237. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Ball) to President Kennedy 0


  • Clarence B. Randall and Mission to Ghana

Mr. Randall, who has agreed to head a small mission to Ghana on the Volta problem, has an appointment to see you at 4:30 on Thursday, October 19.

I met with Mr. Randall today and discussed the Volta situation with him. He is familiar with the background of the project as a result of his service with the Eisenhower Administration. He recognizes that a decision to proceed is not an easy one. On the other hand, he believes that failure to go ahead can be even more detrimental to our own longer run interests. He fully understands why he has been chosen for this task and what is expected of him. He does not blanch at the assignment.

He understands that he is to go to Ghana to appraise the situation. At the same time he will apprise President Nkrumah candidly of the problems confronting the United States on this project. He understands that he is to return and report to you early in November, submitting a report which will provide the basis for our proceeding with the project.1

Mr. Randall will leave Tuesday for Accra. He is being briefed now by the Department. He will be accompanied by Abram Chayes, the Department’s Legal Adviser, and Harry Shooshan, Assistant Deputy Managing Director for Operations of the Development Loan Fund.

I suggest that the White House issue a press release Friday on Mr. Randall’s appointment and his mission. A draft of such a release is attached.2

I will accompany Mr. Randall to the meeting with you.

George W. Ball
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Ghana. Official Use Only. No drafting information appears on the source text.
  2. Randall, who had been Special Assistant to President Eisenhower on Foreign Economic Policy, visited Ghana October 25-28. Following his return, he recommended a 1-year moratorium on the Volta Project. (Memorandum of telephone conversation between President Kennedy and Ball, October 31, 5:30 p.m.; Kennedy Library, Ball Papers, Ghana, Volta Project; Memorandum for the record of the daily staff meeting, November 7; National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Daily Staff Meetings, September-December 1961)
  3. Not printed. For text of the press release, see Department of State Bulletin, November 6, 1961, p. 771.