78. Editorial Note

A memorandum of October 5 by John S.D. Eisenhower of a meeting that day between the President and Under Secretary of State Dillon states that Dillon told the President that the Department of State was concerned about the status of its new posts in Africa and that Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration Loy W. Henderson was thinking of making a tour of them. He would be accompanied by a military man. The President commented that he would like to see the military attachés in the area held to a minimum; he thought one attaché from any service “could cover a great deal of territory.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, DDE Diaries)

A memorandum of October 10 from Secretary of State Herter’s Special Assistant Max Krebs to Under Secretary Dillon’s Special Assistant Theodore L. Eliot, Jr., states that in an October 6 conversation between the Secretary and Foreign Minister Maurice Dejean of the Central African Republic, the latter had expressed the hope that the United States would establish an embassy at Bangui. Herter had subsequently indicated to Krebs his sympathy with this. The memorandum continues:

“He feels that the role of these emerging States in international affairs, particularly at the United Nations, as well as the difficult problems they will be facing during their first years of existence, make it highly desirable if not virtually obligatory that the United States have a full time Ambassador in each capital.” (Ibid., Herter Papers, Personal Memoranda, 1960)

On October 13, the Department of State announced plans to open embassies in six newly-independent African countries: the Central African Republic, Chad, Dahomey, Gabon, Niger, and Upper Volta. (Department of State Bulletin, October 31, 1960, page 702) On October 14, the Department announced that Deputy Under Secretary Henderson would visit a number of west and central African countries between October 17 and November 21 to discuss with U.S. and local officials the problems and representational needs of existing and proposed U.S. posts in the area. (Ibid., page 701)