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

3258. 1. Although rapid improvement in racial situation is highest immediate priority in our relations with Mobutu, you should be aware that USG would face great political difficulties in continuation of assistance to Congolese regime which summarily executed Tshombe in repetition of Pentecost affair.

2. We leave to your judgment whether repeating to Mobutu your earlier warning regarding the handling of Tshombe issue could be raised in Saturday2 talk without further jeopardizing critical racial situation. In any case you should get message across to Mobutu at earliest appropriate time and under circumstances most likely to achieve favorable reaction.3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Flash; Nodis. Drafted and approved by Fredericks.
  2. July 8.
  3. In telegram 300 from Kinshasa, July 8, McBride reported that he would discuss Tshombe with Mobutu at the appropriate time, but warned that any special démarche at this time could hurt U.S. efforts to protect U.S. citizens during the current crisis, and that any sign of U.S. concern for Tshombe as a person after what had happened in the eastern Congo would be greatly misunderstood. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 THE CONGO)