377. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State1

2446. Congo. Yost saw Gardiner separately after this morning’s meeting between Bunche and Gen. Truman.2 Gardiner said he was very concerned about what would happen in Congo and particularly Katanga. Even if present plans to reintegrate Katanga were apparently successful he foresaw period after February in which UN forces would be weak with Indians and Tunisians gone. After this time UN forces would never again reach present strength and might be gone entirely by end June. Gardiner thought it important that real effort be initiated now to build up ANC and to help reorganize it, particularly in north Katanga, against day when it might have to face Katangan forces returning from bush with arms they had cached there. ANC in north Katanga must be assisted to reassemble its forces. Lines of communication for ANC would have to be established in north Katanga. Air transport was needed and for this Air Panama not sufficient. At same time roads and bridges in north Katanga must be built. Particularly important are bridges at Kongolo and bridges on Albertville-Eville rail line.

Gardiner believes that U.S. assistance is needed for accomplishment these things, although Belgian companies could and should help. He has in mind U.S. civilian or military engineers. Envisages something [Page 774] like Wheeler operation which restored Suez Canal. Believes this must be started now, even though efforts to bring Tshombe to terminate secession are still in progress.

Yost said he agreed necessity look ahead. Gardiner could discuss possible use U.S. military engineers this purpose with Truman and Gullion at Leoville. Gardiner said he would do so, but hoped Dept of State would also begin consider problem. Yost said he would report Gardiner’s views to Dept which he was sure would consider them with great interest.

Yost then asked Gardiner how he now estimated Adoula’s present political position in Leoville. Gardiner said recent events had no doubt strengthened him and that news of Truman’s mission would certainly have encouraged him greatly. Gardiner said that Parliament had become a farce and that Adoula must be prepared to have it prorogued if necessary. Gardiner left no doubt that he had discussed this thoroughly with Adoula and indicated that he had left with Adoula a draft proroguing Parliament if necessary. Gardiner admitted that Kasavubu’s position was questionable but said Adoula should be prepared to move without him if Kasavubu balked.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/12–2062. Confidential. Received at 11:15 p.m. and repeated to Brussels, London, Léopoldville, and Elisabethville.
  2. Telegram 2444 from USUN, December 20, reported that Bunche had opened the meeting with a political-military explanation of the U.N. Congo operation, closing with the statement that the U.N. forces had a clear mandate from the Security Council and would now proceed to carry it out. Truman had asked a series of military questions that seemed to the reporting USUN officer to point up either a lack of U.N. contingency planning or ignorance of it by those present. (Ibid.)