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located here. Due notice will be given by public advertisement of the time and place of sale and full description of properties to be sold. Sales will be made only to American citizens who satisfy the Alien Property Custodian that they represent American capital exclusively, and that they do not propose to purchase for the benefit, either present or prospective, of the enemy. There may be cases where the public interest may require sales by some other method than by public auction. Each of such cases will be presented to the President for his determination and each case will be considered upon its own facts.

The Custodian realizes that in making these sales he will be obliged to consider not only the character of the purchasers in order to establish a true Americanization of the properties, but the effect also upon American markets, both industrial and financial, if large enemy holdings are quickly liquidated. He will, of course, require a fair and adequate price in order that the United States at the end of the war may be in a position to account in such manner as Congress shall direct for the actual value of the properties taken over and sold, or otherwise liquidated.

Early announcement will be made of proposed sales and the terms and conditions thereof.

Executive Order No. 2832, April 2, 1918, Concerning Certain Sales

to Be Conducted by the Alien Property Custodian Pursuant to the Trading with the Enemy alct and Amendments Thereof

By virtue of the authority vested in me by “An Act to define, regulate and punish trading with the enemy, and for other purposes”, approved October 6, 1917, known as the “ Trading with the enemy Act”, and the amendment to such Act embodied in “An Act making appropriations to supply urgent deficiencies in appropriations for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1918, and prior fiscal years, on account of war expenses, and for other purposes", approved March 28, 1918, I hereby, in the public interest, make the following determination, order, rule and regulation:

The Alien Property Custodian may sell at private sale, without public or other advertisement, any live stock, feed or food stuffs, hides and other animal products, agricultural products, fertilizers, chemicals, drugs, essential oils, lumber, cotton, tobacco, furniture, books, glass and china ware, wearing apparel, jewelry, precious stones, pictures, ornaments, bric-a-brac, objects of art, raw or finished textile materials, trunks, boxes, casks and containers of all kinds, partially or completely manufactured metals, fabrics or other articles, rubber and rubber products, and all kinds of merchandise, in lots having a market value at the time and place of sale not exceeding Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000) per lot. Any such sale may be conducted at the place where such property, or the greater portion thereof, is situated, or elsewhere, and upon such terms and conditions as to the Alien Property Custodian, or his authorized agent, may seem proper.

My reasons for the foregoing determination, order, rule and regulation are:

(a) The properties described in the lots mentioned are not customarily sold and cannot usually be sold to advantage either at public sale after public or other advertisement, or at the place where such properties, or the greater portion thereof, are situated.

(6) The sales hereby authorized may be made at the time and place of favorable demand, and upon such terms and conditions as may be necessary to secure the market price.

(c) Unnecessary expense, delay and inconvenience may be avoided.


2 April, 1918.

File No. 703.72112/7925

The Secretary of State to the Swedish Minister (Ekengren) The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Swedish Minister, in charge of Austro-Hungarian interests in the United States, and with reference to his note of March 23, 1918, in regard to the continuation of business by Austro-Hungarian insurance companies in the United States under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has the honor to advise him that Austro-Hungarian insurance companies which have heretofore maintained agencies or offices in the United States have been placed in liquidation under license issued by the Secretary of the Treasury, pursuant to the provisions of the Trading with the Enemy Act. The managers, or principal agents, of the companies respectively are still in charge of the liquidation of their affairs, but are under special supervision of the Alien Property Custodian.

WASHINGTON, April 11, 1918.

File No. 763.72113/509

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Spain (Willard) No. 786

WASHINGTON, April 18, 1918. Sir: You are instructed to ascertain, through the Spanish Foreign Office and the Spanish Ambassador at Berlin, the measures which have been taken by the German authorities with regard to the property in Germany of American citizens, and also whether these measures affect the property of American citizens residing in Germany as well. This information is urgently needed by the Alien Property Custodian.

*Not printed.

In this relation the Department may refer to the order of the German Government of December 13, 1917,+ extending to the property of citizens of this country the application of the orders of November 26, 1914, and February 10, 1915 (1916), relative to the custodianship of French interests. The American Minister at Berne was instructed by cable, on February 9, 1918, to procure this data, but the Department has as yet to receive his advices in the matter.

The Department may also refer to the order of March 4, 1918,2 by which the regulations of July 31, 1916, regarding the liquidation of British enterprises, are declared applicable to American enterprises.

It is suggested that this information be obtained in as detailed and complete a form as possible and transmitted as expeditiously as the circumstances may permit. I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:


File No. 763.72113/530

The Swiss Minister (Sulzer) to the Secretary of State

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Department of German WASHINGTON, April 15, 1918.
Interests IV-14B

[Received April 22.] SIR: With reference to Your Excellency's note dated April 9, 1918, and in confirmation of my note dated March 19, 1918, wherewith I advised Your Excellency of the contents of a cablegram received from the Swiss Foreign Office, relative to the attitude of the German Government with respect to the measures taken by the Government of the United States concerning private German property.

I now have the honor to enclose copy of a note verbale of the German Foreign Office, dated March 10, 1918, upon which the above-mentioned cablegram was based. Accept [etc.]




* Ante, p. 283.

See telegram No. 2051 from the Chargé in Denmark, ante, p. 289, * Not printed.



The German Foreign Office to the Swiss Legation at Berlin No. IIIa-4532 38940

NOTE VERBALE The Foreign Office has the honor to answer the Swiss Legation's note verbale of the 23d of last month relative to the measures taken by the United States of America against German private property as follows:

The Imperial German Government enters an emphatic protest against the United States of America's invasion of German private property in United States territory. This invasion, which is not prompted by any military necessity but merely bears the odious character of an attempt to do away with peaceable German competition by violent measures, clashes in the highest degree with the spirit of the treaties which were concluded in 1785, 1799, and 1828 between Prussia, the lawful predecessor of the German Empire, and the United States, for articles 23 and 24 of the treaty of 1799, which were revived by article 12 of the treaty of 1828, were intended to relieve, in the very contingency of war, the peaceful citizens from the burdens thereof, as far as possible. The German Government has found itself constrained to retaliate by extending to the United States the orders relative to the registration and sequestration of enemy property and to the compulsory administration and liquidation of enemy business enterprises. In the enforcement of those orders the extent to which the Government of the United States invades German property in America will be kept in view.

The Foreign Office would be thankful to the Swiss Legation if it would make the foregoing known to its Government with a request that it notify this protest of the German Government to the Government of the United States of America by telegraph through the Swiss Legation at Washington.

BERLIN, March 10, 1918.

File No. 763.72113/535
The Minister in Switzerland (Stovall) to the Secretary of State

BERNE, April 25, 1918, 4 p. m.

[Received April 27, 4.50 a. m.] 3163. Department's 1409 [1309], [January] 8,1 and 1414, [January] 28,2 and subsequent correspondence relative American property

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*Not printed.

? Ante, p. 281.

in Germany. I have received from Spanish Embassy, Berlin, note verbale from Imperial Foreign Office dated March 23, from which following is extract:

At the beginning of the month, the Swiss Legation transmitted to the German Government a communication according to which the Government of the United States has [which had] already ordered the taking over of all the property of Germans residing outside of the country and the liquidation of German insurance companies, has taken measures to liquidate the other German enterprises in America. As reprisal, the German Government has decided to apply to the United States the sequestration of enemy enterprises, the registration of enemy property, and the liquidation of such property.

The German Government insists upon believing that the Government of the United States will limit itself in the use of the new administrative rulings to cases where there seems to be an urgent state interest. On its part, the German Government is resolved to carry out the above-mentioned regulations only in so far as the American authorities execute the laws issued against German property in America.

The Foreign Office requests the Royal Embassy to transmit the foregoing through the medium of its Government to the knowledge of the United States Government.


File No. 763.72113/545

The Swiss Minister (Sulzer) to the Secretary of State

Department of
German Interests


The Minister of Switzerland, representing German interests in the United States, presents his compliments to the Secretary of State, and has the honor to inform His Excellency that the Legation is in receipt of a cablegram from the Swiss Foreign Office, according to which the German Government “requests obtain declaration of American Government with all urgency whether measures of liquidation of German property have as yet been taken and against whom.”

The Minister begs leave to add that the above request has reference to the first paragraphs of the Urgent Deficiency Act, approved March 28, 1918, wherein certain powers are conferred upon the President and the Alien Property Custodian with regard to enemy property in the United States.

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