334. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Snow) to the Secretary of State1


  • Letters from the Mother of Gerald Lester Murphy and Congressman
  • Charles O. Porter


Mrs. Lester G. Murphy has written to you (Tab B)2 concerning the fate of her son, Gerald Lester Murphy, the young American pilot who disappeared in Ciudad Trujillo last December. As a result of extensive FBI investigations in this country, we strongly suspect he was done away with by Dominican Government agents because of his involvement on behalf of Dominican principals in the kidnapping of Jesus de Galindez in New York City in March 1956. Since Murphy’s disappearance, his mother, apparently distraught and bewildered, has written numerous letters to the Department, as well as to the President. All have been answered on the office level.

Congressman Charles O. Porter (D., Ore.), in whose district Murphy’s parents live, has proceeded from the protection aspects of the Murphy case to launch what has remained essentially, at least in Congress, a one-man campaign to end what he contends is official United States support of dictatorships in Latin America. After seeking without noticeable success to soften Mr. Porter’s pugnacious attitude towards this Administration by a policy of conciliation, we have now decided, with H’s concurrence, that we seem to have reached a point of diminishing returns in our efforts to be more than polite to the Congressman.

On July 26, 1957, Mr. Porter wrote to ask you for a fifteen-minute appointment, in order to discuss the Murphy case (Tab D). He also noted having received a copy of Mrs. Murphy’s letter to you of July 23, 1957.


It is recommended that you sign the attached reply (Tab A) to Mrs. Murphy’s letter of July 23, 1957, in order to show that the [Page 928] Murphy case is being given personal attention at the highest levels in the Department. Such a letter with your signature not only may serve to reassure Mrs. Murphy; it may also reduce the family pressure on the Department and the White House.

It is also recommended that you approve the attached reply to Congressman Porter (Tab C) denying his request for an appointment with you and suggesting that he talk with me instead.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 239.1122–Murphy, Gerald Lester/8–957. Confidential.
  2. The attachments were not found with the source text or in Department of State files.
  3. Secretary Dulles initialed his approval of these recommendations on August 9.