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


  • The Congo

There still is no hard news on what actually happened to William H. Scholter, the U.S. Missionary who reportedly was killed last week. By this time Godley should have an Embassy officer well along the way to the Bomba area to get the real facts.

Yesterday (October 26) we learned from intercepts that Dr. Paul Carlson (who had voluntarily remained in his mission in Yokama) is being held for trial by a military tribunal in Stanleyville as “U.S. Major Paul Carson”. We have asked the International Commission of the Red Cross to inform the Stanleyville authorities that Dr. Carlson is not and never has been a U.S. major.

Both the UPI and AP have carried reports of our consular personnel being held as hostages by the rebels on October 26. UPI states: “The Americans apparently were held for possible reprisals for government air attacks against rebel positions”. AP gives the names, ages and home towns of each of our staff; says they are in good health, but under house arrest.

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The dialogue between the Department, Palmer and Brubeck and the Belgians continues but the situation except for some refinements is generally the same as late yesterday.

The military “fronts” are quiet.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Congo, Vol. VII. Secret.