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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. V - Page 269« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Richard Edward Snyder)

Mr. Dulles.
Do you know how he learned about his legal rights? Did you tell him his legal rights in your conversation with him? Or where did he get the information about his legal rights, if you know about that?
Mr. Snyder.
Well, to the best of my knowledge, Mr. Dulles, I did discuss with Oswald both the significance of his act and the legal basis of it, and so forth. And I believe that in the letter which I wrote to him----
Mr. Dulles.
Which was subsequent to Exhibit No. 912, was it not, in answer to 912?
Mr. Snyder.
In answer to Exhibit No. 912---in the letter which I wrote, replying to this, I purposely used the word, I think, "again", or words to that effect, and I put that word in there at the time, indicating that he had been told this before, and that I was repeating it to him.
Mr. Coleman.
You are talking about Commission Exhibit No. 919, the third paragraph, is that correct, where you use the word "again"?
Mr. Snyder.
Yes; that is correct.
In other words, at the time Oswald was there, the reason which I gave him for not taking his renunciation at the time was not that he was not legally entitled to have it, but that the office was closed at the time. In matter of fact, I don't think I had a secretary there to type out the form and so forth. But this is really quite beside the point.
But the reason which I gave him was not that I had any legal right to refuse him--that is, it wasn't based on a provision of law, as it was based on simply the fact that the Embassy was closed at the time.
Mr. Coleman.
You will recall in Commission Exhibit No. 913, which was the first letter-that Oswald gave you, that the last paragraph states, "I affirm that my allegiance is to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics," and once again I take it that you didn't think that that was the type of oath or affirmation which is set forth in section 349(a) (2)?
Mr. Snyder.
Yes, sir; that is right.
Mr. Slawson.
Mr. Snyder, in reference to the same document, Commission Exhibit No. 913, do you think that Mr. Oswald, when he appeared before you and gave this to you, believed in his mind that this was sufficient to renounce his citizenship?
The Chairman.
How could he tell what was in his mind?
Mr. Snyder.
I really don't know.
Mr. Slawson.
Do you believe that if you had given Mr. Oswald the opportunity to carry through with the procedures, that he would have renounced his citizenship at that first appearance?
Mr. Snyder.
Yes; I have every reason to believe he would have.
Mr. Coleman.
Sir, I also would like to show you a copy of a passport issued by the United States, which has been marked as Commission Exhibit No. 946, and ask you whether that is the passport that Mr. Oswald gave to you when he came into the Embassy on October 31, 1959.
Mr. Dulles.
May I ask a preliminary question about Exhibit No. 913?
This is undated. Do we know the date of the receipt of this by the Embassy?
Mr. Coleman.
Yes, Mr. Dulles; the testimony is that when Mr. Oswald came into the Embassy, sir, he handed this document to Mr. Snyder.
Mr. Dulles.
That is the first time he came in, he handed this document to you?
Mr. Snyder.
Yes, sir.
This is undoubtedly his passport; yes, sir.
Mr. Coleman.
After you received Commission Exhibit No. 919, which is the second letter from Oswald, the letter dated November 3, 1959, you then prepared and sent to the Secretary of State in Washington an airgram which the Commission has had marked as Commission Exhibit No. 920.
(The document referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 920 for identification.)
Mr. Coleman.
I show you the document and ask you whether you prepared the original thereof and sent it to the State Department?
Mr. Snyder.
Yes, sir.
Representative Ford.
May I ask a question here?
When Oswald first came in, and either placed his passport on the desk or the
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