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

14267. For Ambassador from Secretary.

1. I have read your recent cables with close attention and understanding of the problems you face. In turn you know how difficult the situation is here.

2. The President has just received a letter from 18 Republican Senators, including Senators Hickenlooper and Dirksen, protesting our action in the Congo. The pressures to have the C–130s return have not abated.

3. I do not see how we can carry the entire burden in the Congo without some effective assistance from others, especially those European [Page 774] powers whose direct interests in the Congo are far larger than our own. You will note my preoccupations in the letter I have just sent to Harmel2 and in the cables we are sending to certain European capitals. The aim of all these is to seek a greater acceptance of responsibility for assistance in the Congo; failing these efforts, I do not see how we can continue.

4. I have asked that orders go forth putting off the Monday3 departure date for the C–130. We are only thinking of a 24 to 48 hour delay to permit us to get a reading of what others may do. You should not anticipate any substantial delay.

5. I consider it essential for you to condition the Congolese this weekend to the withdrawal of the second C–130 early in the week. I am sure that you will also pass on to them our own preoccupations and problems. You should urge them in the strongest way possible to broaden their search for support elsewhere in Western Europe as in Africa, making it plain that the US cannot carry burden virtually alone.4

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Brown and approved by Rusk.
  2. The Secretary’s message to Harmel was transmitted in telegram 14255 to Brussels, July 29. (Ibid.)
  3. July 31.
  4. In telegram 1786 from Kinshasa, July 30, McBride reported that Mobutu reacted calmly when he informed him that the second C–130 would be leaving in a day or two, and that the final one would probably follow some days later. The telegram expressed the Ambassador’s regrets that the C–130 issue had been such a source of anguish to the Department, but he emphasized that the presence of the C–130s had been invaluable locally. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 THE CONGO)