269. Letter From President Johnson to Chairman of the National Liberation Council Lieutenant General Ankrah 1

Dear Mr. Chairman:

I was very pleased to receive your recent letter.2 Under Secretary Katzenbach has given me a full account of his extensive conversations with you and your associates during his visit to Accra.3 Your letter and his report confirm my impression that Ghana is pressing forward with the critical business of progress for her people.

I want you to know that I appreciate how difficult many of these steps are for you. The courageous decision to devalue your currency is a particular case in point. I am told that this step, together with the other measures in your economic stabilization program, have already resulted in growing interest in Ghana on the part of foreign investors. I very much hope this trend will continue.

General Conway has also reported to me on his conversation with you.4 I understand that he discussed with you the rigorous legal and budgetary limitations on our military and related assistance programs. Ambassador Williams will be in touch with you on this matter in the near future.5

Your remarks about regional cooperation were particularly welcome. We too were greatly heartened by formation of the West African Economic Community. I think all of Africa’s friends in the world were also encouraged by your response to President Mobutu’s request for aid in the current difficulties in the Congo. Ghana’s action is bound to strengthen the sense of mutual alliance among African nations. We in the United States could not wish for any more constructive evolution in African affairs.

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Your interest in international affairs beyond Africa’s borders has also been most constructive. I was pleased to note that our two UN delegations were in harmony during the Special Session of the General Assembly on the Middle East crisis. I also note with appreciation your interest in our efforts to bring a just peace to Vietnam. We continue to make every effort to move the conflict from the battlefield to the negotiating table. So far, despite our very best efforts, we have received no response whatever. Like you, I deeply hope and trust that we can make progress in this area in the months ahead.

I understand that Americans are to have the pleasure of your company in October. If your schedule permits a stop in Washington, I would very much like to see you and to discuss the many vital matters with which we are both concerned. Ambassador Williams will be in touch with your office to work out the details. Mrs. Johnson and I look forward to the pleasure of meeting you.

With warm personal regards.


Lyndon B. Johnson 6
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt W. Rostow, Vol. 37. No classification marking. Drafted by Edward Hamilton of the NSC Staff with revisions by President Johnson. The letter was transmitted in telegram 20706 to Accra. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 15–1 GHANA) Telegram 644 from Accra, August 21, reported that the letter was delivered that day. (Ibid., POL 7 GHANA)
  2. General Ankrah’s June 27 letter to Johnson commented on recent developments in Ghana and in international affairs. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt W. Rostow, Vol. 37)
  3. See Document 267.
  4. Telegram 3565 from Accra, June 3, reported on General Theodore J. Conway’s visit. (Department of State, Central Files, DEF 7 GHANA–US)
  5. A September 21 memorandum from AFW Director Melbourne to Assistant Secretary Palmer recommended that the President tell General Ankrah that the U.S. Government preferred to confine its assistance to the economic field, and that Ambassador Williams should be instructed to make an effort to dissuade Ankrah from raising the subject of military assistance with the President. (Ibid., DEF 12–5 GHANA)
  6. Printed from a copy that indicates Johnson signed the original.