303. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Harriman) to Secretary of State Rusk1

I am concerned to learn that a decision has been reached to call off aerial reconnaissance photography of Stanleyville. I understand that the military were prepared to have photographs taken at a high altitude and at an angle which would have kept the aircraft 25 miles from the outskirts of the city. If weather conditions were satisfactory, only two runs would have been necessary.

Under these circumstances, I agree with the country team that the risk is minimal. The information is essential to deal with an emergency, should it arise. I have felt strongly that our planning should be such that the President could deal with any situation that arose in Stanleyville with speed and effectiveness.

I have been told that the weather in November becomes worse and the difficulty of getting satisfactory photographs will increase.

I recommend that the matter be reopened.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Harriman Papers, Subject Files, TS Congo (3). Top Secret; Personal; Exdis. A copy was sent to Ball.