132. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Belgium1
954. While Department does not rule out possibility last minute change in Tshombe’s position which would result in real progress towards reintegration Katanga and forestall dangers which we are facing in Congo, it appears that pressures in Léopoldville and in New York for more energetic UN action to put an end to Katanga’s secession are building up dangerously. Statements made by Bomboko publicly and in discussions with US officials as well as reaction not only of Soviet but other delegates to certain provisions recent UN-Katanga agreement on cease fire arrangements lead us suspect there is substantial readiness in UN GA to favor revision of UN mandate which would require UNOC take energetic action even involving military measures against Tshombe. We obviously do not wish see such resolution come to a vote. Clearly, British, [Page 256] Belgians, French and number of Brazzaville powers as well as others would oppose such mandate but whatever resolution emerges discussion would certainly result in weakening perhaps gravely Western position in Léopoldville and make settlement of Katanga issue by negotiations more rather than less difficult. Moreover Western allies could be seriously split on issue.
Department’s conclusion is that this is critical moment at which maximum pressure must be brought to bear on Tshombe in order make him take unequivocal measures which demonstrate his willingness bring Katanga back into Congo. So far U.S., British and Belgian Governments and Welensky have declared their support of Congo unity, refused recognize Tshombe secession and urged Tshombe negotiate. Tshombe thus exposed to political pressure which has made little dent. Time has come to attempt put bite into this pressure to make it effective before it too late.
You requested raise with Spaak this serious situation, and ask him to consider what further political steps and what effective economic and financial measures might be taken to put greater concrete pressure on Tshombe. In doing so you should indicate in connection possible economic measures we not sufficiently up to date on present status financial relationship Belgium-GOC-Katanga to suggest concrete measures; however, wonder whether GOB could prevent Tshombe from obtaining, controlling and using sizeable tax and export revenues from UMHK and other Belgian enterprises in Katanga through measures affecting tax and dividend payments of Belgian companies, Katanga export proceeds, Katanga assets in Belgium, operations parastatals, etc. in order to make revenues available to GOC rather than to Tshombe or at least to deny use these funds to Tshombe until they could be handled in accordance agreed terms reintegration Katanga into Congo. Denial of these funds to Tshombe would have political character and could logically be presented as step towards regularization GOB-GOC relations in light Loi Fondamentale and GOB recognition Adoula Govt.
You should make clear our realization if measures available to GOB they might be politically difficult implement; however, US believes extraordinary effort required if solution to be found to GOC-Katanga conflict.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/10–1261. Confidential. Drafted and approved by Eisenberg and cleared by Vance, Wallner, Buffum, Burdett (Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs), and in draft by Fredericks. Repeated to USUN, Léopoldville, and London.↩