308. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, April 26, 19562


  • Disappearance of Dr. Jesus de Galindez, Spanish Republican Exile


  • Attorney General Herbert Brownell
  • J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI
  • Warren Olney, Assistant Secretary General3
  • Henry A. Hoyt, Officer in Charge, MID/C

President Eisenhower was asked at his press conference yesterday whether it is incumbent on the Justice Department to investigate charges that foreign agents are involved in the disappearance from New York of Dr. Jesus de. Mr. Brownell wanted information on the case in order to inform the President.

Mr. Hoover explained the details of the case and some of the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Galindez, a Spanish republican exile who had been teaching at Columbia University. Galindez disappeared from New York on March 12, 1956, and certain groups in New York, including the Inter-American Press Association, the Inter-American Association for Defense of Democracy, and groups in which Norman Thomas is active have claimed that Galindez was either abducted or murdered by agents of the Dominican Government. These claims are based largely on the fact that Galindez had formerly resided in the Dominican Republic and was, at the time of his disappearance, preparing to publish a book critical of the Dominican Government and particularly its leader, Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo. The claims also cite previous such [Page 878] instances in which Dominican agents have been involved as proof of Dominican Government action against its enemies. These claims have been accompanied by numerous anti-Trujillo articles in the New York press.

Mr. Hoover said that the case had also taken on somewhat of a political aspect in that Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., and Charles P. Clark had just registered as agents for the Dominican Government. Roosevelt had been scheduled to speak at some political meetings scheduled by Democrat leader Carmine DeSapio and that Dominican anti-Trujillo factions in New York threatened to picket the meeting because of the presence of Mr. Roosevelt.4

Mr. Hoover explained that the New York City police are actively investigating the disappearance of Galindez as a missing persons case. The FBI is maintaining very close contact with the New York police and has also conducted certain out-of-town interviews of persons who might have information or might be in some way connected with the case. The FBI also has one of the suspects in the case under investigation under the Registration Act. The New York City police investigation to date has failed to reveal any evidence of foul play. There is no proof that federal laws have been violated nor is their substantiation of the claim that any foreign agent is involved. Mr. Hoover, therefore, recommended that the Department of Justice not become involved in the case on any other basis than its present one of close liaison with the New York City police and aiding the police in certain out-of-town activities.

The Attorney General asked whether the State Department had initiated any action with respect to this case. I told him that it had not; that the Department had received numerous letters from the same group mentioned by Mr. Hoover, on charges of Dominican involvement in the case, but that the Department had no evidence of any Dominican participation in the matter. I stated that it was the Department’s opinion that it should be guided by the Department of Justice recommendations on the matter and that the Department certainly did not have evidence which would cause it to recommend investigation of the case on the basis of possible involvement of foreign agents. I also stated that the Department was receiving on almost a daily basis the FBI and New York City police reports on their investigations, and appreciated being kept so thoroughly informed, and that the Department would, of course, make available to Justice any information it might obtain on the case.

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Mr. Brownell agreed with Mr. Hoover’s recommendations and said he would so inform the President.

  1. Source: Department of State, Holland Files: Lot 57 D 295, Dominican Republic. Confidential. Drafted by Hoyt. Forwarded to Hoover under cover of a memorandum of April 27 from Holland.
  2. Warren Olney, III, Assistant Attorney General and head of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.
  3. Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Clark came to the Department this afternoon to inform the Department that they are now working as legal counsel for the Dominican Government. [Footnote in the source text.]