331. Letter From the Chargé in the Dominican Republic (Spalding) to the Deputy Director of the Office of Middle American Affairs (Stewart)1

Dear Allan: With reference to Department’s telegram 15 July 20 concerning indefinite postponement of the offer to sell 13 F–80C jet planes to the Dominican Republic because of important political [Page 921] considerations, I would like to explain that the Embassy’s recommendation in Embassy telegram 558 dated June 21, which referred to FY 59 program planning for MAAG, did not envision any delivery prior July 1, 1958. Also, at the time of sending that telegram as well as during the preparation of the first submission for MAP guidance in the Embassy’s Despatch 17 of July 10,2 the Embassy was not aware that the Dominican Government was interested in purchase of these planes nor that United States was considering the sale of the planes for immediate delivery as is now reported by our MAAG here. The Dominican Government had maintained that it was unable to purchase the planes in addition to supporting them. The Dominican Government has apparently found funds for the purchase in spite of these previous assurances to the contrary.

I would appreciate it if you would clarify the Department’s position by stating what were the “important political considerations”. We think it might be either tension resulting from the Galindez–Murphy case, the question of planes for Cuba on grant of reimbursement aid, or possibly an intention not to strengthen dictatorships in general. If the political considerations are the first mentioned, it was my understanding that we were attempting to keep the Galindez–Murphy case as something apart and separate from our general over-all relations with the Dominican Republic and especially to try to prevent it entering into military considerations in which the Dominicans cooperate to the best of their ability.

We had hoped that programming for FY 1959 could continue subject to a later review of the political situation at some time nearer the projected FY 59 MAP delivery date. The Embassy would appreciate any comment you may be able to make on the above. Should any Dominicans request information on the subject, they will, of course, be told to seek such information through their Embassy in Washington, according to the Department’s instruction.

Sincerely yours,

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 739.5–MSP/7–2457. Confidential; Official–Informal.
  2. The referenced telegrams and despatch are not printed. They are ibid., 739.5–MSP.