The Consul at Geneva (Gilbert) to the Secretary of State

No. 2063 Political

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s confidential telegraphic instruction No. 150 dated November 30, 2 p.m., concerning possible German or Polish designs on the independence of the Republic of Liberia and to my despatch No. 1971 Political dated December 8, 1936,43 in response thereto.

As I stated in my despatch under reference, no question relating to Liberia is in any way active before the League. I nevertheless find that in the light of what may be termed the “colonial question” the situation of Liberia is to a definite degree being watched. In the course of an informal conversation with the official of the Political Section of the League Secretariat concerned with Liberian affairs I learn that he is chiefly engaged in studying clippings from the international press dealing with Germany’s position respecting colonization which may carry implications respecting German designs on Liberia. He let me have two such clippings which he said he felt were particularly interesting—one from the Argentinisches Wochenblatt of Buenos Aires carrying a Berlin date line of October 23 last and the other from the Action Française of Paris dated December 14 last. Translations of these clippings are enclosed.43

He also gave me a copy of a memorandum dated August 24, 1936, addressed to Mr. Walters, Under-Secretary-General, which deals with an interview by La Mer, a Polish monthly publication, with Mr. Brudzinski, an advisor of the Liberian Government, who visited Warsaw last year. In giving me this he told me incidentally that Mr. Walters displayed a very great interest in any Liberian matter. I enclose a copy of this memorandum.44

The official in question did not broach the question of possible Polish preoccupations respecting Liberia nor did I do so for the reason, sufficient to me, of his being a Polish national. I nevertheless, stating that I was merely expressing my own views, took occasion to inform him of the nature of public opinion in the United States respecting Liberian independence. In doing so, I followed the general line elaborated in the Department’s confidential instructions dated January 29, 1937, and February 9, 1937,45 respectively, which I had studied with great interest.

Respectfully yours,

Prentiss B. Gilbert
  1. Neither printed.
  2. Neither printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Neither printed; these instructions transmitted copies of memoranda of conversations of January 19, p. 822, and of January 27, p. 823.