882.7962/43: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in Liberia ( Wharton )

35. Your 36, February 21, 11 a.m.12 For McBride. We are advised by the War Department that a military force will be despatched in the near future to construct the necessary installations for the defense garrison. Pending arrival of the defense force, protection for the Harbel airfield will be provided by the construction force.

It is proposed to send a balanced force for the defense of Harbel as soon as the essential facilities are available. Included in that force is to be a pursuit squadron which, it is contemplated, will provide defense for the seaplane landing at Fisherman Lake in addition to the Harbel airport.

The many urgent demands on air transportation preclude the immediate sending of a small defense force to Liberia by air, although the desirability thereof is recognized.

We understand from Firestone that the German trader Kirstein has not yet been removed from Robertsport area. Please advise when this is accomplished.

You may wish to mention to President Barclay that Mr. Walton has been rendering valuable assistance in consultation with the War Department and other Government agencies interested in the security of Liberia.

Welles
  1. Not printed; it urged sending a defense force of 30 men as soon as possible and outlined needs as to housing and equipment for this force and for the forces to be sent later.