255. Telegram From the Embassy in Togo to the Department of State 1
152. From Governor Williams. Ghana Visit. Visit Accra very successful and provided opportunity frank exchange with President Nkrumah, Acting FonMin Botsio and MinDefense Kofi Baako. Also visited industrial complex Tema including Valco. Press treatment excellent with front page coverage in government-controlled press.
Nkrumah appeared to be in good health and received me with warmth and cordiality. Highlights during one-hour conversation included (1) Recognition by Nkrumah that cocoa-producing countries must reach consensus on export quotas and production controls in order achieve agreement on cocoa price stabilization with consuming countries; (2) Strong reaction from Nkrumah against Lin Piao’s second revolution theory, contending that Chinese Communists don’t understand African psychology; and (3) Expression regret that he did not have opportunity talk President Johnson about Vietnam and acceptance without argument my explanation of our Vietnam policy.
My general impression is that Nkrumah popularity continues to decline owing continued deterioration economic situation. Foreign exchange reserves at critically low level with prices increasing at annual rate more than 30 percent due short supplies and inflationary financing. As purchasing power wage and salary earners decline, present undercurrents dissatisfaction in urban centers likely grow; subsistence farmers which constitute bulk population not seriously affected. Nkrumah appears have firm control over major instruments of power and his security forces are becoming increasingly effective in ferreting out dissident individuals and groups.
Good question is whether when Nkrumah feels effects of his disastrous policies he may well begin to base decisions more on rational considerations rather than emotions as in the past. Our present posture toward Ghana is sound and helping to maintain the tremendous reservoir goodwill for U.S. among Ghanaian people including many of Nkrumah’s ministers.
OAU meeting came up only incidentally, but Nkrumah did complain that Entente states were frustrating his efforts organize meeting.
After noting period good press relations, I cited number examples renewed press attacks on U.S. Nkrumah protested ignorance of any [Page 451]trend in Ghanaian press to renew vituperative comments against America. Did agree to review specific examples to be supplied by Embassy.
[Here follow 2 brief paragraphs on administrative matters.]
Impressed by excellent relations between Troxel and Ghanaians of all categories and with large and varied diplomatic community.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Williams Papers, 1961–1966. Confidential. Repeated to Accra, Abidjan, and London.↩