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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 825

deterred thereby from any plans they may have for colonial expansion
at the expense of Liberia. This policy is already unfolding:
  1. Acting Secretary Moore's statement to the press39 expressing
gratification over the recognition of Liberia by Great Britain.
  2. The President's statement to the press on Liberia's recent
  3. The announcement of the approval of funds for the construction
of our new Legation building in Monrovia.4'
  4. The Secretary's recent statement to the Polish Ambassador, a
conversation which I had with one of the Secretaries of the Polish
Embassy, and a conversation which Mr. Kelley, Chief of the Division
of Eastern European Affairs, had with the Polish Counselor.
  5. The Secretary will probably make a statement to the German
Ambassador similar to that made to the Polish Ambassador.
  6. We are now preparing a statement to the press based on the
recently adopted 1937 budget, as reported by you.
  7. We are trying to arrange with the Navy Department for the
friendly visit of a naval vessel to Liberia in November or December of
this year. We earnestly wish to keep this possibility strictly
confidential for the time being, and no intimation whatsoever should
be given to the Liberian Government until we have completed the
arrangements and we inform the Legation officially. I should be
very glad to receive any observations which you may care to make on
the desirability of such a visit at the time mentioned.
  It is obvious, however, that a policy on our part such as that sketched
above can accomplish little unless Liberia does her part. In the final
analysis Liberia's security must depend on the esteem in which she is
held by the public opinion of the world. Her recent progress has
gone a long way towards gaining her this esteem, but for years to come,
particularly in the present world situation, she should take especial
care to see that her policies, external and internal, are such as to
commend them to public opinion. If on the one hand she continues
to improve her internal administration, her financial position,- her
transportation system, her sanitation and public health, et cetera,
and on the other hand while scrupulously observing such foreign en-
gagements as she may have entered into, refrains from entering into
further engagements which may prove politically embarrassing, and
refrains from arbitrary acts which might antagonize those who are
trying to help her, then I believe there will be little likelihood of her
independence being endangered..
  Sincerely yours,                         HUGH S. CUMMING, JR.
  ' December 17, 1936; Department of State, Press Releases, December 19,
1936, p. 529.
40 December 29, 1936.
41 January 4, 1937; Department of State, Press Relea8es, January 9, 1937,
p. 18.
     982609-54  53

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