The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The series documents the facts and events that contributed to the formulation of policies and includes evidence of supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. This documentary editing proceeds in full accord with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

A new statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government, including facts that contributed to the formulation of policies and records that provided supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The statute confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded.

The editors of this volume are convinced that it meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing. Although [Page IV] this volume records policies and events of more than 30 years ago, the Foreign Relations statute allows the Department until 1996 to reach the 30-year line in the publication of the series.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of the Foreign Relations series for the years 1961–1963. The subseries presents in 25 print volumes and 5 microfiche supplements a documentary record of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the administration of President John F. Kennedy. In the 1961–1963 triennium, the record of U.S. foreign policy with respect to Africa comprises two print volumes and a portion of a microfiche supplement.

This volume documents U.S. policy with respect to the Congo crisis and U.S. relations with the Republic of the Congo from January 1961 through December 1963. Material on the first 6 months of the Congo crisis is included in Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, volume XIV, Africa. Volume XXI includes records concerning general U.S. policy toward Africa and relations with the other countries of Africa, including North Africa, during the years 1961–1963. Additional documentation relating to the Congo and other African countries will be published separately in a microfiche supplement that will also contain material on the Middle East.

The Foreign Relations statute requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on major foreign policy decisions and actions of the U.S. Government. It further requires that agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. The editors believe this volume was prepared in accordance with the standards and mandates of the statute, although access to some records was restricted, as noted below.

Sources for theForeign RelationsSeries

The editors have had complete access to all the retired records and papers in the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the decentralized (“lot files”) of the Department at the bureau, office, and division levels; the files of the Department’s Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversations between the President and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the files of overseas diplomatic posts.

The editors of the Foreign Relations series also have access to the papers of President Kennedy and other White House foreign policy [Page V] records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from other federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. All of this documentation has been made available for use in the Foreign Relations series thanks to the consent of these agencies and the cooperation and support of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Department of State historians also have access to records of the Department of Defense, particularly the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense and his major assistants.

As noted above, the Foreign Relations statute requires that the editors have full and complete access to all records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions. Since early 1991, the Central Intelligence Agency, in cooperation with the Department of State, has provided expanded access to Department historians to high-level intelligence documents from those records still in the custody of that Agency. Department historians’ expanded access was arranged by the History Staff of the Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency. This access arrangement coincided with the research of volumes for the 1961–1963 triennium. As Department of State and CIA historians have continued to work out the procedural and scholarly aspects of this access, the variety of documentation made available and selected for publication in the volumes has improved.

Principles of Document Selection for the Foreign Relations Series

In preparing each volume of the Foreign Relations series, the editors are guided by some general principles for the selection of documents. Each editor, in consultation with the General Editor and other senior editors, determines the particular issues and topics to be documented either in detail, in brief, or in summary. Some general decisions are also made regarding issues that cannot be documented in the volume but will be addressed in a microfiche supplement or in bibliographical notes.

The following general selection criteria are used in preparing volumes in the Foreign Relations series. Individual compiler-editors vary these criteria in accordance with the particular issues and the available documentation. The compiler-editors also tend to apply these selection criteria in accordance with their own interpretation of the generally accepted standards of scholarship. In selecting documentation for publication, the editors give priority to unpublished classified records, rather than previously published records (which are accounted for in appropriate bibliographical notes).

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Selection Criteria (in general order of priority):

Major foreign affairs commitments made on behalf of the United States to other governments, including those that define or identify the principal foreign affairs interests of the United States;
Major foreign affairs issues, commitments, negotiations, and activities, whether or not major decisions were made, and including dissenting or alternative opinions to the process ultimately adopted;
The decisions, discussions, actions, and considerations of the President, as the official constitutionally responsible for the direction of foreign policy;
The discussions and actions of the National Security Council, the Cabinet, and special Presidential policy groups, including the policy options brought before these bodies or their individual members;
The policy options adopted by or considered by the Secretary of State and the most important actions taken to implement Presidential decisions or policies;
Diplomatic negotiations and conferences, official correspondence, and other exchanges between U.S. representatives and those of other governments that demonstrate the main lines of policy implementation on major issues;
Important elements of information that attended Presidential decisions and policy recommendations of the Secretary of State;
Major foreign affairs decisions, negotiations, and commitments undertaken on behalf of the United States by government officials and representatives in other agencies in the foreign affairs community or other branches of government made without the involvement (or even knowledge) of the White House or the Department of State;
The role of the Congress in the preparation and execution of particular foreign policies or foreign affairs actions;
Economic aspects of foreign policy;
The main policy lines of U.S. military and economic assistance as well as other types of assistance;
The political-military recommendations, decisions, and activities of the military establishment and major regional military commands as they bear upon the formulation or execution of major U.S. foreign policies;
The main policy lines of intelligence activities if they constituted major aspects of U.S. foreign policy toward a nation or region or if they provided key information in the formulation of major U.S. policies;
Documentation that illuminates special decision-making processes that accomplished the policies recorded in particular volumes;
Diplomatic appointments that reflect major policies or affect policy changes.

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Scope and Focus of Documents Researched and Selected for Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, Volume XX

In planning and preparing this volume documenting U.S. policy toward the Congo crisis during the Kennedy administration, the research and editing of which was completed in 1991, the editor undertook research in the records of various agencies and individuals.

The John F. Kennedy Library is the most important repository for records on high-level policy formulation for this period. The National Security Files, the President’s Office Files, the Ball Papers (which include some records of conversations between George Ball and the President), the Hilsman Papers, and the Sorensen Papers all yielded material for this volume. The papers of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Harlan Cleveland were not available to Department of State historians at the time the research was done on this volume. The Robert Kennedy papers are closed to official researchers as well as to others. The volume also draws upon material from the Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson Libraries.

The Department of State played the leading role in formulating foreign policy alternatives and providing advice on foreign policy matters to the President, and it had the principal responsibility for conducting exchanges of views and negotiations on policy matters with foreign governments. The Department of State’s files contain a vast amount of documentation on the Congo crisis, including the extensive exchange of messages between the Department, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York, the Embassies in Leopoldville and other capitals, and the Consulate in Elisabethville. They also include many White House and National Security Council documents, interagency communications, and records of interagency discussions, some of which are duplicated at Presidential libraries and in other agency files, and some of which are not found elsewhere.

In preparing this volume, the editor enjoyed complete and unrestricted access to all retired files of the Department of State. Certain intelligence-related files maintained in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research were unknown to the Department historians at the time this volume was compiled. Arrangements have been made for Department historians to have access to these records for future volumes.

The military establishment had a role in both the formulation and execution of U.S. policies regarding the Congo. The editor had access to records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense as maintained by the Washington National Records Center and to declassified JCS files at the National Archives and Records Administration. Copies of classified JCS materials were obtained from the Joint Staff by request. Copies of other Department of Defense and JCS documents are in the Department of State files and in the relevant Presidential libraries.

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Among the records made available by the CIA historians, a collection of documents prepared in 1975 for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (the Church Committee) and maintained by the CIA Office of Congressional Affairs was especially useful. The records of Director for Central Intelligence John A. McCone are a valuable source, much more than those of his predecessor, Allen W. Dulles. Special National Intelligence Estimates were made available by the CIA historians (there were no National Intelligence Estimates on the Congo during this period). Copies of important CIA documents were found in Department of State files and at the Kennedy Library, where Department of State historians have full access to classified intelligence records (except for donor-restricted materials) as a result of the cooperation of the CIA History Staff.

The Averell Harriman Papers at the Library of Congress, with extensive material from Harriman’s tenure as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, constitute another important source for U.S. foreign policy for this period. The Maxwell Taylor Papers at the National Defense University contain material on Taylor’s role as the President’s Military Representative and include records of staff meetings that illuminate the role of White House advisers on national security affairs. The Lyman Lemnitzer Papers at the National Defense University contain Lemnitzer’s handwritten notes of some White House meetings during the time when he served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Adlai E. Stevenson Papers at Princeton University contain much Stevenson correspondence for the period but yielded only a little material for this volume.

This volume focuses on U.S. policy formulation and diplomacy with regard to the Congo crisis. It includes documentation on U.S. support of the U.N. intervention in the Congo, discussions with U.N. authorities, U.S. political and economic relations with the Republic of the Congo, U.S. efforts to ensure that the Congo Government remained Western-oriented and not Soviet-influenced, diplomatic efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution of the Katangan secession, and, after the conclusion of the crisis in early 1963, efforts to promote stability in the Congo and to bring about the withdrawal of U.N. forces. In general, the emphasis is on political developments, including military and intelligence components of such developments. Documentation is also included on significant economic concerns, including the possible use of economic sanctions to end the Katangan secession. U.S. logistical support to U.N. forces in the Congo is not documented except insofar as it raises policy issues, nor is the implementation of U.S. economic aid to the Congo.

The crisis generated vast quantities of official communications and reports. Space limitations for the volume and the series as a whole necessitated great selectivity in the choice of documents included. The editor [Page IX] gave primary consideration to the formulation of policy within the U.S. Government, with emphasis on the highest level at which policy on a particular subject was determined, and to high-level exchanges with foreign governments and U.N. officials. Space constraints precluded any attempt at full documentation of the Congo’s internal developments, but the editor included a selection of Embassy reportage and intelligence estimates, with emphasis on documents that were seen by high-level policymakers and may have influenced the making of policy at critical points.

President Kennedy made the major foreign policy decisions during his Presidency, and the editor of this volume tried to document his role as much as possible. White House staff members had expanded responsibilities, compared with the Eisenhower years, in overseeing the traditional national security affairs agencies and providing President Kennedy with additional information. That increased role is reflected in this volume, as in others for this period. The bulk of the documentation in this volume, however, originated in the Department of State, reflecting the Department’s responsibility for conducting the wide-ranging diplomacy of the Congo crisis.

The policymaking process of the Kennedy administration was much less structured and formal than that of the Eisenhower administration. The documentation reflects that difference. Formal approved policy papers were rare in the Kennedy administration, and internal discussions between the President and his advisers were not always recorded. This was especially true in the early months of 1961 and is especially noticeable in this volume in the scarcity of documentation on the review of policy with respect to the Congo held immediately after Kennedy took office. In some cases, the only available record of a Presidential decision is a Department of State telegram transmitting instructions to a diplomatic mission with a statement that the instructions represent a decision reached at a White House meeting or by “highest authority.” Insofar as possible, the editor has sought to document Presidential decisions by drawing upon the best material available.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time or, in the case of conferences, in the order of individual meetings. Incoming telegrams from U.S. Missions are placed according to time of receipt in the Department of State or other receiving agency, rather than the time of transmission; memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in theForeign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is [Page X] reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents in the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editors for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the source text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the source text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed by headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. The amount of material omitted from this print volume and from the microfiche supplement because it was unrelated to the subject of the volume, however, has not been delineated. All ellipses and brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The unnumbered first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. The source footnote also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates if the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and this information has been included in the source footnote.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts have been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established by the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial [Page XI] process of the series and assists with any access and/or clearance problems that arise. Time constraints prevent the Advisory Committee from reviewing all volumes in the series.

This volume has not been reviewed by the Advisory Committee.

Declassification Review

The declassification review of this volume between 1991 and 1993 resulted in the decision to withhold a little more than one percent of the documents originally selected. The remaining documents provide an account of the major foreign policy issues confronting, and the policies undertaken by, the U.S. Government concerning the Congo during this period.

The Division of Historical Documents Review of the Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy, and Classification Review, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12356 on National Security Information and applicable laws.

Under Executive Order 12356, information that concerns one or more of the following categories, and the disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security, requires classification:

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
foreign government information;
intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;
U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
cryptology; or
a confidential source.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security and law. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the John F. Kennedy Library, in particular Suzanne Forbes, who assisted in [Page XII] the collection of documents for this volume. Mary McAuliffe of the Central Intelligence Agency History Staff assisted in arranging access to that Agency’s materials. Officials at the Department of Defense, especially Sandra Meagher, and officials at the National Defense University also deserve special thanks.

Harriet Dashiell Schwar compiled and edited the material presented in this volume, under the supervision of former Editor in Chief John P. Glennon. David W. Mabon and Nina J. Noring provided planning and direction. General Editor Glenn W. LaFantasie supervised the final steps in the editorial and publication process. Gabrielle Mallon prepared the lists of sources, persons, and abbreviations. Rita M. Baker and Vicki E. Futscher did the copy and technical editing and Barbara-Ann Bacon of the Publishing Services Division (Natalie H. Lee, Chief) oversaw the production of the volume. Do Mi Stauber prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

August 1994