256. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Guinea0
728. Re: Embtel 557.1 Dept agrees your approach Sekou Toure along lines set forth reftel with modifications and additions indicated below. In reviewing Guinean counter-proposals Dept has been guided by three basic considerations: First, we wish use current favorable climate Guinea-US relations to move into a position in which US has increased role and influence in Guinea. Second, we wish alter previous drift Guinea into Soviet camp and move Guinea to neutral position at this stage and re-integration into African political-economic scene. Third, we wish to provide basis for continued US and other Free World access to Guinea’s bauxite reserves. Key element in achieving these objectives is pre-emption by West of Konkoure dam site. Convinced here Russians will, if possible, undertake construct large dam and related smelter. If Soviets succeed takeover Konkoure in addition to present magnitude their role Guinea, overwhelming Soviet presence will make achievement general US objectives more remote if not impossible.[Page 395]
Dept hopes that within these broad guidelines you will be able to maneuver on basis excellent reception you have received. We therefore view your current negotiations with Toure as a series of proposals and counter-proposals but always with our basic objectives in mind.
At this stage therefore suggest you explore proposals with Toure along following lines:
- Express pleasure basis for cooperation and understanding has been established, and indicate we welcome seriousness with which GOG considered US proposals. In view of positive nature GOG reply we wish proceed with cooperative aid program to assist Guinea’s economic and social development. Guinean counter-proposals have been studied carefully and you now wish convey our reactions.
- Make frank approach question small Souapiti dam along lines you propose in reftel. If this does not result in Toure accepting original offer inform him that Kinkon project completely new to us and difficult judge feasibility without study. This will take considerable time. Stress fact we willing proceed with Souapiti on belief French studies have established feasibility. Souapiti could be basis early widespread industrialization and electrification Conakry and coastal areas, while Kinkon may be suitable only meet more modest needs Labe region. Moreover, Souapiti remains feasible as first phase larger project.
- If Toure still insistent our undertaking Kinkon you should then indicate US willingness examine Kinkon project while going ahead with Souapiti. FYI. Should results Kinkon study prove favorable US would still not finance that project (and Souapiti) without help IBRD and maximum GOG contribution. IBRD has informed Dept that expression of interest on part Ambassador Conte would suffice for Bank send mission discuss membership. We are unable see way make any offer major Konkoure project at this time. Your suggestion shift Boke financing not feasible as aluminum companies unwilling proceed Boke without extensive US Govt financing in any case. Nevertheless, Dept believes control Konkoure remains key to Guinea development and retention bauxite for West and we prepared consider Kinkon only if this would enable us pre-empt Souapiti site. End FYI.
- Do not associate our offer to look into Kinkon with Guinea assurance three year postponement decision on big Konkoure project. We believe postponement would not contribute to our basic objective of pre-empting Souapiti site.
- FYI. Dept is reviewing its position on support for Boke in light possibility Konkoure project remains open to Soviets. Pending resolution Souapiti problem we are delaying decision assist financing Boke on basis companies new proposal and informing consortium we cannot give definite answer for some time, probably two months. This will allow you time conduct unhurried negotiations with GOG. If Soviets [Page 396] build smelter and dam, this will put entirely different complexion on US consideration aid to Boke. You should therefore avoid mentioning possible US aid to Boke although Dept agrees you should point out uncertainties will arise in minds of aluminum companies if Soviets build Konkoure. If it develops that Boke consortium ceases operations, US should be disassociated from decision. End FYI.
- Re other points in package while we will try complete industrial plants by end 1963 we prefer avoid firm commitments until projects surveyed. Re-emphasize proposed plants illustrative, dependent upon Souapiti power, and on results surveys as well as GOG desires. Changes may occur but we hope mutual agreement on technical and economic feasibility would be ruling factors.
- We believe our aid would be more effective through providing aid to school of administration rather than technical school as proposed by GOG. Administration was one of problems Toure cited earlier and aid this field would enable more rapid Guineaization public and private sectors. Without closing door to possibility technical training as proposed by GOG you should seek return their attention to our original proposal. FYI. Our interests would be better served through developing channels influence on administrative personnel. We might be willing to do both but wonder if there any relationship between such assistance and Soviet Technological Institute. End FYI.
- Nature of US aid to agriculture should be left for final determination USOM survey.
- Make clear that US proposal to supply imports for generating local currency was related to agricultural commodities available under PL 480 and limited amounts other commodities related directly to aid projects within package. FYI. We are reluctant consider new projects at this time e.g. road construction, nor are we prepared have US equipment used on non-US projects. End FYI.
- Use Peace Corps Volunteers subject of separate instruction.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770B.5-MSP/6-161. Secret. Drafted by Habib; cleared by Johnson, Williams, Springsteen, Bell, and Fluker and in draft by FitzGerald (ICA), Shriver (Peace Corps), Martin, and Chayes; and approved by Ball.↩
- In telegram 557, June 16, Ambassador Attwood reported that he and U.S. Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver, who was in Guinea as President Kennedy’s special representative, had discussed the Government of Guinea’s response to the U.S. aid proposal with the Minister of Public Works, Ismael Toure, and Guinea’s Ambassador to the United States, Seydou Conte. Attwood summarized Guinea’s counterproposals, offered some specific suggestions for a U.S. response, and asked for the Department’s comments and instructions as soon as possible. (Ibid., 770B.5-MSP/6-1661)↩