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NOTE.—The following subjects should be read in connection with the instructions given April 13, 1909, by the Secretary of State to the commissioners appointed by the President to investigate Liberian conditions, to be found at page 705 of the 1910 volume of Foreign Relations; also in connection with the report of the commissioners, and that of the Secretary of State transmitting it to the President, which are printed in Senate Document 457, Sixty-first Congress, second session.
File No. 882,032.
MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT TO THE CONGRESS.1
[Extract.) The report of the American commission to Liberia was submitted by President Taft to Congress March 25, 1910. A copy was received by the Government in August. Your honorable body will remember the points of the memorial which you caused to be submitted to the commissioners. They are, briefly enumerated :
A guaranty of independence and integrity.
Advice and counsel with regard to liquidation of foreign and domestic debt, control being assumed by American experts for the purpose of systematization and organization of the customs and financial administration.
Experts to be furnished to initiate and carry through reforms deemed necessary.
Establishment of an American bank with American capital, to assist the Government and to further public improvements.
Assistance in the settlement of boundary questions at issue between Liberia and her neighbors.
Establishment of a .research station.
Supervision of organization of the police and frontier force under American officers.
And that warships of the United States should visit Liberia annually or oftener.
The commission made a very fair, well-digested, and exhaustive report. Its recommendations were:
1. That the United States aid Liberia in the prompt settlement of pending boundary disputes.
2. That the United States enable Liberia to refund its debt by assuming, as a guaranty for the payment of obligations under such arrangements, the control and collection of the Liberian customs.
1 Dec. 13, 1910. Transmitted by the American Minister in dispatch dated Jan. 26, 1911.
3. That the United States lend its assistance to the Liberian Government in the reform of its internal finances.
4. That the United States should lend its aid to Liberia in organizing and drilling an adequate constabulary or frontier force.
5. That the United States should establish and maintain a research station in Liberia.
6. That the United States reopen the question of reestablishing a coaling station in Liberia.
I think the report of this commission should be carefully perused and studied, and it has been ordered to be printed.
The Government of the United States in the month of June of the present year informed our administration that the President had decided to lend Liberia assistance in the financial, military, and agricultural departments; and, further, that the said Government will affirmatively at the proper time enter upon negotiations to secure respect for the ascertained boundaries of Liberia.
It was suggested that financial assistance take the form of a loan to be raised by an American banking firm which would have British, French, and German partners, for the payment of the foreign and domestic indebtedness, to be secured on the customs and head moneys. The security for this loan would be a receivership of customs, to be held by an American official, who would be also the financial adviser of the Government of Liberia, assisted by three officers of British, French, and German nationalities. The revenue from customs and head moneys would primarily be received by these officers and, after meeting the obligations agreed upon by the two States, the balance to be paid into the treasury of the Republic for administrative purposes other than those coming under the supervision of the American receiver.
At the suggestion of the Secretary of State, Washington, Mr. R. P. Falkner, former chairman of the American commission sent to Liberia, was appointed financial representative of Liberia in the United States and Europe, to make arrangements for the proposed loan, subject to the approval of the Liberian Legislature. The Gorernment of Liberia became responsible for the sum of $4,000 for his expenses, which amount the legislature is now requested to approve and place in the budget of 1911. Mr. Falkner has not yet submitted any scheme or reported the final results of his efforts. He has met with great difficulties.
Other matters mentioned in the note of the American Government have not as yet taken shape.
THE LIBERIA-SIERRA LEONE BOUNDARY. File No. 741.8215/25.
The American Ambassador to Great Britain to the Secretary of State.
[Telegram.] No. 709.]
LONDON, November 3, 1910. Some months ago the Liberian minister here, at the request of the British Government, advised Liberia to settle the outstanding question of cession of Kanré-Lahun to Great Britain in exchange for other territory and possibly pecuniary compensation in addition.
Yesterday Sir F. Campbell said to me that the British Government now asks the Government of the United States to use their good offices with the Liberian Government to hasten settlement of this question, which His Majesty's Government desire to have satisfactorily arranged before completion of the loan negotiations. Cromelin assures me that a settlement on these lines is likewise desired by the President of Liberia and feels that the latter needs the moral support of the United States in order to bring this about.
The Secretary of State to the American Ambassador.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, November 15, 1910. Sir: The Department has received your telegram of the 3d instant relative to [etc.].
In reply you are informed that the Department will be glad to use its good offices to obtain a settlement of the boundary question between Liberia and the British colony of Sierra Leone, and in order that the Department may act intelligently in the matter it would appreciate a statement from the British Government as to the details of the offer that was made to Liberia. I am, etc.,
P. C. Knox.
File No. 741.8215/29.
The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State.
Washington, January 16, 1910.1 DEAR MR. SECRETARY: On the 6th of November last Sir Edward Grey informed the American ambassador in London that the Liberian
ment with His Majesty's Government in regard to the question of the Kanré-Lahun boundary before the American loan, now in contemplation, was made and the new régime under American auspices.
On December 2 Sir Edward Grey communicated to Mr. Whitelaw Reid a note ? and memorandum setting forth the history of this question and expressing the hope that the United States Government might see their way to send telegraphic instructions to the United States minister at Monrovia “to support the proposals of His Majesty's Government for an amicable settlement of the question and generally to lend his good offices to facilitate the negotiations." I understand that His Majesty's consul general at Monrovia was at the same time instructed to communicate the information contained in this memorandum to Mr. Crum.
1 Should be 1911.
* Not printed; no correspondence ensued between the two Governments about the memorandum,
It now appears that the President of the Liberian Republic has agreed to the proposals of His Majesty's Government for the settlement of this question, and that he has to-day (January 16) laid them before the Senate for ratification. It also appears probable that the Senate will be guided in their decision by the advice of the United States minister.
In view of the fact that the Senate will adjourn on January 24 the earliest possible action in the matter is highly desirable, and as His Majesty's Government are informed that the United States minister at Monrovia has as yet received no instructions from his Government, Sir E. Grey wishes me to inform you of the present position and to express the earnest hope that you may see your way to use your influence in favor of the proposed settlement of this question. As the time is now very short, I would suggest for your consideration whether it might not be desirable that instructions should be sent by cable to the representative of your Government at Monrovia. I am, etc.,
File No. 741.8215/28.
WASHINGTON, January 19, 1911. · Department is informed that the British Government has offered to settle northwest boundary dispute with Liberia on basis of exchange of Kanré-Lahun district for Morro-Manu territory and £4,000 as cost of developing new district. Department is further informed that President Barclay has agreed to the British proposal and laid it before the Senate for ratification. The Department is of opinion that under all the circumstances the proposal offers as satisfactory a settlement of this long-standing and much-involved dispute as Liberia may hope to secure, and therefore its prompt ratification would be regarded favorably by this Government. You will bring this attitude of the Department to the attention of the Liberian Government.
File No. 741.8215/28.
WASHINGTON, January 19, 1911, Your number 752. Department has to-day cabled Minister Crum to inform Liberian Government that settlement of northwest boundary dispute on basis of exchange of Kanre-Lahun for Morro-Mano territory and £4,000 as cost of development of new territory would be favorably regarded by this Government.
* Not printed
The Scorciary of State te ike British Ambassador.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Washington January 23. 12.1. M, DER VE AYBASADOR: I beg to acknowledge receipt of rour personal note of the 15th irsant, relative to the Kanni Lahun boundary question, and to say in reply that the Department on the lith instant cabled the American minister at Monroria to inform the Liberian Government that the prompt settlement of the question of the Kanré-Lahun boundary on the basis of the exchange of Kanné Lahun for the Norto-Vano territory and $4.00 as the cost of developing the ne- territory would be farorably regarded by this Government. I am, etc.,
P. C. Kver.
File No. 741.8915 31.
The British Ambassudor to the Secretary of State
Washington January 21, 1911. MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your personal note of yesterday, in reply to mine of the 16th, informing me of the instructions sent on the 19th instant to the American minister at Monrovia regarding the question of the Kanre-Lahun boundary.
I have much pleasure in expressing to you my thanks for your courteous action in the matter and the friendly spirit in which you have met the request of His Majesty's Government. I am, etc.,
File No. 882.51/178.
The American Minister to Liberia to the Secretary of State.
MONROVIA, January 87, 1911. The Kanre-Lahun boundary agreement has been ratified by the senate.
File No. 741.8215/37.
London, February 1, 1911. SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a note' which I have received from the foreign office, dated the 31st ultimo, stating that Sir Edward Grey is informed by the British consul general at Monrovia that the Sierra Leone-Liberia frontier agreement has been ratified by the Government of Liberia. Sir E. Grey also expresses