882.01 Foreign Control/930: Telegram

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

58. For McBride: The following resolution was passed in Executive Session by the Senate on December 8 and the House of Representatives on December 10:

“Whereas the Government of Liberia is determined to continue the internal reforms, reorganization and development of Liberia, initiated since [apparent omission]; and whereas the successful prosecution of any internal reforms, reorganization and development of the Republic depend in a large measure on certain fiscal provisions, therefore, it is resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Republic of Liberia in legislature assembled:

  • Section 1. That the three year plan for internal reforms, reorganization and development of Liberia, elaborated by the Executive Government, dated August 28th, 1934, is hereby approved, and the President is hereby empowered to execute said plan by all legitimate means.
  • Section 2. That the President of the Republic of Liberia is hereby empowered to complete negotiations with the Finance Corporation of America, for the purpose of modifying certain provisions of the 7 per cent gold loan agreement of 1926 in such terms as will not inhibit the complete and practical realization of the three year plan mentioned in Section 1, hereof.
  • Section 3. This Act shall take effect immediately and be published in handbill.”

I have not telegraphed this before as I have expected to receive some notification from the President but the subject has not been mentioned by any member of the Government. The bill apparently was not discussed in either House but is [was?] merely read to the members as it stands and passed unanimously. I consider it unsatisfactory as it is not specific and is but a repetition of powers already granted the President in the Act of December 15, 1930,29 authorizing the reorganization [Page 831] of the hinterland and providing for the employment of foreign administrative officials and the second section of the Act of January 12, 1934,30 authorizing negotiations for the modification of the loan agreement. From present indications it seems probable that the President will not follow out this Act any more actively than those passed before. This is confirmed by the fact that the two Polish experts have now completed their reports which repeat several obvious recommendations previously made by others and there has been no effort to follow them or even announce the recommendations to the people.

The Whig Party convention was held yesterday in what is even an irregular manner here, no members opposed to Barclay were allowed to attend; the credentials were examined and no roll call taken; the present incumbents were renominated unanimously; the platform also passed unanimously consists of two proposed constitutional amendments providing for an 8-year presidential term and a civil service act which is obviously designed to perpetuate the present administration in power. Both are unpopular but with the gag rule and ballot irregularities which are common here both will be passed. The opposition group now called the left wing Whig Party will convene next week.… undoubtedly will be their candidate. Faulkner’s party will convene in February. He has little chance and will probably compromise with the … faction.

Barclay in his speech of acceptance made no mention of his plan but asked for reelection on the ground that he had preserved the sovereignty of the country, kept white domination out, and would continue to do so.

If he has any sincerity regarding the plan I feel he has not made it evident. What his attitude toward the negotiations with Firestone will be, remain to be seen but I anticipate from the attitude now prevalent in the administration that there will be many difficulties.

  1. See telegram No. 175, December 13, 1930, from the Chargé in Liberia, Foreign Relations, 1930, vol. iii, p. 386.
  2. Ante, p. 788.