Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs (Kelley)

In the course of a conversation with Mr. Wankowicz37 upon the occasion of his call at the Division in connection with various matters, I inquired if he knew whether the Secretary had mentioned to the Ambassador, during his call at the Department a few days ago, our interest in developments in Liberia. He said that so far as he knew the Secretary had not mentioned the matter to the Ambassador, because when the Ambassador returned to the Embassy he had discussed with him his conversation with the Secretary and made no mention of Liberia. I then took the opportunity to say that recent press stories relative to Liberia which had come out of Geneva were causing concern in the United States, particularly among the colored people, who have always taken great pride and personal interest in the welfare [Page 824] of that country. I said that the United States had always taken a great deal of interest in developments in Liberia, and that we have been greatly pleased with the gratifying progress which that country has been making in recent years. We believed that Liberia is now sufficiently stable to move forward, and we felt that that country was entitled to be allowed to work out her destiny in her own way. Consequently, press reports with regard to the ambitions of other countries in Liberia, although vague in general and not specific, were calculated to arouse strong feeling and considerable concern in the United States.

Mr. Wankowicz stated, in reply to an inquiry on my part, that he had noted some of these press reports in connection with colonial and raw material discussions in Geneva, and that he understood our interest in the matter. He said that he would bring the matter to the attention of the Ambassador as soon as he returned to the Embassy.

Robert F. Kelley
  1. Witold Wankowicz, Counselor of the Polish Embassy.