The direct convergence theory of eigenfunction expansions associated with boundry value problems, not necessarily self-adjoint, generated from complex-valued fourth-order symmetric ordinary differential expressions on semi-infinite intervals, is discussed. An admissible class of functions for the expansion is characterised. Also a generalisation of Stieltjes representation theorem for analytic functions discussed in [13, §§ 22.23 and 24] is obtained. © 1976, Royal Society of Edinburgh. All rights reserved.