264. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • African Unity and Guinean-American Relations


  • Americans
    • The President
    • Carl Kaysen, Deputy Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
    • George W. Ball, Under Secretary of State
    • G. Mennen Williams, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
    • William Attwood, American Ambassador to Guinea
    • Edmond C. Hutchinson, Assistant Administrator for Africa and Europe, AID
    • William C. Trimble, Director of the Office of West Coast and Malian Affairs
  • Foreign
    • Sekou Toure, President of the Republic of Guinea
    • Saidou Conte, Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea
    • Louis Lansana Beavogui, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guinea
    • N’Famara Keita, Minister of Commerce of the Republic of Guinea
    • Alassane Diop, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications of the Republic of Guinea
    • Ousmane Balde, Vice Governor of the Bank of the Republic of Guinea

The President opened the conversation by assuring President Toure of United States interest in Africa and its problems, an interest, which he was sure President Toure had already sensed in his talks with Ambassador Attwood and Assistant Secretary Williams. We believe that the interests of the United States are closely linked with those of Africa. Consequently, we believe that increased stability, increased economic [Page 410] development, a more intimate association of African nations and greater security in Africa will lead to greater security in the Free World as a whole. As an example of our interest, the President mentioned our efforts to bring about stability in the Congo and our support of the UN to prevent the secession of Katanga. He also cited our efforts to aid the African countries within the limits of our own resources.

The President continued that he had been very interested in President Toure’s speech at the UN on October 9, in particular the point he had made on the drop in raw material prices, a development which was a matter of concern not only to Africa but also to other parts of the world such as Latin America. The decline has been very sharp over the past three years and, unfortunately, gone far to wipe out the benefits of aid the under-developed countries have been receiving from the United States and other nations. In Latin America the drop in the price of certain commodities, such as coffee and bananas, has led to a decrease in the stand-ard of living despite foreign aid. This is a major economic problem for the under-developed countries and therefore should receive greater attention from the industrially advanced nations. The President stated that we are trying to persuade the countries associated in the Common Market and the other nations of Western Europe to open up their wealth for products of the under-developed countries and we are seeking commodity agreements for the stabilization of prices. Furthermore, we are endeavoring to encourage private capital to invest in the under-developed nations and to further the industrialization of those countries so that they will not be dependent on one or two basic commodities. The President said that these are problems which should concern all industrially developed nations as well as countries like Guinea.

The President concluded his opening remarks by asking President Toure’s opinion on the possibilities for increased unity among the African countries, pointing out that such unity would permit the African countries to play a greater role in resolving problems of mutual concern such as the Congo.

President Toure did not comment on the President’s remarks regarding raw material prices. With respect to African unity, he said that Guinea had taken various steps. Contacts with other African Governments had made clear that they are unanimous in their support for greater unity, and he predicted that this will become increasingly evident in the coming months. A greater cooperation among the African nations will lead to greater confidence and provide greater possibilities for the rapid economic and social development of the Continent. All African countries, President Toure stated, are in agreement that the terms of unity should respect the institutions and traditions of each country and that cooperation among them should be centered in the cultural and economic fields. Guinea, he said, is pleased to see that the United States recognizes [Page 411] the need for and favors greater African unity, for a divided Africa would be detrimental to world peace.

President Toure continued that his present visit to the United States demonstrates the sincere desire of the Guinean Government and the people to cooperate with the United States, and that they are very happy at the understanding that has been established between the two countries. He wished to pay tribute to the Administration for removing various misconceptions which had existed about Guinea and its Government. He also paid tribute to the work of Ambassador Attwood, stating that his efforts are much appreciated by the people of Guinea and have contributed greatly to the present understanding and friendship between Guinea and the United States.

  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Guinea, 10/12/62-10/31/62. Confidential. Drafted by Trimble and Porson (LS) on October 11. The conversation was held at the White House.