106. Editorial Note

On June 30, the Republic of the Congo became independent. For text of a congratulatory letter of that date from President Eisenhower to President Joseph Kasavubu, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960–61, page 544. Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Robert D. Murphy, who headed the delegation at the independence ceremonies as the President’s Personal Representative, announced the elevation of the consulate general in Léopoldville to an embassy and stated that the United States was prepared to discuss a program to provide scholarships and training [Page 280] grants for 300 qualified Congolese. Text of his report to the Secretary is in circular airgram 425, July 15. (Department of State, Central Files, 770G.02/7–1560)

At a meeting of the National Security Council that day, Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles discussed developments in the Congo during his briefing on significant world developments. The relevant portion of the memorandum of discussion by Deputy NSC Executive Secretary Marion W. Boggs, June 30, reads as follows:

“General Cabell said that in the Congo, which is obtaining its independence today, Patrice Lumumba is emerging as the strong man. His government, however, is weak and will have a Leftist tinge with five out of his ten cabinet ministers being inclined toward communism. Lumumba himself appears to be neutralist in attitude, with a Leftist and opportunistic bent. He is reported to have solicited communist funds to help him obtain his present political position. President Kasavubu may check Lumumba’s activities to some extent. With its grave economic problems, the Congo will be susceptible to Sino-Soviet offers of economic assistance. The Chinese Communists have already recognized the Congo and the Tass News Agency reported last night that Soviet recognition had been accorded, with an offer to exchange ambassadors.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)