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The President, by an Executive Order dated May 16, 1923, has vested in the Alien Property Custodian all the power and authority conferred upon him. by the said amendment pertaining to every claim in which the amount to be paid does not exceed in money or other property the value of $10,000.
About 50,000 reports of enemy property were rendered to the Alien Property Custodian, from which about 38,000 trusts or trust accounts arose. The whole fund at one time amounted to about $550,000,000. About $200,000,000 has been returned, leaving about $350,000,000 in the fund, the disposition of which rests with Congress, which may confiscate, return, or hold the property in custody.
The Alien Property Custodian must administer property seized.
(a) The property seized and demanded by the Alien Property Custodian is scattered throughout the United States and its territories, including the Philippine Islands and Hawaii, and consists of industrial plans, such as chemical and woolen mills, steamship lines, banks, land and cattle companies, salmon factories, gold and silver and other mines of metal and other miscellaneous industrial plants, and thousands of parcels of real estate, and trusts represented by securities and liquid assets.
(b) The Alien Property Custodian is required by the Trading with the Enemy Act to deposit all moneys coming into his hands in the Treasury of the United States, to be invested by the Secretary of the Treasury in United States bonds or certificates of indebtedness. With respect to all other property the Alien Property Custodian has all the powers of a common-law trustee, and the further power of management and sale under the direction of the President. All moneys or properties after the end of the war will be disposed of as Congress shall direct. (c) Must consider applications for the return of property to non-enemies, neutrals, or allies, who are citizens of new countries established by the various treaties of peace, such as Poland and Czechoslavakia.
(d) Must pass upon various claims of enemy subjects such as counselor or diplomatic officers, internes, and women, who by marriage lost their American, neutral, or allied citizenship.
(e) The Custodian must submit claims for return of property to the Attorney General for decision of allowance or disallowance. If the claim is allowed, the property is returned. If disallowed, the claimant may bring suit in equity ir the federal courts.
(f) Must pass upon applications for return of property or money not to exceed in value the sum of $10,000 to individuals, partnerships, unincorporated associations, and corporations whose property was seized or demanded by the Alien Property Custodian during the existence of the war.
The Alien Property Custodian has custody of the alien property fund, and administers and operates approximately 23,987 active trusts, representing real estate, personal property, or small active and inactive corporations in almost every state of the Union, as well as in the Philippine Islands and Hawaii.
(1) Secretary to the Custodian.
(2) General Counsel and Assistant. (3) Chiefs of Divisions:
(a) Division of Administration.-Chief charged with responsibility for operation of the statutory requirements essential to carrying out certain provisions of the Trading with the Enemy Act.
(b) Division of Corporation Management.-Attorney in Charge. He stands in the place of enemy stockholders whose stock was seized in various corporations under the Trading with the Enemy Act. Where the Custodian's shareholdings represent a majority of interest, the business is operated by the Alien Property Custodian through a board of directors selected by him. Where such holdings are a minority interest, there is not always a representative of the Custodian in the management or on the board of directors, unless the interest is sufficiently large to insure representation, and then only where the majority extends the courtesy. Sales of enemy property are authorized under section 12 of the Trading with the Enemy Act, as amended March 28, 1918, and under such amendment the President has authorized the private sale of property in the hands of the Alien Property Custodian at various times. Other sales have been made by executive order designating specific properties.10
(c) Division of Trusts.-Chief.
(cl) Real Estate Section.-Chief.
(c2) Patent Section.-Chief.
(c3) Insurance Section.-Chief.
(d) Bureau of Law.-General Counsel.
Procedure of Claimant
The claimant of any class hereinbefore described should, as a first step, apply to the Alien Property Custodian for a blank application. After filling out such blank application, it should be forwarded, with supporting proof, to the Alien Property Custodian. Ordinarily an application for the return of property, if granted, should result in such return within about three months.
(a) Trading with the Enemy Act, with amendments, proclamations, and executive order, obtainable from the Government Printing Office, Washington. (b) Annual Report of the Alien Property Custodian, obtainable upon appli
1 Act Oct. 6, 1917 (40 Stat. 411 [Comp. St. 1918, Comp. St. Ann. Supp. 1919, §§ 3115a31152), amended by Act March 28, 1918 (40 Stat. 459).
9 Executive Orders No. 2813, of February 26, 1918; No. 2832, of April 2, 1918; No. 2914, of July 15, 1918; No. 2916, of July 16, 1918; No. 2949, of August 20, 1918; No. 2991, of November 12, 1918; No. 3843, of May 16, 1923.
10 Annual Report Alien Property Custodian, 1924, p. 3.
cation to the Secretary of the Custodian, Arlington Building, Vermont Ave., and H St., Washington, D. C.
7. Fees of Attorneys
The office of the Alien Property Custodian does not keep a register of attorneys, but the amended Trading with the Enemy Act contains the following provision:
"That no money or other property shall be paid, conveyed, transferred, assigned, or delivered under this act to any agent, attorney, or representative of any person entitled thereto, unless satisfactory evidence is furnished the President or the court, as the case may be, that the fee of such agent, attorney, or representative for services in connection therewith does not exceed 3 per centum of the value of such money or other property; but nothing in this section shall be construed as fixing such fees at 3 per centum of the value of such money or other property, such 3 per centum being fixed only as the maximum fee that may be allowed or accepted for such services. Any person accepting any fee in excess of such 3 per centum shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished as provided in section 16 hereof."11
The constitutionality of acts limiting fees of attorneys for professional services rendered for claimants against the government has been raised in several cases. The limitation has been sustained even where the contract for such services was made prior to the passage of the statute.12 A provision in the contract purporting to give a lien upon any warrant that may be issued in settlement of the claim against the government or an assignment or transfer of any part of the claim made before its allowance is void.13
11 Act March 4, 1923 (42 Stat. 1515).
12 Black v. O'Hara's Adm'r, 175 Ky. 623, 194 S. W. 811; Taylor v. Bemiss, 110 U. S. 42, 3 S. Ct. 441, 28 L. Ed. 64; Ball v. Halsell, 161 U. S. 72, 16 S. Ct. 554, 40 L. Ed. 622; Calhoun v. Massie, 253 U. S. 170, 40 S. Ct. 474, 64 L. Ed. 843.
13 R. S. § 3477 (Comp. St. § 6383).
and regulations as it may deem necessary, investigations to assist the President in ascertaining the differences in costs of production in the United States and in foreign countries of articles covered by the dutiable schedules of the tariff act. The findings of the commission as the results of such investigations shall be reported to the President, who is authorized, when he finds that such differences are not equalized by the rates of duties prescribed, to determine and proclaim such changes in classification, or increases or decreases of duties, within a limitation of 50 per cent. thereof, as will effectuate such equalization. When the President shall find, however, that such proceeding will not equalize the said differences in costs of production, he is authorized to direct that ad valorem duties upon the articles covered by such findings shall be based upon the American selling price thereof as defined in section 402 of the act. Ascertainment of such differences in costs of production shall take into consideration differences in wages, costs of materials, and other items in costs; differences in wholesale selling prices of domestic and foreign articles in the principal American markets; advantages given foreign producers by foreign governments or others; and any other advantages or disadvantages in competition.
Section 318 of the Tariff Act approved September 21, 1922, provides that, in addition to the duties previously imposed upon it by law, the commission shall ascertain conversion costs and costs of production of articles in the principal growing, producing, or manufacturing centers of the United States, whenever in the opinion of the commission it is practicable, and shall ascertain such costs in foreign countries whenever in the opinion of the commission such costs are necessary for comparison with the costs in the United States and can be reasonably ascertained.
The commission is also directed to describe and keep on file samples of imported articles and articles of the United States which are comparable; to ascertain the import costs of such foreign articles, and the selling prices in the United States of such articles of the United States, and to ascertain all other facts affecting competition between domestic and imported articles in the principal markets of the United States. This section authorizes the commission to establish and maintain an office at the port of New York for executing any of its functions, and authorizes the commission to adopt an official seal which shall be judicially noticed.
5. Same; Investigates Unfair Competition and Importation Methods
The commission is authorized under section 316 to investigate unfair methods of competition and unfair acts in the importation of articles into the United States, or in their sale after importation. When the findings and recommendations of the commission, upon its investigation of such acts, justify the President in doing so, he is authorized to determine and assess additional duties within prescribed limits upon articles covered by such findings or, in extreme cases, to exclude such articles from entry into the United States, such additional duties or refusal of entry to remain in effect until otherwise ordered by the President. The testimony in every investigation under the provisions of this section is required to be reduced to writing, and with the findings of the commission constitutes the official record in each case. A copy of the findings is required to be