227. Letter From President Kennedy to President Nkrumah0

Dear Mr. President: I was glad to receive your letter regarding the selection of a Chief Executive for the Volta River Authority.1 I think it was an excellent idea to ask Prime Minister Diefenbaker to propose a candidate. We have been in touch with our Canadian friends, and I am advised that the Prime Minister is giving this problem his personal attention and hopes to be able to suggest a suitable candidate soon.

I have asked my advisers to try to develop some alternative suggestions in the event that others do not prove available. At the same time, we have been in touch with Mr. Eugene Black of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and I know that he is continuing to look over the field for possible candidates.

I am delighted to be able to advise you that all major issues involved in negotiations for the United States Government’s share of the financing of the dam and smelter have now been resolved. The United States Government representatives are now working with your representatives here to develop the necessary documentation for signature and final closing.

Of course, as we all appreciate, our signing is contingent upon your bringing your negotiations with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to a successful conclusion.

It is a source of satisfaction to me that we have been able to join with your Government in helping to make this great project possible. It is a good omen that this major initial step has been accomplished during the first year of your Republic and it is a satisfaction to me that this was achieved during the first year of my Administration. I send you my congratulations on Republic Day and my sincere hope for the continued progress of your nation.

With kindest personal regards.


  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 845J.2614/6-2961. Confidential.
  2. On June 19, Ambassador Halm delivered a personal message from President Nkrumah to President Kennedy which stated that since basic agreement had been reached about the Volta River Project, it had become urgently necessary to appoint a Chief Executive for the Volta River Authority. Nkrumah noted that he had sent a personal message to the Canadian Prime Minister asking him to propose a candidate, if possible. (Ibid., 845J.2614/ 6-1961)
  3. Kennedy’s initials appear in an unidentified hand, indicating Kennedy signed the original.