876.10/9–1851: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Liberia 1


109. Dept considers it advisable you proceed discuss new proposal to estab fiscal management function suggested Deptel 87 Sept 152 and Embtel 121 Sept 183 despite Marvey no longer factor FA picture (Embtel 127 Sept 212). Dept believes may be advantageous offer US Govt assistance in getting Firestone cancel clause calling for FA4 at same time as present proposal made. If you believe such move eld help you sell this idea to LibGovt, suggest you consult with Larabee with whom Dept has already discussed this problem.

As aid to you in presenting this plan to Tubman Dept envisages Special Asst wld assist President in three ways: first in marshalling facts needed for his informed decision on annual appropriations, second in developing long range fiscal program and third in acting as watchdog to see that appropriations are properly expended by govt depts. Emphasis shld be placed on pt new officer wld be in advising capacity to Pres. He wld work closely with Govt Economist and Joint Comm in planning long range program of expenditures consistent with Lib’s continuing econ development. This wld provide positive approach Lib’s growing needs rather than negative emphasis old FA set up.

Budget agrees secure expert to send Lib for one to three months study LibGovt’s fiscal management needs and recommend procedures for establishing function suggested Deptel 87 Sept 15. TCA will provide funds meet all or any part cost this assistance.

Subsequent above study and precise definition of function, Dept will suggest names several persons fill post of “Counselor” or “Special Asst to Pres on Fiscal Affairs”. This post wld incorporate functions FA but Dept believes title FA has undesirable connotation and shld not be used for new function. You might stress to Tubman that new function wld complement post econ Adviser held by Sherman, in same sense that Truman has both econ and fiscal budgetary advisers.

First expert can be provided in short time thus giving opportunity prepare any necessary legis for submission to Dec session. While this expert’s salary and expenses provided by TCA, the Special Asst appointed later wld be paid wholly by LibGovt.

[Page 1307]

As Larabee has cooperated closely with Dept re this problem, Emb shld discuss above with him before approaching LibGovt, even informally. If he has serious objections, consult Dept before acting.5

  1. This telegram was drafted by Meier (NEA/AF) and was cleared by Gorlitz (ED), for the NEA/AF by Feld, Farmer, and Bourgerie, and by the Bureau of the Budget.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Supra.
  4. Not printed.
  5. The Loan Agreement of 1926 (see footnote 2, supra) included a clause providing for the appointment of a Financial Adviser to the President of Liberia.
  6. In his telegram 158, October 12, from Monrovia, Ambassador Dudley reported that President Tubman expressed appreciation at the Department’s offer of a fiscal expert to study Liberia’s needs followed by the recommendation of a highly qualified person attached to the Liberian Government. Tubman indicated he looked with favor on the suggestion but desired to discuss it with his cabinet and key legislators before giving a positive answer. Tubman also expressed the wish for the cancellation of the 1926 Loan Agreement clause requiring the appointment of a financial adviser to the Liberian Government. (876110/10–1251)