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

1718. Komer of White House staff had long chat with Struelens and discussed among other things Tshombe’s projected visit to U.S. in January.

The conversation ended with apparent agreement between the two that a U.S. visit at this time would not repeat not be in Tshombe’s interest due continued likelihood Negro demonstrations plus further African charges that he “tool of imperialists” etc. It was therefore agreed Struelens, who leaving here for Leo the 5th, would urge [Page 551] Tshombe postpone visit, concentrate on mending his African fences and organizing elections. If, as expected, he emerges as head of newly elected government, would be welcome here at mutually convenient time.

Struelens will contact you in Leo and hopes you will see Tshombe with him on this and related matters. Leave this to your discretion but believe you should encourage present constructive approach.2

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 7 THE CONGO. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by McIlvaine, cleared by Komer and Fredericks, and approved by McIlvaine. Repeated to Brussels and London, and to Paris for Harriman.
  2. In telegram 2619 from Leopoldville, January 6, Godley reported that Tshombe, who was “aware of the American Negro leadership’s aversion to him,” had not mentioned to him any visit to the United States since his return from Europe. (Ibid.)