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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 3, 1912

Liberia,   pp. 649-701 PDF (18.7 MB)

Page 651

 LIBERIA. 651 
Morris who took withhim Honorable J. J. Sharp and Captain A. A. Browne ' of
the Frontier Force. By forced marches they reached Loma in the Beileh country,
in fourteen days, where it was reported that Lomax and Cooper were, but on
reaching there it was found out that Lomax was at Labalaba, a day's journey
further up. Mr. Cooper was leisurely wending his way to Monrovia by another
route, but was overtaken by Messrs. Morris and Browne, with Colonel Lomax.
This special commission reached Monrovia with Messrs Lomax and Cooper on
the 26th of June. 
 On the 1st day of August, in keeping with your resolution referred to, Lomax
and Cooper were arrested, their cases examined, and they incarcerated to
wait the September term of the circuit court. At the said term of court they
were tried and acquitted by the jury of the charge of murder. The killing
of the chiefs was proven and also admitted by the defendants, but a plea
of justification in a military emergency was claimed. 
 The negotiations for the consummation of the loan agreement have been obstructed
and delayed by many complex influences, which at times threatened to defeat
the loan altogether. It has been no easy task on the part of those responsible
for the launching of the loan to harmonize the various interests to whom
the Government has been obligated. This task has been rendered the more delicate
in view of the fact that these interests were more or less supported by their
 The dilatory progress of the loan, with the consequent lateness of the organization
of the receivership, is to be regretted by everyone. At times this suspense
engendered discouragement in the minds of the people and has, moreover, mitigated
[sic] against the inauguration of n'iany of the plans of the Administration
contingent upon the active institution of the receivership. It was fondly
hoped that the loan negotiations would have been consummated on April 1 and
the receivership in ~mooth working by the time your honorable body met. As
it is, the actual completion of the negotiations is only a few weeks old
and the receivership was only definitely organized on November 26. 
 Our internal affairs have played a part *in arresting temporarily these
developments, or at least threatening to do so. The disturbances on the Anglo-Liberian
boundary in connection with the delimitation of that boundary, and the failure
of Messrs. Lomax and Cooper to promptly return to Monrovia, already detailed,
caused the bankers to doubt for a while the wisdom of proceeding further
with the negotiations, believing, from reports given out, that investments
here were insecure. Almost simultaneously with this alarm came a fresh rumble
of fear from the bankers relative to what they considered an unreasonable
increase in our floating debt, apparently accumulated since the report of
the Internal Debt Commission. This debt, of something over one hundred thousand
dollars, could in nowise be accurately determined, as it was not only made
up of current accounts with the merchants, but of frontier force and miscellaneous
claims unregistered by the Internal Debt Commission. We are glad to say,
however, that explanations furnished the bankers were satisfactory. 

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