259. Telegram From the Embassy in Ghana to the Department of State1

923. Depcirtel 1637.2

In informal call this afternoon on General Ankrah, Chairman of National Liberation Council (NLC), I took opportunity to emphasize US view that most important thing was not timing of recognition, which I told him I felt confident was coming, but nature of relationship that is eventually developed between our two governments. Ankrah replied that he fully understood why US could not get out in front, and said he was certain US recognition would come 24 hours after Africans moved. He asserted that NLC had already received recognition from Liberia, Malagasy Republic, West Germany, and expected Nigeria and OCAM countries to take action momentarily.” He expressed opinion that NLC would have no problem with African countries soon as OAU Meeting Addis is over.
General Ankrah requested I inform President Johnson that Ghana will never look east again. He said that NLC may let Soviets and Chinese stay here as diplomatic missions but they will be so restricted that they won’t be able to “do anything.” He described as “crazy” that Ghana which speaks English should have had Russians teaching English rather than Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans or especially British—from our “mother country.”
I told Ankrah that we would like to have NLC identify specific kinds of economic aid which they feel are needed, and indicated US prepared to “consider” these requests once they were communicated. He [Page 457] said he had asked Economic Committee to forward requests two days ago, and was disturbed when I told him I had been led to believe that Committee did not intend to send an official request until after recognition. Ankrah said Embassy would have first requests later this afternoon or at the latest tomorrow morning.
At close of call, I complimented General on statements he had made so far, and congratulated him on general orderly conduct of police and soldiers since take-over by NLC. He indicated that we would be seeing a lot of one another, and finished with comment “that darn Russian Ambassador was in Flagstaff House every five minutes.”
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 GHANA. Confidential.
  2. Circular telegram 1637, March 2, informed West African Embassies that although the United States intended to normalize relations with the new Ghana regime, it preferred that some other African countries (following Liberia’s lead) extend recognition first. (Ibid.)