Serial 1631

United States Government

Date: December 27, 1978
To: The Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
From: Philip B. Heymann, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division
Subject: Assassination of Congressman Leo Ryan; Peoples Temple.

The House International Relations Committee has written the Attorney General requesting the Department’s aid and assistance in their inquiry into these matters. In responding for the Attorney General, I have informed the Committee that we will provide them as much information and assistance as we can consistent with our responsibilities for the conduct of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Staff members of the Committee are traveling to the West Coast next week to interview certain members of the Peoples Temple and other possible witnesses in these matters. Consistent with the assurances the Department has given the Committee, this is to request that the FBI provide, where available, the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the witnesses which the Committee staff has an interest in and, if possible, the location of the witnesses at the time of the killing of Congressman Ryan.

We specifically told the Committee staff that if the witnesses were concerned about their safety, we would not provide their location but that in such instances we would attempt to contact the witnesses and have the witnesses in turn call the Committee staff if the witnesses agree.

We have also told the Committee staff that at this stage of the investigation they are, of course, not authorized to receive or review FBI files, including 302’s, or grand jury information.