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

1720. Embtel 2007.2 We fully share Spaak’s concern that there be politically effective government in Congo which must very soon assume responsibility for its own internal order. Broader base and more [Page 250] representative leadership may help. However, we strongly endorse your remarks contained penultimate paragraph reftel. While letters might elicit clearer picture Kasavubu’s and Adoula’s thinking, important that they not have effect of encouraging Congolese open negotiations with CNL, as Ambassador Godley points out (Leo’s 1215 to Brussels).3 Similarly we of opinion that at this juncture Belgian advice would be taken more constructively if not accompanied by implied threats of reducing support. On balance we agree with Amb Godley that oral approach probably more prudent and flexible than letter unless it of very general nature. At same time appreciate Spaak probably under heavy pressure take some action.

We have Congolese situation under continual review. However given present fluidity of political situation depending in part on outcome day to day military events, Department not yet prepared move as fast and far as Spaak at this juncture. We continue nevertheless believe highly important we and Belgians coordinate thinking and if possible work together towards general objectives. In this connection would be interested in more specific information on Belgian thinking about possible reshuffle or makeup any new government should such occur. Are there indications GOB now considering Tshombe as PM or for other role in government at one end of political spectrum and members CNL including Soumialot at other?

Brussels 2022 and 2023 just received but do not alter our thinking above.4

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Appling and Looram, cleared by Tasca, and approved by Harriman. Repeated to Leopoldville.
  2. Telegram 2007 from Brussels, June 11, reported that Spaak was planning to send letters to Kasavubu and Adoula pointing out that strong opinion existed in Belgium that the Congolese Government needed to take constructive steps to strengthen its political position throughout the Congo. The letters would warn that additional Belgian assistance might in part be conditioned by parliamentary and public opinion of the vigor of the Congolese Government and whether it was representative of the whole nation. MacArthur’s response had been that he thought it important that the letters not imply that the Belgians were hinting at replacement of Adoula or that reorganization and broadening the base of the government should involve inclusion of pro-Communist elements supported by Peking or Moscow. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 1215 from Leopoldville to Brussels was sent to the Department as telegram 2553, June 11. (Ibid., POL THE CONGO)
  4. Both dated June 12. (Ibid.)