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

838. For Palmer. Ref: Embtel 786.2 We agree that GOB instructions to Belgian Chargé Leo as outlined reftel provide good basis for you and Brubeck carry through in Leo. We assume re point (1) that Belgians in first instance thinking of South African pilots and are not suggesting precipitate departure all other South African mercenaries. We assume what they have in mind re ground mercenaries is GDRC commitment to withdrawal as alternative resources become available or no longer needed. Re point (4) we assume by “something constructive” Belgians mean OAU Commission activity clearly within framework OAU Addis resolution.

We encouraged that Belgian conclusions essentially same as those of USG on main points. Hope since this is case you can productively press Belgians accept leading role implementing package they propose. With this in mind believe parallel approaches in Leo, with Belgians in lead, preferable to joint approach, but leave this to your discretion in light your consultations on package with Godley after arrival Leo.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Flash; Limdis. Drafted by McElhiney in AF/CWG; cleared by Samuel Belk, McKillop, Harriman, Tasca, and Lang; and approved by Ball. Repeated to Leopoldville.
  2. Telegram 786 from Brussels, October 26, reported on a meeting among Spaak, Palmer, and Brubeck, who were in Brussels for discussions on the Congo. Spaak proposed sending a telegram to the Belgian Chargé in Leopoldville with the following Belgian-U.S. proposals for a joint démarche to Tshombe: 1) Tshombe should get rid of the South Africans, who were ruining his reputation; 2) excessive use of force and brutality in military operations would not be accepted; 3) there could be no purely military solution; 4) the OAU Commission should be urged to do something constructive toward a political solution; 5) Tshombe should take no final actions regarding Stanleyville without informing Belgium and the United States; and 6) the two countries would fully cooperate in carrying through with their present commitments. (Ibid.) Palmer and Brubeck were in Brussels for talks on the Congo October 26–27. Ambassador Palmer’s Trip Report is ibid., AF/CM Files: Lot 67 D 63, Political Affairs & Rel. The Congo. POL 7. Visits. Meetings.