250. Action Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Williams) to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Harriman)1


  • Action Program for Ghana

As a result of your visit to Accra we have developed the following lines of action to enable us to pursue a meaningful dialogue with Nkrumah and keep continuing pressure on him to maintain his relations with the US on a tolerable basis:

We should vigorously pursue our program of visits to Ghana by Presidential emissaries and other important visitors. In particular, we should urge Edgar Kaiser to visit Ghana at least on a quarterly basis. A list of other possible visitors is attached (Tab A).2 We shall consult with the British in the next few days to discuss what contribution they may be able to make in this area.3
We should endeavor to have some reference to the US attitude toward nonalignment inserted in a speech by President Johnson.
We should remain alert to suitable occasions to develop a personal rapport between President Johnson and Nkrumah through exchanges of correspondence or other means.
The main object of Ambassador Mahoney’s bi-weekly talks with Nkrumah should be to hold Nkrumah to his undertaking to accept the responsibility for maintaining reasonable relations with the US. Nkrumah should be reminded as often as necessary of his agreement that any complaints he has would be discussed with Ambassador Mahoney to avoid misunderstandings and recriminations in the press and radio. We would also emphasize the role of private investment in Ghana’s economic progress and hold him to his commitment to you to state publicly that foreign investment is welcome to come and stay in Ghana indefinitely.
We should respond to a Ghanaian approach for further financing under the Seven-Year Development Plan as follows:
The US is already contributing heavily to projects included in the plan and is committed to provide 21% of the total external financing (public and private) called for under the plan. This commitment is [Page 442]almost as much as we have committed to Nigeria, a country many times as large as Ghana. We consider it preferable to see how matters go with our present undertakings before contemplating additional contributions;
We are continuing other forms of assistance to Ghana including AID development grants, PL–480 programs, and Peace Corps volunteers; and
The US has no objection or desire to impede any Ghanaian request for aid to the IBRD or to other Western countries in approaches Ghana may make either bilaterally or multilaterally. We should endeavor to disabuse Ghana of the notion that the US can significantly influence the IBRD or individual Western donors. (A telegram along these lines has been sent to Ambassador Mahoney for his views—Deptel 607 to Accra, Tab B.)4
As regards the Volta-Valco projects, we should proceed to implement our commitments as expeditiously as progress on these projects permits.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL GHANA–US. Confidential. Drafted by Dorros and cleared by AID/AFR/CA Director Richard M. Cashin.
  2. Not printed. Harriman approved most of the suggested visitors, questioned others, and noted “Don’t overdo number of visitors.”
  3. Harriman initialed his approval of points 1–4 on April 9.
  4. Harriman approved point 5, but in point 5 (a), he crossed out “almost as much as we have committed to Nigeria” and wrote in the margin, “As Nigeria is a red flag, perhaps ‘has higher per capita than any African country.’” In a different handwriting, under his notation, is the word “No,” and the notation “Liberia has higher per capita.” Harriman also wrote the notes “Private capital?” next to point 5 (b) and “negative language” next to point 5 (c).
  5. Harriman left point 6 blank, and noted “This requires Presidential approval of my recommendation.”