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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. V - Page 327« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Abram , Bernice Waterman, Hon. Dean Chayes)

Testimony of Abram Chayes Resumed

The Chairman.
The Commission will come to order. Mr. Chayes is on the stand. Mr. Coleman, you may continue the examination.
Mr. Coleman.
Mr. Chayes, at the adjournment of your testimony yesterday, we were talking about section 51.136, State Department regulations dealing with the issuance of passports.
Mr. Chayes.
Yes; Mr. Coleman.
Mr. Coleman.
Could you tell us the circumstances in which the State Department feels it can refuse a passport based upon the regulations?
Mr. Chayes.
Yes; there are some fairly regular categories of refusals under that section. The first is a violation of a travel restriction. As you know, the section has from time to time placed certain areas out of bounds for travel by U.S. citizens without a specially validated passport.
I think, yesterday, Mr. Dulles read into the record, from the Oswald passport, the then applicable area restrictions. And if a person having a passport violates these restrictions, let's say travels to Communist China without a specifically validated passport, we regard that as warranting the withdrawal of the passport under section 51.136.
Now I have to say that I think in one case, the case of William Worthy, a withdrawal of a passport under those circumstances was sustained. However, when he later traveled without a passport, and then reentered the country without a passport, which is a violation of the passport laws as they read on the books, he was indicted and prosecuted in the district court,. convicted, and on appeal the conviction was reversed on the ground that it was unconstitutional to make reentry, without a passport, an offense. That case has not been appealed to the Supreme Court.
Mr. Coleman.
Is that the case that was in the Fifth Circuit?
Mr. Chayes.
I think so.
Mr. Coleman.
It came up from the Federal District Court in Florida?
Mr. Chayes.
New Orleans, it came up from New Orleans.
Mr. Dulles.
This applies to American citizens of course?
Mr. Chayes.
American citizens. Only American citizens can get' passports. When we are dealing with aliens, we are in the visa area.
Mr. Dulles.
Yes.
Mr. Chayes.
Now the travel restrictions, the area restrictions are under attack in a number of other cases, that come up in different procedural ways. But we have in the past, and will continue to do so until we are told otherwise, withdrawn passports under 51.136 from people who have violated travel restrictions.
The next category is fugitives from justice. There if a person is under indictment or even if there is a warrant for his arrest, certainly if he has been convicted, we will not issue a passport to him to permit him to depart. In the Kent' case, the Supreme Court recognized this as one of the well-defined categories in which the Secretary's discretion to withhold a passport was confirmed by practice and experience.
As I say, the fugitive from justice category is one that operates on the whole within the United States. If a man is abroad and is indicted, we will not ordinarily withdraw his passport abroad or mark his passport good only for direct return to the United States. We never articulated the rationale for that, but essentially it doesn't really fall within our notion of (a), (b), or (c) of 51.136, and our motion is that the remedy against persons abroad who are charged with crime is extradition rather than the use of the passport power to get them returned.
Now, a third category is passport fraud, where someone has in fact acted in one way or another to make fraudulent use of the passport itself. We have withdrawn passports under those circumstances.
Then there is a miscellaneous category, which doesn't include too many. For instance, in one case a man was convicted in the Federal Republic of Germany for attempting to acquire knowledge of state secrets. Another man had been involved in a number of fraudulent schemes in various countries, issued worthless
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