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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Liberia,   pp. 785-857 PDF (27.0 MB)

Page 816

The Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Murray) to the
                  Minister in Liberia (Walton)
                                      WASHINGTON, July 30, 1937.
  MY DEAR MR. MINISTER: An instruction29 is going forward by
next pouch regarding the revocation of customs exemptions enjoyed
in the past by missionaries in Liberia, a matter about which you
reported at length in your despatch of March 6, last.
  Dr. Jones of the Phelps-Stokes Fund has recently written to Mr.
McBride30 expressing again the concern and keen disappointment
of the Advisory Committee on Education in Liberia at the action of
the Liberian Government in placing so heavy a strain upon the modest
salaries of missionaries.
  It is my own belief that the Liberian Government should not be
unmindful of the very generous contributions in services and money
which are being made by Americans to Liberia. Nine missionary
organizations, for which facts are available, have contributed in the
past year $133,000, for work in Liberia. They expect to increase that
sum substantially when circumstances permit. They also maintain
at present in Liberia 66 American workers, besides three or four times
as many Liberians. Three other missionary societies, for which fig-
ures are not available, also make substantial contributions and main-
tain a considerable number of American and Liberian teachers and
workers. It seems to me that these facts (not to mention the proposed
gift of $8,000 worth of motor buses) constitute a genuine claim upon
the Liberian Government for its considerate treatment of Americans
living in Liberia.
  There is also another very important consideration which ought
not to be ignored, namely that the nine mission boards mentioned
above represent an adult membership of American citizens numbering
almost eleven million persons. It is these people who take the most
lively interest in Liberia and are most active in keeping unimpaired
the traditional American friendship for Liberia. It would be a great
pity if their strong sympathies for Liberia should be alienated by in-
considerate treatment of American nationals.
  In the official instruction which will go forward at the same time
as this letter reference is made to the arrangements recently made
with the French Government regarding customs exemption for Ameri-
can missionary, educational and philanthropic institutions in Syria.
Under that arrangement, and the regulations issued in connection
therewith, individuals and institutions are permitted to bring in free
2 Supra.
" Harry A. McBride, Assistant to the Secretary of State.

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