The Minister in Liberia (Walton) to the Secretary of State

No. 137

Sir: Referring to my telegram No. 45, October 12, 11 a.m.,23 I have the honor to transmit herewith changes suggested by the Liberian [Page 809] Government in the draft Consular Convention between the United States of America and the Republic of Liberia.

For the sake of clarity it is asked that substitutions be made on page 2,24 article 1, paragraph 3, lines 1–11, also for the same reason on page 4, article 3, paragraph 2, and page 6, article 4, paragraph 2. In connection with page 6, article 4, paragraph 2, the Liberian Government wishes it specifically understood while exemptions will be allowed consular officers, that under no circumstances are citizens of the United States serving as Liberian officials, such as specialists and fiscal officers, to be accorded these privileges.

On page 10, article 6, paragraphs 1 and 2 are phrased by the Liberian Government with a view to imposing limitations on the consul, making it incumbent for him in his efforts to protect the rights of his nationals, to pursue all remedies provided by law before he resorts to intervention through diplomatic channels.

On page 20, article 14, paragraph 1, the Liberian Government is desirous that the Convention shall remain in force for the term of 5 years instead of 10 years and refers to the treaty with Norway which is for 3 years. It is assumed that in paragraph 2 of this article, second line, “one year” is a typographical error and was intended to read “10.”

Respectfully yours,

Lester A. Walton

Changes Suggested by the Liberian Government in the Draft Consular Convention

Page 2, Article I Paragraph 3, lines 1–11 should be substituted by the following—“No subordinate or substitute Consular Officers appointed by a Superior Consular officer by either high Contracting Parties [Party] shall exercise their functions except they be authorized thereto by such documents as according to the laws of their respective countries shall be requisite for the exercise by the appointee of the Consular functions.

Page 4, Article III Paragraph 2—After the word “exercise” on line 3 add “in its behalf” except clarification is made of the word “official” as employed in said paragraph.

Page 6, Article IV Paragraph 2—After the word “exercise” on line 3 add “in its behalf” except clarification is made of the word “official” as employed in said paragraph.

[Page 810]

Page 10, Article VI Paragraph 1—It must be recalled that the remedy provided by law should be pursued up to the tribunal of last resort before interposing through diplomatic channel.

Paragraph 2—After the word “district” and the semicolon on the third line add “and upon notification to the appropriate authority.”

Page 18, Article XII Not in harmony with our Statutes relating to wrecks. See section 880 of Revised Statutes of Liberia. It is however suggested that the following be substituted:

Wrecks Treaty of Norway, Page 24, Art. XXVII:25

“All proceedings relative to the salvage of vessels of either High Contracting Party wrecked upon the coasts of the other shall be directed by the consular officer of the country to which the vessel belongs and within whose district the wreck may have occurred, or by some other person authorized thereto by the law of that country. Pending the arrival of such officer, who shall be immediately informed of the occurrence, or the arrival of such other person, whose authority shall be made known to the local authorities by the consular officer, the local authorities shall take all necessary measures for the protection of persons and the preservation of wrecked property. The local authorities shall not otherwise interfere than for the maintenance of order, the protection of the interests of the salvors, if these do not belong to the crews that have been wrecked and to carry into effect the arrangements made for the entry and exportation of the merchandise saved. It is understood that such merchandise is not to be subjected to any customhouse charges, unless it be intended for consumption in the country where the wreck may have taken place.

The intervention of the local authorities in these different cases shall occasion no expense of any kind, except such as may be caused by the operations of salvage and the preservation of the goods saved, together with such as would be incurred under similar circumstances by vessels of the nation.”

Page 20, Article XIV Paragraph 1—It is suggested that the word “ten” on the sixth line be substituted by the word “five.”

Paragraph 2—In lieu of the word “one” on the second line substitute the word “five.”

  1. Not printed.
  2. Page numbers refer to pagination of original instruction.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1928, vol. iii, p. 659.