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

767. References: (a) Brussels 453,2 480,3 562.4 (b) Deptels to Brussels 647,5 660.6 We appreciate your assessment of Belgian reaction to recent events in Congo. This reaction must certainly be countered, and you should in your discretion do everything possible to this end with GOB (in particular Spaak), with business and right-wing political elements which have all along supported Katanga separatism, and with opinion leaders and general public.

Part II of this cable7 contains guidance for discussion with Spaak and GOB, who we recognize share our basic objectives in Congo, though subject to political pressure and emotional reactions.

In addition these official contacts, we trust you will present forcefully to key Union Miniere and Societe Generale officials such as Sengier and Robiliart our basic views on Congo, making it particularly clear we do not accept talk of U.S. responsibility for recent trouble in Katanga, which stems in fact from Katanga extremists and from those Belgian interests which have short-sightedly given these extremists aid and comfort.

In public contacts you should make every effort to convey correct picture that US efforts have been designed build up stable and moderate Congo leadership which is only way safeguard long-term interests Belgium [Page 243] and West; sabotage of these efforts by Katanga extremists and their external supporters is principal cause of present trouble.

Guidance follows separately for your use with Spaak.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/9–2361. Confidential; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Miller and Woodruff; cleared by Ferguson, Vance, Wallner, and Tyler; and approved by Ball.
  2. See footnote 1, Document 111.
  3. Telegram 480, September 18, commented on reports of rising anti-American sentiment in Belgium in connection with U.S. support for the United Nations in the Congo. (Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/9–1861)
  4. Telegram 562, September 23, reported a brief discussion of the Congo between MacArthur and Spaak, who said he was resisting pressure to make a statement blaming the United Nations for the recent Katanga situation but that he “could not exaggerate seriousness with which GOB viewed recent developments in Katanga and prospects for the future.” (Ibid., 770G.00/9–2361)
  5. Document 111.
  6. Telegram 660, September 16, provided further detail concerning the September 15 conversation between Rusk and Scheyven, summarized in telegram 647, and requested the Embassy’s comments on a statement made at the meeting by Belgian Embassy Counselor Jean de Bassompierre that there was a new wave of anti-Americanism and neutralism in Belgium. (Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/9– 1661)
  7. The telegram was originally drafted in two parts, but Part II was sent separately as telegram 768 to Brussels, September 27, repeated to Léopoldville, London, Paris, and USUN. (Ibid., 770G.00/9–2761)