Page images
PDF
EPUB

A. No. I said I did not know who made what travel.

Q. Do you know who was using the tickets without relating them to any specific trips?

A. No, sir.

Mr. TAYLER. Mr. Chairman, may Himes exhibits 1 through 6 be admitted at the appropriate place in the record?

Mr. Hays. Without objection.
Mr. Waggonner, do you have any questions?
Mr. WAGGONNER. Yes, Mr. Chairman,

Mrs. Himes, you say that you served as Mr. Stone's personal secretary in the congressional office?

The WITNESS. Yes, sir.

Mr. WAGGONNER. Are you aware of any correspondence going from Mrs. Powell or Miss Flores, coming from her in Puerto Rico, to the congressional office, or any correspondence going from the congressional office to her in Puerto Rico?

The WITNESS. Yes, sir; by virtue only of the tops of the envelopes. I would not have had access to any of it.

Mr. WAGGONNER. Can you give the committee any indication as to the regularity of correspondence going or coming and at what interval?

The WITNESS. No, sir; I could not. My job had nothing to do with the front desk.

Mr. WAGGONNER. Did you see some of this correspondence, the envelopes at least which went to Puerto Rico and came from Puerto Rico?

The WITNESS. I did not see the correspondence.
Mr. WAGGONNER. Did you see the envelopes?
The WITNESS. Yes, it was obvious-
Mr. WAGGONNER. The envelopes you did see in which the cor-
respondence was enclosed.

The WITNESS. Yes, sir.
Mr. W'AGGONER. Did it happen daily?
The WITNESS. No, I do not think so.
Mr. WAGGONNER. Weekly?

The WITNESS. You see, I did not have a chance to see all of them. I did not see probably one-tenth of the mail that came into the office.

Mr. WAGGONNER. Would you estimate the number of occasions you did see correspondence which was being exchanged between the congressional office and Puerto Rico?

The WITNESS. But it would not be a fair appraisal because it was so rare that I actually saw the mail come in, you see. Mr. WAGGONNER. Would you say that it was a rare occasion? The WITNESS. That I would see it, yes. Mr. WAGGONNER. You have said earlier in answer to a question that you actually picked up the ticket which you used in going to the Watts area of Los Angeles after the disturbance there?

The WITNESS. Yes. Mr. WAGGONNER. Did you check that ticket close enough to see whether or not your name was actually on it?

The WITNESS. It would have had to be my name on it because I made my own reservation and in my name.

Mr. WAGGONNER. Did you make your reservation as a member of the congressional office staff or as a member of the Subcommittee on Poverty staff?

The WITNESS. I did not specify to the reservationist. Mr. Stone gave me the card which I used.

Mr. WAGGONNER. But your assignment there in that office since April 1965 has been as a member of the congressional staff with primary duties serving as personal secretary to Mr. Stone, assistant to the Congressman?

The WITNESS. Yes, sir. Mr. WagGONNER. Would you say that your activities and relationships with the committee itself have been few indeed?

The WITNESS. No, sir; I would not say they have been few. It has been considerable. Mr. Stone has quite a few duties that involve the committee and as a result mine do, too.

Mr. WAGGONNER. You said earlier that by virtue of office talk you were aware of the fact that reservations were being made in the name of one person and actually travel performed by another; is that correct?

The WITNESS. Well, yes, sir; because those people were still there, you know. I mean we are sitting, six of us, or I guess five of us, in a very small room, so you can hear.

Mr. WAGGONNER. In the performance of your duties, did it ever become your lot to make a travel reservation for any member of the committee or office staff?

The WITNESS. Yes, sir; I made quite a few reservations. Mr. WAGGONNER. Are you aware of ever having made a reservation for one person when in fact travel was to be performed or was performed by another?

The WITNESS. You see, I do not have that knowledge. Now, do you mean staff members entirely or are you talking about the chairman? Mr. WAGGONNER. Either. The WITNESS. Yes, sir. Mr. WAGGONNER. You are aware of this having happened where one person had a reservation made in their name?

The WITNESS. Yes. Mr. WAGGONNER. And travel was actually performed by another? The WITNESS. Yes. Mr. WAGGONNER. Who gave your instructions as to who a reservation was to be made for?

The WITNESS. Mr. Stone.

Mr. WAGGONNER: Did it come from the Congressman or Mr. Stone?

The WITNESS. Mr. Stone.
Mr. WAGGONNER. No further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Hays. Mr. Dickinson?
Mr. DICKINSON. Very briefly.

You testified you did travel to Los Angeles under your name and went to Watts?

The WITNESS. Yes, sir.
Mr. DICKINSON. If there is a record it has to be in your name?
The WITNESS. It has to be.
Mr. DICKINSON. And it was on Mr. Stone's committee credit card?
The WITNESS. Yes, sir.

Mr. DICKINSON. You did not claim per diem because you stayed in a private home. Had you no expenses, meals, taxis going to and from Watts to where you were staying?

The WITNESS. Yes, sir, but I did not charge them. I did not put that down.

Mr. DICKINSON. Were you on any business other than committee business? Did you later turn this into a pleasure trip for you?

The WITNESS. Yes, I did, in part. Mr. DICKINSON. How long were you there on business and how long personally?

The Witness. Actually on business I could only truthfully say about 3 days.

Mr. DICKINSON. You stayed 6 days?
The WITNESS. I stayed about 6.

Mr. DickINSON. You said you took depositions. Were these formal depositions or just statements of people?

The WITNESS. It was quite informal.
Mr. DICKINSON. Not sworn. They made a statement.

The WITNESS. They made statements and I took it down in shorthand.

Mr. DICKINSON. These were at the request and direction of the chairman, Mr. Powell?

The WITNESS. Yes, sir.
Mr. DICKINSON. And you did them and turned them back to him?
The WITNESS. Yes.
Mr. DICKINSON. And that is the only record that was made of this?
The WITNESS. Yes.

Mr. DICKINSON. On the tickets that were shown you, did you recognize the writing, whoever signed your name to them?

The WITNESS. I did not realize there was a signature on them. My name was printed. It was just printed, which I guess the clerk would have done that issues the tickets.

Mr. DICKINSON. I have no further questions.
Mr. Hays. Mr. Jones?
Mr. JoNEs. No questions.
Mr. Hays. Mr. Devine?
Mr. DEVINE. No questions.
Mr. Hays. Mr. Nedzi?
Mr. NEDZI. I have no questions.

Mr. Hays. Thank you very much, Mrs. Himes. You have been most cooperative and we appreciate it. I do want to ask you one further question here. You can answer or not and nobody will feel harshly toward you. I am not trying to entrap you. Do you feel as a result of this appearance that you have been made a scapegoat in any way by this committee?

The WITNESS. No, sir; I feel it is going to affect my future on the Hill; I really do.

(Discussion off the record.) Mr. Hays. Thank you. You are discharged from the subpena. (Witness excused.) Mr. Hays. Who is the next witness? Mr. TAYLER. I call Aurora Harris. Mr. Hays. Will you stand, Mrs. Harris, and raise your right hand? Whereupon, AURORA E. HARRIS, having been duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows: Mr. Hays. Is it Miss or Mrs. Harris? The WITNESS. Mrs. Harris.

Mr. Hays. Would you state your full name and address for the record, please?

The WITNESS. Yes, I am Mrs. Aurora E. Harris, 4916 4th Street NW., in the District.

Mr. Hays. Mrs. Harris, your appearance before this committee will be in executive session unless you request that it be in public session. If your appearance is in executive session, the public and the press will not be admitted to the hearing room pursuant to paragraph 26, House of Representatives rule XI. Your testimony may not be released or used in public session without consent of the committee, nor will you be permitted to purchase a copy of the transcript unless authorized by the committee. If your appearance is in public session, the public and news reporters will be admitted but television and news photographers will be excluded.

I now ask you whether you choose to appear before this committee in executive or public session.

The WITNESS. In executive session, sir. Mr. Hays. You understand, Mrs. Harris, that you could have had counsel had you so desired? You could have had a legal counsel?

The WITNESS. I had not thought of it, but I do understand that I would be entitled to such. Mr. Hays. Do you wish to proceed without counsel? The WITNESS. Yes.

Mr. Hays. Did you receive a copy of paragraph 26, rule XI, of the rules of the House?

The WITNESS. Yes. That was mailed to me with the letter from Chairman Burleson.

Mr. Hays. You were here yesterday when I read my opening statement, were you not?

The WITNESS. I was out of the room during the first part of it.
Mr. Hays. Do you have a copy of it?
The WITNESS. I have the statement here.
Mr. Hays. Have you read it?

The WITNESS. No, I just arrived at the building. I have not had a chance to read it. Mr. Hays. Do you want to take time to read the statement?

The WITNESS. Yes, I understand it. I have read it now, I understand now. Mr. Hays. Mr. Tayler.

By Mr. TAYLER: Q. Mrs. Harris, would you tell us what your present occupation is?

A. Yes. I am secretary to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Education at the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Q. How long have you held that position?
A. I have been in that office since January of 1966.
Q. Prior to January 1966, where did you work?

A. From July to January I worked on the President's Committee on Juvenile Delinquency. Prior to that time, from July 1965—no, I am sorry—from July 1963, through 1965 when I went to the President's Committee, I worked with Congressman Powell.

Q. When was the date that your employment with Congressman Powell terminated?

A. June 30, 1965.

Q. Did you work for the Congressman in his congressional office or the committee staff?

A. I worked in both places, sir.

Q. Can you tell us the dates when you worked in his congressional office?

A. I worked in his congressional office—and these are approximate dates because I do not have documentation—from approximately November 19, I guess it must have been, November 1963, until I left. I worked for a period of maybe a couple of months-during the time I was there actually I worked back and forth maybe in two different details, from the committee office to the Congressman's office. I could not really be exact on the dates.

Mr. Hays. Did you change payrolls or were you just carried on the same payroll?

The WITNESS. That, sir, I do not know, because I never had any reason to have any dealings at all with any of the fiscal records.

Mr. Hays. If you were on the committee and worked part time in his office that would not necessarily be unusual up here, would it?

The WITNESS. No, it would not. I understand that when you are with the chairman of a committee you might be located in both places. I am not sure about that.

By Mr. TAYLER: Q. My questions from this point on will relate only to the period from January 3, 1965, until the present time. In your case from January 3, 1965, until the end of June, when you terminated your employment here, were you working during that first 6 months of 1965 for the committee or did you go back and forth?

A. I was in the Congressman's office during the whole of 1965, the entire time I was there.

Q. What duties did you perform in the Congressman's office during that period, the first 6 months of 1965?

A. I handled his cases that came in. I did case work. In addition to the casework, of course, I did various secretarial duties.

Q. Mrs. Harris, I now show you what will be marked "Harris Exhibit 1,” being two coupons for a round-trip ticket between Washington and Miami in the name of A. Harris.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »