126. Telegram From the Consulate in Elisabethville to the Department of State1
379. As instructed in Deptel 284,2 I called upon Tshombe this morning and, in presence of Vice President Kibwe, gave him letter from myself consisting of text quoted as paragraph two of Deptel 284. I also gave him unofficial French translation of letter and explained that text, in reply to his telegram to President, originated with Department and not with President’s office.
Tshombe and Kibwe read text and translation with greatest consternation and dismay, which increased visibly as I presented passages of oral argument. At end of my discussion Tshombe shocked and furious found few words. He asked me what I expected him to reply to government which failed to include in its message regret for loss of life in Katanga and appeared to blame Katanga for resisting UN aggression. Seizing upon passage wherein USG pledges continued support to UN effort, Tshombe lashed out with accusation that USG planned and executed UN military moves in Katanga and this explained vigor of UN aggression. He brushed aside my denial of this. He pointed out that USG is doing this to very small country but one which will fight to death. Tshombe implied that outrageous attitude of USG found parallel only in my own and offered opinion that my imminent departure was only suitable eventuality as far as I am concerned. He refused to discuss matter further with me, dismissed me summarily, but said he willing to meet my successor.
Tshombe obviously shocked and grieved by this approach but gave no indication of final effect which it will have on his thinking.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/9–2861. Confidential; Niact. Also sent to Léopoldville and Brussels and repeated to USUN, Paris, London, and Salisbury.↩
- Document 123.↩