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In reply I have the honor to inform you that there would appear to be no legal obstacle to a transaction between American citizens involving securities of the German and Austrian Governments, provided the securities are lawfully in this country. I have [etc.]

ROBERT LANSING

File No. 763.72113/363
The Secretary of State to the Hercules Powder Co., Wilmington, Del.

WASHINGTON, May 23, 1917. GENTLEMEN: The Department has received, by reference from the Post Office Department, your letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, dated May 4, 1917, wherein you make inquiry as to whether you should make any further payments to the Vereinigte Koln Rottweiler Pulverfabriken, of Berlin, Germany, which concern, you state, is one of your stockholders.

You are doubtless aware that the existence of a state of war between the United States and Germany is regarded as making illegal all intercourse between residents of the respective countries. It may also be stated, for your information, that the Administration and Congress have under consideration measures having for their object the prevention of trade, directly or indirectly, with, on behalf of, for the benefit of, or on account of, any person residing in Germany, or residing in a neutral country and doing business in Germany, and that in these circumstances, it is advisable for persons in the United States to proceed with caution in their transactions with persons of German nationality, at least until the present situation is cleared up by definite action by Congress. As bearing on the general question of commercial intercourse with the enemy, the Department may refer you to Moore's International Law Digest, volume 7, page 237, et seq. I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:

FRANK L. POLK

Counselor

File No. 862.20222/21

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Panama (Price)

[Telegram]

WASHINGTON, June 1, 1917, 3 p. m. Your April 13, 2 p. m. All trading, directly, indirectly, with, for or on behalf of, or for benefit of persons in Germany should be prevented, and ships engaged in it should be penalized or held or controlled by refusal of necessary supplies. The proposed enemy trading act and exports control act, it is expected, will give United States authority to do this in United States ports.

* Not printed,

LAXSING

File No. 763.72112/3680
The Secretary of State to the Fidelity and Casualty Co. of New York

(Frank E. Lau, Vice President)

WASHINGTON, June 2, 1917. Sir: The Department has received your letter of May 23, 1917, wherein you state that the question has arisen whether your company has the right to make payments to beneficiaries in Germany under the workmen's compensation and other policies, and that you would like to be advised in this relation.

In reply you are informed that the existence of war between the United States and Germany is regarded as making illegal all commercial intercourse between residents of the two countries. Therefore, the payment of funds to German beneficiaries in Germany apparently could not, during the continuance of the present conditions, legally be made by you, either directly or through the agency of the Swiss Consul at New York.

As bearing on the general question of commercial intercourse with the enemy, the Department may refer you to Moore's International Law Digest, volume 7, page 237, et seq. I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:

WILLIAM PHILLIPS

Assistant Secretary

File No. 763.72112/3702
The Secretary of State to the Edgar Improvement Co.,

Brooklyn, N. Y.

WASHINGTON, June 9, 1917.

9 GENTLEMEN : The Department has received your letter of May 26, 1917, in which you state that some years ago you agreed to pay to Philip Mansch who resides in Austria $400 quarterly as long as he lived, and ask to be advised whether or not you should remit to him and if you remit whether you would do something contrary to the best interests of this country.

* Not printed.

In reply you are informed that the Department perceives at the present time no obstacle to the remittance of these funds. I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:

ALVEY A. ADEE Second Assistant Secretary

File No. 763.72112/3844

The Secretary of State to the Attorney General (Gregory)

WASHINGTON, July 2, 1917. SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of June 18, 1917, enclosing a copy of one from the United States Attorney at New York respecting a proposed payment by the National City Bank of New York to Hallgarten & Co., of that city, for the account of the Niederosterreichische Escompte Gesellschaft, Vienna, together with copies of a letter from Hallgarten & Co. to the United States Attorney at New York, concerning the matter, a telegram from the Niederosterreichische Escompte Gesellschaft to Hallgarten & Co., and a statement of the account of that concern with Hallgarten & Co.

Your letter states that, before replying to the letter of the United States Attorney in regard to this matter, the Department of Justice would be glad to have a statement from this Department as to whether or not such payment would be in any way undesirable from a diplomatic standpoint.

In reply I have the honor to say that, inasmuch as it appears that the proposed transaction merely contemplates the transfer from one American concern to another, both of which are resident in New York City, of a credit of $400,000, and does not involve commercial intercourse of any character with persons in Germany, there would seem to be no legal inhibition of the transaction in question. The Department does not, therefore, consider that it would be " undesirable from a diplomatic standpoint.”

Since, however, the Special Assistant United States Attorney at New York states that this is the first transaction of this character which has come to his attention, the Department would suggest that it might be appropriate to call to his attention the rule enunciated by American courts to the effect that all commercial intercourse between enemy countries is illegal; to the bill (H.R. 4704) with regard to trade with the enemy which is now pending before Congress; and as bearing on the general question of commercial intercourse with the enemy, to Moore's International Law Digest, volume 7, page 237, et seq., and particularly to the following cases: Montgomery v. United States, 15 Wall. 395; Scholefield v. Eichelberger, 7 Pet. 586; Kershaw v. Kelsey, 100 Mass. 561. I have [etc.]

i Not printed.

For the Secretary of State:

WILLIAM PHILLIPS

Assistant Secretary

File No. 763.72112/397242

The Secretary of State to Mr. Jules Charmatz, New York City

WASHINGTON, July 13, 1917. Sir: The Department acknowledges the receipt of your letter of June 11, 1917, enclosing an advertisement which appeared in a Polish paper and a translation of the same.

In reply to the inquiry contained in your last paragraph the Department may invite your attention, in this relation, to the rules enunciated by the courts of the United States to the effect that all intercourse between residents of enemy countries is illegal; to the bill (H.R. 4704) with regard to trade with the enemy which is now pending before Congress; as bearing on this same general question to Moore's International Law Digest, volume 7, page 237, et seq., and particularly to the following cases: Jontgomery v. United States, 15 Wall. 395; Scholefield v. Eichelberger, 7 Pet. 586; Kershaw v. Kelsey, 100 Mass. 561.

. It is the opinion of the Department that the transmission of funds from residents of this country to residents of territory under enemy occupation is illegal. I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:

WILLIAM PHILLIPS

Assistant Secretary

File No. 763.72112/4040 The Secretary of State to the Safe Deposit and Trust Co. of Balti- . more (Arthur C. Gibson, Assistant Secretary)

WASHINGTON, July 26, 1917. Sir: The Department has received your letter of July 16, 1917, in which you state that your company is the trustee, under the will of the late John King, of Baltimore; that one of his daughters, who

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is the recipient of a share of the income under the will, is the wife of Baron de Giskra, who is in the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic service and until recently was connected with the Austrian mission at The Hague; that your present information is to the effect that the Baroness de Giskra is in Switzerland; and that you wish to be advised whether, under the existing state of affairs, a payment of the income to her, provided she is in Switzerland, would be permissible.

The Department regrets that it is unable to advise you as to the transactions described, owing to legislation now pending in Congress (H.R. 4960), having for its object the prevention, except under special license, of all commercial intercourse directly or indirectly by persons in the United States with persons in Germany, or an ally of Germany, or upon proclamation of the President, with persons of the nationality of any country with which the United States is at war, or an ally of such a country, wherever residing or doing business.

With respect to the general question of intercourse with the enemy, the Department may refer you to Moore's International Law Digest, volume 7, page 237. Reference may be made also to page 424 of the same volume. The publication referred to will doubtless be found available in any large public library.

The Department is not in a position to grant you authority to take action which would have the effect of contravening the provisions of the bill referred to, if enacted into law. I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:

ALVEY A. ADEE Second Assistant Secretary

File No. 195.2/1176

The Chairman of the Shipping Board (Hurley) to the Secretary

of State

WASHINGTON, September 22, 1917.

[Received September 25.] DEAR MR. SECRETARY: The Shipping Board desires that the Department of State communicate to the American Consul at Cartagena, Colombia, the information that the Albingia and the Virginia, two vessels of the Hamburg-American Line, now lying there, have been purchased by Edward F. Geer of New York City, an American citizen. The conditions of the contract of sale have been approved by the Department of Justice. Mr. Georg F. Dusterdieck is the agent of the Hamburg-American Line to deliver the ships at Carta

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