262. Letter From President Johnson to Chairman of the National Liberation Council Lieutenant General Ankrah1

Dear General Ankrah:

Ambassador Williams has transmitted your kind letter of March 24 to me.2 Its honest, straightforward account of the conditions which led to the change of government in Ghana and its frank assessment of the problems to be solved have left a deep impression upon me.

I was particularly encouraged to see that you are alert to the dangers of subversion from alien sources. Indeed, we in the United States hail your Government’s efforts to wipe out arbitrary rule in Ghana as you reinstate the rule of law and re-establish those institutions essential to democratic government. The swift diplomatic initiatives undertaken by your Government were reassuring and I look forward to the role which an effective and truly independent Ghana can play in the councils of Africa and of the world.

You are to be praised for your immediate recognition of the economic problems facing Ghana and the appointment of an able Economic Committee. Praise is also well-deserved for the prompt actions you took at home and abroad to deal with both your short-term and long-term economic difficulties. The United States is acutely aware of the critical state of Ghana’s economy and of the immediate needs of the Ghanaian people. Our airlift of twenty-five tons of canned milk last week was tangible recognition of your emergency food requirements. It represents a partial delivery of five hundred tons of milk to help prevent the threatened famine situation you described in your letter. It is our hope that the PL–480 food commodity agreement which our two Governments recently signed3 will help substantially to tide you over the critical period ahead.

I greatly appreciate your expression of support for our common belief in democratic principles and the democratic way of life. This is one of the surest ways of achieving the world peace we so fervently desire.

It will be my pleasure to reinforce the ties of friendship which bind the United States and Ghana. Therefore, I welcome this opportunity to exchange views with you and I look forward to hearing from you personally from time to time on developments in Ghana.


Lyndon B. Johnson
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Special Head of State Correspondence File, Ghana, 3/24/66–10/6/66. No classification marking.
  2. Document 261.
  3. Signed at Accra on April 1; 17 UST 484.