226. Memorandum From the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Springsteen) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Martin)0


  • Volta-Valco

On May 15 Mr. Ball discussed with the President the question of proceeding with financing for the subject complex. He indicated that it was our view, in the light of recent political developments in Ghana,1 that Mr. Black of the IBRD should be urged to proceed to Accra to consult with and obtain the necessary financial assurances from Nkrumah, as suggested by our Embassy, on this activity.

The President endorsed this suggestion.

Mr. Ball has requested that you proceed to talk to the IBRD about the Black visitation to Ghana.2 Mr. Ball has also agreed that the ExIm Bank should be requested to undertake negotiations with the Valco people on the loan for that project, it being understood that the finalization of these negotiations would be contingent upon satisfactory findings by Mr. Black.

In light of the above, Mr. Ball does not believe that the Bank should invite the Ghanians to come here to negotiate until after Mr. Black’s visit.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 845J.2614/5-1661. Confidential. Drafted by Springsteen. Copies were sent to Williams, Linder (Export-Import Bank), and Coffin (DLF).
  2. Telegram 1288 from Accra, May 4, reported that Nkrumah had increasingly pursued a line of action that had put him into alignment with the Soviet bloc on a series of issues. Ghana’s policy in Africa and in the United Nations had been closely aligned with the Soviets. Within the past month, Ghana had secretly received a large shipment of Soviet bloc arms. Nkrumah had also been working steadily toward an authoritarian state with power more tightly in his hands. The Embassy still favored going ahead with Volta, but recommended that the agreements not be finalized until after Nkrumah’s forthcoming trip to the Soviet Union in order to see how far he intended to go in agreements and statements with the Soviets. (Ibid., 845J.2614/5-461)
  3. On June 21, the President of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Eugene Black, met with Under Secretary Ball to discuss the Ghanaian Ambassador’s request that the signing of the Volta and Valco agreements be accelerated in order to permit President Nkrumah to make an announcement on July 1, Ghana’s Republic Day. Referring to Ball’s suggestion in May that he personally go to Ghana and talk with Nkrumah, Black indicated that he was prepared to go, but argued that his visit would be more effective once the agreement had been signed. (Memorandum of conversation, June 21; ibid., 845J.394/6-2161)