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

1124. For MacArthur from Harriman. After Belgians have had opportunity review morning reports from Congo relative situation Stanleyville and advance VDW, you should see GOB and obtain Spaak’s latest judgment on whether DR should proceed daylight Monday2 morning or defer on possibility VDW arrival Stan Tuesday (see Leo’s 2038).3

We want GOB judgment on action which would give best chance security of hostages.

We want answer by 11 A.M. our time Sunday. Telephone is necessary using code name Felix for Monday daylight and Harold for delay until Tuesday.

We are inclined to give maximum weight to Belgian judgment in reaching decision.4

[Page 503]

For Leo: We require urgently prior 11 A.M. Washington time Nov 22 fullest assessment current situation Stan, and position and timetable VDW.5

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Top Secret; Flash; Exdis. Drafted and approved by Harriman and cleared by Palmer. Repeated to Leopoldville and to DOD.
  2. November 23.
  3. Dated November 21. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO)
  4. Telegram 1037 from Brussels, November 22, reported that Spaak’s current feeling was that Dragon Rouge should proceed on November 23 as planned but that he would seek the latest information before giving the Belgian Government’s judgment. Telegram 2060 from Brussels, November 22, reported that although Belgium was reserving its final decision on Dragon Rouge, Spaak recommended that it not take place before November 24. (Ibid.)
  5. Telegram 2057 from Leopoldville, November 22, reported that a conference that day at Kamina among Williams, Godley, De Kerchove, and the Dragon Rouge military leaders agreed to recommend a November 24 paratroop drop on Stanleyville and a November 26 drop on Paulis and Bunia. (Ibid.) At 4:45 p.m., Ball telephoned Rusk to inform him of the Kamina recommendation and said he would call the President at the Ranch. (Johnson Library, Ball Papers, Congo III, 11/7/64–3/17/66)