In July 1961, the first Tanganyika Prime Minister, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, led a delegation of senior government leaders on an official tour of the United States of America (US).
During their visit, Mr Nyerere addressed the United Nations Trusteeship Council on July 17, 1961. Accompanying him was the minister for Industry and Trade, Mr Nsilo Swai, the president of the association of employees of Asian origin who were employed by the Government of Tanganyika, M. C. Zachariah, and the president of the Asian public workers’ association, P. K. G. Nayar.
Nyerere meets US President John F. Kennedy
In the afternoon of July 18, 1961, Prime Minister Nyerere went to the US State House in Washington for a meeting with his host President John Kennedy. The meeting - which lasted more than an hour - involved discussions on how the United States could help Tanganyika finance its three-year development plan.
Following the meeting, reports emerged that President John Kennedy had agreed to help Tanganyika and promised that the US would provide funding on top of those (funds) that had previously been provided by the United Kingdom to allow Tanganyika implement its development plan.
After the meeting, Premier Nyerere told reporters that he was satisfied with the talks and his journey to Washington State House.
He then left the US on the night of July 18 and returned to Tanganyika to continue with his independence movement.
The chairman of the Tanganyika Students Association studying in the UK, Mr Fredrick Lwegarulila, urged the people of Tanganyika who were living in the UK at that time to behave well so that they could preserve the respect of their country as the independence movement progressed.
Mr Lwegarulila made the remarks while addressing the party’s general assembly in London in July, 1961. He said while in a foreign country, the focus of the people of Tanganyika must be on their behaviour and not their education.
“During your time here, other people will pay close attention to what you do for Tanganyika and how you hold the dignity of your country,” said Mr Lwegarulila.
He said the people of Tanganyika were listening intently on everything that was being done by the students in the UK.
“After December 9, 1961, Tanganyika will be under a new government its people will become citizens of a completely new nation. Students have a responsibility of building a solid future for protecting the dignity of our country in the eyes of the world,” he said.
British MPs push for Tanganyika’s financial assistance
A heated debate ensued in the British Parliament on July 27. It was a debate over Africa which started after the British Government had announced that it would not raise funds to help Tanganyika implement its three-year development plan.
Member of Parliament Henry Clark, who was also the former leader of Tanganyika colonial government, said the British government’s refusal to raise funds for Nyerere’s implementation of Tanganyika’s three-year development plan would undermine Tanganyika’s trust in its future engagement with Britain.
Clark said specifically the Secretary of the British Colony of Tanganyika, Ian Macleod, would be very upset by the action of his Government.
Clark said the money should be available in the early days after Tanganyika gained its independence to make it easier for them to implement their development plan. A spokesman for the British colonial staff, Mr Callaghan, said giving the money to Tanganyika was not a favour, it was only fair because the money was earned by the UK government from sisal and coffee farming - and had helped the country through a difficult period. So, it was their turn to give Tanganyika money!