Page 3730

3730 UNIVERSAL HISTORY- THE MODERN WORLD.

subject to special wartime laws and regulations, but the Trading with the Enemy

Act of October 6, 1917, provided for the

taking over by the Government of all

property in the United States belonging

to enemy subjects or subjects of nations

allied with the enemy. Enemy subjects

residing within the United States were,

however, excluded from the terms of the

act, and might, unless interned, continue,

under certain restrictions, to conduct their

business. On the other hand, Americans

residing within the enemy lines were

made subject to the act. One of the main

objects of the act was, in fact, to prevent

our enemies from controlling or deriving

any profit from property in America.

The act created the office of Alien

Property Custodian, and to this post

President Wilson appointed A. Mitchell

Palmer of Pennsylvania, a former member

of the House of Representatives. Palmer

displayed great energy in this work and

managed to unearth and seize many

hundred millions of dollars worth of bonds,

stocks, real estate, merchandise and

other forms of alien-owned property. The

final disposition of this property was to

rest with Congress. Some of it was sold

and the proceeds were invested in Liberty

Bonds! The property of well-behaved

alien enemies resident in the United States

was generally left unmolested, however.

By the close of the war German financial

influence in the United States had been

almost wholly eliminated. That influence

had often been used in ways detrimental

to the best interests of the country.

A good example of the extent to which

German interests had developed in the

United States was revealed in the investigation of the activities in America of

the Deutsche Bank of Berlin. This great

financial institution had played a large

and important part in German imperial

expansion throughout the world. The

investigation revealed a number of schemes,

one of them being a plan to corner the wool

supply of the United States for after-the-war consumption in Germany. The

importance of German woolen interests

in this country was further disclosed when

the Alien Property Custodian seized six

great German-owned woolen mills in New

Jersey, valued at more than $70,000,000.

German firms and individuals were also

largely interested in cotton, and several

large groups of corporations which had

engaged in a scheme to supply Germany

with cotton were taken over.

The effect of the operation of German

interests upon the conduct of the war

was shown in the case of a corporation

referred to as the "L. C. Company,"

which was capitalized at more than

$50,000,000. It was one of the largest

coke concerns in the United States, and,

until America entered the war, the Germans represented in the ownership were

able to keep all of its trinitrotoluol (TNT)

by-products out of Allied hands, although

the stockholders lost a huge sum of money

by doing so. The company was reorganized under American control, and

its TNT by-products were made available

for the Allies and the United States.

Another great concern, the Transatlantic

Trust Company, was taken over on the

ground that the majority of the stock

was owned by the Austro-Hungarian

Government, which acted through three

Budapest banks.

From the beginning of the war and

even before, German propagandists had

been active in all parts of the world.

They were often clumsy, and their falsehoods were often too obvious to deceive

any but the most credulous, and yet they

accomplished a great deal for the German

cause, especially in some neutral countries.

For example, the extent of pro-German

feeling in the United States before our

entering the war was in no small measure

due to German propaganda and to their

shrewd and unscrupulous use of certain

organizations such as the German-American Alliance.

According to statements given out in

Washington in the summer of 1918, the

sum of $30,000,000 was set aside by

Germany and Austria-Hungary to influence public opinion in the United

States. A sensational phase of Teutonic

activities in such matters was revealed