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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 853

lators or promoters and that they possess sufficient capital and experi-
ence to work the concessions themselves. A great distinction is to be
drawn between speculators and promoters who make initial surveys
and then attempt to hawk a concession in the open market and serious,
experienced concerns with ample capital who intend to operate a
concession themselves. Our information appears clearly to indicate
that Neep fails to meet the desired requirements in these respects.
Furthermore, that information seems to me to leave no doubt that
more study and investigation should be made before the granting
of the concession is finally concluded. Under the circumstances I as-
sume that President Barclay will conclude that the concession should
not be ratified until further investigation satisfies him that Neep
actually has sufficient capital and experience, is not affiliated in any
way with undesirable interests, and intends itself to work the pro-
posed concession.
  If in the face of all the dangers referred to, the Liberian Govern-
ment should decide to ratify the agreement, I am afraid that the
question might arise as to whether the Department could continue
to endeavor to assist Liberia in the improvements and reforms which
President Barclay has carried out with such conspicuous success.
His statesmanlike leadership has brought his country such prosperity
and peace that it would be a pity to mar that splendid record by the
adoption of a policy which might have unfortunate results. I am
fearful also that a question might arise as to whether we should pro-
ceed with the construction of our new legation quarters. In any case
the expropriation of land for the harbor basin at Monrovia may delay
such construction for an indefinite period.
  I believe that you would be justified in laying these considerations
which are my own personal views before President Barclay, stressing
our own disinterestedness and our desire for the continued peace and
prosperity of Liberia, and urging upon him, in view of the active
colonial demands of certain European countries, the necessity of
exercising the utmost caution and consideration before granting con-
cessions or accepting foreign advisers.
  Your 66, December 3, 11 a. in., was received just after above was
written. Inasmuch as we understand that President Barclay has
not yet signed the agreement please bring urgently these matters to
his attention so that he may satisfy himself on all points before finally
and irrevocably taking action which might have such. serious con-
sequences for his country.
  Please report promptly result of your conversations. [McBride.]

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