124. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Belgium1

751. Léopoldville pass Elisabethville. Deptcirtel 580.2 Assistant Secretary Williams presented following points on Congo to Hood, British DCM here, September 25:3

1. Emphasized danger for Western position Congo if Adoula forced yield to extremists Léopoldville on ways means effecting reintegration Katanga or if Adoula forced out of power by Gizengists as result his failure effect reintegration on basis acceptable to majority GOC. Stressed importance Adoula being able continue as Prime Minister and emerge as man whose policy backing UN achieved unity Congo.

2. Urged UK to exert all possible pressure Tshombe to induce him begin constructive talks with Léopoldville government and dismiss mercenaries. Would be helpful if Federation Government could take similar action.

3. Urged UK exercise all possible influence on Federation Government induce latter prevent supply arms and other support Katanga and discourage entry mercenaries Katanga forces, which, policy questions aside, would be in violation UN resolutions.

Hood indicated HMG agreed on desirability Congo unity and support for Adoula government and on point 3 state UK and Federation policy would oppose personnel or materiel support for Tshombe. Today UK EmbOff told Department they just informed by Foreign Office it has concluded unity Congo more imperative than ever if possible intervention on part Casablanca and Bloc powers to be precluded. HMG does not believe Congo Army has capability achieve unification however and UN weakened by recent losses manpower and prestige would be seriously handicapped attempt try achieve this. UK therefore considers imperative stimulate Tshombe-GOC dialogue soonest and subject to any comments Federation Government might have, will work on Tshombe to this end and accord suitable publicity its efforts this direction. UK would hope thereby strengthen Adoula’s hand and alleviate some of criticism it has attracted from Congolese and others who believed UK supporting Katanga against UN.

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UK also studying possibility attempt elicit similar action from Federation Government, Belgian Government and prominent moderate African states, possibly Tunisia and Nigeria, all whom may have some influence Tshombe, as well as Union Miniere and British companies with Katanga interests. Instructions have been transmitted UK HICOM Salisbury to make appropriate demarche to Welensky following which demarches to be made Elisabethville and Brussels.

In response question, UK EmbOff stated Federation Government would not be given veto over proposed policy but since it touched on important area for Federation Welensky would be consulted.

In response further question EmbOff said HMG had not yet expressed views on augmentation fighting capabilities UN force, but reiterated UN influence on negotiations Tshombe-GOC unlikely be very great view rancor created between Tshombe and UN by recent events.

Drawing on reftel action addressees should ask host governments adopt lines and courses action stressed in Williams approach to UK without however referring to UK EmbOff information above, which he asked be held within USG until Federation Government views obtained. Paris and Brussels should make first two points, Salisbury all three, perhaps with expression our gratification Welensky role in inducing Tshombe modify his original cease fire conditions. Rhodesian representative Washington not present either meeting. Addressees should also urge host governments make public statement supporting both reintegration Katanga and departure mercenaries. Emphasize our view that while considerable pressure will be needed to induce Tshombe to approach talks with Léopoldville on any basis which would be politically acceptable to Adoula, we intend also urging on Adoula need for conciliatory attitude.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/9–2661. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Woodruff; cleared by Blue, Buffum, and Wallner; and approved by Ferguson. Also sent to Paris and Salisbury and repeated to USUN for Secretary Rusk, Léopoldville, and London.
  2. Circular telegram 580, September 26, was sent to 24 missions, most of them in Africa. It set forth U.S. views on the Congo situation. (Ibid.)
  3. A memorandum of the conversation is ibid., 770G.00/ 9–2561.