38. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Minutes of Special Group Meeting, 27 October 1960


  • Messrs. Merchant, Douglas, Gray, Gen. Cabell

[Omitted here is discussion of other subjects.]

3. Congo

The paper2 outlining the proposal to aid Col. Mobutu in working toward the eventual formation of a moderate government was read by the Group.

Mr. Merchant questioned the intent toward Kasavubu. Mr. Parrott replied that the program envisages complete recognition of Kasavubu as the legitimate head of state and that Mobutu would remain in the background. With this understanding, the Group approved the proposal.

[Page 52]

Mr. Merchant went on to explain that Department representatives had had two discussions with Hammarskjold and that the trend in the latter’s thinking has been somewhat disturbing. He has swung away from a feeling that Lumumba must be removed, to a feeling that he is the legitimate prime minister and we must live with him, although acknowledging that his title is somewhat clouded. Mr. Merchant said that a telegram has been dispatched to Ambassador Wadsworth (Department #764)3 directing him to make another approach to the SYG, expressing the U.S. view that a stable, non-aligned government without Lumumba, and working through Kasavubu, should be established. He concluded—as did the rest of the Group—that our proposal complements the overt State position.4

[Omitted here is discussion of other subjects.]

  1. Source: National Security Council, Intelligence Files, NSC 5412/2 Special Group, Minutes and Agendas, 1960. Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. Document 37.
  3. For telegram 764 from the Department of State to the Mission at the United Nations, see Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, volume XIV, Africa, Document 250.
  4. An October 27 memorandum from Thomas Parrott to “Mr. B” (presumably Bissell) reported that the Special Group had approved the Congo paper and noted that Merchant’s principal concern was to assure that they planned to retain Kasavubu. Parrott had explained that this was their intent. The Special Group had unanimously agreed that their program was complementary to the Department of State’s policy, as expressed in telegram 764, desiring a stable, non-aligned government without Lumumba, but with Kasavubu. (Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 81–00966R, Box 1, Folder 11)