882.635 Neep/41: Telegram

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

10. Personal for McBride. Not having heard from President Barclay I called on him yesterday and day before yesterday. He informed me that he is still waiting for samples and the report and [Page 775]confirmation from Liberian Minister Paris referred to in my 8, February 4, 2 p.m. He remarked that there are other iron ore deposits in Liberia. When asked their location and character he said that they are included in the report. When questioned further he said that he has gone so far in the present negotiations that if satisfied as to political implications and financial backing of Neep he will have to approve concession contract but in such an event he would be pleased to have the important American interests develop other deposits.

Caffe voluntarily approached me to inform me of his side of negotiations and learn my position towards Neep. With care and discretion I was able to obtain the following information from him: iron ore is hematite; thus far they have found 15,000,000 tons of ore and will continue drilling for they will need 40,000,000 tons to develop profitably. He said that present intention is to form another company with a nominal capital of 5,000,000 guilders, that he hopes that trucks will be able to reach Bomi District by May and that a harbor engineer will arrive soon but in view of present uncertainty of outcome of negotiations he, Caffe, is reluctant to go further until he knows where he stands.

Situation thus appears to be that the President is waiting for confirmation from his Minister at Paris and further assurances as to backing of Neep while latter is waiting for some word from President.

Urgently request authorization for Brown8 to use codes.

  1. James E. Brown, clerk in the Legation.