The CHAIRMAN - The Commission will be in order.
Mr. Paine, I will just read a brief statement concerning the purpose of the meeting today which is our practice.
The purpose of this hearing is to take the testimony of Mr. and Mrs. Michael R. Paine. The Commission has been advised that Mr. and Mrs. Paine made the acquaintance of the Oswalds during 1963, and that Mrs. Marina Oswald lived in the Paine home from late September 1963 up to the time of the assassination.
Since the Commission is inquiring fully into the background and possible motive of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, it intends to ask the above witnesses questions concerning Mr. Oswald, his associations and relations with others, as well as questions concerning any and all matters relating to the assassination.
You have been furnished a copy of this, have you not?
Mr. PAINE - I have seen something to that effect.
The CHAIRMAN - You have seen it.
Very well, will you rise and raise your right hand, please. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you give before this Commission will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. PAINE - I do.
The CHAIRMAN - You may be seated; Mr. Liebeler will propound the questions to you.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you state your name, please?
Mr. PAINE - Michael R. Paine.
Mr. LIEBELER - And your address?
Mr. PAINE - 2515 West Fifth Street, Irving, Tex.
Mr. LIEBELER - When were you born, Mr. Paine?
Mr. PAINE - June 25, 1928.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where?
Mr. PAINE - New York City.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you tell us briefly your educational background, where you attended schools?
Mr. PAINE - I went to school, high school in New York, went to 2 years of Harvard and a year of Swarthmore, I have not finished college.
Mr. DULLES - What class would you have been in Swarthmore?
Mr. PAINE - 1953.
Mr. DULLES - You would have been 1953 if you finished or did you finish?
Mr. PAINE - No; I did not.
Mr. DULLES - Excuse me.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are presently married, are you not?
Mr. PAINE - That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your wife's name is?
Mr. PAINE - Ruth Hyde Paine.
Mr. LIEBELER - You have two children?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Tell us who your parents are.
Mr. PAINE - Lyman Paine is my father and Ruth Forbes Paine Young, or Young is her present name. Mrs. Arthur Young now. She is my mother.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where is your father living at the present time?
Mr. PAINE - He is in Los Angeles.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your mother?
Mr. PAINE - Philadelphia.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you have any brothers and sisters?
Mr. PAINE - I have a brother in Baltimore.
Mr. LIEBELER - What is his name?
Mr. PAINE - Cameron Paine.
Mr. LIEBELER - By whom are you presently employed?
Mr. PAINE - Bell Helicopter, Fort Worth.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you have a security clearance in connection with your work at Bell Helicopter?
Mr. PAINE - I suppose it is. I don't happen to know what the classification is.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where did you work prior to working for Bell Helicopter?
Mr. PAINE - I worked in Pennsylvania for Arthur Young.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was the nature of your employment with Mr. Young?
Mr. PAINE - I had set up a shop in his barn and started work for myself and then he employed me making models, helicopter models for himself.
Mr. LIEBELER - Approximately at what time, what period of time did you work for Mr. Young?
Mr. PAINE - That is very difficult to say. I began more or less gradually first. I was doing other things. I am very vague about the dates.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know the year approximately?
Mr. PAINE - I suppose I went to work at Bell in 1958. I have been there 4 1/2 years.
Mr. DULLES - Is this Mr. Young your stepfather?
Mr. PAINE - That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you worked for him immediately prior to your going to Bell Helicopter?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER - Prior to working for Mr. Young, did you have any other employment?
Mr. PAINE - I think I came from the Army. Before that I worked at Bartol Research Foundation in Swarthmore.
Mr. LIEBELER - You were going to tell us what that was.
Mr. PAINE - That was mostly a job of setting up a laboratory to--was nuclear research laboratory, Van Der Graaf generators it had there.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was the nature of your work with Bartol?
Mr. PAINE - Mostly all the work in making those machines, setting those machines so they would run; making counters, coincidence counters, instrumentation to operate the machine.
Mr. LIEBELER - How long did you work for Bartol?
Mr. PAINE - That was just about a year, I believe.
Mr. LIEBELER - Prior to that did you have any other employment?
Mr. PAINE - No, that was Swarthmore.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever work for the Griswold Manufacturing Co.
Mr. PAINE - Oh, I did; yes. That was after--well, after the Army. I think it was only a few months, I don't remember when it fitted in.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was the nature of your work with that company?
Mr. PAINE - That was very boring. It was engraving precision scales.
Mr. LIEBELER - You worked in the actual engraving of the scales?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - What is the nature of your work with Bell Helicopter at the present time?
Mr. PAINE - I am called a research engineer. I work in a lab and design and build and test models of new concepts of helicopter configurations.
Mr. LIEBELER - Have you been engaged in that type of work for Bell throughout the entire time you have been employed by them?
Mr. PAINE - I have been in the research laboratory research group that long. It has all been problems--
Mr. DULLES - Are you a helicopter pilot by any chance yourself?
Mr. PAINE - I am an airplane pilot.
Mr. LIEBELER - But your work basically for Bell has been in the research of design and operation of helicopters?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you tell us the circumstances under which you met your wife and subsequently married her?
Mr. PAINE - I met her at a folk dance party, folk dance meeting, and I had known her for about 2 years before we married.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you meet her approximately?
Mr. PAINE - We were married, I think, in 1958, it was the end of the year so maybe it was 1957. What was the question again?
Mr. LIEBELER - Approximately when you met her.
Mr. PAINE - Two years before that would be, 1957.
Mr. LIEBELER - 1956 or 1957.
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
(At this point, Representative Ford entered the hearing room.)
Mr. LIEBELER - We understand that you are a Quaker, Mr. Paine, is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - That is not quite correct.
When I was in Philadelphia, I sang in various churches, and Ruth being a Quaker, started going to Quaker meetings. Had I remained there I would have become a Quaker. Moving to Texas there was a very small Quaker community, and I joined the Unitarian Church after a while.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you first become interested in the Quaker religion; was it about the time you met your wife or was it before that.
Mr. PAINE - No; I think she was instrumental in bringing me into that circle.
Mr. LIEBELER - Give us a brief description of the outside interests that you and your wife and that your wife had during the time subsequent to your meeting and until the time you left Philadelphia. Was she active in church activities?
Mr. PAINE - No; I wouldn't say so. She was active in the Young Friends Committee of North America which was making an effort to bring a group of Russians on tour of this country. It was in the first flush or enthusiasm of East-West contacts, and after a couple of years they did succeed in bringing those Russians on tour. That was the beginning of her interest in Russian, learning the Russian language. I think that was her only activity that I am aware of or remember right now.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know whether your wife engaged in a writing campaign or a pen pal campaign between people in the United States and people in the Soviet Union?
Mr. PAINE - That was another part of this East-West contacts committee's duties or tasks they took upon themselves and I think she was chairman, accepted the chairmanship of that committee.
For a while, it was almost moribund, very inactive.
Mr. DULLES - Which committee was that, the committee to stimulate letters between Russia and the United States?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; to find names and addresses on each side to connect people together.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you yourself ever take part in any activity of that group?
Mr. PAINE - No; I didn't.
Mr. LIEBELER - You spoke of the East-West contacts committee as being active in trying to bring a group of Russians to the United States. Did they engage in any activities other than this attempt to bring Russians to the United States that you know of?
Mr. PAINE - That is the only one I know of, yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did they succeed in bringing some Russians to the United States?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; they did. They brought three Russians, and then the Russians reciprocated by taking a group of Quakers who knew Russian on a tour of Russia.
Mr. LIEBELER - Were you married to Ruth Hyde Paine at the time these Russian people came to the United States under the auspices of the East-West contacts committee?
Mr. PAINE - I might have been; I don't know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know whether she actively participated in the program to bring the Russians to the United States?
Mr. PAINE - Well, she participated insofar as going to the meetings. I don't believe she did most of the writing to the State Department and what-not to try to arrange clearances and itineraries and things like that, but she was at the meetings at which those things were discussed.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did she ever discuss them with you in any detail?
Mr. PAINE - We, I would often--I went to several of those meetings myself.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know the names of any of the Russians who came to the United States in connection with this program?
Mr. PAINE - I might recognize them if I saw them again, but right now the names have escaped me.
Mr. LIEBELER - You say there were just three of them?
Mr. PAINE - I think there were three; yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Are you a member of the American Civil Liberties Union?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you become a member of that organization?
Mr. PAINE - I suppose you become a member as soon as you contribute money, and I may have contributed money a good many years back. I didn't start going to a meeting of the organization until I was--I have only been to about four perhaps, in Dallas, four meetings.
Mr. LIEBELER - Is Dallas the only place you have attended meetings of the ACLU?
Mr. PAINE - To my knowledge.
Mr. LIEBELER - Are you acquainted with an organization known as the Friends Peace Committee?
Mr. PAINE - It is a familiar name. I guess not, though. I don't think I have been to a meeting-of theirs.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know if it is connected in any way with the Young Friends Committee of North America.
Mr. PAINE - I take it to be a Friend, you know, a Quaker committee but I believe it is connected.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know a gentleman by the name of Dennis Jamison, who I believe is active in the Friends Peace Committee?
Mr. PAINE - I don't think so.
Mr. LIEBELER - Or George Lakey?
Mr. PAINE - For practical purposes; no. The names seem a little familiar but I can't place them.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you have any recollection of the connection in which it is familiar to you?
Mr. PAINE - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Are you familiar with the Committee for Non-Violent Action?
Mr. PAINE - Many of these things sound familiar. I don't--I really am saying no.
Mr. LIEBELER - Are you a member or have you ever attended any meetings of the John Birch Society?
Mr. PAINE - I am not a member. I have been to one or, I guess chiefly one meeting of theirs.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where was that?
Mr. PAINE - That was in Dallas?
Mr. LIEBELER - When?
Mr. PAINE - That was the night Stevenson spoke in Dallas.
The CHAIRMAN - When?
Mr. PAINE - The night Stevenson spoke in Dallas, U.N. Day.
Representative FORD - Was that 1963?
Mr. PAINE - Yes,
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you tell us the circumstances of your attendance at that meeting and what happened?
Mr. PAINE - I had been seeking to go to a Birch meeting for some time, and then I was invited on this night so I went. It was an introductory meeting.
Mr. DULLES - On the 9th of November?
Mr. PAINE - It was November something, I don't know what, a Wednesday or Thursday night.
Mr. LIEBELER - For the record I think the record should indicate that Mr. Stevenson was in Dallas on or about October 24, 1963. Who invited you to this meeting?
Mr. PAINE - I had tried once before to go to a meeting which didn't occur. There happens to be a member of our choir, a paid soloist who is a John Birch advocate so I have been applying--so I have been telling her, that I wanted to go. I suppose, I don't remember for certain but I suppose she was the one who told me where and when.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did this meeting have anything to do with the activity that occurred at Mr. Stevenson's meeting in Dallas?
Mr. PAINE - No. You see they were taking place at the same time. It was rather sparsely attended, most of them were down spitting on Stevenson.
Mr. LIEBELER - The Birch meeting which you were down to was sparsely attended?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Representative FORD - Was this an evening meeting or afternoon?
Mr. PAINE - This is evening.
Representative FORD - Evening.
Mr. DULLES - May I ask, did you go out of curiosity rather than sympathy or rather how did you happen to go?
Mr. PAINE - I am not in sympathy.
Mr. DULLES - So I gathered.
Mr. PAINE - I have been to a number of rightist meetings and seminars in Texas. I was interested in seeing more communication between the right and the left; there isn't much liberal out there and so I wanted to be able to speak their language and know that their fears--and be familiar with their feelings and attitudes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was there any discussion at this meeting as far as you can recall of Mr. Stevenson's appearance in Dallas?
Mr. PAINE - No; I don't believe there was any.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was there any discussion of the policy of the Kennedy administration?
Mr. PAINE - There was no discussion at that meeting. It was a 2- or 3-hour lecture on a movie by Welch, and then a young man gave a few more explanations about the organization. It was mostly an introductory meeting. I think for newcomers.
Mr. LIEBELER - Telling them about the John Birch Society itself?
Mr. PAINE - That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Mr. Welch was not there, was he?
Mr. PAINE - No; he was not.
Representative FORD - Was this a movie in which he participated?
Mr. PAINE - He was the speaker at a lectern in this movie.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you have any knowledge of the political attitudes or activities of your father, George Lyman Paine?
Mr. PAINE - I have very little specific knowledge of what he does.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you tell us what you do know about your father's political activities?
Mr. PAINE - I have seen my father rather rarely. Since I have been in Texas, I have seen him more frequently. I think I have been out there three times now in the last 5 years.
Mr. LIEBELER - When you say out there you mean Los Angeles?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I have seen him twice. He was out to Texas. I have been to Los Angeles twice, and he came at least once to Dallas.
Mr. LIEBELER - Please fix the time when you went to Los Angeles?
Mr. PAINE - Last summer, 2 weeks in August or something. I was there for 3 days, the first, the middle of August.
I would guess it was about 2 years before that that I had been there. I could be off by a year both ways. I can't even remember whether he came--I think he probably interspersed his visit between mine.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you recall that he visited Irving on two different occasions, once in Christmas, 1962?
Mr. PAINE - One was a Christmas party, that is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - And once in the summer of 1961.
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember '61. I do remember pictures now, we have pictures showing us outside so that was balmy weather.
Mr. LIEBELER - So that in the period that you have been living in Texas you have gone to Los Angeles on two different occasions and visited your father there and he has been in Irving on two different occasions, is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - That seems, I think, to be right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you go on and tell us what you know about your father's political activities?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Well, we would have to go back to a little to when I lived in New York as a school student in school, grammar school and high school. There I would see him very infrequently considering our close proximity and the fact that I found him stimulating and I liked him.
He took me to a few, one or possibly two, Communist meetings at my considerable insistence. He didn't urge this upon me. I wanted to go, to get the feeling of the I asked him what he did or something and I wanted to know all this, my mother said he was on the radical left.
So, I went to a few of those meetings, and didn't--was unfamiliar with the issues and questions they were debating. I got the feeling, I came away with the impression, that these people, there were three Communist groups apparently in New York at the time, and they were most up in arms with each other, or there--
Mr. DULLES - Excuse me, how old were you at this time approximately?
Mr. PAINE - This was somewhere from eighth grade to high school.
Mr. DULLES - Yes.
Representative FORD - What year about, what time span would that be?
Mr. PAINE - Well 1947, I think I got out of high school, so it is 1943 to 1947.
Then I didn't--I got the flavor of those meetings. I found sort of an intense people, people of high intensity. I didn't feel very much at home there, and I guess I didn't go to any more.
Mr. DULLES - Did they try to recruit you at all or to get you to be a member or attend or join meetings?
Mr. PAINE - No; they were glad to meet Lyman's son. That is he would introduce me to friends or people he knew there, and I liked--I had some favorable attitudes to the zeal of the group or the zeal of the assembled people.
They were fully committed to what they believed in. I had my own dreams of how I would like to see society at the time and it wasn't along-the same line.
So, I felt happy to have them there and I would go my course and just--I didn't feel opposed to them; neither did I feel drawn to them, although I tried to read some of Das Kapital at that time and Communist manifesto.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever join any of these organizations?
Mr. PAINE - Well, I didn't know of any organization as such.
I went to this meeting in downtown New York. I didn't know--so therefore I knew three groups. Maybe it was the Socialist group and the Stalinist group and I think the group that Lyman was in, I don't know, maybe he was a Socialist.
Mr. LIEBELER - Which was the second group, was it the Stalinist?
Mr. PAINE - I mentioned the Stalinist, Dubinsky, David Dubinsky, was the only name I remember aside from Stalin, was a name I remember there, and I can't now remember whose side who was on.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you have any clear recollection of what particular group your father was associated with?
Mr. PAINE - No; I never had--never knew what the name of any group he might be associated with.
Now, I suppose it was Trotsky. Trotskyite was a different distinct group at that time. They probably wouldn't be mentioning their own group. They would be mentioning their opponent's group.
Mr. LIEBELER - Subsequent to your attendance at the meetings of these groups at the time you have spoken of did you ever attend any other meetings of similar groups either in New York or any other place?
Mr. PAINE - I can't remember anything of a similar nature.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you know of your father ever using any aliases?
Mr. PAINE - No; I don't.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are not familiar with the name Thomas L. Brown or Lyman Pierce?
Mr. PAINE - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - When was the--
Mr. PAINE - I was aware that my father didn't talk readily about his affairs. When we met we would talk at great length and we always do talk. There is an amazing similarity in our natures. I have almost thought there was one person trying to live in two bodies.
But we have always been completely absorbed in subjects that were closer to my--without going into what he was doing day to day or what he was--I was aware that I didn't know, and I didn't pry or probe as to what he might be doing there.
Mr. LIEBELER - So far as you know, however, he was actively participating in the meetings and activities of this group?
Mr. PAINE - Oh, yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Am I correct in understanding that your father and mother were divorced when you were about 4 years old?
Mr. PAINE - That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - You were at that time living in New York City?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Subsequently you and your mother.
Mr. PAINE - She got a divorce in Reno, Nev., she had a house in Virginia City.
The CHAIRMAN - In New York you were living with your father or mother?
Mr. PAINE - They lived together in New York. Then there was a year, a part of a year, we moved to Philadelphia. They may have separated and he tried to come back or something like that, and then we went to Reno, Nev.
Mr. LIEBELER - During the time you lived in Philadelphia, was your father living with the family?
Mr. PAINE - I think he was there part time. I don't remember that for sure. We had two houses there. One I think I remember him slightly and the other one I don't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your father was not present during the time that you stayed in Nevada?
Mr. PAINE - No; he was not.
Mr. LIEBELER - You and your brother stayed in Nevada with your mother?
Mr. PAINE - And a housekeeper also.
Mr. LIEBELER - After you left Nevada where did you live?
Mr. PAINE - We went over to California, Santa Barbara.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who lived there at that time with you?
Mr. PAINE - A friend of hers, Kathleen, now she was originally Kathleen Schroeder, a sister of my uncle, now Kathleen Forbes, and a distant cousin of my mother's, and I think my grandfather, grandparents, would come out occasionally.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was your father present at that time?
Mr. PAINE - No; he was not.
Mr. LIEBELER - He wasn't there at any time during your stay in Santa Barbara?
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember that. I am not certain of it.
Mr. LIEBELER - How long did you live in Santa Barbara, Calif.?
Mr. PAINE - Each year my grandfather paid our way back across the country to Naushon Island in Massachusetts. We lived there 3 years.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where did you go after that?
Mr. PAINE - Cambridge, Mass.
Mr. LIEBELER - How long were you there?
Mr. PAINE - From the third to the sixth grade.
Mr. LIEBELER - With whom did you live?
Mr. PAINE - With my mother on Fairweather Street.
The CHAIRMAN - Is this of particular importance to the investigation, it is very lengthy, and I don't know particularly what it bears upon. If it is in relation with his father, let's get at that and get it over with, but I don't see what this man's history from the time he was born--I don't see how it bears on it. It just takes altogether too much time for an extraneous purpose. it seems to me. Let's get on with the thing.
Mr. LIEBELER - It bears on the point only on what connection he has with his father.
Mr. PAINE - Let me go to that. I have seen him on a few times, once a year would be a frequent--we felt great affinity in our bent, not in the actual application of the way we would like to do things but in a concern for the value of people. I know very little about what he does, and he has not tried to proselytize me, and he has not volunteered information about what he did.
I think a certain change has come over him since. For many years or years in college or something I thought he was still interested in his revolutionary groups and that was a pity because that wasn't going to happen, and it was to be a dead end, a blind, he would come to the end of his life and his cause had fizzled out.
When I went out to California more recently, the last time we were talking about the civil rights movement and, shall we say, the revolution occurring in this country spearheaded by the Negroes' demand for dignity, that was a subject that completely absorbed the weekend and there were various Negroes who came around the country, who happened to pass through at that time. You probably might be interested in regard to Cuba. I was surprised sometime in the conversation someone there had spoken favorably of the revolution in Cuba. This was a surprise to me, I didn't realize that this was part of the was the present thrill, shall we say. I don't know whether that applied to Lyman also or whether--I think he went along with that. We didn't get around to arguing on that point. I only mention that in passing. That was about the full extent of it.
She mentioned Cuba in this favorable way, and it was a subject I didn't--
Mr. DULLES - Who was this she?
Mr. PAINE - It was Grace somebody, I have forgotten.
Mr. DULLES - One of the people present in these conversations?
Mr. PAINE - Yes. So that was my only knowledge that he was, or the people around him were, interested in Cuba, and that is the only thing I can see has any bearing in your interest here.
Mr. LIEBELER - To what extent would you say that your father has influenced your own political views and attitudes?
Mr. PAINE - I would have guessed it was almost negligible. I was aware that sometime in the beginning of college or something I used the language of the masses or I used jargon which I recognized, came to perceive was of quite leftist nature, and I think that at the time I used to get The Nation, that was in high school. I probably picked it up more from the magazines and things of that sort than from him.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever discuss your father with Lee Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - On a phone call shortly after the assassination he called and thought it was outrageous to be pinning Lee Oswald who was a scapegoat, an ideal person to hang the blame on.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your father called you?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; he called me, yes. He didn't suppose it was true, I told him I thought it probably was true. And I told him to keep his shirt on.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember anything else about that conversation?
Mr. PAINE - No. It was chiefly both he and Freddy, his wife, had to be calmed down. They thought it was a steamrollered job of injustice or something. And I didn't think their admonitions were-- I think not to say anything, not to join the hubbub or jump on the things I said or I took it to be things I said would be distorted and blown up and added to the hullabaloo to lynch Lee.
Representative FORD - Did they infer or imply that the allegations or accusations against Oswald bore the semblance of a lynching? And I use lynching in the broad sense.
Mr. PAINE - They did not use lynching at all. I added that. They thought he was--
Representative FORD - Being railroaded?
Mr. PAINE - No; he said that no one, no member of the Friends of Cuba would want to assassinate the President. That was a crazy idea.
Representative FORD - You said that was a crazy idea?
Mr. PAINE - No; he said that. Therefore, he concluded, and this was the same, similar to my feeling, that I first didn't think Oswald had done it because I didn't see how it fitted in, how it helped his favorite ideals.
And Lyman then said the same thing. Therefore, including himself, Lyman, that Lee couldn't have done it, and that this must be Lee was the ideal person to hang it on.
Representative FORD - How soon was this phone call after the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - I think it was--he did not know, I think, that we had Marina staying with us, but he was one of the first to connect, guess that it was us. He called and asked us, "Is this you?"
Representative FORD - "Is this you?" What? I don't quite understand the context here.
Mr. PAINE - He heard it on the news and he heard Mrs. Paine, and Marina had been staying with a Mrs. Paine and he called to ask, "Are you the Paines?"
Mr. LIEBELER - Had you discussed Lee Oswald with your father prior to this time?
Mr. PAINE - No; I don't think I mentioned him.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know whether your father knew Lee Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - No; I do not know. Or I gather since he had such a funny idea of him over the phone.
Mr. LIEBELER - To the best of your Judgment the only way your father heard of Lee Oswald, connected Lee Oswald to you, was through a news broadcast that he had heard connecting Oswald with somebody named Paine?
Mr. PAINE - Or Marina had stayed with the Paines.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever discuss your father with Lee Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - No; I did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - And Oswald never asked you about your father in any way or did he indicate that he knew of your father?
Mr. PAINE - No; he did not. I think Ruth came closer to revealing that my father had--you will have to ask her about that question. I did not mention my father to Lee.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you meet Lee Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - I met him sometime in the spring of 1963.
Mr. DULLES - This is Oswald?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes; Lee Oswald.
Mr. PAINE - We were invited to a party, Ruth and I were invited to a party, given by Everett Glover. I had a cold and wasn't able to go. Ruth went at that time and subsequently went once or twice to see Marina. And she invited Marina and Lee to our house for dinner, and here the date that comes to mind is April 10.
Mr. DULLES - Where was Marina staying at this time?
Mr. PAINE - Berry Street.
Mr. DULLES - Berry Street in Dallas.
Mr. LIEBELER - Berry Street or would it be Neely Street?
Mr. PAINE - Neely Street. So this was the first time I saw them. I had to go over, he didn't drive a car and I had to go over, and pick him up in my car and bring him back to the house. So I went over to Neely Street and saw them. Marina took about half an hour to pack all the things for Junie. Meanwhile I was talking to Lee at their house there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you tell us about that conversation?
Mr. PAINE - I asked him what he was doing, his job, and he showed me a picture on the wall, which was a piece of newspaper, I think--that is beside the point. I asked him about Russia, what he liked about.
Mr. DULLES - Could we get that picture?
Mr. PAINE - I think it was beside the point. It was a piece of newspaper showing a fashion ad, I think. I think his job was--
Mr. DULLES - Nothing to do with politics at all, to do with his job. I see.
Mr. PAINE - I asked him what he thought, I wanted to know why he had gone to Russia and why he had then come back. He had told me he had become a Marxist in this country without ever having met a Communist, by reading books and then he got to Russia, and--
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you why he went to Russia?
Mr. PAINE - He said he wanted to go to Russia. He had chosen to go to Russia.
Mr. LIEBELER - He didn't elaborate on it?
Mr. PAINE - No; I gathered he had had an interest in going to Russia for a number of years prior to the time he got there and decided that that was the paradise of the world and through fortunate relations between this country and Russia at the time, I would have to remember history to know whether that was a warm, a friendly time or not, but he indicated both his going and his coming were fortunate times in history or something that made it possible for him to do these.
Mr. DULLES - Fortunate times?
Mr. PAINE - Fortunate times, this was sort of an accident in history. This is what I gathered from his conversation.
Representative FORD - Fortunate that he could leave at the time and fortunate that he could come back.
Mr. PAINE - Fortunate that he could be accepted to emigrate to Russia. He told me that he had--so he went to Russia and he tried to surrender his passport to the Russians but the State Department would not give it to him, or the consul in Moscow, which was--which proved to be fortunate because then a few years later when he wanted to return it would not have been possible, except if they still had his passport. He had not legally surrendered it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate that was a fortunate circumstance?
Mr. PAINE - I think he smiled, he indicated to me he genuinely had wanted to become a Russian citizen and to surrender it. He wanted to renounce his American citizenship. He tried to, and the Russians, he told me, had accepted his bona fide intentions and tried to get the passport away from the Americans.
Representative FORD - Was the failure to get his passport a determining factor in their not accepting his desires?
Mr. PAINE - No. He told me that they did accept his desires despite his inability to get the passport and give it to them.
Representative FORD - Despite his inability?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - "They" being the Russians?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; they being the Russians and they issued to him, he told me, the standard kind of temporary citizenship paper which is given to all emigres to Russia, and there are some--
Mr. DULLES - Was it citizenship paper he said or something else, citizenship paper?
Mr. PAINE - Now, I suppose there was a regular paper and everybody would know of it.
Mr. DULLES - Domicile paper or something allowing domicile.
Mr. PAINE - I had thought, my impression was, that it was kind of probationary citizenship. It is a kind of paper issued for a year to somebody who is seeking citizenship. That was my impression at the time.
Mr. DULLES - Could it have been a probationary residence permit or something of that sort. He said citizenship, did he?
Mr. PAINE - That was my impression. That it was the commencement of a citizenship paper.
Mr. DULLES - Did he tell you about any difficulties he had in getting permission to stay on in Russia?
Mr. PAINE - Well, this was a question. I asked him how was it they so readily accepted--you know other Americans have a hard time staying more than 30 days there, "How was it that you were so readily accepted into the bosom of Soviet Society?" And to that he answered, "well, it was just a fortunate mood between the countries or something to that effect," is something that I gathered.
I didn't remember the history and I thought it would be he smiled a little bit. I can't remember whether he smiled a little bit when I then asked him how did he manage to get out, at one time, but at one time I do remember he smiled as though there were a story there, and I didn't--I supposed the story would be too intricate, not interesting enough to try to get him to relate it.
Mr. LIEBELER - You did not ask him to relate the story?
Mr. PAINE - No; I did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever learn the circumstances under which he left Russia, from him?
Mr. PAINE - As he told me at that same half hour before we came back to our house on Fifth Street--
Mr. DULLES - Was this the first time you had seen him?
Mr. PAINE - All this happened in the first half hour.
Mr. DULLES - The first time you had ever seen him?
Mr. PAINE - The first time I had seen him or at least that first night.
He told me he had decided, that he had wanted, to come back to this country and it was through the fortunate circumstance of the Embassy still having his passport which was a legal loophole that made it legally possible, and I asked him--at sometime I thought this was rather nice that the State Department, I think this was a little later in the same evening, the State Department had forewarned him, had granted him money also, to come back.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you that?
Mr. PAINE - He told me that and I was rather proud of the State Department for its generous behavior toward such a wayward citizen. He actually had spoken--I had mentioned this because he had spoken abusively of the American Government.
Mr. LIEBELER - At this time, during the first meeting?
Mr. PAINE - Not just the American Government--yes; at this same meeting. He had spoken with abuse of, sort of resentment that they didn't let him have his passport and I thought, well now, that was just kind of a nice trick, by having a consular official there that he knew, this man wanted to change his mind, this little legal dodge of not wanting to give him his passport which I think is illegal if the man wants it, it would be the thing to permit him to come back.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you point that out to Lee Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I did.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did he say?
Mr. PAINE - I don't think he responded to it.
Mr. DULLES - He talked about surrendering the passport rather than surrendering citizenship, did he?
Mr. PAINE - The two were synonymous, I thought, that if you surrendered your passport and with the intention of adopting another one that was renouncing American citizenship.
Mr. DULLES - I see.
Mr. PAINE - Which he wanted, he told me he wanted to renounce his American citizenship. He said that quite flatly.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember anything else about this conversation concerning his trip back and his attitude toward the State Department and the United States that he discussed during this first meeting?
Mr. PAINE - I don't believe so. I think I have got it a little confused with Marguerite Oswald what she said at the assassination, at the time of the night of the 22d. She was resentful of the State Department, thinking it had been remiss in taking so long in getting him back. I don't remember whether he had voiced the same. I am confused, I don't know whether it was he or she who had voiced this resentment. I thought to the contrary it was very generous.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember whether or not Oswald himself voiced resentment against the Government of the United States in this connection?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I do remember that. That was the thing that prompted me to say that it was actually rather nice of them to have been illegal just for this--
Mr. DULLES - I didn't catch the last. Nice of them to have been what?
Mr. PAINE - I though it probably was illegal of the embassy official not to hand over his passport when he demanded it in order to surrender it to the Soviet Union.
Mr. LIEBELER - But you don't remember Oswald responding to that when you made that answer to him?
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember his response.
The CHAIRMAN - You also said you thought it was rather nice of the State Department to do that in order to make it possible for him to return if he wanted to?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I said both of these things. They had given him money. They had held, a peccadillo to hold, the passport out of the knowledge that he might, such people might, want to return, change their mind, and then to provide him money moreover to come back, this all seemed to me rather nice even though it had taken 2 more months than when he originally wanted to come back.
I had said, this in response to his, some kind of expression on his part of criticism of the State Department or the foreign embassy or whatever it is.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember why he was critical? Was he critical because they had not given him his passport when he went to Russia or was he critical because in his opinion they had taken so long to arrange his return?
Mr. PAINE - I think he was critical when he first mentioned it, he seemed to have the critical attitude some of this critical attitude may have been facial expressions or way of speaking, which was somewhat common with him. Therefore, I can't remember for sure whether it was in the words or in his attitude. He was critical, though, certainly of the first, of the State Department not relinquishing his passport.
Mr. DULLES - Was he critical at this latter time?
Mr. PAINE - He was critical of that as he was relating to his desire to go to the Soviet Union. He was relating the story to me, and then he had spoken of the State Department as though they were a bunch of bastards, wouldn't--or illegal or something. Anyway, he was unfavorable.
Mr. DULLES - But did you indicate he was rather glad that they had later taken this position so that he could get his passport back or did I misunderstand you on that?
Mr. PAINE - Well, I pointed out to him that or said "it was kind of fortunate that they had held your passport," and I think he nodded his assent to that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you why he decided to return to the United States from Russia?
Mr. PAINE - Most of this conversation, I think, was when we had first met and I wasn't sure whether he was speaking derogatively of the Soviet Union in order to win my good graces or thinking he could win my friendship that way.
However, he spoke more with disfavor of the Soviet Union during this first meeting than was quite comprehensible to someone who had gone there.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did he say?
Mr. PAINE - But chiefly what he said was that he didn't have choice of where he could live, you were assigned, he spoke with a certain amount of derision, scorn of the fact that you were assigned jobs, and he thought the food was boring, I think, to use his word. He had mentioned that he liked to--he had gone hunting with some friends, that was the only thing he mentioned about the Soviet Union in which I sensed that he had been with people except for also mentioning that he had been the center of interest as an American who couldn't drive a car.
But apparently he had relished going hunting. He had also said with resentment, a Soviet citizen could not own a rifle. They could own shotguns but not a rifle, and that you could shoot a rifle only by joining a rifle club which he said was a paramilitary organization.
Again this was with a degree of scorn in his voice or his attitude. I had assumed that he at least tried the paramilitary organization, the rifle club, so he could speak with such scorn, with knowledge of what he was speaking about.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you that he had joined an organization in which he was permitted to shoot a rifle?
Mr. PAINE - No; he did not. I don't know that for a fact. I had assumed from his conversation that he had tried it but I gather that he did not like this organization.
Mr. DULLES - Did he say anything about having to leave the rifle at the club, that you couldn't take the rifle away from the club, or anything of that kind?
Mr. PAINE - I assume that was true. He didn't mention it, he mentioned that a Soviet citizen could not possess a rifle.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he speak of any training that he might have received in connection with either a rifle or a shotgun while he was in the Soviet Union?
Mr. PAINE - No; he didn't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate to you the degree of facility with which he used either of these weapons while he was in the Soviet Union?
Mr. PAINE - No; he did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - He is there anything else he told you about this hunting club or this rifle or shotgun that you can remember now?
Mr. PAINE - No; I am not particularly interested in rifles and hunting so that I didn't--it was an ideal opportunity--I think he did love hunting so I think it would have been an ideal way to reach him in a somewhat human way.
Mr. DULLES - You got no idea of how much time he was at the rifle club or what? Did it seem to be a frequent occupation?
Mr. PAINE - No; I can't say I had any fruitful idea of whether he was a member of it. I assumed he was a member of it. He didn't say he was a member of it. I assumed he spoke with authority saying it was a paramilitary organization and somehow conveying the idea that he didn't like that aspect of it and, therefore, I assumed he didn't like it. He spoke only with pleasure of his hunting trip. He mentioned a hunting trip, I don't think he mentioned them in plural, which he had taken with some friends.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember any more details about that hunting trip?
Mr. PAINE - We talked, this was within the first half hour, the talk was very brief-
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever mention to you this hunting trip or anything relating to a rifle or shotgun in the Soviet Union at any later time?
Mr. PAINE - No; I didn't know what time he was referring to.
Mr. LIEBELER - I mean at any other time after the first meeting with you did he refer again to his activities in the Soviet Union?
Mr. PAINE - I see.
Mr. LIEBELER - In connection with this rifle?
Mr. PAINE - No; that subject never came up again.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you at this first meeting about his work in the Soviet Union?
Mr. PAINE - I had gathered he worked somewhere in a television factory.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you that?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I can't remember whether it was television, it was electronics of some sort.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you the nature of his work?
Mr. PAINE - He did not tell me. I thought to myself that if he was in a very honorable position there he would have mentioned it. So, I thought he was probably just a mechanic of some sort, wiring it together.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you how much he was paid?
Mr. PAINE - I can't remember, I think he did but I don't remember what he said.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate that he received any income other than from his work?
Mr. PAINE - No; I don't believe he told me anything about that.
Mr. LIEBELER - We have been referring primarily here in our questioning to the first meeting that you had with him, but do you remember any subsequent conversation with Oswald about his work, his pay, and his income in the Soviet Union after this first meeting?
Mr. PAINE - I think he thought it was too low. He thought the standard of living, he recognized the standard of living was low, and they were restricted therefore in their--just too confined, told where to live. The food was boring and there was nothing to do. I didn't get the idea it was lack of money. He did not say anything about lack of money.
Mr. DULLES - I wonder if we could get for our guidance the approximate number of times he saw Lee Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - It was about four times that we had lengthy conversations.
Mr. DULLES - Four times, that is four times prior to the date of the assassination.
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. DULLES - Or that includes all the times?
Mr. PAINE - I didn't see him again after the assassination.
Mr. DULLES - You didn't see him after the assassination. Four times prior to the assassination including this one time you have already described?
Mr. PAINE - Yes. This is the first meeting before he went to New Orleans and then about three weekends after he came back
Mr. DULLES - I think that will be taken up. I just wanted to get in my mind approximately how many times in all you saw him.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald at any time indicate to you that he was treated by the Russian authorities in any way different from ordinary Russian citizens who occupied a similar status in the Soviet Union?
Mr. PAINE - No; I wasn't aware of that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you about any special training that he had?
Mr. PAINE - No; he did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he mention his living accommodations?
Mr. PAINE - Well, with some kind of resentment he did, that it was assigned, and I think that is about all he said.
Mr. DULLES - May I ask whether these questions relate to all the four times or just to the first time, are we still on the first?
Mr. LIEBELER - Basically on the first time, sir, unless we specify to the contrary.
Mr. DULLES - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Tell us what else you and Oswald discussed during this first meeting that you had?
Mr. PAINE - Unfortunately that first meeting was the clearest one. I was asking him questions, taking his answers. I had hoped when I met this man to have insights into Russia, both meeting him and meeting his wife, and interesting talks about the differences between the Russian system and the American, the western system.
Then I found that he was--some questions, later in the evening, the conversation was translated into Russian also so that Marina could follow along.
Mr. DULLES - You mean after the first half hour when you were preparing--
Mr. PAINE - That is right, when we came back after dinner to our house.
Mr. DULLES - Your house. So this went on?
Mr. PAINE - What you have heard now occurred mostly in the first half hour when I was speaking directly to him when I met him.
Mr. LIEBELER - Then you returned to Irving to your house and had dinner and had the additional conversation?
Mr. PAINE - Yes. Now, in all the subsequent conversations, you are going to get less information in what he said.
Mr. DULLES - In the first part of this meeting you were alone and in the second part of the meeting there were other people there?
Mr. PAINE - My wife and Marina was able. to join us. At this time Marina was packing things for Junie and I noticed that he was speaking very harshly to her. He was telling her what bag or satchel to take. I gathered from it, of course, it was in Russian, and I thought to myself, here is a little fellow who certainly insists on wearing the pants.
Mr. DULLES - You don't understand Russian yourself?
Mr. PAINE - No. So he spoke loudly to her. and didn't rise from his seat. But spoke surprisingly harshly especially in front of a guest.
Mr. DULLES - How did she take this?
Mr. PAINE - With a bit of umbrage. She didn't like it. It rankled her.
Representative FORD - In other words, this half hour conversation took place in their apartment?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Representative FORD - While she was packing the bags to go to your home?
Mr. PAINE - That is right.
Mr. DULLES - Was she packing the bags for some days or was this--
Mr. PAINE - No; just bottles, diapers, clothing, something.
Mr. DULLES - For a weekend?
Mr. PAINE - Just for the evening.
Mr. DULLES - Just for an evening?
Mr. PAINE - I don't know why it took so long but it did. I guess they weren't quite ready when I arrived.
Mr. LIEBELER - What else did you and Oswald speak about during this evening, do you remember?
Mr. PAINE - After supper the conversation was translated into Russian, and I wanted to gather Marina's or get Marina's corroboration of certain things he said about Russia and there we found when she had differing opinions from him that he would not let her, he would slap her down verbally, and not let her express them or say--Ruth told me later, he was calling her a fool, "You don't know anything."
When I encountered this, I actually trusted Marina to know--the questions I was asking, it seemed to me could be better answered by Marina, so I wasn't paying very close attention to what he had said about that.
Mr. DULLES - Could you indicate on what points they seemed to differ or what points that he raised that irritated her or vice versa in their discussion about Russia? You said he slapped her down. I was wondering on what kind of points he slapped her down.
Mr. PAINE - I have unfortunately tried to remember those points myself wishing, wondering whether hypnosis would bring it out of me as a tape recorder, or something. I was interested to know whether the Russians were happy with their system, whether they felt the presence of the Secret Police, these are questions, I don't remember asking them, these are questions that I would have been interested in.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember any response either from Marina or from Oswald on these points?
Mr. PAINE - And I don't remember anything specific here. I just remember that I encountered too many points where they apparently differed and, therefore, I had in mind I will just wait until she can learn English and we will get it from the horse's mouth.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you speak with Oswald during this first meeting of the circumstances under which he met Marina and married her in Russia?
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember when I learned that. I think I learned it from Ruth, who had spoken to Marina on this subject.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you learn?
Mr. PAINE - It may have been--I don't remember when it occurred, it may have been after the assassination, I may have read it in the paper or something.
Mr. LIEBELER - You don't remember any specific conversations with Oswald on that subject?
Mr. PAINE - No; I don't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Lee Oswald ever speak to you about his experience in the United States Marine Corps?
Mr. PAINE - He mentioned that his brother went in the Marine Corps and apparently enjoyed it and he had then, I think he said he had left school early to join it and I gathered, I thought to myself, he is expecting to find the joy his brother found there and he did not find it. He did not like the Marine Corps.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you anything--pardon me.
Mr. PAINE - He did not mention that I can recall his exit from the Marine Corps.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever mention the name of Governor Connally in connection with his experiences in the Marines?
Mr. PAINE - Not that I remember.
Mr. DULLES - Did he ever mention the President in this or any other conversations?
Mr. PAINE - He mentioned the President only once that I can remember specifically; at the ACLU meeting I think.
Mr. DULLES - At the which?
Mr. PAINE - At the ACLU meeting I took him to. He had mentioned, he thought President Kennedy was doing quite a good job in civil rights, which was high praise coming from Lee.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you have any discussion during this first meeting other than the discussion you have already mentioned concerning Oswald's political beliefs?
Mr. PAINE - There, of course, I was interested in that subject, found we differed, and then in order to not wrestle with concepts or arguments that were unmanageably large, I tried to bring it down to more specific instances of how he would like to see the world be.
Mr. LIEBELER - How did you become aware of the fact that you differed, do you remember?
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember him making any bones about it the very first meeting. He told me he had become a Marxist, in his own apartment there, that he had become a Marxist by reading books and never having met a Communist in this country.
And he also then told me with a certain sadness or regret that he couldn't speak about political and economic subjects with his people, and fellows at work.
(At this point Senator Cooper entered the hearing room.)
Mr. LIEBELER - You were going to mention specific areas of political discussion that you had with him.
Mr. PAINE - One other thing happened in this first half hour, the most fruitful half hour I had ever had with him. He had mentioned his employer. I probably asked him why did he leave this country to go to the Soviet Union, and his supreme theme in this regard is the exploitation of man by man, by which he means one man making a profit out of another man's labor, which is the normal employment situation in this country and to which he found--took, felt great resentment.
He was aware that his employer made he made more money for his employer than he was paid and specifically he mentioned how his employer of the engraving company goods and chattels that he had, that Oswald didn't have, and with some specific resentment toward this employer, and I thought privately to myself that this resentment must show through if he ever meets his employer, it must sort of show through and that his employer wouldn't find that man very attractive. So this was his guiding theme.
The reason it appears that this country, the system in this country had to go, had to be changed, was because of this supreme immoral way of managing affairs here, the exploitation of man by man which occurs in this country.
We discussed about it occurring in the Soviet Union, the taxation of a man's labor, it occurs there also, and it appeared that only, he seemed to agree or sometimes I had to feed him, this conversation now is a later one, when we were talking about the specifics of exploitation of man by man, he agreed that the only difference was that in the Soviet Union it is a choice which is impersonal.
The person who decides the man's wages and labor does not stand to gain by it whereas in this country the man who decides stands to gain by it.
Mr. DULLES - The man who decides what, to employ the other man?
Mr. PAINE - No; what wage to pay him.
Mr. DULLES - What wage to pay him?
Mr. PAINE - Or what his return shall be. So that was the only--the most important, by far economic and political almost, let's call it economic doctrine he held.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he translate that economic doctrine to specific policies that he thought should be adopted or specific changes that should be made in the structure of this country?
Mr. PAINE - I had never, to my satisfaction, uncovered an area of progressive change that he would advocate. I asked him how did he think this change was going to come about, and he never answered that.
And it seemed to me he was critical of almost everything that occurs in this country. So that he did not--I did not come to--did not know of anything in which he could see a progressive evolutionary change or policies that could be pushed in order to promote his ideals.
Representative FORD - Did he react academically, intellectually, violently or in what way did he express these views?
Mr. PAINE - Well, he was quite dogmatic. First he wanted to put me in a category. In one of the later talks--when we first met he talked very freely and then I think as we made, in later conversations, I had to do more and more of it--make more and more effort to draw something out of him. In his later conversations, Ruth found him so bothersome.
Mr. DULLES - What was that word?
Mr. PAINE - Bothersome, that she couldn't join the conversations. He would get too angry or too--
Representative FORD - He resented the probing or the questioning?
Mr. PAINE - No; he did not really resent the probing. For instance, take this issue of the exploitation of man by man. When we had boiled it down to this rather fine difference or technical difference that one was done by an impersonal body and one was done personal.
Mr. DULLES - The Soviet being the first and the American being the second?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct. That being then the crux of the matter and the reason this is the matter to be changed, if we were to follow the logic of the discussion, many arguments seemed to approach at that kind of a point where it is just logic or reason just didn't seem to work or hold water in this case, and we were left then with the starkness of his statement that this was an unforgivable moral sin, and he called it a moral sin or I questioned him to that effect, and so he thought it was a moral sin and he thought he was moral by adhering to that doctrine.
Representative FORD - Did he appear to enjoy these give and takes between you and himself or did he resent them as you proceeded in your discussions?
Mr. PAINE - I don't think he resented them. I noticed at times he got quite hot under the collar and I noticed that he was holding his, staying on a steady keel even better than I was, as though he had had considerable practice in sticking to, controlling himself, holding his position and not getting ruffled.
Representative FORD - But in this process over a period of time during these four discussions he never deviated from his basic thesis?
Mr. PAINE - Yes. Of course, as I said to the others, I don't believe whether you were here, we only had about four talks altogether, and I later came to realize that if he were to have abandoned any one of these or have abandoned that one in particular, that would have undermined his whole philosophy, would humanly itself quite unreasonable to expect a fundamental exchange within an evening, just because of a logical compulsion or logical argument or something.
Mr. DULLES - Did you get the impression that he felt both systems, the American system and the Soviet system involved the exploitation of man by man except it was a different exploiter?
Mr. PAINE - I gathered--I was irked because it seemed to me the difference that he accepted as a sufficient difference, the one in the Soviet Union was impersonal, that he was not, in other words--he admitted in the Soviet Union that the tax rate which was a general term then for the amount of money or reward that is not returned of what a man makes, was higher in the Soviet Union. He agreed that that could be true, and didn't seem to be dismayed at that. So I did not find criticism of the Soviet Union on that score.
And in fact he didn't--I didn't discover in what ways he would like to try to change the Soviet Union except he didn't like the restrictions on his freedom there. Neither did he see there was any connection between the restrictions on freedom there and the freedom we have here without control of how the relationship between men would be governed.
Mr. DULLES - Did he ever go into the question of the relative position of labor in the United States from the point of view of its freedom of bargaining and the control of labor in the Soviet Union? Did that ever come up?
Mr. PAINE - No. I think, I can't remember whether it was a conversation I had directly with him or immediately after, I was following this idea that here we feel we have quite a different attitude about exploitation. Somebody--he felt exploited and he thought all the working class was exploited, and he also thought they were brainwashed, and he also thought that churches were all alike, all the religious sects were the same and they were all apparatus of the power structure to maintain itself in power.
When I pointed out that our church was financed by people like myself, when I contribute so many dollars to the church, he just shrugged his shoulders. It didn't--his views still stood and it also permitted him, I think, gave him the moral ground to dismiss my arguments because I was here just a product of my environment and I didn't know better and he had the word from the enlightenment, that he knew the truth and therefore I was just spouting the line that was fed to me by the power structure.
Mr. LIEBELER - I think you mentioned before that he had wanted to put you in a category, categorize you. Did he indicate to you during that first conversation that he had concluded what category?
Mr. PAINE - No; it was over several conversations, I suppose it was the last conversation we had, he couldn't put me in a category and he named about seven or eight categories.
Mr. LIEBELER - What were they?
Mr. PAINE - I wasn't a Bircher, I wasn't a liberal, a Communist, a Socialist, probably something to do with religion, something like that, atheist.
Mr. DULLES - He didn't say whether you were a Republican or Democrat?
Mr. PAINE - I don't believe he was concerned about that.
Mr. PAINE - No; I am sure he would see no distinction between the two parties.
Mr. LIEBELER - So he concluded that he was unable to categorize you?
Mr. PAINE - Yes. And I also felt as soon as he had realized that that he could then dismiss me as not something that functions in this world, not one of the forces or the opposing camps he has to contend with.
Mr. LIEBELER - You mentioned that your wife became bothered or Oswald proved bothersome to your wife. Could you tell us in what way Oswald was bothersome to Mrs. Paine?
Mr. PAINE - Well, I think one of the most outstanding was in this discussion of religions and I was trying to suggest that religions did embody many of the values of many people and so the conversation was trying to talk about those values quite apart from--I think the Russian, I think Marina's view of religion is quite primitive never mind Marina. Ruth was bothered by his logic or argument being of no avail. She would be content, you know if he had followed the laws of debate or something, you present evidence and he presents opposite evidence and you try to answer, let one answer the other. But when he couldn't answer he would just state his belief and there he followed the Communist line.
He talked something about feudalism, or the church being more powerful in feudalism than it was today and he tried to explain why that was.
I had then suggested that maybe science was instrumental as an alternative explanation to his explanation but instead of supporting further his view, which just didn't make sense to me, he just restated it. Well, this kind of thing.
Mr. LIEBELER - Upset your wife?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; you just couldn't enter the conversation deeper.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember any other conversation you and Oswald had during this first evening that you met?
The CHAIRMAN - From the first day, are you going back to?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes.
Mr. PAINE - I think we probably spoke, I was trying still to find common ground with him, and I think we probably spoke critically of the far right. It even seems to me we may have mentioned Walker.
I had been bothered at the time that Walker had--I guess it doesn't do any good to enter into the matter because I don't remember his response.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you mention Walker's name during the first meeting?
Mr. PAINE - My memory is very foggy. But I would take it as--this was an impression.
Mr. LIEBELER - Give us your best recollection, and I want to ask you again this was in early April 1963, that you had this conversation, is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - It was that first meeting when we had them over to dinner and Ruth can give you the date of that.
Mr. LIEBELER - For the benefit of the Commission the record indicates it was about April 2, 1963, that that occurred. Tell us to the best of your recollection what the conversation about General Walker was at that time?
Mr. PAINE - I think he had mentioned, a friend of ours had a German wife and she just achieved her citizenship papers, and this had been done at the ceremony and General Walker had been invited to lead the singing, conducted by June Davis who is somewhat old and slipped into error of calling him Judge Walker every once in a while, and it somewhat offended this friend of ours who was aware of why she liked this country, freedoms, and liberties and values that are expressed here. And she was rather sorry that Walker should take it upon himself to define, to these stupid foreigners or these ignorant foreigners, what this country stands for. So I think I mentioned this episode to him.
Representative FORD - Him being Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - Oswald, and I think he smiled and nodded his assent. I don't think he said any--I don't think he made any important remarks about Walker.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember anything that he said about Walker at all?
Mr. PAINE - I think that is the only time, probably the only time we mentioned Walker.
Mr. DULLES - To refresh my recollection, there was about 2 days or----
Mr. LIEBELER - 8 days before.
Mr. RANKIN - It was on the 10th.
Senator COOPER - Did he indicate in any way that he knew about General Walker at that time?
Mr. PAINE - We seemed to agree at least superficially that in thinking the far right was unfortunate in its thoughts.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he say anything or do anything that would lead you to believe that he planned an attack on General Walker?
Mr. PAINE - Absolutely not.
Senator COOPER - Did he indicate in any way that he knew about General Walker's activities and beliefs and position on public affairs?
Mr. PAINE - When I went to the ACLU meeting he then got up, stood up and reported what had happened at the meeting of the far right which had occurred at convention hall the day before, U.N. Day, they called it U.S. Day, and I think Walker had spoken then.
From this I gathered that he was doing more or less the same thing-- I thought he was, I didn't inquire how he spent his free time but I supposed he was going around to right wing groups being familiarizing himself for whatever his purposes were as I was.
Senator COOPER - Is that prior to the conversation you have talked about?
Mr. PAINE - No; this is after this conversation.
Senator COOPER - What?
Mr. Paine This is after this conversation and I only had this, this was the only concrete evidence I had of how he spent, might have spent some of his time. It happened in the ACLU meeting in late October. I suppose he was familiar with the right-wing groups and activities, and movements. And certainly familiar with Walker; yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Confining the Senator's question to the meeting in April, he didn't indicate in any way that he was familiar with Walker's attitude or activities?
Mr. PAINE - He was familiar with Walker. He knew who Walker was, there was no doubt about that. We were talking about Walker.
Representative FORD - To find some common ground.
Mr. DULLES - He didn't say he knew where Walker lived or anything of that kind. That didn't come up?
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate any understanding to you at that April meeting of Walker's attitude?
Mr. PAINE - I don't think he singled out Walker as--I had the impression that he was quite familiar with Walker and probably familiar with the names of various right-wing groups, shall we say, the Christian Science, not the Christian Science, I have forgotten the names of various organizations.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you relate to Oswald this story about Walker speaking at the meeting or the ceremony at which the immigrants were given their citizenship?
Mr. PAINE - I believe I did; yes. I believe that is what I said about Walker at the time.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was his response to that?
Mr. PAINE - And I think he didn't say much. I think he smiled and nodded his head and did that kind of thing. He may have said just a few words.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you take it that Oswald agreed with the views that you expressed?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I did.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, after this first meeting
Senator COOPER - May I interrupt you again, I don't want to interrupt your train too much but I think you had said that during this conversation that you did have some discussion about right-wing groups.
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Senator COOPER - And their position and activities, and so forth. In that discussion were individuals named or members assumed to be members of that group?
(At this point Representative Ford left the hearing room.)
Mr. PAINE - It is possible we would have mentioned Welch. I don't think I would have mentioned Welch, I didn't know anything specifically about the John Birch Society at the time.
Senator COOPER - Was Walker, he was talking about Walker?
Mr. PAINE - He was the only one whose name was mentioned.
Senator COOPER - Are you sure whether or not Oswald made any comment at any time during this conversation about Walker?
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember, as I say, I remember it very vaguely but I remember telling that instance of his conducting that ceremony. But-- and Walker was known, I knew that Walker was known to Lee. And at least it achieved a certain feeling of similarity there, even though the similarity was only superficial in our views and feelings about it. I don't think he went on to describe any--it was mostly a ploy on my part to curry him or make him feel more at ease.
Mr. LIEBELER - It was clear to you at that time that both you and Mr. Oswald had an adverse view of General Walker and did not think favorably of him, is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - Had you heard of Lee Oswald before you had occasion to go and pick him up that time and bring him to your house for dinner?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I heard about him as soon as Ruth had been invited to this party back in February, whenever it was.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was the basis of your wife's interest in the Oswalds and of your interest in the Oswalds?
Mr. PAINE - Everett Clover invited us knowing that Ruth was studying Russian and that--asked us if we would be interested in meeting this--they were presented to us as an American who had defected to Russia and decided he didn't like it and came back and brought a Russian wife with him. Would we like to meet these people? Yes, that sounded interesting.
Mr. DULLES - Was this the Fort Worth group?
Mr. PAINE - No; this is in Dallas.
Mr. DULLES - Dallas.
Mr. LIEBELER - After this first meeting with Lee Oswald when was the next time that you saw him?
Mr. PAINE - That would be after he returned, when Marina was living with us, when he returned, we thought he returned from looking for work from Houston but apparently it had been his trip to Mexico.
Mr. LIEBELER - Tell us the circumstances of how you met him and what happened at that time?
Mr. DULLES - Could we have the date of this?
Mr. LIEBELER - This would have been what, early October or late September of 1963?
Mr. PAINE - I think Marina was there about a week, at least a week before he came, if she came the 24th of September, which comes to my mind, it would be in the early part of October. I would normally appear at the house on Fridays, sometimes occasionally on Sundays, I would come on Friday evening, and--
Mr. LIEBELER - You were separated from your wife at this time?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you had your own apartment at Arlington, Tex.?
Mr. PAINE - Grand Prairie.
Mr. LIEBELER - Grand Prairie.
Mr. PAINE - I don't particularly remember, the occasions don't stand out one from another. The first two meetings, I think were before he found work, and at first I talked a little bit about the problem of finding work with him.
Mr. DULLES - These were the first two meetings after the preliminary meeting?
Mr. PAINE - Yes. While Marina was staying with us.
Mr. LIEBELER - Go through your testimony, Mr. Paine and tell us as best you can recall how many times you saw Oswald after his return from New Orleans, up until the time of his assassination?
Mr. PAINE - I think I saw him every weekend on Friday; I think he was there except for the weekend, before the assassination, exceptional.
I would arrive on Tuesday or Wednesdays and, of course, he was not there and there was Ruth and Marina. I would simply come in on Sunday when he was generally there.
Also, I quite specifically remember on the long holiday he had some period there, I don't remember, what celebration it is, when Bell did not have that day off and he did, so he was there that morning, a Monday morning on that date of that holiday, perhaps you can feed me the date.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would that be November 8th, 9th and 10th, 1963?
Mr. PAINE - I think that is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was that the last time you saw him?
Mr. PAINE - That would be correct; yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, tell us the circumstances about how Oswald arrived in Irving upon his return from New Orleans as best you can recall it, what happened, what was said.
Mr. PAINE - I must not have been there when the phone call arrived but I think Ruth reported it to me so that Ruth said that Marina was very pleased, very happy to receive this call, a surprise or something. I think I had at one or two times seen her answer a call from him, and I observed she was glad to have this call from him but I wasn't there when he first called, I don't believe.
Mr. DULLES - Was that the call from New Orleans to Irving?
Mr. PAINE - No; that is the call from somewhere in Dallas to Irving asking if he could come out. I don't know of a call from New Orleans to Irving.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he subsequently come out to the house in Irving that weekend?
Mr. PAINE - Then he came out that weekend. I suppose he came out on a Friday and it was probably before I got over there, I arrived about six.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember if he was there when you arrived home that weekend?
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember that. I think he was there; yes. I think he was there because otherwise I would have seen that meeting. I did not see them first embrace each other.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he say anything to you about where he had been?
Mr. PAINE - No; I thought I knew where he had been. Ruth had told me he was looking for work in Houston.
Mr. LIEBELER - Ruth had told you that before this date?
Mr. PAINE - I don't know.
Mr. LIEBELER - There was no conversation among any one at that time about Oswald having been in Mexico.
Mr. PAINE - No; it was a complete surprise to Ruth and myself. When we saw this letter where he mentioned having been to Mexico, Ruth took it as an example of his colossal lying.
Mr. LIEBELER - Tell us about this letter, what were the circumstances surrounding that?
Mr. PAINE - He had written a letter using her typewriter and her desk to a party I don't know.
Mr. DULLES - That is Ruth's typewriter and desk?
Mr. PAINE - Ruth's typewriter and he left the rough draft of the letter on her desk, not folded, just out there on her desk, in English. Ruth had given me the impression it was there for a couple of days. Actually it was there for a day and a half or so. I think he wrote it on Saturday and we then moved the furniture on Sunday night.
Mr. DULLES - This would be Saturday, November what?
Mr. PAINE - This might be that holiday November. I don't remember for sure about that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Mr. Paine, you and I discussed this question yesterday and I asked you whether you recalled seeing Oswald again after you had discussed this letter with your wife. What did you tell me?
Mr. PAINE - I thought probably not but we figured out the dates from my probable reaction that I read that letter and then had I encountered him again I would have had a different, I would have had questions or feelings or something in response to this letter and since I didn't encounter him with those feelings I must not have seen him again.
Mr. LIEBELER - So that would place the date of your seeing this letter as approximately shortly after the weekend of November 8, 9, and 10?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - I show you Commission Exhibit 103 and ask you if you ever saw the original of this letter and if you did to tell us the circumstances surrounding that event.
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I saw this letter. I remembered most of the contents. I apparently didn't remember that he didn't use his real name, I was reading something else at the time and Ruth handed me this letter and it took a while I didn't read it as thoroughly as I could have.
Mr. DULLES - Could you tell us just briefly the contents of this letter just for the record?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes, sir; apparently it is a draft of a letter that Oswald wrote in his own hand. The Commission does have a copy of the actual letter, and it was a letter to the Russian Embassy, I believe in Washington.
Mr. DULLES - The Russian Embassy in Washington?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes, sir; in which he tells them about his trip to Mexico and his political activity on behalf of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. I believe it includes the words "notorious FBI," which is no longer interested in his political activity in Texas.
Mr. DULLES - Was this letter ever sent?
Mr. LIEBELER - I believe it was.
Mr. DULLES - There was a letter sent like this? You said you had the original?
Mr. RANKIN - It is in evidence.
Mr. DULLES - What was sent, a letter like this?
Mr. RANKIN - A redraft.
Mr. DULLES - A redraft
Mr. PAINE - Typewritten copy.
Mr. LIEBELER - This letter refers to the fact that Oswald had been in Mexico, does it not?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; it tells of his visit to the Cuban Consul and the Soviet Embassy there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did your wife call that to your attention when she showed you this letter?
Mr. PAINE - We took it, she took it, and I likewise took it as somewhat of a fabricated story, I didn't suppose he had been down to Mexico. I read "Dear Sirs" there, I read "Dear Lisa." I thought he was writing to a friend, and Ruth pointed out to me after I had given the letter back to her, Ruth was somewhat irked that I didn't take more interest in the thing. I think I might have no, I don't know as I might have since I might have dismissed it as a lie but anyway Ruth was irked and didn't show it to me again and I asked her now what was in that letter that I didn't see and she didn't tell me.
Mr. LIEBELER - This was all prior to the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did she say to you?
Mr. PAINE - Ruth was quite bothered by that letter, and apparently had--apparently I hadn't really taken it in. I said, "The heck with it. Yes; it a fantastic lie, isn't that amazing that he will fabricate such stories here."
Mr. LIEBELER - What did she say?
Mr. PAINE - No; she said--she approached me and said, "I never realized how much he could lie" or that he was a liar or something like that, and "I want you to read this letter." So I put aside the thing I was reading in which I was more interested and read most of the letter, not the latter part about having used another name.
And then I thought it was too personal, "Dear Lisa," so I thought he was telling her, being rather braggadocio telling about his exploits which were rather imaginary and I put it out of my mind. Then later Ruth asked me what did I think about it.
Mr. LIEBELER - This was before the assassination that she asked you this?
Mr. PAINE - I think so.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was it later the same day?
Mr. PAINE - No; I think it probably was another day but I don't remember.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did she say?
Mr. PAINE - Well, she was--I think I said, "Let me see that letter again," and she said, "No; if you didn't absorb it, never mind." So, heck, if she felt that way, I wasn't going to bother. My first impulse was to throw it aside and pay no attention to it. If she felt that way I continued to do it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who brought the letter up the second time, did Ruth bring it up?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; Ruth brought it up.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember whether there was any event that caused her to bring it up or did she bring it up out of the clear blue sky or what?
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember having slept with her but I have the impression she brought it up while I was in bed anyway. So it might have been, just be, I was staying late that night also, I don't know.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you know that Oswald had given Marina a charm made out of a Mexican peso at the time that you read this letter?
Mr. PAINE - No; I didn't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you learn about that at any time prior to the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - Not that I remember.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you note the fact that Oswald had a record of Mexican music in your home prior to the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - I didn't know that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you subsequently learn that Oswald had given Marina this charm made from a Mexican peso?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I did.
Mr. LIEBELER - Under what circumstances?
Mr. PAINE - The FBI came out and they were wondering whether Oswald had used my shop to mount his sight so we went out to look at the shop and tools and we looked at the threading tap and what not, the threading tap looked as though it hadn't been used but the drill press seemed to have little chips of metal on it and then Ruth remembered that he had gone in there and used the drill press to have drilled out this coin which Marina put around her neck, and I think she then mentioned it was a peso. But it hadn't sunk into Ruth with significance of its being a peso, hadn't impressed itself upon her prior to the assassination.
Mr. LIEBELER - So that neither you nor your wife believed that Oswald had been in Mexico prior to the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - You will have to ask Ruth about that. That was my impression he hadn't been there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your wife hadn't said anything to you that indicated that she believed it?
Mr. PAINE - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, you mentioned before the fact that you had gone with Oswald to a meeting of the American Civil Liberties Union, is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you do that?
Mr. PAINE - That was the day after Stevenson had been stoned.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you tell us the circumstances of that event?
Mr. PAINE - That was a Friday I had intended to go, I had also invited Frank Krystinik for his first visit, I had been telling him about the ACLU. So I invited Lee to come thinking it might be part--I was not really talking to him very much, but just being civil but I thought it might be helpful for him to see something in which I was interested, that I might find some way that he might find an interest, something constructive to do.
So, I took him in my car, he and I alone, and on the way, which takes about 35 minutes, described the ACLU to him, and he didn't know about it, and described its purpose. Then we went to the meeting which was a meeting, first we saw a movie called "Suspect," I think it was showing how a candidate lost, who had won handily in a previous election, lost after a smear campaign in Washington State, which it had been brought out that his wife had once been a Communist Party member.
I didn't think the movie showed very much, but the meeting, the discussion following the movie, there were two people who gave little talks about the movie and the principles involved afterward, this--do you want to break?
Mr. LIEBELER - Who went with you in the car to the meeting, just you and Mr. Oswald or was Mr. Krystinik with you?
Mr. PAINE - No; Krystinik came in his own car, so just Lee and myself.
Mr. LIEBELER - Go ahead with your story.
Mr. PAINE - I thought the meeting was conducted in a manner that illustrated its own beliefs. One of the things said was that the Birchers must not be considered anti-Semitic, anti-Semites because they' are also Birchers.
Lee at this point got up, speaking loud and clear and coherently, saying that, reporting that, he had been to this meeting of the right-wing group the night before or two nights before and he refuted this statement, saying names and saying how that people on the platform speaking for the Birch Society had said anti-Semitic things and also anti-Catholic statements or spoke against the Pope or something.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember what Oswald said?
Mr. PAINE - No; I don't remember. He said something very similar to, "I disagree with what had just been said," and I do remember that it contained both some corroboration of his points of view. There had been some kind of an anti-Semitic statement and criticism of the Pope.
Mr. LIEBELER - Oswald seemed to make a convincing argument and seemed to make sense?
Mr. PAINE - That was good speaking. It was out of keeping with the mood of the meeting and nobody followed it up in a similar manner but I think it was accepted as--it made sense; yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did anybody else say anything in response to Oswald's remarks?
Mr. PAINE - I think not.
Mr. LIEBELER - What happened then later on in the meeting?
Mr. PAINE - Later on in the meeting, when the meeting broke up, people clustered into discussion groups, and Frank, I told Frank, who was a colleague at work, Frank Krystinik, about Lee and Marina, and so of course he immediately came to defend free enterprise and what not in opposition to this fellow I told him about, and I left the discussion at that point, thinking I knew the kind of discussion it would be.
It was a discussion between three people, a more elderly man whom I probably thought was a member of the ACLU, and Frank and Lee.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you hear any part of the discussion?
Mr. PAINE - I didn't hear any part of the discussion.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you subsequently discuss it with either Oswald or Krystinik?
Mr. PAINE - And in the car going home, Lee asked me if I knew this man he had been talking to, this older man he had been talking to, and I think he said that the man seemed to be friendly to Cuba or rather he said, "Do you think that man is a Communist?" And I said, "No." And then he said something, "I think he is." Then I asked him why and I think he said something in regard to Cuba or sympathy with Cuba, and then I thought to myself, well, that is rather feeble evidence for proving a Communist.
But he seemed to have the attitude of, felt he wanted to meet that man again and was pleased he had met him. I thought to myself if that is the way he has to meet his Communists, he has not yet found the Communist group in Dallas.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was there a Communist group in Dallas, to your knowledge?
Mr. PAINE - Not to my knowledge.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald ever speak of a Communist group in Dallas?
Mr. PAINE - No; he did not. I had the impression, this I remember clearly that he had not found the group with similar feelings to his. I then asked Frank in regard to, I can't remember when I asked Frank but I asked Frank about the same conversation and whether he thought that this third man was a Communist. And he thought no, he thought the other man was a better--Frank almost got into a fight with Lee, and the other man was more receptive or didn't argue with him, or drew him out better, Frank used the word, I think.
Mr. LIEBELER - Drew Oswald out better?
Mr. PAINE - Drew Oswald out better. But he didn't gather the impression that he was favoring Castro or Cuba.
Mr. LIEBELER - What else did you and Oswald say on the way home after the meeting?
Mr. PAINE - So I was describing to him the purpose of the ACLU, and he said specifically, I can remember this, after I had described it and said that I was a member, that he couldn't join an organization like that, it wasn't political and he said something or responded in some manner, which indicated surprise that I could be concerned about joining an organization simply to defend, whose purpose it is, shall we say, to defend, free speech, free speech, per se, your freedom as well as mine.
He was aware of enjoying his freedom to speak but he didn't seem to be aware of the more general principle of freedom to speak for everyone which has value in itself. And I think it took him by surprise that a person could be concerned about a value like that rather than political objective of some sort, and this was, struck me as a new idea and it struck me that he must never have met people who paid more than lip service, he wasn't familiar with the ways of expressing this value.
Mr. DULLES - Did you say anything to him about the activities of the Civil Liberties Union in connection with the defense of people accused of crimes under certain conditions?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I am sure I told him that it came to the defense of all people who didn't seem to be receiving adequate help when it seemed to be an issue involving the Bill of Rights. I was then--that was a pang of sorrow that occurred after the assassination when I realized that he had then subsequently, a fortnight later, joined the ACLU, and still didn't quite seem to perceive its purpose, and then I realized--I had also perceived earlier that he was still a young fellow and I had been expecting rather a lot of him, when I first approached meeting him; this man had been to Russia and had been back and I had been--met some others who had been around the world like that and they are powerful people.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald impress you that way?
Mr. PAINE - And he did not impress me that way; no.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald respond to your, or did you request Oswald or did you suggest to him that he join the ACLU?
Mr. PAINE - No; I don't think I was eager to have him join until he knew what was what about it.
Mr. LIEBELER - During the time after the ACLU meeting did Oswald say anything about his discussion with Mr. Krystinik?
Mr. PAINE - No; I don't believe so.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you subsequently discuss that with Krystinik?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I did.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you say and what did he say?
Mr. PAINE - He told me how he had argued, that he had pointed out. that he had employed a few people himself, he works at Bell but on the side, at night he had done a little extra business and had employed other people, and had to receive from them more than he paid them, that he received from their labor, for their product, more than he paid them but that he created work and jobs, and he was fully--and he was ready to defend his way of that activity and was presenting that against Lee's criticism and apparently encountered the same kind of nonsequitur response or no response from him or Lee's response didn't--Lee presented his opposing view against it without any issue.
Mr. LIEBELER - You mentioned that Krystinik and Oswald had almost gotten into a fight, did Krystinik tell you that?
Mr. PAINE - I think it was Frank who told me that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you tell us more about that?
Mr. PAINE - I am sure Frank would not haul off and slug him, but just Frank said he got pretty mad at this. I think Frank was using that expression to me only, you know, saying how irked he was at Lee.
Mr. LIEBELER - He didn't indicate that Oswald had threatened any physical violence toward him in connection with the argument, did he?
Mr. PAINE - Oh, no; I think Lee knows how to keep his temper, knows how to control himself,
Senator COOPER - Might I ask a question at this time?
Earlier you talked about your, I think your, first meeting with Oswald and your conversation with him?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Senator COOPER - You said, you talked about, the fact that subsequently your wife was bothered by his attitude?
Mr. PAINE - She was bothered by--
Senator COOPER - I am not going into that.
Now, you have talked about this conversation with Mr. Krystinik?
Mr. PAINE - Krystinik.
Senator COOPER - In which they reached some point in which further discussion was not, if not impossible, was at least difficult between them?
From these experiences you had was there a situation, that after some arguments or discussion of economic or political issues, he would reach a point in which he relied upon certain fixed positions that he held about which he would not admit of any further discussion or argument?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct. He would just present his dogmatic view and then one was at loss to find any way to get off that impasse.
Senator COOPER - When he was questioned about that view or when an attempt was made to argue that view with him, would he then become angry or disturbed in any way?
Mr. PAINE - The time that I reported I was angry and I noticed he was holding his temper pretty well and I wasn't going to let him hold his temper better than mine.
Senator COOPER - Did you see indication--
Mr. PAINE - I saw he was angry, his hands trembled a little bit.
Senator COOPER - All right.
Mr. PAINE - But he was dogged, I think he was practiced or skilled or took pride in this was a kind of struggle or fight that he would do this, and he would do it for a long time.
Mr. LIEBELER - Clench his. fists and put them together?
Mr. PAINE - No; it was expressing this as a mood.
Mr. LIEBELER - He would hold himself back?
Mr. PAINE - He would oppose himself to you steadily, and it seemed to me he liked to put himself in a position of belligerence or opposition, and he would just hold his ground or something, was accustomed to doing that and expected to stick it out. It reminded me a little bit of Lawrence of Arabia when Lawrence held the match that burned down to his finger and the fellows asked him what is the trick? He said no trick you just learn how to stand the pain.
Senator COOPER - I have to go and I would like to ask a few questions.
I ask these questions to get a certain background of his views which you have said he finally came to some fixed position which he would hold and would not move and there was no brooking of real argument on that position.
You said earlier in response to a question by counsel that he did not believe there was any possibility of any evolutionary progress in this country, at least upon this issue of economic change.
Mr. PAINE - This he never said that specifically. But I would ask him what policy should we take or I was trying to find if he didn't have some avenue of following a policy in this country.
Senator COOPER - Did you direct questions to him which showed some evolution in our own economic ideas and theories which he either refused to accept.
Mr. PAINE - Yes; I did. I mean I tried to show him how labor and management, first labor had a right, I was criticizing labor for the rigid position it is getting us into now.
Senator COOPER - He would not accept that idea of evolution?
Mr. PAINE - I think he did not accept it; yes. He didn't have patience with it.
Senator COOPER - Is that also a tenet of the Communist dogma, do you know?
Mr. PAINE - I don't believe, I don't know whether you can say there is a single Communist dogma of that sort. I suppose there are some groups that feel that way and others don't.
Senator COOPER - Did he indicate any other way in which he thought that economic change might come about in the United States?
Mr. PAINE - He did not indicate or reveal to me how he thought it would come about and I on several occasions felt by his, perceived from his attitude or felt impelled by his attitude to say that the values that I held dear were diminished in a situation of violence, to which he remained silent and I took it as disagreement. But I don't remember if he had said that.
Senator COOPER - He remained silent when you spoke about that?
Mr. PAINE - When I said I was opposed to violence or said, why, when I said that he remained silent and I took it
Senator COOPER - You took it that he disagreed in any way by your statement?
Mr. PAINE - Well, just by the way he would sort of withdraw.
Senator COOPER - He did not agree with your position?
Mr. PAINE - He did not agree; no.
Senator COOPER - That violence was unacceptable as a means of change?
Mr. PAINE - That is right, and I don't think he perceived also, was a war of the kind of values that I am--tolerance, for instance seems to me disappears when strained situations--
Senator COOPER - Did you discuss at least the kind of economic changes that had occurred in Russia by means of violence?
Mr. PAINE - No; I was trying to find out whether he thought it was going to come by revolution or not and he never did say, I never got an answer as to how he thought this change was going to come. He did not reveal constructive, or from my point of view, constructive effort to make.
Senator COOPER - Did he ever discuss the revolution in Russia where by means of violence the change had come about?
Mr. PAINE - He did not. That would have been the kind of argument I would have accepted, a normal kind that you would have accepted it as evidence here is the normal way to produce it, but he never said that.
Senator COOPER - Did he ever say any way in which he was expecting Russia or any other country to indicate that he felt the use of violence had produced good?
Mr. PAINE - No. As I say he did not--I would have accepted that argument as a debating argument but he didn't bring it up.
Senator COOPER - That is all.
Mr. DULLES - Did he say or did you get the impression that he felt that violence was the only way to improve things, let's say, in the United States?
Mr. PAINE - I felt he was so disgusted with the whole system that he didn't see a way that was worthwhile fussing around trying to modify the situation.
Mr. DULLES - Other than violence or he didn't go that far?
Mr. PAINE - He didn't mention advocating violence or didn't say anything in regard to violence but he did seem to me he didn't see dismissed as trivial, no difference between the parties so why join one party or another. They were all the same.
Churches--there is no avenue out that way. Education--there is nothing there. So that he never revealed to me any constructive way that wasn't violent.
Mr. DULLES - Did he think that communism was different from capitalism in this respect?
The CHAIRMAN - All right, gentlemen, the Commission will be in order.
Mr. DULLES - What I was getting at with my question was as to whether he thought that probably violence was necessary with respect to both systems to achieve the millennium that he sought or did he think it was just necessary with regard to the American system.
Mr. PAINE - He didn't reveal to me to my satisfaction what criticism he found of the Soviet Union. He had indicated he didn't like it. But I wasn't aware that he was proposing to change that system also in some way. Neither did he ever speak, he never spoke to me, in a way that I could see a paradise, see his paradise. He spoke only, he was opposed to exploitation of man by man. That was his motivating power.
(At this point Senator Cooper left the hearing room.)
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Oswald indicate to you in any way that he had been present at the right-wing rally that was held in Dallas the night before Stevenson appeared in Dallas?
Mr. PAINE - He indicated that at the ACLU meeting.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he say he had met anybody there?
Mr. PAINE - Not that I recall, no.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he mention speaking to anyone at that meeting?
Mr. PAINE - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you whether or not he was at the Stevenson meeting itself?
Mr. PAINE - I guess I didn't ask him that. I remember asking myself subsequently what was the answer to that question and I couldn't answer it then and I can't answer it now.
Mr. LIEBELER - You have no recollection of his mentioning it at all?
Mr. PAINE - No, I don't remember what--I think I assumed that he had but--
Mr. LIEBELER - You assumed that he had been at the Stevenson affair?
Mr. PAINE - I think I assumed that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you have any basis for that assumption?
Mr. PAINE - There had been some discussion in the ACLU, some other people had gotten up and had spoken of that awful last night, I guess, this was the previous night, that awful time and I think he seemed to nod his assent. That was my--
Mr. LIEBELER - You inferred from that that he had possibly been present at the Stevenson meeting?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - There was no other basis for your assumption in that regard?
Mr. PAINE - That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - On the weekend of November 8, 9, and 10, do you recall when you came to your house in Irving?
Mr. PAINE - Well, I would come out regularly on Friday after cashing my cheek at the bank.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember coming on Friday evening on the 8th of November?
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember any break in that habit.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you recall whether or not Oswald was present at your home on the Friday evening November 8, 1963?
Mr. PAINE - No; I don't specifically remember that.
Mr. LIEBELER - You don't remember one way or the other?
Mr. PAINE - That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Were you at the house on Saturday? November 9th?
Mr. PAINE - I was at the house probably on Saturday and certainly on Sunday. I think that weekend I remember stepping over him as he sat in front of the TV, stepping past, one of these things laying on the floor and thinking to myself for a person who has a business to do he certainly can waste the time. By business I mean some kind of activity and keeping track of right-wing causes and left-wing causes or something. I supposed that he spent his time as I would be inclined to spend more of my time if I had it, trying to sense the pulse of various groups in the Dallas area.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know what Oswald did on Saturday morning, November 9, 1963?
Mr. PAINE - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you know that he was taken by your wife to apply for a driver's license and take a driver's license test on that morning?
Mr. PAINE - She told me sometime subsequently that she had taken him for--wait. I remember the incident that he had arrived on a Saturday morning at the drivers' license bureau, stood in line for a long time but they cut off the line at 12 o'clock and he did not stay there long enough for him to get his driver's license student permit.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was this at this time or would that have been another time. Let me help you.
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would it help to refresh your recollection if I suggested that November 9th was a local election day in Dallas, I believe?
Mr. PAINE - I think that is an election that I have forgotten.
Mr. LIEBELER - You have no knowledge of Oswald's activities on that day, no direct personal knowledge?
Mr. PAINE - It doesn't, it didn't cue me in, so I don't--
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever see Oswald drive a car?
Mr. PAINE - No; I did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever discuss with him driving an automobile or obtaining a driver's license?
Mr. PAINE - I probably said it would be well to get a driver's license. It would be well--I probably said, "You probably need a car to get around here." In other words, effectively; no.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever indicate to you that he planned to purchase an automobile?
Mr. PAINE - I bought this second-hand car for $200.
Mr. LIEBELER - What kind of a car is that?
Mr. PAINE - That is a 1956 Oldsmobile.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you buy it?
Mr. PAINE - I bought it while they were there, while Marina was staying with us, which was sometime in November. Either October or November, probably the early part of November. They went out to admire the car. $200, I suppose, didn't seem out of their reach then.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he indicate to you that he was thinking--
Mr. PAINE - Therefore, I think Ruth, they went out to admire the car and, of course, I was thinking that it, this might make it appear to them that the car was within reach, and driving was something to be sought.
Mr. LIEBELER - In addition to the Oldsmobile that you mentioned, you personally own a Citroen automobile and your wife owns a station wagon, is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - You never saw Oswald drive any of those cars at any time?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct. I had keys to both of my cars so he could not have driven them without--
Mr. LIEBELER - Without your knowledge?
Mr. PAINE - Or else somehow getting another. He would have to--you can, I have driven my car when I have broken the key.
Mr. LIEBELER - But you never saw him drive it?
Mr. PAINE - I never saw him drive it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did your wife ever tell you that she had seen Oswald driving a car or she was trying to teach him how to drive a car?
Mr. PAINE - Yes; she did.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did she indicate what proficiency he had at operating an automobile?
Mr. PAINE - She thought he was, she observed how much one has to learn in order to drive a car. He had a difficulty in some manner, perhaps it was in judging when to turn the wheel when parking. And I think she said he over controlled it, turned too far.
Mr. LIEBELER - Looking back now on all your conversations with Oswald, after his return from New Orleans, did you have any discussions with him other than the ones you have already mentioned in your previous testimony?
Mr. DULLES - Could I ask a question before you answer this question. About the car, did you get any idea as to why he didn't want to drive a car or to have a car, did he think this would make him a capitalist or anything of that kind? Did anything come up in the conversations with regard to his not having a car or not driving a car?
Mr. PAINE - No. I gathered that was slightly embarrassing not to be able to drive a car.
Mr. DULLES - All right. Thank you.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you recall any conversations that you had with Oswald that you think would be helpful for us to know other than the ones you have already mentioned?
Mr. PAINE - I don't recall one now.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever indicate to you any specific hostility toward President Kennedy?
Mr. PAINE - I think at this ACLU meeting he mentioned this specifically that he thought Kennedy had done a good job in civil rights. That was it--generally my impression was that he liked--he didn't like anybody, but he disliked Kennedy least as you might go right from Kennedy.
Mr. LIEBELER - To the best of your recollection, was that the only time he mentioned President Kennedy specifically?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever mention Governor Connally?
Mr. PAINE - Not to my knowledge.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever indicate any hostility toward the United States other than the hostility that you have previously testified to after his return from the Soviet Union and his general dislikes of the American system?
Mr. PAINE - That is right. Just his general dislike.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he ever indicate to you a desire to return to the Soviet Union?
Mr. PAINE - No; I think when I learned, I don't know when it was that he had planned to go back there that it was a surprise to me.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you learn that he planned to go back there?
Mr. PAINE - That was probably subsequent; yes, that was certainly subsequent to November 22.
Mr. DULLES - Or to go to Cuba?
Mr. PAINE - Or to go to Cuba, yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - When that was spoken--
Mr. PAINE - I remember now, first it was mentioned could he be connected with a Communist plot and there I thought of Russian Communists and that didn't seem to ring a bell.
Mr. LIEBELER - When was that mentioned?
Mr. PAINE - This was after the assassination, a day or two later. Then when the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was mentioned, that was the first 1 had heard of it except for his mentioning Cuba to this man at the ACLU meeting referring to it in the car to me.
Mr. LIEBELER - He never told you that he had been active in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct, that was the only recollection I could remember his ever having mentioned Cuba.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now yesterday, we asked you about an incident or spoke to you about an incident that happened in September of 1963 when you went into your garage to use some tools, your garage in Irving, Tex. Would you tell us about that?
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember whether the date was September. I remember that was the date they came back from New Orleans and I do remember that my wife asked me to unpack some of their heavy things from their car. I only recall unpacking duffelbags but any other package, that was the heaviest thing there and they were easy also.
Mr. LIEBELER - You must have moved the duffelbags from the station wagon into the garage?
Mr. PAINE - That is right. I unpacked whatever was remaining in the station wagon to the garage.
So sometime later, I do remember moving about this package which, let's say, was a rifle, anyway it was a package wrapped in a blanket. The garage was kind of crowded and I did have my tools in there and I had to move this package several times in order to make space to work, and the final time I put it on the floor underneath the saw where the bandsaw would be casting dust on it and I was a little embarrassed to be putting his goods on the floor, but I didn't suppose, the first time I picked it up I thought it was camping equipment. I said to myself they don't make camping equipment of iron pipes any more.
Mr. LIEBELER - Why did you say that to yourself when you picked up the package?
Mr. PAINE - I had, my experience had been, my earliest camping equipment had been a tent of iron pipes. This somehow reminded me of that. I felt a pipe with my right hand and it was iron, that is to say it was not aluminum.
Mr. LIEBELER - How did you make that distinction?
Mr. PAINE - By the weight of it, and by the, I suppose the moment of inertia, you could have an aluminum tube with a total weight massed in the center somehow but that would not have had the inertia this way.
Mr. DULLES - You were just feeling this through the blanket though?
Mr. PAINE - I was also aware as I was moving his goods around, of his rights to privacy. So I did not feel--I had to move this object, I wasn't thinking very much about it but it happens that I did think a little bit about it or before I get on to the working with my tools I thought, an image came to mind.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you think there was more than one tent pole in the package or just one tent pole?
Mr. PAINE - As I say, I moved it several times, and I think I thought progressively each time. I moved it twice. It had three occasions. And the first one was an iron, thought of an iron pipe and then I have drawn, I drew yesterday, a picture of the thing I had in mind. Then in order to fill out the package I had to add another object to it and there I added again I was thinking of camping equipment, and I added a folding shovel such as I had seen in the Army, a little spade where the blade folds back over the handle. This has the trouble that this blade was too symmetrical I disposed to the handle and to fit the package the blade had to be off center, eccentric to the handle. Also, I had my vision of the pipe. It had an iron pipe about 30 inches long with a short section of pipe going off 45 degrees. No words here, it just happened that I did have this image in my mind of trying to fill up that package in the back burner of my mind.
Mr. LIEBELER - The witness yesterday did draw a picture of what he visualized as being in the blanket, and I will offer it in evidence later on in the hearing.
How long was this package in your estimation?
Mr. PAINE - Well, yesterday we measured the distance that I indicated with my hand, I think it came to 37 inches.
Mr. LIEBELER - Approximately how thick would you say it was?
Mr. PAINE - I picked it up each time and I put it in a position and then I would recover it from that position, so each time I moved it with the same position with my hands in the same position. My right hand, the thumb and forefinger could go around the pipe, and my left hand grabbed something which was an inch and a half inside the blanket or something thick.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did it occur to you at that time that there was a rifle in the package?
Mr. PAINE - That did not occur to me.
Mr. LIEBELER - You never at any time looked inside the package?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct. I could easily have felt the package but I was aware that of respecting his privacy of his possessions.
Mr. LIEBELER - Were you subsequently advised of the probability or the possibility that there had been a rifle wrapped in that package?
Mr. PAINE - When I arrived on Friday afternoon we went into the garage, I think Ruth, Marina and the policeman, and I am not sure it was the first time, but there we saw this blanket was on the floor below the bandsaw--
(At this point Representative Ford entered the hearing room.)
Mr. PAINE - And a rifle was mentioned and then it rang a bell, the rifle answered, fitted the package that I had been trying to fit these unsuccessfully. It had never resolved itself, this shovel and pipe didn't fit in there.
Mr. LIEBELER - And it seemed to you likely that there had in fact been a rifle in the package?
Mr. PAINE - That answered it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you tell us when the last time was that you saw that package in the garage prior to the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - No; I am afraid I can't.
Mr. DULLES - Do we have the date of the first time in the record?
Mr. LIEBELER - Yes; I think the witness testified it was either late September or early October of 1963.
I show you a blanket which has been marked as Commission Exhibit 140 and ask you if that is the blanket you saw in the garage?
Mr. PAINE - This looks a little cleaner, of course. I was there in the night, and I also put the thing on the floor thinking it was rustic equipment and that sawdust wouldn't hurt it.
I also was concerned with moisture. This is very close to what I remember. Yesterday in my testimony I had a desire to add blue to the colors of brown and green. Last night I remembered that Thanksgiving weekend I had bought another rustic blanket of a similar nature which had blue in it, which is why I tried to get blue into the blanket.
Mr. LIEBELER - Are you able to say at this time positively that this was the blanket that you saw in your garage and that you moved on various occasions in October and possibly November of 1963?
Mr. PAINE - I didn't notice the particular design so I can't--it is a very good representative of what I remember.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember the texture of the blanket?
Mr. PAINE - The texture. I felt it, of course, these several times and the texture is the same.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was the package wrapped securely when it was in your garage?
Mr. PAINE - I had the impression--yes, it was. The whole package was stiff. There was no shaking of the parts, and I had the impression it was wrapped with about two strings.
Mr. LIEBELER - I now show you Commission Exhibit 139, which is a rifle that was found in the Texas School Book Depository Building, and ask you if you at any time ever saw this rifle prior to November 22, 1963?
Mr. PAINE - I did not,
Mr. LIEBELER - Have you seen it since that time and prior to yesterday?
Mr. PAINE - I saw a rifle being shown to Marina in an adjoining cubicle with a glass wall between us.
Mr. LIEBELER - When was that?
Mr. PAINE - That was the night of the 22d.
Mr. LIEBELER - Have you ever seen this leather strap that is attached to the rifle.
Mr. PAINE - I have not seen that strap.
Mr. LIEBELER - Have you ever seen a strap like this strap?
Mr. PAINE - Or anything like it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Have you any idea where this strap could have come from?
Mr. PAINE - I don't.
Mr. DULLES - May I ask in that connection, was this just loosely wound up in that blanket or was there some string around it or--
Mr. PAINE - I had the impression there were about two strings on the thing. It wouldn't--also, I didn't think you could look into the package readily.
Mr. DULLES - You would have to take something off, some string or something in order, to get into the package?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - I now show you Commission Exhibit 364 which is a replica of a sack which was prepared by authorities in Dallas, and I also show you another sack which is Commission Exhibit 142, and ask you if you have ever seen in or around your garage in Irving, Tex., any sacks similar to those?
Mr. PAINE - No; I haven't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Have you seen any paper in your garage in Irving prior to November 22, 1963, or at any other place, at your home in Irving, Tex., that is similar to the paper of which those sacks are made?
Mr. PAINE - No, I haven't; we have some rugs, most of them are wrapped in polyethylene. I couldn't be sure that one of the smaller ones wasn't wrapped in paper. To my knowledge, we had no free kraft paper of that size.
Mr. LIEBELER - Will you examine the tape on the sacks and tell me whether you have any tape similar to that or whether you have seen any tape similar to that in your garage before November 22, 1963?
Mr. PAINE - We have some tape in a drawer of my desk at the house, my recollection is that the tape is a 2-inch tape, gum tape.
Mr. LIEBELER - And the tape on the sack appears to be three?
Mr. PAINE - This is 3-inch.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever observe in your garage any scraps of paper or scraps of tape similar to the materials used to construct those sacks?
Mr. PAINE - No, I did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - Either before November 22, 1963, or afterwards?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - When you moved the sacks, the blanket, the package that was wrapped in the blanket in your garage, were you able to determine whether or not the object inside the sack was also wrapped in paper?
Mr. PAINE - I would have said that it was not. When we practiced wrapping that rifle yesterday I would have guessed that any paper around the barrel in there, which I could feel with some clarity, would have crinkled.
Mr. LIEBELER - And to your recollection there was no crinkling in the package wrapped with the blanket?
Mr. PAINE - Yes. It was a very quiet package.
Mr. LIEBELER - Yesterday we did try to and did wrap the rifle previously referred to in our testimony in the blanket which you have just examined. Would you tell the Commission about that?
Mr. PAINE - I tried wrapping it to the shape and size and bulk that I remembered the package. I had a little difficulty, it got quite close to the right shape by wrapping it at an angle. The rifle was laid in the blanket somewhat on a bias to the rectangle blanket form. Then there was a small end of the barrel, I didn't discover how you could fold that over to tie it with string without making it bulkier than I remember. But the package came quite close to what I remembered.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now on the basis of wrapping that rifle in the blanket, would you say that it was probable, that the package that was in your garage was in fact that rifle wrapped in that blanket?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, I think it was or a rifle of that size.
Mr. LIEBELER - You said just a moment ago that you saw the rifle we have had here this morning or a similar rifle shown to Marina Oswald sometime shortly after the assassination. Would you tell us the circumstances surrounding that event?
Mr. PAINE - We went to the police station that evening, and probably about 9 o'clock, I saw the rifle being shown to Marina.
Mr. LIEBELER - This was at the Dallas police station?
Mr. PAINE - Dallas police station. Ruth was present, and Mamantov was present.
Representative FORD - Who was the last one?
Mr. PAINE - Ilya Mamantov, I think Ilya is the first name, but Mr. Mamantov. He teaches part-time, part-time teaching in Russian, was familiar to Ruth as the son-in-law of her tutor.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you hear any of the conversation that was going on in the room in which Marina was being shown this rifle?
Mr. PAINE - No, no.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know whether or not your wife heard them?
Mr. PAINE - My wife, of course, was right there. And heard the whole thing.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did she subsequently tell you what occurred?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, she did.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did she tell you?
Mr. PAINE - She told me that Marina wasn't able to identify that rifle as the one that Lee had. She knew that Lee had a rifle, and I think she knew it was wrapped in a package like this. I think Ruth reported that she had, Marina had, opened up a corner of the blanket and looked in and seen part of the butt, and hadn't liked the idea of rifles, the rifles made her a little uncomfortable and hadn't looked at it further.
Mr. LIEBELER - This was at the time the rifle was presumably wrapped in the blanket in your garage, correct?
Mr. PAINE - I assumed that. I didn't ask that question.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did your wife tell you anything more about what happened at that time?
Mr. PAINE - You will have to jog my memory if you have any specific questions. I don't recall.
Mr. LIEBELER - That is the best of your recollection now that you have given us?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - How much would you say that the package that you saw in your garage weighed?
Mr. PAINE - I reported earlier to the FBI 7 or 8 pounds. I never at the time thought of the weight of it as I was moving it around.
Mr. LIEBELER - In your previous discussions or conversations with the FBI did you ever tell them in word or substance that if there had been a rifle in the package that was located in your garage that you did not think it could have a telescopic sight mounted on it?
Mr. PAINE - I don't recall having said that. I don't believe I would have known that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you recall any discussions of that sort with the FBI at all. Did they ask you about that?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, I think they asked me coming out to find out when and where and how the sight may have been put on but I never felt the package in the center. I always grabbed it at these two ends.
Mr. LIEBELER - To the best of your recollection you never told the FBI that you didn't think the package contained a rifle with a telescopic sight?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever observe or hear prior to the assassination that Lee Oswald had been practicing with a rifle?
Mr. PAINE - No, I didn't know prior to the assassination, we didn't know he had a rifle. I had supposed from my conversation with him back on Neely Street that he would like to have a rifle but I didn't gather that he did.
Mr. LIEBELER - Aside from whether or not you knew that he had a rifle, did you ever hear or observe him practicing with a rifle?
Mr. PAINE - No, I did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - Are you familiar with the, Sport's Dome Rifle Range in Grand Prairie, Tex?
Mr. PAINE - I think I know about where it is. No, I don't even know where it is. I know the race track is there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Have you ever been there?
Mr. PAINE - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you know that Oswald received mail at your house from Irving, Tex?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know what kind of mail he received?
Mr. PAINE - I suppose he used it as the mailing address for most of his mail until he would receive, get a permanent address, so he received the Daily Worker there, or The Worker, and also, I didn't see it come, I don't generally see the mail that arrives there. Most of my mail would arrive at that address even though I was living somewhere else because I also didn't feel permanent in my other addresses, so Ruth would collect the mail and separated mine into a separate pile. I didn't see the Militant arrive. I did see various Russian magazines, Agitateur, maybe a very large one. A very large one and the Daily Worker, The Worker.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever discuss these publications with Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, we talked with regard to the Daily Worker. He said that, he told me, that you could tell what they wanted you to do, they, a word I dislike, what they wanted you to do by reading between the lines, reading the thing and doing a little reading between the lines. He then gave me an issue to look and see. I wanted to see if I could read between the lines and see what they wanted you to do.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you read the particular issue that he referred to?
Mr. PAINE - I tried to. I don't think I had very much patience to go through it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember what particular issue it was?
Mr. PAINE - No, I didn't notice.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you set the date of this discussion that you had with Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - That was fairly soon after his coming back. So let's say the middle of October.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he discuss with you, your ability or inability to determine what they wanted you to do by reading between the lines after you had read the publication?
Mr. PAINE - No, I just handed it back to him.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was there anything else said between you at that time on that subject?
Mr. PAINE - He asked me how did I like it.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you say?
Mr. PAINE - And I tried to be polite. I said it was awful extreme, I thought.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he respond to that?
Mr. PAINE - I think that was the end of it.
Mr. DULLES - Do I understand that this was, this Daily Worker was, mailed--
Mr. PAINE - To 515.
Mr. DULLES - To your address in Irving?
Mr. PAINE - That is right. Or Ruth's address.
Mr. DULLES - It wasn't readdressed but it was directly sent?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. DULLES - He gave your address for The Worker to come to?
Mr. PAINE - That is right.
Representative FORD - What prompted him to hand you The Worker? Was there any preface to the actual handing of it to you?
Mr. PAINE - Yes. I think I was asking him, I would like to, I wanted to see some literature or what he liked to read or something like that. I think it was as a response to some question or inquiry of mine.
Mr. DULLES - Do you know whether this was addressed to him in care of you or Ruth Paine or was it just sent at the Paine address?
Mr. PAINE - I don't remember for certain. I would think it would have just been Oswald at that address but I don't remember. It may have been. There were enough of those packages but I just don't remember.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you draw any inference at the time as a result of this conversation with Oswald about his statement that you could tell what they wanted you to do by reading between the lines?
Mr. PAINE - Well, it made me realize that he would like to be active in some kind of--activist. It made me also feel that he wasn't very well connected with a group or he wouldn't have such a tenuous way of communication, and I thought it was rather childish to someone like Dick Tracy, attract a child to Dick Tracy, to think that that was his bona fide way of being communicated or being a member of this Communist cause or something.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever have any other discussions with him about literature that he received?
Mr. PAINE - I didn't know. Other literature, I was somewhat interested in what the Russian publications were saying but I didn't take it up with him. I wanted Ruth to translate those.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever observe any Cuban literature?
Mr. PAINE - No, I didn't.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you ever' know that he ever received any such literature?
Mr. PAINE - No, I never, until after the assassination, I had never thought of Cuba either in connection with Oswald or in connection with the Communists or the Communist Party.
Mr. LIEBELER - I show you Commission Exhibit 128 which is ENCO Map of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and ask you if you recognize that map.
Mr. PAINE - This is the kind of map that 1 always used, stopping in stations when I am out of one so I always have one in my car, and when the FBI showed me this particular map, which I trust is the same one I looked at before. I found on the back side a mark where it shows the whole map of the whole area, the Dallas-Fort Worth area, a little mark where our house is, that is the kind of mark that I would make when I was trying to buy some land earlier and had in mind for a long time and I wanted to find the location that was accessible to the places I would then want to go.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you tell us--
Mr. PAINE - This mark is still here.
Representative Form. This is the mark or can you identify that mark that you placed on this map?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, I think I see a mark here of the sort which looks reasonable to me. I think it is the only mark on this side of the map. Generally, I didn't make marks on the other side of the map.
Mr. LIEBELER - In your statement referring to one side of the map you were referring to the side that shows a map of the entire Fort Worth-Dallas area, is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you say as best you can see there is only one mark on this side of the map?
Mr. PAINE - That is the only one that is here, that I remember having found. I don't remember finding another one.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember putting that mark on the map?
Mr. PAINE - I remember putting--I think I put this kind of mark on more than one map. That is our house. It then helps locate it with regard to all the arteries and what not that lead to various places.
Mr. LIEBELER - You do think then it is probable that you did place the mark on the map that indicates the location of your house in Irving, Tex.; is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, I think that is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know whether or not Oswald ever came into possession of this map?
Mr. PAINE - And Ruth gave Oswald a map to--she told me she gave him a map, and this is the kind we have around the house, the best one she could get in the service station, to help him find a job, or help him when he was searching for a job.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember any other conversations with your wife about the map before the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - No, I don't believe she told me she had given him the map. I don't believe we discussed it at all.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you open the map to the portion that shows the area of Dallas. I call your attention to a mark at the intersection of Boll Street and San Jacinto, and ask you if you have any recollection of placing that mark on the map?
Mr. PAINE - No, I don't have any recollection of placing that mark on the map.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember any circumstances that might make it likely that you placed that mark on the map?
Mr. PAINE - I could have placed that mark on the map when I was looking for properties. I went down to the courthouse to get plats of the areas that I was thinking of buying, and they had a copy of the plat, and so they sent it out late on Saturday, short of 12 o'clock, and just short of closing, and it was a reproduction company at that address or near that address.
Mr. LIEBELER - Is that the L. L. Ridgway Co.?
Mr. PAINE - Yes. That is the company that I am referring to. I don't know exactly.
Mr. LIEBELER - But it is near the intersection we have just referred to?
Mr. PAINE - I will take your word for that.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know that it is?
Mr. PAINE - No, I don't know. I think the FBI man said it was. 1 hadn't looked into it and didn't check it.
Mr. LIEBELER - You haven't any knowledge at this point whether the Ridgway company is in this intersection or not?
Mr. PAINE - I remember it is right beside the expressway and in about that area. I don't remember the names of the roads.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you think it is probable or improbable that you placed the mark on the map, the one we have just been talking about, at Boil and San Jacinto Streets?
Mr. PAINE - I remember in asking the clerk where it was, and I had a map of this sort, that was also in August when I was looking for places. I would have guessed I would not. I would have been able to see where it was and know in my mind where I wanted to go.
Mr. DULLES - Is that the same kind of a mark or a different kind of mark that is on the other side of the map to which we have just referred, the area map?
Mr. PAINE - It is a different mark. That mark that is on the other side of the map to which we have just referred, the area map, was our house. So I made a little square that I can see and indicate a house rather than--generally I don't make marks on maps. I look up where I want to go and I go.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did your wife tell you when she had given this map to Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - I suppose she gave it very soon after he came back and started looking for work.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you said it was August of 1963 when you were looking to find this reproduction place; is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - I call your attention to a mark on Hillcrest and Asbury, and I ask you if you put that mark on the map?
Mr. PAINE - I don't recall making that mark. I think it is different from the other mark, and it is--if I were to make a mark that is more the way I would make a mark. It also happens to be the cafeteria where I like to eat, where you can get all you want for a dollar there, and it is a very good meal. So I would be interested in that, in locating it. Here is one of the places where I was thinking of buying property.
Mr. DULLES - Is there a mark there at that place where you were interested in buying property?
Mr. PAINE - I don't think there is. I almost guessed that I didn't have that map at that time. Also I was not living--I would guess for a further reason that I would not have this map on the time of that August date was because I hadn't been living--I had been living in this apartment, and I had a map over there, and I probably didn't have the same map that Ruth had around her house.
Mr. LIEBELER - So you think it is probably likely you didn't place any marks on that map other than the one indicating your home?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct. In other words, I think that mark was placed there quite a long time back, because I have been interested in this locating of property for several years.
Mr. LIEBELER - Is the mark at the Hillcrest Avenue spot, a mark of the type that you usually make?
Mr. PAINE - And, as I say, I don't usually make a mark, but I think I might more likely have made that kind of mark, more than some of the others--somebody else has put marks here with a ball-point pen which are not the kind I would make.
Mr. LIEBELER - In reviewing this map with the FBI, were there any other marks on the map that it was developed that you possibly put on the map other than the ones we have discussed?
Mr. PAINE - I don't now remember any others. This one of the cafeteria there is not exactly at the right spot.
Mr. LIEBELER - The mark at Hillcrest Avenue?
Mr. PAINE - That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - As you look at the map now do you see any other marks which you think you might have put on the map?
Mr. PAINE - No. We went over it at mealtime in considerable detail, he having located most of the marks he could find on the map--no, I guess it was still marked up like this. We didn't find anything that I can remember there that I might have put on there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, on the basis of your knowledge of Oswald and your meeting with him, and your familiarity with him prior to the time of the assassination, did you form an opinion about him as to whether or not he would be likely to commit an act such as this, or whether he would be likely to take the life of any human being?
Mr. PAINE - It was a question we had to consider when we considered having Marina at our house. So Ruth and I discussed that, whether he was a dangerous person, and he didn't seem to be dangerous. Of course, I also felt that I wasn't a particular opponent or foe of his. Helping his family we were quite free and would let him, roughly, think of our arguments. I talked about getting angry, but, for the most part, it was a cordial relationship, so I didn't sense--he didn't display hostility to me or to Ruth, and he was nice with the children, and while they were living with us, he was nice to Marina also. He was during this time when he returned from Mexico, he was quite a reasonable person. He was only unreasonable the first time I had met him.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you have this discussion with your wife concerning whether or not you should let Marina live with you? Was that before they came back from New Orleans?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, it was.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you concluded at that time there was no reason why Marina should not come there; is that right?
Mr. PAINE - That is right. Of course, Ruth went in and sounded them out rather cautiously and reported to me also his facial expressions and what-not when she was suggesting this, and he seemed to be glad of that rather than worried.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, after Marina came and lived at your house, Oswald was there during parts of the months October and November. Did you change your opinion in this respect or was it reinforced. on the basis of his activities and your observation of him during that period?
Mr. PAINE - It was reinforced.
Mr. LIEBELER - You did not think him to be a violent person or one who would be likely to commit an act such as assassinating the President?
Mr. PAINE - I didn't--I saw he was a bitter person, he was bitter and quite a lot of very negative views of people in the world around him, very little charity in his view toward anybody, but I thought he was harmless.
Representative FORD - Was this a different reaction from the one you had had at your first meeting or your first acquaintance?
Mr. PAINE - When we first became acquainted I was somewhat shocked, especially that he would speak so harshly to his wife in front of a complete stranger, and it was at that point, or at that time, that I was persuaded I would like to free Marina from her bondage and servitude to this man. He seemed to me he was keeping her, not helping her to learn the language, keeping her vassal to him, and this offended me, so at that point I became interested in helping her escape from him. Of course, I was not going to try to force that. I didn't want to be separating a family that could get along.
Mr. LIEBELER - This bitterness that you detected following his return from Mexico, was that a new reaction?
Mr. PAINE - No. That bitterness had existed all along. He also had been disagreeable to his wife, cruel to her.
Mr. LIEBELER - I see.
Mr. PAINE - Not allowing her any personality, a mind of her own, and making sharp jibes at her.
Mr. DULLES - And that continued awhile?
Mr. PAINE - That only existed that first night in March or April.
Mr. DULLES - It did not continue when Marina was at your house in Irving?
Mr. PAINE - When Marina came to our house she gained in health and weight. She started to look better and it looked to me as if the strain was off the family relationship. They were not quarreling. They billed and cooed. She sat on his lap and he said sweet nothings in her ear.
Mr. DULLES - Did you get any information from any source with regard to the situation while they were living in New Orleans that she wanted to get away from him?
Mr. PAINE - Oh, yes; well, Ruth had told me when she came back from delivering Marina to New Orleans, she had gone down there expecting to spend a week, seeing New Orleans, and it was a pretty long trip, and found the household, she reported to me, so uncomfortable living there. They were fighting, I mean, so difficult. She wanted to leave right away, and she left in a few days, left a lot sooner than she had expected to leave.
Mr. DULLES - Then your wife took her back, as you recall?
Mr. PAINE - Then, my wife came home, and then she went back to Naushon, Mass., for a couple of months in the summer, and on her way back to Texas stopped in New Orleans, found him out of work, and invited Marina to come back with her right then.
Mr. DULLES - What did she learn at that time about Oswald? What did she learn about Lee Oswald's treatment of Marina, anything new or different at the time she stopped by New Orleans, and then went back?
Mr. PAINE - She, perhaps, saw he loved her because she said that the parting, he genuinely seemed so happy to have Ruth take her back. In other words, he seemed to be exhibiting some concern for Marina, who was with child, and the child would be adequately taken care of, and sorry--it was a cheerful parting or something. She saw human qualities in him at that time.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did she say after Marina returned to your home in Irving, and after Oswald came back to Dallas that their relationship improved even more, and Oswald seemed to be under less strain than he had been prior to that time; is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - Well, I don't--I only know two times, at the time in April when they came to dinner with us, and he was rough, crude, uncivil to her, and Ruth's report of how they were while she was trying to live in this house in New Orleans, when she just moved in.
She also reported to me, and she will tell you this though that apparently Lee had wanted to make her happy in this house, had liked the house, said it was in the old famous quarter of New Orleans, and Ruth could see that Marina was unhappy. She thought it was uncomfortable in this darkness, and Ruth thought it was a tragedy. Both points of view were valid depending on which way you looked at it, so she saw that Lee apparently had wanted to make her happy, wanted her to like the house when she arrived in New Orleans, and had called her out there. She had also been eager to go out.
Apparently Ruth reported to me when he called from New Orleans, saying he had a job and "come live with me, come back with me," Marina had been very happy.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you specifically consider the question before you let Marina move into your home as to whether Oswald was a violent person?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, specifically. I talked it over with Frank. Frank raised the question also. So I talked it over with Ruth several times, and Frank brought up the question, and I thought of it myself.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you concluded on the basis of these discussions and your knowledge of Oswald, your collective knowledge of Oswald, at that time that he was not a violent person; is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - That he wasn't going to stab Ruth or Marina.
Mr. LIEBELER - That he wasn't going to exhibit any violence to any of you people?
Mr. PAINE - That is right. He wouldn't be a danger to Ruth. That was partly based, first, on the fact that we were not--we were careful to avoid putting him in a position that he felt offended.
Mr. LIEBELER - You didn't consider at the time that you were considering Oswald's possible violence toward you and your group whether he might exhibit violence to some other person?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct; yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You formed no judgment about that one way or the other?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct. We assumed or felt that--if we handled him with a gentle or considerate manner that he wouldn't be a danger to us.
Mr. DULLES - In the light of subsequent information and developments, and the information which is publicly available, have you reached any other conclusions as to or any conclusions as to whether or not Lee Oswald was the assassin of the President?
Mr. PAINE - When the police first asked me did I think he had done it, my dubiousness in my mind arose from not seeing how this could fit, how this could help his cause, and I didn't think he was irrational. It did not seem to me that he could shoot a man as he would shoot a tin can. Difficulty of a person shooting another person was not the reason for my doubting, and the circumstantial evidence seemed quite powerful to me.
Mr. LIEBELER - Seemed quite powerful?
Mr. PAINE - Yes. But then I realized with subsequent people calling from all over the country, somebody had said it is only a single-shot rifle, and I recognize one little fact like that could alter my thinking entirely. Somebody else said there was a shot through the windshield of the car. We went down to the place and looked around, and he thought that--he had a theory that the man had been shot from a manhole in the street, so I recognized that my views could change with evidence.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you have a view on Oswald's guilt at this time?
Mr. PAINE - Most of these other things have proved to be false. It seems to be a clip-fed rifle. The man who thought it was shot from the place, I went down and saw the diagram drawn by Life seemed to be quite accurate so far as I could reconstruct the thing, and there was confusion about the number of bullets. I never did discover--it didn't quite make sense, but for the most part, I accept it, the common view that he did it.
Mr. LIEBELER - Where were you on the morning of November 22, 1963?
Mr. PAINE - I was having, at the time of the assassination I was at work, of course, but at the time of the assassination I was in the cafeteria associated with the bowling alley having lunch.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who was with you?
Mr. PAINE - A student, a co-op student called Dave Noel happened to be with me. We happened to be talking about the character of assassins at that lunch-time, of all things.
Mr. LIEBELER - Prior to the time you heard of the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - That is right. When we first sat down at the meal we were discussing it, beside the point, except unless you believe in extrasensory perception, but we happened to just--we didn't have enough historical knowledge to explore it, but I just raised the question and tried to pursue it, and then dropped it, and then a waitress came and said the President had been shot, and I thought she was cracking a nasty joke, and went over to a cluster of people listening around a transistor set, and heard there was some commotion of this sort from the tone of the voice of the transistor set, and we went back to the lab where there is a good radio, and followed the news from there.
When it was mentioned, the Texas School Book Depository Building was mentioned, then I told Frank Krystinik that that was where Lee Oswald worked, and then in a few minutes he came back and said, he asked me, didn't I think I had better call the FBI and tell them.
So over a period of about 20 minutes, I trying to carry on work in a foolish way, or talking or discussing other things or something, we were discussing this problem, and I thought, I said to myself, or said to him, that the FBI already knew he worked there. Everybody would know he was a black sheep, and I didn't want to--a friend or one of the few friends in position of friendship to him, I didn't want to--join the mob barking at his heels or join in his harassment, so I declined. I didn't tell Frank that he couldn't call the FBI, but I said I wasn't going to do it, so I didn't.
I called Ruth immediately after getting back just to see that she would turn on the radio and be clued in with the news, but this was before the Texas School Book Depository Building was mentioned, to my knowledge, and she was already watching the news. So we communicated nothing at that time.
Mr. DULLES - Do you know whether your luncheon companion did or did not telephone the FBI?
Mr. PAINE - This is not the luncheon companion. This is Dave Noel Frank Krystinik brings his lunch, and he eats his lunch at the lab.
Mr. DULLES - At the lab?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Mr. Paine, would you give us the nature of the conversation you were having concerning assassination prior to the assassination. First let me ask you was anybody else present beside you and your companion at the time of the conversation?
Mr. PAINE - No, just he and I.
Mr. LIEBELER - Tell us the general essence of the conversation as best you can recall.
Mr. PAINE - There had been talk, of course, people, I don't get a newspaper, but I do listen to the radio. I know what my news source is, it is mostly magazines. So there was some anxiety about the President coming to Dallas-Fort Worth, and' it appeared that this thought was in the minds of several others, I was not singular in this way. It had been expected, of course, that trouble would come from the right-wing, and I was wondering whether there was any danger, I suppose, that is somebody who could be drummed up by local feeling. The number of anti-Kennedy jokes cracked was quite large in Texas, and so I was wondering, you know, what kind of a person would kill a President, and I don't think Dave Noel knew anything about it, so it was just musing or conjecturing on my part. I certainly didn't think of Lee Oswald. -I didn't expect it from that cause, from that end of the spectrum.
Mr. LIEBELER - When did you first think of Lee Oswald in connection with the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - As soon as I heard the Texas School Book Depository Building mentioned. Now, I did not know that--it never occurred to me, I didn't realize, there was a building there on his route. I had seen this warehouse building from the expressway, you can see the name written in large letters, but that is the way from any main thoroughfare. So I had supposed, I never put except when it was mentioned that that was the building he shot from or was the building that the shot was fired from, then I realized I did know where he worked.
Mr. DULLES - You had not been at Irving that previous night?
Mr. PAINE - No, I had not.
Mr. LIEBELER - You knew Oswald worked at the Texas School Book Depository Building?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, I did.
Mr. LIEBELER - As soon as you heard that that building was involved in the assassination, you thought of Oswald, did you not?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - What did you think?
Mr. PAINE - Wondering whether Oswald would do it. And the argument against it, the only argument against it, was Just I didn't think he was irrational, or it seemed to me to be irrational.
Mr. LIEBELER - And you asked yourself the question of whether or not Oswald would do it solely on the basis of your knowledge that he worked in that building, is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - Yes. Well, I didn't realize he worked in that building, but then I realized I didn't know--I knew he worked at that organization. I didn't realize there was a building on Elm Street there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you talk to your wife after you heard that the Texas School Book Depository Building was involved in the shooting, and before you subsequently heard that Oswald had been arrested in connection with the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - I don't believe so. I think I called her only once to see that she was listening to the news, and then I assumed she would know all that I knew, and as soon as she heard that I supposed she would be wondering the same thing. It wasn't many minutes later though, it seemed to me, that the name Lee Oswald was mentioned-in the theater. The newsmen didn't connect it up at all, but that is all I needed to send me home.
Mr. LIEBELER - So then you left for your home in Irving?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - You left for home before there had been any public connection made between Oswald and the assassination, is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - Well, of course, the police were reporting they had suspects here and suspects there, were chasing suspects over here, and here was a man who had shot Officer Tippit. They didn't even mention him as a suspect, but there was another murder coincident in time.
Mr. LIEBELER - So the news broadcast connected Oswald with Officer Tippit?
Mr. PAINE - That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you then consider again whether or not Oswald had been involved in the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - Well, that was too much to have his name mentioned away from his place of work as having killed somebody; the stew was too thick to stay at work, and I was shaken too much, anyway.
Mr. LIEBELER - So your testimony is that you first thought of Oswald after you heard of the Texas School Book Depository Building being involved in the assassination, but you concluded at that time that Oswald was probably not involved in the assassination; is that correct?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct.
Mr. LIEBELER - Is there any other reason other than the fact Oswald was at that building that made you think of him when you heard that building mentioned in connection with the assassination?
Mr. PAINE - Well, yes; Oswald, of course, stands--he is a black sheep in society; I mean he is, if you were to pick out the singular person among the employees there, he is the one, or he is probably the one. I don't happen to know the people who worked there. I gather from him there were about 30 people working there in a fairly large building.
Mr. LIEBELER - What was your state of mind when you heard that the Texas School Book Depository Building was involved in the shooting, did you deeply suspect Oswald had been involved, or was it just a passing thought? Tell us some more about that if you can, recreate your state of mind.
Mr. PAINE - I think I was nervous. I know I was trying to assemble a vibration meter and could not put in the screws or I kept making mistakes. I was preoccupied. Of course, the darn fools, we should have all stopped to mourn the President, but it is kind of a habit, I wasn't accustomed, habit drove us on, very unhappy or unresolved emotional time. I thought, firstly, Frank was quite insistent, he didn't just ask me once, but several times, whether I didn't think I should call the FBI.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did he tell you why he thought you should call the FBI?
Mr. PAINE - Well, he would have, but he is of that nature. At one time he had seen someone taking pictures of Hensley Field, which has signs on the outside "No Photographs Allowed," and I said I believe more in freedom. It seems to me if the field doesn't want the pictures taken, they had better put up a big fence. But he had gone ahead and called up the base commander, and the base commander knew the man. That was his normal mode of behavior, whereas my normal defense is of the individual, and I didn't think--I would not like to, if Lee is falsely accused, I wouldn't want to be jumping on him with the mob. If he is properly, if he is guilty, he will be found. They know he works there, he is connected to us. I couldn't contribute to his capture, so that my withholding information wouldn't harm the search for the right man, and having jumped on him unfairly I might be ashamed of that later on. So that was my feeling in regard to whether I should call the FBI. I think I just kind of felt cold sweats or something like that in regard to the question could he have done that thing. I don't think I went much beyond that, could he, could he.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did Krystinik indicate to you any reason for his desire to call the FBI? Did he suspect Oswald had done this on the basis of his knowledge of Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - It seemed to me very reasonable that he should think so. Of course, I don't think the others were so sharply aware, the others in the lab were so sharply aware that we were wrestling with this problem.
The CHAIRMAN - He didn't say anything to you, he didn't tell you any other reason?
Mr. PAINE - No, he didn't; but his reaction seemed perfectly reasonable to me.
The CHAIRMAN - Yes.
Mr. PAINE - I felt the same one if you were to pick out. somebody in that building, it was a rather singular coincidence we knew this man who was so negative to our society and not an ingratiating person, not a person with compassion or something.
Mr. LIEBELER - What time did you arrive at your home in Irving?
Mr. PAINE - I would guess about 3 or 3:30, somewhere in that neighborhood.
Mr. LIEBELER - Who was there when you arrived?
Mr. PAINE - The police, the Dallas police mostly were there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Your wife was there?
Mr. PAINE - My wife and Marina.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember what you said when you arrived?
Mr. PAINE - I don't know. No, I don't remember what I said.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you say in words or substance, "I came right home as soon as I heard the shots were fired from the Texas School Book Depository Building?"
Mr. PAINE - No, I came right home as soon as I heard Lee Oswald mentioned. I did not come home.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember saying that you came right home as soon as you heard that Oswald was involved?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, I think I said something like that. Ruth asked me.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, you mentioned before that after you arrived home you went into the garage when the police officers went into your garage. Was there any indication to you at that time that the garage had been previously searched by the police or anyone else?
Mr. PAINE - This I don't remember very well. But, as I remember, this was not the first time we had gone in there. I think, perhaps, they went into--I don't remember, but I don't think it was the first time they had gone in.
Mr. LIEBELER - You said when you did go into the garage, however, the blanket was there in the garage?
Mr. PAINE - I think it was. It was still there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Tell us, to the best of your recollection, what was said in respect of the blanket and search of the garage, as you say. Before you answer that question, let me ask you, did your wife go with you into the garage with the police officers?
Mr. PAINE - I think they were further in in the garage. I think I stayed--the band saw is fairly close to--there is an overhead door to the garage, and close to the under edge of that when it is pulled up. In other words, it is fairly close to the outside in the garage, and I think I stayed somewhat near the door entering the garage, which is the inside end of the garage.
Mr. LIEBELER - And your wife was with the police officers further in?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, I think she was.
Mr. LIEBELER - Was Marina Oswald there?
Mr. PAINE - Failure of recollection, I would say, yes. But it is a very fuzzy recollection.
Mr. LIEBELER - Can you tell us where the blanket was found?
Mr. PAINE - It doesn't really make sense as to why they would still leave the blanket there, and these things would have been discussed at that time, but I kind of remember a kind of silhouette situation, a police officer either lifted up or kicked this blanket, which was in exactly the same location that the rifle, the package had been, underneath the saw and somewhat in the sawdust. And I think he put it back there. He may have asked me at that time, "Did you know what was in this?"
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember that?
Mr. PAINE - And that is why I think they asked me, it may have been as early as that, whether it was a rifle, "Do you think it could have been a rifle?" I don't remember how it was posed, but I probably answered when it was suggested, it was a rifle, and there they suggested it was a rifle, because they had already learned from Marina that he had had a rifle, and it had been, perhaps, had learned it had been in that blanket.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you know they had previously asked Marina about that?
Mr. PAINE - No; but I think--I'm just telling you my impressions here, very fuzzy impressions.
Mr. LIEBELER - Go ahead.
Mr. PAINE - My impression was that they asked me if I knew what was in this blanket, or he asked me, and then he asked me if it could be a rifle, and I probably responded, yes. It didn't take long once the rifle was suggested as the object to fit this puzzle together, this puzzle of the pieces that 1 had been trying to assemble in the package.
Mr. LIEBELER - What else happened?
Mr. PAINE - We went out of the garage, I don't think he took the blanket then even.
Mr. LIEBELER - This is the Dallas police officer?
Mr. PAINE - Yes, plainclothesman, wearing black hats; one of them had one of those Texas hats. He collected all the useless stuff in our house, he went around and collected all the files of Ruth, and a drawer of cameras, mostly belonging to me. I tried to tell him one of the files contained our music or something like that, and the more I suggested it, that he not bother taking those, the more insistent he was in taking those objects.
So with the various boxes and piles of stuff, mostly of our stuff, we got in the car and went off, and he was quite irked that we had wasted quite enough time around there, he said, and Ruth was irked, and everybody was irked by it. He wouldn't let us be helpful, and thought we were he became angry when we tried to be helpful or something that we would suggest that he should do.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did they tell you how they happened to come to your house?
Mr. PAINE - No. I don't remember. I think I may have asked it, "You found us pretty quickly," or somebody said this, but I don't remember.
Mr. LIEBELER - Do you remember any other conversations about this blanket?
Mr. PAINE - No.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did anyone notice any scraps of paper or tape similar to the ones of which these sacks were constructed that we previously identified, particularly Commission 142?
Mr. PAINE - Not that I remember.
Mr. LIEBELER - Is there anything else that happened during this period prior to the time the police left that you think would be significant or that we ought to know about?
Mr. PAINE - No; very little happened. We just bundled up and went. Marina was--whimpered a little bit, but mostly it was dry.
Mr. LIEBELER - You Went with the police?
Mr. PAINE - We went with the police in several cars and didn't come back until quite a lot later that night, didn't go into the garage again; didn't want the Life reporters to take photographs, so I don't think they went in the garage to take photographs. Several--their possessions were searched by various waves of succeeding policemen, Dallas, and Irving and FBI, and what not.
Mr. LIEBELER - Now, there has been a report that on November 23, 1963, there was a telephone call between a man and a woman, between the numbers of your residence and the number of your office, in which the man was reported to have said in words or substance, "We both know who is responsible for the assassination." Have you been asked about this before?
Mr. PAINE - I had heard that--I didn't know it was associated with our numbers. I had heard a report that some telephone operator had listened in on a conversation somewhere, I don't know where it was. I thought it was some other part of the country.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you talk to your wife on the telephone at any time during Saturday, November 23, on the telephone?
Mr. PAINE - I was in the police station again, and I think I called her from there.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you make any remark to the effect that you knew who was responsible?
Mr. PAINE - And I don't know who the assassin is or was; no, so I did not.
Mr. LIEBELER - You are positive in your recollection that you made no such remark?
Mr. PAINE - Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER - Would you tell us your impression and your opinion of the relationship that had developed between Marina Oswald and your wife during the period that they knew each other up to the time of the assassination and subsequent to the assassination when, as we discussed briefly yesterday, there came to be a cooling off between them or a disenchantment.
Mr. PAINE - Ruth was mostly learning the language, so she was limited in her vocabulary and couldn't talk about--she explained to me she couldn't talk about--political or economic subjects. It was a topic on which her vocabulary didn't serve her, but it did appear she had spoken of quite a number of things. Marina had told her about movies she had seen in the Soviet Union, but I thought that the knowledge, Ruth's knowledge, I suppose Ruth's knowledge of Marina was fairly shallow. And Marina was quite reserved. Now, it may have been more so when I was in the house that she was not as much at ease as she was, perhaps, with Ruth herself.
Of course, Marina was in a position where she always had. to be polite. Ruth is easy to get along with, however, so I didn't expect Marina to have difficulty. But I didn't think Ruth and Marina were bosom friends or buddies, but neither, of course, I didn't mean to suggest the opposite.
Ruth was enjoying Marina's company and I was glad to have Marina staying with Ruth. It actually reduced the cost. Ruth saved money. The bills were less while Marina was there, and Ruth, in general, was happier.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you learn---
Mr. PAINE - I didn't think Ruth knew Marina very well, but I don't know how well she knew her.
Mr. LIEBELER - Did you learn subsequently or are you aware that subsequent to the assassination there has been a disenchantment or some strain between Marina and Ruth?
Mr. PAINE - Several things happened. Ruth was put out when she learned Marina knew afterward that Oswald had taken a shot at Walker, if that were true. She thought that was quite morally remiss on Marina's part, and so we talked about that thing.
Mr. DULLES - When did she learn that?
Mr. PAINE - This was in the newspaper report.
Mr. DULLES - She only learned it through the newspaper?
Mr. PAINE - That is correct. So we discussed the mitigating circumstances of Marina not knowing the language and not knowing who she could go to if she wanted to stay in this country and, perhaps--we believe there were extenuating circumstances which would, perhaps, excuse Marina. Ruth was troubled about that, and so she wrote a series of quite a number of letters, each one referring to previous letters, trying to discover whether they were being withheld, thinking Marina was a responsible person or normally civil person, she would normally respond to or at least acknowledge receipt of them.
So Ruth didn't know whether she was receiving them or not, and had another--some encounters with Martin and Thorne which didn't put her at ease. She still didn't know whether Marina was receiving them. She saw only some of the checks had been signed by Thorne rather than Marina. Thorne had said that Marina didn't say he had power of attorney, and Marina was trying to do everything that she could which, at least, she could sign her checks, checks or gifts.
So there were these indications. Ruth was very much in the dark, not knowing why she had received no communication from Marina, and having conflicting reports from Martin. Martin said she had a phone right beside her if she wanted to call.
Mr. DULLES - How did she receive these checks?
Mr. PAINE - I guess Ruth--some of the checks came to Ruth as gifts to her, and Ruth would write her own check so she got her own stub back.
Mr. DULLES - I see.
Mr. PAINE - Therefore, Ruth had this question of whether she had offended Marina or whether Marina had done something that offended Ruth or whether Marina didn't like Ruth and had never let on. This would be a great blow to her ego. It had Ruth in great periods of depression and anxiety.
Mr. DULLES - Did either you or your wife, to your knowledge, know Robert Oswald?
Mr. PAINE - We only met him for the first time on the night of the assassination. We both liked him at that time.
Mr. LIEBELER - Mr. Paine, is there any other subject that we haven't covered in the testimony that you think the Commission ought to know about in connection with this assassination?
Mr. PAINE - I don't believe there is anything else that I know.
Mr. LIEBELER - I have no more questions.
The CHAIRMAN - Do you have any questions, Mr. Dulles?
Mr. DULLES - The only question I have in mind is as to what took place as far as Mr. Paine is concerned on the night of the assassination. Were you in the police station?
Mr. PAINE - We went down to the police and stayed there until about 8 or 9 o'clock. Then Marguerite came home with us and spent the night.
Mr. DULLES - You didn't see Lee Harvey at that time, did you?
Mr. PAINE - They asked me and I declined to see him at that time. I changed my mind. When they immediately asked me, I declined. I did not know what he would ask me, so I did not see him.
Mr. DULLES - You did not see him?
Mr. PAINE - No.
Mr. DULLES - Did your wife see him?
Mr. PAINE - I think no one saw him. Marina went in the next morning hoping to see him.
Mr. DULLES - There were no conversations that took place that evening that are pertinent to our investigation so far as you know?
Mr. PAINE - Quite soon I called the ACLU. There were reports, yes, I think at that time, that Friday night, Marguerite was saying he wasn't receiving counsel, and so I called the ACLU to see if there was anybody there checking to see if this was true, and apparently a delegation, this was Saturday morning, and apparently a delegation had been sent.
Mr. DULLES - But to your knowledge neither you nor your wife had any conversations with Marina or Robert that would throw any light on this apparent coolness?
Mr. PAINE - Ruth apparently saw Marina this last week-end. We have some indications that people had gone between, chiefly Levine.
Mr. DULLES - You think money considerations had anything to do with this?
Mr. PAINE - I think quite a lot--it will be borne out, between Ruth and Marina subsequently, I think they will find the difficulties. I think Thorne--
Mr. DULLES - What I have in mind is as to whether some of these other people thought that you and Ruth might intervene in as business manager or something of that kind between them, and the monetary considerations that were coming in to Marina.
Mr. PAINE - We didn't know why. We have the feeling that Thorne was advising her not to speak to Ruth. Ruth is not interested in the money, but is interested in protecting her from the wolves, and so she thought, we both thought, there were some false stories being told to Marina in regard to Ruth.
Mr. DULLES - That is all.
The CHAIRMAN - Thank you very much, Mr. Paine.
Mr. PAINE - Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN - We will examine Mrs. Paine this afternoon at 2 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 1:05 p.m., the President's Commission recessed.)