The President's Commission reconvened at 2 p.m.
Mr. McCLOY. Mr. Lawson, you know the general purpose of what we are here for?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. McCLOY. In the way of trying to get as much information as we can,


not only regarding the assassination of the President but also some background as to the steps that have been taken to protect him and as well as perhaps to take some testimony with the thought that we might be able to recommend measures that might insure future security of our Presidents. I will ask you, if you will, to rise and I will swear you.
Do you solemnly swear the testimony you will give in this hearing will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. LAWSON. I do.
Mr. McCLOY. Go ahead.
Mr. STERN. Mr. Lawson, would you state your name, age, and address for the record, please?
Mr. LAWSON. Winston George Lawson, 35 years old, 516 Vista Drive, apartment 204, Falls Church, Va.
Mr. STERN. What was your education at the college level?
Mr. LAWSON. A bachelor of arts with a major in history and government.
Mr. STERN. From what?
Mr. LAWSON. University of Buffalo, 1949.
Mr. STERN. Briefly, what was your employment experience from 1949 to 1959.
Mr. LAWSON. From the time of my graduation after a couple of months working for a firm that my father worked for, I became a wholesale carpet salesman until December 1951, and then I joined the Carnation Co., manufacturers of milk products nationally, and was a representative in various capacities for them in New York State. In 1953, March, I went in the Army and I had been a reservist and was called up as a CIC agent. I had 16 weeks of basic infantry, basic training, went to the CIC Counterintelligence School in Holabird, Md.--Fort Holabird, Md.--outside of Baltimore, and then was assigned eventually to the Lexington field office where I did general counterintelligence work for the Army, background investigations, and some interviews of the prisoners, POW's from the Korean war.
After I returned to civilian life in 1955, I returned to the Carnation Milk Go. and had various sales or public relations jobs with them in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y., generally covering most of the State of New York. I applied to enter the Secret Service approximately 3 years before I was accepted, and entered the Secret Service in October 1959 in the Syracuse field office.
Mr. STERN. Will you tell us of your experience in the Secret Service, describing briefly each assignment of work?
Mr. McCLOY. When you say CIC agent you mean----
Mr. LAWSON. Counterintelligence agent; yes, sir, in the Army. I was hired as an agent in the Syracuse field office, and did general investigative work in the Syracuse area, part of New York State, with time out for a special assignment during the Eisenhower administration for approximately 21 days when I had to come to Washington to replace some agents who were advancing some large trips in South America. I was away from the Syracuse office in Treasury School for 6 weeks and I was away from the Syracuse office for 5 weeks while I attended Secret Service School.
I was here in Secret Service School during the inauguration of President Kennedy. The school was let out for that day so that they could take advantage of the agents that were here in town for post assignments. After returning to Syracuse for approximately 3 weeks I was transferred to Washington on the White House detail in March 1961.
Mr. STERN. And you have been a member of the White House detail.
Mr. LAWSON. Of the White House detail.
Mr. STERN. Since then?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes.
Mr. STERN. What has your experience been, Mr. Lawson, in doing advance work for Presidential or Vice Presidential trips?
Mr. LAWSON. I have assisted on some advances and I have had the overall responsibility on some others. Some of my overall responsibilities were Billings, Mont.; Little Rock; Buffalo and Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Cherry Point, N.C.
Mr. STERN. Approximately how many trips did you have the major responsibility for, and how many did you assist on in doing advance work?


Mr. LAWSON. I have assisted on five or six and had the major responsibility on seven or eight, I believe, and then have done what we call local advances here in the Washington area, iŁ the President is going to a dinner or to a speech or to a function here in Washington.
Mr. STERN. Do all members of the White House detail do advance work for Presidential trips?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; after they have been there a few months perhaps, or sometimes a little less, depending on the need of advances, they are assigned to go out and help on some advances, and then they will work regular shift work for a while and then they may be assigned other advances and then a little bit later have the responsibility of one.
Mr. McCLOY. Mr. Ford, this is Mr. Lawson from the Secret Service. He is just giving us his qualifications and giving his experience up to the time that he was given responsibility in connection with making preparations, advance preparations, for Presidential trips.
Mr. STERN. When you are not doing advance work, Mr. Lawson, what are your general responsibilities?
Mr. LAWSON. I am assigned to a regular shift, of which there are three on the White House detail, and we work 2 weeks 4 to 12, 2 weeks midnights, 2 weeks days. That is generally because if there is a Presidential movement here in Washington, usually if it is a daytime engagement the 4-to-12 shift will have to come in and work extra. If it is an evening engagement, why, the 8-to-4 shift will have to work extra. And then as the President takes trips, if we are assigned to work that day we would also go along as a regular working agent, accompanying him or going just ahead of him.
Mr. STERN. When you do the advance work for a trip, do you file reports in connection with the work you have done?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. Do you typically file a report somewhere in the middle of the advance and then at the end, or how does it work? What are your responsibilities?
Mr. LAWSON. Until just prior to the Dallas trip we had a report which we tried to get out if it was at all possible and send back to Washington, the complete report at that time, and then write a supplemental after we returned to Washington, with any changes. The first advance and the advance that I had in Billings, Mont., and in Little Rock, Ark., I was able to do that. Those were in September and October of 1963. However, they changed the reporting system so that we send a preliminary report, and it was the first one of this type that I had had after the Dallas trip. So this one has a preliminary report and also a final survey report.
Mr. DULLES. How much forenotice did you have of the Dallas trip; do you recall?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; I was notified of it on November 4, which is quite a bit of notice.
Mr. DULLES. So you could start your preparations for it on November 4, approximately?
Mr. LAWSON. I was notified that there would be a trip, but that I would have more information on November 8; yes, sir; and I was given more information on November 8.
Mr. DULLES. And when was it in that period that you were notified that Dallas was to be visited?
Mr. LAWSON. On November 4.
Mr. DULLES. On November 4?
Mr. LAWSON. I was told that I would be going to Dallas, but they didn't know very many of the details yet and wouldn't until November 8.
Mr. STERN. Mr. Lawson, I show you a document marked for identification Commission No. 767. Can you identify that?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; I can. It is my preliminary report for the Dallas trip.
Mr. STERN. And that was prepared when?
Mr. LAWSON. That was prepared in Dallas, late afternoon or early evening Tuesday, November 19, and sent to Washington by airplane.
Mr. STERN. Mr. Chairman, may this be admitted?


Mr. McCLOY. It may be admitted.
(Commission Exhibit No. 767 was received in evidence.)
Mr. STERN. I now show you a document marked for identification Commission No. 768. Can you identify that, Mr. Lawson?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; that is a final survey report which I prepared upon my return from Dallas.
Mr. STERN. And that is the final report in this preliminary-final report arrangement----
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. Which you have described? And can you identify this additional document marked for identification Commission Exhibit No. 769?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; this is a statement of the activities that I had, to the best of my knowledge, in connection with the Presidential visit to Dallas covering my activities only pertaining to the Dallas trip from November 4 through 21.
Mr. STERN. This, I take it, was not a routine report?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; it was not.
Mr. STERN. It was prepared because of what transpired at Dallas? Mr. Chairman, may we have admitted 768 and 769?
Mr. McCLOY. They may be admitted.
(Commission Exhibits Nos. 768 and 769 were received in evidence.)
Mr. STERN. Now, beginning November 8, can you tell us the preparations for your trip that you did here in Washington?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes.. Acting on the instruction to come into the office on November 8 for the additional instructions that I had been told I would receive, Mr. Roy Kellerman, who is an assistant special agent in charge of the detail, gave myself and other members of the advance teams going out what information they had up to that time on their respective stops. Mr. Kellerman told me the name of Mr. Jack Puterbaugh, whom I would meet on an airplane taking the advance agents to Dallas the next week. I contacted the White House Communications Agency to see if they were sending a communications representative along to help out as they usually did, and was given his name. Mr. Kellerman gave me the name of a car contact in the Dallas area so that we would be able to obtain cars for the motorcade, which is normal.
Mr. STERN. These are cars, as I understand it----
Mr. LAWSON. For the Presidential party.
Mr. STERN. Furnished to you by----
Mr. LAWSON. The Ford Motor Co.
Mr. STERN. By people in the area that you visit----
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. For use during the visit of the President? Were you told anything about the assistance you would have in doing advance work for the Dallas trip?
Mr. LAWSON. Could you be more explicit, please?
Mr. STERN. Whether you would have another agent assigned to do the work with you?
Mr. LAWSON. Oh, yes. I had been told earlier, sometime between November 4 and 8, that another agent would be accompanying me. but, because of the Presidential trips which were occurring right at that time, that they would not be able to send out one at the same time, and he would have to join me later in Dallas after some of the other trips had been taken care of.
Mr. STERN. What were the usual arrangements as far as assignments?
Mr. LAWSON. Quite often two agents would go out at the same time; yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. And your responsibilities and those of this other agent when he joined you pertained only to Dallas; is that correct?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. You were not concerned with any other city in the President's route?
Mr. LAWSON. Not on that occasion; no, sir.
Mr. STERN. And each of those cities had its own advance agent or agents?
Mr. LAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. STERN. Doing the same work you were doing?
Mr. LAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. STERN. When, in fact, did the other agent join you?


Mr. LAWSON. On Monday evening. May I refer to the date of this?
Mr. STERN. Please.
Mr. LAWSON. November 18; Monday evening.
Mr. STERN. Now, what steps did you take in Washington before you left, with respect to determining the names and other information about persons who might be in the Dallas area and who might be regarded as potential threats to the President?
Mr. LAWSON. I went--on November 8, after leaving Mr. Kellerman's office, I went to the office in the Executive Office Building where our agents of the Protective Research Section are, and notified agents at that location that I was being assigned the advance for Dallas, Tex. trip, the date of this trip, and that I requested them to check their files and determine as to whether I should have the name of any individual in the Dallas area who was of record to us as an active subject.
Mr. STERN. Was this request made in writing?
Mr. LAWSON. It was oral, sir.
Mr. STERN. Is it usually made that way, orally? Do you ever make a written request?
Mr. LAWSON. I have never done so. I don't know about the other individuals.
Mr. STERN. What did they tell you?
Mr. LAWSON. I was told after waiting there a little while that there were no subjects of record in the Dallas area, of active PRS individuals that we would expect to ham the President.
Mr. STERN. And this check was made while you were present in the office?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; that is correct.
Representative FORD How long did it take, for example?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe I was there approximately 10 minutes. Not much more than 10 minutes, sir.
Representative FORD. In other words, they made this check on your behalf in that period of time?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Do you know how they went about it? Did you observe how they went about it?
Mr. LAWSON. In looking back I can recall the individuals going to certain files, but I have never worked in the PRS Section and I only know general information about it.
Representative FORD. You asked somebody to check on the names of people who might be a threat in Dallas?
Mr. LAWSON. That is correct, sir.
Representative FORD. And within a period of 10 minutes they came back and said there were no names?
Mr. LAWSON. That is right, sir.
Mr. DULLES. What was their answer again? I didn't quite clearly hear it when you said it the first time.
Mr. LAWSON. I don't believe I could give you an exact answer.
Mr. DULLES. In general what was your recollection?
Mr. LAWSON. There were no PRS subjects, active PRS subjects which would be a threat to the President to our knowledge in the Dallas area in the files.
Mr. DULLES. And would you define PRS?
Mr. LAWSON. Protective Research Section.
Mr. STERN. Was there a file that you yourself checked preliminary to your trip?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't believe so.
Mr. STERN. Not a file of individuals but a file that might be helpful to you in your advance work for Dallas?
Mr. LAWSON. We have files of past trips, some of President Eisenhower's. I am not sure how long ago they go back because they are probably taken out and put some place else periodically. But for example we have all of President Kennedy's trips right now plus President Johnson's current ones, and an agent could if he desired, if he was being assigned to a city, go and see if the President had been there recently, and look in that for names or perhaps if he was going


to the same hotel or something, this would give him names of people to contact there. He might obtain information. There was no report on Dallas for President Kennedy.
Mr. STERN. You checked?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. And found no report. This file would contain the reports such as your final report which we have marked "768," is that right?
Mr. LAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. STERN. There was nothing in there----
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Mr. STERN. Reflecting any recent trip to the Dallas area?
Mr. LAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. STERN. Did anything else transpire before you left for Dallas as far as advance preparation?
Mr. LAWSON. I picked up paraphernalia that we use, sometimes more than other times depending on the type of trip it is. If there is to be a motorcade as there was in this case, we usually get car numbers for the windows and some identification pins for people who will not have identification supplied by a local committee, and other paraphernalia of this type, and 1 obtained those and took them with me.
Mr. STERN. Did anything else happen before you left for Dallas?
Mr. LAWSON. I called the Dallas office, the agent in charge was not in, and talked to another agent, told him that I was coming down with other agents on the Texas trip and would be dropped off at approximately 7:30 on the evening, Tuesday evening, of the next week, and-----
Mr. STERN. What was the date?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe that is the 12th of November. That Mr. Puterbaugh and Chief Warrant Officer Bales from the Communications Agency, White House, would be accompanying me, and would they make arrangements to please have us met at the airport and for rooms. And then dictated a confirming memo before I left on the eighth.
Representative FORD. Did you have any other contacts with PRS other than this one?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I did not.
Mr. STERN. You then went to Dallas on November 12?
Mr. LAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. STERN. What did you do in Dallas from the time of your arrival in connection with trying to learn about people who might be potentially dangerous to the President?
Mr. LAWSON. I was aware of the so-called Stevenson incident and so I didn't have to be told that there.
Mr. STERN. How did you become aware of that?
Mr. LAWSON. I had read it in the paper, and so without making inquiries 1 was aware of that when I went there.
Mr. STERN. You received no specific advice about that from PRS?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I was aware of this fact. And then of course it was after I arrived there people were talking about it also. And although to my know]edge none of the people involved in that particular incident had threatened the President or were known to us as threatening the President, I asked Agent Howlett if he would view some films of this incident that I understood one of the local TV stations had.
I was informed of this by a local executive of the local paper who was on the host committee, that they had such films. And Agent Howlett did view these and had some still shots made of these individuals, although we still did not know that they were against President Kennedy or might harm him in any way. This was an extra on my part. I had asked Agent Howlett if he had any contact with any individuals, informants in the area that he might have, that the office might have about rightwing elements and what they might do, and was told that prior to my arrival in Dallas they had received some information on some rightwing activity, and that an investigation had been made, and that he also had talked to an informant or two I believe. But to their knowledge there


was nothing in the radical-type rightwing movement so-called in the Dallas area that they knew of that was going to harm President Kennedy.
Mr. STERN. Did anything else occur? Did you have any discussions of this problem with the local police?
Mr. LAWSON. We talked with the local police on many occasions as to what would happen if there were demonstrations, pickets and so forth, if they knew of any activity, and I believe S. A. Howlett from the Dallas office did the same thing. The papers, the newspapers in Dallas had a few articles on how watchful the police were going to be of the crowd, with particular emphasis on disturbances or pickets, and some of the local committee, host committee, as well as some of the local political groups in the area were worried that perhaps the police would be overzealous in controlling picketing or disturbances, and asked me if I could find out just what the police were planning to do in this event, that there were some wild rumors as to just what the police were going to do. And because we like to have our local Agents who have to work with the police in these areas maintain the liaison I asked Mr. Sorrels if he would contact the chief of police and find out exactly what they planned to do in relation to picketing, and discussed the new ordinance that had been passed on the Monday, November 18 I believe it is, prior to the President's visit. And we were told that the police would accept peaceful picketing, but that the new ordinance was strictly to give them some power to act if pickets or individuals were interfering with lawful assembled groups, if they were trying to make noise to drown out people who were bona fide speakers at lawful groups, or if they were trying to interfere with any person entering or departing a lawful assembly.
Mr. STERN. Did anything occur in connection with a circular that was being circulated at the time?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes sir; I learned of a circular which had been distributed in various parts of the city, blue in color with President Kennedy's picture on it, and a list of grievances against him called treasonist to the United States. I was given a copy of the circular in the police chiefs office, and requested Mr. Sorrels, our local agent in charge he had received a copy of this circular, and I asked him to check with the district attorney's office, the Federal district attorney, to see if it was against the Federal law. At quick reading myself it didn't look like it was a violation of Federal law but I was in no position to judge it, and I could see no direct threat.
Mr. DULLES. What Federal law did you have in mind then?
Mr. LAWSON. Under our jurisdiction, sir, of protection of the President and investigation of letters or other threats in connection to the President.
Mr. DULLES. This circular that you referred to is this the advertisement in the papers?
Mr. DULLES. Was this something different?
Mr. LAWSON. I never saw the advertisement in the paper the morning of the 22d, and the first knowledge I had of that particular advertisement was after I had returned from Dallas.
(Discussion off the record.)
Representative FORD. What page?
Mr. STERN. Exhibit 4 to the attachment of exhibits.
Mr. Lawson, I show you a one-page document marked "Commission Exhibit No. 770" for identification with two photographs of President Kennedy, and the title "Wanted for Treason." Is this a copy, a photograph of the circular you have been describing?
Mr. LAWSON. It is, sir.
Mr. STERN. May it be admitted?
Mr. McCLOY. It may be admitted.
(Commission Exhibit No. 770 was received in evidence.)
Mr. STERN. The newspaper advertisement was a series of questions addressed to President Kennedy asking why he had done certain things.
Mr. DULLES. I remember seeing it. Have you any idea as to the number of these circulars that were distributed, any estimate?
Mr. LAWSON. No sir; I have no idea how many were put out. They appeared in certain sections of the city I was told. The police told me they had no idea


who had put them out or when they had been put out, and Mr. Sorrels said some had been brought over to his office by the FBI, which is how he had known about it, and that neither he nor they knew the source of them.
Mr. DULLES. And nobody was apprehended or seen in the act of circulating these.
Mr. LAWSON. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. DULLES. By any authority as far as you know?
Mr. LAWSON. That is right.
Mr. STERN. In respect to questions like what steps are taken to assure the security of the President on the trip and how to work out liaison arrangements with local Federal and municipal authorities, what is your understanding of the division of responsibility between yourself as the advance agent and the head of the local Secret Service office?
Mr. LAWSON. The advance agent who goes out from Washington is responsible for the overall stop, for making the advance arrangements, and on the day of the movement would have authority over the other agents at the stop already or the agents accompanying the President, and of course the agent in charge of the detail coming from Washington would also have authority naturally over the agents.
However, he is just arriving in the city probably for the first time, and the advance agent would have certain knowledge about certain events and would have more authority than he does in certain respects or he would ask his advice. So that there is a boss over the agents which would be the advance agent and also the gentleman in charge of the detail coming from Washington. The local agent in charge of the local office assists the advance agent in all of his arrangements in the territory that is to be visited, and the local agent in charge conducts such investigations to assist the advance agent, and the local agent in charge would be in charge of any liaison with local officials, local police officials.
Mr. STERN. Insofar as the concern is for persons who might be dangerous or threatening to the President, the agent in charge of the Dallas office would be responsible for liaison arrangements with local authorities but you ultimately would be responsible as the delegate of the head of the White House detail, for decisions as to what steps should be taken?
Mr. LAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. DULLES. What police powers, if any, can you exercise in that situation in a sovereign State?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe the actual police powers as such would only be in the event of actual knowledge of a threat on the President's life, anything that we have jurisdiction of. If we hear of an oral threat or see a written threat on the life of the President or see someone attempt to take his life, this is our jurisdiction, and we would be able to act as such.
Mr. DULLES. You could effect an arrest.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; however, anything which would fall under the jurisdiction of the local police such as firearms laws or picketing laws or disturbances or anything like that we have to depend upon the local police to use their jurisdiction.
Mr. McCLOY. Suppose the President is shot and you apprehend the murderer. Can you arrest him and put him into custody?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; I could arrest him for the shooting of the President, but it is my understanding actually for the murder, no, but because he tried to take the life of the President I could.
Mr. McCLOY. I understand there may be some question, there is a gap in the law there that it fits no Federal crime.
Mr. LAWSON. I will have to refer to counsel here as to just where it stops, when it becomes murder actually where we have no jurisdiction, and an attempt on the life of the President.
Mr. DULLES. Let's take a less-clear case. If you suspected Mr. X was a man who was going to interfere with the President, although he had committed no overt act, could you move in then or would you call upon the local police?
Mr. LAWSON. If he was a suspect, sir, and we had a belief that he might try to ham the President while he was in Dallas, I would try to assign a Secret


Service agent in conjunction with local police authorities, to watch him. If it was a function where it was by invitation only or there was some kind of control as to how the people got in, you would make sure that he did not get in because you were watchful of the ticketholders, et cetera.
However, the function was to be handled; if it was a ball park where anyone could buy a ticket to go in, then we would just have to have the man watched, or perhaps the local police themselves somehow could keep him from going to that ball park. But I as an agent could not.
Mr. DULLES. Even if the President were in attendance in the ball park?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; unless there was some reason that I could have him arrested, I would not be able to do so. But I would have him watched if I knew that there might be a threat.
Mr. DULLES. Am I asking questions that should go to counsel?
Mr. SMITH. I don't have any disagreement with what Agent Lawson has said so far.
Mr. DULLES. Is there not some confusion of jurisdiction though here?
Mr. McCLOY. Isn't the panel studying this?
Mr. STERN. We are.
Mr. McCLOY. That is what I thought. The panel is working on the law.
Mr. DULLES. You are working on the law?
Mr. STERN. Yes.
Mr. DULLES. You have got all the evidence that you want?
Mr. STERN. Yes; and there is a large area where Federal jurisdiction does not exist except on some strained theory of conspiracy. There is no substantive Federal jurisdiction with respect to great areas.
Mr. LAWSON. Might I add one thing please. The White House detail agents are supposed to protect the life of the President wherever he is. If there is a shot from the crowd or something happens, whether the President is hit or not, get him away, get him out, and still protect him. However, if you were riding on a car and actually saw someone do something, and you were able to get to that individual, you would then hold that person. But a White House detail agent would not drop the President and then go look for someone who might have tried to harm him at the time that he is there. That is not our function.
Mr. STERN. Tuning now to the question of the motorcade route, Mr. Lawson, what can you tell us about how that was selected?
Mr. LAWSON. On November 8 when Mr. Kellerman was giving me some of the information on the proposed trip to Dallas, all of the advance agents for the respective stops were given the current itinerary as prepared by the White House staff for their stops, and for the Dallas stop there was a 45 minute time lapse from the time the President landed at the airport until the time that he attended the luncheon, and at the time that I left Washington, it had not been decided whether he would attend this luncheon at the Trade Mart where it later was planned to have it, or at the Women's Building on the Fair Grounds. And this figured a great deal in the parade route, the 45 minutes.
Mr. STERN. The 45 minute time interval?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. Was established for you by the White House?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. And were you specifically instructed to prepare a parade route or was this your reaction to the time lag?
Mr. LAWSON. This is my function. I wasn't specifically asked to, but this would be the function of the advance agent.
Mr. STERN. Were you instructed that there would be a motorcade?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. And that is what this 45 minutes was for?
Mr. LAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. STERN. How was the actual route determined then once the Trade Mart had been selected as the site for the luncheon?
Mr. LAWSON. Various routes were under consideration. We could have gone from the airport direct to the Trade Mart the way that we should have returned, the 4 mile route returning from the Trade Mart to the airport, or we


could have taken a city street-type route all the way downtown and all the way back, or we could have taken a freeway downtown and a freeway back.
But the route that was chosen was chosen because it was the consensus of opinion that it was probably the best route under the circumstances. It allowed us 45 minutes to go from the airport to the Trade Mart at the speed that I figured the President would go from past experience with him in advances, and as a regular working agent riding in a followup car.
It allowed us to go downtown, which was wanted back in Washington, D.C. It afforded us wide streets most of the way, because of the buses that were in the motorcade. It afforded us a chance to have alternative routes if something happened on the motorcade route. It was the type of suburban area a good part of the way where the crowds would be able to be controlled for a great distance, and we figured that the largest crowds would be downtown, which ,they were, and that the wide streets that we would use downtown would be of sufficient width to keep the public out of our way. Prime consideration in a motorcade is to make sure the President isn't stopped unless he plans it himself. You must have room to maneuver, alternative routes to turn off from, room for buses and so forth, and particularly room to keep the public out of the street.
Mr. STERN. What was the extent of your review of the parade route with the local police?
Mr. LAWSON. With the local police I went over the entire route on one occasion, went to the various stops at other times and so actually did parts of the route at that time, the part of the route which would be near the stop like the airport and the Trade Mart. But the actual route I went over with two police officers from the Dallas Police Department.
Mr. McCLOY. By went over you mean you actually drove along the entire route?
Mr. LAWSON. We drove it sir, with them taking notes, and them making suggestions and Mr. Sorrels and I making suggestions.
Mr. STERN. To what extent did they actually participate in the decision that this be the route?
Mr. LAWSON. They were asked their advice on possible routes that you could go to the Trade Mart.
Mr. STERN. And they had no disagreement with the route----
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Mr. STERN. That was actually selected, no criticism of it? What arrangements did you make with the Dallas police for security along the route, starting from Love Field and getting to the Trade Mart?
Mr. LAWSON. A good deal of it was trait control, both to keep people out of our path as the motorcade progressed so that they would have at least the major intersections covered and as many of the other ones as possible. Those which were not, all intersections that were not able to be controlled physically by a policeman or more than one policeman were to be controlled by motorcycles that would hop-skip the motorcade, or other police vehicles in the motorcade.
At certain times certain intersections were to be cutoff as we proceeded so that it would allow time for any traffic ahead of us to clear the area before we arrived there. Where it was felt from past experience and the type of area that we were passing through there would be large crowds, more police were requested for along the route, and on the routes.
Mr. STERN. Foot policemen or motorcycle patrolmen?
Mr. LAWSON. Both, sir. They were requested at the corners to have more than one policeman, so that there would be policemen for watching the crowd and controlling the crowd, and other policemen who would have jurisdiction over the traffic in the area, so that someone wouldn't be watching the crowd and a car going by him or vice versa. We saw the underpasses or overpasses or bridges that were on the route, and they were requested to have officers, depending on the type of installation there that I just mentioned, the type that it was, either under it or over it, on the underpasses. The railroad lines were checked and here was no rail traffic of a scheduled nature over the two rail crossings that we would pass, none on the way in but two on the way out.


However, just to make sure that a switch engine or other trains wouldn't come along about the time we were due there, and then stop the President's motorcade, why we had police stationed at the railroad crossings that were on the same level as the road.
Mr. STERN. What were the instructions that you asked be given to the police who were stationed on overpasses and railroad crossings?
Mr. LAWSON. They were requested to keep the people to the sides of the bridge or the overpass so that-or underpass-- so that people viewing from a vantage point like that would not be directly over the President's car so that they could either inadvertently knock something off or drop something on purpose or do some other kind of harm.
Mr. STERN. This is all people, not just outside members of the public?
Mr. LAWSON. Any citizen that was trying to view the motorcade, they were to be kept from right directly over the President's car, if it was a bridge or an underpass.
Mr. STERN. What about the deployment of police on rooftops of buildings at any point along the route?
Mr. LAWSON. We had--police were requested at points where I knew that the President would be out of the car for any length of time.
Mr. STERN. And where was that?
Mr. LAWSON. At the Trade Mart and at the airport.
Mr. McCLOY. May I interrupt at this point. During the course of the motorcade while the motorcade was in motion, no matter how slowly, you had no provision for anyone on the roofs?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Mr. McCLOY. Or no one to watch the windows?
Mr. LAWSON. Oh, yes. The police along the area were to watch the crowds and their general area. The agents riding in the followup car as well as myself in the lead car were watching the crowds and the windows and the rooftops as we progressed.
Mr. McCLOY. It was part of your routine duties when you were going through a street in any city, to look at the windows as well as the crowds?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; and if the President's car slowed to such a point or the crowd ever pressed in to such a point that people are getting too close to the President, the agents always get out and go along the car.
Mr. STERN. Perhaps you had better describe the vehicles and passengers in the motorcade beginning with the pilot car and going, say, through the Vice Presidential followup car.
Mr. LAWSON. At one time I could have probably listed them all by name.
Mr. STERN. No, not their names, but the vehicle order.
Mr. LAWSON. The vehicle itself, yes sir.
Mr. STERN. And the agents, the number of agents.
Mr. LAWSON. And the function of the vehicle.
Mr. STERN. And the function of the vehicle and the responsibility of the agents in the vehicle.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes sir. This varies, but in a usual motorcade, as in this particular instance, there is what we call a pilot car. This is usually a local police car that precedes the motorcade some distance, depending on the crowd. It would usually precede it by at least a quarter of a mile. This is to see if there is any kind of a disturbance up ahead far enough so that we are able to take an alternate route if the need arises. It being a police car, it has radio communications with the whole network of the police and also the police at the stops, the ones we have just left and the particular function like the Trade Mart or airport that we are going to.
In this car ride a few command officers of the local police department, and it is their job to make sure that the traffic is stopped as it was planned to be, look out for any disturbances, and in general be a front guard for the motorcade.
Mr. McCLOY. Do you have a communications system with the Secret Service agents for this pilot car?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; because the next car in the motorcade is what we call a lead car and it is actually a rolling command car. We try to have a command officer from every jurisdiction of police with a radio net of their own in that


vehicle. Sometimes if you are in an area where there are State police and police and sheriff's and quite a few jurisdictions, where it is a long motorcade i and you are going through various counties you are not able to have a command officer of every jurisdiction in that.
But in Dallas the lead car, the car that I was in directly ahead of the President was a police car, and of course it had a radio that was in contact with the pilot car and any other radio on the police net. In addition to that, I had a portable radio on the Secret Service White House network.
Mr. McCLOY. Was there a Secret Service agent riding in the pilot car?
Mr. LAWSON. No sir; there was not.
Mr. McCLOY. The first Secret Service agent was----
Mr. LAWSON. In the lead car.
Mr. McCLOY. Was in the lead car. I don't know whether you want to have got to leave. Are you going to ask why they didn't go down Main Street?
Mr. STERN. Yes.
Mr. McCLOY. Take care of that. The suggestion was made yesterday--you are going to cover that?
(Discussion off the record.)
Representative FORD. I would like if I might to follow up with a question which you asked a minute ago on the record. As I recall your testimony, Mr. Lawson, you indicated that the police who were assigned along the route had the responsibility to check windows and the crowd. Is that what you indicated?
Mr. LAWSON. And also the agents as they went by; yes,-sir. It wouldn't be just a police responsibility; no, sir.
Representative FORD. How did the police know they had that responsibility?
Mr. LAWSON. In our police meetings, of which we had three or four listed in here, we talked about crowd control and watching the crowd, and of course the agents just do that anyway. That is part of their function. And in the newspaper accounts it said how watchful the police were going to be of all kinds of activity, and actually they requested public assistance, as I recall it, anyone that noticed anything unusual they had asked that they notify the police.
Representative FORD. When you meet with police officials, in this case Chief Curry, Sheriff Decker, and who else, is this clearly laid out that the members of their organization have the specific responsibility of checking windows? Do you followup to see whether this is actually put in writing to the members of the police force, and the Sheriff's department?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I do not followup to see if it was put in writing.
Mr. DULLED. You mean an external check don't you? You don't mean going through each building?
Representative FORD. No. As I understood it, policemen have the responsibility to check windows and to look at the crowd, and I was just wondering whether there is any followup to be sure that the chief of police and the sheriff or anybody else actually makes this specific communication to the people in their organizations.
Mr. LAWSON. In this particular instance there was not. Sometimes on my own advances I have received copies of police directives. Sometimes this is covered and sometimes there are other directives. This is not normal though. It is just that the police say "Here is a copy of one of our orders." Sometimes it is the posting of police, sometimes it is that. In Berlin where I was assisting on an advance for President Kennedy's trip in June, we received all kinds of information of this type, even to the fact where the police had requested anyone to notify them of anyone that tried to gain entry into their room that didn't belong there, if it was a business office or if it was a private home or if all of a sudden they discovered they had a friend that they never knew they had before and all that. But this is not always done.
Mr. McCLOY. I want to get it clear. In your presence, in the instructions to the police in Dallas, did you tell the police to keep their eye on windows as you went along?
Mr. LAWSON. I cannot say definitely that I told the police to watch windows. I usually do. On this particular case I cannot say whether I definitely said that. I believe I did, but I would not swear to the fact that I said watch all the windows.


Mr. McCLOY. I have heard it rumored that there was a general routine in the Secret Service that when you were going through in a motorcade or by car, that the problem of watching windows was so great that you didn't do it. It was only as you came to a stop that it was the standing instructions that then roofs should be watched and places of advantage would be inspected or looked at. Is that true?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; the agents in the motorcade are to watch the route and the rooftops and the windows as they can. Of course there were thousands of windows there, over 20,000 I believe on that motorcade. But agents are supposed to watch as they go along.
Representative FORD. An advance agent such as yourself goes to talk with local. police officials?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Do you have a checklist? Do you have a procedure in writing that you hand to a local law enforcement agent so that he is clear as to the responsibilities of himself and his people?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I have no checklist, although myself I have a number of things that I have marked down from past advances and seeing what other individuals do that I usually try to follow.
However, every situation is so different. Sometimes there are motorcades and sometimes there are not, and it just wouldn't fit every situation.
Representative FORD. But there is no specific list of instructions that the Secret Service gives to a local law enforcement agency?
Representative FORD. At the time of the Presidential visit?
Representative FORD. Do you think that it would be helpful?
Mr. LAWSON. It would be helpful in a general way. And it could be augmented to fit the situation.
Representative FORD. In other words, if you had general instructions you could give those to the local law enforcement people, and as you say, for special circumstances, or different circumstances, you could augment them at the scene?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe it would be helpful. For example, I know that New York police have, because we were up there so often, and I just returned from there yesterday, they have a checklist of their own in the police meetings with the Secret Service that they go over, what time the arrival is, where he is going to be met, is it a motorcade, is it a helicopter, et cetera. But still there
are many more things that should be in there.
Representative FORD. But I would think for every Presidential visit there would be certain mandatory things that would have to be done, areas of responsibility of Federal officials, areas of responsibility for local officials.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Such a memorandum or checklist I should think would be helpful in defining the areas of responsibility, being certain that there is no misunderstanding as to whose responsibility it is for A, B, C, or D operations.
Mr. LAWSON. I agree.
Mr. STERN. Were any arrangements made to inspect buildings along the parade route?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; other than those buildings that we were stopping at.
Mr. STERN. And this would be?
Mr. LAWSON. The Trade Mart.
Mr. STERN. And Love Field?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. DULLES. Is it recognized in your business, if it is a fact, that a building that affords a window that looks down parallel with the motorcade is an unusually vulnerable point? Do you get the trend of my question?
Mr. McCLOY. Parallel rather that at right angles?
Mr. DULLES. Yes.
Mr. LAWSON. I know that there are some windows that are more vulnerable than others, let's say.
Mr. DULLES. That give a more vulnerable point of attack?

731-220 O---64---vol.IV----22

Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; if you were going in a motorcade at 50 or 60 miles an hour and then all of sudden there was some reason why something narrowed down and you had to slow up or you knew there was going to be a big crowd here and the President would probably slow his vehicle like he usually did for big crowds and stand up and wave, then you would be more concerned about those windows in that area than other areas. This motorcade to my knowledge, we went 15 or 20 miles an hour through most of it except the downtown section at about 7 or 10.
Mr. McCLOY. 10 or 7 did you say?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; 7 to 10 miles an hour.
Mr. DULLES. In this case I assume that if anyone had been looking at windows, the car that would have seen the rifle and the man would have been a car several cars back from the President's car, is that not correct?
Mr. McCLOY. It might have been the other.
Representative FORD. The testimony of one of these young men that we had, if it is accurate, I would have thought that the lead car might have seen. the Book Depository.
Mr. STERN. We will hear testimony from another passenger in the lead car, Mr. Sorrels, who was in charge of the Dallas Secret Service Office, that as the car turned from Houston onto Elm, he saw people in the windows of the School Book Depository Building. He cannot recall seeing anyone on the sixth floor, and it is more likely that he saw people on the fifth floor from his descriptions He saw some Negro employees. But he could see from the lead car people in the Book Depository Building as it came in view around the corner.
Mr. McCLOY. Did you see anybody in the School Book Depository?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; at this point Just as we started around that corner I asked Chief Curry if it was not true that we were probably 5 minutes from the Trade Mart, and it is quite usual to make a radio call to your next point of stop that you are 5 minutes away. Therefore right about the time we turned that corner and were a little ways past it, I am sure I was speaking on the radio, because the White House Communications Agency has about the time I gave the 5 minutes away warning signal, and within seconds after that the shots were fired.
Representative FORD. As you came or as the lead ear came down Houston Street----
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. You were facing the Texas School Depository?
Mr. LAWSON. Right.
Representative FORD. Did you look at or scan that building?
Mr. LAWSON. I do not, no, because part of my job is to look backwards at the President's car. The speed of the motorcade is controlled by the President's car, unless it is an emergency situation. If he stands up and is waving at the crowd and there are quite a few crowds then, of course, the car goes slower. If the density of the crowd is quite scarce or there is a time factor why you are going faster. So the person in the lead car in this rolling command car usually keeps turning around and watching the President's ear. If his car comes up on our bumper that means we are not going fast enough and we should go faster, and you tell the command officer to call the motorcycles, the pilot car, et cetera, to move out faster. If you notice that his car is dropping back from you, that means their car wants to go slower and you do the same thing in reverse. So I was watching the crowds along the sides, requesting Chief Curry to move motorcycles up or back, depending on the crowd, move them up towards the President's car because at certain times people were almost out to the car, and to use them as kind of a wedge. Other times they were able to drop back or go forward, so that I was looking back a good deal of the time, watching his car, watching the sides, watching the crowds, giving advice or asking advice from the Chief and also looking ahead to the known hazards like overpasses, underpasses, railroads, et cetera.
Representative FORD. But as the lead car turned from Main onto Houston and proceeded toward Elm, you were more preoccupied with looking at the President?


Mr. LAWSON. I don't know whether I was looking sideways or backwards then, but I do recall noticing the Book Depository Building and that corner and then deciding that we must be about 5 minutes away, and asking Chief Curry if this was not so and then making a radio broadcast.
Representative FORD. So as you drove down Houston Street, you didn't have an opportunity to look at the Texas School Depository?
Mr. LAWSON. I may have, but I don't remember if I saw this. I was doing so many things all at once.
Representative FORD. What was Sorrels' responsibility at this point?
Mr. LAWSON. His responsibility would be again to watch the crowds and the windows a little bit more than I because it was my responsibility to be watching the Presidential car.
Mr. STERN. He was sitting in the rear right, was he not?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; and I was in the right front.
Representative FORD. He didn't have the responsibility of looking back like you did?
Mr. LAWSON. Not as much as I would have; no, sir.
Representative FORD. In light of the problem of trying to have individuals in numerous buildings, inspecting the buildings and so forth, is it desirable to have more people in another car ahead of the lead car for the purpose of scanning buildings?
Mr. LAWSON. Giving a personal opinion now, I would say that that would be a good factor. However, if someone stayed back from the window until you went by and then stuck his gun out the window, why it might not be as good.
Representative FORD. It wouldn't be any worse.
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; but if they did see something that wasn't a likely occurrence, then they could broadcast over the radio stop the President or turn right or turn left.
Representative FORD. But as I understand your responsibilities in the lead car, it doesn't appear that you had an opportunity to do the scanning?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Representative FORD. Which was necessary.
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I would not.
Representative FORD. So you are really left up to one individual in the lead car in the Secret Service for that purpose?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes.
Representative FORD. I raise the question whether that is adequate for the overall purpose.
Mr. SMITH. Sir, I don't want to interfere with the procedures but could I ask a question off the record?
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. McCLOY. I think you might go on the record with this. There has been some question as to whether we are referring directly only to the lead car or whether to all the personnel in the cavalcade. I gather, Mr. Ford, you were referring to the personnel in the lead car as distinguished from the other Secret Service personnel and other police in the motorcade as a whole?
Representative FORD. That is correct. I am cognizant of the fact we have a followup car. What are the responsibilities of those in the followup car?
Mr. McCLOY. By followup car do you mean the President's car because there will be Secret Service men in the President's car too?
Representative FORD. There was only one on this occasion, or two, the driver and Mr. Kellerman. The driver was certainly preoccupied, and as I remember Mr. Kellerman's testimony, he was so engaged he didn't have an opportunity to do the kind of scanning that would appear to be necessary. So whatever scanning there was done by either the lead car or the Presidential car or the followup car primarily had to be done by the people in the followup car. Is that a fair analysis?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't recall if you mentioned the pilot car, but they would have had an opportunity in the pilot car to do some scanning.
Representative FORD. But there are no Secret Service people there.
Mr. LAWSON. No Secret Service people in that one.


Mr. McCLOY. There would be Secret Service men in the Vice Presidential car, and of course there is the Secret Service car that follows the Presidential car, all through the route there are interspersed Secret Service men.
Mr. DULLES. It must have been the third or fourth or fifth car in the motorcade that was right opposite the window at the time the assassin put the rifle well out of the window and shot.
Mr. McCLOY. Why do you say that?
Mr. DULLES. The shooting took place when the President's car was somewhere here (indicating to photograph of scene). It had made the turn, You see. Here is the building. Now there is the window up here roughly. He didn't shoot here. They went around the turn and were down here. There was a barricade there. There was something there that obstructed the view you will remember.
Mr. McCLOY. That is the sign here like this.
Mr. DULLES. It would be down that far.
Mr. McCLOY. It might have been there.
Mr. DULLES. As close as that? Whatever it was, the car that was right opposite the window and going in this direction at that time must have been the fourth or fifth car--the car which had the best view of the assassination. You wouldn't be looking I shouldn't think, if you were in a car here, you wouldn't be looking back there. You would be looking off here and off here for protection.
I should think that car in this strange situation, where he was shooting right down the street isn't that correct? I don't know if you have ever followed that up. I don't know what car it is. It is some car along here, though, that would have been right opposite the window at the time the shooting took place, not one of the lead cars or the President's car.
Mr. STERN. By these cars you mean, sir
Mr. DULLES. In the motorcade. Some of these down here. It might have been even the wire services or the press cars I don't know how many cars but I think from our photographs we ought to be able to identify that.
Representative FORD. A man named Jackson who was a photographer in one of the cars with photographers is an individual who identified the fact that somebody was in that window with a rifle as I recall.
Mr. DULLES. He was in one of the press cars was he?
Representative FORD. Yes.
Mr. DULLES. The wire service car is the seventh car including the lead police vehicle. Well, the lead car, if you count the lead car, six, the sixth car.
Representative FORD. He testified as I recall that the car in which he was--was halfway down the block between Main and Elm at the time that he looked up and saw the building and saw people in windows.
Mr. DULLES. This is Houston and this is Elm. Houston and Elm isn't it, not Main. Main and Elm, or yes.
Representative FORD. However, the time span between the time that the lead car, the President's car and the followup car came down Houston and turned down Elm is a relatively short period of time.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. McCLOY. By the way, at what speed were you going as you came around the turn and into Elm Street? You said 7 to 10 downtown. Would it be about the same speed there?
Mr. LAWSON. I imagine it was a little faster at this time, sir, because the downtown section where it was quite heavily populated with people watching the motorcade, we had been out of that for a while before we got to the Houston Street turn. So we were probably back up to perhaps 12 or 15 miles an hour by then.
Mr. McCLOY. But you would have had to slow up a bit coming around the curve.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. Mr. Lawson, can you tell us why you didn't plan the motorcade so that it went straight down Main Street to turn right on to the entrance to the freeway instead of taking this dogleg on Houston and Elm?
Mr. DULLES. Jerry, will you take over.


Representative FORD. Will you proceed please, Mr. Stern?
Mr. STERN. Yes.
Mr. LAWSON. You mean why we didn't come straight down Main Street to the Stemmons Freeway?
Mr. STERN. Right.
Mr. LAWSON. Because it is my understanding there isn't any entrance to the freeway on Main Street.
Mr. STERN. But you don't yourself recall now or do you?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, I was told that there wasn't any entrance that way, and I myself once when I went to the Trade Mart, not knowing that there was any entrance to it, went down Main Street, You must enter the freeway going in the direction that We wanted to go from the Elm Street extension.
Mr. STERN. When you went down Main Street you found that you could not get on to the entrance to the Stemmons Freeway?
Mr. LAWSON. Going the direction on the freeway towards the Trade Mart, that is correct.
Mr. STERN. Which is the direction the motorcade was to go?
Mr. LAWSON. Was to go; yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. Have you ever had occasion to provide for building checks along a motorcade route when you were doing an advance, or is it just never done? This is as of the time of Dallas.
Mr. LAWSON. I have never had an advance where I had buildings checked on our route.
Mr. STERN, It is not a question----
Mr. LAWSON. On a moving route.
Mr. STERN. It is not a question of your instructions? You could if you wanted to, I take it? It is just a matter of your discretion and your training, is that correct?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't believe it is discretion. It is just that to my knowledge only inaugurations or when a foreign president or king comes to Washington, like that where it is a motorcade route known practically for years in advance of how you are going to go do we check, start out with enough men, enough time ahead of time to check the whole route up to that time.
Mr. DULLES. Is there any practice of going to the superintendent of a building and putting any responsibility on him to see that strangers don't come into the building at ,that time, or assuming any responsibility at all with respect to the inmates of the building? I don't know what the practices are.
Mr. LAWSON. As I stated, sir, there was for inaugurations here in Washington--we have done building surveys of buildings that overlook the White House, that overlook ,the grounds, that overlook areas where the President goes quite often or where he might be out or something like that. Yes, sir; we keep those quite up to date. Out on a trip away from Washington, I have never requested building superintendents to do this. This was not the usual practice.
Mr. SMITH. May I ask a question there, sir. Is any of that information that you just gave the type of thing that is not supposed to be known publicly? I just don't know how necessary this is to the record, I mean about checking the buildings around the White House and so on. Is there anything about that that is sensitive?
Mr. LAWSON. I would assume that most of the people thought that we did.
Representative FORD. I think that is the general impression.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. SMITH. I can check on that. If there is something in there I might want to come back on.
Representative FORD. I think as far as we are concerned if you do check on it and find that it is something that ought to be left off the record we could certainly do so.
Mr. DULLES. It might be declassified as a whole or lower the classification, so I think it is well to put in the record what you have said, that this part of the record should be reviewed by the Secret Service, and if it is a security matter I think they ought to raise it. I don't think we want to ever disclose anything that the responsible agency thinks would imperil the life of any President.


Mr. SMITH. I have in mind what he said and I will check on it right away. Unless I come back and make some point about it, why you can rest assured that there will be no problem.
Representative FORD. Will you call the attention of the Commission to what you find out, whether it should or should not be in the record?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, I will. May I tell Mr. Stern?
Representative FORD. Surely.
Mr. STERN. Were you aware of a suggestion that a vehicle with representatives of the Dallas homicide squad be in the motorcade, I believe behind the Vice President's car, a decision that was changed just before November 22? Can you tell us anything about that?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe I recall some mention of them asking--I don't remember if they asked if there should be a car or not but I believe there was some mention that there be a car, that they could have a car in the back there. This was not usual procedure. In New York it is, and on foreign trips it is.
Mr. DULLES. I understood that car was to be between the lead car I think and the President's car, was it not, or is it between--no, between the lead car and the President's car.
Mr. STERN. I haven't yet seen the transcript of yesterday's session, sir, and I am not quite sure.
Representative FORD. My recollection is that it was to follow the President's car, either behind the followup car or behind the Vice President's car.
Mr. DULLES. We can check that. It is somewhere in there. I have a feeling it was ahead of the President's car but I may be wrong.
Mr. STERN. I understand we have been advised that at one point there was such an arrangement and that this was changed, and that Captain Fritz, the head of the Homicide Division, who was to ride in that car, went instead at someone's request to the Trade Mart where he was to participate in security at the speaker's table. Do you know anything about that?
Mr. LAWSON. I remember it being mentioned. Whether it was a request or whether they had already laid it on I do not know, but I do remember it being mentioned that they could have a car if it was so desired.
Mr. STERN. If they desired?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't recall if it was that they would put it in if we wanted it or if they said that they definitely would put it in or what.
But it was mentioned, and I hadn't thought of this since. That is why I am a little hazy on it. But I don't know even who cancelled it, whether they did or whether we had just said well it is not the normal procedure so that they did. But as far as Captain Fritz going to the Trade Mart, I don't know anything about that.
Mr. STERN. But you did say, I take it, it is normal procedure in New York?
Mr. LAWSON. In New York, New York has a special squad of people. One of their main functions is protection of foreign dignitaries when they come to visit the U.N. or for any other reason. These people are used----
Mr. DULLES. Do we give more protection to foreign dignitaries than we do to our own Chief of State?
Mr. LAWSON. Is that a question for me?
Mr. DULLES. That is a question.
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I don't believe we do. I don't believe the security, the advance security arrangements, are quite as stringent.
Mr. STERN. This New York procedure is something you have worked out with the New York authorities?
Mr. LAWSON. I am not aware of the policy arrangements that were made. I do know that there is a detective car used in New York quite often filled with this special detail of men.
Mr. STERN. Do they have a special responsibility in the motorcade?
Mr. LAWSON. They act as Secret Service agents act in the motorcade. They help out if there is a stop and we need extra men and so forth. But I am not aware of why they are there. It wasn't my decision that they be there.
Mr. DULLS. Could I ask one question right there. Whose duty is it, whose responsibility is it to decide how many of these cars will be in the motorcade, how many protective cars let me may? I am not speaking of cars for dignitaries or


press and so forth, but how many protective cars are in a motorcade? Does the Secret Service decide that or do the local police decide it to some extent or do you decide it in consultation?
Mr. LAWSON. We have our usual motorcade, and usually it is in consultation. They take our recommendations quite frankly.
Mr. DULLES. Have you been giving any consideration to reviewing that procedure to see whether the existing procedure is the best from the protective angle?
Have you any suggestions to give us on that?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe that the chief's office is, but I am not in a position to say what they are going to do.
Mr. DULLES. I think it would be interesting if that was being done. Maybe it should be done, just to have a good look at it. If you could advise us as to whether that is under consideration it might be helpful.
Representative FORD. I think it was my understanding that the Treasury Department is making a review of this whole setup, are they not?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, I understand so. I understand that we have discussed with the Chief Justice an arrangement, sort of a question and answer thing to begin with on this because of the sensitive nature of this information, to see if adequate information for your purposes can be developed that way, and then at that point or at some point in the future it will be decided how this question of
the review and new procedures will be handled. That is my understanding of it.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. SMITH. I am Fred B. Smith, Deputy General Counsel of the Treasury Department.
Representative FORD. Will you stand and be sworn.
Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Mr. SMITH. I do.
Mr. DULLES. I wonder if the witness would just repeat.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. STERN. On the record.
Representative FORD. Would you repeat what you indicated a moment ago, Mr. Smith?
Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir; I have been informed that an arrangement was worked out with the Chief Justice with respect to the question of improving procedures for the protection of the President that certain information would be provided in the form of questions and answers, and that after that procedure had been fulfilled, consideration would be given as to such questions as the necessity of further testimony on such questions and appropriate security arrangements with respect to such information.
This is on hearsay. I haven't been involved in that myself. I would like to ask Mr. Stern if that is in-accordance with his understanding.
Mr. STERN. It is my understanding.
Mr. DULLES. If it is appropriate I suggest that maybe this question of the number of protective cars in a motorcade of this nature might be one of the questions you would be willing to consider, or whoever is considering this matter would be willing to include among the subjects of consideration.
Representative FORD. Will you proceed, Mr. Stern.
Mr. STERN. I would like to finish on this special New York practice with you, Mr. Lawson. If an incident were to occur during a motorcade in New York, is it your understanding that the responsibility of these New York officials, detectives, would be to investigate the incident or to stay with the motorcade as the Secret Service would?
Mr. LAWSON. I am afraid I couldn't answer that. I don't know.
Mr. STERN. Is there something special about the New York circumstances that makes it desirable to have these additional detectives that you don't ordinarily have?
Mr. LAWSON. Again I don't know. I conceive myself personally--where we go through quite often I believe there are more people in the State of New York than there are in Billings, Mont., and you might have more of a chance


of something occurring in New York. But again I don't know why it is in New York and not usual in other places.
Mr. STERN. Was the organization of the motorcade in Dallas typical, apart from New York?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes. Quite typical.
Mr. STERN. Would it be the same in Billings, Mont. or would you have additional strength in the motorcade in Dallas?
Mr. LAWSON. As far as escorting people, there were more people in Dallas.
Mr. STERN. More celebrities?
Mr. LAWSON. No; by escorting people I meant motorcycles or something like that. Again it depends on where you are, even if they have motorcycles or how many they have. But the makeup of the motorcade vehicles itself, again depending on who is coming and how many cars you have is pretty generally the same. A pilot car, a lead car, the President's car, motorcycles if you have them, some motorcycles if you have them along the side of the motorcade to help keep it intact or if it gets split up as it has on occasion to be able to catch them up and rear vehicles to keep them from passing the motorcade, et cetera.
Mr. STERN. And the one Presidential followup car.
Mr. LAWSON. And the Secret Service followup car; yes, sir. This was my first movement with the President and the Vice President all at the same time. That was quite out of the ordinary.
Mr. STERN. And there you added a Vice-Presidential followup car?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. Performing the same function as the Presidential followup?
Mr. LAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. STERN. But apart from the motorcycles, I take it if you had been in Billings, Mont., the organization of the motorcade would have been the same; is that correct?
Mr. LAWSON. Just about the same; yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. I would like to touch briefly on the selection of the Trade Mart and the security measures there, having in mind that your three memorandums cover this in great detail. If you could just highlight and indicate if in any respect your memorandums are inaccurate or incomplete. The record will rely primarily on your memorandums.
Mr. LAWSON. I don't know of any incorrectness in it. There might be.
Mr. STERN. Or any detail that you would want to add?
Mr. LAWSON. No; I can't. If you have some specific questions.
Mr. STERN. Why don't you just summarize then how the Trade Mart was selected, your participation in it, the consideration of alternatives, the decision ultimately to use the Trade Mart, whether you had any particular preference between the Trade Mart and the other building that was considered. Take that part of it first.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir. The morning after we arrived in Dallas, late in the morning, we, Mr. Sorrels and Mr. Puterbaugh and myself and another agent from Dallas, Agent Stewart, went to Mr. Cullum's office who is the president of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, a local businessman who was acting as subcommittee chairman I guess for the local host committee.
Mr. STERN. I don't think we need this much detail because we have your memorandum. If you could just tell us in general terms where you went and the considerations.
Mr. LAWSON. Some of us went to Mr. Cullum's office and after talking with him there for a while we went to the Trade Mart, met with representatives of the Trade Mart, the general manager of the Trade Mart, and were shown generally around the building, told how they usually handled luncheons or dinners or dances that are held there.
Mr. STERN. Were there particular security problems that the Trade Mart presented?
Mr. LAWSON. There were balconies there and also it was a building that would be used by other people that day. However, this is somewhat good because it wasn't exactly a public building where anyone could wander in. The lessees of the showrooms there or their customers have to be checked in. You either have to be a lessee or a bona fide customer of a showroom in order to even get


in the building. They have kind of a semisecurity of their own that way. So it was good in that respect. There were hanging bridges and balconies, as I have said, side corridors and what not. After we left there, we went to the Women's Building at the fairgrounds, to look that over, and in this particular case the food would have had to have been brought in because there isn't any kitchen there, which was a plus at the Trade Mart. They had a regular cafeteria there and a catering service, which the Women's Building didn't have. The Women's Building is on one floor, quite low ceilinged, and the press coverage that is usually quite in evidence when the President is anywhere, both from the traveling press with him and the local press would have required their usual press coverage, and it would not have been as good in the Women's Building, because of the low ceilings.
They usually like to be up at least as high as the President or higher, 1, 2, or 3 feet. So we could put them in a balcony at the Trade Mart but we could not do so, at least get them any higher because of the low roof at the Women's Building. There were numerous columns in the Women's Building that would have blocked everybody's view of the people at the head dinner table, guests, and the guests there. So there were pluses and minuses for both buildings, and I so informed people in Washington and Mr. Puterbaugh informed people in Washington also.
Representative FORD. Who made the decision as to the Trade Mart or the Women's Building at the fairgrounds?
Mr. LAWSON. That was made in Washington, sir.
Representative FORD. By whom, do you know?
Mr. LAWSON. I am assuming by the White House. I know that Mr. Puterbaugh was in contact with the National Democratic Headquarters people, and they were in contact with the White House and with the various groups down in Texas, the Governor's office as well. When the decision was finally made, we were told that it had been made but not to tell anyone yet because the announcement would come probably from the Governor's office.
Representative FORD. Do you make a report in writing in this kind of a situation, the relative advantages and disadvantages of the two buildings?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Representative FORD. From a security point of view?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Representative FORD. How do the people in Washington make the decisions then?
Mr. LAWSON. Mr. Puterbaugh told the people he was in contact with and I told Mr. Behn's office what I saw.
Mr. STERN. Who is Mr. Behn.?
Mr. LAWSON. Mr. Behn is the agent in charge of the White House detail. What I saw in both buildings. As I say the decision was made back here in Washington.
Representative FORD. You summarized your views on this kind of a situation to Mr. Behn?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Who is your superior. By telephone, not in writing?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Representative FORD. Is this the case in all instances?
Mr. LAWSON. Well, it usually doesn't happen. Usually I know when you are going some place if the function is to be at the Statler Hotel or something like that.
Representative FORD. Do you know whether or not Mr. Behn made any recommendations on this?
Mr. LAWSON. I have no idea.
Representative FORD. You gave him your observations and your recommendations?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't know if I gave it to him. I gave his office. Now there were at that time two assistants.
Representative FORD. Did you make a recommendation one over the other?
Mr. LAWSON. No; I did not. I said that I was sure we could effectively handle


both situations. Again the motorcade was to be taken into consideration also If you went to the Trade Mart you would have certain ways to go and if you went to the Women's Building you would have certain ways to go. And so they had to decide, someone had to decide whether they wanted the Trade Mart or certain motorcade specifications also, in the 45-minute time lapse.
Mr. STERN. On the basis of your experience, if you had had a strong Preference from a security point of view for one building over the other do you think that would have been followed in this case?
Mr. LAWSON. I could have only told them what I thought, and how much weight it would have had I don't know.
Mr. STERN. Can you tell us roughly the total number of police, sheriff's office officials, and Secret Service agents that were engaged in protecting the President in Dallas and break them down if you can as between people at the Trade Mart, people on the motorcade route, people at Love Field?
Mr. LAWSON. I can give you what I was told was going to--that the police were going to provide but I won't be able to tell you exactly what they did provide, and also inform you that I was told that certain police were going to be shifted from one spot to another. I understood that as we went by a certain part of the motorcade some of those police then would be shifted perhaps over to the motorcade route on the way back in the intervening 11/2 or 2 hours that would still elapse. And I have that in my report if I can turn to it.
Mr. STERN. Yes; why don't you tell us in total numbers at each location.
Mr. LAWSON. But again I cannot tell you if these police figures, being the ones that they gave me, show that these are the same amount of men that were shifted or if these are separate men, because they were going to use part on the motorcade and shift them to another spot.
Now, whether that would double it or what I do not know. At the Trade Mart 108, and I believe this includes out in the parking lots and on there. That doesn't mean they were inside the Trade Mart. Along the Route 90. And escorts 20. Love Field 55, cruising 100.
Mr. STERN. Cruising?
Mr. LAWSON. Chief Curry said that naturally they have the rest of the city to protect and we can't go in and take every policeman that they have so that someone knows that all the police are going to be involved and it would be easier to commit certain crimes. But in addition to his regular police coverage of police cars throughout the city, there were also going to be some other police cars fairly close to our motorcade area, so that they could be called in if they had to be.
Mr. STERN. I see.
Mr. LAWSON. Detectives, 40; department of public safety uniformed, 40; rangers, 5; plainclothes, 16; Dallas County Sheriff Department, 14; fire department, 26; the White House detail agents, 20; agents from the Vice President's detail, 4; agents from the Dallas office, 4.
Mr. STERN. So there were 28 Secret Service agents involved?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. At the various locations. Do you know whether the Dallas police who were used were full-time policemen or were auxiliary policemen?
Mr. LAWSON. I do not know.
Mr. DULLES. Do you happen to know the circumstances under which there were some certain changes made as to the location of the motorcycle escort that went close to the President's car?
Mr. LAWSON. I know that their position varied, depending on the crowds.
Mr. DULLES. No; 1 mean apart from that, apart from the crowd situation do you recall that any orders were given by or on behalf of the President with regard to the location of those motorcycles that were particularly attached to his car?
Mr. LAWSON. Not specifically at this instance orders from him. Just what 1 know to be the case from other advances, that unless it is necessary, it was my understanding that he did not like a lot of motorcycles surrounding the car. That is why we had four just back of the President's car, so that they could come up and intercept anyone running out from the sides easily, or we could call the other motorcycles back to him if we had to.


But if there are a lot of motorcycles around the President's car, I know for a fact that he can't hear the people that are with him in the car talking back and forth. and there were other considerations I believe why he did not want them completely surrounding his car.
Mr. STERN. Can you summarize for us briefly the security arrangements at Love Field?
Mr. DULLES. Could I ask one question about the car before we get to Love Field. There has been testimony here that the back seat, the seat in which the President and Mrs. Kennedy had sat, could be raised or lowered I believe by the President himself, could be raised so he could get a better view of the surrounding people, and then it could be lowered and put in a normal position. Do you know anything about that or how that mechanism worked and who worked it?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I am not familiar with his car except for the fact that I know that you can raise or lower the seat. Now whether that is done by him or in the front seat, we do have people that would be competent to tell you that, however.
Mr. DULLES. You don't know whether that seat was raised at this particular time?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Mr. DULLES. As the car went----
Mr. LAWSON. I don't believe it would have been starting out.
Mr. DULLES. I was talking about it at the time of the shooting.
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I have no idea.
Mr. STERN. Could you now just very briefly and generally summarize the security arrangements at Love Field and your participation in them. Were they under your control and supervision?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; they were under my control and supervision. We held our police meeting at the airport last because of problems involved in finding an area big enough for his motorcade to start and the planes to park and so forth. This was not actually resolved until the day before he arrived, and that is why the police meeting was held at that point quite late. But arrangements were made to have the general public contained behind a chain link fence which is there anyway, and any overflow general public to be in a parking lot a little ways further away from the President, if there was not enough room behind this chain link fence. Police were along both of these fences to keep the people in their place.
There were two service roads which came in between these two general public areas. We closed off one and used the other because it was the only service road that most of the wings from the Dallas Air Terminal were able to use, catering trucks going together, airplanes, mechanics and people being ferried, crews being ferried and so forth so we couldn't cut it off directly.
However, these roads were to be shut off when his plane touched down, and kept shut off until after his motorcade departed inward, and then they were to be used again while we were gone and then just before we returned to the airport they were to be shut off again.
Mr. STERN. What about police on buildings?
Mr. LAWSON. Police were requested on the wing of the air terminal that came out closest to where he would stop, and police were requested to be on the air cargo building to the rear of this crowd area, which is a little higher than the small building, the customs building. Any policeman on the air cargo building would be able to control anybody on the roof at the customs building.
Mr. STERN. Were these police stationed to watch the crowd, to watch persons who might be on the roofs of these buildings, to watch persons who might be in these buildings? What was their function?
Mr. LAWSON. The police on the building tops were to make sure that no unauthorized people were on the building tops, and to watch generally anything else that they could watch, that they were keeping their building top clear. And there were police along the fences to watch the crowd and to keep the people from coming onto the field who were not supposed to. There were detectives to be assigned throughout the crowd, to mingle with the crowd so that the people in the crowd would not know they were detectives.
Mr. STERN. Was there any particular check of offices inside the buildings


which might present a vantage point overlooking the place where the President was to land and be received?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Mr. STERN. Were there such overlooking places?
Mr. LAWSON. There wouldn't have been except in a certain wing way up to the right of where he landed, quite a ways away. There wasn't any building directly in front on the side where he would come off the plane and walk down. There would be a building to his right at the very end of a wing that came out, and there was police on that. The crowd behind the fences would go over to the customs building, and no one would be able to see out of this one-story customs building. And behind that was the air cargo building where a policeman was requested on top. The police were then also requested all the way along our exit route along the parking lots and the runways as we went out of the airport and the motorcycle escort vehicles were waiting down closer to where we made our exit, again because of the room factor.
Mr. STERN. Did you confer with Air Force representatives who had responsibility for the President's plane and the Vice President's plane?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir. I learned that they had been in for a general meeting of their own the morning of the 13th that I had not been aware of, but because of the Presidential trips the week before he came to Dallas, he went to Maryland and he went to New York and he went to a couple places in Florida, they were not able to send someone out to help with setting up the airport as soon as was usual.
And because of a personal problem, the one that was to arrive on Wednesday morning, didn't arrive until Wednesday evening. I was quite certain that the area that we were being provided by the local airport was not going to be sufficient for our motorcade formation, the parking of three jet planes and so forth. But being a layman, I couldn't really impress them that this was so. But when the Air Force people did come in, they agreed that as set up it would not work, and Mr. Sorrels and the assistant airport director were able to get some extra space from a couple of companies nearby there, and it was able to be worked out, still really not enough room but it was adequate.
Mr. STERN. Ultimate responsibility for determining those arrangements--whether those arrangements are adequate is with the Air Force, is that right?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't really believe 1 understand your question. Would you make it again please?
Mr. STERN. You were concerned that the arrangements were not adequate.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes.
Mr. STERN. But you had to have the Air Force recommendation to straighten things out with the local authorities?
Mr. LAWSON. Well, I know the size of the planes because I have the dimensions of them that I take with me on a trip, and other things, and also from past experience. However, they make measurements and they know their own FAA rules, Air Force rules as to how close you can park jet planes to one another, what the turning radiuses are and so forth, so I was certain that the room that we had been provided wasn't enough, but I was also quite certain that when the Air Force got there, they would bear me out, which was true.
Mr. STERN. If the Air Force is satisfied with the arrangements though, is that the end of it?
Mr. LAWSON. Only for certain things. They would say if they definitely had enough room to park, how they would be parked, how they would come in, how they would go out and so forth. But again final security responsibility would be up to us. If it is an area where you can't possibly fit the press area in, the motorcade can't line up, the people can't come out without creating a lot of confusion so that you can't tell what is going on, then it delves into security, because the more confusion you have the worse off you are security-wise.
Mr. STERN. I think we might touch briefly on press arrangements. Will you tell us, if you know, how the final arrangements for the President's visit were announced, and particularly the motorcade route.
Mr. LAWSON. I know from reading in the paper how it was announced, but I do not know who announced it. I believe it appeared in the Tuesday morning paper. That would have been the 19th I believe. There was quite a bit of


speculation before that perhaps the motorcade would go here and perhaps the motorcade would go there, but I believe that the one that was finally used was put in the paper on Tuesday morning, the 19th from my recollection. Let me make sure that Tuesday is the 19th.
Mr. STERN. It is the 19th. Had there been a meeting on the 18th at which this was considered?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; there was a meeting late in the afternoon of the 18th, in a private club in Dallas that I arrived at late. The meeting was called primarily as I understand it because of the various political groups that wanted certain things, and what Washington wanted, and there were various problems to work out as to who got tickets, who sat at the head table, who rode in what cars and so forth. And the local host committee had designated a certain individual to be their representative there, and then these other groups also had people represented. Mr. Puterbaugh, for example, the liaison man that went with me from Washington, was there. And I had just come from going over the route with the police earlier that afternoon, and I told them as a point of information that this was the route as we had it now, unless it was changed later.
Representative FORD. The following morning----
Mr. LAWSON. The following morning.
Representative FORD. It was announced in the newspapers?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. DULLES. It was Tuesday morning, isn't it the 19th.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; Tuesday morning.
Mr. STERN. Is this a normal amount of advance publicity for this kind of motorcade, regarding the actual route?
Mr. LAWSON. Well, it depends on how much notice you have that the President is going there. It was announced this morning that he is taking a trip tomorrow on Appalachian poverty, so we sent agents out this morning. Naturally even if they wanted to publicize the motorcade route they wouldn't be able to do so in this instance. But on other occasions it had been announced sooner than that or about as soon in various areas; yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. Did you set up the areas at which the press would be located at Love Field and at the Trade Mart?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; I did, with the approval of Mr. Hawkes from the White House staff, when he made a trip a little bit later. Time was of the essence. Sometimes we do it all when they do not send out someone to represent the press office from the White House, and sometimes they do it. In this case, because telephone lines, power lines, various engineering data would have to be disseminated and fixed up, we had to know where the press areas were going to be before Mr. Hawkes was able to come.
So I told them that I would set it up in the belief that I knew what they usually wanted from the White House press office, but that he would have the power to overrule me, and I requested assistance of a local TV technician as to the angles and what not that the cameramen would like.
Mr. DULLES. May I ask one question there. Do you know whether any consideration is now being given to withhold the announcement of the actual route to be followed by the Presidential party until say the morning that the trip is actually taken?
Mr. LAWSON. Does this go into the realm of what we were talking about before as to what we are going to do in the future?
Mr. SMITH. It might...Do you suppose, sir, that that is one of the things that----
Mr. DULLES. One has to do it in time so that those who want it could get it, but it seems to me that say if the party was going to move here about noon, now if the morning papers gave that that would give people plenty of time to get to the positions they wanted, but wouldn't give a prospective assassin very much time to prepare.
Mr. SMITH. Sir, I don't know what the answer to that question is, but the question arises as to whether this isn't in that area where, you know, we are sort of deferring because of the sensitive nature of it. I don't really know what


the answer is, and I don't know whether it is sensitive or not. Apparently Mr. Lawson thinks that it might be.
Mr. LAWSON. No, just from your previous things, I can give you an off-the. record answer and you can tell me if it is.
Representative FORD. Why don't we make the same arrangement on this as we had on the previous. Why don't you state for the record what you know and then we will have the same arrangement in this case as we had in the other.
Mr. SMITH. Sir, I don't want to quibble but that was sort of an after the fact arrangement in the sense that that it came out in the testimony there after the fact. I was a little bit concerned about it. I am not sure we would want to make this arrangement on questions and then reserving on the handling of them, because that isn't completely in accord with what I understand to be the present arrangement with the Chief Justice.
Representative FORD. I suggest we do it this way then. Mr. Lawson now shouldn't answer but I suggest that Mr. Stern in the questions that are being prepared, for which answers will be given, that this question be included.
Mr. DULLES. That is entirely satisfactory to me.
Mr. SMITH. I am sure you are aware we have no desire to withhold any information whatsoever. It is just a question of procedure here.
Representative FORD. This question is among those that are to be asked in this interrogatory. Then the issue can be raised at that time.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. STERN. Mr. Chairman, if you have questions to ask, or Mr. Dulles, about the advance preparation up to the time of November 22, I think this would be an appropriate time to cover it.
Representative FORD. Do you have any, Mr. Dulles?
Mr. DULLES. I don't think of any at the moment; no. It has been very well covered.
Representative FORD. Mr. Lawson, I would like to clear up in my own mind some details. You we. re notified November 4 that you had this assignment for the Dallas trip.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Who actually notified you?
Mr. LAWSON. Mr. Boring called me. He is assistant agent in charge of the White House detail, one of two.
Representative FORD. That was November 4?
Mr. LAWSON. November 4; yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Do you recall the time of day?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe it was late in the afternoon.
Representative FORD. What did you do next after being notified?
Mr. LAWSON. He told me that there wouldn't be any information available of any consequence until about the 8th. So I still had my regular duties and I was working.
Representative FORD. What was the first thing you did officially in reference to the Dallas trip?
Mr. LAWSON. I went to Mr. Behn's office and called to Mr. Kellerman on the 8th of November, and got the information that they had up to that time, the proposed itinerary for the Texas trip, the time my airplane left, the name of some contacts and so forth, and then after that, went to the Protective Research Section, picked up this paraphernalia, called the Dallas office that I was coming, and so forth.
Mr. DULLES. Were you advised that this information should be kept secret or is that just understood, when you were first given the. information about your assignments? That was kept entirely secret?
Mr. LAWSON. Well, I wasn't advised that it should be kept secret.
Mr. DULLES. But you never would give out this information.
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Mr. DULLES. Until it is actually published.
Mr. LAWSON. That is right. I believe it was published before that though, however, anyway.
Mr. DULLES. It was published that the President Was going to Texas before you went?


Mr. LAWSON. That is my recollection, but it is in the newspapers.
Mr. DULLES. Do you remember the date of that? Don't delay on this account. Go right ahead.
Representative FORD. Approximately how many such trips had you handled prior to this one?
Mr. LAWSON. I had assisted on some with a more experienced agent, and I had had a few of my own responsibility with people assisting me. I had assisted in Berlin.
Representative FORD. Will you speak a little louder please?
Mr. LAWSON. I had assisted in West Berlin in June. I had assisted in Cincinnati on one of the congressional campaign trips in October before they discontinued because of Cuba. I assisted in Albuquerque, N. Mex., on one of his AEC trips. My responsibility, where I had the responsibility myself, had been Cherry Point, N.C..; Billings, Mont.; Little Rock, Ark.
The Billings one, was in September of 1963, and the Little Rock stop was in October, the month before the assassination. Those were my two responsibilities. I assisted in San Diego. That was my first assist. Then I have had other assists and responsibilities here in Washington, fund-raising dinners or speeches, lunches.
Representative FORD. I gather then you had the principal responsibility in five?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Or thereabouts?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes sir.
Representative FORD. In each of those cases was the procedure the same as far as PRS is concerned?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. You would go to the PRS and get a list of the names of individuals and this other equipment?
Mr. LAWSON. That is correct.
Representative FORD. Now in the five or thereabout times that you did this in the past, what was your experience with PRS?
Mr. LAWSON. I was told in Buffalo, N.Y., of a couple individuals, a couple of nuisance-type individuals more than actual threats. Also told that there were a couple of individuals that came up after I had left Washington on-the Little Rock advance. Subsequent to the time that I left, they notified the field office that things were under investigation.
Representative FORD. But only in the one instance, Buffalo, were you actually given the names of a threat, prior to your departure?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes; I believe that is so. The other ones were subsequent to that time.
Representative FORD. And in the case of Little Rock you subsequently received----
Mr. LAWSON. Yes.
Representative FORD. A name or names?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; and also in Buffalo there were some phone calls to the office that there was a threat involved.
Representative FORM. In the case of Buffalo you had a name or two before you went?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. But in the other cases where you had the responsibility?
Mr. LAWSON. Nothing.
Representative FORD. The PRS gave you nothing?
Mr. LAWSON. That is right.
Representative FORD. Do you know from your own knowledge, conversation with others who have similar responsibilities, whether PRS normally had names to give to the agent in charge?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes; there have been occasions when that has happened, and they are constantly sending over things in Washington, for example. If we are just going out to the Sheraton for a dinner, you always call up and say is there anything particular right now that we should know about, a recent escapee


or anything like that that we might not know of yet. They put out lookout notices, send us a notification of people who have lost their White House Passes, etc.
Representative FORD. Now, when you actually went to Dallas, who in the Secret Service' was under your jurisdiction, or what individual did you work with down there in the Secret Service?
Mr. LAWSON. I worked with Mr. Sorrels. He wouldn't really be under my jurisdiction because he was the local agent in charge, and he had various agents, also. On the day of the event his agents would be under my jurisdiction, and also his, because he is normally their boss.
Representative FORD. Howlett; what is his responsibility?
Mr. LAWSON. He is an agent of the Dallas office.
Representative FORD. Responsible to Mr. Sorrels?
Mr. LAWSON. To Mr. Sorrels; yes, sir.
Representative FORD. You got to Dallas when?
Mr. LAWSON. The evening; Tuesday evening, the 12th.
Represenative FORD. When did you make the decision to investigate this group of extremists down there?
Mr. LAWSON. I heard that there were films available, I believe, on Wednesday, or Thursday. I believe it was Wednesday. Representative FORD. That would be November 13?
Mr. LAWSON. The 13th; yes, sir. And I kept it in mind so that I could talk to the local office about that. I asked individuals in the local office, Mr. Sorrels and also Special Agent Howlett, if they had any knowledge, if they had done any informant-type work, if they had any knowledge of anything that was going to go on that we might not know in PRS, because PRS would only know of definite trips by the President. But they might know of something else that might occur. And also at another time I talked to Special Agent Howlett and asked him if he would view the films of this.
Representative FORD. You arrived there on the 12th, Tuesday?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. You met with Sorrels when?
Mr. LAWSON. On Wednesday morning.
Representative FORD. Wednesday morning?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Did you bring up, or did he bring up, the problem of so-called extremist groups?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe I brought them up, but I am not sure I brought them up that morning. It was sometime later.
Representative FORD. Sometime that day?
Mr. LAWSON. It was that day or the next day that we talked about it. We talked about these extremist groups off and on, of course, all the time that I was there.
Representative FORD. Did you limit it to so-called rightwing groups, or did you have a broader view than that, about groups that might be a problem on this trip?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe that I specifically talked about the rightwing groups; yes.
Representative FORD. Did you ever have any responsibility for a trip to New York at any time?
Mr. LAWSON. No; I did not. I just assisted in one, the World's Fair opening yesterday, but at that time I had not.
Representative FORD. This would have to be hypothetical under the circumstances, but if in the time prior to November 22 you had the responsibility of a Presidential trip to a community where you knew the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was active, would you have taken any special interest in that group?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't know. If at that time I had ever heard that they were particularly, might be any threat to the President, a particular group, if I knew that there was a particular group that advocated the killing of the President, yes. If it was just a political group of one kind or another, no, I probably wouldn't unless I had definite information.
Representative FORD. Did you have any evidence that the groups you investigated


in Dallas had any program or interest in killing the President?
Mr. LAWSON. No; I did not.
Representative FORD. You had this investigation made of this group in Dallas because of the Stevenson incident?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; I didn't have the investigation made, because I don't think I would be in the position to have it made. Mr. Sorrels or PRS or something like that could have. I asked, since we knew that there were these individuals, and an incident had occurred in the past; although no threat to the President was known, perhaps we had better at least try to find out if they were going to do anything, which is what I did.
Representative FORD. When you go on with responsibility to a particular community, do you normally inquire of groups of one kind or another that have a reputation for political activity of one sort or another?
Mr. LAWSON. Not for just political activity; no, sir.
Representative FORD. I meant political activity in the broader sense; not one political party versus another, but political extremist groups.
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; usually, if there is going to be any picketing, an extremist group or something like that, it will come from the police sources or another Federal source. They will tell us that they have heard that certain individuals are going to hang signs from a window as we go by, or demonstrate, or something like that.
Representative FORD. Did you ask the Dallas police or any other local authorities if they knew of any individuals or groups that might be a threat to the President?
Mr. LAWSON. I knew that Special Agent Howlett had been in contact with them, both about the informants and going over to view the films. I did not, except when I saw this one piece of literature, and asked them if they knew anything about it.
Representative FORD. Did Special Agent Howlett report to you of what contacts he had made with the Dallas police or other local law-enforcement authorities on this point?
Mr. LAWSON. In generalities, yes, sir. He told me that he had seen an informant outside of the city of Dallas, and that this informant had been active in some of the movements; that he had quit because he was afraid, but to his knowledge there was nothing going to occur.
Representative FORD. Do you when you have this responsibility rely on somebody else to ask the local people, or do you ask the questions yourself of any groups that they know of or any individuals that they know of locally?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe it would depend on the circumstances. In this case I knew that Special Agent Howlett was in contact with them. At no time you usually ask the police if they know of anything that is going to occur, but, as I said, just regular political groups, unless I know that they have anything to do with the President, I have never done so.
Mr. DULLES. Would that include the Fair Play for Cuba Committee or Communist groups or extreme rightist groups?
Mr. LAWSON. It would have up until that time; yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Certainly the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was one that took violent exception to this country's policies, and they were active in a number of communities, including New York, as I recall. It is my recollection that the President, prior to the assassination, had been to New York at a time that this organization was active. What I am trying to find out is, if the PRS doesn't provide you with information about an individual or an organization, is it your responsibility to actually make extra checks locally, based on your own knowledge or your own experience?
Mr. LAWSON. Well, I believe it would be my responsibility if I knew of any organization that did advocate the killing or the harming of the President.
Representative FORD. There was no specific information that you had in this case that the so-called rightwing extremist groups----
Mr. LAWSON. That is right.
Representative FORD. Had that in mind?
Mr. LAWSON. That is right; that is correct. It was also my understanding that, if anything was known about some of these other groups going to plan

731-220 O--64--vol.IV----23

anything to embarrass the President or hurt the President, we would be fled by the people whose jurisdiction it is to look into those matters or who might have a little bit more knowledge about them than the Secret Service.
Representative FORD. When you got to Dallas, did you personally check with the local FBI office about any individuals or any groups?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I did not. All the liaison either would be handled from the local SAC's office or through Washington.
Representative FORD. That would be between some Secret Service office----
Mr. LAWSON. Either Mr. Sorrel's office and the local FBI office or from our office to the FBI headquarters in Washington.
Representative FORD. In the ordinary course of events that information would be given to you?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. In this case there was none?
Mr. LAWSON. I did find out that the police had sent over a couple of copies of these pamphlets, but that is the only information that I had of any liaison locally between the two.
Mr. DULLES. Are you referring to Commission Exhibit No. 770?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; I am.
Mr. DULLES. Do you know what action was taken with respect to this pamphlet by the Dallas police?
Mr. LAWSON. No; I do not, subsequent to that time.
Mr. DULLES. How long before the President's visit to Dallas was this brought to your attention; do you remember?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; Thursday afternoon.
Mr. DULLES. Thursday afternoon; Thursday before the Friday?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. In this preliminary report dated November 19, which is Commission Exhibit 767, I notice there is no information in here about this extra effort that was made down there over and above the PRS.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Is the format for this laid out in advance?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; it is.
Representative FORD. Do they give you an opportunity to add anything to it if you want to or feel you should?
Mr. LAWSON. It could be; yes; I am sure it could.
Representative FORD. Was there any reason why you didn't indicate in this preliminary report what you had done in this regard?
Mr. LAWSON. No; that belongs in our PRS section of the report If this had occurred in September or October, and this report as it is here now, the final report had been sent in early, that would have been in there.
Representative FORD. I don't understand that.
Mr. LAWSON. Approximately a month before the Dallas trip, we changed the reports, if there was time, of course, on all these. In Washington, D.C., for an on-the-record movement we have a report made up like this final one, only it isn't called final. It is a survey report, and it has everything in the introduction, PRS, and everything right in it, and then a supplemental report. For our out-of-town trips they had a preliminary survey report, and then a final survey report, so that if the report had been done in September, let's say, that would have been in it, because it is in the regular format under PRS. You put in under the PRS section anything containing any untoward incident, any information that you receive from PRS or anything that developed later.
Representative FORD. This report I have here, final survey report, Commission Exhibit 768, does include that information?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; it does.
Representative FORD. Do you know whether or not Mr. Kellerman had this preliminary report prior to his departure for Dallas?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; I prepared this Tuesday, late afternoon, and Tuesday evening, the 19th, and made arrangements to have it flown by airline to Washington, and then have an agent from the White House detail pick it up from the airplane, which is normal procedure both on the preliminary report, and when we use it to send the complete report ahead of time.


Then I called to make sure that it arrived, which it had.
Representative FORD. This was prior to Mr. Kellerman's departure with the President?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; it had to be done that early because they were gone out of Washington the day before they got to me.
Representative FORD. Are your current regulations for preliminary report different now than they were at this time?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe for out-of-town trips we have a preliminary report and a final survey report.
Representative FORD. Is the current format any different now than it was November 19?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't believe so. Again, there are things that you can add here, certain stops; you might have a motorcade list and you might not, if there isn't any motorcade.
Representative FORD. I believe that is all. Do you want to proceed?
Mr. DULLES. I have one or two questions that were brought up by your own questions. Did you have any discussion with the Dallas police about General Walker's activities?
Mr. LAWSON. No; I did not, but I knew that he was in this rightwing group and that Special Agent Howlett was pursuing this.
Mr. DULLES. Was following its activities?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. DULLES. And he was one of your local----
Mr. LAWSON. He was the local agent.
Mr. DULLES. Agent in Dallas. This morning when Agent Bouck testified, he left with us some memoranda, Commission Exhibit 762, setting forth 10 cases which had been looked into by the Dallas office during the period October 25, 1961 to October 30, 1963.
I note that a good many of these cases are marked closed, but I wanted to ask whether the reports of these cases were brought to your attention either before you left or after you got to Dallas, or are you familiar with them?
Mr. LAWSON. I am not familiar with them, but if they are active cases, people that----
Mr. DULLES. In some cases it is stated, "Investigation completed." This particular case, CO2-34007, says:
"Investigation completed on December 12, 1963, by the Dallas office in Texas."
That means that this case at least was closed after the assassination. You don't recall that.
This is a report from a student at the university about a subject that made derogatory remarks against the President. You don't recall that case having been brought to your attention?
Mr. LAWSON. I know that Special Agent Howlett told me, I believe this might be connected with one of those informant things outside of Dallas that I was speaking about, but I don't know this--I know it was Texas. Whether this is the same one or not I don't know. But I would only have knowledge of something that was brought to their attention that the President's life was threatened, and I was given no information that such had occurred.
Mr. DULLES. And so you don't recall any of these 10 or 9 other cases here? A good many of them are noted as closed. That situation would not be brought to your attention?
Mr. LAWSON. No; they would not.
Mr. DULLES. Would not?
Mr. DULLES. In some cases it is noted, "Subsequent activity none." It is stated, "Periodic checkups were not deemed necessary. Prosecution was declined."
This was the case of a remark made by a gentleman at a bridge party. You don't recall that case?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I wouldn't have any occasion to know what cases have come into PRS.
Mr. DULLES. Even if they related to Dallas?


Mr. LAWSON. Only if they related to Dallas, and I have been told that these ,individuals were in the active file, it was an open case, and that we should be watchful of this particular individual, but I was given none of this information.
Mr. DULLES. In your case when you left Washington you weren't given any cases that you considered dangerous in the Dallas area?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Representative FORD. When they do give you the name and the case of an individual such as in the instance of Buffalo, what do you get? What is given to you, I mean?
Mr. LAWSON. You are given the name and the number of the case, and then there is a file in Buffalo just like there is a file in Washington, and you can review that file there, and depending on the circumstances you would again have the person followed, or try something to keep him away from the President.
Mr. DULLES. I see. You are simply given the name and the file number.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. DULLES. Of the individuals?
Mr. LAWSON. You might be given some other information, like what it concerns, but I mean you wouldn't sit down and read the whole thing because you could get that in the Buffalo office or wherever.
Mr. DULLES. What would have been your normal practice so far as you can judge if you had been informed that a man, an American had defected to the Soviet Union and had returned to the United States and was living in Dallas and was working in the Texas School Book Depository, would that have been sufficient cause alone to cause you to make an investigation or report it to the Dallas police?
Mr. LAWSON. If I had had that information--again this is supposition.
Mr. DULLES. I realize that.
Mr. LAWSON. But I probably would have asked advice on it from either the PRS section or the White House detail ahead of it; yes, sir.
Mr. DULLES. Supplementing a point that was raised earlier, I find that President Kennedy's visit to Texas was reported in the Dallas Morning News as early as September 26, 1963, and the pertinent. sections of this press report--it is headed, "Kennedy to Visit Texas November 21-22," and there is also included in the heading, "Dallas Included." The first two paragraphs of this story reported from Jackson Hole, Wyo., that area, where the President was then on a visit:
"White House sources told Dallas News exclusively Wednesday night that President Kennedy will visit Texas November 21 and 22.
"The visit will embrace major cities of the State including Dallas."
That is just to check on the point of the date when it was first published. So it was published sometime before you were notified of your assignment.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; I was doing the Billings advance. He left Billings to go to Jackson Hole, Wyo., and then returned the next morning again to Billings.
Mr. DULLES. You don't recall having heard that though?
Mr. DULLES. In connection with your work with the President's party on that trip?
Representative FORD. Will you proceed, Mr. Stern?
Mr. STERN. To conclude the advance work, Mr. Lawson, would you describe the advance work for the Dallas visit as the same as or different from typical advance preparations for a trip of this nature?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't know if that is too general, but I would say that it was quite a typical trip.
I tried to do everything I could think of to make the advance run smooth, and this trip work all right.
Mr. STERN. The length of time you spent doing the advance, the contacts you had, the time spent by other people, this was typical of this kind of trip?
Mr. LAWSON. Sometimes you go out earlier than other times. Actually this was out just a little bit earlier than usual.
An average, if you have to give an average, I would say you are out about 7


days ahead of time. But like I say, some fellows left this morning for a trip tomorrow.
Mr. STERN. Now on the period up to November 22, as I said before, we will rely substantially on what is in your memorandum. If there is anything now that you would like to add or correct in the statements you have made there, anything you would like to add to your testimony so far today before this Commission, will you do so?
Mr. LAWSON. I can't recall any.
Mr. STERN. I would like to move then to the actual events of November 22. I show you first a two-page document marked for identification Commission Exhibit 771. Can you identify that?
Mr. LAWSON. I can.
Mr. STERN. Will you tell us what it is and why it was prepared?
Mr. LAWSON. It was a statement prepared by me on request of inspectors in the chief's office as to my knowledge of the event of the shooting of President Kennedy itself, and I prepared this the day after I returned from Dallas, which was the 23d of November.
Mr. STERN. I now show you a five-page memorandum marked for identification Commission Exhibit 772. Could you identify that for us and tell us how it was prepared?
Mr. LAWSON. This is a statement that I gave about as many of my activities, official activities concerning the President's visit the whole day of November 22, and until I returned to Washington early on the morning of November 23, as I could.
Mr. STERN. Mr. Chairman, may these be admitted?
Representative FORD. They may be.
(The documents marked Commission Exhibits Nos. 771 and 772 for identification were received in evidence.)
Mr. STERN. So that 772, the memorandum prepared on December 1 would include everything that you put in your memorandum of November 23 which was done immediately upon your return?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes.
Mr. STERN. Turning to your memorandum of December 1, Commission Exhibit 772, it mentions on page 1 discussion of weather conditions and the decision whether or not to use the bubble-top on the Presidential automobile. Could you expand on that for us and tell us what happened?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; it was quite rainy early in the morning of the 22d in Dallas, and I received a phone call from the Assistant Agent in Charge Mr. Kellerman, who was in Fort Worth with the President, asking about weather conditions in Dallas, and what they probably would be, and discussing whether to use the bubble-top on the President's car or not. I was told the bubble-top was to be on if it was raining, and it was to be off if it was not raining.
Mr. STERN. And then what happened? Did the weather clear?
Mr. LAWSON. The weather cleared quite fast. I can't recall now. It was approximately an hour or 45 minutes before the President was scheduled to arrive, and we had purposely put off changing the top until the last minute when we could find out what the weather was going to be.
But it cleared and the weather became quite sunny all of a sudden. Also I received a phone call from Fort Worth from Agent Hill, who was assigned to Mrs. Kennedy, asking what the weather was and whether the top would be on or not. I suppose that was so he could let her know whether she had to wear a hat or something because of the weather.
I told him that it looked like it was starting to clear, but we still had not made up our minds whether to have the bubble- top on or off at the point of his call. But I told him if it was raining it would be on, and if it was clear it would be off.
Mr. STERN. Were you involved in the final decision respecting the bubble-top?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; the weather was clear so I told them to have it off.
Mr. STERN. Then from your memorandum you visited, early on the morning of November 22, the Trade Mart?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.

Mr. STERN. And checked the final arrangements there, returned to Love Field checked the final arrangements there?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes.
Mr. STERN. The President arrived. You might tell us a bit about the reception and the President's greeting the crowd.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes. The press plane came in. It was the first plane in, and some agents that were on the press plane that were coming in early were sent to their respective posts at the Trade Mart.
The traveling press that comes with the President were shown the Press area, were shown where the plane would be, and so forth, told a little bit about the arrangements there.
The transportation staff and people from the White House press office were told a little bit more in detail about what would happen at Love Field, and the motorcade, and the press arrangements down at the Trade Mart.
Ordinarily you need to provide transportation to the function for the Presidential Seal, the flags, heavy sound equipment that comes on the press plane and all that, and it was arranged for station wagons and trucks to take that.
But they told me upon arrival that they had sent these direct to Fort Worth since it was so close and that we didn't need those. Shortly after this, the Vice President's plane arrived, and I went out to greet it with the agent from the Vice Presidential detail, and showing people where to go if they wanted to get in their cars, and telling them where the President's plane would be, and making myself useful to the people coming off the Vice Presidential plane.
While it was stopping, the Presidential plane was landing and taxiing over, so that they went practically directly from their plane, those people who wanted to greet the Presidential plane, to the rear ramp where he would be arriving. The President's plane stopped and the greeting committee and the Vice President and Mrs. Johnson and any of those people on the plane that had wanted to greet the President, local Congressmen, et cetera, were over at the President's rear ramp, and then I was at the rear ramp across from the greeting committee and the other dignitaries when he arrived.
He went through the greeting committee. I was on his left, the opposite side of the greeting committee, and the other dignitaries. He walked toward the fence. At that time I made sure that the motorcade was all ready to go, and the drivers were in their cars, and told people that were in the motorcade to please get in their cars because as soon as the President was ready, and we didn't know if that would be 1 minute or 10, and as soon as he was in the car, why they would go.
And gave instructions for moving the press ropes out of the press area, because of the tightness there. We had to move part of the press area before our motorcade could drive by. And in general doing all of these little last-minute things.
Then went over to the fence and went along with the President, watching the crowd and talking to a few of the agents on some of their responsibilities, and went to look to see if the lead cars and the other police cars were about ready to go, and saw that the President was not yet, so went back to him, and then got him to his car and ran for my lead car and the motorcade proceeded from the airplane.
Mr. STERN. Is it typical that the advance agent rides in the lead car?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. Why is that?
Mr. LAWSON. I suppose for various reasons. No. 1, the Presidential driver, although you might have given him a route or all that, he wouldn't really be familiar probably with the streets and all that, and this is the car that has the command police officials in it, and the Secret Service agent that knows the most about the start.
So in any emergency situation the Presidential car will follow that lead car if possible unless told otherwise. It is the best place for an agent, and also he controls the motorcade speed, and so forth, from there.
Mr. STERN. Was there anything unusual in the motorcade until you got to Main and Houston?


Mr. LAWSON. Not unusual. There were crowds along the way, sometimes heavier than others in about the spots that it was expected to be that way.
Mr. STERN. What was your impression of the attitude of the crowd generally?
Mr. LAWSON. It looked quite friendly, not as hopping and skipping as much as some other places, but very friendly and sometimes people just jumped up and down and screamed and yelled. This one seemed to be a quite friendly group by and large.
On one occasion I noticed a sign, I can't recall what it is right now, but it was an out-of-the-ordinary sign, a sign designed to catch someone's attention, and I thought right then that probably it would catch the President's attention if he was looking to the right-hand side of the car, which he was, and he stopped there, which is not unusual.
Sometimes he would stop for certain groups, certain types of people at certain places unannounced, if there was something that caught his fancy or caught his eye, and he did there. And of course the crowd pressed around, and the other agents got off the followup car, got around his car.
Mr. Kellerman got out. I was a little bit more ahead than I had been. We back up, stopped the motor car, told everybody by radio what was happening, the other police that we were stopped. Before I was out of the car to give any assistance, why we were moving again.
Mr. STERN. Was that a built-up area with high buildings or were you still in the suburbs?
Mr. LAWSON. No; that was a suburban-type of area, a shopping center-type of area out away from the downtown area.
Mr. STERN. I think perhaps now you could tell us what you observed and what transpired from the time your car turned into Houston Street off of Main.
Mr. LAWSON. As I have said previously today, right around that corner I gave this radio broadcast that we were 5 minutes away.
Mr. STERN. Was this while you were on Houston or had you turned?
Mr. LAWSON. We had turned the corner. We were either at the corner, I believe we were just about at the corner when I asked the question if I shouldn't give about a 5-minute signal now so we must have been around the corner then when I actually finished broadcasting. It doesn't take long.
Mr. STERN. Around the Houston-Elm corner?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; right in front of the Book Depository Building, and then a little ways away from that probably by the time I had finished broadcasting.
I noticed a few people along the right-hand side I can recall now, and more people on the right-hand side than out in the center strip median which is there, a grassy center strip. There weren't many people on the left at all. I recall thinking we are coming to an overpass now, so I glanced up to see if it was clear, the way most of them had been, the way all of them had been up until that time on the way downtown, and it was not. There was a small group, between 5 and 10 that looked like workmen. I got the impression, whether it was wrong or not I don't know, that they were railroad workers. They had that type of dress on.
And I was looking for the officer who should have been there, had been requested to be there, and I noticed him just a little bit later, that he was there, and I made a kind of motion through the windshield trying to get his attention to move the people from over our path the way it should have been.
But to my knowledge I never got his attention, and I have said in one of these statements that we were under the bridge, and I have said in another one that we were just approaching this overpass when I heard the shot. I really do not know which one is so, because it was so close, but we were about at the bridge when I heard the first report.
Mr. STERN. Now just to finish up with the people on the overpass, were they in a crowd together, or spread out?
Mr. LAWSON. They were spread out 1 or 2 deep, and as I say, between 5 and 10 of them to my knowledge, and I noticed the police officer standing behind them about in the middle of the group.
Mr. STERN. And as' far as you can remember now, in a position to observe all of them? Were they in close enough a group?


Mr. LAWSON. Oh, yes; observed them from the back.
Mr. STERN. Observed them from the back. Did you notice any unusual movement?
Mr. LAWSON. I did not.
Mr. STERN. Did you know whether the policeman saw your signal or acknowledged it?
Mr. LAWSON. I didn't have any acknowledgment of it, and I don't know he saw the signal or not. At least the people didn't move. They still stayed there in the middle.
Mr. STERN. Were you able to see the sides of the overpass, apart from t area directly over the lane you were traveling in? Could you observe more?
Mr. LAWSON. I am sure I could have, but I can only recall the people. immediate problem was right up there on the bridge, and I was concentrating right there. I don't recall anything on either side of the embankments.
Mr. STERN. Or any people?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I do not recall any.
Mr. STERN. Just this group?
Mr. LAWSON. This group up on the bridge.
Mr. DULLES. Could I ask one question there. I think you testified just now that your car was very close to the overpass.
Mr. LAWSON. I believe it was.
Mr. DULLES. And yet your car was only--well, how many feet ahead of President's car was your car at that time, roughly?
Mr. LAWSON. I am not sure because I wasn't looking back right at that time at the President's car. I was looking at the bridge because of the people on the bridge.
Mr. DULLES. What was the normal distance?
Mr. LAWSON. I think it was a little further ahead than it had been in the motorcade, because when I looked back we were further ahead.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. STERN. Then what happened?
Mr. LAWSON. I heard this very loud report which at first flashing through mind did not say rifle shot to me. It sounded different than a rifle shot. sounded louder and more of a bang rather than a crack.
My first impression was firecracker or bomb or something like that. I can recall spinning around and looking back, and seeing people over on the grassy median area kind of running around and dropping down, which would be this area in here.
Mr. DULLES. I might just add the witness is now referring to an aerial photograph.
Mr. STERN. Indicating the area between Elm Street and Main Street, grassy area between the two streets.
Did you observe anything on the grass strip to the right of Elm Street?
Mr. LAWSON. No; I didn't, and it is my impression that my car was in direction, so that when I looked back, that is why I saw this particular here and not things over here that we had actually, see, started this curve so that when I looked back I was looking this way.
Mr. STERN. You were looking to the grass strip?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. In between Elm and Main and not to the grass strip across Elm Street?
Mr. LAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. STERN. North of Elm Street.
Mr. DULLES. The curve you referred to is the curve to the right.
Mr. LAWSON. It curves to the right just as it starts at the underpass, continues to the right.
Representative FORD. Why did you look back? Is that the direction of sound?
Mr. LAWSON. The direction of the sound and the direction of the President.
Representative FORD. Are you sure that the sound you heard came from the rear and not from the front?
Mr. LAWSON. I am positive that it came from the rear, and then I spun back that way to see what had occurred back there.


Mr. DULLES. Could you tell at all whether the sound came from above you?
Mr. LAWSON. No; I could not. It was quite a general loud bang, an echoing-type bang.
Representative FORD. At the time of the sound you were within 15 or 20 feet of the overpass approximately?
Mr. LAWSON. I was quite close to the overpass, yes, sir; but 1 don't know exactly how dose.
Representative FORD. You are sure that the sound didn't come from the overpass?
Mr. LAWSON. I am in my own mind that it didn't. It came from behind me. then I heard two more sharp reports, the second two were closer together than the first. There was one report, and a pause, then two more reports closer together, two and three were closer together than one and two.
Mr. STERN. What else did you observe when you looked back?
Representative FORD. May I ask a question here. Had you turned around by the time the second and third shots had been fired?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes; I had.
Representative FORD. Did you get an impression from where they came?
Mr. LAWSON. Again just behind me is the only impression I got, but in relation to behind me. where I do not know.
Representative FORD. Certainly not in front of you?
Mr. STERN. You were in a closed car?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes; 1 was. The windows were open.
Mr. STERN. And you were on the right-hand side in the front?
Mr. LAWSON. The right-hand side; yes, sir.
Mr. DULLES. Could you see the President's car when you looked back?
Mr. LAWSON. Not that first time. As I looked back I looked fight straight and saw the grassy median. Then the second and third shots, reports, I noticed the President's car back there, but I also noticed right after the reports an agent standing up with an automatic weapon in his hand, and the first thing that flashed through my mind, this was the only weapon I had seen, was that he had fired because this was the only weapon I had seen up to that time.
The events after that are a little bit jumbled, but I recall seeing Agent Hill on the rear of the President's car receiving a radio message that we should proceed to the nearest hospital. The nearest hospital was a continuation of our route.
Mr. STERN. Did you know that or were you told that?
Mr. LAWSON. I knew that. Let me make a correction. I don't know if it was the nearest hospital, but I knew that it would be the fastest one that we could get to under the circumstances of where we were going under this freeway.
Mr. STERN. Did you know as part of your preparation or did you merely observe it in the arrangements you were making?
Mr. LAWSON. I had observed this from all the times I had passed the hospital going over the route; yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. But it is not ordinarily a part of your advance work, or is it,' to locate hospitals?
Mr. LAWSON. This is not a part of our report, but quite often in my own report in other times I have listed hospitals and so forth, bed facilities in some of my other reports. I did not in this case, but I had noted this hospital.
Mr. STERN. But it is something you pay attention to yourself?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; it is. Again we depend upon the police knowing the city even better naturally than the advance agent to get us to a hospital depending where we are or anything like that, that would occur.
Mr. DULLES. What was the lead car doing at this time?
Mr. LAWSON. The car that I was in, sir?
Mr. DULLES. I thought you were in the second car.
Mr. STERN. The pilot car.
Mr. DULLES. The pilot car, not the lead car.
Mr. LAWSON. The pilot car was up ahead of us, so appeared other things I recall noting a police officer pulled up in a motorcycle alongside of us, and mentioned that the President had been hit.


When the Presidential car leaped ahead, although there was quite a distance, not quite a distance but there was some distance between the two cars, they came up on us quite fast before we were actually able to get in motion. They seemed to have a more rapid acceleration than we did.
Mr. DULLES. Did they actually pass you?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; they never did. We stayed ahead of them. The route was clear to the Trade Mart anyway, which was part of the route that we used to get to the hospital.
And then from the Trade Mart on, the route was going to be policed after we arrived at the Trade Mart, so that on the route from the Trade Mart to the Parkland Hospital, which isn't very far, we had to do some stopping of cars and holding our hands out the windows and blowing the sirens and the horns to get through, but we made it in pretty good time.
I also asked Chief Curry to notify, to have the hospital notified that we were on the way. I heard Chief Curry broadcast to some units to converge on the area of the incident down by where it happened. I don't recall how he phrased it, so that they would know to go to the Texas Book Depository area. He told them to converge on a certain area, and that is what it turned out to be.
When we arrived at the hospital, as our car pulled up and was still moving, I jumped out and a couple of the motorcycle policemen that had arrived there ahead of us, I asked them to keep any crowd back, any press people back, etc., as I went running in the building.
I was looking for the stretchers that might be coming our way, and didn't notice any at first until I looked quite a ways down the corridor and saw two stretchers being pushed my way, and I ran down, turned around, put one hand on each one and then as they pushed and I pulled, we ran outside.
The stretchers had to be placed in tandem because of the ambulance area and Governor Connally being ahead of President Kennedy was placed on the first one and taken immediately away. President Kennedy was placed on the second one by myself and some other individuals, and we went into the emergency room area and were shown into a particular emergency room.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. STERN. Mr. Lawson, your memorandum is quite complete on the events from arrival at the hospital to your return to Love Field. If there is anything you would like to add to that, please do so, or to anything ,you have told us from the departure from Love Field to the arrival at Parkland Hospital.
Mr. LAWSON. I can't recall anything.
Mr. STERN. I would like then to cover with you just a few points on your opportunities to observe Lee Harvey Oswald following his arrest. As I understand it, you returned to the Dallas Police Headquarters with Chief Curry and other police officials after he was informed that a suspect has been arrested, and arrived at the police headquarters somewhere between 3:30 and 3:45; is that correct?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe the Presidential plane took off at 2:40 something, 2:47, so that I didn't leave Love Field until after that. It was probably at least 10 minutes after that that we left.
We made certain that the agents had all arrived back from the various places that they were to return to Washington, and that the White House staff, none of them had been left any place, and that the Air Force II was going to pick up any stragglers. The press was going to depart on a press plane, and so forth, so it was probably a little after 3 o'clock before we left.
I recall that it was very bad traffic in the downtown area. We were bumper to bumper and didn't move a few times because apparently the chief thought everybody was converging on the downtown area to see this, plus all the people who had been there when it happened and just stayed there. I arrived sometime quite late.
Mr. DULLES. You were still with Chief Curry?
Mr. LAWSON. I was. I was told by Chief Rowley rather than to come back to remain in Dallas. It was quite late in the afternoon we arrived at police headquarters.
Mr. STERN. What were the conditions at police headquarters when you arrived?


Mr. LAWSON. Quite a bit was happening. I got the impression they had squads of detectives doing all kinds of things, people working on the Presidential assassination, people working on the Tippit killing. I know that they had squads of men going out doing various things and coming back, and it was quite hard just to keep abreast of things that were breaking as to what each group was finding out as it was happening, and quite often we were way behind.
Mr. STERN. What about the. appearance of the press and television reporters and cameramen at that time?
Mr. LAWSON. At least by 6 or 7 o'clock they were quite in evidence up and down the corridors, cameras on the tripods, the sound equipment, people with still cameras, motion picture-type hand cameras, all kinds of people with tape recorders, and they were trying to interview people, anybody that belonged in police headquarters that might know anything about Oswald----
Mr. STERN. Can you estimate how many reporters?
Mr. LAWSON. There were quite a few. The corridors, up and down the corridors •towards the chief's office to the right of the elevator, around the elevator landing and down the corridors to the left of the elevator towards the homicide area were quite packed. You had to literally fight your way through the people to get up and down the corridor.
Representative FORD. Did you stay with Chief Curry most of the time?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I was in various rooms and with various people for the rest of the evening. I saw Chief Curry quite often that evening.
Mr. DULLES. Who was in command at that time of the Secret Service detachment in giving the orders and coordinating the Secret Service men?
Mr. LAWSON. Sorrels. My advance as such, was over, and I was just another Secret Service agent.
Mr. DULLES. He was in command?
Mr. LAWSON. Sorrels would be in command of any Secret Service activity.
Mr. DULLES. Subject of course to orders from Washington; I realize that.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; and we understood that Inspector Kelley, on one of our frequent phone conversations with Washington, we were told that Inspector Kelley, one of our inspectors, was being sent out to coordinate the Secret Service investigation and to be the overall commander of the Secret Service out there, and he did arrive at approximately 11 o'clock that evening and was met by an agent.
Mr. DULLES. Does the Secret Service have a facility for' commandeering, getting airplanes when it needs them fast?
Mr. LAWSON. In certain instances, sir, I believe we use the Air Force and the MATS people for advance trips, or if the Presidential airplanes are full and they still need agents to go some place, why they will put on another airplane for us. Sometimes we use Air Force transportation, sometimes commercial.
Mr. DULLES. You have adequate facilities, have you, to get around in time of emergency like this, quickly?
Mr. LAWSON. I wouldn't be in a position to answer that, sir.
Mr. DULLES. Chief Rowley would probably be the one.
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. When did you first observe Lee Harvey Oswald, Mr. Lawson?
Mr. LAWSON. It was early in the evening of November 22. He had been in police headquarters for a little while at least before I first saw him, and they had already interrogated him as I understand it, and various detectives, police officials, and Mr. Sorrels and a couple other agents and myself saw Lee Harvey Oswald when he was brought in for Mr. Sorrels to talk to at Mr. Sorrels' request.
Mr. STERN. Did you interrogate him?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; I did not.
Mr. STERN. Did Mr. Sorrels handle the. interrogation alone?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir; that particular one.
Mr. STERN. What were the questions and answers as best you can recall?
Mr. LAWSON. He asked information as to name.
Mr. DULLES. Who is "he" How?
Mr. LAWSON. Mr. Sorrels in asking the questions already had some background on Mr. Oswald before he started questioning Mr. Oswald. The detectives or


other individuals had told them what they knew up to this point about Oswald, his name, that he had been out of the country previous to this time to Russia, and a few other things. It was known at the particular time, perhaps 6 or 7 o'clock.
Mr. STERN. I take it you had phoned his name to your headquarters in Washington as soon as you knew Oswald's name?
Mr. LAWSON. I didn't. Perhaps Mr. Sorrels did.
Mr. STERN. Did your office advise you whether they knew anything about Oswald or had found out anything about Oswald?
Mr. LAWSON. Not me personally.
Mr. STERN. That you know of?
Mr. LAWSON. Not me personally.
Mr. STERN. Were any other questions asked?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes; I recall Mr. Sorrels asking if he had been out--where he had been living, where he had been employed over the last years, and other information Mr. Sorrels already knew about.
Representative FORD. What was his attitude? What was the attitude of Oswald during this period?
Mr. LAWSON. Oswald just answered the questions as asked to him. He didn't volunteer any information. He sat there quite stoically, not much of an expression on his face.
Mr. DULLES. Quite what?
Mr. LAWSON. Stoically.
Mr. DULLES. Stoical?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Was he belligerent?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir; he didn't seem to be belligerent at all.
Representative FORD. Did he resent the interrogation?
Mr. LAWSON. I didn't get the impression that it was a great resentment. He just answered the questions as they were asked of him.
Mr. DULLES. Did he answer all the questions?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe he did.
Mr. DULLES. These were questions that Mr. Sorrels put to him?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes; of course, Mr. Sorrels, I don't believe at that time, as I remember it, didn't ask him everything that we knew about him.
Representative FORD. Was there a transcript kept of this interrogation?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't know.
Mr. STERN. Do you recall any other questions that were asked?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't. At this time they were just general-type questions.
Mr. STERN. What was his physical condition?
Mr. DULLES. Could I ask one question there? The question wasn't asked him at this time, at least while you were present, whether he was or was not guilty of the attack on the President?
Mr. LAWSON. This I do not recall. During this I recall I was called out for a phone call a couple of times. We were given information from Mr. Max Phillips, who was in our PRS section, and I believe it was during this that someone, an agent, was wanted on the phone, and I went out and answered this, and they gave us some information on people that it might have been--a case that wasn't Oswald.
Mr. STERN. What was his physical condition?
Mr. LAWSON. He was quite, well, unkempt looking, and I recall that he had a few bruises on his face.
Mr. STERN. A few bruises?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe over an eye, a bruise or two. I can recall that he had a bruise over an eye or on a cheekbone, or someplace on his face, in looking back. And had a shirt and a pair of pants on. He wasn't very tidy looking, a little unkempt in his appearance.
Mr. STERN. Was he handcuffed, do you recall?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't recall. I know I saw him handcuffed around police headquarters quite a bit, but during this interrogation I don't remember if he was handcuffed or not.
Representative FORD. How long did this interrogation go on?


Mr. LAWSON. This was not long.
Representative FORD. Five minutes?
Mr. LAWSON. Five to ten minutes at the most; yes, sir.
Mr. STERN. Then what happened? Did Mr. Sorrels finish?
Mr. DULLES. May I ask one other question there? Was there an interrogation just conducted by Mr. Sorrels, or were there others in on it, the police or the FBI?
Mr. LAWSON. I don't know if there were FBI agents there. There were other plainclothesmen there, and a few uniformed officers.
Mr. DULLES. Mr. Sorrels conducted the investigation?
Mr. LAWSON. Mr. Sorrels was asking these particular questions, general-type questions, and when he finished ,the police took him back to another area.
Mr. STERN. When did you next see Oswald?
Mr. LAWSON. I recall seeing him in another room in homicide headquarters with a couple of plainclothes people and their talking to him. I saw him later in the evening, perhaps 9:30, 10 o'clock, when he was brought down to a showup room, because we had information that a gentleman had seen someone at a window, and so----
Mr. STERN. Do you know who that was, the witness?
Mr. LAWSON. I do not know; no, sir.
Mr. STERN. Could it have been someone named Brennan?
Mr. LAWSON. The name doesn't mean anything to me. Mr. Sorrels had sent an agent out to bring him down to police headquarters to talk to him, and he informed us he had seen someone in the window, but he had also seen Lee Oswald on television in the meantime, and he didn't know of how much, value he would be.
Mr. STERN. Did he say anything about whether he thought----
Mr. LAWSON. He could not say yes or no, whether Oswald was the individual or not.
Mr. STERN. Did you notice any irregularity in the way the showup was conducted?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Mr. STERN. Did it seem like a normal one to you, the size of the people?
Mr. LAWSON. I didn't notice any irregularity.
Mr. STERN. And their dress?
Representative FORD. Had Oswald had any additional physical damage done?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Representative FORD. The last time you saw him?
Mr. LAWSON. No; he had not. That was not the last time I saw him, however. Then I later, approximately 11:30, or around midnight, it was announced that there would be a press conference again down in the showup room, and Inspector Kelley had arrived by that time, not too long before that, and Inspector Kelley and I and another agent or two went down to this press conference where it was just completely packed. Everyone couldn't get in the room, the cameramen, reporters, broadcasters, and so forth. Upon a signal----
Mr. DULLES. Who conducted that meeting?
Mr. LAWSON. I believe it was the assistant district attorney and Chief Curry and perhaps Captain Fritz. We were just there watching.
Mr. STERN. Tell us more about what----
Mr. LAWSON. He was brought in through the crowd and through a side door there, through the corridors, brought in, and I believe the chief and the district attorney each gave statements, and Oswald was asked a few questions then by the press, but I don't recall of it except that he was whisked out again fairly rapidly after that.
Mr. STERN. Do you remember what any of the questions were and his responses?
Mr. LAWSON. No, I don't.
Mr. STERN. How many people were in this room?
Mr. LAWSON. It was overflowing. You could hardly hear because everyone was shouting questions. That is why I don't remember what the specific questions were and what his responses were.
Mr. STERN. Do you have any impression why this interview was conducted?


Mr. LAWSON. No; I do not.
Mr. STERN. Do you recall anything else that was said by the eyewitness that Mr. Sorrels had arranged to be brought in for the showup, anything else that he said while he was standing talking to you or Mr. Sorrels or while Oswald and others were on the----
Mr. LAWSON. No; I don't
Mr. STERN. Then shortly after this showup, or shortly after this interview in the showup room, you left for Washington, I take it?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes; there had been quite a bit of discussion during the evening as to what evidence they had up to this time, the rifle, clothing, et cetera, would be brought to Washington to the FBI lab to be worked on, or whether the police would keep it in their custody for a little while longer for their investigation, and there was quite a-bit of discussion by various People all evening long.
And when it was finally decided it would be released by the Dallas Police, the rifle and other evidence to return to Washington, Inspector Kelley told me to return on the special plane that was flying the evidence and the accompanying FBI agent back to Washington.
Mr. DULLES. Was the evidence turned. over to you or the FBI?
Mr. LAWSON. To the FBI, sir. I just returned on the plane.
Mr. STERN. Was there at one point a reluctance on the part of the Dallas police to release the evidence?
Mr. LAWSON. Yes, sir. They felt, from what I overheard, they felt they might be able to get an identification of the rifle from one of the local gunshops. There were various leads that they wanted to follow out on that rifle that evening and the next day. I believe there was some talk that they couldn't locate some of the gunshop owners, and some of the other things they wanted to do. So they wished to keep this rifle for a day or so and then release it.
Mr. STERN. I am told this has been covered with other witnesses, so there is no need to pursue it. I have nothing further.
Representative FORD. How long was this interview where Oswald was present?
Mr. LAWSON. The press interview, sir?
Representative FORD. How long was he before the press?
Mr. LAWSON. I would say 5 minutes at the most.
Representative FORD. I have no other questions.
Mr. DULLES. I have no other questions.
Representative FORD. Is that all, Mr. Stern?
Mr. STERN. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. Thank you very much, Mr. Lawson, you have been very helpful.
Mr. DULLES. We appreciate it very much.
(Whereupon, at 5:35 p.m., the President's Commission recessed.)