114. Telegram From the Embassy in Belgium to the Department of State0

108. Canup told us on telephone 1030 a.m. Moise Tshombe, President Katanga Provincial Government, told him this morning Katanga Government intends declare its independence today. (Tshombe announced this intention publicly yesterday according Belgian press, but qualified it that announcement would be made when “situation calm.”)

Tshombe asked Canup whether US prepared recognize independent Katanga. Said he was asking same question of British and Belgians. Canup replied he had no new instructions but believed from previous indications US would not recognize. Tshombe apparently indicated Katanga Government intended act without waiting for answer above questions.

In answer Canup question, we told him every indication we had was US would not recognize or encourage Katanga independence. Canup saw Tshombe again between 11 and 12 and repeated this message, but received no further information on Tshombe’s intentions.

Instructions received from Penfield 1145 a.m. (“under present conditions there is absolutely no possibility US would recognize”) relayed Canup by telephone 1230 p.m.1

Foreign Minister’s chef cabinet Schuurmans, whom we informed of above, says GOB equally definite, and intends leave Belgian troops in Katanga to protect lives.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/7–1160. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to London, Paris, and Salisbury.
  2. Telegram 73 to Brussels, July 11, stated that if Canup was still in contact with Tshombe, he should inform him that given existing conditions in the Congo, the United States would not afford recognition. It concluded: “In general we wish Tshombe discouraged but do not wish to close door completely since detachment Katanga could conceivably be in interest West if rest of Congo continues in present status.” (Ibid.) Telegram 114 from Brussels, July 11, reported that Canup had just telephoned that he had informed Tshombe of U.S. unwillingness to grant recognition under existing conditions. (Ibid.)