367. Memorandum From the Deputy Director for Coordination, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Trueheart) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Meyer), Washington, June 23, 1969.1 2

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Washington D.C. 20520

June 23, 1969

TO: ARA - Mr. Charles A Meyer
FROM: INR/DDC - William C. Trueheart [WCT initialed]
SUBJECT: Minutes of the Meeting of the 303 Committee, 17 June 1969

The minutes of the meeting of the 303 Committee, dated June 19, 1969 contained the following items:

“2. Proposal for Support to the People’s National Congress Party of Guyana

a. Mr. Broe briefed the Committee on the request from Prime Minister Forbes Burnham for a $5,000 monthly subsidy for two years to support his efforts to build his People’s National Congress (PNC) into an effective, permanently organized political party. He noted that Burnham had twice before built an effective political machinery for election purposes but had let it lapse thereafter. The Prime Minister’s objective now is to build a permanent party machinery and to make as many inroads as possible into the Indian vote which supports Cheddi Jagan and his PPP, although the latter is admittedly a most difficult undertaking. [text not declassified]

b. Mr. Johnson mentioned that Prime Minister Burnham is now siphoning off something better than $28,000 annually from sales from a flour mill to finance his political activities. This will sooner or later become public knowledge and will be damaging to Burnham’s position. Mr. Johnson wondered if Burnham might be persuaded to cease this practice upon receipt of the proposed $5,000 monthly subsidy. Mr. Broe stated that Burnham could be told that as a condition to his receipt of the $5,000 monthly subsidy he would have to stop milking the flour mill. He added that even if Burnham agreed to this condition there was no positive assurance he would comply with it.

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c. The recommendation contained in the CIA paper dated 23 May 1969 was approved subject to the condition being imposed upon Burnham that he cease taking funds from the flour mill sales.

d. It was agreed that Burnham’s progress in using this subsidy to build an effective party machinery would be reviewed at the end of one year to decide whether or not it should be continued for the second year. The Chairman expressed the sense of the Committee that in this review Burnham’s compliance with the above condition would be an important criterion.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Guyana.]

  1. Source: National Security Council, NSC Intelligence Files, Country Files, Guyana, 23 May 1969–6 February 1973. Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. Deputy Director for Coordination William C. Trueheart forwarded the portion of the 303 Committee minutes of the June 19 meeting that dealt with a proposal for support to the PNC Party of Guyana.