Gerald R. Ford
PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE
THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY
16 December 1963
Reported and Transcribed by
Alex Del Porto
Office of the United States Attorney
Washington, D. C
Chief Justice Earl Warren - Chairman
Senator Richard B. Russell
Senator John Sherman Cooper
Representative Hale Boggs
Representative Gerald R. Ford
Mr. A1len W. Dulles
Mr. John J. McCloy
Associate Justice Stanley F. Reed (Present to administer oath)
Mr. J. Lee Rankin (General Counsel of the Commission)
Approximately 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM, 16 Dec 1963
CHAIRMAN: Gentlemen, the meeting is open. I have brought Justice Reed over to administer our oath.
JUSTICE REED: Would each of you hold up your right hand?
(At this point all members of the Commission stood and raised their right hands)
JUSTICE REED: I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic and I will bear true faith of allegiance to same. I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office which I am about to enter, so help you God.
(Chorus of "So help me God.")
CHAIRMAN: We'll sign them, Stanley, and we'll send then over to you. Thank you very much, Stanley.
(At this point, approximately 3:05 PM, Justice Reed left the conference room.)
CHAIRMAN: Gentlemen, I have tried to make up a little agenda here. We have had to make it on the run because we have been in a running operation here and we have been putting things on as they come to us. Gentlemen, I want to say that Mr. Rankin was able to accept our offer to become General Counsel of our Commission and he's been with me most of the time since our last meeting and we have been trying to tend to the housekeeping part of this thing so we will be in business.
I have no report of the minutes of the prior meetings as yet because they have not yet been written up. 1 have asked the Attorney General to write them up and send them to us and then we can have them approved at a later date.
As regards Number Three on the agenda we have found some quarters which I think, you will find are nearly ideal for our
purposes. They are located on the fourth floor of this little Veterans of Foreign Wars building, just a block or two away from here. The Government has leased ten thousand square feet of space in there. They have some other people in there but they were able to move them to give us the entire fourth floor of the building, and if we should need more space they tell us that they can give it to us on the floor below it. It is a brand new building. It's as clean as thistle and in all respects, I think, is adequate. We have a room on the fourth floor that is large enough for our Commission meetings, and if we need more space for more people to be in the room at one time we can use the meeting room of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. They use it very seldom and they have said we can use that. This will give you an ideaof the size of it. It will set up to two hundred people, in addition to the Commission, or we can divide it off into three rooms. So I think we have every facility that vie need over there. We have of office space for those who are out of the city, Mr. Dulles and Mr. McCloy. I think all told that they are about as nice quarters as we can get. They are close to everybody.
We only have one problem. We have a little problem of parking there. Senator, the parking lot of the new Senate building is directly across the street and I wonder if we can get a little space for some of our people. I'm told you have a large lot there and all of it is not used.
SEN. RUSSFLL: I'm sure it can be arranged. If there is no unusual number I'm sure that can be arranged. I'd like to know how many spaces we'll need.
CHAIRMAN: We'll find out and let you know. The reason it's essential for us to have some space is that there are no other
places around there possible for more parking space, and we're in the winter season. It gets dark now about four-thirty or five o'clock, and I'm just afraid to have our women employees moving around that part of our city in the dark. I don't even let them go from our building over to our parking lot, which is a block away without officers being stationed there to look in their cars when they get there to see that there is no one around. I think you have had some experience.
SEN. RUSSELL: I think we have a policeman on duty at all times.
CHAIRMAN: Yes. So, if you like, the offices are open. We're in business over there. If we have time, and you'd 1ike to do it, I'd like to have you go over and see it this afternoon, at the conclusion of the meeting. Are you in agreement that the place and everything is acceptable?
REP. FORD: I so move, if you want a resolution.
SEN. RUSSELL: I second it.
CHAIRMAN: Is there any further discussion?
CHAIRMAN: All in favor say "Aye"?
(Chorus of "Ayes.")
CHAIRMAN: Contrary minded?
CHAIRMAN: The "Ayes" have it.
REP. BOGGS: What's the address?
CHAIRMAN: 200 Maryland Avenue.
REP. BOGGS: That's right near the new Senate building.
CHAIRMAN: Right across the street from it.
MR. RANKIN: Do you want to give them the telephone number?
MR. RANKIN: We are going to have a switchboard put in so that we can take calls.
CHAIRMAN: We're in business over there. Now, it's set up with new furniture for us. We have an office manager. GSA sent one to us. He's on duty this morning. We have an expert on files, who we got from Mr. Grover, the archivist. These people should know the filing business about as well as anyone I'm told, and he says this is one of his very best men. Mr. Rankin is there with his secretary. And we have an arrangement made with GSA so we can borrow cur secretarial help.
SEN. RUSSELL: Mr. Chief Justice, that brings to mind the matter of the reporter. Will we utilize the Department of Justice reporters all the way through or are we supposed to get other reporters from some of the reporting agencies.
CHAIRMAN: Mr. Rankin and I were ta1king about that today. We came to the conclusion that we would suggest to you that we get a reporting agency of our own.
SEN. RUSSELL: I think that would be highly advisable, where we can. At least we won't be criticized for things that could be brought in, as so often happens.
SEN. COOPER: What worries me is the security.
CHAIRMAN: There will be a man. Before we get to that may we just finish this about the reporters. Do any of you know reporting systems which should be used? After we got through talking to Mr. Katzenbach today he mentioned some firm. Perhaps you would know it from your legislative committees. I don't know.
MR. DULLES: There's a good one in the Armed Services.
SEN. RUSSELL: Wardand Paul. We had them during the McArthur hearing. They 're very good. I'm not trying to sell
anyone. There are two or three different ones up on the Hill.
MR. RANKIN: Someone recommended the Alderson firm.
CHAIRMAN: Do any of you know that firm? Suppose Senator,
you know these people, you have had a little more experience than any of us, suppose you let us know which one would be best to use.
SEN. RUSSELL: They all use practically the same system, if they're all cleared. Of course, our people have to have the very highest clearance over there.
CHAIRMAN: Who does your work over there?
SEN. RUSSELL: I think it's Ward and Paul.
MR. DULLES: That's familiar to me.
SEN. RUSSELL: They have been doing it ever since the Armed Services Committee was organized.
CHAIRMAN: Do any of the rest of you know any reporting firms? I don't know a reporting firm in the city. My recommendation wouldn't be worth anything. Will you be satisfied with that firm?
SEN. RUSSELL: Yes, indeed. I know they're topflight. The Appropriations Committee has a different firm. I think they're practically all cleared. I know this firm is cleared. We have some of the most sensitive hearings on the Hill and there have been no leaks at a11.
CHAIRMAN: Is it agreeable to the rest of you to take the firm, whatever firm it is, that the Armed Services Committee has?
SEN. COOPER I so move.
SEN. RUSSELL: I would prefer to have some staff get in touch with them and have them see Mr. Rankin. If this is agreeable I'll tell them to get in touch with Mr. Rankin.
CHAIRMAN: Is that agreeable with everyone? Very well, that will be done, and Mr. Rankin, you have the power to act after you discuss it with Senator Russell
So I think that is about all we have on the housekeeping affairs. Can you think of anything?
MR. RANKIN: The question was asked about security clearance.
SEN. COOPER: Files, for example.
SEN. COOPER: You have to go in and get them, I suppose, go down there and get what you want to read and return it. What about the security investigation on whoever keeps those files?
CUAIRMAN: Well, of course, we wouldn't have anyone in there who doesn't have full clearance on top secret matters handling those files. We'll go through the Department of Justice and GSA on that. I'm hopeful that we won't have to have any investigations made, that we can borrow all of those people who have been already cleared, so that it won't take any time to do it. I would think, from what I've heard, that could be done. And then vie have this whole floor, as I've told you, and GSA said they would have a guard on that floor twenty-four hours a day. So I think we're in pretty good shape from that standpoint, John. Does that answer your question?
SEN. COOPER: Yes.
MR. MC CLOY: When you take those documents out, for example, they have a regular procedure. I wish they would do that. In my office they sent up somebody and they prescribed the type safe to have and where it should be located, and maybe you want to do the same thing.
MR. DULLES: I have a safe that meets the qualifications. I don't have a guard. I don't think that's necessary.
CHAIRMAN: I suppose we all have safes, most of us that are in the Government service.
SEN. RUSSELL: I only have a file safe. The only thing I have is a guard on duty. He's on duty twenty-four hours a day. I don't intend to keep out anything that is essential.
SEN. COOPER: For those of us that are here it is rather simple. We can go to these offices, take anything out, and return it.
MR. MC CLOY: They have an FBI unit up there in New York that keeps a very close check. Lots of times they take them back at the end of the day and put them in their own safe.
MR. RANKIN: We can arrange to have a locked file cabinet in the office for you and Mr. Dulles, because you asked for offices here, and we can arrange with the FBI to check out any security.
MR. MC CLOY: That office doesn't have to be too formal. Just a place to sit down.
MR. DULLES: A separate office isn't necessary. I have an office here in my house.
CHAIRMAN: Very well.
MR. DULLES: I think that people that are in charge of the files should have Top Secret clearance.
CHAIRMAN: Yes. We won't deal with anything less than that.
MR. RANKIN: And for any of the members of the Congress we have a place over there where they can examine things.
MR. DULLES: What are you going to do about stenographic help?
CHAIRMAN: We hope to borrow all of that from secretarial help that has been cleared. It will enable us to start right in business. I have been given assurances that we would be able to get secretaries, without question, from the Department of Defense.
SEN. RUSSELL: I have one suggestion. If you can, get good ones.
MR. DULLES: I was trying to get you one from the CIA, one who had been in the CIA but who had to leave for maternity reasons. I think I can get one very quickly.
CHAIRMAN: Well, I would think, Mr. Rankin, you can confer with Mr. Dulles if you have any difficulty getting them from one of the departments here. But I hope we don't have to go out into the open market and employ anybody. That I don't want to do. I think it can be arranged without that.
MR. DULLES: We'll probably have to pay these, won't we?
MR. RANKIN: We hope they'll be given to us.
MR. DULLES: At least somebody else. I don't know.
SEN. FORD: It might jeopardize this continuity of employment or service, Allen.
CHAIRMAN: It might.
MR. DULLES: That's true.
CHAIRMAN: So I would be inclined to try to borrow them and we'll see, if it creates any problem we'll come back to discussing some other way.
Gentlemen, you all have, I am sure, a copy of the FBI report. We just got today one copy from the State Department report and we're asking them, of course, to make other copies and send a copy to each member of the Commission That was just handed to Mr. Rankin shortly before noon today.
MR. DULLES: They'll be delivered to Mr. Rankin. Will
they be held in the office for us? My copy of the FBI report got to me all right but I was surprised. It got there in a big box and I thought it was some more of my books. I shoved it aside and I didn't have it under any security at all.
MR. MC CLOY: The FBI I thought was very particular in giving it to me. They delivered it in person.
MR. DULLES: If they're all delivered to you then we can pick it up from you.
MR. RANKIN: (Nods head.)
CHAIRMAN: We have been told that Mr. Rankin has been notified by the Secret Service that they'll perhaps have their report in before the end of the week. The CIA said that it has no big report to make but it has some communications that it wants to present to us and it will do so when Mr. Rankin tells them we're ready for it.
MR. DULLLS: They have not seen the annexes to the FBI report. They do not have those. Their report could only be of value, in my opinion, unless they have something extraneous, after they have seen the FBI report.
MR. MC CLOY: But they do have something that is extraneous.
MR. DULLES: That we ought to get.
CHAIRMAN: Yes. They have the trip down to Mexico, for one thing, I know. Where he went to the Cuban Embassy down there, and possibly some other agency. So whatever ones there are that come in to play we'll see that there are copies made for all of you. And I think we so ought to make a formal recommendation of the Texas people to send us their reports I had proposed to
talk to the Attorney General this afternoon, after our meeting, and invite him and his attorney, a man by the name of Jaworski, who bears an excellent reputation in hie State for all purposes, and ask him to come down here and visit with us tomorrow and talk about the matter of liaison between the State of Texas and our Commission. From what I have learned from the Attorney General and from Mr. Jaworski I am satisfied that it will be forthcoming, we can do business with them on a very fine plane.
SEN: RUSSELL: Do you intend to ask about the police force or just go through the FBI?
CHAIRMAN: I have hoped, Senator, that we might be able, as far as Texas is concerned, to deal with the Attorney General of the State but, as you know, you're dealing with people who depend upon relationships between them, of which I'm not certain, and I felt it would be better if we could deal directly with the Attorney General of the State and get everything from him.
SEN. RUSSELL: I agree with that but I think it would be well f6r us to know if there are any independent files given by the State Police independent from that as kept by the Dallas Department of Police.
CHAIRMAN: We'll check that, Senator. If it is your desires we'll ask all of those agencies.
SEN. RUSSELL: I think you're exactly right in going through the Attorney General.
REP. BOGGS: In connection with this matter, prior to your arrival this afternoon, some of us inquired informally if there was any security with respect to Mrs. Oswald. She's a Russian citizen. She might just take off and leave.
MR. DULLES: I was rather worried about that. She's
been in touch with the Embassy, that we know, and of course she might just take off and go to Mexico.
CHAIRMAN: The only thing that I healed was that the Secret Service took her into protective custody so that nothing would happen to her. Now, what they have done since that time I don't know. They were afraid that something might happen to her, as happened to her husband, so they took her to some unknown place, I think.
REP. FORD: It would be another bad flavor, I think.
CHAIRMAN: You're exactly right.
MR. MC CLOY: There's another woman here that intrigues me and that is Mrs. Paine.
MR. DULLES: And her husband, too. I understand there's a report on that.
SEN. RUSSELL: There's nothing absolutely normal about any phase of it.
CHAIRMAN: Well, gentlemen, to be very frank about it, I have read that report two or three times and I have not seen anything in there yet that has not been in the press.
SEN. RUSSELL: I couldn't agree with that more. I have read it through once very carefully, and I went through it again at places I had marked, and practically everything in there has come out in the press at one time or another, a bit here and a bit there.
MR. DULLES: Some of the details of the annexes are not in the press.
SEN. RUSSELL: That's true.
MR. DULLES: I wish we could get from the FBI more readable annexes. There are three, four, or five annexes there and I think they ought to assume the responsibility of writing them
so we can read them.
REP. FORD: I agree with you. I've had a terrible time trying to read some of the notes of Oswald and I think that, as a convenience to us, it would be very helpful if it was typewritten up so that it would be very readable.
MR. DULLES: His handwriting is very hard to decipher. They do a better job of deciphering the handwriting than we do.
MR. MC CLOY: I think that you've got to bear in mind that they were under pressure to get this to us, and this only purports to be a summary. The grammar is bad and you can see they did not polish it all up. It does leave you some loopholes in this thing but I think you have to realize they put this thing together very fast.
REP. BOGGS: There's nothing in there about Governor Connally.
SEN. COOPER: And whether or not they found any bullets in him.
MR. MC CLOY: This bullet business leaves me confused.
CHAIRMAN: It's totally inconclusive.
SEN. RUSSELL: They couldn't find where one bullet came out that struck the President and yet they found a bullet in the stretcher.
MR. MC CLOY: I think you ought to have the autopsy document.
CHAIRMAN: By all means we ought to have the medical reports. We ought to have them as part of this document here because they might play a very important part in it.
MR. MC CLOY: I understand there are two. I may be wrong about this, but there's a reportin Dallas by the surgeons who
attended him there, and then there was a rather thorough autopsy up at Walter Reed.
REP. FORD: Bethesda.
CHAIRMAN: Yes. So if there is no objection we'll settle for whatever medical reports there are from the several agencies.
MR. MC CLOY: Maybe we ought to ask the State Department, if we don't get the original Mexican authorities report. The Mexican police people got into this thing and maybe they'll give you a report such as the Russians gave us. I don't know about that. When we get the State Department report that may be an original document to it that we could take a look at because there are some things developing down there that certainly require our attention.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, I agree with that. I have never read the State Department report and I'm sure Mr. Rankin hasn't either because it did not cone in time today for us to do it, but we'll certainly do that.
MR. DULLES: The Soviet reports are entirely incomplete. They only relate to correspondence with the Embassy. There must be a great many reports that they have, you know, from his diary and so forth and so on. Whether the State Department wants to ask the Russians for any other material regarding him during his stay in Russia, it seems to me we ought to give them a chance to come forward on that. If they refuse us, and they probably will, then when we publish these diaries, and so on, it will show that a great deal went on between the Soviet Government and us, only known in Russia, not around here.
MR. MC CLOY: I think that's a good point. Another thing, before - forget it - I did not mean to interrupt - I think we ought to get the full police report on the Walker assault because
there was a bullet involved and it had very much the same aspects, accurate long-distance shot. Although I know at the time they said it was a .30 caliber bullet, the difference between .30 and 6.5 isn't too great and another examination of that bullet may show different, but there must be a laboratory report on that.
CHAIRMAN: Are we ready to go to the next item, number five. I had the feeling that, after studying this report, unless we had the raw materials that went into the making of this report and had an opportunity to examine those raw materials and make our own appraisal, that any appraisal of this report would be little or nothing, and it, therefore, occurred to me that we perhaps ought to have a resolution requesting all agencies and departments furnish all raw materials upon which the reports given to us are based. And reports of raw materials from all developments pertaining to this matter since the last reports were made. In that way we can make our own appraisal of these raw reports and we can form what is going on from day to day in this field. If we should get out of one line of investigation without knowing perhaps that it had been taken out of the picture by something else that devel3ped later it would be a terrible waste of time and effort. So I would hope that would be done, and for your consideration I have prepared a little resolution that would take care, I thought, of that situation. Resolve that the Commission request at once from all investigative agencies and departments of the Government raw materials on which reports to the Commission are based, together with all raw materials and reports, concerning developments about the work of the Commission since the date of such prior reports.
REP. BOGGS: I would adopt that.
SEN. RUSSELL: I second it.
MR. MC CLOY: I have one question about it. Does this mean that the request would include only agencies of the Government? Should it not perhaps cover the raw materials of the Attorney General, the reports of the police departments?
CHAIRMAN: Do you want to do that? I don't know that we have a right to demand that. We do have, if it's necessary, the right to demand these because the President has put it in his executive order, but we thought that this was confined to the departments of the United States Government when we capitalized the word government there, department of the Government.
MR. MC CLOY: Might you not want the other source material, too? We have the right of subpoena that would reach that.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, perhaps, it's all right with me if you want to put it in. Maybe we ought to make it a separate resolution.
SEN. RUSSELL: I thought the Chief Justice intended to request this through the Texas Commission and if they're not willing to deliver it it would be simple for us to take some action. I am sure we could.
MR. MC CLOY: I think it's something that we ought to have in mind.
CHAIRMAN: We'll have it in mind, and if the Texas people come here tomorrow I can talk to them about that and we'll try to reach some understanding on that, and if we can't we can talk again about what is necessary to get. I think we'll have no trouble.
SEN. RUSSELL: We can, of course, get it from the Government offices right away if we have to.
MR. MC CLOY: This last sentence, the last phrase, together with all raw materials and reports concerning developments
about the work of the Commission since the date of such prior
reports. It's not developments about the work of the Commission, it1s developments --
REP. FORD: -- concerned with the work of the Commission
MR. MC CLOY: That raised the question in my mind, do
we want everything in connection with Ruby at this time, that brings up this question?
CHAIRMAN: That has not been included in his report.
MR. MC CLOY: Whether we want to get into that pending a murder trial, that puzzles me, but I think the wording there ought to be changed.
REP. FORD: Concerned with the work of the Commission.
CHAIRMAN: Concerned with,
SEN. RUSSELL: As a matter of fact, I would be opposed to any report on the Ruby area. I don't know that we should slow down our investigation for something that pertains to Ruby.
MR. BOGGS: I agree with that. One of the keys to this whole thing is Ruby.
CHAIRMAN: Let me see, Congressman Ford, you suggest --
REP. FORD: I would eliminate the fol1owing and substitute concerned with.
MR. MC CLOY: Reports concerned.
CHAIRMAN: You would not want concerning developments?
MR. RANKIN: Substitute the word of for the first concerning, Mr. Chief Justice.
CHAIRMAN: How would you have it read then? Just read it as you would have it?
MR. RANKIN: Of developments concerned with the work of the Commission.
MR. DULLES: The CIA might have some information. Would this cover it?
CHAIRMAN: We would not send them the letter until we had their summary report. We'd get their report and then we'd send this kind of a letter to them. We have the report from the State Department and the FBI and we could send this to them now but the others we would wait until we got their reports.
REP. BOGGS: Is it possible that some agencies might have some material and these agencies might not make a report at all?
CHAIRMAN: Are you thinking of agencies other than these four we have talking about?
REP. BOGGS: Yes. I can't imagine what they would be. Treasury Department?
CHAIRMAN: Immigration Service?
REP. BCGGS: That's right.
CHAIRMAN: And they are concerned with this thing, too. Maybe we ought to have a report from them.
REP.FORD: I assume that the State Department report would include the passport and visas.
CHAIRMAN: But the Immigration Service is an agency of the Department of Justice.
MR. MC CLOY: Will there be a separate Treasury report from the Secret Service report?
MR. DULLES: There will be, I think. Didn't you say the Secret Service report was almost completed?
MR. MC CLOY: The Treasury would have to have a report separate from the Secret Service report. The Department of Justice has memoranda files but they are not FBI files.
CHAIRMAN: Well, I think Mr. Rankin ought to explore all of those things and come back to us at a future meeting, and if there are any situations that are not covered in that regard we could take care of it by resolutions.
REP. BOGGS: I can foresee situations, aside from any criminal aspects, such as ascertaining how much a person is receiving, how he's spending it, and of course this can be very significant in an investigation.
SEN. RUSSELL: It could involve the Post Office Department.
MR. MC CLOY: He got money orders.
REP. BOGGS: Everyone has all kinds of questions, reading that FBI report leaves a million questions.
MR. DULLES: One other point, Mr. Chairman, I know in the case of the CIA they can't do much on the Soviet end until they receive these papers that have been submitted to us by the FBI. They have been working for a long while, I know. It started when I was there. What is the SOP, what is the procedure on an American going abroad, especially someone from the Armed Services? There's a certain procedure to handle that. We know about it from the defectors that we have had, and they would like to get their hands on the report. I'm not authorized to give it and I would not do so if they can get the raw material in these reports, in these diaries of Oswald, and these other reports. Then they can start tracing back and see what is not being told us by the Russians. The Russians have not told us anything about it but they were paying him money, quite substantial sums, but I want to warn you that the Russian figure is before the reevaluation, so it is really one-tenth of the present basis, some five thousand rubles. I was shocked at first. The reevaluation of the ruble
took place in January, l96l, and this was in l96O. Those are points we ought to get information on. When they should be made available is for the Commission to decide. What is your attitude about making these available, what do you think should be done?
CHAIRMAN: Well, I think that we ought to first read not only the FBI report but the State Department report and the Secret Service report, and whatever the CIA has. Those would be the first agencies, and then when we have read those and digested
Then we can ascertain, I think, what other agencies of the Government we might want to report to us, and we might even be able to give some specific things that we do want. I think before it's over we're going to want an independent report from the Immigration and Naturalization Service in this situation because they have had much to do with Oswald. I think the CIA is right, it can't do much on the Russian end until they get this raw material, and they can do quite a good deal.
REP.BOGGS: Whether any agency of the Government has any report they should report to us. Do you think they'll report to us without request? I know the FBI will, the State Department, the Secret Service, but should we have a resolution requesting all departments and all agencies that have any information concerning the subject matter of this investigation to submit reports to us?
MR. RANKIN: I can make special inquiry and come back to you and report as to any department or agency that has such information if you wish.
MR. MC CLOY: Why not send out a catchall?
CHAIRMAN: Congressman, the only reason I would think that perhaps we ought to have this resolution, plus any other thing that we want to have, is this, that there may be some delay
on the part of some agency to give us all the raw materials and I would like to have it made as specific as possible, if that is the desire and the wish of this Commission. But I would certainly want to follow it up later with all of the things that you are suggesting.
REP. BOGGS: Well, that suits me.
SEN. COOPER: You are directing that now to the chief reports that we need.
SEN. RUSSELL: It will take quite a while to digest that mass of matter, if there is that much. I think it will take a truck.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, I have no doubt.
REP. FORD: Mr. Chairman, I have had several members of the House, who served on committees that might have an area of jurisdiction, and apparently they may have some information. I think the Immigration Subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary has had some information1 or might have had some hearings. Would it be appropriate to contact Mr. Celler, who is the Chairman of the House Committee en the Judiciary? Who is the other Chairman?
CHAIRMAN: Senator Eastland.
REP. FORD: I don't know what they have but several members of the House Committee have told me that their committee was interested. They may have information. I think they would be more than glad to be helpful.
CHAIRMAN: I would think if they have anything they should contact us. I think that everyone that we have any reason to believe has any information on this case should be contacted. It's pretty difficult to say now who just they might be, but I agree with you all those people should be, yes. I would think that would
be a matter of first importance to try to find that out. Maybe itcan reported at the next meeting.
SEN. RUSSELL: It might be well for Mr. Rankin to contact them from time to time because if you do nothing else you have to keep down criticism. If they've had a chance to say their piece they won't be highly, critical.
CHAIRMAN: Yes. I have had in my office possibly a dozen calls from different senatorial or congressional offices asking where they can get in touch with us, what is the telephone number, where are you in business. Well, we were not in business at the time so I couldn1t answer them. Now we are and we want those people to be satisfied and we'll work it out. Well, gentlemen, is there any further discussion of this resolution? If not, is there a motion?
REP. BOGGS: I so move it.
SEN. COOPER: I second it.
CHAIRMAN: It has been moved and seconded that the resolution be adopted. Is there any further discussion? All in favor say "Aye"
(Chorus of "Ayes.")
CHAIRMAN: Contrary minded?
CHAIRMAN: The "Ayes" have it, the resolution is adopted. The next thing on our agenda is the question of staff planning. I told you we're going to beg and borrow all the staff that we can ~ the agencies, people who already have clearance, so that it won't be necessary to have long checks made on them. I think the time has come for us to get a few lawyers to work with Mr. Rankin on the organizing of the situation because I feel that this
work will have so many ramifications that it must be divided into specific categories. For instance, I think the life of Oswald has to be traced from the day of his birth right down to the time that he was assassinated. I think that is something that should be departmentized so that somebody can handle the direct responsibility of doing that, notwithstanding any other thing that stands in the way, somebody ought to be able to cut through everything and come up to us with as complete a report as it is humanly possible to have of the life of Lee Oswald.
Secondly, I think it is almost as important to us to have the life of Ruby done exactly the same way. I think that even the facts surrounding the assassination should lend itself to categories. I think the day of the assassination, in and of itself, is something of tremendous importance to us, and it should be ferreted out to the very 'nth degree. Somebody shou1d be assigned to that. I think that perhaps we ought to have a thorough investigation made by someone as to the relationship between the FBI and the Secret Service and the CIA in connection, not only with this matter, but in matters of this kind so that we can do something worthwhile in the future. I tell you why I think that. I notice in this report that on the 24th of June of this year, after all that was known about Oswald being a defector and being interested in the Fair Play For Cuba Committee, and all of his other activities, he walked into the Immigration Office, or some office in New Orleans, on the 24th day of June, and on the 25th he was given a passport to Russia. That seems strange to me. It may be entirely regular but I think that somebody has got to find out if that is the way it is usually done, find out if there was any departure from the way it is done, and if so why, and so forth.
So I thought we ought to have some lawyers to do that work. Now, Mr. Rankin has been looking into this situation and he has made a small start, not very great, but he hasrecommended to me the use of former commissioner of the New York Police Department, Francis Adams. He's a lawyer of repute. He was a good trial lawyer. He's been a trial lawyer for many, many years, and for several years he was head of the Police Department of New York. Certainly a man who was the head of the Police Department and left to continue his practice after a few years, with the, I think, approbation of most people, and with a clean bill of health, so far as character is concerned, is worthy of consideration. I would think a man who wasa trial lawyer and who had that experience in the biggest police department in this country should be an asset to this Commission. And you have found out, have you not, that he would be available, Lee?
MR. RANKIN: Yes.
CHAIRMAN: Have you anything else to say concerning him?
MR. RANKIN: Well, I saw him and I was much impressed with him and his dedication and willingness to serve on this project. Then I inquired at a number of different places and all of the inquiries were favorable.
MR. MC CLOY: He was one of the men that I was looking at as a possibility for counsel, and, I checked up and every report I got on him was favorable.
REP. FORD: How old a man is be?
CHAIRMAN: About fifty-five, I would say.
MR. RANKIN: I think he's a little order than that. Sixty years, perhaps.
MR. DULLES: When was he the head of the police department, do you know what years?
CHAIRMAN: I would say, Allen, he came in there about ten or maybe twelve years ago and was there a few years. Just how long I don't know.
MR. DULLES: Has he been practicing in New York City?
MR. RANKIN: Yes.
SEN. RUSSELL: Mr. Chairman, I don't know if he's the man or not but while you re speaking of staff and while Mr. Rankin is here, from my standpoint I hope that among these that you'll get someone with a most skeptical nature, sort of a Devil's Advocate, who would take this FBI report and this CIA report and go through it and analyze every contradiction and every soft spot in it,justas if he were prosecuting them or planning to prosecute and trying something like that. Otherwise it will be that we have overlooked some very capable man. Maybe the other fellow could do it, go through here and take these reports as if he were going to use them to prosecute J. Edgar Hoover. We do that when we read it but we have other things in mind, our minds expand to other things and we rationalize. But I think onestudy should be made just from the standpoint of everyone of these reports, if we are ever to reconcile all o~ this contradictory rumor, the relationship of the Secret Service and the FBI and tile police department there, and things of that nature, and in employing an attorney of the staff I hope the Commission will agree to get some man who will look for the weaknesses and possible contradictions, and study it solely from that standpoint. Unless some man devoted his whole time on it we could shove over a question that could be raised five or six years from now that would make us look as if we'd been careless.
CHAIRMAN: I agree with you one hundred percent, and we have talked about it from that standpoint. We have been looking for a man of that caliber. We have been thinking of a lawyer in Chicago by the name of Albert Jenner. He's unquestionably a fine trial lawyer in Chicago and has just that kind of a mind that would go into a thing regardless who it helps or who it hurts, and will run it into the ground. This man has been president of the American judiciary Society. He's been very active in the American Bar Association. I checked him up with Tom Clark, who is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the American Bar Association, and this man Jenner is the assistant or the vice-chairman of that commission. I checked him up with Dean Acheson, who has him on his Committee on Civil Rules. And I checked him up with several other people who are on that Committee and they all tell me that he is an indefatigable worker and will never commit himself to the proposition of anything unless he's certain. I think we'll look for more than one, but I think this man is recognized as a very good trial lawyer of Chicago and would do a splendid job for us, and he's a public spirited fellow along with it who would feel the sense of obligation that he was to assume.
Those two men are as far as we have gotten. I'm satisfied that you wouldn't go wrong on any of these men, and we've got to put this show on the road, as they say. So, unless there is any objection, we'd like to start out with those people.
REP. FORD: May I ask this question, and I think it is very important, but are these men preoccupied with the law and not involved in extraneous matters, these areas of one extreme or the other?
CHAIRMAN: I can tell you this, that this man Jenner's specialty is to handle big antitrust cases. He's against the Government on those cases, but he's a lawyer's lawyer and a businessman's lawyer and he's a court lawyer, and I think so recognized anywhere. I don't think there could be any question about him.
REP. FORD: This is a serious concern I have and I think we've got to be scrupulously careful in this regard when we're getting the top people we are talking about, and if there's no question about it, that's fine.
CHAIRMAN: Well, I tell you, I don't believe we should have ideologists either. We're looking for lawyers, not ideologists. And we want people who will do a lawyer's job here, and a thorough, tough lawyer's job, and I wouldn't have anyone who did not measure up to that standard.
SEN. COOPER: What is his last name, the last man?
REP. BOGGS: Not related to the former senator?
CHAIRMAN: There is no connection there.
MR. MC CLOY: I have an idea, Mr. Chief Justice, that somewhere along the line you're going to have somebody from the Department of Justice. He's got to be diluted, to be sure, but some young man from the Department there who is used to Government affairs, as well as having some knowledge of what the FBI does in relation to the Department of Justice. You know there is some feeling between the two. And I have a feeling that maybe somebody who is dealing with Government or Federal criminal matters would be useful in this thing. I'm not saying we do, but that might ease your work a bit if you got a good, bright fellow from there, and
go anywhere else you want to. One man on your staff that has had that experience, I think, would be of help.
CHAIRMAN: Jack, may I say this to you, I should have stated it before, but we have been working with all of these departments the last week with the idea in mind of having each one of them give us a liaison man to work with us on this thing. We have done that through Katzenbach, and Katzenbach said he would like to have some connection with it himself, to supervise it, but that he would give us a man, exactly such as you're speaking about now, and he suggested that a young man named Williams in his department could fill the bill. He's one of the most promising, one of the most brilliant young lawyers over there. He said he doesn't know whether he can get that particular man released but that is the type of man he's trying to give us.
We have been in communication, with Mr. Rankin, with J. Edgar Hoover and he has named a man from his Bureau who will be at our beck and call and will be the liaison man with them. What is his name?
MR. RANKIN: Malay(?). He's in Mr. Rosen's office. Mr. Rosen would be in charge. He's supposed to be next in line to Mr. Rosen.
CHAIRMAN: Then we have asked the same thing of the State Department and the State Department has designated its counsel, its chief counsel, Mr. Shayes(?) to be the liaison man. We have talked with the Secret Service and they have recommended their General Counsel.
MR. RANKIN: Mr. Delon(?). I'm not sure of the spelling. I just got the name over the phone.
CHAIRMAN: Didn't you talk with the CIA about it?
MR. RANKIIN: Yes, Mr. Helms(?).
CHAIRMAN: Now, we thought that within a couple of days we could get those people together and sit down and analyze this situation and try to bring about some of the things that I have been talking here about, departmentize this thing. All of it won't be everybody's business. It is just too big to handle, and I'm sure that they will be able to help us and keep us in touch with their departments. They're the men that they want us to deal with and I think they're the men we ought to deal with. Wasn't there somebody from the Department of Defense?
MR. RANKIN: Mr. Armlisky(?).
CHAIRMAN: These are not our selections.
MR. RANKIN: Mr. Sorensen from the White House.
CHAIRMAN: Oh, yes, Mr. Sorensen from the White House.
SEN. RUSSELL: What is supposed to be the function of these men? Are they liaison, or what?
CHAIRMAN: Liaison and nothing else.
SEN. COOPER: You mean if we need material?
MR. RANKIN: If we have any difficulty in getting anything from those agencies or departments they're the ones we would deal with.
CHAIRMAN: We would want to keep them sufficiently advised so that the heads of their departments will have confidence that we re doing our work.
MR. RANKIN: They're on a high enough level in each case so that we would expect to get a response from them, which is a good indication for the Commission I thought.
CHAIRMAN: Then, also, we have had a man assigned from the Bureau of the Budget so that we could cut right through and not have great delays in getting what we need. And we have a man assigned to us from GSA who has been very helpful and expeditious
in what he's done. I think we might go with these people very shortly within the next few days. I was supposed to sit down with them and talk this thing through. We could have a pretty good understanding of what we wanted done and they'd be in a position to help us.
SEN. RUSSELL: Did you say you had an office manager?
CHAIRMAN: Yes. He was sent to us by GSA at our request. What is his name?
MR. RANKIN: Kilb. I don't know his first name.
REP. BOGGS: Mr. Chief justice, in connection with staff, I guess all of us have had a lot of letters from various people, but you have received a letter from Mr. [DELETED]
CHAIRMAN: Yes, I did.
REP. BOGGS: He's a very able young man. I just pass
that. He's [DELETED] of the Post Office Department.
CHAIRMAN: If the Post Office Department wanted to assign him to us, if they thought they needed liaison with us, that would be one thing, but for our staff we had it in mind of going outside of the Government.
REP. BOGGS: Well, that's fine, that suits me.
MR. MC CLOY: I wonder if you shouldn1t get somebody from the South; not from Texas, but somewhere in the South, so you don1t get too much Chicago or New York in it. This report has to be accepted and if somebody is real known down there it would be helpful to us.
CHAIRMAN: I think we can find someone and I think you're right, we should do that.
REP. FORD: Mr. Chairman, what size legal staff are you thinking about? This may be premature but what magnitude do you have in mind?
CHAIRMAN: I thought, to start with, if we can surround our General Counsel with half a dozen good lawyers, like the lawyers we're talking about, and then maybe recruit from some place or other a few men to work under them, two or three young men, and maybe we could get some of those from the Government to help them out without being on our regular staff, we would be making a good start of it, and if we had to expand that would be something else, but I think that's enough to start with. I think we might get confused if we got more, but I think we could very easily, tomorrow, if we had to, put a half dozen men to work on this job effectively.
SEN. RUSSELL: We really would not need more than six topflight men. You can get some of these young chaps, some of them think much faster than these men we've talked about, being outstanding fellows who have been out of law school two or three years. Their reactions will be better. If you can get five or six topf1igh~t men and give them one or two able fellows to work under them it would simplify the work of this Commission.
MR. DULLES: This is more of an investigative job than a legal job.
CHAIRMAN: That has been just exactly my thought, that's why I said we shouldn't have more than a half dozen to start off with.
SEN. COOPER: I hope that we just take them on as we need them, and not get a bunch of lawyers at the start.
CHAIRMAN: Well, John, I'll tell you the men we'll get, like let's say Jenner and Adams up in New York, are not men who are looking for a job, men who want to stay on the payroll down here. I would not put them on any salary. I would put them on a consulting basis, like the President does with his people, and pay
them for the days that they work and no more. If they have to go back a couple of days a week and work on their own practice in order to keep it from sinking why they wouldn't get a consultant's fee on those days. I think some of these men would not want to go on a salary basis.
SEN. RUSSELL: It might be better, if you could do it, to get them to devote their full time to this thing, but I don't think you'll be able to do it with the type of men you have in mind.
MR. DULLES: I think the younger group ought to be on a full-time basis. You can get them all right.
SEN. RUSSELL: They must not have anything else on their mind, that's correct.
MR. MC CLOY: I think that Mr. Adams and Mr. Jenner ought to be on it full time. I don't see how they can escape it.
CHAIRMAN: I think they'll probably end up doing practically all of the work on a full-time basis.
MR. MC CLOY: If they don't want one hundred days see what they want. I don't mind a lump sum if you can get them all the time.
REP. FORD: I would agree with that.
SEN. RUSSELL: Maybe you can get them under contract.
CHAIRMAN: Sure, but I think before we did anything of that kind we would have to know more about this job, about the length of time it's going to take than we know today. I think men of that type will not press to find out how much money they're going to make on this thing, and if they would make a contract with us for a few weeks that is something we can think of very seriously.
REP. FORD: Do you want us to take action on these two men? Do you want us to take a look at these men? How do you want
us to proceed?
CHAIRMAN: Really, all that I think would be necessary would be just to say they're all right and just authorize Mr. Rankin to bring them down and put them to work.
MR. DULLES: Do you know Adams?
MR. RANKIN: Yes, I know both. I think they're both competent lawyers. Adams' combination is rare to have, this police background, which is a great addition, and he is also a competent lawyer. I think we're happy to be able to get him.
CHAIRMAN: I have read in one of the papers, one you had here the other day, which said this is a strange Commission, not one of them has had any investigative experience. If we had a man who has been head of the police department up in New York, and he has the qualifications we want, they could hardly say that about him.
SEN. RUSSELL: I don't see how they could have said that when the Chief Justice has one of the top solicitors sitting right over there.
REP. FORD: They had to write about something.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, but it would firm up to have somebody of that character.
SEN. RUSSELL: It would contribute a great deal to the investigation, Mr. Chief Justice. Would it be in order to ask Mr. Rankin if he would want to make any statement to the Commission with respect to his views on this inquiry?
CHAIRMAN: Are we through with this matter? Are we agreeable to go ahead with those two men?
SEN. COOPER: I so move.
REP. FORD: I second the motion.
CHAIRMAN: All in favor say "Aye."
(Chorus of "Ayes."
CHAIRMAN: Contrary minded?
CHAIRMAN: The "Ayes'1 have it.
(At this point, approximately 3:15 PM, Congressman
Boggs left the conference room.)
CHAIRMAN: We'll be in recess until Congressman Boggs returns.
(At approximately 3:20 PM Congressman Boggs returned to the conference room.)
CHAIRMAN: There really isn't anything to indicate whether or not the FBI notified the Secret Service about any of the activities of Oswald.
REP. BCGGS: There are all kinds of questions in my mind. He was such an expert marksman, for instance. Where did he do his practicing? Where did he get his automobile?
SEN. RUSSELL: He did not drive.
REP. BOGGS: And this business about where the bullets penetrated the President's body, speculation about the wound in the throat, the hole in the windshield.
MR. MC CLOY: That is very unsatisfactory.
REP. F'ORD: I thought it was a narrative that was interesting to read but it did not have the depth that it ought to have.
REP. BOGGS: There was nothing about Connally in there, not a word.
MR. MC CLOY: They must know about the medical report.
CHAIRMAN: It's all part of the res gestae.
MR. MC CLOY: Also the violent death of the alleged assassin. Another thing, one of these days I think somebody should
go down and visit the scene of the crime before the evidence gets too dusty. This sequence of pictures which Life Magazine has got, I don't know if you have it or not.
CHAIRMAN: I might say to the members that Time has volunteered to make this film available to us, and I accepted.
MR. MC LOY: Now, here he's reaching up for his throat.
REP. BOGGS: But he's looking straight ahead, reaching up for his throat, that's very significant, I think.
CHAIRMAN: There's another sequence which they did not include and it shows the burst of blood and things from his head, blown out, they did not put it in because they thought it was too gruesome, and that's the head shot, which apparently came from the rear. They've got that and you can blow it up and stop it and do everything, and we can have it whenever we wart it.
MR. MC CLOY: You see this sign here, someone suggested that this sign has now been removed. Why I don't know. But from that sign you can get a pretty good idea where the angle was. That tree gives you a good notion of where the first bullet hit. Here's the place from which he shot. Now this thing down here, I don't know what that means, it looks as if that it where he was shot, but the tree is here, that's the only tree that I can see.
REP. FORD: Is it this tree here?
MR. MC CLOY: That's so small that I can't believe it's that tree. This tree is a fairly big tree.
REP. FORD: You're right.
MR. MC CLOY: Moreover, do you see here, in this perforated wall thing here, now that must be over here, it's not the same as that, because that's two and this one here must be along in here.
REP. FORD: But that person must have taken the shot over here some place?
MR. MC CLOY: Still I don't see how he could have been hit in the front from here.
REP. BOGGS: That's the big question, yes.
MR. MC CLOY: I inquired about this and they said that nobody was permitted on the overpass.
REP. BOGGS: Who says they weren't?
MR. MC CLOY: Well, they may have been there.
REP. BOGGS: And nobody was supposed to be in that building.
MR. MC CLOY: I think we ought to take a look at the grounds and somebody ought to do it and get the picture of this angle to see if it is humanly possible for him to have been hit in the front from a shot fired from that window. Maybe it is.
MR. RANKIN: I think that it would be most helpful, before making a trip down there, to examine all the possibilities first and point these out so that you would have the various things to look at that we could think of, and all that you could think of, before anyone went down there rather than going down and coming back with all of those questions.
MR. MC CLOY: It's true that evidence slips away, but I think you're right on this. Then there's the question, should we not interview Connally very quickly, and the widow? That's a very sensitive thing. I don't think you should cross-examine her, but after a11 she was a witness right alongside of her husband when the bullet struck.
MR. RANKIN: What are you going to do with the President and Mrs. Johnson? They were there, too.
REP. BOGGS: They were not in the same car.
MR. MC CLOY: I think somebody ought to be interviewing Mrs. Kennedy pretty quickly.
MR. DULLES: What about the Secret Service men who were right there? I think we should talk to them first, their missions.
MR. MC CLOY: There's the one who saw him first, saw the bullet strike.
MR. DULLES: The one who jumped up on the back of the car?
MR. MC CLOY: No, Mrs. Kennedy. She's sitting there. She turns around and she sees him shot before Connally turns around. I think it's a very delicate thing to do, but I'm told that she's quite prepared to talk about it. I've talked to one of the members of the family about it.
REP. FORD: Mrs. Connally was in the car also.
MR. MC CLOY: And if you don't do that I think memory might play tricks.
CHAIRMAN: These people should be interviewed all right but I'm wondering if we shouldn't know more about this thing before we do, because we don't want to go back and do it all over again with Mrs. Kennedy or Mr. Johnson. I would think that we ought to get all of these reports in, study them, have our questions definitely in mind, what we're interested in, what area of inquiry we wanted to make of her before we undertook to do it.
SEN. RUSSELL: I don't suppose the FBI has any statement from Mrs. Kennedy or Mr. Johnson.
CHAIRMAN: We don't know that.
SEN. COOPER: I think that we ought to have a list of the people we want to interrogate.
MR. DULLES: I think one who you should see fairly soon, or get a statement from, would be Bauman. He's talked to some extent, but I don't know what his situation is. He's the retired Chief of the Secret Service, up until two years ago, he's a very legal man, I've worked with him very close1y for ten years.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, I have a note in my office. I think we should, by all means, see him. He could tell US about some other things not connected with this tragedy that might be very helpful to us.
MR. DULLES: He's independent except for being retired, and he did make a statement to the press, which I thought rather indiscreet.
REP. FORD: I think so, too, for a man in his position.
MR. DULLES: I think it was indiscreet but I think we should get a statement from him.
MR. MC CLOY: I think we should get that film in our possession because it deteriorates.
REP. FORD: Can they make copies of that?
CHAIRMAN: Yes, they can.
MR. MC CLOY: Do you know how much that fellow got for that? Two hundred thousand dollars.
REP. FORD: Was he just an ordinary guy?
MR. MC CLOY: Yes.
MR. RANKIN: Mrs. Oswald and Mrs. Paine, and anyone else,
what do you want me to do about protecting against their disappearing?
MR. MC CLOY: Call up the Department of Justice.
SEN. RUSSELL: I don't know what we can do about Mrs. Paine. She's an American citizen. I don't know what right we have to impede her unless she were put under bond as a material witness
in the State of Texas. I suppose we could do it but I would be very loath to do it. But I think we should communicate with the Immigration Service and request them not to approve any visas for Mrs. Oswald until later.
MR. DULLES: These are problems of law, aren't they?
SEN. COOPER: According to the record she's asked the Embassy for permission to return. She's asked for permission to return.
MR. MC CLOY: I thought she recanted on that.
SEN. COOPER: Before.
SEN. RUSSELL: I can't conceive them being derelict enough to just turn her loose to go to Mexico, but if they have then we can look into it and advise the Commission to take such appropriate steps.
CHAIRMAN: Will you look into that then? There's another person that was passed over lightly in this situation and that's the man who was transporting Oswald each weekend from Dallas over to Irving, where his wife was.
MR. MC CLOY: Frazier.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, and then on the very morning of this assassination he brought Oswald to Dallas from Irving and Oswald had this rifle with him, apparently in that wrapping paper3 and he completely dismissed that. Now, a fellow who is that close with him, and he worked there in the plant himself, a fellow that's been that close to a thing certainly had to be checked out.
REP. BOGGS: The Oswald trip to Russia was very interesting. Such defection had not been arranged in advance because he arrived in France, went over to London, flew from there to Helsinki, and, bang, he went right over into Russia.
MR. MC CLOY: Another thing, my wife is pretty suspicious, because she's tried to get some American citizen, who is married to a Russian, get his wife out. She couldn't get it. How in the world did she get it? That's the most difficult thing in the world
SEN. RUSSELL: That Marine guard who married that Russian girl, it took six months.
REP. FORD: There's some sailor staying over there. They want to throw him out and he won't leave until he takes his wife with him. I think that's right now.
MR. DULLES: I would like to get that material into the hands of the CIA as soon as possible to explain the Russian parts.
SEN. RUSSELL: I think you've got more faith in them than I have. I think they'll doctor anything they hand to us.
MR. DULLES: What Oswald said in his diary, about his relationship with them, about his attempted suicide, about the payment he got, all that business requires a very careful study.
SEN. RUSSELL: Well, all of that writing material that he brought out of there with him.
CHAIRMAN: And our Government furnished him four hundred and some dollars to bring that Russian wife over.
SEN. RUSSELL: The first time they brought home one of those defectors from Korea I wired the President, I wired the Secretary of State, I protested violently paying one dime to bring home those chaps who have spit on the American flag, jumped up and down on it in the mud, and in the presence of all of our people and soldiers renounce their citizenship. Whether they can do that or not, we didn't have to pay their way home. And this last one, I took that up with President Kennedy and they would not pay his way home, and finally this broadcasting company paid his way home.
REP. BOGGS: Well, what we were talking about before, the Ruby thing. It is very interesting to me because they have done obviously a lot to establish the life and habits of Oswald, but there is still little on this fellow Ruby, including his movements, what he was doing, how he got in there, it's fantastic.
CHAIRMAN: His relations with the police department?
REP. BOGGS: Exactly.
SEN. COOPER: I think the New York Times had more on it yesterday.
MR. MC CLOY: What are the forebearers of Oswald, what generation American is he, where were his grandparents born?
REP. BOGGS: He was born in New York. Lived there most of his life. His mother, I notice in that report, I think has a French name.
MR. DULLES: On his passport instead of his mother as the person you notify in case something happens he had his aunt, not his mother.
REP. BOGGS: Oswald's father died when this man was born. That, too, is not a well-known name in that area.
MR. MC CLOY: What is apparently a straight American background.
CHAIRMAN: Except that it says his mother was disturbed, a disoriented woman, and so forth. I think she's a very talkative woman, from what I've seen on television, and I might think we might talk to her.
REP. BOGGS: He has a brother.
CHAIRMAN: Nothing about him.
SEN. COOPER: His half brother is in the Army.
MR. DULLES: Has any woman talked to Mrs. Oswald? We don't know that.
MR. MC CLOY: You mean any woman investigator?
MR. DULLES: It would have to be some investigator who spoke Russian because her English is weak.
SEN. RUSSELL: I think Mrs. Paine is her alter ego.
REP. BOGGS: There's been no check out at all on Mrs. Paine.
SEN. RUSSELL: I'll say one thing, she's one of the most charitable people we have.
SEN. COOPER: A friend of mine spent some time in Russia and she came over to see me. She interviewed Oswald in Moscow just after he got there. She said that he was in the Embassy and talked to him constantly. She said he didn't know whether he would be accepted or not but he was determined to stay there if he was accepted.
MR. DULLES: That's the UP woman.
SEN. COOPER: She was INS, I think. She said that at that time he was, of course, interested in the institution, Marxism, but she still raised the question how easily he got out with his wife. She said she thought it was very important. That is just an idea. The FBI and all of those people interviewed her very carefully, and Mrs. Paine, her husband, Mrs. Oswald, to see if there wasn't some point there, particularly with respect to New Orleans, that would turn the individual against Democracy to Communism.
REP. FORD: We all know, Mr. Chairman, that the FBI is continuing this investigation on a very large scale, and that brings up, at least to me, the question which was raised by letter, which I believe was sent you, and copies of which we all received, from Mr. Katzenbach, as to whether or not we ought to issue any statement
at this time. I don't know how the others feel but in light of the fact that there is a constant large-scale investigation going on I would hesitate to have us issue any interim press release.
SEN. RUSSELL: I don't think we have anything to tell them, Congressman.
REP. FORD: I agree with you. I think I'm a little surprised that they even bring it up. Here's one other thing on this. I was called by one of the top AP or UP people here, and he didn't know that you had received the letter and we had copies, but he was one of the top AP or UP people at Dallas at the time. He said, Jerry, I'm surprised that we got, and the other press services got, stories out the very same day, in effect, he was saying what they have asked us to do. The minute he said that it lead me to the belief that he was inferring that there had been a deliberate leak from some agency of the Federal Government, and now they wanted us to confirm by Commission action what had been leaked previously. I just think somebody ought to check on that.
SEN. RUSSEL: I wonder if the Counsel has any suggestion to make.
REP. FORD: I have the suspicion that this top man of either AP or UP, the evidence that he has sent me that both AP and UP have, I'd call press releases for news stories the same day. Now, somebody had to give this information to both AP and UP in order for that to happen.
CHAIRMAN: I read those dispatches.
REP. FORD: Didn't that come to your mind?
CHAIRMAN: Surely did. I spoke to Katzenbach about it.
SEN. RUSSELL: I mentioned that the first day we sat here.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, you did. Senator Russell asked Katzenbach where it could have come from and he said there is only one source.
SEN. RUSSELL: Do you recall the first day I asked Katzenbach that?
MR. MC CLOY: There were leaks long before we got the documents.
REP. BOGGS: And after that, at the second meeting, there was The Evening Star with the whole thing.
SEN. RUSSELL: Every day there was something.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, until it was all out and I tell you frankly I just don't find anything in that report that has not been leaked to the press.
SEN. RUSSELL: Nothing except the details.
MR. RANKIN: In answerto Senator Russell's query, the Chief Justice and I have talked about this problem, what kind of a staff we should have, the type of lawyers, because they would have to try to make a legal case and see where the various holes were, and then we thought the persons could use the various investigative agencies of the Government rather than set up a lot of new staff, with all of that expense and so forth, and finally we came to the conclusion, after looking at this report, that we might have to come back to you and ask for some investigative help, too, to examine special situations, because we might not get all we needed by just going back to the FBI and other agencies because the report has so many holes in it. Anybody can look at it and see that it just doesn't seem like they're looking for things that this Commission has to look for in order to get the answers that it wants andit's entitled to. We thought we might reserve the question, but we thought we might need some investigative staff.
SEN. RUSSELL: Initially my thought was if anything came up that we needed some additional information on or wanted to get something expanded to follow up some clue we would turn it over to the FBI and tell them to clear it up. I don't think we will need to have a large staff, but two or three people to check against certain instances where we might need an independent inquiry, or you might, as Counsel, present it to the Commission. I think it's wise not to do anything at this time. It will be necessary to do it later.
MR. RANKIN: There may be some situations where we can't get answers and in those we may need some investigator to get the answers, because it might be a tender spot. I am sure that the FBI is certainly tender about the knowledge they had and the fact that the Secret Service did not have that knowledge in order to do anything about it.
SEN. RUSSELL: They would not be human if they weren't.
MR. RANKIN: There is also the time that Oswald was in this building and he got out and nothing was done about it until he had been all over the community. I presume that all of the various agencies are rather tender about that situation. I am sure they would be. So we might have difficulty getting anything and come up against a blank wall until we get somebody who we can rely upon and who will try to work around some of the people and get the whole picture first.
REP. FORD: May I ask this question? What kind of a schedule are we thinking of for the Commission to meet between now and January 1st?
CHAIRMAN: Well, I have thought that inasmuch as we have not seen the State Department report, and there is no Secret
Service report in existence, and we have nothing from CIA, that perhaps we can get a couple of these staff that we have been talking about down here to appraise what we do get in the meantime, and maybe we would do better to wait until a day or two after the first of the year to have our next meeting. I don't see much that we can accomplish in the meantime because Mr. Rankin will be busy orienting. himself and getting things set up and getting these lawyers working on the job. Personally, I can't see any need for havingany meeting between now and the first of the year.
SEN. RUSSELL: I can't either. I suppose you all will want to observe the Christmas Holidays, like we will, and I suppose ever other gentleman will want to observe Christmas day and it will take sometime to complete their study and analyze the documentary matter1 so I don't see any reason why we should meet before Congress comes back.
CHAIRMAN: That would be the seventh.
SEN. RUSSELL: Yes.
CHAIRMAN: Well, really, I don1t think it would serve any great purpose.
MR. MC CLOY: Only if an emergency came up.
SEN. RUSSELL: Oh, yes.
REP. BOGOS: Well, for those of us who are in Congress the seventh will be a bad day. The sixth will be a better day. The eighth, I think, the President is going to have his joint session.
SEN. RUSSELL: I would feel if it's necessary, maybe the Chairman will think it is necessary, but the sixth is agreeable with me. I can be here on the sixth in the afternoon. I can't be here in the morning.
CHAIRMAN: I can't believe there will be much difference between the sixth and the ninth. It will take Mr. Rankin and the staff sometime to get organized, and I'll be working on it, too, but I can't see any difference between that and the ninth. So suppose we leave it for one day of that week when you're all available. We'll check.
SEN. RUSSELL: Don't fix it on the ninth. If you feel it is necessary to meet on that day, of course, all of us will be in town, I assume, but you can keep in touch with Mr. Rankin on that.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, we'll pick a date that is agreeable to everyone.
MR. DULLES: Will we have the Texas report by then?
CHAIRMAN: I have no idea.
MR. DULLES: I think we ought to get that Texas report as soon as possible.
CHAIRMAN: I'm going to ask them to be here tomorrow and talk to them, Allen. I'll call the Attorney General on the phone as soon as I leave this meeting. I wanted to tell you folks before I got in touch with the Texas authorities, but I'll call them as soon as I leave this meeting and ask him if he can come down. If he does we'll try to work out a schedule and tell them the importance of expedition in the matter.
MR. DULLES: We can expedite, the CIA report, I know, because I can give them, or the FBI can pass to them these exhibits about Oswald being in Russia. That is going to be a pretty key business, the analysis of those reports.
CHAIRMAN: Haven't the CIA any contact with the FBI?
MR. DULLES: I don't think they'l1 do it because the FBI
has no authority to pass these reports to anyone else without this Commission's approval.
MR. MC CLOY: The CIA knows everything about it. I don't know how they got it but John McCone knows everything.
MR. DULLES: He has not seen the reportsbecause I've checked with the people yesterday at great length. I have no authority to give it to them and he has not seen the exhibits that we now have, that describe about Oswald while he was in Russia.
CHAIRMAN: I see no reason why we should not give John McCone a copy of this report and let him see it. He can see mine if he wants to. Do any of you see any reason why he shouldn't?
SEN. RUSSELL: I know of no reason.
REP. BOGGS: I can see no reason.
MR. DULLES: I can make mine available. I wouldn1t want to do it without approval of this Commission.
SEN. RUSSELL: I have never been able to understand why it is that every agency acts like it's the sole agency in the Government. There is very little interchange of information between the departments in the United States Government. The entire view is that they are a separate, closed department, and there is -no interchange of information. The Agriculture Department may have something that is similar to what another agency has and yet you can't interchange that information.
MR. DULLES: I wouldn't want the FBI to pass this report around every place. If you give me authority I would be willing to see that's done.
CHAIRMAN: If there is no objection, Mr. Dulles will be authorized to make his FBI report available to Mr. McCone.
REP. BOGGS: Mr. Chief Justice, who sees this transcript this man is making here?
CHAIRMAN: That is supposed to be Top Secret, between the reporter and this Commission, and no one else. I am sure that is the understanding.
REP. BOGGS: All right.
CHAIRMAN: We could not have less than that.
REP. BOGGS: I just wanted to make sure.
MR. DULLES: Mr. Chairman, I was just wondering, Mr. Katzenbach made a specific recommendation in his letter that, I think, none of us would like to go through with. On the other hand he said, I think, therefore, the Commission should consider releasing - or allowing the Department of Justice to release a short press statement which would preferably make the following points. Now, I wonder if we don't have to do something about that.
CHAIRMAN: May I say this, I have talked to Mr. Katzenbach about this, and I think the reason that he feels that something should be said was that the President himself told the public, the press in particular, that the report of the FBI would be made public. That was before he had appointed this Commission.
SEN. RUSSELL: Mr. Chairman, would there be any objection on your part to a motion that you acknowledge this and tell them that the Commission did not deem it advisable to issue any further statement at this time.
CHAIRMAN: If that is the wish of the Commission.
SEN. RUSSELL: That would at least give him an answer and that we'd be taking the responsibility for not issuing it.
CHAIRMAN: Gentlemen, do you make that as a motion?
SEN. RUSSELL: I do.
REP. FORD: May I ask what it was?
SEN. RUSSELL: Mr. Katzenbach's letter, do you recall? He wrote a letter recommending it be made public and it has not been answered. I moved that the Chairman acknowledge his letter and advise Mr. Katzenbach that the Commission deemed it advisable not to issue any further release at this time.
REP. FORD: Right.
CHAIRMAN: All in favor say, "Aye."
(Chorus of "Ayes.")
CHAIRMAN: Contrary minded?
CHAIRMAN: The "Ayes" have it.
MR. MC CLOY: Do we give anything out?
CHAIRMAN: As far as I'm concerned I have no statement for the public at all. I have made none and I don't propose to discuss it publicly with anyone.
SEN. RUSSELL: I have had two or three of my friends requesting information from me. They've asked me about it. I said, you really don't expect me to tell you about what is going on in the Commission? And they said, no I didn't but I've asked.
SEN. COOPER: They're all trying to find out how long they think this is going to take.
SEN. RUSSELL: It would be foolish to set a date now.
CHAIRMAN: We can't do it;
REP. FORD: May I say this, Mr. Chairman. I was down in
Chicago last Tuesday or Wednesday and I had a press conference for the American Farm Bureau meeting where I was speaking, and I thought they'd talk about that and they asked me about this. They asked me specifically would we make a report before the Ruby trial
and I said I didn't think we would. Now, I said that, but I didn't think there was any harm in saying that. That's the only thing.
CHAIRMAN: Congressman, I do think there is danger in saying that particular thing because it might be in somebody's mind to delay the trial. We're getting into an area here where we can't tell what is liable to happen. It might be to somebody's interest if they know this Commission would not make a report until this trial is over, and to find some way to delay the Ruby trial. So we couldn't do it without breaking our word.
REP. FORD: That's the only thing I said and it caught me because I was not prepared for that type of a conference, but I see your point and I'll not make any further statement.
SEN. RUSSELL: I would say that I couldn't tell when Ruby would be tried. You can easilydo that.
CHAIRMAN: It's pretty tough to stay awayfrom them. It's tougher for you than it is for me.
REP. BOGGS: On comments that I've made I just said we were going to get all of the facts and carry out the President's Proclamation, period, if it takes a year.
MR. DULLES: What about that letter from the Congressman that we do not have the right of subpoena power?
REP. FORD: I'm going to try to quiet him down.
MR. RANKIN: He raised an interesting point.
MR. MC CLOY: What is it?
SEN. RUSSELL: That the Commission, not having been established by Congress with a definite legislative purpose, the subpoena power just isn't there. I don't think there is an exception to it, but you can make one.
REP. FORD: He's a first term member, an investigator up in the State of New Hampshire, attorney general.
SEN. RUSSELL: I know him. He worked up here for a while.
MR. DULLES: You have probably all seen the Birch Society ad. That must have cost them thousands and thousands of dollars.
A full page in the New York Times. The Washington Post today.
MR. MC CLOY: What does it say?
MR. DULLES: Did you see it?
REP. FORD: It was in the Post this morning. That's where I saw it.
MR. DULLES: Right next to the editorial page it was in the Times.
REP. BOGGS: It was in the Times yesterday.
SEN. COOPER: Some fellow told me last week there was going to be a big ad in which we would all be denounced by name.
CHAIRMAN: Gentlemen, is there anything further to come before the meeting?
MR. RANKIN: I'd like to say about the oath, if you will sign them when you have time and send them to me.
REP. BOGGS: Why don't we do that right now?
MR. RANKIN: All right, and I'll send them to Justice Reed.
(The Commission members pause to sign their oath.)
MR. DULLES: I've got a few extra copies of a book that I passed out to our Counsel. Did I give it to you, Mr. Chief Justice?
CHAIRMAN: I don't think so.
MR. DULLES: It's a book written about ten tears ago giving the background of seven attempts on the lives of the President.
CHAIRMAN: I have not seen it.
MR. DULLES: It's a fascinating book, but you'll find a pattern running through here that I think we'll find in this present case. I hate to give you a paperback, but that's all there is.
CHAIRMAN: Paperback is good enough. Thank you very much.
REP. BOGGS: This piece in the current issue of the New Republic raises some interesting questions. You might like to read it.
MR. MC CLOY: This is very interesting.
REP. BOGGS: It is.
CHAIRMAN: The New Republic?
REP. BOGGS: The December 21st issue.
MR. MC CLOY: Called "Seeds of Doubt, Questions About The Assassination."
REP. BOGGS: It quotes stories from papers all over the country.
REP. FORD: When was the book written?
MR. DULLES: 1952. The last one is the attack on Truman. There you have a plot, but these other cases are all habitual, going back to the attack on Jackson in 1835. I found it very interesting.
MR. MC CLOY: The Lincoln assassination was a plot.
MR. DULLES: Yes, but one man was so dominant that it almost wasn't a plot.
CHAIRMAN: Gentlemen, this came to mind a day or so ago, and that is this, in England whenever they have a crisis they have a Royal Commission appointed, and they have had some great reports made up. I thought it might be wise for us to ask the Library of
Congress to get us a set of all of these Royal Commissions reports, back a good many years, including the most recent one, the Lord Denning report.
MR. DULLES: I have several copies of that.
MR. MC CLOY: It's very interesting the way he handled that.
CHAIRMAN: They have served a great purpose in satisfying the public and I thought we might learn something by getting them. Lee, maybe you can start working on that. You can have the Library of Congress begin putting those together for us.
MR. MC CLOY: One thing I have some doubt about is whether you're going to let such a long time elapse, between the date of the assassination and the middle of January, before you interview the chief witness, Mrs. Kennedy. I just think that it's going to look strange if we don't. I don't know who has interviewed her. Maybe some people have, maybe they have not, but I think we ought to satisfy ourselves that we interview her.
REP. BOGGS: I have talked to a friend of mine who told me about riding to the scene of the tragedy, the hospital, and he told me what transpired in the hospital room, and the extent of the wounds. In fact, the President was undoubtedly dead before he ever arrived at the hospital. None of this appears in these reports. Nothing but the autopsy.
MR. MC CLOY: We have to get that fast from the one that was closest to him, within a foot of him, when the bullet struck.
REP. BOOGS: And Governor Connally and Mr. Johnson, and the Secret Service Agent who jumped up on the back of the car.
MR. MC CLOY: That's what I have in mind.
MR. DULLES: I wonder if we couldn't, with the Chairman's approval, get one or two members of the Committee together, if some
of us have time, perhaps the Counsel and member of the Committee, and sit down with Bauman, and a few others, and just talk to them and get information for the benefit of the full Committee. I don't think we can all sit down with every witness. I don't think that's necessary.
REP. FORD: I agree with that.
MR. DULLES: I would be very glad to get Bauman to come in and get all of his views, and if the Committee wants to see him to make a report to the Committee then they can do it.
SEN. RUSSELL: I don't think we should start informal hearings at this stage because I don't know that we'll have to have a parade of witnesses. But if one member of the Commission would want to talk to them I think Mr. Rankin can find that rather quickly through the FBI to see if they have any statement from them. I doubt that they have. If they have not it's rather delicate.
MR. DULLES: It would be background information of the Secret Service's relations with the FBI.
MR. MC CLOY: I don't think we ought to question Mrs. Kennedy.
SEN. RUSSELL: I wouldn't like for the whole Commission to do it. If someone wanted to interview her that's different. I don't think she's the principal witness.
REP. FORD: That's what I was going to suggest. Someone who knows her best and has known her for a period of time. It can be done most informally.
CHAIRMAN: Gentlemen, I don't think we know about this thing yet to question witnesses in the formal way. I really don't believe we do. And when you're going to talk to someone like Mrs. Kennedy I think we ought to know exactly what we want to find out
from her, exactly what we have to have from her. I just can't see that we can proceed that way with her because it doesn't seem an honorable way.
MR. MC CLOY: I think a month is going to go by before you're in that position, and I think that is dangerous.
CHAIRMAN: Do you think she'll forget, Jack?
MR. MC CLOY: Yes. Your mind plays tricks with you. She's got it very definitely in mind now, and I'm told that she's physically in a position where she can do it, but I don't have that at first hand. She may not be the chief witness as to who did the job. She's the chief witness as to how those bullets hit her husband. She saw both of them.
SEN. RUSSELL: Yes, there's no question about that.
MR. MC CLOY: This is looming up as the most confusing thing that we've got.
CHAIRMAN: I wonder if the report we get from the Secret Service wouldn't pretty much clear that up. If it doesn't, good Lord, what can they report to us on that will help us. They were there, right at the car, and know exactly what happened.
REP. BOOGS: Well, this FBI report doesn't clear it up.
CHAIRMAN: It doesn't do anything
REP. BOGGS: It raises a lot of new questions in my mind.
MR. MC CLOY: The FBI was down there.
MR. DULLES: Yes, but during the investigation I don't think they have any business around the President.
REP. FORD: No protection responsibility.
SEN. COOPER: I think what the Chief Justice is saying is this, when these reports come in, if there are any raw reports from the FBI, if they have affidavits from people that testified
about the circumstances about what happened to the President, also the security people1 then, as I understand it, if there are any gaps in that and you feel that you should, go and talk to Mrs. Kennedy.
MR. DULLES: Is the Secret Service report coming directly to us.
CHAIRMAN: They're supposed to send it to us. I don't know. The Department of Justice is checking on it.
MR. DULLES: The Secret Service is under Treasury.
SEN. RUSSELL: Did the State report come directly from the State Department?
CHAIRMAN: No, it came through Katzenbach, and he's checking all these for us, as I understand it.
REP. BOGGS: Well, I think the point raised was a good one by McCloy. It's been a long time since I've practiced criminal law but I know how witnesses genuinely get confused.
MR.MC CLOY: Of course they do.
SEN. RUSSELL: It is very easy to. That's human thinking. You can get a person to say anything and he wasn't even there, and yet he'll believe that he saw it himself. I think someone should ask the Attorney General to ask her if she would make a statement, and if our Counsel feels that we should take the statement then some member of the Commission who knows Mrs. Kennedy better than I do, and I assume that of four or five of you that is true, should take this statement as informally as possible, and that is about how it should be done, if we should do it at all.
MR. DULLES: I wonder if she wouldn't write it out, and then if we wanted to ask questions on that it would be easier for her. She could take time and just write out everything she could remember.
REP. BOGGS: My thought would be that you or Allen check with Ted Sorensen about this9
MR. MC CLOY: My feeling would be to go to Bobby because he held her hand throughout the whole thing, and I think that would be better than Sorensen.
REP. BOGGS: Yes, I think so.
MR. RANKIN: I think we could get it by letting her tell her story first and arrange to visit her about particular questions that might not be covered, if that is all right with you.
REP. FORD: I think that's the way to do it.
CHAIRMAN: Suppose you do it that way.
SEN. RUSSELL: I think one member of the Commission should be there without any question.
MR. MC CLOY: You can talk to Bobby about that. He might have an idea on that.
CHAIRMAN: All right, gentlemen, is there anything further? If not I think I saw two or three newspaper men outside and I think we had probably better bring them in here and follow our practice and get it over with.
SEN. RUSSELL: You have to feed them a little because they expect it.
CHAIRMAN: All we need to tell them now is that we're in business and we've got an office manager, we've got a telephone, we're getting our staff together, and we're still gathering reports. That we have received the report from the State Department today but we have not had a chance to evaluate it . Other than the FBI report we have had nothing yet.
REP. BOGGS: How about this resolution?
CHAIRMAN: I don't know that I would. What do you think?
SEN. RUSSELL: I don't think we ought to but we expect
to talk to them again. I think it might be well to tell them about it.
CHAIRMAN: All right.
REP. FORD: Sir, I have a bill on the floor.
CHAIRMAN: Go right ahead. We'll adjourn today at the call of the Chairman, sometime in the week of the 6th of January.
REP. FORD: Do you want me to tell the press to come in?
CHAIRMAN: Yes, would you tell them to come in if they're here.
(At this point, approximately 4:15 PM, Congressman Ford left the conference room, and the press entered)
CHAIRMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, I have a brief statement to make. The Commission has been meeting here since two o'clock, as you know, and we have been discussing the organization and the workings of the Commission. We have been discussing, also the housekeeping plans that we have been developing through the week, and we want to announce to you that our headquarters will be at 200 Maryland Avenue, Southeast, that's in the building known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, directly across the street from the Supreme Court building.
CHAIRMAN: I guess it is Northeast. Right over here by the Senate Office Building. Well, you gentlemen know where it is, just right over here, 200 Maryland Avenue.
PRESS: We'll find it, sir.
CHAIRMAN: The General Counsel can' tell you the telephone number, if you wish it. I don't have it. We have the fourth floor of that building. We have an office manager there. He came to us from the General Services Administration. We have a files expert there, who was recommended to us and sent to us by Dr. Grover, the
Archivist. Mr. Rankin is set up there to do business as General Counsel. There is a secretary there and there will soon be a secretarial staff, we hope, from other departments of the Government,
As I say, we have been discussing the affairs of organization and we have decided that it would be essential for us in our work to have the materials upon which the reports we are receiving are based, and we are formally requesting the agencies to supply those materials to us. We have not yet received any reports, except one, which was received this afternoon from the State Department, and the FBI report, which you have heard about before. And I think that is about all I have.
MR. MC CLOY: We're in the process of recruiting our legal staff.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, we are in the process of doing that, and we'1l have something to announce on that very shortly.
PRESS: Did you say somethingabout materials?
CHAIRMAN: You understand that the reports we are receiving are merely summary reports of what happened and in more or less skeleton form, and in order for us to evaluate them we will have to see some of the materials upon which those reports are based. That is a normal thing.
PRESS: You have received two reports, the FBI report before today, and the State Department report this noon?
CHAIRMAN: That's true.
PRESS: Both summary reports?
PRESS: When you say materials, do you mean interviews with eye witnesses, that sort of thing, I'm trying to be general?
CHAIRMAN: Yes, it would include that.
MR.MC CLOY: Source material.
CHAIRMAN: Whatever the report is based on, some might be documents, some might be reports from investigators, some might be statements of individuals, and so forth, that kind of information.
PRESS: Would that include physical evidence also:
CHAIRMAN: Well, of course.
PRESS: Gun, bullets, that sort of thing, too?
CHAIRMAN: I don't think we need to have possession of any of those things. I know they'll be available to us if we need them but we did not have that particularly in mind.
PRESS: But you would want the ballistic tests?
CHAIRMAN: I think no one on the Commission, nor the General Counsel, has read it.
PRESS: Will a report on Oswald by the Russians be included?
CHAIRMAN: I don't know. I have not read it yet. I have not opened a book. I am sure no one on the Commission has either.
PRESS: Several days ago you talked about the Commission issuing a summary report of the FBI report. Can you tell us if you've discussed that and if you're still interested in issuing a summary report of the FBI report?
CHAIRMAN: I think, right at this moment, it would serve no purpose to do that.
PRESS: To issue a summary report?
PRESS: I think the phrasing you made was a preliminary statement.
CHAIRMAN: Yes, I think I did, and I think no statement of any kind should be forthcoming at this particular moment
PRESS: Do you rule out any statement until your own work is concluded?
CHAIRMAN: We don't rule out anything. I just say at this particular time there is none to be made.
PRESS: When will you have the next meeting?
CHAIRMAN: We'll meet at the call of the Chairman, and I think it will not be within the next ten days.
PRESS: Mr. Chief Justice, have you decided how long it might take for the Commission to complete its work?
CHAIRMAN: We have no reason to judge this, we have not even seen the reports we have to work on.