194. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations1

1916. For Stevenson from Ball. Re your January 18 letter,2 I appreciate effort you have made with Spaak, which should be helpful in improving climate in further discussions on Katanga problem.

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You may tell him that we fully agree with his view that we should not take risk of aggravating Tshombe at the moment, but are anxious, as Spaak is, to be in a position to exert further pressure on him if there is any backsliding. Aside from question of pressure on Tshombe, however, there are of course some steps which can and should be taken rapidly to enable central government to progress towards exercise its fiscal and economic prerogatives throughout Congo, and we happy Belgian Government shares this view.

Re your proposed memorandum, you probably know that detailed discussions on three-stage program are taking place between our Embassy and Belgian officials in Brussels. In view complexity these negotiations and fact they seem to be going well, our people here feel it would be wiser not to give Spaak a paper on the specifics, which might not mesh exactly with state of negotiations as Spaak will find them on his return. However, it might be useful for you to tell him how pleased we are with progress being made in Brussels talks as well as with Belgian Government actions to date (see for example Brussels tel 413 to USUN, January 20).3 We hope Belgian Government will continue to support program along these lines.

If you think useful to give Spaak a letter along above lines, you may of course do so.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/1–2362. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Stanley M. Cleveland of the Under Secretary’s office and George R. Kenney of the Office of Central African Affairs and approved by Ball.
  2. In the letter to Ball, Stevenson stated that he had had a “very satisfactory” talk with Spaak, who was in New York. Spaak thought “we should not risk aggravating Tshombe at the moment, but he seems quite ready to exert further pressure on him if there is any backsliding.” Spaak had asked Stevenson for a memorandum of actions the United States would like the Belgian Government to take to put financial pressure on Tshombe if necessary, and Stevenson enclosed an outline of points that he proposed to give to Spaak. (Ibid., 770G.00/1–1862)
  3. Sent to the Department as telegram 1331. (Ibid., 770G.00/1–2062)