184. Memorandum From Samuel Belk of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


  • The Congo

Political maneuvering is continuing in Leopoldville and Tshombe, at the moment, appears to be gaining strength. Mac Godley is less sure today than yesterday that Kasavubu will ask Adoula to take the reins of government. The CAS in Leopoldville also thinks Tshombe has the edge.

Godley and company are continuing to “lay low” but also are discreetly maintaining their usual contacts.

As for how long Kasavubu will wait before appointing a new PM, the best guess is that it will be on July 10, when the referendum for the new constitution is finished, or shortly thereafter.

As a backdrop for Kasavubu’s final decision are two important considerations: one is that he knows that Tshombe himself wants to be President and, if he got the post of PM, he would be a direct threat to Kasavubu; the second consideration—and Mac Godley takes this very seriously—is that Kasavubu has said many times in the past that Adoula is his man and Kasavubu, for a Congolese, is very consistent.

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If things go “normally,” as soon as Kasavubu appoints a new PM, I think this will be the time for Governor Harriman to brief the President. Until that time—unless some unforeseen disaster develops in the meantime—we can only continue alert watchfulness.

Both Governors Harriman and Williams are out of town over the holiday. I plan to be here most—if not all—of the time. If I do go away, I will see to it that we are fully covered over here.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Congo, Vol. II, Memos and Miscellaneous, 7/64–8/64. No classification marking.