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subjects in Germany received by the Alien Property Custodian in settlement of such estates.

WASHINGTON, February 23, 1918.

File No. 763.72113/462
The Secretary of State to Messrs. Briesen & Schrenk, New York City

WASHINGTON, March 5, 1918. GENTLEMEN : The Department acknowledges the receipt of your letter of February 18, 1918, in which you request to be informed as to the procedure which Mr. Paul Hagspihl, an enemy alien, at present interned at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., must follow in order to draw upon the personal funds at present deposited with the Equitable Trust Co., of New York City.

In reply the Department begs to inform you that it has been advised by the Alien Property Custodian that in the cases of interned enemy aliens who come within the proclamation of the President of February 5, 1918, he is requiring to be turned over to him only the property of such enemies as may be in excess of $5,000. Furthermore, the Department understands that the War Trade Board is shortly to issue a general license to this class of interned aliens to draw for relief on such of their personal property as may not be taken over by the Alien Property Custodian.

In view of the above, the Department believes that inasmuch as Mr. Hagspihl appears to have on deposit with the Equitable Trust Co. only about $1,500 or $1,600, he will be authorized to draw upon this amount as soon as the above-mentioned general license shall have been issued by the War Trade Board. I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:

ALVEY A. ADEE Second Assistant Secretary

File No. 763.72113/452
The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in Switzerland


[Telegram] WASHINGTON, March 12, 1918, " p. m.

ny 1605. Your 2547, January 31, 7 p. m. According to statement of Alien Property Custodian, under Trading with the Enemy Act residence, not nationality, is made primary test of enemy character. Any person residing within territory of enemy, including that occupied by armed forces of enemy, or any person residing outside United States and doing business within such territory, whether such person be a subject of enemy country or not, comes within definition of word “enemy” as used in the act. An American citizen, therefore, resident in Germany, would be within the enemy class and his property in this country might be taken in charge by Alien Property Custodian and administered in pursuance of the act. Whether a person is a resident, however, is to be determined upon facts of a particular case. An American citizen who is in enemy country under such circumstances as do not make him a resident therein, would not come within enemy class and his property would not be taken over by Alien Property Custodian under the act.

1 Not printed.

The Custodian states further that it is his policy to demand such property, giving the person to whom demand is issued, 15 days in which to show cause why property should not be taken over, and that in a great many cases property of this nature has actually been taken in charge.


File No. 763.72113/485
The Chargé in Denmark (Grant-Smith) to the Secretary of State


COPENHAGEN, March 16, 1918.

[Received 11.03 p. m.] 2051. For War Trade Board from Owen:1 Following from Deutscher Reichsanzeiger, Berlin, March 11, 1918: Official order regarding liquidation of American enterprises of March 4, 1918, on ground of article 12, paragraph 2, of act relating to liquidation of British enterprises of 31st July 1916 (ReichsGesetzblatt, p. 871), following is enacted:

ARTICLE 1. Regulations of act regarding liquidation of British enterprises of 31st July 1916 are declared in the way of reprisal as applicable to enterprises, whose capital belongs predominantly to citizens of United States of America, or which are managed or controlled from the territory of the United States of America, or which were until the outbreak of the war managed or controlled therefrom, as well as to the interests of citizens of the United States of America in such enterprises.

William H. Owen, of the Bureau of Foreign Agents, War Trade Board.

59665-33— 19

ART. 2. This order goes into effect the day of announcement.

Berlin, March 4, 1918, signed Freiherr von Stein, representing Imperial Chancellor. For act of 31st July, 1916, see Kriegs-Notgesetze, Library, Department of State.


File No. 763.72113/489

The French Ambassador (Jusserand) to the Secretary of State


WASHINGTON, March 17, 1918.

[Received March 20.] MR. SECRETARY OF STATE: In view of the provisions of the Trading with the Enemy Act which at present prevent the Federal Government from adhering, as it had been earnestly entreated to do by the French, British, and Belgian Governments, to the draft of declaration adopted by those three Governments at the Paris conference of October 9, 1917, to secure the protection of private interests in territory occupied by the enemy, I had orally inquired of the Department of State whether the act could be amended. Inasmuch as this is an urgent question, and as the enemy, believing he has no serious consequences to fear, continues his depredations, I had asked whether immediate publicity could not at least be given to the fact that the Federal Administration, for its part, stood in favor of the principles stated in the Belgian Minister's communication of January 10 last’ and commended to Your Excellency's attention by my note of the 19th of the same month.3

My Government has just made known to me the great value it attaches to having action taken on that suggestion, both for the effect it is likely to work on the Germans and from the standpoint of public opinion in France, which is alarmed at the announcement of the liquidation of German property in the United States and fears that the measure may involve the liquidation of French property seized by the German authorities.

In this connection, the Government of the Republic wishes me to point out to Your Excellency that such a liquidation of enemy property may be fraught with serious consequences to the French and Belgians. If the relative proportion of seized property be taken into account, American and English interests stand in inverse ratio


* See ante, pp. 274-276.

* Ante, p. 274.

* Ante, p. 278.

to the Belgian and French interests, and while it is deemed necessary for the common good to take measures that run counter to the last-named interests, it is no less indispensable, in my Government's opinion, that a palliation of their effects be sought by the Allies. A public declaration by the American Administration above mentioned, expressing a desire to hold jointly with France, England, and Belgium enemy property as a common surety, would be regarded by us as one of the most effective means of achieving that object.

I am in position to add that the French Government is now drawing up a bill which places a lien upon enemy property sequestered by us as security for French property seized by the Germans, and, in the event of a convention, as security for all Allied property now in the hands of the enemy.

Under the circumstances, I venture again to commend to the benevolent attention of the Government of the United States the suggestion previously offered by me. I should be glad if the Federal Government would at the same time consider whether it cannot immediately adhere to the other resolutions in the declaration adopted at the Paris conference of October 9, 1917, and in particular, to that which relates to the Governments' communicating to one another information concerning enemy property lying within their respective territories.1 Be pleased to accept [etc.]


File No. 763.72113/493
The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State

No. 8476

LONDON, March 8, 1918.

[Received March 25.] Sir: In amplification of my cable No. 8913 of March 6 (3 p. m.), I have the honor to transmit, herewith, for your information an extract from Deutscher Reichsanzeiger of February 4 and Münchner Neueste Nachrichten of February 5, 1918, to the effect that on 30th January a notice was issued by the German Imperial Chancellor extending the provision requiring the notification of enemy property in Germany to property of citizens of the United States; also the extension to such citizens of the provisions requiring notification of German claims against enemy subjects. I have [etc.]

(For the Ambassador)


This note was not answered.

Not printed.


Summary of Statements Published in Deutscher Reichsanzeiger,"

February 4, 1918, and Münchner Neueste Nachrichten," February 5, 1918

A notice issued by the Imperial Chancellor under date 30th January extends the provisions requiring notification of enemy property in Germany to the property of the subjects of Japan, Portugal, Italy, the United States, Panama, Cuba, Siam, Liberia, China, and Brazil. This property is to be notified directly to the Trustee for Enemy Property. At the same time the provisions requiring notification of German claims against enemy subjects are extended to claims against the subjects of the United States, Panama, Cuba, Siam, Liberia, China, and Brazil. Only claims which took shape as pecuniary claims before certain fixed dates are notifiable. The fixed dates are as follows: for claims against the United States, 6th April 1917; against Panama, 7th April 1917; against Cuba, 10th April 1917; against Siam, 22d July 1917; against Liberia, 4th August 1917; against China, 14th August 1917; against Brazil, 26th October 1917. Notification must be made directly to the Business Office for Foreign Claims, Berlin.

File No. 763.72113/781
Public Statement by the Alien Property Custodian (Palmer),

March 28, 1918 1

The amendment to the Urgent Deficiency Bill gives the Alien Property Custodian the general power of sale of all property which shall come into his possession under the provisions of the Trading with the Enemy Act. His powers in this regard under the original act were somewhat restricted and he was permitted to sell only if and when necessary to prevent waste and protect the property. These restrictions are now eliminated and he is authorized to sell any and all enemy-owned property in this country. It will not be the policy of the Alien Property Custodian, however, to disturb the private investments of the ordinary individual German subject. The power of sale will be exercised only in cases where in the public interest it seems to be wise to absolutely divorce German capital from American industry and commerce.

In the cases of industrial plants and other businesses situated in this country, which are in effect mere American branches of similar industrial and commercial concerns in the German Empire, plans will be considered to thoroughly Americanize the industries

1 Transmitted in a letter from the Alien Property Custodian to the Secretary of State, Nov. 13, 1918, as “issued on Mar. 28, 1918,” but not found in The Official Bulletin or the New York Times.

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