The Foes of Our Own Household

By Theodore Roosevelt | Go to book overview

APPENDIX B
FAIR PLAY FOR ALL AMERICANS

June 26, 1917.

My dear Sir:

In the New York Times of the 22nd and 23rd instant it is stated that the United States Government has announced that in Red Cross units sent to the base hospitals of the allies abroad, American citizens born in Germany or in Austro-Hungary, or whose parents were born in Germany or Austro-Hungary will not be allowed to serve.

I very earnestly hope that the Government will at once recede from this position. If our Red Cross units are not desired abroad, whether with the base hospitals of the allies, or anywhere else, then we can use them purely for our people or with our own armies; but wherever we do send them it should be on the assumption that we no more permit distinction to be made among the American personnel on the ground of birthplace or parentage than on the ground of creed. Service in the Red Cross should be like service in the ranks of the army; no man worthy to serve in one should be barred from service in the other. If any spy or disloyal person is found in either, in the theater of war, he should be hung out of hand or shot by drumhead court-martial, without mercy, whether he is of native or foreign parentage. But it is an intolerable wrong and insult to discriminate, or permit discrimination, between loyal and devoted Americans because of their parentage or birthplace.

-277-

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