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

1006. Re Embtel 1561.2 Struelens was not informed of stand down.

Department fully aware difficulties stand down poses not only militarily but also politically in our relations with GDRC. However, given our concern about safety Americans and other foreigners in Stanleyville, we feel we must continue make lifting of stand down dependent on Tshombe issuing acceptable statement proscribing air attacks on urban areas also lines Deptel 992.3 If Tshombe aware of stand down, he has simple expedient available to him, namely to see you and to discuss proposed statement and situation that exists. If he issues satisfactory public statement, planes can go back in air. FYI Actual resumption operations will still require Washington approval. End FYI. If he does not, we must reserve our freedom of decision in situation then obtaining.

If Tshombe confronts you with fact of stand down, you should remind him of efforts you have made see him for past five days in effort work out arrangement which would permit continuation operations on mutually satisfactory basis.

Meanwhile, Benezetti should not be informed of facts through ANC or other channels.

[Page 425]

Re Embtel 1562,4 you should of course be guided by antepenultimate para Deptel 9925 in event Tshombe proposes unacceptable changes in statement.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Top Secret; Flash; Limdis. Drafted by Palmer; cleared by Brubeck, Ball, and Jones of EUR; and approved by Palmer. Repeated to Brussels.
  2. Document 292.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 291.
  4. Dated October 20. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO)
  5. The referenced paragraph instructed Godley to discourage Tshombe if he wanted to make unacceptable changes in the draft statement and, if necessary, to try to persuade him to withhold it pending further consultations.