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

1268. Embtel 1923.2 We would have wished that proposed statement by Tshombe and letter to Kenyatta had been closer to suggested US-Belgian text. However, tendency is in right direction and you may inform him that USG reluctantly accepts his wording with minor changes. Sentence after “instigated rebellion” should read as follows: “We renew to all these compatriots the assurances that have been offered to them as affirmed in our solemn undertaking to our fellow Africans in Addis Ababa Sept 10, namely the guarantee of the security of those who lay down their arms.” Last sentence should read: “We appeal to them to lay down their arms and in full liberty and the spirit of national reconciliation join their fellow citizens to develop our great country with them in peace and order. FYI: Changes do not constitute [Page 476] conditions for USG approval but you should make every effort achieve meaning expressed in them.3

Brussels should attempt establish GOB views on texts Tshombe statement, including above revisions, and letter to Kenyatta. GOB may be informed that we believed this about best which can be obtained and we urge that it communicate its approval to De Kerchove using our communications facilities if necessary so that texts can be issued ASAP.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Flash. Drafted by Schaufele, cleared by Williams and Palmer, and approved by Harriman. Also sent to Brussels and repeated to London, Nairobi, Lagos, and Lusaka.
  2. Telegram 1923 from Leopoldville, November 17, reported a meeting with Tshombe and transmitted the text of a proposed Tshombe statement declaring that the Congolese Government was in the last phase of actions that would result in the restoration of order throughout the country, calling upon those who had permitted themselves to be “led astray” to lay down their arms, and vaguely referring to previously offered guarantees. It also transmitted the text of a proposed letter from Tshombe to Kenyatta. (Ibid.)
  3. In telegram 1960 from Leopoldville, November 18, Godley reported that he gave a Belgian Embassy officer the text of the revised statement and instructed him to try to see Tshombe, who was currently north of the Congo River. (Ibid.) In telegram 1292 to Leopoldville, November 18, the Department responded that although the Embassy should make every effort to get the changes suggested in telegram 1268 included, the main emphasis should be on publication of the statement and transmission of the letter to Kenyatta as soon as possible. (Ibid.)