882.635 Neep/48: Telegram

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

7. For Wharton from McBride. Strictly personal and to be discussed only with President Barclay in strict confidence. My 5, February 15, 8 p.m. I am now told that responsible American concerns might give careful and sympathetic consideration to possible participation in the Neep concession or in making an outright purchase thereof. For obvious reasons they would probably not wish to approach Neep either directly or through the Amsterdamsche Bank; nor would they be likely to make any commitments until they are satisfied as to the extent and quality of the iron ore deposits. If the Amsterdamsche Bank, after receiving geological reports and ore samples, should decide to approach American concerns, we would be willing to use our good offices with a view to putting the Bank in touch with American firms which might be interested, although we cannot of course either urge or recommend that American interests make investments in Liberia or any other country. [Page 779]Inasmuch as no responsible interests in any country would be willing to consider the Neep proposal before having geological reports and ore samples the importance of having such information available at some specified place for examination by interested concerns at the earliest possible moment cannot be overemphasized.

To give an idea of the relative importance of the Bomi deposits which you have reported to be 80 million tons, President Barclay may be interested to know that a few years ago one of the several important American companies mined from some of its American properties 1 million tons of iron ore a week for 19 consecutive weeks, or at the rate of over 50 million tons per annum. [McBride.]

Welles