882.01 Foreign Control/932: Telegram

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

31. Your 58, December 13, 2 p.m., 59, December 14, 10 a.m., and 60, December 18, 9 a.m. From McBride. In general, it is my feeling that Barclay’s reply to most of my suggestions is as satisfactory and reassuring as we now desire to insist upon. We wish Liberia to produce and develop its own plan of reform, our role being more along the line of friendly guidance. As you feel that there may be some important misunderstanding on Barclay’s part concerning some of the points in question, I believe that the time has come when it would be advisable if you can to call on Barclay and talk to him about them. Our reaction here is as follows, and if you so desire you may use this in your conversation:

Your 58, section 1. If Legislature has approved plan of August 28 (which is the plan Barclay gave to me) and authorized the President to execute it, I should think that this would possibly be sufficient for our record.

Section 2 seems satisfactory.

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Your 59, paragraph 2. This seems to meet my suggestion and to be all that we could hope for.

Paragraph 3 is satisfactory.

Paragraph 4. In my message no “charges” were meant to be implied but if Liberia desires the United States to take a friendly interest in its affairs we must expect on their part a sincere and broad effort toward harmony to be made.

Paragraph 5. In line with the above, if we are to harmonize our differences, it would be difficult for us to reconcile a refusal of Liberia to renew a contract or to aid in developing this direct American-Li-berian radio connection which is so useful in carrying on our relations.

Paragraphs 6, 7 and 8 seem satisfactory to us.

Will you also deliver the following personal message to President Barclay from me:

“I have received and given careful consideration to your message of December 13 and am delighted to note that on many items we see the problem from the same point of view. With an approach marked by the same good spirit to be shown henceforth by yourself, by the State Department, and I confidently believe by the Firestone interests, it looks as though we were gradually approaching the final and satisfactory solution of the differences of opinion which have been evident during the past few years. The Secretary of State is also distinctly encouraged at the prospects of success.

During my inquiries here, I have thus far only found one man,—Maxwell Saben, who has had successful experience in Haiti where his attitude was constructive, and at the same time most cooperative with the Haitian Government,—who would seem to have outstanding qualifications for the post of Chief Administrative Specialist. If you desire, I shall be glad to make inquiries as to whether and when he would be available, or I can continue my inquiries.”

Firestone, Jr., has been really ill in Gibraltar and is proceeding as soon as he can travel; as far as we know he should reach Monrovia about mid-January. [McBride.]