165. Summary Record of the 526th Meeting of the National Security Council1

Summary Record of National Security Council Meeting No. 526 April 3, 1964, 2:00 PM with the Congressional LeadersVarious Subjects

The President opened the meeting with the Congressional Leaders by saying that his purpose was to bring them up to date on recent developments. Various Council members would report on current situations. He first called on Secretary Rusk for a summary of developments in Brazil.

[Omitted here is discussion of unrelated subjects.]

The President then introduced Under Secretary Harriman to summarize his recent trip to Africa. (A copy of Harriman’s report to the President is attached.2 It contains a detailed account which he summarized at the meeting.)

Mr. Harriman said that there was a potentially explosive situation in the Congo because the UN forces would be leaving in June. He reported increased economic stability in the Congo and said that real progress had been made toward restoring economic health. Production of copper and coffee has now almost reached the level of production prior to the departure of the Belgians. He said that Adoula is now governing the State and is a thorough anti-Communist even though he follows a policy of non-alignment.

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Mr. Harriman described the program we are undertaking to assist in training native Congo military forces. The U.S. would contribute to the mobility of Congolese forces by providing trucks, jeeps and transport planes. U.S. repair teams would go to the area on temporary training assignments.

Mr. Harriman said the Congo can achieve stability if there is no pressure from outside the country. Leftists in Brazzaville may cause trouble and Tshombe may try a comeback. If both of these forces move against Adoula, he will be in real trouble. There is a possibility, however, that Nigeria may come to his assistance in the event either of these forces seeks to overthrow him.

[Omitted here is discussion of unrelated subjects.]

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Meetings File, Vol. I, Tab 7, 4/3/64, Various Topics (Panama, etc.). Top Secret.
  2. Not attached, but see Document 166 and footnote 2 thereto.