206. Action Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Williams) to Secretary of State Rusk1


  • Strengthened African Program


On October 14 you sent to the President a memorandum,2 prepared in AF, making three recommendations for strengthening our programs in Africa. These recommendations were: (1) that high officials of the Administration visit Africa, (2) that he make a speech associating himself personally with U.S. policy and programs along the lines of an attached draft, and (3) that our information, educational and cultural exchange, and economic aid programs be strengthened along specified lines.

In a memorandum dated November 283 the President expressed general accord with these recommendations but requested recommendations for: (a) strengthening the proposed speech, (b) an occasion for making it, and (c) other actions which can be taken to help towards peaceful solution to the problems of self-determination in southern Africa.


AF has consulted other interested bureaus and Departments and arrived at agreed recommendations. These are submitted in the form of a memorandum from you to the President with three attachments: (a) a revised draft of the proposed speech, (b) a memorandum on an occasion for its delivery, and (c) a memorandum on other actions that can be taken vis-a-vis the southern African problem. Clearances are shown on each attachment.

During the course of our consultations a number of suggestions were made, particularly with regard to other possible actions, on which considerably more discussion would have been required to reach agreed positions. They were therefore not included in our recommendations. I propose, however, to submit further recommendations on southern Africa at a later date. In this connection, much will, of course, depend on developments in the Southern Rhodesia problem.

[Page 319]


That you sign the attached memorandum to the President.


Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Johnson


  • Strengthened African Program


In response to the requests contained in your memorandum of November 28, Assistant Secretary Williams has submitted the following recommendations, with which I concur, for strengthening our programs in Africa:

The proposed speech has been revised to restate more forcefully US support of independence and majority rule in Africa. A copy of the revised speech is enclosed.4
It is recommended that, circumstances permitting, you consider making the speech on the occasion of Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 1966. A memorandum on this subject is enclosed.
Recommendations for other actions to help towards peaceful solutions to the problems of self-determination in southern Africa are contained in the enclosed memorandum. They call for actions in the fields of education for southern Africans, assistance to the former High Commission Territories, assistance to the victims of apartheid, and contingency planning for South West Africa.

AID and USIA concur in these recommendations.

Dean Rusk 5
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Histories, President’s Speech on 3rd Anniversary of OAU, 5/26/66. Confidential. Drafted on December 10 by Deputy Director for Southern African Affairs Curtis C. Strong.
  2. Document 201.
  3. Document 203.
  4. None of the attachments is printed. President Johnson made his first speech on Africa on May 26, 1966; see Document 211.
  5. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.