99. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Ghana0

730. Re Leopoldville 323, repeated Accra 6.1FYI. Department shares concern voiced reftel extent Commie penetration Congo in confused period prior to independence. In considering means available to West counter this trend it occurs to Department Prime Minister Nkrumah can be most helpful and in fact we gather this is already the case as seen by his urging Congolese keep Belgian Civil Servants and avoid outside influence. In these circumstances Department wishes encourage Nkrumah and GOG generally in increasing their influence on Congolese even though this may mean expansion Nkrumah-type extreme anti-colonialism and Pan Africanism should his influence increase in the Congo. We believe on balance, however, increased interest on his part in Congo would be useful in attempting counter Commie penetration. End FYI.

Department believes it important these views be expressed to Prime Minister at early date but would prefer they not be presented as hard and fast US Government position but rather as attempt increase Nkrumah’s existing concern present penetration of Guinea and fertile ground open to Commies in Congo. Department will leave to your discretion manner in which approach is made but it occurs to us you might raise matter in context US concern bloc will move rapidly to fill vacuum left by any precipitate Belgian withdrawal.

Would appreciate comment soonest of addressee posts repeated Accra. Reftel being repeated Paris and London separately, although Accra should not delay approaching PriMin if opportunity arises before all are received.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 755A.00/4–2660. Secret. Drafted by Ferguson; cleared with Sherman and Hare’s Special Assistant Francis E. Meloy, Jr.; and approved by Satterthwaite. Repeated to Brussels as telegram 1289 to Conakry, London, Paris, and Léopoldville.
  2. Telegram 323 to Léopoldville, April 26, reported that Communist contacts with the Congolese had increased since the Round-Table Conference. (Ibid.)
  3. Ambassador to Ghana Wilson C. Flake reported in telegram 849 from Accra, May 1, that he had asked Nkrumah on April 30 whether he shared the U.S. concern that the Congo, like Guinea, might become entangled with the Soviet bloc. Nkrumah had replied that he was doing all that he could to prevent it. (Ibid., 755A.00/5–160) Flake emphasized in telegram 852 from Accra, May 2, that the thrust of the conversation had been the need to avoid a repetition of the Guinean experience and that he had been careful not to encourage Nkrumah to take sides in the Congolese election struggle or to promote a union with the Congo. (Ibid., 755A.00/5–260)