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402. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs (Shullaw) to the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Tyler)1


  • British Guiana

There is attached the agreed minute of our official level talks in London, December 17–18.2

The talks were from our standpoint most satisfactory. We found that in the British view so long as Jagan continues as the leader of the Indian community racial harmony cannot be re-established without a [Page 896]rapprochement between him and Burnham. You will note that we took issue with this concept pointing out that Jaganʼs record does not justify any assumption that he can serve as a basis for the establishment of racial harmony. I believe we have in effect bought time which Mr. Burnham can use to try to allay the Indian fears. If Burnhamʼs actions bear out the intentions of his speeches, there may be some basis for hope.3

On the question of prompt action to start a vigorous assistance program in British Guiana,4 we found that HMG was in such a state of indecision regarding the role of its new Ministry of Overseas Development that we could not get authority for Mr. Yoe to proceed to Georgetown on January 1.5 They indicated a willingness to give this authority at an early date6 and I hope we will not be delayed. The power play between the Ministry of Overseas Development and the Colonial Office may give us a number of problems before responsibilities are finally divided between the ministers.

  1. Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, British Guiana Chronological File, 1964. Secret. Drafted by Cobb.
  2. Attached but not printed.
  3. The agreed minutes of the U.K.–U.S. consultations reported that U.S. officials made the case that “the Justice Party could continue to serve a useful purpose” as an alternative for Indian voters and that Indian confidence could be won by including Indians in the government and in other public bodies, especially in the police force. (Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Carlson–Department Messages, Vol. 2, 10/2/64–12/31/65)
  4. In a telegram to Ericson in London for use at the U.K.–U.S. conference, December 8, Shullaw reported that the AID program proposed for British Guiana for the 1965 calendar year included $5.8 million in grants for road and sea defense maintenance; $.825 million in grants for technical assistance; $5.0 million in a development loan for the Atkinson–McKenzie road; and $3.5 million in loans for public works, small industry, and housing. (Ibid., British Guiana Chronological File, 1964)
  5. The record of the U.S.–U.K. meeting on economic aid to British Guiana is reported in a memorandum of conversation, dated December 18. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, ARA/NC Files: Lot 69 D 41, Folder Guyana 66)
  6. In a telegram from Georgetown to London, December 17, to the attention of Ericson for Shullaw, Carlson reported that the Governor thought that the “program looked fine.” (Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Carlson–Department Messages, Vol. 2, 10/2/64–12/31/64)