882.01 Foreign Control/841

The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Lindsay)25

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to Your Excellency’s note No. 200 of June 12th, 1934, setting forth the views of the British Government, regarding the present situation in Liberia following the [Page 826] Liberian Government’s refusal to accept the Plan of Assistance drawn up by the Special Committee of the League of Nations and inquiring what action the United States Government proposed to take in the circumstances. In my reply of July 21, 1934, to the note above referred to, I informed Your Excellency that I had not then been able to satisfy myself that any course of action suggested since the rejection of the League Plan would satisfactorily correct the very serious conditions existing in Liberia and that accordingly I proposed to send my Assistant, Mr. Harry A. McBride, to Monrovia to report to me fully not only as to the situation there as the result of the rejection of the League Plan, but also as to the real desire of the Liberians of all classes for disinterested assistance. Mr. McBride has now returned and presented his report, a copy of which I attach for your confidential information.26

After consideration of this report, my Government has decided that in all the circumstances it is best not to interpose any objections to the desire of President Barclay to obtain foreign advisers to assist the Liberian administration in correcting the deplorable conditions now existing. It will be noted that the proposals of President Barclay are designed to remedy those conditions which the League Committee found most objectionable and follow in general the lines of many of the provisions of the League Plan. The successful operation of such a plan will naturally depend on the good faith of the Liberian administration, since it does not include provisions empowering the foreign advisers to enforce their recommendations. However, my Government feels that President Barclay and the officials of his administration are apparently thoroughly aroused as to the necessity and sincere in their desire to correct present evils. Moreover, this same view is held by a large number of the leading Liberian citizens. This Government is, therefore, prepared to cooperate with President Barclay in whatever way may be possible to carry out his proposals, and will endeavor to persuade him as opportunity offers to improve them along the general lines laid down in the League Plan. As soon after the proposals of President Barclay have been put into operation as it appears that the Liberian officials and the Liberian people are faithfully endeavoring to carry out its provisions, the United States Government will be prepared to consider favorably the recognition of the administration of President Barclay.

It is my hope that the British Government will find it agreeable to pursue a similar course of action and that by this cooperation it will be possible to assist the Liberian people to achieve their own rehabilitation.

Accept [etc.]

Cordell Hull
  1. Handed to the British Ambassador by the Under Secretary of State, October 22.
  2. Supra.