740.00112A European War 1939/555

Press Release Issued by the Department of State, July 17, 1941

As a further step in view of the unlimited national emergency declared by the President, he has today issued a proclamation1 authorizing the promulgation of a list of persons which will be known as “The Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals”.2 The list will consist of certain persons deemed to be acting for the benefit of Germany or Italy or nationals of those countries and persons to whom the exportation directly or indirectly, of various articles or materials is deemed to be detrimental to the interest of national defense. The list will be prepared by the Secretary of State acting in conjunction with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Administrator of Export Control, and the Coordinator of Commercial and Cultural Relations between the American Republics.3

Simultaneously with the issuance of the proclamation, a proclaimed list was issued by the designated Government officials containing the names of more than 1800 persons and business institutions in the other American Republics. This list is the result of long and intensive investigations and studies by the interested governmental agencies. The list will be published in the Federal Register and may be obtained in pamphlet form from various governmental institutions and the Federal Reserve Banks. From time to time there will be additions to and deletions from the list which will be made public. [Page 269] The President gave warning that anyone serving as a cloak for a person on the list will have his name added forthwith to the list.

The list will have two principal functions. In the first place, no article covered by the Export Control Act of July 2, 1940,4 may be exported to persons named in the list except under special circumstances. Secondly, persons on the list will be treated as though they were nationals of Germany or Italy within the meaning of Executive Order No. 8389, as amended,5 under which, on June 14, 1941, the freezing control was extended to all of the countries of the continent of Europe and nationals thereof.

At the time of the issuance of the proclamation, it was also announced that in attaining the objectives of Executive Order No. 8389, as amended, all efforts are being made to cause the least possible interference with legitimate inter-American trade. With that end in view the Treasury Department has issued a general license with respect to inter-American trade transactions and the financial transactions incidental thereto involving persons in the other American republics who may be nationals of a European country designated in the order. This general license will permit such classes of transactions without the necessity of applying for specific licenses.

The general license, however, will not apply to persons so long as their names appear on the proclaimed list. In addition, exporters and importers in the United States may from time to time be advised by their banks or otherwise that instructions have been issued by the Secretary of the Treasury requiring specific license applications for trade transactions involving certain persons in the other American republics who are not named on the proclaimed list.

Furthermore, financial transactions which are not incidental to licensed trade transactions are not covered by the general license. With respect to such purely financial transactions, appropriate specific licenses will have to be obtained from the Treasury Department.

The proclaimed list will also serve as a guide to United States firms in the selection of agents and representatives in the other American republics.

  1. 55 Stat. (pt. 2) 1657.
  2. On July 17, 1941, Sumner Welles, Under Secretary of State and Chairman of the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee, made a statement to the Committee on this action by President Roosevelt. The statement was sent to the Embassy in Brazil in telegram No. 549 of July 17, the same telegram on the same date to the Legation in Haiti as No. 148, and as a circular telegram to the other American Republics (740.00112A European War, 1939/2a).
  3. Designated as the Interdepartmental Committee on the Proclaimed List, the chairman of which was Assistant Secretary of State Dean Acheson.
  4. 54 Stat. 714.
  5. Dated June 14, 1941; for text, see 6 Federal Register 2905.