882.73/13: Telegram

The Chargé in France ( Bliss ) to the Acting Secretary of State


6774. My 6749, Jan. 14, 9 p.m.3 Following is translation of note dated 10th instant just received from Foreign Office.

By its note of December 29 last4 the Ministry for Foreign Affairs expressed to the American Embassy the desire that it should acquaint the Federal Government with the attitude adopted by the Government of the Republic in regard to the financial aid to be extended to the Liberian Government.

It is desirable that France and England should participate as they have done heretofore in the said financial assistance. If the latter were provided by the United States alone it might indeed be considered that the resulting control over the administration of Liberia would be tantamount to the establishment of a veritable protectorate.

It appears from information received from the French Embassy at Washington that the Federal Government considers that this question of financial reorganization is not one which should be submitted to the Peace Conference, but settled between England, the United States and France. The Government of the Republic, desirous of entering into the view of the Federal Government in this respect, and, like it, aiming only at the financial welfare of Liberia, is disposed to examine in the most conciliatory spirit the propositions which the Dept. of State might make. Moreover, in the event of the proposed loan being granted to Liberia by the United States alone the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will not insist upon an American protectorate being declared over that country. It would, however, be understood that the established control involved [involving], de facto, a sort of protectorate, the Government of the Republic [Page 465] would, henceforward, [for all] demands which it might have to make to the Liberian Govt., have recourse to the Federal Government and request that it support them.

. . . . . . .

  1. Printed in full, p. 515.
  2. Post, p. 514.
  3. See telegram No. 6568, Dec. 30, 1918, from the Chargé in France, Foreign Relations, 1918, p. 547.