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Black Battalion: Speech of Hon. Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio in the Senate of the United States, 1908

 of any such charges against any of said noncommissioned officers or
 enlisted men, the commission shall give notice to the party against
 whom the same have been filed, and give him an opportunity to be
 heard in answer to such charges and any testimony that may be offered
 in support thereof; and the party so appearing to answer said charges
 and said testimony may employ counsel to represent and assist him in
 making his defense and in producing counter testimony.
   It shall be the duty of the commission upon the conclusion of the
 hearings in each case to make a finding as to whether or not, in its
 opinion, the party so charged has been shown to have participated in
 the said affray or to have withheld information which, if given, would
 have disclosed who the participators were.
   If the party so charged shall be acquitted by the judgment of the
 commission, and not otherwise, he shall then be permitted to reenlist
 and to enjoy all the rights and privileges by this act conferred.
   For the purpose of fully hearing and determining all such cases as
 may be presented, the commission is hereby authorized to continue its
 sittings and hearings beyond the period of three months from  and
 after the date of this act, until its work is finally concluded.
   SEC. 3. The provisions of section 1 for the reenlistment of said non-
 commissioned officers and enlisted men shall be available to all of said
 men from and after the expiration of three months and within one
 year from the passage of this act, against whom no charges have at
 that time been filed with said commission.  From and after that date
 all said noncommissioned officers and men may be reenlisted against
 whom such charges have been filed, but as to whom said charges have
been found by said commission not to have been sustained, provided
they reenlist within three months after such finding is announced.
   SEC. 4. That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to
prohibit the prosecution and punishment of any soldier reenlisting
under the provisions hereof as to whom it may at any time hereafter
appear from testimony taken before said commission, or otherwise,
that he did participate in said shooting affray or have knowledge
thereof which he has withheld.
  SEC. 5. That all reenlistments under the provisions hereof of sol-
diers who, at the time of their discharge without honor, were serving
terms of enlistment which have not yet expired shall be held to be for
only the remaining portion of said unexpired term, respectively.
  SEC. 6. If for any cause a vacancy should occur in the membership
of said commission, it may be filled by such person as the remaining
members thereof may select.
  SEC. 7. The members of said commission shall receive full pay and
allowances according to their rank, respectively, as though on the active
list during the period of their services hereunder.

  Mr. FORAKER.  Now, I ask the Senate to indulge me just a
moment until I explain what the amendment is and why I offer
it. I ask as explanatory of it that the Secretary will read, com-
mencing at section 2, from that on.
  The VICE-PRESIDENT. The Secretary will read as re-
  The Secretary read as directed.
  Mr. FORAKER.    Mr. President, it must have been observed
by every Senator who listened to the reading of this proposed
amendment that the purpose of it is to establish a tribunal be-
fore which charges against these men, tending to identify them or
any one of them as having participated in the shooting affray at
Brownsville, may be heard--a tribunal before which they can
appear where the charges can be presented and where the per-
sons against whom the charges are made can have a chance to
be heard in answer.
  It is an elementary proposition in American law and in conso-
nance with the spirit of American institutions that the accused
shall always have an opportunity to confront the accuser and to
answer testimony with testimony.
  I did not suppose, when the bill was framed and introduced
by me, that it would be necessary to have any further hearing
of this character; but during the months of the vacation there


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Black Battalion: Speech of Hon. Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio in the Senate of the United States, 1908



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