326. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, May 2, 19571


  • Request for Lifting Diplomatic Immunity of Consul General Arturo R. Espaillat


  • R.R. Rubottom, Jr., Acting Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs
  • Ambassador Salazar of the Dominican Republic
  • Julian P. Fromer, Dominican Desk Officer

Mr. Rubottom handed the Department’s note2 to Ambassador Salazar after summarizing it as follows: While the Dominican authorities have been investigating the disappearance of Gerald Lester Murphy in the Dominican Republic, the United States agencies have been looking into his activities in the United States prior to his disappearance. We now have evidence indicating that Murphy may have been connected with the Galindez disappearance. Both the Dominican Government and Espaillat personally have given assurances of their readiness to cooperate in solving the Murphy case. During our investigations, the name of Consul General Arturo R. Espaillat has figured repeatedly. Because of Espaillat’s diplomatic immunity, it is impossible to ask his assistance. We therefore would like the Dominican Government, if it finds it convenient, to waive Espaillat’s immunity in order to make him amenable to the usual and lawful procedures in matters of investigation and trial in the United States.

Mr. Rubottom expressed the hope that we could have the Dominican Republic’s answer by next week.

Ambassador Salazar limited himself to saying that he was aware of Espaillat’s statements of his willingness to cooperate in the Murphy–Galindez cases.3

Mr. Rubottom said we had no intention of making public this note at the present time, although he indicated that if developments [Page 916] in the future of a public nature required its contents be made known, we might have to reconsider our position.

  1. Source: Department of State, Rubottom Files: Lot 59 D 573, Dominican Republic. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Fromer.
  2. Not found in Department of State files.
  3. A draft version of the note presented to Salazar includes the following statement made to the press by Espaillat on February 21:

    “I am a graduate of West Point, and this country is my second home. I am ready at all times to join any authorized American body sincerely interested in clearing up this matter. I am convinced that the inherent American interest in fair play bars unsubstantiated accusations against the representative of a loyal and friendly nation.” (Department of State, Central Files, 239.1122–Murphy, Gerald Lester/4–357)