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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. V - Page 411« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald Resumed)

And all rights that they might have to publish it and use it commercially and any other way that she might have, and that it was merely furnished to the Commission for official purposes and very strictly limited in that manner. But I would like to offer it and the Commission may want to reserve its decision as to whether it should be made a part of the record and published. But I think it should at this time be offered for your consideration in that manner.

The Chairman.
Yes. Does counsel wish to add anything to that?
Mr. Mckenzie.
Yes, Mr. Chairman; I would, if I may, sir.
The Chairman.
Mr. Mckenzie.
I appreciate Mr. Rankin's remarks in connection with the offering of Mrs. Oswald's memoirs, or manuscript of her memoirs, which, I understand, is Commission Exhibit No. 993. The manuscript prepared by Mrs. Oswald was heretofore voluntarily presented for the sole and exclusive purpose of assisting the Commission in its official duties for the Commission's use and benefit and to help the Commission in evaluating Mrs. Oswald's testimony as well as the testimony of others in arriving at a report setting forth its findings and conclusions to the President and the American people.
Mrs. Oswald and her two minor children have property rights that are private to her and to them in the publishing and use of the memoirs set forth in her manuscript, which was written solely for her use in writing a book for commercial purposes. She does object to the inclusion of the manuscript in the record, or the publishing of same, and she does not waive or relinquish or in anyway legally or otherwise give away her proprietary rights in this regard, to the manuscript.
She respectfully requests that the Commission honor her request in what has heretofore been deemed and what she now deems to be her assistance to the Commission--and I will say this--that she has told me repeatedly that she has sought to assist the Commission in every possible and conceivable way. But in light of that, she does respect the Commission's indulgence in not publishing this manuscript, and asks that this only be used as it was presented for the purpose of assisting the Commission in its official duties, in evaluating the evidence.
The Chairman.
Do you have any suggestions as to how we might use it and at the same time not permanently deprive the public of an opportunity to see it?
Before you answer that, I want to say this. I am sure no member of the Commission wants to--has any desire to in anyway interfere with the property rights of Mrs. Oswald. She did cooperate with us in bringing this. We feel grateful that she did do it. On the other hand, we do want eventually to have this in the record so the public will know that they are getting everything that the Commission has. I am just wondering if perhaps while you are contemplating writing something on the subject, and protecting her property rights, if we could seal this with a notation that it was not to be opened for public view until that has been done. And you could let us know when that day has passed. Would that protect her rights?
Mr. Mckenzie.
Well, Mr. Chief Justice, I would be the last one in the world to suggest anything either to yourself or to the Commission insofar as the way this matter should be handled. I do have, or feel, that the manuscript was given to the Commission, the Commission has had more than adequate opportunity to interrogate Mrs. Oswald. She is willing to stay here now as long as the Commission desires, and will do so voluntarily without the issuance of a subpena or any other way.
I think through the interrogation that Mr. Rankin has conducted--I might remark, most ably--that certainly the matters covered in the manuscript have already been covered in direct sworn testimony. And with that thought in mind, it was my feeling, and it is my feeling that the Commission and its staff, through the help and assistance of the manuscript and Mrs. Oswald, have had the benefit of all the matters previously written down by Mrs. Oswald, and that if there are any questions that have not been covered that are covered in the manuscript, I am sure that counsel for the Commission could adequately cover those questions. The manuscript was prepared by Mrs. Oswald in the form of memoirs. And was not prepared for the use of the Commission. And I think without the Commission's knowledge it was prepared beforehand. And she brought it so
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