But Firestone insisted that Liberia borrow from him. Liberia owed more than a million dollars to British bankers, a huge amount at the time. Firestone wanted to eliminate this situation, which could easily become a pretext for the British government to interfere in Liberian affairs. In addition, he wanted some political control over the Liberian government because of the longevity of the investment. The U.S. government was interested in and supported Firstones` plans, which contained the promise to build a large port. Firestone didn`t need a port to export rubber from Liberia, but it simply offered it to get permission and support from the U.S. State Department, which is particularly interested in a port on the West African coast as a marine use station.
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