371. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Johnson1
- Visit of British Prime Minister Home; British Guiana
I recommend you make the following points to Sir Alec Home regarding British Guiana:
- You are as concerned as President Kennedy over British Guiana.
- Emergence of another Communist state in this hemisphere cannot be accepted; there is grave risk of Jaganʼs establishing a Castro-type regime should he attain independence.
- Prime Minister Macmillan and President Kennedy agreed that British Guiana should not become independent under Jagan2 and that a change of government must be sought.
- Jagan must be defeated in the next election.
- Suspension of the constitution and imposition of direct rule would help defeat Jagan.
- Direct British control over internal security, strengthening the police, and a broad interpretation of the powers reserved to the UK in foreign affairs to prevent entry of personnel and funds from Cuba would help overcome the atmosphere of intimidation Jagan is trying to create.
Sir Alec will probably (1) confirm the Macmillan/Kennedy understanding; (2) endorse the importance of assuring Jaganʼs defeat; [Page 853] (3) question the feasibility of a resumption of direct UK rule unless the grounds can be publicly shown to be fully justified.
- Source: Department of State,INR/IL Historical Files, British Guiana Chronological File 1964. Top Secret. Drafted by Burdett on February 5 and forwarded to McGeorge Bundy under cover of a February 7 memorandum in which Burnett assumed Bundy would “wish to talk to the President personally” about it.↩
- Documentation on the Kennedy administrationʼs policies toward British Guiana is in Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, volume XII.↩
- Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.↩
- A copy is in the National Archives, RG 59, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204, UK/Macmillan.↩