25. Editorial Note

At the 476th meeting of the National Security Council on February 9, there was some discussion of the Congo. Paragraph a of NSC Action No. 2402 states that the Council noted and discussed an oral briefing by [Page 60] the Director of Central Intelligence, which included the situation in the Congo. Paragraphs a and b of NSC Action No. 2403 state that the Council noted and discussed an oral report by the Secretary of State on U.S. policies and actions and recent developments in Laos, the Congo, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, and an oral report by the U.S. Representative to the United Nations regarding developments in connection with the U.N. Security Council consideration of the Congo. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)

A February 7 memorandum from Williams to Rusk summarizing the situation in the Congo, prepared for Rusk’s use at the February 9 meeting, reads in part as follows:

“The internal situation in the Congo seems relatively calm at the moment, with no further military incursions or forays reported from either side. There appears to be a growing feeling of confidence on the part of Kasavubu and his associates in Léopoldville that they are rapidly gaining the upper hand and Bomboko has gone so far as to state that he would deliver either Gizenga or the latter’s Bukavu agent, Kashamura, as a prisoner in Léopoldville within ten days. We have heard this type of statement before. It is probably true, however, that Gizenga’s hold on Orientale is weakening, and it is entirely possible that Gizenga and Kashamura are in serious trouble. Not only are they in very tight economic circumstances, but there are reports that their troops are not loyal to them. It should be remembered in this connection that loyalty in the Congo National Army is in direct proportion to the regularity and amount of their pay checks.” (Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 70 D 265)