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Tile No. 763.72113/456
[Received February 1.] THE SECRETARY OF STATE: My Government has just forwarded to me the text of an order of the Imperial Chancellor published in the Reichsanzeiger of December 18 last, relative to the custodianship of American interests in Germany.
For all pertinent purposes I have the honor to transmit herewith to Your Excellency a copy of a memorandum in which my Government condensed the information it has received on the subject. Be pleased to accept [etc.]
[Enclosure--Translation] Memorandum of the French Foreign Office After making it compulsory, by the order of November 10, 1917, to register property in Germany belonging to persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States of America, the German Government has just extended to the said property the provisions relative to obligatory custodianship.
We find in No. 299 of the Reichsanzeiger of December 18, 1917, the following order: ORDER OF DECEMBER 13, RELATIVE TO THE OBLIGATORY CUSTODIANSHIP
OF AMERICAN INTERESTS By way of reprisals and by operation of article 9 of the order of November 26, 1914, relative to the custodianship of French interests, it is ordered as follows:
The provisions of the order of November 26, 1914, relative to the custodianship of French interests as formulated in the order of February 10, 1916, are declared to be applicable also to persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States of America.
The present order will go into effect on the day of its promulgation. Berlin, December 13, 1917.
For the Chancellor :
Freiherr von Stein The order of November 26, 1914, applies to concerns the capital of which belongs wholly or for the most part to French nationals, to branches of such concerns, and to real estate.
The order of February 10, 1916, includes in such property inherited property belonging to a business enterprise, property forming part of an estate and, for special reasons, all other inherited property, such as credits and securities.
File No. 763.72113/452
[Received February 2, 6.25 a. m.] 2547. Spanish Embassy, Berlin, reports that Embassy is being asked daily by American citizens whether there is truth in report that American Government has taken or is contemplating action to sequester property of American citizens remaining in Germany. Embassy requests cable reply, adding that Trading with Enemy Act of October 6 does not appear to contain any such regulations.
Proclamation No. 14.27, February 5, 1918, Including Germans and
Austro-Hungarians in the Custody of the War Department within the Term “ Enemy” for the Purposes of the Trading with the Enemy alct
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WHEREAS paragraph (c) of Section Two of the Act entitled “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, provides that the word “enemy” as used therein shall be deemed to mean, for the purposes of such trading and of said Act, in addition to the individuals, partnerships or other boilies of individuals or corporations specified in paragraph (a), and in addition to the Government and political or municipal subdivisions, officers, officials, agents or agencies thereof specified in paragraph (6), of said Section Two, the following:
“ Such other individuals, or body or class of individuals, as may be natives, citizens, or subjects of any nation with which the United States is at war, other than citizens of the United States, wherever resident or wherever doing business, as the President, if he shall find the safety of the United States or the successful prosecution of the war shall so require, may, by proclamation, include within the term enemy;'
AND WHEREAS, under the provisions of and by virtue of the power and authority granted in Sections four thousand and sixty-seven, four thousand and sixty-eight, four thousand and sixty-nine, and four thousand and seventy, of the Revised Statutes, and in accordance with proclamations and regulations which have been or which may here
after be made and established thereunder by the President of the United States, certain alien enemies have been, or may from time to time be, transferred after arrest into the custody of the War Department for detention during the war;
Now, THEREFORE, I, WOODROW Wilson, President of the United States of America, pursuant to the authority vested in me, and in accordance with the provisions of the said Act of October 6, 1917, known as the Trading with the Enemy Act, do hereby find that the safety of the United States and the successful prosecution of the present war require that all natives, citizens or subjects of the German Empire or of the Austro-Hungarian Empire who, by virtue of the provisions of Sections four thousand and sixty-seven, four thousand and sixty-eight, four thousand and sixty-nine, and four thousand and seventy, of the Revised Statutes, and of the proclamations and regulations thereunder, have been heretofore or may be hereafter transferred after arrest into the custody of the War Department for detention during the war, shall be included within the meaning of the word “enemy” for the purposes of the Trading with the Enemy Act and of such trading; and I do hereby proclaim to all whom it may concern that every such alien enemy who is so transferred, after arrest, into the custody of the War Department for detention during the war, shall be and hereby is included within the meaning of the word “enemy” and shall be deemed to constitute an enemy” for said purposes.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done in the District of Columbia, this 5th day of February, in the
year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eight[SEAL] een, and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and forty-second.
WOODROW WILSON By the President: FRANK L. POLK
Acting Secretary of State.
File No. 763.72113/417
The Secretary of State to the Swiss Minister (Sulzer)
WASHINGTON, February 13, 1918. Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your two memoranda of October 31, and December 21, 1917, respectively,
* Ante, p. 266.
2 Not printed.
and note of January 25, 1918, in which you give the text of communications received from the German Government through the Swiss Foreign Office, with regard to the desire of that Government to receive certain information relative to German private property in the United States.
In reply I have the honor to enclose for your information in connection with the inquiries of the German Government, contained in your note of January 25, two memoranda of the Alien Property Custodian, dated February 7, 1918, and November 13, 1917, respectively.”
With regard to your memorandum of October 31 last, transmitting the inquiry of the German Government concerning patents, I have the honor to enclose for your information copy of a statement received from the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission on November 2, with reference to the application of the Trading with the Enemy Act to the use by American citizens and corporations of patents and copyrights owned or controlled by enemies or allies of enemy.
I should add however that in so far as these statements appear to explain acts of Congress, they are not to be taken as definitive statements as to their meaning which may possibly be made a matter of judicial determination.
I beg also to enclose for your information a copy of the Trading with the Enemy Act, approved October 6, 1917,4 together with a copy of an Executive order issued on October 12, 1917, pursuant to the provisions thereto." Accept [etc.]
Memorandum of the Alien Property Custodian (Palmer)?
WASHINGTON, February 19, 1918. 1. The offices of the Hamburg-American Line have been taken over by the Alien Property Custodian under the authority of the Trading with the Enemy Act.
2. Supreme Court has, of course, made no such order. If subjects of Germany residing in enemy territory own stocks and bonds of gold-mine companies, the taking over of such enemy interests will
* Ante, p. 279.
? For summary of statement of Nov. 13, see telegram No. 774, Nov. 14, to the Minister in the Netherlands, ante, p. 267.
Post, p. 328.
See ante, p. 263.
In answer to inquiries of the German Government contained in note of Jan. 25, 1918, from the Swiss Minister, ante, p. 279.
be contemplated by the Alien Property Custodian. The interests of German subjects resident in this country have not been touched.
3. The Treasury Department has ordered the liquidation of enemy fire and reinsurance companies, which liquidation is now proceeding , under the supervision of the Alien Property Custodian.
4. The liquidation of German private property, particularly the German commercial enterprise, is being accomplished under the direction of the Alien Property Custodian where such enterprises are conducted by partnerships of which an enemy as defined by the Trading with the Enemy Act is a member. The act of war having avoided such partnership agreements, the War Trade Board has issued licenses to the partnerships to continue in business for the purpose of liquidating out the enemy interest under the supervision and control of the Alien Property Custodian. Where the enemy interest is in the shape of stockholdings in American corporations, the Alien Property Custodian is taking over the stockholdings and representing the stock and is placing directors in the companies to supervise the management and operation of such companies. None of such corporations is being liquidated at the present time.
File No. 763.72113/455
The Secretary of State to the Swiss Minister (Sulzer)
MEMORANDUM The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Minister of Switzerland, in charge of German interests in the United States, and, referring to his memorandum of January 9, 1918, requesting that the Legation be furnished reports from the Alien Property Custodian of property derived from the settlement of estates placed under his control, in so far as such property belongs to German subjects in Germany, or in which such persons have an interest, has the honor to inform the Minister that the Department is now in receipt of a letter from the Alien Property Custodian stating that he will be glad to furnish the Legation quarterly, beginning April 1, with a list of decedents' estates in which German subjects in Germany are interested, together with a statement of moneys belonging to German
Paragraph 2 of this memorandum as received from the Alien Property Custodian reads as follows (File No. 763.72112/5372):
(2) Supreme Court has, of course, made no such order. If subjects of Germany residing in enemy territory own stocks and bonds of gold mine companies, such enemy interests will be taken over by the Alien Property Custodian. The interest of German subjects resident in this country will
not be touched. Not printed