322. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Dominican Republic1

286. Salazar summoned by Rubottom forenoon today and informed 1) US does not consider Murphy case closed on basis its continuing examination documents submitted by Dominican Government 2) Department aware certain activities Consul General Espaillat which seem go beyond normal functions of one carrying out consular and diplomatic responsibilities 3) Espaillat should cease at once any improper activities. Salazar appeared unusually subdued and acknowledged that Espaillat, as Military Officer, might not recognize bounds of consular and diplomatic functions. Salazar admitted knowing Espaillat once went to Pentagon. Rubottom replied our information indicates Espaillat in Dominican Army uniform threatened that unless his request granted Dominican military cooperation US would be decreased. Rubottom added that in this informal, unpublicized way he did not desire to enter into detailed discussion of Espaillat’s questionable deeds but told Ambassador that US looked with grave concern on any foreigners engaging in recruiting Americans for illegal activities or themselves carrying out illegal operations in this country. Salazar indicated would transmit US views to his Government at once and also to Espaillat.

Salazar acknowledged having seen Time article of yesterday and Life piece today,2 which he declared had made him ill. Described series as “trial by press” of Trujillo and expressed opinion that was almost irreparable setback to relations between US and Dominican peoples which would take long time to overcome. Surprisingly once referred to Life as “respectable” magazine. Stated that article describing Murphy as “nice boy” actually revealed him guilty of monstrous crime and showed that US police authorities unable prevent occurrence such alleged acts. Rubottom emphasized today’s meeting unrelated to Time-Life stories.

Department now plans for Stephens3 return soonest. On his arrival Ambassador authorized take leave as planned. Believe Department can convey best to Dominican authorities its confidence in [Page 910] Stephens by having him again left as Chargé d’Affaires until Ambassador returns or arrival Spalding.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 239.1122–Murphy, Gerald Lester/2–2157. Confidential; Niact.
  2. “The Story of a Dark International Conspiracy,” Life, February 25, 1957, p. 24.
  3. Richard H. Stephens, Second Secretary, Embassy in the Dominican Republic.
  4. Francis L. Spalding became Counselor of Embassy in the Dominican Republic on March 10, 1957.