The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Sharp)
7525. Your 7173, February 12, 10 p.m.
After reference to and approval of the Mission, reply as follows to the French Government:
It is the view of the Government of the United States that as the Republic Liberia is an independent sovereign state questions touching its sovereignty such as those of financial and economic rehabilitation and concessions cannot properly be submitted to the Peace Conference or to a commission composed of representatives of foreign powers.
The Government of the United States feels, therefore, that the matter of concessions should be left to the Liberian Government for determination in consonance with existing Liberian legislation on the subject. Under this legislation, impartiality of consideration and equality of treatment to all applications not monopolistic in character are provided for and the indiscriminate granting of concessions is guarded against.
As regards financial rehabilitation, the United States, in compliance with the request of Liberia, has consented to advance a loan covering the general financial needs of Liberia. Should any points of the American financial program require elucidation, Mr. Strauss, representing the Treasury Department of the United States, is at the present time in Paris and is prepared to discuss informally the question of financial aid to Liberia. Furthermore, the financial adviser to Liberia, to whom reference was made in the Department’s note of January 18th13 to the French Chargé in this city, is already on his way from the United States to Europe in order to confer with the financial interests concerned.