TESTIMONY OF WAGGONER CARR
Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give before the Commission shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. CARR. I do.
The CHAIRMAN. Be seated, please. Proceed, Mr. Rankin.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Carr, will you state your name and position for the record?
Mr. CARR. I am Waggoner Carr, attorney general of the State of Texas.
Mr. RANKIN. And you are a practicing lawyer, are you?
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir; before I was elected, I was practicing law in Lubbock, Tex. Now, of course, being attorney general, this has taken me out of the private practice. Prior to that I graduated from law school at the University of Texas, had my pre-law with a BBA degree from Texas Tech. I have been an assistant district attorney for the 72d judicial district in Texas; county attorney of Lubbock County for 2 years; served in the Texas House of Representatives for 10 years, the last 4 of those years being as Speaker of the House, and was elected attorney general in 1960.
Mr. RANKIN. You are the same Waggoner Carr who has participated from time to time in observing these hearings and cooperating with the Commission regarding its work?
Mr. CARR Yes.
Mr. RANKIN. Insofar as the State of Texas is concerned?
Mr. CARR. Yes.
Mr. RANKIN. Were you here when Henry Wade was testifying with regard to a conversation between himself and yourself, this morning?
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir.
Mr. RANKIN. Would you relate to us that conversation as you recall it, both what you said and what he said?
Mr. CARR. As I recall, it was around 8 or 9 o'clock at night on November 22, 1963, when I received a long-distance telephone call from Washington from someone in the White House. I can't for the life of me remember who it was.
A rumor had been heard here that there was going to be an allegation in the indictment against Oswald connecting the assassination with an international conspiracy, and the inquiry was made whether I had any know.ledge of it, and I told him I had no knowledge of it.
As a matter of fact, I hadn't been in Dallas since the assassination and was not there at the time of the assassination.
So the request was made of me to contact Mr. Wade to find out if that allegation was in the indictment.
I received the definite impression that the concern of the caller was that because of the emotion or the high tension that existed at that time that someone might thoughtlessly place in the indictment such an allegation without having the proof of such a conspiracy. So I did call Mr. Wade from my home, when I received the call, and he told me very much what he repeated to you today, as I recall, that he had no knowledge of anyone desiring to have that or planning to have that in the indictment; that it would be surplusage, it was not necessary to allege it, and that it would not be in there, but that he would doublecheck it to be sure.
And then I called back, and--as I recall I did--and informed the White House participant in the conversation of what Mr. Wade had said, and that was all of it.
Mr. RANKIN. Was there anything said to you at any time by anybody from Washington that if there was any evidence that was credible to support such an international conspiracy it should not be included in the indictment or complaint or any action?
Mr. CARR. Oh, no; absolutely not. There was no direct talk or indirect talk or insinuation that the facts, whatever they might be, should be suppressed. It was simply that in the tension someone might put something in an indictment for an advantage here or disadvantage there, that could not be proved, which would have very serious reaction, which the local person might not anticipate since he might not have the entire picture of what the reaction might be.
Mr. RANKIN. Thank you. That is all I have, Mr. Chief Justice.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Attorney General, I don't know whether you will be testifying on any other subject before the Commission or not, but in the event that you do not, and both of. us are not here in the Commission again at the same time, I want to say to you for the record that from the very beginning of our investigation your cooperation has been complete, it has been enthusiastic, and it has been most helpful to the Commission.
The Commission and I all appreciate it very much indeed.
Mr. CARR. Well, thank you, sir. I will say this, that it has been a very pleasant experience for us, and I think set a good example of how a State government and a Federal Government can cooperate together where we have common objectives such as this, where we are trying to determine the facts and nothing else.
Mr. DULLES. May I add my voice to that, Mr. Chief Justice?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; indeed, you may.
Mr. DULLES. I know that has been true as far as I am personally concerned, and during our trip to Dallas, Mr. Carr was of great help to us. Could I ask just one question?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, indeed.
Mr. DULLES. Was there any indication in the call from the White House as to whether this was a leftist, rightist, or any other type of conspiracy or, as far as you recall, was just the word "conspiracy" used?
Mr. CARR. As far as I recall, it was an international conspiracy. This was the idea, but I don't know whether the word "Communist" was used or not, Mr. Dulles. It could have been, or maybe I just assumed that if there was a conspiracy it would only be a Communist conspiracy. I don't know which it was, but it was a perfectly natural call.
The circumstances that existed at the time, knowing them as I did, and the tension and the high emotion that was running rampant there, it was not inconceivable that something like that could have been done, you understand., without any thought of harming anyone or any thought of having to prove it, as long as you didn't know that under our Texas law you have to prove every allegation made in an indictment. If you didn't know that, it might seem logical that someone might put something like that into an indictment, factual or not.
Mr. DULLES. Thank you very much.
Mr. CARR. But there was no such thing going on.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, General, I think that will be all then. Thank you very much.
Mr. CARR. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The Commission is adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 2:50 p.m., the President's Commission recessed.)