375. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Plans of the Central Intelligence Agency (Helms) to the Presidentʼs Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


  • British Guiana
An essential element to winning the next general elections in British Guiana2 and forming a successful coalition government after the defeat of Premier Cheddi Jagan is the behind-the-scenes co-operation of Linden Forbes Burnham, leader of the Peopleʼs National Congress (PNC), and Peter S. DʼAguiar, leader of the United Force (UF). Although the two opposition leaders worked closely together at the London Constitutional Conference in October 1963 and agreed to continue joint discussions when they returned to Georgetown, these discussions have not taken place and there has been no co-operation.
In April 1964 [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] sent a political adviser for each party to British Guiana to assist with preparations for voter registration and secondly to work out a [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] understanding between Burnham and DʼAguiar for co-operation during the election campaign and for the future coalition government. These advisers have arranged for two meetings between Burnham and DʼAguiar, one on 24 April and the second on 28 April. Thus far Burnham and DʼAguiar have agreed to the following:
to share poll watchers in certain areas and to share the costs of challenges in these areas;
to co-operate in a joint publicity campaign before and during the registration period;
to refrain from attacking the other party during the election campaign outside of “honest politicking”;
to review their progress at mid-point in the registration period and consult on any corrections that might need to be made;
to decide if specific areas of responsibility are desirable, based on the results of the registration.
The two leaders have also discussed cabinet posts for a future coalition government, but have not yet reached agreement on this matter. The advisers report that the meetings have been harmonious.
A copy of this memorandum is being sent to Mr. William C. Burdett of the Department of State.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Intelligence File, British Guiana, Special File. Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. In a February 19 memorandum to Bundy, Helms reported that [text not declassified] had informed the CIA that the new general elections in British Guiana would be held during the last 3 months of 1964 and that [text not declassified] had agreed that [text not declassified] could inform the leaders of the two main opposition parties [text not declassified] of this timing. (Ibid.)