882.635 Neep/49: Telegram

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

14. Personal for McBride. President Barclay arrived here from Bomi District Friday night and I conferred with him today with reference to your telegrams 5, February 15, 8 p.m. and 7, February 19, 1 p.m.

He informs me that

(1)
his findings concerning Neep are the same as our information to the effect that Neep is not an operating company, has limited capital and has suggested to Amsterdamsche Bank possibility of interesting German capital;
(2)
his fears coincided with those expressed by you;
(3)
he feels that American participation in the proposed concession would lessen possible danger thereof;
(4)
he will appreciate any proper assistance you can render in bringing the Amsterdamsche Bank in touch with any American firms which may possibly be interested, and
(5)
his decision on concession contract is being suspended indefinitely, as well as his planned trip to the interior of Bassa, until matters discussed are more clear and full geological and mineralogical reports and samples are available.

He states that information reported in my telegram 6, January 27, 10 a.m., has been confirmed and that bank is awaiting reports and samples. He says that he intends to confer with Caffe tomorrow afternoon calling attention to the fact that Neep has failed to answer questions referred to in Legation’s 67, December 6, 5 p.m.,10 and has failed to follow suggestions about kind of capital desired to participate in concession, insisting that substantial American participation [Page 780]be arranged if possible through the Amsterdamsche Bank. He thereafter proposes to inform Amsterdamsche Bank through Liberian Minister, Paris, that if reports and samples are satisfactory that he would like substantial amount of American capital if possible to participate in concession. He would like to know, however, just how contact is to be made between the bank and American concerns. I would suggest that bank approach our Minister at The Hague.

According to President Barclay geological report will be available as soon as possible and I hope to receive preliminary report within a few days, which I shall forward by airmail. Samples of ore are being assayed. Apparently he was pleased with his trip to Bomi area which he states is preliminarily estimated to contain from 40 to 100 million tons of ore, borings are still in process.

Wharton