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being able to induce Foreign Office to modify terms of settlement but should question of commissioner be promptly settled it is thought a counter offer of Liberian Government extending payment over two years payable monthly out of customs receipts might possibly be entertained.
You will take this matter up with the Liberian Foreign Office discreetly pointing out that Liberia's interest would call for a prompt and amicable agreement as to third commissioner. It may be stated that while Department would not express objection to appointment of Englishman or Frenchman it would seem desirable for all nations concerned that third commissioner should represent nation having no territorial possessions adjacent to Liberia.
File No. 882.51/525.
Monrovia, February 28, 1913. Opposition of Liberian Government to O'Connell was consistent and for good reasons. German Government endeavored io force Lange on commission as its representative; thereupon Liberia insisted that Clark be third commissioner. German Government objected to Clark and withdrew Lange. Liberian Government has accepted Mr. Pigott, an Englishman, nominated by German Government as third commissioner. Verbal agreement on personnel of commission reached more than week ago. Copy of written statement made by O'Connell totally disavowing expressions attributed to him by German ('onsul has been given me by Liberian Government.
Clark objects to terms of settlement proposed by German Government because, first, they contemplate deduction from funds under direct control of Receivership and necessary for its successful operation, such as upkeep of sea-patrol service and frontier force, Liberia powerless to pledge any portion of these funds; second, any charge on balance turned over to Liberian Government by Receivership would destroy budget and nullify all measures of financial reform instituted, paper would again be issued for short paid Government debts; third, Receivership owes foreign officials in the service of Liberian Government more than $10,000 arrears salaries, this obligation ranks prior to any claims for indemnity; fourth, Receivership already embarrassed by falling revenue, deficit since November over corresponding period last year more than $30,000, state of revenue precludes any added charges at present; fifth, there are other foreign claimants who will likely demand treatment not less favorable than that accorded Germans.
Clark proposes that the sum of at least $20,000 be appropriated next year and substantial sum annually thereafter for payment of claims, German claims being preferred. Further that all unexpended receipts over term of years be similarly applied.
Clark says he cannot assume responsibility for financial reorganization if German proposal is forced upon Liberia.
File No. 882.51/528.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, March 26, 1913. Sir: The Department has received your interesting despatch No. 8t, of February 14, 1913, relative to the proposed adjustment of the claims which certain German merchants have filed against the Government of Liberia, and in reply informs you that your general attitude as shown therein has the Department's thorough approval. I am [etc.]
ALVEY A. ADEE.
File No. 882.51/532.
The American Chargé d'Affaires to the Secretary of State.
Monrovia, March 31, 1913. Sir: I have the honor to report to the Department that Mr. Pigott, who was named and had accepted the position as arbiter on the German merchants' claims commission, was subsequently rejected by the German Government although in the first instance he had been named by the German Consul. The Liberian Government thought this procedure very irregular but for the sake of peace did not insist upon the retention of Mr. Pigott.
I have heard that the German Consul approached the French Vice Consul at Monrovia and requested him to serve, but it appears that the French Government did not give its assent when the matter was laid before it; so the French Vice Consul was not able to serve. The German Consul then turned to Mr. I. Odin, a Frenchman, and the local manager of the French wireless station at Monrovia. Mr. Odin agreed to serve and the Liberian Government found no objection to his nomination; so the commission was finally constituted of Mr. Fritz Specht, German representative; Mr. James Cooper, Liberian representative; and Mr. I. Odin, arbiter.
The commission began its sittings on March 18th, at Monrovia, and claims for damages sustained at Brewerville by the German merchants were the first to be brought before the commission. I have - been reliably informed that after a two days' examination of these claims, the commission awarded eight hundred dollars ($800) to the claimants. The original amount of the claims filed for the Brewerville damages was, I understand, about fifteen hundred dollars ($1500).
On March 24th, the commission left Monrovia aboard the German gunboat Panther, for Grand Bassa, where it has resumed its work. It is expected that all of the claims will be investigated and the awards made in less than a month's time if no untoward conditions arise.
There remains open the question of the terms of settlement. I am informed that it has been agreed between the German and Liberian Governments that this question shall be disposed of after the commis
sion's awards are made. It is hoped that acceptable terms of settlement may be arranged without arousing any further friction between the two Governments. I am [etc.]
RICHARD C. Bundy.
File No. 882.51/556.
The American Chargé d'Affaires to the Secretary of State.
Monrovia, April 30, 1913. Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a complete transcript of of the minutes of the German merchants' claims commission' from and including April 3, 1913, until its dissolution after the awards were made on April 23, 1913. * * * The awards amount to five thousand six hundred one dollars and seventy-seven cents ($5,601.77). * * * I am [etc.]
Richard C. BUNDY.
File No. 882.51/560.
The Amcrican Chargé d'Affaires to the Secretary of State.
[Extract.] No. 117.]
Monrovia, June 6, 1913. Sir: * * * It is reported to me that the German merchants who filed claims against the Liberian Government, for losses alleged to have been sustained due to recent disorders, are greatly annoyed over the outcome of the work of the commission charged with the adjudication of these claims. It appears that the merchants feel that the German Consul is responsible for their failure to obtain damages from the Liberian Government in substantial amounts. In fact, som“ of the merchants have in conversation expressed themselves to me in this sense, and have intimated their intention to disregard the awards of the commission.
The Liberian Secretary of State has informed me that the Government has been approached, since the awards of the commission were made, by some of the German merchants who urge that they desire a private settlement of their claims. Of course, such settlements would inevitably involve far larger amounts in each case than were awarded by the commission. I understand that the Government has steadfastly refused to consider any terms of settlement not based on the actual findings of the commission. * * *
It is not at all improbable that these claims will be brought to the foreground again in the near future. I have [etc.]
RICHARD C. BUNDY.
i Not printed.
UPRISINGS OF NATIVES ON THE SIERRA LEONE FRONTIER. File No. 882.00/478. The American Chargé d'Affaires to the Secretary of State,
[Extract.] No. 110.]
Monrovia May 15, 1913. Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that it is being reported to me from various sources that there is a good deal of unrest among the Liberian natives who inhabit that portion of Liberian territory that is adjacent to the Sierra Leone-Liberia boundary. In fact, I am reliably informed that the paramount chief of this section, Mambu by name, was recently captured by a powerful rival chief called Bumbo-koli, and killed in a very barbarous fashion. From what I have learned of the matter it would seem that this recent trouble is an echo of the disorder fomented in this district by Cooper and Lomax more than a year ago, which culminated in the execution of eight chiefs of the action. It appears that it was through the support given by Messrs. Cooper and Lomax to Mambu that he succeeded in becoming paramount chief of the district. As a result he was exceedingly unpopular with the natives whom he governed, principally, it is stated, in his own interests. It is also claimed that a large portion of the domain ruled by Mambu originally belonged to the eight chiefs who were executed; and their relatives, one of whom is Bumbo-koli, swore vengeance. The Liberian Government desired to have Mambu and Bumbo-koli come to Monrovia and present their respective grievances, with a view to composing their difficulties and pacifying that section of the country over which they ruled. It is said that Mambu was on his way to Monrovia, in compliance with the request of the Government, when he was captured and killed.
The foregoing is the bare outline of a situation which, in my opinion, will call for very energetic treatment on the part of the Government to prevent a native disturbance which might easily assume considerable proportions. This matter is further complicated by the presence in the disturbed area of Liberian commissioners representing the Government who have apparently allied themselves on opposite sides of this question. One is constrained to feel that the Government has been particularly unfortunate in the choice of the commissioners who are operating in the affected territory, * * * and it is not unlikely that the case under discussion has in it the germ of more difficulties between the Liberian and Sierra Leone Governments. Two of the best Liberian lieutenants in the Frontier Force service are in the district with 100 men, but it appears that they are not able to cope with the situation.
Major Young had expected to send Major Ballard into this section of the country as soon as he could leave River Cess, but now that Major Young's health has broken down it will undoubtedly be necessary for Major Ballard to remain at Monrovia as the administrative officer, and Captain Hawkins will perhaps go to the Sierra LeoneLiberia boundary. Captain Newton is in the Cavalla River district, where it looks as if conditions will require that one American officer be permanently stationed. The Sierra Leone boundary will require another, and the Kru Coast between Bassa and Sinoe will need the third. Indeed, it is asserted that the Kru Coast has only been subdued on account of the wholesome fear the natives have of Major Ballard and it is anticipated that as soon as he leaves that station and puts a Liberian officer in charge there will be trouble again.
This leads me to express an opinion which I have entertained for some time, in which the Military Adviser and the General Receiver of Customs concur. In view of the failure of the Liberian Govern)ment to furnish proper material out of which to make competent officers, and, further, because of the actual scarcity of such material in the country, I feel that at least two more American officers will have to be obtained. If not, the three men already in the service will be overworked and not accomplish the task assigned them. I need not dwell on the severity of this climate on persons alien to the country. The job is too big for any three men in the world when one considers, along with all other factors, how little effective assistance Liberia herself is rendering. To attempt to disguise this truth is to defeat all proper measures of reorganization.
It is hoped that this matter will receive some attention before Major Young goes on leave, and if the Liberian Government agrees to the engagement of two more American officers, and the General Receiver of Customs thinks the finances will warrant his becoming responsible for their salaries, it is likely that an effort will be made to secure them. Major Young has stated that he thinks he can obtain two good men to serve as first lieutenants for $1400.00 each per annum. If this additional help can be secured a very effective Frontier Force can be maintained, whether the Liberian Government furnishes any efficient material for officers or not.
At an early date some working arrangement will have to be established for correlating the functions of the Liberian Frontier Force officers and the interior commissioners. Hitherto officers and commissioners have been one and the same person, but with the passing of the Frontier Force under American officers the old system has been discontinued and nothing has as yet been done to provide for the altered conditions. The situation can easily prove a fruitful source of vexatious questions.
These problems, and many others that I might mention, cause me to deplore the necessity of Major Young taking a leave of absence at this time on account of his broken health. If it had been possible for him to have remained at work without interruption for a few months longer, a very orderly and systematic condition of affairs would have been evolved from what heretofore has been a chronic state of confusion and chaos. I have [etc.]
RICHARD C. BUNDY.
File No. 882.00/482.
[Extract.] No. 121.]
Monrovia, July 7, 1913. SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the Department, that Captain Newton, one of the American officers, has just air