250. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Schlesinger) to President Kennedy1


  • British Guiana Paper

I attach herewith the State Department paper on British Guiana.2 I have communicated to Alexis Johnson your assent in principle to points 1-5 on page 2 of Secretary Rusk’s memorandum.

I have also communicated to Johnson your particular concern over the covert program and your desire to know more detail before the State Department group goes to London. The present covert program is set forth under Tab B in the attached file. You will note that the first emphasis is (properly) on intelligence collection, with covert political action to come later. Part II (if Jagan should turn sour) seems to me pretty feeble, but it is also pretty tentative. Johnson emphasizes that the [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] paper is only a basis for planning and discussion, as appropriate, with the British, and specific action will be subject to the usual Special Group consideration and approval.”

I think you need look at only the Rusk memorandum and Tab B.

Arthur Schlesinger, jr.3
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, British Guiana, Aug. 24-Sept. 6, 1961. Top Secret.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.