27. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Belgium1

1547. For Ambassador from Secretary. Embtels 13702 and 1467;3 Deptels 1341, 1271.4 I have reviewed question of our giving tacit approval of Belgian assistance to Congo in form military officers and have come to conclusion that we cannot proceed along these lines, and that such action would be contrary to our policy. As stated Deptel 1341 the proposed course of action has altogether too many risks and might place U.S. in extremely invidious position were it to become known we had given tacit approval. Accordingly, you are not authorized give our tacit consent. I have informed Bissell5 and Timberlake (by this message) of this decision.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/2–1061. Top Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Officer in Charge of Swiss-Benelux Affairs Philip H. Chadbourn; cleared by Hare, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Foy D. Kohler, Williams, Wallner, McBride, and Frank A. Mau of the Executive Secretariat; and approved and signed by Rusk. Repeated to Léopoldville.
  2. Telegram 1370, January 25, reported that Burden had informed Wigny of the Department’s views as set forth in telegram 1341 to Brussels (see footnote 4, Document 9) and that Wigny had reaffirmed that Belgium would take no steps in this area without at least tacit U.S. approval. (Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/1–2561)
  3. In telegram 1467, February 10, Burden reminded Kohler that when he was in Washington for consultations, he had asked Kohler to ask Rusk whether Burden was authorized to discuss the question of U.S. tacit approval of Belgian assistance to the Congo and, if so, how such tacit approval would be interpreted. (Ibid., 770G.00/2–1061)
  4. See footnotes 4 and 5, Document 9.
  5. Richard Bissell, Deputy Director for Operations, CIA.