740.61112A/4–845: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Harriman )

819. Following are answers to questions concerning Proclaimed List:

(1) Proclaimed List was authorized by Presidential Proclamation of July 17, 1941 under authority vested in the President by Trading with the Enemy Act, Section 5(b) of Act of October 6, 1917 [Page 836] (40 Stat. 415), as amended, and section 6 of Act of July 2, 1940 (54 Stat. 714).

Proclaimed List is a list basically designed to identify persons and firms abroad with respect to whom any transactions subject to control of the United States Government are prohibited except under license. With the advent of General Ruling No. 11, issued by Treasury Department under date of March 18, 1942,28 persons and firms thereafter included in List became “enemy nationals” under Trading with the Enemy Act, and thus trade and communication with them became completely proscribed. Thus, underlying objective of list is to prevent trading, financial or other transactions which benefit the enemy.

Broadly speaking, listing has been directed against persons and firms considered to be part and parcel of enemy plan of economic aggression, such as enemy-controlled firms, persons having enemy government ties and such other persons and firms actively contributing to enemy war effort.

(2) Allied official sources have been utilized to fullest extent to obtain evidence on which listing has been based, including, but not by way of limitation, censorship intelligence and reports from allied missions in the field.

(3) Proclaimed List is administered by an Interdepartmental Committee composed of representatives of Departments of State, Treasury, Justice and Commerce, Office of Inter-American Affairs and Foreign Economic Administration.29 British and Canadian observers also attend Committee meetings.

(4) Proclaimed and Statutory Lists are identical except for very few discrepancies which are largely due to circumstances of publication. Western Hemisphere names appear in Proclaimed List first and subsequently in Statutory List, while Eastern Hemisphere names appear first in Statutory List.

(5) While both Governments maintain their freedom of action to list without agreement of the other, in practice unanimity has been regarded as so desirable that there are no instances in which disagreement has resulted in divergence between lists.

(6) Action is taken on basis of joint recommendations from interested American and British missions. These recommendations are considered in either the British or American Committees, depending upon whether they arise in Western or Eastern Hemisphere.

(7) With respect to postwar list, US and UK Governments issued public statement simultaneously on September 26, 1944,30 text of which was transmitted to you in Department’s 341 of November 2, 1944.31

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(8) There are a few firms which were included in Proclaimed List because they were controlled from enemy countries other than Germany, Italy or Japan. A few firms and individuals were also listed because of dealings with such enemy countries. It would not be possible, however, to segregate these names from others appearing in published list.

(9) Same as (8) above, except that Japanese names and names listed for contribution to Japanese war effort are more numerous.32

(10) Enemy-controlled firms in neutrals are normally listed. Other firms in neutral countries are listed because of commercial, financial and political activities which benefit the enemy, but it has not been our practice to list automatically for trading with the enemy. In each case consideration is given to whether or not listing can be expected to bring about a curtailment of such trade on the part of neutral firm in question or deter others from similar trade. Listing action is also taken to make an example of firms which have gone out of their way to increase their exports to the enemy or to develop new business in goods for which enemy has particular need or to re-export to enemy goods imported through Allied blockade.

(11) It has not been necessary to extend Proclaimed List to persons and firms in enemy and enemy-occupied territory. American interests are prohibited by law from trading or communicating with such territory. This Government does not contemplate post-liberation extension of Proclaimed List to areas formerly occupied by the enemy since reliance will be placed upon governments of liberated areas to deal appropriately with collaborators and other undesirable elements and to control possible enemy activity within such countries.

(12) It has been necessary to maintain Proclaimed List in these countries until such time as they have exercised adequate control over enemy firms and individuals.

Foregoing telegram has been discussed with British here and cable along similar lines will be dispatched shortly from London.

  1. 7 Federal Register 2168.
  2. The chairman was Dean G. Acheson, Assistant Secretary of State.
  3. See circular airgram, September 21, 1944, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. ii, p. 188.
  4. Ibid., p. 193.
  5. In reply to telegram 1142, April 12, 1945, 4 p.m., from Moscow (not printed), the Department stated in telegram 865, April 14, 1 p.m., that it would be possible to furnish the Soviet Government for its information the names of persons and firms listed for dealings or other connections with Japan and the former Axis satellites. (740.61112A/4–1245)