234. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between President Kennedy and the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Ball)0

The President said on this business of Ghana,1 it looks like it is getting worse and worse from our point of view so that it does not seem right to him. Perhaps we should be thinking about disengaging ourselves.

Ball said we have that in mind. The Mission is not going until the end of October and in the meantime we can see how this thing evolves. Kaiser and Calhoun have gone over and will be coming back with their report. Ball thinks we will have to say this has evolved to the point where it is more clear they are creating a socialist state and it is no place for a private enterprise of this kind.

The President said the question would be whether we would have Kaiser do it, or we do it, or the World Bank.

Ball said actually we have left the thing where the documents have not finally been signed. Ball has deliberately kept it that way so that the private enterprise people could bow out. This would be a more graceful way.

The President said fine.

  1. Source: Kennedy Library, Ball Papers, Ghana, Volta Project. No classification marking.
  2. On September 22, Nkrumah dismissed General Alexander as his Chief of Staff and relieved all other British officers of command positions in the Ghanaian Army. (Memorandum from Hilsman to Bowles, September 27; Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Ghana) Russell reported on September 28 that Nkrumah had asked for the resignations of Gbedemah and several other cabinet ministers and high-ranking officials, and that Gbedemah had urged that any contemplated U.S. assistance be provided as soon as possible. (Telegrams 531 and 535 from Accra, September 28; Department of State, Central Files, 745J.00/9-2861)