882.20/426

The Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray) to the Minister in Liberia (Walton), Temporarily in the United States

Dear Mr. Walton: We have been giving some thought to the question raised in your letter of February 22, 1938, and in your subsequent discussion with Mr. Villard, as to the possibility of a tripartite agreement [Page 838]between the United States, Great Britain and France in regard to the status of Liberia as a sovereign state. After careful consideration we have been unable to arrive at any definite conclusion as to what form such an agreement might take, or on what basis it might be negotiated.

However, it occurs to us that the purpose might be served if Liberia took some future occasion to enter into a boundary convention with Great Britain on the one hand, in respect to the Sierra Leone frontier, and with France on the other, in respect to the frontiers of French Guinea and the Ivory Coast. While such an agreement might be no more than an exchange of notes reaffirming existing boundaries, the Government of Liberia could with propriety transmit copies thereof to the United States Government for its information. This Government might then take cognizance of the matter in a formal statement, making use of the opportunity to mention once again the interest and sympathetic attention with which events in the sister Republic of Liberia are followed in the United States.

You will of course appreciate that the above does not represent any official suggestion on the part of this Government. It is merely an attempt to think of a formula which might have some semblance of practicability, in response to the question informally raised in your letter of February 22. I know that you will be guided accordingly, in any use you may make of the idea.

Sincerely yours,

Wallace Murray