882.24/41: Telegram

The Chargé in Liberia (Hibbard) to the Secretary of State

380. Department’s telegram 279, October 28, 7 p.m. President Barclay has delivered to me the following letter for transmission to President Roosevelt by pouch:

“10 November 1942. Mr. President, With a view to effectuating the purposes foreseen in article V of the agreement concluded between our two Governments on the 31st March 1942,49 and the subsidiary understanding arrived at by Lieutenant Colonel Harry A. McBride and the President of Liberia in pursuance thereof, I have the honour to advise Your Excellency that Mr. Walter F. Walker, Liberian Consul General at New York is duly authorized to represent the Government of Liberia in all matters pertaining to securing and receiving aid from the United States Government or from any instrumentality or agency thereof under the Lend-Lease Act of the 11th of [Page 406] March 1941, and has been granted the necessary power to make the commitments required of the Liberian Government in sections 7 and 4 of the Lend-Lease Act.

Please accept, Mr. President, assurance of my high respect.

Yours faithfully, Edwin Barclay.”

The Secretary of State has told me that he has informed the Department by cable of Consul General Walker’s appointment to represent the Liberian Government in Lend-Lease matters. I have also been given a letter for transmission to him by pouch.

Barclay has again requested that he be informed well in advance so that the announcement of the conclusion of these agreements may be made simultaneously here and in Washington.

In view of the events in North Africa50 I believe he would like to make the announcement as soon as possible. The Legislature has reconvened and he will probably deliver his annual message next week. This would be an appropriate time if the Department agrees.

The task force at Roberts Field has practically finished construction work there and as the dry season has set in can begin road work at once. This would seem to be the simpler and less expensive method of complying with our obligation in this respect and I would appreciate information for my own guidance as to whether this procedure will be followed or whether a civilian contract will be set up under Lend-Lease.

  1. For text, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 275, or 56 Stat. (pt. 2) 1621.
  2. Invasion by American forces beginning November 8, 1942; for correspondence, see vol. ii, pp. 429 ff.