882.24/85

The Acting 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 20, 1943, with reference to the financial aid which President Barclay wishes the Government of the United States to extend to Liberia for the maintenance of the Liberian Frontier Force.

The Department referred this matter to the War Department for its views and has now received a reply indicating that the War Department is in agreement with the understanding of the Department of State, as expressed in my letter to you of September 16, 1943, that there was no commitment on the part of this Government under the Agreement of March 31, 1942, to make any cash advances to Liberia for the Frontier Force. The War Department states:

  • “1. Article V of the Agreement between the Governments of the United States and Liberia states that the Government of the United [Page 673]States undertakes to extend to the Government of Liberia, among other things, certain monetary aids for defense and other purposes. When the Agreement was signed, Col. McBride, Special Representative of the President, who negotiated the Agreement, gave President Barclay a letter, dated 31 March 1942, setting forth the specific obligations undertaken by this Government in Article V of the Agreement. This letter was approved by the Government of the United States and specifically indicates the extent of American obligations under the above mentioned Article.
  • “2. One of its provisions was a credit in the sum of $800,000 from Lend-Lease or other U.S. funds for the purpose of assisting in the road construction and defense program of Liberia. This was a credit from which Liberia could obtain or purchase either American services or American supplies and materials but the War Department in giving its approval to the above mentioned letter, did not understand that there would be any cash advanced to the Government of Liberia for any local expenditures of the Liberian Government in that country.”

The Department regrets very much that a misunderstanding has developed in regard to this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Adolf A. Berle, Jr.