110.15 MCG/2–1551

The President of Liberia (Tubman) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (McGhee)1

My Dear Secretary McGhee: Your very interesting letter of 7th instant2 has been received; and I am exceedingly happy to have been the recipient of it.

The Five Million Dollars line of credit which the Export/Import Bank has approved for road development in Liberia, the granting of which you and several other sincere and genuine friends of this country have lent aid and assistance in obtaining, is well known to me, and I wish here to express the appreciation of the Government and myself to Export/Import Bank and the State Department and other officials of your Government who have been instrumental in affording us this opportunity of development which is so essentially necessary and desirable at this time.

That the Bank has given indications that it will give careful consideration to the Government’s request for additional loans to finance a water and sewage project for Monrovia, and a hydro-electric project at such time as more detailed technical data is presented to determine more definitely the nature and type of such projects, and their economic feasibility, I consider a sympathetic and kindly attitude and I am profoundly grateful for this.

I am sure that you can readily appreciate, as you have stated in your letter, my concern over Monrovia’s need for a water and sewage system and I can understand and appreciate the fact that the provisions of law laid down by Congress in the granting of financial assistance to other countries must be applied by the Export/Import Bank, and that they must adhere to proper banking principles and must judge each application from the basis of adequate, technical and economic data to prove the soundness of each project, etc., as mentioned in the third paragraph of the letter which you were very graciously thoughtful enough to have written to me.

I am satisfied with the assurance given to me by you that it is solely because of the absence of complete technical and economic data that the Bank is not able, at this time, to render a definite answer on whether or not it will grant loans for the water and sewage and hydroelectric projects, and since Malcolm Pirnie engineers are expected to soon be here, I am hopeful that the complete data required will be available within the next few weeks.

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The Bankers, as financiers, are primarily and almost generally concerned with only the economic phase of any proposition presented to them, but I am sure as a statesman you can appreciate the political aspect of this development program, particularly so when in the Five Year Plan there is hardly anything provided for the improvement and development of our principal cities and towns, and I assure you that if my contention were referred to a plebiscite or referendum in Liberia more than ninety-five per cent of the entire populations of the country, from the remotest interior to the seacoast, would support the position that I have taken.

If I did not believe, in very truth, that the United States were desirous of giving all possible assistance to help advance the economic welfare of this country, I never would have made the approach.

Besides this, the contributions that have and are being made by the United States Government and a number of her citizens and private enterprizes toward the development of Liberia, economically, religiously and socially verify what I have written.

I have striven to the best of my ability, with my whole heart, mind and strength, to develop the closest possible friendly relationship between our two countries because Liberia is the outgrowth of American philanthropy and benevolence, and I assure you that there is nothing that can estrange that relationship so far as the Government and people of Liberia are concerned, not even if the loans for road, water and sewage and hydro-electric fail.

I presume by now the Liberian Mission has informed you that the Legislature will adjourn on the 15th instant and that should the data required by Export/Import Bank be ready against the end of March or April they will be called in Extraordinary Session to consider all loan projects.

Thank you again, dear Secretary McGhee, for the interest manifested in the development of my country, and I most earnestly appeal to you for your continued interest and assistance, for which I assure you of the unswerving gratitude of me personally and of the Liberian Government and people.

With every good wish for your personal welfare and that of your Great Country, I remain now and always,

Very sincerely yours,

Wm. V. S. Tubman
  1. The source text was transmitted to the Department of State as an enclosure to despatch 277, February 15, from Monrovia.
  2. Ante, p. 1289.