193. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Congo1

1297. Urtel 18712 and 1867.3 Eyes only for Ambassador. Assume no further legal steps can be taken against Gizenga unless his parliamentary [Page 367] immunity is lifted. While Dept currently unclear exact status Gizenga,4 his removal to Léopoldville makes question escape to Cairo considerably more difficult although this possibility still should not be precluded.

It occurs to us Gizenga’s oft proclaimed ill health might give Adoula pretext getting him out of country as humanitarian gesture. Another possibility Adoula may wish to explore is possibility of banishment avoiding trial which could easily play into hands Sov bloc and other Gizenga sympathizers.

Whatever decision Adoula takes, it is essential it be his and utmost precaution taken avoid any impression of U.S. participation. Would appreciate your assessment practicability above suggestion and indication degree of control Adoula has over situation.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/1–2062. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Ferguson; cleared by Wallner, Williams, and Eisenberg; and approved by McGhee.
  2. Telegram 1871, January 20, replied to telegram 1294 to Léopoldville, January 19, which expressed misgivings about reports that Gizenga would be brought to Léopoldville, but noted that the Department was anxious to avoid being identified with efforts to change Adoula’s mind. It further stated: “Additional consideration to which greatest importance attached here is Gizenga’s safety; his death by violence would have most unfortunate repercussions.” It left to Gullion’s discretion whether he should seek to influence Adoula and Linner to keep Gizenga in Stanleyville. (Ibid., 770G.00/1–1962) Telegram 1871 reported that Gullion and Godley had concluded that the matter should be left in Adoula’s hands. (Ibid., 770G.00/1–2062)
  3. Telegram 1867, January 19, reported a conversation with Adoula, who told Gullion that Gizenga was being brought to Léopoldville as a prisoner but that he was in a quandary as to how to dispose of the case. Adoula feared that a heavy jail sentence would give Gizenga a martyr role and a death penalty might “make a Lumumba out of him.” Gullion suggested the possibility of Gizenga’s “disappearance” to Cairo. He reported that Adoula was very interested in this idea. (Ibid., 770G.00/1–1962)
  4. Telegram 1876 from Léopoldville, January 20, reported that Gizenga was arriving in Léopoldville at noon under U.N. custody. (Ibid., 770G.00/1–2062)
  5. Telegram 1895 from Léopoldville, January 24, reported that when Gullion had met with Adoula, he had raised the possibilities alluded to in telegram 1297 and thought Adoula was leaning toward some such solution. He concluded: “Although the situation is more equivocal than I would like, I think Prime Minister has matter under control and is waiting to select his move.” (Ibid., 770G.00/1–2462)