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ESTABLISHMENT OF MILITARY JUSTICE .

82 9
Q . The records show that in the case of the Fort Bliss mutineers Gen .
Ansell in his review actually put into effect the powers which his interpreta -
tion of section 1199 gave to the Judge Advocate General?A . Yes, sir .
Q . These were the first eases in which this action appears . It also
appears that similar action was taken by him in a considerable number o f
cases subsequent to this . Do you recall any discussions or conversations i n
the office regarding that act?A. Yes, sir. The first cases in which actio n
was taken by the Acting Judge Advocate General under his assumed powers
of revisions were . I believe, the Narber case, and the case of the seven o r
eight noncommissioned officers of the Artillery Battery . The action taken i n
each of these cases was simply to reverse and set aside the sentence, or word s
to that effect . It was my recollection that these cases, with the action of th e
Judge Advocate General thereon, went up in the usual routine to The Adju-
tant General for formal order, and that about that time, or very shortly there-
after, Gen . Ansell prepared a memorandum in support of the power which h e
had sought to exercise. In the meantime, and before this memorandum wa s
submitted, a number of other cases were disposed of in like manner . The pur-
pose of so doing while the matter was pending before the War Department I
do not know .
Q . Have you any knowledge of a conversation which took place in connec-
tion with and at the time that you were directed to prepare a review of the fou r
France eases in which Gen . Ansell is said to have expressed affirmatively hi s
views relative to the execution of the sentences as imposed?A . I did not per-
sonally ever hear any such_ conversation between Gen . Ansell and any othe r
officer . However, some time after the records in the death cases from France
came to me from Gen . Crowder for further study, Col Davis informed me o f
a conversation which he had just had ; I mean by that a conversation he ha d
shortly before he spoke to me about it. Col. Davis stated in substance that
Gen . Ansell had used some profanely forcible language in connection with thes e
cases . I would not undertake to give the language of the conversation, bu t
my recollection of its effect or substance is that he objected to or resented th e
fact that the sentences were not being promptly carried into effect in accordanc e
with the recommendations contained in Maj . Rand's reviews, instead of whic h
they had been returned to me for further study and report by Gen . Crowder .
Q . What effect did these various controversies, which took place in Novem-
ber, 1917, and subsequently, have upon the morale of the office or upon th e
efficiency of the work of the Division of Military Justice?A . For a time, say
in the latter part of November, and a considerable part of December, it lef t
the force in doubt and uncertainty as to the policies to be followed . However,
it may be said that in the main the officers in that section were trained an d
seasoned lawyers from civil life or men of like training and experience in th e
Military Establishment . They continued to do their work with zeal an d
efficiency, affected somewhat perhaps by the uncertainty in which the forc e
was left for a month or six weeks .
Q . To what extent, if any, did this controversy affect the personal relation s
of officers in the office in so far as same became apparent?On the surface
the relations between all of the officers remained pleasant and cordial, an d
such as permitted of personal contact and personal conference and discussio n
without the embarrassment of any personal animosities being manifeste d
themselves. Of course, there was always this factor in the situation : Fo r
several months following November, 1917, whenever an officer went to Gen.
Ansell to discuss any proposed action in a court-martial case the discussio n
was almost certain, before it was finished, to resolve itself into an argumen t
on his part in support of his construction of the word " revise, " so that that
question was intruded in almost every legal discussion .

EXHIBIT 25 .

WASHINGTON, D . C., March 25, 1919 .


Maj . Stevens Heekscher, Judge Advocate General's Department, being firs t
duly sworn, was interrogated by Maj . Gen . J. L. Chamberlain, Inspector Gen-
eral, and testified as follows :
Q. State your name, rank, and organization .A. Stevens Heckscher ; major ;
Judge Advocate .