No. 744.
Mr. Bayard to Mr. Barclay.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of October 4 last, relative to the friendly counsels of the United States minister at Paris in endeavoring to bring about a settlement of the questions between Liberia and France touching the Beriby district.

In demonstration of its uniform attitude of friendliness toward Liberia, the Government of the United States has frequently interposed its good offices to procure the harmonious and honorable adjustment of difficulties between Liberia and foreign states. The effectiveness of such endeavors depends on the acceptability to both parties of the kindly intermediation of the United States, and this in turn upon the disinterestedness of the tender. The representatives of the United States speak in such cases for the Government of the United States, and not as the agent or advocate of one of the conflicting parties. This has been the course pursued by Minister McLane at Paris, and which he is instructed to continue. It has not been supposed by the Government of the United States that the Government of France desires or expects that the representative of the United States at Paris shall be empowered as the agent of Liberia to settle the question. That would be to substitute representation for mediation, which would be contrary to the established policy of the United States.

The true function of the United States minister in France is to act, so far as may be admissible, as a conciliatory medium, between the agent of Liberia and the French Government. In this sense the presence of a duly accredited representative of Liberia at Paris is no obstacle; it is rather indispensable to the accomplishment of the ends contemplated in the instructions to Mr. McLane.

It is of course quite beyond my province to express an opinion as to the personal qualifications of the present representative of Liberia in Paris. All I can say is, that if the Liberian Government should recall Mr. Carrance, it would not be practicable to confer on Mr. McLane authority or power to act as the diplomatic agent of Liberia. But short of that, his best efforts will always be available to maintain a good understanding between Liberia and France.

I am, etc.

T. F. Bayard.