248. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Congo1

573. Reurtel 912;2 Deptels 5603 and 561.4 If Tshombe returns to Leo Sept 3 as scheduled, you should see him soonest. If for any reason he does not return then, you should make plans to fly soonest to wherever he may be and to deliver letter with accompanying argumentation (ref Deptels).

FYI This urgent action is necessary because of:

1. increasing evidence deep resentment African leaders over Tshombe’s and Kasavubu’s tactics;

2. necessity leave no stone unturned in effort to persuade Tshombe attend Sept 5 meeting;

3. desirability letter be placed in Tshombe’s hands before release here. End FYI.

Dept also considers it most desirable you present to Tshombe substance our position on OAU meeting but this should assume secondary importance to your efforts convince him he should attend. Our comments Embtel 8875 are contained separate message.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 3 OAU. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Hoffacker and Palmer; cleared in substance by Brubeck, Harriman, and Williams; and approved by Palmer. Repeated to Brussels and Addis Ababa.
  2. In telegram 912 from Leopoldville, September 2, Godley reported that, in view of the urgency of getting both Kasavubu and Tshombe to attend the September 5 OAU meeting, he had scheduled a meeting with Kasavubu and would see Tshombe as soon as he returned to Leopoldville on September 3. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 560 to Leopoldville, September 2, transmitted a personal message from Rusk to Tshombe, expressing the Secretary’s concern over reports that Kasavubu had asked that the OAU meeting be postponed and reiterating the sense of urgency with which he felt that the Congo’s problems needed to be faced. (Ibid.)
  4. Telegram 561 to Leopoldville, September 2, instructed Godley to emphasize to Kasavubu and Tshombe that the United States considered the OAU meeting a vital step in obtaining the understanding and cooperation of other African states. If the Congo was not prepared to cooperate in a matter of such importance, the fundamental assumptions under which the U.S. Government was proceeding would be questioned. (Ibid.)
  5. Telegram 887 from Leopoldville, September 1, presented Godley’s concerns regarding possible problems that might result from the formation of an OAU commission of mediation or inquiry on the Congo. (Ibid., POL 23-9 THE CONGO)