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War Reprint, No. 7

Important Statutes and Executive Proclamations

Issued in the United States from

April, 1917, to May, 1918

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Suggestions for the Use of the Materials

should be used. The following suggestions will illustrate how these and the other statutes may be so assigned to the class that the essential parts of the laws will not be overlooked by the careless reader.

From the text of the Selective Draft Act (page 5) answer the following questions:

What kinds of organizations and what numbers of each is the President authorized to raise by paragraphs 1-7 of Section 1? Which of these are to be raised by voluntary enlistment and which by selective draft?

What persons are liable to the draft? How are the drafted persons apportioned among the States? May a foreigner be drafted ?

Contrast the bounty provision in Section 3 with the policy pursued in the Civil War. Which is the more demo

The World War has led to an intense sharpening of interest among Americans in international relations and world history. Races, countries, and policies hitherto almost unknown to the great body of American citizens, have in a moment become of vital importance to all. And with this new importance has come a truly American desire to understand the significance of the new world movements. Hence, from the public generally, from students in schools and colleges, from teachers, lecturers, and conductors of classes in clubs and camps, has come the demand for information and interpretation.

This pamphlet contains statutes and joint-resolutions of the Congress of the United States from April. 1917, to May, 1918. The aim has been to include those laws and parts of laws which show the manner

lanner in which the country has been legally reorganized to meet war conditions. It cannot be hoped that the selection of statutes will be satisfactory to all, but the list has been made as inclusive as space limitations would permit. No attempt has been made to include all the laws on a given subject, but rather to pick out typical statutes, from which the reader or student can gain an idea of the vastly important legislation of the Sixty-fifth Congress. It has been impossible, too, to print the full text of the longer statutes, some of which, like the Revenue Act of 1917, would occupy fifty of the large pages of the present work. The parts omitted have been indicated in the usual manner (...). The sections included are those which contain general principles of legislation; qualifying clauses and sections have in some cases been cut out. Persons desiring to consult the statutes for legal reasons rather than for general information or historical facts should read the official text published in the “Statutes at Large” or the "slip-laws” of the United States.

What has been said above concerning the laws, holds true also of the Executive Proclamations in this pamphlet. To save space the parts of proclamations which recite a statute or part of a statute have been omitted, as well as the usual form of subscription and seal by the President and Secretary.

The United States statutes and proclamations show the means by which a peaceful nation reorganized its military system, its trade and industries, and its finance in order to devote all its energies to winning the war. Such material is somewhat difficult to use in school and college classes unless the assignments of topics and questions are most carefully made by the instructor. Occasionally the briefer statutes may be assigned entire for close study and analysis; but for the longer documents a more intensive method

Can you give satisfactory reasons why each of the classes of of persons mentioned in Section 4 should be exempt?

Sketch the organization by which persons are registered for the draft, and the method by which exemptions are determined.

What official persons may the President call upon for as. sistance in the draft? What penalties are imposed for refusal or neglect to perform such duty ?

What powers are given to the President to safeguard the morals of the army?

Compare the text of this Act with the proclamation of the President for the registration on June 5, 1917 (page ").

The following topics and problems are based upon the Act of August 10, 1917 (page 13), giving the President power to control food and fuel:

Giv, in brief the purposes of the Act.

What agencies may the President use to enforce the Act ? What limitations concerning contracts are imposed upon these persons and agencies? Why are these imposed ? What acts are made unlawful by Section 4 ?

For what classes of acts may licenses be required under Section 5? What is the advantage of a license system? Who are exempt from the license system? Why so exempt?

What punishment may be inflicted upon hoarders? What becomes of the articles hoarded ?

What powers does the President possess to seize and to sell necessaries ?

What control does he possess over the prices of necessaries, especially wheat ?

What restriction does the Act impose upon the manufacture of distilled liquors? Does this affect breweries?

When shall the provisions of this Act cease to have effect?

Outline the powers of the President over the fuel supply.

State from your own knowledge or other sources how the food and fuel control has been exercised in your locality.

A similar treatment of the other statutes and of the Executive Proclamations will bring out the significant parts of each document. Only by such means can a class be led to use with profit legal documents of this character.




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Declaration of War with Germany, April 6, 1917 ...... 5 Authorization of Taking Over of Enemy Vessels, May 12, 1917 ..................

.............. 5 Selective Draft Act, May 18, 1917 .......

5 Espionage Act, June 15, 1917 ....................... 9 - Act to Punish Obstructing Transportation, and Estab

lishing Priorities, August 10, 1917 ...... ........ 13 Act Authorizing Control of Food and Fuel, August 10, 1917 ..........

.......... 13 Second Liberty Loan Act, September 24, 1917 ......... 18 - Act Creating an Aircraft Board, October 1, 1917 ...... 19 War Revenue Act, October 3, 1917 ........ .......... 19 Act Permitting Foreign Vessels in Coastwise Trade, October 6, 1917 ............

........... 26 Act to Prevent the Publication of Certain Inventions, October 6, 1917 ......

......... 26

War Risk Insurance Act, October 6, 1917 ........ Trading with the Enemy Act, October 6, 1917 ......... 28 Declaration of War with Austria-Hungary, December 7, 1917 .......

........ 30 Act to Provide Housing for Fleet Workers, March 1, 1918 .......

........ 30 Act to Protect the Civil Rights of Persons in the Mili

tary and Naval Establishments, March 8, 1918 ...... 31 Daylight Saving Law, March 19, 1918 ............... 32 Act to Authorize Control of Transportation Systems,

March 21, 1918 ....... War Finance Corporation Act, April 5, 1918 .......... 34 Resolution Changing Apportionment of Draft, May 16, 1918 .......

........... Resolution Extending Draft Provisions, May 20, 1918 . 36 Overman Bill, May 20, 1918 ......




April 6, 1917, to April 10, 1918



Proclamation Announcing the Taking Over of Railroads, December 26, 1917

....... Proclamation Calling for Reduction of Consumption of

Wheat and Meat, January 18, 1918 ................

Proclamation of State of War and of Alien Enemy Regulations, April 6, 1917 ........

..... 37 Proclamation Concerning Treason, April 16, 1917 .... 38 Proclamation Calling for Registration Under the Draft Act, May 18, 1917 ...

.......... 39 Proclamation Concerning the Panama Canal, May 23, 1917 . ...........

....................... 40 Proclamation Restricting Exports of Coin, September 7, 1917

.......... 40 Proclamation Concerning Food Licenses, October 8, 1917 41 \Proclamation Relating to Second Liberty Loan, October 12, 1917 .......

...... 42


Proclamation Concerning Exports, February 14, 1918 .. Proclamation Directing the Taking Over of Dutch Ves. sels, March 20, 1918 ........

......... Explanatory Statement Concerning the Same ........ Proclamation Concerning the National War Labor

Board, April 8, 1918 ............. ...... 45 Priorities List for Supply of Fuel, April 10, 1918 ...... 46/ DECLARATION OF WAR with GERMANY, APRIL 6, 1917.1 Whereas the Imperial German Government has committed

Statutes of the United States Relating to the State of War

April 6, 1917, to May 20, 1918

repeated acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That

That the state of war between the United States and the Imperial German Government which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and

reby formally declared; ang that the President be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial German Government; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Con gress of the United States. Approved, April 6, 1917. JOINT RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE TAKING OVER OF

ENEMY VESSELS, MAY 12, 1917. Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of

o the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to take over to the United States the immediate possession and title of any vessel within the jurisdiction thereof, including the Canal Zone and all territories and insular possessions of the United States except the American Virgin Islands, which at the time of coming into such jurisdiction was owned in whole or in part by any corporation, citizen, or subject of any nation with which the United States may be at war when such vessel shall be taken, or was flying the flag of or was under register of any such nation or any political subdivision or municipality thereof; and, through the United States Shipping Board, or any department or agency of the Government, to operate, lease, charter, and equip such vessel in any service of the United States, or in any commerce, foreign or coastwise.

Sec. 2. That the Secretary of the Navy be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to appoint, subject to the approval of the President, a board of survey, whose duty it shall be to ascertain the actual value of the vessel, its equipment, appurtenances, and all property contained therein, at the time of its taking, and to make a written report of their findings to the Secretary of the Navy, who shall preserve such report with the records of his department. These findings shall be considered as competent evidence in all proceedings on any claim for compensation. Approved, May 12, 1917.

SELECTIVE DRAFT Act, May 18, 1917.2 An Act to authorize the President to increase temporarily

the Military Establishment of the United States. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives

1 For the President's proclamations concerning the state of war, responsibilities of aliens, and treasonable acts, see pages 37-38.

? For the President's proclamation setting June 5, 1917, as registration day, see p. 39.

of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in view of the existing emergency, which demands the raising of troops in addition to those now available, the President be, and he is hereby, authorized

First. Immediately to raise, organize, officer, and equip all or such number of increments of the Regular Army provided by the national defense Act approved June third, nineteen hundred and sixteen, or such parts tbareof as he may deem necessary; to raise all organizations of the Regular Army, including those added by such increments, to the maximum enlisted strength authorized by law. ...

Second. To draft into the military service of the United States, organize, and officer, in accordance with the provisions of section one hundred and eleven of said national defense Act, so far as the provisions of said section may be applicable and not inconsistent with the terms of this Act, any or all members of the National Guard and of the National Guard Reserves, and said members so drafted into the military service of the United States shall serve therein for the period of the existing emergency unless sooner discharged: Provided, That when so drafted the organizations or units of the National Guard shall, so far as practicable, retain the State designations of their respective organizations.

Third. To raise by draft as herein provided, organize and equip an additional force of five hundred thousand enlisted men, or such part or parts thereof as he may at any time deem necessary, and to provide the necessary officers, line and staff, for said force and for organizations of the other forces hereby authorized, or by combining organizations of said other forces, by ordering members of the Officers' Reserve Corps to temporary duty in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-eight of the national defense Act visions of section thirte. approved June third, nineteen hundred and sixteen; by appointment from the Regular Army, the Officers' Reserve Corps, from those duly qualified and registered pursuant to section twenty-three of the Act of Congress approved January twenty-first, nineteen hundred and three (Thirty-second Statutes at Large, page seven hundred and seventy-five), from the members of the National Guard drafted into the service of the United States, from those who have been graduated from educational institutions at which military instruction is compulsory, or from those who have had honorable service in the Regular Army, the National Guard, or in the volunteer forces, or from the country at large; by assigning retired officers of the Regular Army to active duty with such force with their rank on the retired list and the full pay and allowances of their grade; or by the appointment of retired officers and enlisted men, active or retired, of the Regular Army as commissioned officers in such forces: Provided, That the organization of said force shall be the same as that of the corresponding organizations of the Regular Army: Provided further, That the President is authorized to increase or decrease the number of organizations prescribed for the typical brigades, divisions, or army corps of the Regular Army, and to prescribe such new and different organizations and personnel for army corps, divi. sions, brigades, regiments, battalions, squadrons, companies, troops, and batteries as the efficiency of the service may require: Provided further, That the number of organi

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