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387. Action Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Tyler) to Secretary of State Rusk1


  • Proposed Reply to Colonial Secretary Duncan Sandys' Letter on British Guiana


Duncan Sandys has written to you (Tab B)2 stating that he believes order and security in British Guiana can only be restored through an all party coalition government. He asks for our support in bringing about such a coalition.


During my talks in London with British officials July 16 and 17 I outlined the reasons why we thought a pre-election coalition of Jagan's party and the two opposition parties was of doubtful value so far as security is concerned and dangerous from the point of view of our political objectives in British Guiana. The British officials with whom we talked were unable to make a convincing case for the coalition. Despite this Sandys has come down on the side of a coalition. I continue to believe this is an unwise and unnecessary move.


That you approve the attached message (Tab A)3 to Sandys which reiterates our doubts about a coalition and asks for further consideration before the Governor is given instructions to try to bring one about.4

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  1. Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, British Guiana Special Operations, 1964. Top Secret. Drafted by Shullaw. The memorandum is undated; the date used is the drafting date.
  2. The attached July 30 message from Sandys, stated that the British were not certain they would be able to restrain racial violence sufficiently to hold elections and that they were satisfied that the only method of restoring order and security was to bring about a temporary all-Party coalition to bridge the period to the elections.
  3. Document 388.
  4. Approved by Rusk.