The Minister in the Netherlands (Gordon) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 19.]
Subject: Potential Liberian Iron Ore Concession
Sir: With reference to my telegram No. 17 of February 14, and the Department’s telegraphic instruction No. 12 of February 16, I have the honor to report that I have seen van Nierop and suggested to him that the U. S. Steel Corporation would be the most logical American concern to approach of those potentially interested in the above-entitled matter. Van Nierop’s first question was to ask “Who are their bankers?”. I then suggested that if he thought well of the idea of trying to interest the U. S. Steel, the simplest and best way might be for him to approach the Corporation direct, and then gave him the address of Mr. Sias. Van Nierop did not commit himself, but thanked me for Mr. Sias’ name and address. He said that as soon as he had received the report and studied it, he would call up and ask to see me again.
With reference to the Legation’s telegram No. 114 of December 15,11 I have further to report that in a recent after dinner conversation with M. Bouillant-Linet, a member of the firm of Müller & Company, of Rotterdam, he referred to Mr. Patton’s12 conversation with another director of that company on December 15, in which the latter had stated that his company had ceased its interest in the Neep project.
M. Bouillant-Linet said that the director referred to above is no longer a member of the firm of Müller & Company; Bouillant-Linet then added that while his company had not been able to secure sufficient information to enable it to come to a definite decision, it was now distinctly interested in the matter again. He spoke highly of Ginsberg and the three Blochs, and gave the impression that his firm is at present in contact with these individuals.
M. Bouillant-Linet further volunteered that the French Minister here had recently spoken to him about Neep, but that he (Bouillant-Linet) had told him practically nothing.