Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of African Affairs (Bourgerie)


Subject: Liberian Request for an Ex-Im Bank Loan for a Water and Sewerage System for Monrovia.

Participants: Mr. Henry B. Duncan, Secretary for Public Works and Utilities Liberian Government.
Mr. Charles Sherman, Liberian Government Economist.
Mr. George C. McGheeNEA
Mr. E. H. BourgerieAF
Mr. Oscar MeierAF

Mr. Duncan and Mr. Sherman called on Mr. McGhee, at the request of President Tubman, to ask his assistance in expediting the request of the Liberian Government for an Export–Import Bank loan for a water and sewerage system for the City of Monrovia.1

Mr. McGhee stated that he understood that Mr. Oscar Meier had talked to officials of the Ex–Im Bank and they had assured him that the request of the Liberian Government for a loan was scheduled to be discussed at the Ex–Im Bank Directors’ meeting on June 5. Therefore, [Page 1301] he thought that no intervention on his part would be necessary at this time.

Mr. Duncan said that President Tubman had also requested that he ask Mr. McGhee whether the Liberian Government could proceed to sign a contract with a French company for the construction of a water and sewerage system for Monrovia prior to approval of the loan by the Ex-Im Bank. Mr. McGhee said that he thought it would not be advisable to do this especially since action on the loan application would no doubt be completed in the very near future. Mr. Sherman pointed out that prices on materials had increased substantially since the Liberian Government first started negotiations with the Export–Import Bank for this loan and that the Liberian Government was becoming very concerned about the increased cost of materials as well as their availability.

Mr. McGhee told Mr. Sherman and Mr. Duncan that he was always glad to see them and that they could assure President Tubman that the Department had the best interests of Liberia in mind, and that we would continue to assist Liberia in its development plans.

  1. During April 1951 a revised Liberian application for a credit for a water and sewerage system for Monrovia was presented to the Export–Import Bank. Duncan and Sherman were in the United States on behalf of the Liberian application. On March 19 President Tubman had written to Assistant Secretary McGhee requesting McGhee’s “sympathetic assistance” to Sherman in his mission. (876.2615/3–1951) McGhee’s reply of April 13 promised careful study by the U.S. Government of the Liberian request. (876.2615/3–1951) For a description of the Liberian request for a credit, see NAC Document 1160, June 22, infra.