The Secretary of State to the Liberian Consul General at New York (Walker)

My Dear Mr. Walker: The receipt is acknowledged of your letter of September 1, 1943, with regard to certain aid which President Barclay wishes this Government to extend to Liberia.

It is not clear to the Department under what provision of the Agreement of March 31, 1942, between the Governments of the United States and Liberia the request of President Barclay for $150,000 for the [Page 670]Liberian Frontier Force is based. Perhaps you might wish to ask your Government for a clarification of this point, after which the Department will be glad to go more thoroughly into the matter.

It is not the Department’s understanding, however, that any commitment was entered into by this Government under which it could be called upon to advance funds to the Liberian Government for the maintenance of the Liberian Frontier Force. The obligations of this Government with respect to the Frontier Force appear to have been fully set forth in numbered paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of the letter from Colonel McBride to President Barclay, dated March 31, 1942,16 which defined the specific defense aids which the Government of the United States undertook to extend to the Government of Liberia. These paragraphs read as follows:

  • “3. Assistance through the United States War Department in organizing and training a Liberian military force of two to three thousand men by supplying, at American expense, qualified personnel for such purposes;
  • “4. The extension of a credit in the sum of eight hundred thousand dollars from Lend Lease or other United States funds for the purpose of assisting in the road construction and defense program of Liberia;
  • “5. A supply of small arms and ammunition for a force of two to three thousand men to be made available to the Liberian Government by the United States as a part of supplies to be furnished under the credit above mentioned;”

As regards the road construction program, as amended, the Department understands that no difficulties are anticipated by the War Department in complying with the request of your Government for an adjustment along the lines mentioned in your letter.

Sincerely yours,

For the Secretary of State:
Adolf A. Berle, Jr.

Assistant Secretary