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

190. Ref: Leo’s 320 to Dept.2 Neither Tshombe nor Struelens has yet approached USG requesting support for Tshombe but we assume Struelens will soon do so to either White House or Dept. Therefore, hard line suggested reftel may be premature.

You should see Tshombe ASAP after his return to:

1. Inform him your departure on routine consultation;

2. Make points enumerated Deptel 201 to Brussels, rptd 179 to Leo,3 which he has presumably already heard from Ambassador Knight, adding that they represent view of all parts USG concerned with Congo and indicating in passing your knowledge that he has seen Senator Dodd in Brussels;

3. Ask him if he has any message which you could carry back to Washington or anything further he would like to convey to you about his intentions re continuing collaboration with Kasavubu.

Although there some risk Tshombe may assume your recall on consultation result his conversation with Senator Dodd, we see advantage in leaving him in uncertainty this point.

When and if Struelens makes démarche here, same line as in point 2 above will be taken with him.

If you wish, you may depart on consultation immediately after seeing Tshombe.

If it appears that you will be unable see Tshombe within two to three days after his return, you should inform Dept.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Schaufele; cleared by Komer, Williams, and McElhiney; and approved by Ball. Repeated to Brussels.
  2. In telegram 320 from Leopoldville, August 19, Godley complained about Tshombe’s “recent maneuvers.” He thought that when Tshombe saw Dodd in Brussels he had asked for Dodd’s support for U.S. assistance to him and had attacked the “partiality” of the U.S. Embassy in Leopoldville. The Ambassador said he hoped he would be instructed to speak severely to Tshombe. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 201 to Brussels, August 17, summarized the Department’s views: 1) a split between Kasavubu and Tshombe would encourage the rebels and their supporters to renew their activities: 2) close KasavubuTshombe cooperation was essential for administration of the country; 3) the U.S. role in the Congo had been the subject of domestic and international controversy, and U.S. commitments elsewhere would seriously affect its ability to bail out the Congo once more; and 4) the U.S. Government did not intend to shift to a policy of supporting personalities. (Ibid.)