Statement on Approving the Joint Resolution on the Pearl Harbor Trial and Investigation.
I have today approved the Joint Resolution passed by the Congress, extending for the further period of six months all statutory and other provisions that might prevent the trial and punishment of any persons involved in the Pearl Harbor catastrophe of December 7, 1941, and directing the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy to make an investigation into the facts surrounding the catastrophe and commence proceedings against such persons as the facts may justify.
The Secretaries of War and Navy have both suggested that I withhold my approval from this resolution, on the ground that the investigation and action therein directed might require them to withdraw from their present assignments numerous officers whose services in such assignments are needed for the successful prosecution of the war, and also on the ground that such proceedings would give publicity to matters which national security requires still to be withheld from the enemy.
If there were any doubt in my mind that the resolution might require such action by the Secretaries of War and Navy as would interfere with the successful conduct of the war, I would have withheld my approval from the resolution. I am confident, however, that the Congress did not intend that the investigation of this matter or any proceedings should be conducted in a manner which would interrupt or interfere with the war effort. On the strength of this confidence I have approved the resolution.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Statement on Approving the Joint Resolution on the Pearl Harbor Trial and Investigation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/210862