196. Memorandum From the Chief of the Africa Division, Directorate of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Fields) to the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Williams)1

1. At 1 August Tshombe press conference the Ambassador raised with Tshombe the question of a Tshombe–[name not declassified] meeting which Tshombe had suggested on 31 July. Tshombe requested that [name not declassified] lunch alone with him at his residence on 2 August. The Ambassador concurred.

2. [name not declassified] arrived at Tshombe’s residence at 1300 hours and introduced himself. He had been dropped off by the Ambassador. After some misunderstanding [name not declassified] was ushered into Tshombe’s office.

3. After brief interval of small talk, Tshombe, who was obviously turning on the charm, launched into a long discourse on his boyhood, [Page 280] the fact that he was educated by U.S. missionaries, and his great affection for the U.S. Government. He concluded by saying that with such a background he could not be suspected of being anti-U.S. Government. However, he noted that U.S. Government authorities had never understood his position and thus, erroneously, misinterpreted his plans and ambitions.

4. [name not declassified] thanked Tshombe for his frank statement, adding that such frankness deserved an equally frank reply. [name not declassified] informed Tshombe that he had served for nearly three years in Leop, adding that he had done his best as an officer of the U.S. Government to implement the U.S. Government Congo policy and that he had sometimes found himself in opposition to all repeat all efforts to divide the Congo. [name not declassified] emphasized that his actions had been based on the general policy decision to oppose the division of the Congo and not on personal motives. Tshombe replied he well aware of [name not declassified] background, that he appreciated frankness, that he desired establish a frank relationship with [less than 1 line not declassified] all U.S. Government officers and that he had sought this meeting with [name not declassified] precisely because he aware of [name not declassified] background. He continued saying he understood and respected the reasons for [name not declassified] past activities. However, said he must say [less than 1 line not declassified] U.S. Government had been ill advised by persons who for selfish or other reasons had failed provide U.S. Government with a clear understanding of realities of Congo situation. Also, he noted [name not declassified] and other U.S. officials had failed establish direct contact with him in years past, and he commented that had the U.S. Government conducted frank talks with him at that time that many problems might have been avoided, particularly the current chaotic situation. To keep conversation going on a friendly plane (and Tshombe’s remarks were made in an apparently friendly and candid manner) [name not declassified] avoided pointing out that Tshombe had always had access to the U.S. Consulate Elisabethville. Instead he noted that he had accompanied Timberlake to Eville in Nov 60 and that in July 61 he had tried without success to contact Tshombe in Brazzaville to urge Tshombe to attend the Lovanium conclave.

5. Tshombe implied there might have been some cause for misunderstanding during period of the Eville secession. However, he expressed view that U.S. Government should have accepted at face value his declaration that he was abandoning secessionist efforts and worked for a reconciliation between the GOC and himself. Added he recognized many persons in the U.S. believe he merely awaiting opportunity lead another secessionist movement, but he explained such a path no longer open to him. He said that, were he to lead again Lunda people in [Page 281] a secessionist movement and were it to fail, he and his entire family would lose their lives and property, for the tribe would not forgive him for such an error. Said anyone who understood Lunda tribal customs and the danger which he and his entire family would run were he to so act should have understood he had been seeking honest reconciliation with GOC.

6. [name not declassified] replied it regrettable that earlier reconciliation had not taken place, but added little could be accomplished by looking to the past. The important point being that Tshombe had finally returned to Leop, that he heading central govt, that he was prepared to put down rebellion in the provinces and that, as Tshombe already aware, U.S. Government was prepared continue its economic and military support to govt headed by Tshombe. [name not declassified] also took this opportunity point out that there only one repeat one U.S. Govt foreign policy, that contrary to case in some countries U.S. policy controlled by Washington thus [name not declassified] emphasized Tshombe need have no fear that [less than 1 line not declassified] seeking undermine govt. This connection, [name not declassified] noted Struelens had indicated Tshombe suspected [name not declassified] involved in efforts undermine his govt. [name not declassified] assured Tshombe this could not be the case as U.S. policy directed by one head and that U.S. policy is as communicated to him by Godley and other U.S. reps. Tshombe did not comment on [name not declassified] matter at that time, but at end of meeting he stated that he fully reassured re [name not declassified] and that the matter is closed.

7. Taking up the point of U.S. policy, Tshombe said he had found Congo situation much more difficult and dangerous than he had realized it be prior his return Leop. He explained he seeking win back people from “the Communists”; to leave Gizenga, Mulele and other extremists without followers. Said he needs U.S. help to accomplish this, for without U.S. Govt economic help over the next five years there no hope of avoiding chaos and Communist penetration of Congo. After Tshombe had expounded at great length about his need for U.S. help and his desire cooperate with U.S. Govt, and in accordance with suggestions made by Deputy Assistant Secretary Fredericks, urged Tshombe maintain close contact with Godley and other reps of US, noting that U.S. Embassy could support Tshombe only insofar as it fully aware his plans and objectives and thus able to communicate these plans to Department of State. Tshombe acknowledged need for such contact and indicated his willingness work closely with U.S. reps.

8. Tshombe said he had been unsure that such U.S. Embassy collaboration would be forthcoming, stating that he aware U.S. Embassy had done everything possible block his return Leop and his nomination as Prime Minister. He admitted these alleged actions preceeded his appointment [Page 282] as Prime Minister. [name not declassified] again reassured Tshombe that U.S. policy is as reported to him by Godley. When Tshombe implied there might be divergent policies between Washington and U.S. Embassy, [name not declassified] repeated there only one Congo policy, and added that were anyone in U.S. Embassy to fail to adhere to this policy line he would face immediate recall.

9. Tshombe next referred to Radeco, implying it supported by U.S. He did not dwell on this point but assured [name not declassified] that Adoula finished politically. Tshombe said Adoula’s only hope was to cooperate with Tshombe, that he, Tshombe, could and would help Adoula retain some position influence if Adoula played game. Tshombe concluded comments this point saying U.S. had bet on a poor horse and making it clear he has little respect for Adoula as a political opponent.

10. [name not declassified] took advantage ref to Adoula to say he, [name not declassified] had many friends or contacts in Congo and noted he seeing persons from various political groups in order try provide his superiors with valid appreciation current political situation. Added these contacts made only for purposes obtaining cross section political views and not to oppose Tshombe regime. Also said had urged upon all contacts need for moritorium on political maneuvering until danger posed by CNL rebellion contained. Stressed that contacts based on personal friendship developed over long period and referred to fact that [name not declassified] had been able warn various persons of assassination attempts. [14 lines not declassified]

11. [1 paragraph (6½ lines) not declassified]

12. [name not declassified] stressed importance [less than 1 line not declassified] collaboration, stating primary objective [less than 1 line not declassified] is to prevent Communist penetration Africa. Noted [less than 1 line not declassified] objectives thus coincide with Tshombe objectives, particularly in view of “fact” CNL being exploited by ChiComs and Sov. Tshombe concurred this point and again repeated his desire for intel and CI support.

13. Godley joined [name not declassified] after foregoing discussed and his report contained Embtel 301.2

14. Recognize talks described herein went somewhat beyond listening brief, but wish stress that all points made by [name not declassified] cleared in advance with Godley. Latter concurs this report and requests transmit to Governor Harriman.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 76–00366R, DDO/ISO Files, Box 1, Folder 8, Congo, 1960–1969, Part II. Secret. This memorandum was sent viaback-channel from the Department of State representative in Leopoldville to be passed to Harriman.
  2. National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9, THE CONGO.