428. Memorandum From Harold H. Saunders of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


Kasavubu and Tshombe have finally agreed to a scenario whereby Tshombe would continue as prime minister in the new government to be formed when Parliament meets 20 September.2

While this opens a safety valve on current maneuvering, tension will probably continue. Though Kasavubu seems disgruntled and Tshombe pleased, we don’t know how much Kasavubu has given away. Tshombe wanted more power as prime minister, but he may have had to settle for crumbs since Kasavubu had him in a corner. Chances are that Tshombe hasn’t given up his long range goal of more power for himself either as prime minister or as Kasavubu’s successor.

During this long summer’s infighting, economic problems have been mounting. We’re shooting for another round of talks with the Belgians [Page 622] on our economic and military programs to get them moving faster in sending out the technicians to tackle these problems.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Name File, Komer Memos, Vol. II (2). Confidential.
  2. A handwritten notation in the margin reads: “Dodd will claim credit, but steady US/Belgian pressure is the real answer. RWK.”