798] would take all necessary action to avoid any possibility of exclusion from the League and promised to submit a full report on the Kru Coast incidents supporting its previous denial.

Following the unanimous adoption of the resolution by the Council Bogaerde stated that the Liberian Government regretted the decision but proposed to secure specialist’s advice in its administration otherwise than under the Plan of Assistance, The President explained that the Council would note the intention of Liberia as expressed by its representative adding that Liberia as a member of the League will always be able to submit any new proposal which will receive careful consideration.

There was no other discussion of the British proposal and little discussion of the resolution itself save that it was supported by both the French and Italian representatives.

Full text of the proceedings follows by mail. [Reber.]

  1. Anthony Eden, British representative on the Council of the League of Nations.
  2. O. de Bogaerde, Liberian Minister in France.