175. Memorandum from Rusk to President Kennedy, July 191

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  • Establishment of an Embassy at Kingston, Jamaica

Jamaica will become an independent nation within the British Commonwealth on August 6, 1962. It will be a Monarchy with Queen Elizabeth as the Sovereign.

Jamaica is to be the first newly independent nation in the Western Hemisphere in almost 60 years. The original concept of a West Indies Federation envisaged Jamaica an important element. However, in September 1961 the Jamaican people, by referendum, withdrew, preferring separate, independent nationhood instead.

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Jamaica is attaining independence without rancor or strife and is expected to continue its cultural orientation toward the United Kingdom. However, since the United Kingdom has made it clear that only limited financial, political and military support can be granted it is obvious that the new country will look increasingly toward the United States as its ties weaken with the Mother Country.

I recommend that the United States recognize Jamaica and that we elevate our Consulate General at Kingston to the rank of Embassy on August 6, 1962. This has been our practice in recent years in our relationships with other friendly countries as they have become independent. Upon your approval of the establishment of an Embassy at Kingston, the Department will take the action required to insure it is open on the date of independence.

Dean Rusk
  1. Establishment of an Embassy at Kingston, Jamaica. No classification marking. 1 p. Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Jamaica, 1961–62.