740.00112 European War 1939/2545: Telegram

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

33. British Chargé d’Affaires1 has recommended that Bank of Monrovia and United States Trading Company be put on statutory list. Reasons given to Firestone representatives are (1) in March United States Trading Company sold merchandise valued at 19 pounds sterling to P. C. Parker, a Liberian. Delivery was made c. o. d. through Bank of Monrovia; (2) that Liberian facilitated P. C. Parker obtaining goods shipped via Barber Line by delivery documents and collecting payment in Monrovia.

Bank claims shipments were made in good faith by American firms after obtaining navicerts in New York and the Bank was acting as agent of shipper.

Firestone subsidiaries assert if they do not deal with Liberians they are acting in contravention of Liberia’s neutrality proclamation.

In recent weeks the attitude of British representative toward American concerns has been increasingly unfriendly and dictatorial.

Today after its refusing navicert for gold shipment to the United States the British Legation finally issued one at bank manager’s insistence.

I recommend that the Department confer with the British Government with a view to clarifying what is becoming a delicate and serious situation to both American and Liberian interests.

  1. Augustus C. Routh.