882.01 Foreign Control/940a

The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador ( Lindsay )

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to my note of October 17, 1934,11 transmitting for your confidential information a copy of Mr. McBride’s report on conditions in Liberia. In that note it was stated that as soon after the proposals of President Barclay had been put into operation as it appeared that the Liberian Government and the Liberian people were faithfully endeavoring to carry out its provisions, the United States Government would be prepared to consider favorably the recognition of President Barclay, and the hope was expressed that the British Government would find it agreeable to pursue a similar course of action.

President Barclay’s plan for the rehabilitation of Liberia contains, as your Excellency knows, many of the important reforms recommended by the League of Nations experts. It was my opinion that [Page 944] the plan, if faithfully carried out, would accomplish in a large measure the improvement in Liberia’s economic and social structure which the American Government has been desirous of having the Liberian Government bring about. President Barclay is proceeding with his plan and this Government has been gratified to note the progress thus far achieved.

The difficulties which have arisen as a result of Liberia’s financial default12 are in process of removal. President Barclay has concluded a series of agreements which include a revision of the Loan Agreement. The new agreements are subject to ratification by the Liberian Congress which, we have been informed, will convene in June. We also understand that it has been agreed that the Moratorium and similar acts will be repealed simultaneously.

The effort now being made by the British Government, with the support of the American Government, looking toward the amelioration of the Kru situation appears to have promise of success. The American Chargé has been instructed to collaborate with the British representative in Liberia and, in view of the cooperative spirit manifested by President Barclay in recent negotiations, I am hopeful of an early solution of this problem.

Judging from recent reports, it is my opinion that conditions in Liberia have improved sufficiently within recent months to justify further consideration of the question of recognition. Assuming that the Liberian Congress will act favorably in June, the American Government will favor the recognition of President Barclay’s administration at that time.

The joint action which the British and American Governments have taken in the past with respect to Liberia has, I believe, been beneficial, and in continuation of this policy I hope that the British Government may wish simultaneously to consider recognition of the Liberian Government. I shall be glad to receive, therefore, an expression of the British Government’s views with respect to this matter.

Accept [etc.]

Cordell Hull
  1. Foreign Relations, 1934, vol. ii, p. 825.
  2. Legislative acts suspending interest and amortization payments were passed in December 1932; see Foreign Relations, 1932, vol. ii, pp. 786792.