882.6351 U. S. Steel Corp./80

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Henry S. Villard of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

In talking on the telephone on another matter, Mr. Walker, Consul General of Liberia in New York, inquired whether we had heard [Page 627] anything further from the United States Steel Corporation in regard to the report of their findings in Liberia. When I said that we had received no word since the middle of September, Mr. Walker stated that he now proposed to approach the Bethlehem Steel Corporation with a view to interesting that organization in the Liberian iron ore deposits.

I suggested to Mr. Walker that it might be advisable first to ascertain definitely from the United States Steel Corporation whether or not they intended to furnish the report which had been agreed upon as part of the arrangement with the Liberian Government. I said the corporation had not yet categorically declined to furnish such a report and that an opportunity might be given to the corporation to make a statement on the matter before the Bethlehem people were approached. Mr. Walker then said that he intended to go to Saint Louis next week and would plan to stop off at Pittsburgh to take up the subject directly with the officials of the United States Steel Corporation. I furnished Mr. Walker with the name of Mr. John M. Sias as the person to see in Pittsburgh and Mr. Walker said that he would write a letter at once to inform Mr. Sias of his coming.

Mr. Walker said that he would let us know as soon as his interview with Mr. Sias had taken place. I said that, since the Department had been instrumental in putting the United States Steel Corporation in touch with the Liberian Government, we could probably back up his efforts to obtain an answer from that corporation. In this connection, I said that if he was unable to obtain satisfaction in Pittsburgh, and would let us know promptly, we could then immediately address a further communication to the corporation asking for an explanation of its attitude. Mr. Walker expressed his thanks for this offer but indicated that he had little hope of obtaining a favorable answer from the United States Steel Corporation. He was very anxious to open negotiations with the Bethlehem Company at an early date.