42. Telegram From the Embassy in the Congo to the Department of State1

1845. For Secretary and Stevenson from Williams.2 There are three challenges in the Congo to which I feel we must direct our immediate attention with understanding and vigor. First the strengthening of the lawful government of Kasavubu. Until there is a broad nationally based government no political solution in the Congo will be forthcoming. I see no [Page 90] base for beginning other than the Kasavubu government which I believe has started to make some determined efforts in this direction and with encouragement may well do more. For example, every form of public recognition will be important. As a starter I suggested to Foreign Minister Bomboko who reacted favorably that the Kasavubu government acquire and follow the advice of some internationally qualified public relations expert not only to put the best face on government action but to advise on government action so as to develop a favorable world opinion. Believe Edward Murrow3 could suggest international experts from small countries from whom Congolese could pick one. Believe ways and means can be found to finance without making American agent.

Second the stabilizing of the military situation. I think we must cut the Gordian knot sometime and recognize that the Kasavubu army is the army of the country and that the other forces are not. The other part of this picture is of course that many parts of Kasavubu’s army still need discipline. If proper relations with UN achieved I believe the UN can do much in this area.

Third, the averting of a run-away inflation which is not too far around the corner and which could erupt into military and civil disorder if it gets too bad. There have been numerous studies and recommendations in this field. (Embtels 1611,4 1733, 1734,5 1745,6 1775,7 1794, 1795,8 18379 and Embassy Airgram G–200.10 )

Finally, cutting across all these challenges and basic to the solution of each is the immediate removal of Dayal and the appointment of a successor who can and will work with the Congolese. In Washington and New York Dayal looks like a cloud no bigger than a man’s hand. Here he is a thunderhead that escapes no one’s attention. The foreign press here volunteered unanimously the idea that the big trouble in the Congo is Dayal. In press conference usual question is “do you think Dayal is neutral.” American businessmen I met with said the root of our problem is Dayal. It is my observation that Dayal aggravates the tension here rather than mitigates it.

In my contacts with Congolese officials I was confronted with Dayal on each occasion. Kasavubu said he could and would work with [Page 91] UN but Dayal was impossible. I was invited to a special meeting of the cabinet and of three or four subjects brought to my attention expressions regarding Dayal were the most vehement. Finally I met with Foreign Minister Bomboko in hospital who talked for one hour and quarter almost entirely on the impossibility of working with Dayal. No Congolese anti-UN and all cite instances of cooperation in fields other than political and military. All praise and would like to work with Ralph Bunche.11

With all the evidence in there is one thing in the Congo about which there is no confusion here. That is Dayal must go if the UN is to assist the Congo to move with any sureness or speed toward stability. All of this is not to say that the Congolese make no mistakes because they do. However I firmly believe speedy removal of Dayal, appointment of suitable and sympathetic successor and encouragement in fields indicated would start resolution of Congo problem. Important asset is UN conciliation commission. Its report should be made public and commission should be kept alive for further action. Commission has won respect GOC officials and its recommendations were well received here. It is broadly based Afro-Asian group which should carry weight. However, since it refused knuckle under to Dayal, he has played it down. We should endeavor play it up.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/3–461. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Brussels, USUN, and Lagos.
  2. Assistant Secretary Williams visited Léopoldville February 27–March 4 in the course of a visit to several African countries.
  3. USIA Director Edward R. Murrow.
  4. Dated January 26. (Department of State, Central Files, 870G.01/1–2661)
  5. Both dated February 14. (Both ibid., 770G.00/2– 1461)
  6. Dated February 16. (Ibid., 343.170G/2–1661)
  7. Dated February 21. (Ibid., 770G.00/2–2161)
  8. Both dated February 24. (Ibid., 770G.13/2–2461 and 870G.49/2–2461)
  9. Dated March 3. (Ibid., 870G.49/3–361)
  10. Dated February 16. (Ibid., 870G.10/2–1661)
  11. Bunche had preceded Dayal as Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Congo July–September 1960.