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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. IV - Page 296« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Robert Inman Bouck)

Mr. Bouck.
dismantle bombs, and this, I am happy to say, we have had many scares but we have not had the real thing. We do this frequently as a precaution on things that we cannot analyze under the X-ray, but we have not actually had a bomb at the White House.
Mr. Dulles.
May I ask where is the White House mail handled, right in the White House itself?
Mr. Bouck.
No; it is handled in the Executive Office Building which is across the street from the White House.
Mr. Dulles.
The old State, War and Navy Building?
Mr. Bouck.
Yes, sir.
No. 6, evaluation of safety and control of disposition of all foods, beverages and similar consumable items received by the President or White House as gifts.
We do not, even though these are handled by White House and post office employees, we pass judgment as to whether any consumable item may be used and under what conditions it may be used or whether it must be-destroyed. This particular function we do entirely.
And again at Christmas time and birthdays it would be very high, many hundreds of items. Other times a few a day.
No. 7, control and investigation of----
Mr. Mccloy.
Can I interrupt there, have you had any poisoned foods?
Mr. Bouck.
We think not at the White House, but this we are always watchful for. We have some food that we think sanitationwise is very bad, it smells bad, it looked bad, some has spoiled and some have been prepared under very, bad conditions but we know of no actual case of intended poison. We have had some where poisons may have generated because spoilage has set in.
Mr. Mccloy.
Yes. You don't have a royal taster, do you? (Laughter.)
Mr. Bouck.
No, I am afraid we do not.
Control investigations on personnel and establishments that are supply sources for food, beverages, drugs and so forth, these are the places that the White House buys those supplies. We find out from the White House where they would like to buy, we check on the employees of these establishments, we check on the procedures by which it is handled, and we check on the sources of their food, where they get the raw materials.
This is an investigative process and a control process.
Representative Ford.
How often do you go through this process?
Mr. Bouck.
The process is continuous in that the control, for instance a White House policeman goes and picks up, when the food is picked up. But the reinvestigation is every 6 months. We take a new look at each of these establishments every 6 months to see if any change has occurred. In between times we have arrangements with Public Health to make frequent health inspections, much more frequent than an ordinary establishment would be inspected.
Representative Ford.
If there is a change of an employee at one of these shops or stores, are you notified?
Mr. Bouck.
We are supposed to be notified. Sometimes we aren't aware until we make the next check, although our White House policeman and our purchasing people do keep watch for this and usually we have established that only a small percentage of the people who handle White House orders, perhaps the manager and one clerk. It works quite well.
No. 8, the performance of technical and electronic inspections to protect against covert listening devices.
This is something that has been done for a great many years, the volume has gotten quite great in recent years, and we do this regularly at the White House and for the people close to the President, we do it regularly when he has stopover points on trips.
Mr. Dulles.
Do you ever call the FBI in on this or do you have your own staffs to handle this detection of listening devices?
Mr. Bouck.
We have our own staff but we frequently use people of other agencies, including the FBI where they have, specialties or are able to perform something better than we could.
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