Memorandum of Conversation, by the Ambassador to Liberia (Dudley 1)


Subject: Conversation with President Truman

During a courtesy call on the President today, I discussed the present role of the United States Economic Mission and Public Health Mission vis-à-vis the Point Four Program as it is being proposed for Liberia. After I had expressed appreciation to the President for his remarks on the work of our Economic Mission in Liberia, delivered in a speech before a convention of the American Newspaper Guild yesterday,2 the President replied that he was sincerely interested in the development of Liberia, not only from a standpoint of our historical ties, but because of the evidenced desire of the Liberian people to help themselves to a position of democratic affluence in the world today.

I mentioned the oft-repeated request of the Liberian Government for assistance in transforming their local frontier force into a modern military unit capable of maintaining internal security, which, in addition to maintaining order throughout the country would also serve to protect the vast American investments in Liberia. The President assured me that it was also his desire that Liberia have some military guidance on the scene, and further stated that he would discuss the matter with the Secretary of Defense.

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In closing, he mentioned that a small military mission in Liberia would be desirable not only for the reasons stated, but to forestall the possibility of any future development in that area similar to the Korean situation today.

  1. Ambassador Dudley was in Washington for consultation until late July.
  2. For the text of the President’s address under reference here, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1950 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1965), pp. 498–502.