248. Summary Record of the 526th Meeting of the National Security Council1

Congressional Leaders—Various Subjects 2

[Here follows discussion not related to Ghana.]

The President then introduced Under Secretary Harriman to summarize his recent trip to Africa. (A copy of Harriman’s report to the President [Page 437]is attached. It contains a detailed account which he summarized at the meeting.)

[Here follows discussion not related to Ghana.]

Mr. Harriman then turned to the situation in Ghana. He reviewed the past of the Volta Dam project and the Kaiser Aluminum plant which is being built to use power produced by the dam. The dam is half finished. The lake is filling and some 60,000 people are being moved out of the flooded area. Nkrumah has left this operation alone and has not so far interfered with its progress. It is about a year ahead of schedule. The dam will cost $200 million. The U.S. has made a $30 million loan on the dam, has guaranteed the $100 million Kaiser investment against expropriation and has loaned money to Kaiser to assist in financing his plant.

Mr. Harriman said that Nkrumah was moving to the left. He is afraid of assassination and blames the U.S. and the U.K. for his troubles. He is turning to the East in an effort to gain support. He appears to be heading toward a personal dictatorship somewhat comparable to that of Tito. Mr. Harriman recommended strongly that we continue our support of the Volta project. We cannot stop now because the project is half finished and liquidation would mean loss of our standing and of the money so far invested. There is a reasonable chance that the project will pay out. It is best for us to carry it through. The World Bank is prepared to continue its support. Our policy should be to keep Nkrumah under continual pressure.

[Here follows discussion not related to Ghana.]

Senator Dirksen asked whether other nations had large investments in Ghana. Mr. Harriman replied that the U.K. had large and expanding investments there.

Senator Dirksen asked about press reports of attacks on four U.S. professors in Ghana. Mr. Harriman and Mr. Bell replied that six professors had been fired from a university, four of them were Americans. This was done by Nkrumah who felt that the professors were indoctrinating the students with false ideas. Involved also is the issue of academic control of the university.

[Here follows discussion not related to Ghana.]

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Meetings File, Vol. I, Tab 7, 4/3/64, Various Topics (Panama, etc.). Top Secret.
  2. McCone recorded the meeting in an April 3 memorandum for the record. (Central Intelligence Agency, DCI (McCone) Files: Job 80–B01285A, Box 2, DCI (McCone) Memo for the Record, 01 Jan-5 Apr 64)