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

1182. Following are agreements reached on Congo with Belgians during discussions Washington November 6–9:

1. Two American officials, one of them military, and a Belgian diplomat will be sent from the Embassies in Leopoldville to Kindu (a) to consult with the military operations commander to elicit his opinions on the time to begin and the time required to carry out the operation against Stanleyville and to determine more precisely the logistical support requirements of the columns, and (b) to survey the situation to assemble information which would be helpful in determining the composition and functions of an equipe polyvalente for Kindu.

2. The Belgian Government will form an equipe polyvalente for Kindu in the shortest possible time.

3. In consideration of the large foreign community in Stanleyville, the two governments will emphasize to the Congolese Government the necessity of consultations with the two governments before an operation against Stanleyville is undertaken.

4. The United States Government will supplement existing air transport in the Congo to provide adequate airlift capability to supply the columns of the military operations commander at Kindu. The rapid supplying of these forces is intended to create as soon as possible a situation in which a decision on his further advance can be taken. The supplying does not prejudge that decision.

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5. It would be useful for Kasavubu, before the capitulation of the rebels, to make a public declaration outlining a broad program to resolve the Congo problem that would be transmitted to the OAU. Lengema would be a suitable emissary to the OAU to seek its acceptance of the program.

6. The Belgian Government will attempt to get Congolese agreement to the essential elements of the Rothschild Plan. The United States Government will fully support these efforts. In instituting the Plan, the Belgian Government will as far as possible work closely with the UN chief of civil operations in the Congo to assure maximum UN support of its efforts.

7. Since the Belgian Government is unable to provide all of the crews required for the C–47 planes in the Congo from its own military forces, it will endeavor to obtain non-military personnel for these crews on the basis of commercial contracts.

Spaak has agreed to points in general terms and Davignon has agreed to specific language.

Re point 3, our original formulation was “The two governments (i.e., U.S. and Belgian) will consult and jointly decide when the military operations commander at Kindu should advance further.” (“Military operations commander” is standard GOB euphemism for Van der Walle.) Davignon agreed that our formulation was entirely accurate, but said GOB preferred have nothing in its files which made clear that any military operations in Congo, even those of VDW, under Belgian control.

Re point 7, Davignon said he could not promise secure non-military personnel but he would make real effort do so.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret. Drafted by McElhiney in AF/CWG, cleared by Davis in EUR/WE, and approved by Palmer. Also sent to Brussels and CINCSTRIKE for POLAD.