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

1578. Ref: Rome’s 1603 to Dept.2 Congratulations on job well done.

FYI. There is no disagreement here as to disastrous effect Tshombe visit at this time. White House contacted Struelens who in total agreement and promised so advise PM. Indications are that SC debate will continue on for some time and it will require further time to clarify and re-assess situation. Thus although eventual visit January or later not ruled out, timing will depend on what transpires in interim. End FYI. Blake can tell Tshombe that Nigeria has asked to be heard in SC.

For USUN: Pls continue pass Rome slugged for Blake pertinent msgs per reftel.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 7 THE CONGO. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Special Assistant for the Congo Working Group Robinson McIlvaine; cleared by Brubeck, Sisco, O’Sullivan, and Harriman; and approved by McIlvaine. Also sent to Rome for Robert Blake, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy in Leopoldville, and repeated to USUN.
  2. In telegram 1603 from Rome, December 10, Blake reported that he saw Tshombe that morning immediately after the Prime Minister’s audience with the Pope and, after considerable argument, obtained his agreement not to proceed to New York. (Ibid.)