The testimony of Manning C. Clements was taken at 10:15 a.m., on April 8, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Samuel A. Stern, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. STERN. Good morning, Mr. Clements. Will you rise and raise your right hand, please.
Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. STERN. Would you please sit down. State your name and address.


Mr. CLEMENTS. Manning C. Clements, 5542 Montrose [spelling] M-o-n-t-r-o-s-e Drive, Dallas, Tex.
Mr. STERN. What is your occupation, Mr. Clements?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I'm a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Mr. STERN. How long have you been a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
Mr. CLEMENTS. Twenty-three years and approximately 4 months.
Mr. STERN. How long have you been assigned to the Dallas office?
Mr. CLEMENTS. Since April 1952.
Mr. STERN. On November 22, 1963, were you on duty as a special agent?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I was.
Mr. STERN. Did your duties that morning before noon concern the visit of the President?
Mr. STERN. Will you relate to us what happened when you first heard the news of the shooting of the President?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I arrived at the office following lunch and shortly thereafter heard of the shooting at the motorcade, and my superior instructed me to go to the .office of the chief of police. I was to offer the services of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for whatever use the police might find them of benefit.
Mr. STERN. What did you do then?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I went to the police station, arriving there at approximately I o'clock. I immediately contacted the office of the chief. I found that he was out. I contacted Capt. Glen King, his administrative assistant, and Captain Lunday, who was also on duty in the chief's office. Contacted Art Hammet, the public relations representative, who was occupying the desk in the outer office of the chief. I informed each of them as to the reason for my presence and that any requests that they might have for FBI assistance, information or otherwise, could be given to me and I would in turn, relay their request to our Dallas office.
Mr. STERN. What occurred next?
Mr. CLEMENTS. During the course of the next several hours I was in occasional contact with various representatives of the police department, in contact with my own office by telephone. Served more or less as a liaison officer to relay instructions to any other FBI agents who were on the premises.
Mr. STERN. When did you first hear of the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I can't fix the exact time. I am certain that I heard almost immediately after the arrest, because I learned from police personnel of the shooting of Officer Tippit, and thereafter, when they received radio reports, I was generally aware of such report. So, I became aware of the arrest of Oswald, I would say, approximately coincidentally with the front office, or with the police department learning of the arrest.
Mr. STERN. At that time his name meant nothing?
Mr. CLEMENTS. Repeat that.
Mr. STERN. His name meant nothing to you?
Mr. STERN. Were you present when he was brought into the police headquarters?
Mr. STERN. When did you first see Oswald?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I am, at this moment, uncertain of whether I saw him prior to personally interrogating him. I don't believe that I did.
Mr. STERN. Did you know that he was being interrogated, and that other special agents of the FBI were present?
Mr. CLEMENTS. It was my understanding that he was being questioned and that FBI agents were participating.
Mr. STERN. You were, then, pursuing other functions?
Mr. STERN. And they were, again, liaison activities?
Mr. CLEMENTS. Liaison---primarily.
Mr. STERN. Were you, Mr. Clements, the conduit for any information that the FBI had concerning Oswald, to the Dallas Police Department?


Mr. STERN. I understand that you participated in an interrogation of Oswald. Would you tell me about that?
Mr. CLEMENTS. Sometime during the evening I did go to the homicide bureau office for some purpose I don't immediately recall, and there I saw one of our other agents, James Bookhout, and I asked him if anyone had, to his knowledge, taken a detailed physical description and detailed background information from Oswald. He told me that such description and background data had not been obtained, and suggested that I do it. I learned from Bookhout, as I recall, that Oswald was, at the time, in a small office, the door of which was closed.
I sought out Captain Fritz, in charge of the-homicide bureau, or one of high ranking officers and asked if there was any objection to my interviewing Oswald in the regard mentioned.
I was told there was no objection. I entered this room and found that Oswald was in the room, and being guarded by two officers who I presumed to be members of the Dallas Police Department, but whom I did not personally know.
Mr. STERN. They were not interrogating him?
Mr. CLEMENTS. No; they were apparently just sitting on guard duty.
Mr. STERN. Then what happened?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I introduced myself to the officers whose names I do not believe that I got, and also introduced myself to Oswald Exhibited my credentials and told him that I would like to obtain from him some physical description, background, biographical data. He was agreeable, and I began my interview with him.
Mr. STERN. Can you approximate the time of day that this occurred--roughly?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I would say the interview began roughly at 10 p.m.
Mr. STERN. How long did it last? And was it interrupted?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I estimate the overall interview was approximately 30 or 35 minutes. I was interrupted twice, perhaps, during the interview, being informed that he was being taken out for a lineup. While he was gone I examined the contents of his wallet which was there on the desk, and identified to me as Oswald's wallet. When he returned I continued the interview.
Mr. STERN. Approximately how long was he gone?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I would estimate 10 or 15 minutes.
Mr. STERN. So, that the total amount of time that you spent with him was something like 20 minutes?
Mr. CLEMENTS. That would be a rough estimate.
Mr. STERN. Did you see him again after that interview?
Mr. CLEMENTS. Yes; I saw him next at a time which I estimate was 11:30 p.m., the 22d. It was at a time when he was being taken to the basement of the city hall to a press conference. I saw him as he was being taken to the third floor from the offices of the homicide bureau, and I went to the basement myself arriving there before he did, and I saw him as he was being brought into the room where the press conference was held, and during the course of the press conference.
Mr. STERN. Did you see him again at any time after that press conference?
Mr. STERN. What was his physical condition, as you observed it when you----
Mr. CLEMENTS. He----
Mr. STERN. When you entered the room to interrogate him?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I observed a bruise, a bruise in the vicinity of one of his eyes. I believe minor scratches on his face. I saw no evidence that he was suffering from any physical pain or anything of that sort.
Mr. STERN. Was he handcuffed?
Mr. STERN. With his hands in front or behind?
Mr. CLEMENTS. Hands were in front.
Mr. STERN. Did he seem alert, or otherwise?
Mr. CLEMENTS. He seemed alert.


Mr. STERN. Will you now tell, Mr. Clements, as much as you can recall of your interrogation of Oswald at that time?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I informed him of the purpose of my interview. He made no objection. I proceeded to get his name in full. I asked him questions as to his date and place of birth, height, weight, color of his hair and eyes, and as to the existence of any permanent scars or marks. As to the identities of close relatives, their addresses and occupations, and asked him as to his own occupation, residence, attempting to get them in chronological order, and asked as to his past occupations.
Mr. STERN. Did you review with him the contents of his wallet and ask him questions on any of it?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I questioned him as to the fictitious, and obviously fictitious selective service card, which I found in his wallet. I recognized it as being fictitious card from the fact that the photograph was mounted on the card, and that there were obvious erasures in typing of information on the card itself. The card was in the name of an Alek James Hidell, but bore the photograph of Oswald.
Mr. STERN. What did he say about that card?
Mr. CLEMENTS. He declined to answer any questions as to the reason of his possession of it.
Mr. STERN. Were there any other questions you put to him that he refused to answer?
Mr. CLEMENTS. Toward the conclusion of the interview and after he had been absent and returned I continued with the questions of past residence and past occupations. He responded to my questions. At a time when I asked him as to his present occupation he hesitated and told me that he thought the obtaining of his description and background information had become somewhat prolonged. He said that he had refused to be interviewed by .other law enforcement officers previously, and that he had no intention of being interviewed by me. He continued that he knew the tactics of the FBI. He stated there was a counterpart or a similar agency in Russia, that I was using the soft touch, where the approach of a Russian agency would be different, but the tactics would be the same.
Mr. STERN. At that point did he stop answering questions?
Mr. CLEMENTS. No; at that point I asked the same question that I had asked previously, and he answered.
Mr. STERN. Did the interview continue beyond that?
Mr. CLEMENTS. That was substantially the end of the interview.
Mr. STERN. Were there other persons present besides the two Dallas police officers who were guarding him?
Mr. STERN. At either time, either before or after he had been withdrawn from the lineup?
Mr. STERN. Did he seem hostile or resentful or irritated by the fact that you were an FBI agent?
Mr. CLEMENTS. He did not state that, if that were the case. He was courteous, responsive as to any question. Volunteered little information.
Mr. STERN. But volunteered very little information. Did he seem a person in command of himself?
Mr. CLEMENTS. He seemed to be in command of himself both physically and mentally. He had what appeared to me to be a slightly haughty or arrogant attitude.
Mr. STERN. Did he complain to you about the treatment he was receiving?
Mr. STERN. Did he say anything to you about obtaining counsel, whether he had tried to?
Mr. CLEMENTS. He said nothing whatsoever in that regard.
Mr. STERN. Did he say anything about any effort on his part to reach his family that had been unsuccessful?
Mr. CLEMENTS. No; he did not.


Mr. STERN. At the conclusion of your interview, did you leave the office in which he was being guarded and leave him behind?
Mr. CLEMENTS. Yes; I did.
Mr. STERN. When you next saw him at this press conference in the basement, can you describe the conditions in that room? How many people were present?
Mr. CLEMENTS. The corridor on the third floor was quite crowded, and when I reached the basement there were, I would estimate, perhaps 50 people, all told, including officers, members of the press, perhaps others. There was a crowded condition I would say.
Mr. STERN. Quite a great deal of noise?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I don't recall any great amount of noise. Although, I do recall that members of the press were attempting to get Oswald to respond to questions.
Mr. STERN. How did he seem at that time?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I saw no difference in his appearance to that at the time I had talked with him.
Mr. STERN. Did he then seem to you to be in command of himself, and alert?
Mr. CLEMENTS. Yes; he did.
Mr. STERN. Mr. Clements, did you make a record of your interview with Oswald?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I did.
Mr. STERN. How soon after the interview did you dictate that memorandum?
Mr. CLEMENTS. The following day, November 23, 1963.
Mr. STERN. And have you reviewed that memorandum to refresh your memory of what occurred?
Mr. CLEMENTS. I have.
Mr. STERN. And you had no further contact, or didn't observe Oswald, Mr. Clements, as I understand it, from the time of the press conference until he was, himself, killed on November 24?
Mr. CLEMENTS. That's correct.
Mr. STERN. Thank you very much.
Mr. STERN. The reporter will transcribe your testimony. You can, if you wish, review a copy of the transcript and sign it, or waive your signature and the reporter will send it directly to the Commission, whichever you prefer.
Mr. CLEMENTS. I think I would prefer to review it after it is typed.
Mr. STERN. Fine.
The reporter will get in touch with you and give you an opportunity to review it.
Thank you very much for coming in.