240. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Meeting at White House, February 14, 1964


  • The President
  • Under Secretary Averell Harriman
  • Ambassador William Mahoney, William Brubeck,
  • Assistant Secretary G. Mennen Williams,
  • McGeorge Bundy, Ralph Dungan, Edward Hutchinson

Under Secretary Harriman outlined the Department’s position on the Ghana Situation and our feeling that for the United States now to pull out of the Volta project in retaliation for recent Ghanaian activities would be self defeating. Ambassador Mahoney made a few remarks.

The gist of Under Secretary Harriman’s remarks was that we were not coming to the President for instructions but rather were advising him of the situation and the plan of action we would follow unless he should choose to advise us to the contrary.

The President took the briefing paper transmitted under cover of February 13th to the Secretary and took up the items one by one.

Proposed Action Program

He indicated a message would go to Nkrumah from the British Prime Minister.
He thought it would be a good idea for Edgar Kaiser to see Nkrumah.
He agreed Mahoney should see Nkrumah.
He said he didn’t know about the NIH but whatever we did was all right.
He said consultations could be undertaken with IBRD.
He would be agreeable to sending a letter to Nkrumah if and when it were decided to be advisable.
President said he would be pleased to have Under Secretary Harriman go to Accra as he had previously indicated that he had hoped he would go to Africa.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Williams Records, White House Correspondence. Confidential. Drafted by Williams on March 2. The time is taken from the President’s Daily Diary. (Johnson Library)