884.516/15

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Charles W. Lewis of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

Mr. Blowers,26 who, as you know, has been manager of the Bank of Monrovia, informed me that he has resigned from this position and has accepted the position of Governor of the State Bank of Ethiopia, which was offered to him by Mr. Yilma Deressa. A contract, Mr. Blowers stated, has not as yet been signed but his acceptance of the position is nevertheless definite. He expects to leave for Addis Ababa [Page 101]as soon as transportation can be obtained for himself and his wife, either by sea or by air.

Mr. Blowers said that Mr. Larrabee27 had expressed disappointment at his decision to resign from his post as manager of the Bank of Monrovia and had endeavored to dissuade him from doing so. Mr. Blowers, however, felt that the opportunities for him in Liberia were limited, and he desired to accept the apparently larger opportunity now offered him in Ethiopia.

I asked Mr. Blowers if he contemplated any difficulties with the British in taking up the position as Governor of the Bank. He said that Mr. Deressa had given him positive assurances that there would be no opposition to the appointment on the part of the British, especially as the British-Ethiopian treaty gives the British no right to interfere in this matter, the prerogative of appointing the Governor of the Bank resting solely with the Ethiopian Minister of Finance.

I suggested to Mr. Blowers that he might wish to see Mr. Caldwell before proceeding to Ethiopia. He readily agreed to this suggestion, and will call on Mr. Caldwell at the first opportunity.

  1. George Blowers.
  2. B. H. Larrabee, vice president, Firestone Plantations Company.