The Secretary of State to the Minister in Liberia (Walton)

No. 152

Sir: Reference is made to your despatch no. 301 of June 16, 1939, informing the Department that you were forwarding under separate cover the Aviation Agreement between the United States and Liberia, signed at Monrovia, June 14, 1939, by you and the Secretary of State for Liberia.

The Agreement has been received in the Department. It has been found upon examination, much to the Department’s surprise, in view of its telegraphic instructions dated May 2 and June 9 [10], 1939, that an article has been added to the text of the Agreement as approved by the Department, providing for ratification of the Agreement and for the exchange of instruments of ratification at Monrovia.

The Department has, under authority of existing law, concluded aviation agreements with a number of foreign countries on a basis of reciprocity. These agreements, being executive in character, did not require that they be sent by the President to the Senate for the purpose of obtaining the advice and consent of that body to ratification. They were effected by exchange of notes between representatives of the United States and of the foreign countries concerned. This Government’s note has usually consisted of an introductory paragraph [Page 620] followed by the text of the agreement as understood by this Government to have been approved in the course of the negotiations and a concluding paragraph suggesting an effective date for the agreement. It was an agreement of the character referred to above which the Department wished you to effect with Liberia.

It is desired that you bring the above facts to the attention of the Secretary of State for Liberia, arranging with him to replace the agreement as now signed by an agreement effected by exchange of notes. The notes should be dated June 14, 1939, the same date that the agreement bears which they will replace, and should follow the form of the two draft notes enclosed for your guidance.54 You should mail to the Department a copy of your note to the Secretary of State for Liberia, certified by you as a true copy. Also transmit the original of the reply of the Liberian Secretary of State, retaining a certified copy for your files.

As soon as the agreement as now signed has been replaced by an agreement effected by exchange of notes, it will be deposited by the Department in this Government’s archives among the unperfected agreements. The Liberian Government may wish to make like disposition of the duplicate held by it.

With respect to the supplementary agreement, it is felt that the notes constituting it need not be changed.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
R. Walton Moore
  1. Draft notes not printed.