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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. X - Page 135« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Mrs. Helen P. Cunningham)

Mrs. Cunningham.
English in the trade and they were all apologetic to me for involving me, you see, and I said--well, I just accepted the boy as another applicant.
Mr. Jenner.
It was the normal course, as far as you were concerned?
Mrs. Cunningham.
Yes, sir.
Mr. Jenner.
And you saw nothing that would lead you to believe it was other than the normal course as far as the Mellers were concerned and they -were activated by charity in their hearts and desire to help out?
Mrs. Cunningham.
That's right, and out of their own suffering. It is my observation that people who have suffered and who have helped to share, tend to do it a little more, probably, than those who have never known what it is to starve.
Mr. Jenner.
Do you ever recall a conversation of whether the subject of Mr. Oswald's loss .of these positions arose, and whether he said anything on that subject?
Mrs. Cunningham.
Which positions, please, sir?
Mr. Jenner.
You interviewed him 10-10--he had been employed prior thereto by Leslie Welding Co. I think?
Mrs. Cunningham.
Mr. Jenner.
Doing sheet metal-work, he says, "Made ventilators, cut sheet metal---4 months"?
Mrs. Cunningham.
That is a Fort Worth employer, is it not, sir?
Mr. Jenner.
Yes; it is. All I am seeking to do is to stimulate your recollection--if you have one as to whether the subject ever arose in which he said he was having difficulty obtaining a position or retaining, either way, and whether he made any comments in that area?
Mrs. Cunningham.
No, sir; the entry which is on the application card in "Reason for leaving" is "Laid off." I do not know whose handwriting it is in, and I did not delve into that.
Mr. JENNER, You didn't delve into that?
Mrs. Cunningham.
No, sir--that says, "Dallas" doesn't it--62. I was thinking it was a Fort Worth employer--I did not go into that, as I recall, sir.
Mr. Jenner.
I think it was a Fort Worth employer, as a matter of fact.
Mrs. Cunningham.
I don't know--why it seemed to stick in my head that that Leslie Welding was Fort Worth, whether he told me he had worked briefly in Fort Worth or how it got there.
Mr. Jenner.
You have no entries in any of those papers to refer to the fact that he had been in Russia and that he returned from Russia with his Russian wife why is that?
Mrs. Cunningham.
I think that in the kind of job we are in, sir; we never know who is sitting beside us. We are, as I say, a public agency and there is a certain amount of information that is supplied us by the applicant, and ours is not an investigative procedure. There is a certain amount of information that one accepts and works from, and I think that I would not have thought this a pertinent entry on this employment.
He was back in the United States. I would work on the assumption that the Federal Government would know why he was back and had given him permission to be back. Sometimes, with noncitizens, we ask for some kind of an emigration card or a visa and make that kind of an inquiry. This young man came to me, presented as an American citizen, the record indicated that; he had served in our Armed Forces and I guess that I would also add, rightly or wrongly, that in my judgment this could have blocked his getting employment here and if the employer learned it by questioning him when he was an applicant, he would make use of the information as he saw fit.
Basically, I try to assume that the other guy is telling me the truth and unless it is apparent that some things don't stack up, I don't probe and say, "Now, what were you doing between so and so and so," or if there is a big gap which could indicate a prison sentence or hospitalization or what have you, I would probe there. If he has his dates befuddled, I may work with him to help him to recall or suggest to him that maybe some home work--he ought to write all this down so that when he is filling an application form out for work so that he can get it accurate.
As you well know, this is not too cosmopolitan an area, with people with a
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