Proclamation—Amnesty and Pardon
Whereas, in and by the Constitution of the United States of America, it is provided that the President "shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment" and
Whereas, Sections 1996 and 1998 of the Revised Statutes of the United States as modified by the Act of Congress approved August 22, 1912 (37 Stat. 356), prescribe that all persons thereafter deserting the military or naval service of the United States shall be deemed to have voluntarily relinquished and forfeited their rights of citizenship, as well as their right to become citizens, and shall be forever incapable of holding any office of trust or profit under the United States, or of exercising any rights of citizens thereof, but that said provisions "shall not apply to any person hereafter deserting the military or naval service of the United States in time of peace"; and
Whereas, an armistice was signed with the Imperial Austro-Hungarian Government on November 3, 1918, and with the Imperial German Government on November 11, 1918, the effect of which was to terminate hostilities; and
Whereas, the war with the aforesaid foreign powers was not formally at an end until July 2, 1921, as declared by a Joint Resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States approved July 2, 1921, and by proclamations of the President of the United States of November 14, 1921, and November 17, 1921; and
Whereas, many persons who deserted from the military or naval service of the United States on or after November 11, 1918, and therefor were duly convicted of desertion committed in time of war, are now leading blameless lives and have reestablished themselves in the confidence of their fellow citizens, and it is believed that further application of the provisions of the Revised Statutes hereinabove set forth to their cases would in most instances be productive of no good results and would be contrary to the spirit of those provisions;
Now, therefore, be it known, that I, Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States of America, in consideration of the premises, divers other good and sufficient reasons me thereunto moving, do hereby declare and grant amnesty and pardon to all persons who have heretofore been or may hereafter be convicted of desertion from the military or naval service of the United States in time of war, committed during the war hereinbefore mentioned and on or since November 11, 1918, to the extent that there shall be, and hereby are, fully remitted as to such persons any relinquishment or forfeiture of their rights of citizenship as well as their right to become citizens, and any incapacity to hold office of trust or profit under the United States or to exercise any rights of citizens thereof, which forfeitures and disabilities have heretofore been or may hereafter be incurred under the provisions of the sections of the Revised Statutes hereinabove set forth by any such persons in consequence of conviction of desertion committed in time of war as aforesaid.
Furthermore, I do hereby proclaim, declare and make known that nothing contained in this proclamation is intended to remove, or to authorize the removal of, any charge of desertion which may now be standing on the rolls or records of the United States in the case of any person, or as pardoning, remitting or mitigating any penalties to which any person has become, is now, or hereafter may become liable, except as hereinbefore specifically provided.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this fifth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and twenty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and forty-eighth.
By the President:
CHARLES E. HUGHES, Secretary of State.
Calvin Coolidge, Proclamation—Amnesty and Pardon Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/329317