382. Memorandum From Gordon Chase of the National Security Council Staff to the Presidentʼs Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


  • British Guiana
Attached is Georgetownʼs 4222 which reports that the Governor of BG has taken over the emergency powers from the Council of Ministers and has started to pick up some of the people who are suspected of being responsible for the recent violence.3 This action by the Governor does not detract from the other responsibilities of the Ministers, which remain intact.
Harry Shullaw (Bill Burdettʼs successor) tells me that State (Harry, Alexis Johnson, and Bill Tyler) feels that the Governor is the best judge of the present situation and that his step may give us a breather for a while. Harry feels that there are few negatives involved in the move. Jaganʼs forces may try to use the development as a new [Page 868] reason for postponing the elections, but unrestrained violence probably works toward this end even more effectively.
The Committee of 24 at the UN has been hearing appeals from the Jagan forces and renewed appeals can probably be expected. The British will probably be able to continue to stall off a UN inquiry on the grounds that BG is an internal British matter and that the British are already working towards a solution (i.e. PR). Neither we nor the British favor a UN inquiry since such an inquiry could conceivably lead to a UN recommendation that PR be substituted by another scheme.
In general, I think the situation in BG is still tolerable. It merits close watching, however, and I will continue to keep an eye out.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, British Guiana, Vol. I, Memos, 12/63–7/64. Secret.
  2. Telegram 422 from Georgetown, June 13, not attached, reported Governor Luytʼs new Order-in-Council “which in effect puts him rather than Jagan regime in charge of emergency.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–8 BR GU)
  3. A June 12 memorandum to Bundy reported that a number of prominent PPP leaders were scheduled for immediate arrest under the secret and about-to-be-invoked Order-in-Council emergency regulations, which permitted the detention of persons suspected of being involved in terrorist activity. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Intelligence File, British Guiana, Special File)