416. Telegram From the Embassy in the Congo to the Department of State1

4031. President Kasavubu greeted 5th anniversary Congo independence in pretaped radio broadcast last evening. Major portion speech devoted to call for national unity and sense responsibility on part public and politicians, praise of OCAM, pledge of allegiance to Charter African unity and OAU, desire for friendly relations with all nations, particularly neighbors, on basis equality and non-interference with affairs of others.

Brief portion of speech dealt with certain aspects government question. Said that composition of government should conform to “principles of Constitution and political necessity,” that presentation of the government to Parliament is personal obligation of President, that Parliamentary approval assures that formation of government is effected not by the personal will of President but by will of nation, and that during the present period of transition constitutional provision requiring government minister give up Parliamentary seat does not apply.

Kasavubu formula on government question should go far assuage fears Tshombe and company re early showdown. We and Belgians interpret Kasavubu to mean that new post-election transitional government not necessary (though this not absolutely clear) and that Tshombe and Ministers can keep seats in Parliament during period provisional government.3 It would seem only remaining element of earlier Kasavubu formula is submission of government to Parliamentary approval, which should be formality.

In comment to DCM last night Tshombe said Kasavubu’s new formula doesn’t bother him. In fact, Tshombe said he not disturbed by any aspect speech except Kasavubu failure include praise for work Tshombe and his government in defeating rebels and setting country in order.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 15–1 THE CONGO. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Brussels, Elisabethville, and Bukavu.
  2. Beginning in spring 1965, the dates and transmission times of all incoming Department of State telegrams were in 6-figure date-time-groups. The “Z” refers to Greenwich mean time.
  3. During the national and provincial elections, March 18–April 30, Tshombe’s CONACO party and its political allies won two-thirds of the 166 national deputy seats and gained control of a majority of the 21 provincial assemblies.