251. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Ghana0

891. Following summary for information only and contents should not be disclosed to foreign officials. It is uncleared and subject to amendment on review of MemCon.

Ghanaian Ambassador Ribeiro presented his credentials to the President April 25 after which a frank and pleasant conversation took place in a cordial atmosphere. The Amb conveyed the greetings of President Nkrumah and expressed appreciation for assistance which US is providing to Ghana. The President reciprocated greetings and noted that Nkrumah was one of the first visitors to White House under his administration.

The President told the Ambassador that, although some difficulties had existed in the bilateral relations between our countries, he believed that the situation had improved in recent months. He continued that, nevertheless, the articles that appeared in the Ghanaian press were not helpful. He said that he personally and his Administration were subject to attack in the American press but it was well known that the government did not control the American press. However, when the Ghanaian press attacked the United States he was led to wonder whether this was not in fact a reflection of the policy of the Government of Ghana.

The Ambassador replied that such was certainly not the case and that, although the Government of Ghana supported the press financially, it did not control its output and frequently found itself embarrassed by what had been written and had to straighten things out. The Ambassador said that the Ghana press was a matter to which he would give high priority.

The Ambassador gave an account of current progress on the Volta Dam. He noted that it should be finished in 1965 and expressed the hope that the President would be present in Ghana at the dedication. The President reminded the Ambassador that he had taken the decision to go ahead with the Volta River Project in face of considerable opposition in the Senate and elsewhere, that it was a large commitment, and that he followed personally and closely developments within Ghana. The President said that it was obvious that our two countries would not agree on all matters but remarked that these disagreements should not be allowed to reach point of interfering with cordial bilateral relations. President [Page 389] stated that critics of US decision to undertake heavy commitments in Ghana must be proven wrong.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 17-1 GHANA. Secret. Drafted by Fredericks and Gebelt, cleared by Fredericks and Davis, and approved by Fredericks.