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leged by German commander to have been made upon German officer and marines by Liberian officer and soldiers at River Cess. Summary punishment of accused officer and soldiers demanded by German Government. Assurances given by Liberian Government that immediate action will be taken by it upon receipt findings of the investigation to be conducted by Ballard who was not present at time alleged incident occurred.

BUNDY.

File No. 882.00/454.
The Secretary of State to the American Chargé d'Affaires.

[Telegram.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, December 30, 1912. Have asked German Ambassador to request his Government to refrain from issuing ultimatum as a result of the incident at River Cess pending investigation now being conducted by Ballard. You will urge upon the Liberian Government the importance of settling the matter equitably with as little delay as possible.

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File No. 829.00/453.
The American Chargé d'Affaires to the Secretary of State.

i Telegram.]

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Monrovia, January 5, 1913. German Consul informs me verbally German Government will be satisfied with nothing less than dismissal Liberian officer and intimates drastic action will be taken if dismissal not conceded. Ballard's report almost certain to exonerate Liberian officer or set up counter charges as grave as those made by Germans.

Liberian Government states that if compelled to accede to German demands irrespective of Ballard's report it will consider use

Believe can exert sufficient pressure to secure dismissal provided incident will be closed and no further demands made by German Government. German Consul has been asked to give official assurance in this regard and has communicated with his Government. Please instruct. Urgent.

BUNDY.

File No. 882.00/455.

The Secretary of State to the American Chargé d'Affaires.

1 Telegram.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, January 1, 1913. The Department could not give definite instructions until it had received and examined Ballard's report. Inasmuch as no American officer was present and because such course would be for the purpose of avoiding long delay, it is difficult to see why the closing of the incident in the manner outlined in the last paragraph of your telegram of January 5 should affect the usefulness of the American officers, and certainly the earliest possible adjustment of the incident is desirable. Perhaps you could agree with the German Consul that the dismissal of the Liberian officer should be provisional, pending an ultimate exchange of views between the American and German Governments after both had received full reports from their respective representatives.

Kxox.

File No. 882.00/456.

The American Chargé d'Affaires to the Secretary of State.

(Telegram.)

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Monrovia, January 8, 1913. German Government demands not only dismissal of officer but apology and guaranty that officer will not again be employed in any official capacity. Liberian Government willing to concede dismissal and apology but declines to give guaranty, stating it is unconstitutional. German Consul seeking to have his Government accept as modification of guaranty assurance that officer will not again be employed in the frontier force. Liberian Government urges me to request the assistance of Department in securing acceptance modification of guaranty by German Government.

BUNDY,

File No. 882.00/456.

The Secretary of State to the American Ambassador at Berlin.

[Telegram-Paraphrase. ]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE.

Washington, January 10, 191.3. The commander of a German war vessel in Liberia charges a Liberian officer and soldiers with an assault upon a German officer and marines at River Cess. The American Chargé d'Affaires at Monrovia reports that the German Government demands dismissal of the Liberian officer, an apology and a guaranty that the officer will not again be employed in an official capacity. The Liberian Gorernment is willing to dismiss the officer and offer an apology but will not give the demanded guaranty because it would violate the Liberian Constitution. An investigation of the disturbances at River C'ess is being made by an American ex-army officer who is in command of the Liberian forces at that place and his report may exonerate the Liberian officer or set up counter charges as grave as those made by the German officer. It is reported from Monrovia that the German Government will take drastic action if the Liberian officer is not dismissed. The American Chargé has been instructed that if

the incident could be closed by the dismissal of the officer it would be desirable that the Liberian Government take that action. It has also been suggested that the dismissal be made provisional pending ultimate exchange of views between the German and American Governments after full reports have been received.

Use good offices with the German Government and ask that the demand on Liberia be modified so that the Liberian Constitution be not violated and point out that Liberia's willingness to dismiss the officer and apologize even before report of investigation is received 1:ould seem all that could be equitably expected. If the German Government refuses to waive its demand upon Liberia suggest that the Liberian Government give a guaranty that the dismissed officer be not again employed in the Liberian Frontier Force.

Make it clear to the German Government that in view of the marked consideration of German wishes from the very beginning of the Liberian negotiations, this Government feels justified in expecting on the part of Germany a patient and liberal attitude toward Liberia and a cordial cooperation with this Government to save the Liberian Government from embarrassments.

Knox.

File No. 882.00/457.

The Secretary of State to the American Chargé d'Affaires.

[Telegram.]

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, January 14, 1913. German Foreign Office has cabled Consul at Monrovia accepting proposed compromise. President merely agreeing verbally in your presence not to employ accused officer during his term of office. German Foreign Office considers incident closed.

Knox.

CLAIMS OF GERMAN MERCHANTS AGAINST LIBERIA; FORMA

TION OF A CLAIMS COMMISSION; GOOD OFFICES OF THE UNITED STATES.

File No. 882.51/494.4.

The Secretary of State to the American Chargé d'Affaires.

Telegram-Extract.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

T'ashington, December 19, 1912. Referring to your several reports as to recent disturbances at different points in Liberia and to the recent visit of the German cruiser Panther, the result of exaggerated accounts from the German press, it would seem that the German Government is right fully entitled to ask indemnity from the Liberian Government for the destruction of German property at Brewerville and possibly other points. The German Ambassador informs me that upon the demand of his Goyernment in this regard the Liberian Government at first promised to satisfy the claims of German merchants interested at once but has now changed its position and insists that the question must be left to the decision of the Liberian courts. In reply I inforined the Ambassador I had every confidence that the judicial decision would be ar: equitable one, but you will discreetly bring to the knowledge of the proper officials the sympathetic interest this Government takes in the satisfactory settlement of this question.

Kxox.

File No. 882.51/495.

The American Chargé d'Affaires to the Secretary of State.

[Telegram-Extract.]

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Monrovia, December 23, 1912. Department's December 19. Am cooperating heartily with German Consul to adjust existing difficulties but believe efforts more fruitful if German commanders assume more friendly attitude toward Liberian Government.

BUNDY.

File No. 882.51/519.

The American Chargé l'Affaires to the Secretary of State.

No. 76.]

AMERICAN LEGATION,

Monrovia, January 13, 1913. SIR: I have the honor to make the following report with respect to the efforts made to reach a satisfactory settlement of the claims of the German merchants:

During the first discussion concerning these claims, it was very apparent that the German Consul and nearly all of the merchants

rongly opposed to permitting the claims to go before the Liberian courts for adjudication. The fact that most of the claims were for losses sustained by the merchants at places not ports of entry, and were therefore not legally entitled properly to become the subject of diplomatic representations, according to contract and Liberian laws, seems to have made little or no difference in the firmness of the German contention that the claims should not be submitted to the Liberian courts.

After spending many weary days in futile discussion, I proposed as a compromise that the matter should be finally decided by an international commission composed of five members, the Governments of the United States, Germany, France, Great Britain and Liberia appointing one member each; the findings of a majority of the commission to be final and binding alike upon the Governments of Germany and Liberia. I informed the Liberian Government, and the German Consul as well, that I could not pledge the Government of the United States to support this proposal, as it had emanated from me personally and without the knowledge of my Government. Howcrer, I promised to lay the matter before the Department and secure, if possible, some expression from it as to the feasibility of such a scheme, and ascertain whether or not the Government of the United States would favor an arrangement of this kind. Meanwhile, I suggested that the Liberian Government acknowledge liability for the losses and make a proposal to the German Government to adjust tlie claims along a line in keeping with the international commission idea; the ultimate adoption of this method to be of course contingent upon all of the Governments mentioned becoming a party to it. The Liberian Government acted upon my suggestion and replied to the German Consul's demands respecting the claims (inclosure No, 1) in terms which called for the adjudication of the claims either by the Liberian courts or by an international commission (inclosure No. 2). Adjudication of claims by the Liberian courts was included in the proposal of adjustment to prevent waiving of the right to settle the matter in that way if it should become expedient to revert to that method. Before presenting the international commission plan to the Liberian Government I had fully and freely discussed the proposition with the British Consul General, the French Vice Consul and the German Consul. All agreed that it appeared to meet the conditions adequately, but could do nothing more than give their personal approval to the scheme before communicating with their respective Governments. This, I understand, they have done. What results have attended their efforts is not known to me yet.

I was led to propose the commission plan not only as a compromise, but also for the following additional reasons:

First. It appears to me very likely that it might be quite difficult to have these claims treated with absolute fairness by the Liberian courts at this time. There is so much anti-German sentiment in the country at present that the element of feeling might easily prevail where reason ought to control. Without doubt the Executive Government would be inclined to deal perfectly fair with the question, but it is questionable whether or not it could exert enough influence er the courts to secure an equitable adjustment of the claims. Then too, it seems to me to be inadvisable to encourage the Executive Government to exert influence on the courts even in the interest of a righteous cause, as such a procedure is distinctly irregular. At this time all efforts ought to be directed toward the elimination of practices that are open to question.

Second. If the claims are presented to the Liberian courts, it would be difficult to have the adjustment satisfy the merchants should the awards be much reduced from the original amounts presented, and it is not unlikely that the claims will be exorbitant. An international commission, acting without prejudice or bias, could well make large reductions and still not have its findings questioned or repudiated.

Third. The payment of these claims, by whatever means they are adjudicated, becomes a matter of great importance since the Receivership will undoubtedly be called upon to furnish the money to liquidate them, and an international commission's findings would therefore probably receive much more consideration than those of the Liberian courts. Moreover, it seems to me that any additional obligations contracted by the Liberian Government ought to be with

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