The Consul General at Accra (Lamm) to the Department of State

No. 75


  • Self Government in the Gold Coast

The subject of self government in the Gold Coast was discussed confidentially by the reporting officer with Mr. de Ensor1 and Mr. Dickson of the Office of the Secretary to the Governer. Ensor stated that no firm decision had been taken as yet. The matter of self government is not a unilateral act and legislation must be enacted in the United Kingdom before self governing status can be attained. The safest estimate of the period in which full self government will be achieved was given as the last quarter of 1956 and the first quarter of 1957. The Prime Minister has indicated to Mr. Sawyer of USIS that December 1956 is the most likely time for full independence.

The detailed program will be worked out during 1955. Informants stated that the Prime Minister had “grandiose plans” for celebrating independence and apparently has issued a number of directives including the construction of a modern luxury hotel to house foreign dignitaries attending independence celebrations, construction of a Prime Minister’s residence, a residence for the speaker of the Legislative Assembly and a new building to house the Legislative Assembly itself.

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The Prime Minister has been extremely talkative on the matter of self government and has referred to it in a number of speeches at CPP rallies. This has led some people to believe that the actual date has already been determined by the Prime Minister. Ensor believes that rumors of June and July 1955 as the time for independence stem from what is referred to as the Operative Date at which time Civil Servants will be given advance notice of termination of their appointments. The June or July Operative Date will be made public on January 1, 1955.

Donald W. Lamm
  1. Michael de Ensor.