223. Editorial Note

At the 460th meeting of the National Security Council on September 21, Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles commented on developments in the Congo during his briefing on significant world developments, and a brief discussion followed. President Eisenhower was present at the meeting, but the memorandum of discussion by [Page 497] Deputy NSC Executive Secretary Marion W. Boggs, dated September 21, records no comments by the President relating to the Congo. The relevant portion of the memorandum of discussion reads as follows:

“Mr. Dulles said he would first summarize developments in the Congo. Several African states were making frantic efforts to save Lumumba. [4 lines of source text not declassified] Mr. Dulles remarked that the bulk of the UAR forces now in the Congo had been placed advisedly in north Equateur Province, while the Guinea forces were in the northern part of Leopoldville Province. [6 lines of source text not declassified] On September 20 Kasavubu had announced that he had reached no agreement with Lumumba but the latter had later displayed a piece of paper purporting to be an agreement with Kasavubu.

“Secretary Dillon reported that Lumumba had requested a visa for travel to New York as the representative of the Congo to the UN and had also requested a visa as an official of the Government of the Congo. We had denied both requests for visas. However, if Lumumba asked for a visa to visit the U.S. as a private citizen, we would have difficulty in turning him down. Mr. Dillon added that the Congo Government declares it will arrest Lumumba if he attempts to leave the country.

“Mr. Dulles said he believed a warrant had been issued for the arrest of Lumumba. Aside from Lumumba, Mobutu appears to be the only man in the Congo able to act with firmness. A recent attempt to assassinate Mobutu had failed. [4 lines of source text not declassified] A new development has been Mobutu’s creation of a council of advisers, most of whom are graduate students. The old ministers have been turned out of office and their offices have been taken over for the council, which is intended to carry on for a temporary period. Mr. Dulles reported that the USSR had suffered a severe blow to its prestige in the Congo. However, he had been surprised at the ease with which the Soviets were forced out of the Congo. He believed that the Soviet diplomats, after departing from the Congo, went to Accra but he did not know whether they had moved on toward the USSR. Mr. Gray asked whether the Soviets were really quitting the Congo. Secretary Dillon said the Soviet press has not yet admitted that the Soviets have quit the Congo. Mr. Dulles said the Soviet diplomats indicated to the press before leaving that they would be back. Secretary Dillon believed it was clear that the Soviets had not given up in the Congo. Mr. Dulles reported that the Soviet diplomats left the Congo so hurriedly that the Soviet markings which they painted over the Congo markings on their planes were still wet when they left. Mr. Dulles said the Soviet ships off the African coast were apparently awaiting a clarification of the situation. Mobutu appeared to be the effective power in the Congo for the moment but Lumumba was not yet disposed of and remained a grave danger as long as he was not disposed of.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)