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

with it.  Until the committee unanimously decided that they
need not go further, everyone of them who was called before that
committee and there examined and cross-examined in the most
rigid way, acquitted himself so completely that no man in that
committee presumed to say " There is a man as to whom I have
a suspicion of guilt." So completely did they acquit themselves
that the President of the United States himself sent us the mes-
sage to which I referred a moment ago, asking us to authorize
him by appropriate legislation to reenlist these men. That is all
my bill does.  Whether his bill or my bill or some other bill
shall be adopted, let us not drift into a controversy over incon-
sequential matters, but let us once and for all do justice to
these men by enacting some kind of a law under which they can
be heard in their own defense before an independent and a just
tribunal, as against such serious charges as we have listened to
here this morning, and against such espionage as we are told by
the President's message is to be continued pending our action.
  I do not object to any fair method being continued to ascer-
tain the truth as to Boyd Conyers or any other soldier of that
battalion who may have been guilty of participating in that
affray.  Let the truth be established; and if convicted, let him
suffer the penalty; but if not, let him go acquit.  Let us give
to the humblest what we would not hesitate to give to the
highest-a fair chance to be heard, to present his own defense
and to support his defense with appropriate testimony.



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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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