Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939

Contents:
Author: Franklin D. Roosevelt  | Date: September 5, 1939

121 Proclamation 2348 Proclaiming the Neutrality of the United States.
September 5, 1939

Whereas a state of war unhappily exists between Germany and France; Poland; and the United Kingdom, India, Australia and New Zealand;

AND WHEREAS the United States is on terms of friendship and amity with the contending powers, and with the persons inhabiting their several dominions;

AND WHEREAS there are nationals of the United States residing within the territories or dominions of each of the said belligerents, and carrying on commerce, trade, or other business or pursuits therein;

AND WHEREAS there are nationals of each of the said belligerents residing within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States, and carrying on commerce, trade, or other business or pursuits therein;

AND WHEREAS the laws and treaties of the United States, without interfering with the free expression of opinion and sympathy, nevertheless impose upon all persons who may be within their territory and jurisdiction the, duty of an impartial neutrality during the existence of the contest;

AND WHEREAS it is the duty of a neutral Government not to permit or suffer the making of its territory or territorial waters subservient to the purposes of war;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, in order to preserve the neutrality of the United States and of its citizens and of persons within its territory and jurisdiction, and to enforce its laws and treaties, and in order that all persons, being warned of the general tenor of the laws and treaties of the United States in this behalf, and of the law of nations, may thus be prevented from any violation of the same, do hereby declare and proclaim that by certain provisions of the act approved on the 4th day of March, A.D. 1909, commonly known as the "Penal Code of the United States" and of the act approved on the 15th day of June, A.D. 1917, the following acts are forbidden to be done, under severe penalties, within the territory and jurisdiction of the United States, to wit:

1. Accepting and exercising a commission to serve one of the said belligerents by land or by sea against an opposing belligerent.

2. Enlisting or entering into the service of a belligerent as a soldier, or as a marine, or seaman on board of any ship of war, letter of marque, or privateer.

3. Hiring or retaining another person to enlist or enter himself in the service of a belligerent as a soldier, or as a marine, or seaman on board of any ship of war, letter of marque, or privateer.

4. Hiring another person to go beyond the limits or jurisdiction of the United States with intent to be enlisted as aforesaid.

5. Hiring another person to go beyond the limits or jurisdiction of the United States with intent to be entered into service as aforesaid.

6. Retaining another person to go beyond the limits or jurisdiction of the United States to be enlisted as aforesaid.

7. Retaining another person to go beyond the limits or jurisdiction of the United States with intent to be entered into service as aforesaid. (But the said act of the 4th day of March, A.D. 1909, as amended by the act of the 15th day of June, A.D. 1917, is not to be construed to extend to a citizen or subject of a belligerent who, being transiently within the jurisdiction of the United States, shall, on board of any ship of war, which, at the time of its arrival within the jurisdiction of the United States, was fitted and equipped as such ship of war, enlist or enter himself or hire or retain another subject or citizen of the same belligerent, who is transiently within the jurisdiction of the United States, to enlist or enter himself to serve such belligerent on board such ship of war, if the United States shall then be at peace with such belligerent.)

8. Fitting out and arming, or attempting to fit out and arm, or procuring to be fitted out and armed, or knowingly being concerned in the furnishing, fitting out, or arming of any ship or vessel with intent that such ship or vessel shall be employed in the service of one of the said belligerents to cruise, or commit hostilities against the subjects, citizens, or property of an opposing belligerent.

9. Issuing or delivering a commission within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States for any ship or vessel to the intent that she may be employed as aforesaid.

10. Increasing or augmenting, or procuring to be increased or augmented, or knowingly being concerned in increasing or augmenting, the force of any ship of war, cruiser, or other armed vessel, which at the time of her arrival within the jurisdiction of the United States was a ship of war, cruiser, or armed vessel in the service of a belligerent, or belonging to a national thereof, by adding to the number of guns of such vessel, or by changing those on board of her for guns of a larger caliber, or by the addition thereto of any equipment solely applicable to war.

11. Knowingly beginning or setting on foot or providing or preparing a means for or furnishing the money for, or taking part in, any military or naval expedition or enterprise to be carried on from the territory or jurisdiction of the United States against the territory or dominion of a belligerent.

12. Despatching from the United States; or any place subject to the jurisdiction thereof, any vessel, domestic or foreign, which is about to carry to a warship, tender, or supply ship of a belligerent any fuel, arms, ammunition, men, supplies, despatches, or information shipped or received on board within the jurisdiction of the United States.

13. Despatching from the United States, or any place subject to the jurisdiction thereof, any armed vessel owned wholly or in part by American citizens, or any vessel, domestic or foreign (other than one which has entered the jurisdiction of the United States as a public vessel), which is manifestly built for warlike purposes or has been converted or adapted from a private vessel to one suitable for warlike use, and which is to be employed to cruise against or commit or attempt to commit hostilities upon the subjects, citizens, or property of a belligerent nation, or which will be sold or delivered to a belligerent nation, or to an agent, officer, or citizen thereof, within the jurisdiction of the United States, or, having left that jurisdiction, upon the high seas.

14. Despatching from the United States, or any place subject to the jurisdiction thereof, any vessel built, armed, or equipped as a ship of war, or converted from a private vessel into a ship of war (other than one which has entered the jurisdiction of the United States as a public vessel), with any intent or under any agreement or contract, written or oral, that such vessel shall be delivered to a belligerent nation, or to any agent, officer, or citizen of such nation, or where there is reasonable cause to believe that the said vessel shall or will be employed in the service of such belligerent nation after its departure from the jurisdiction of the United States.

15. Taking, or attempting or conspiring to take, or authorizing the taking of any vessel out of port or from the jurisdiction of the United States in violation of the said act of the 15th day of June, A.D. 1917, as set forth in the preceding paragraphs numbered 11 to 14 inclusive.

16. Leaving or attempting to leave the jurisdiction of the United States by a person belonging to the armed land or naval forces of a belligerent who shall have been interned within the jurisdiction of the United States in accordance with the law of nations, or leaving or attempting to leave the limits of internment in which freedom of movement has been allowed, without permission from the proper official of the United States in charge, or willfully overstaying a leave of absence granted by such official.

17. Aiding or enticing any interned person to escape or attempt to escape from the jurisdiction of the United States, or from the limits of internment prescribed.

And I do hereby further declare and proclaim that any frequenting and use of the waters within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States by the vessels of a belligerent, whether public ships or privateers for the purpose of preparing for hostile operations, or as posts of observation upon the ships of war or privateers or merchant vessels of an opposing belligerent must be regarded as unfriendly and offensive, and in violation of that neutrality which it is the determination of this Government to observe; and to the end that the hazard and inconvenience of such apprehended practices may be avoided, I further proclaim and declare that from and after the fifth day of September instant, and so long as this proclamation shall be in effect, no ship of war or privateer of any belligerent shall be permitted to make use of any. port, harbor, roadstead, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States as a station or place of resort for any warlike purpose or for the purpose of obtaining warlike equipment; no privateer of a belligerent shall be permitted to depart from any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; and no ship of war of a belligerent shall be permitted to sail out of or leave any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States from which a vessel of an opposing belligerent (whether the same shall be a ship of war or a merchant ship) shall have previously departed, until after the expiration of at least twenty-four hours from the departure of such last mentioned vessel beyond the jurisdiction of the United States.

If any ship of war of a belligerent shall, after the time this notification takes effect, be found in, or shall enter any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, such vessel shall not be permitted to remain in such port, harbor, roadstead, or waters more than twenty-four hours, except in case of stress of weather, or for delay in receiving supplies or repairs, or when detained by the United States; in any of which cases the authorities of the port, or of the nearest port (as the case may be), shall require her to put to sea as soon as the cause of the delay is at an end, unless within the preceding twenty-four hours a vessel, whether ship of war or merchant ship of an opposing belligerent, shall have departed therefrom, in which case the time limit for the departure of such ship of war shall be extended so far as may be necessary to secure an interval of not less than twenty-four hours between such departure and that of any ship of war or merchant ship of an opposing belligerent which may have previously quit the same port, harbor, roadstead, or waters.

Vessels used exclusively for scientific, religious, or philanthropic purposes are exempted from the foregoing provisions as to the length of time ships of war may remain in the ports, harbors, roadsteads, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

The maximum number of ships of war belonging to a belligerent and its allies which may. be in one of the ports, harbors, or roadsteads subject to the jurisdiction of the United States simultaneously shall be three.

When ships of war of opposing belligerents are present simultaneously in the same port, harbor, roadstead, or waters, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, the one entering first shall depart first, unless she is in such condition as to warrant extending her stay. In any case the ship which arrived later has the right to notify the other through the competent local authority that within twenty-four hours she will leave such port, harbor, roadstead, or waters, the one first entering, however, having the right to depart within that time. If the one first entering leaves, the notifying ship must observe the prescribed interval of twenty-four hours. If a delay beyond twenty-four hours from the time of arrival is granted, the termination of the cause of delay will be considered the time of arrival in deciding the right of priority in departing.

Vessels of a belligerent shall not be permitted to depart successively from any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at such intervals as will. delay the departure of a ship of war of an opposing belligerent from such ports, harbors, roadsteads, or waters for more than twenty-four hours beyond her desired time of sailing. If, however, the departure of several ships of war and merchant ships of opposing belligerents from the same port, harbor, roadstead, or waters is involved, the order of their departure therefrom shall be so arranged as to afford the opportunity of leaving alternately to the vessels of the opposing belligerents, and to cause the least detention consistent with the objects of this proclamation.

All belligerent vessels shall refrain from use of their radio and signal apparatus while in the harbors, ports, roadsteads, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, except for calls of distress and communications connected with safe navigation or arrangements for the arrival of the vessel within, or departure from, such harbors, ports, roadsteads, or waters, or passage through such waters, provided that such communications will not be of direct material aid to the belligerent in the conduct of military operations against an opposing belligerent. The radio of belligerent merchant vessels may be sealed by the authorities of the United States, and such seals shall not be broken within the jurisdiction of the United States except by proper authority of the United States.

No ship of war of a belligerent shall be permitted, while in any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, to take in any supplies except provisions and such other things as may be requisite for the subsistence of her crew in amounts necessary to bring Such supplies to her peace standard, and except such fuel, lubricants, and feed water only as may be sufficient, with that already on board, to carry such vessel, if without any sail power, to the nearest port of her own country; or in case a vessel is rigged to go under sail, and may also be propelled by machinery, then half the quantity of fuel, lubricants, and feed water which she would be entitled to have on board, if dependent upon propelling machinery alone, and no fuel, lubricants, or feed water shall be again supplied to any such ship of water in the same or any other port, harbor, roadstead, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States until after the expiration of three months from the time when such fuel, lubricants and feed water may have been last supplied to her within waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The amounts of fuel, lubricants, and feed water allowable under the above provisions shall be based on the economical speed of the vessel, plus an allowance of thirty per centum for eventualities.

No ship of war of a belligerent shall be permitted, while in any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, to make repairs beyond those that are essential to render the vessel seaworthy and which in no degree constitute an increase in her military strength. Repairs shall be made without delay. Damages which are found to have been produced by the enemy’s fire shall in no case be repaired.

No ship of war of a belligerent shall effect repairs or receive fuel, lubricants, feed water, or provisions within the jurisdiction of the United States without written authorization of the proper authorities of the United States. Before such authorization will be issued, the commander of the vessel shall furnish to such authorities a written declaration, duly signed by such commander, stating the date, port, and amounts of supplies last received in the jurisdiction of the United States, the amounts of fuel, lubricants, feed water, and provisions on board, the port to which the vessel is proceeding, the economical speed of the vessel, the rate of consumption of fuel, lubricants, and feed water at such speed, and the amount of each class of supplies desired. If repairs are desired, a similar declaration shall be furnished stating the cause of the damage and the nature of the repairs. In either case, a certificate shall be included to the effect that the desired services are in accord with the rules of the United States in that behalf.

No agency of the United States Government shall, directly or indirectly, provide supplies or effect repairs to a belligerent ship of war.

No vessel of a belligerent shall exercise the right of search ’within the waters under the jurisdiction of the United States, nor shall prizes be taken by belligerent vessels within such waters. Subject to any applicable treaty provisions in force, prizes captured by belligerent vessels shall not enter any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters under the jurisdiction of the United States except in case of unseaworthiness, stress of weather, or want of fuel or provisions; when the cause has disappeared, the prize must leave immediately, and if a prize captured by a belligerent vessel enters any port, harbor, roadstead, or waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States for any other reason than on account of unseaworthiness, stress of weather, or want of fuel or provisions, or fails to leave as soon as the circumstances which justified the entrance are at an end, the prize with its officers and crew will be released and the prize crew will be interned. A belligerent Prize Court cannot be set upon territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or on a vessel in the ports, harbors, roadsteads, or/waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

The provisions of this proclamation pertaining to ships of war shall apply equally to any vessel operating under public control for hostile or military purposes.

And I do further declare and proclaim that the statutes and the treaties of the United States and the law/of nations alike require that no person, within the territory and jurisdiction of the United States, shall take part, directly or indirectly, in the said war, but shall remain at peace with all of the said belligerents, and shall maintain a strict and impartial neutrality.

AND I do further declare and proclaim that the provisions of this proclamation shall apply to the Canal Zone except in so far as such provisions may be specifically modified by a proclamation or proclamations issued for the Canal Zone.

And I do hereby enjoin all nationals of the United States, and all persons residing or being within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States, to observe the laws thereof, and to commit no act contrary to the provisions of the said statutes or treaties or in violation of the law of nations in that behalf.

And I do hereby give notice that all nationals of the United States and others who may claim the protection of this Government, who may misconduct themselves in the premises, will do so at their peril, and that they can in no wise obtain any protection from the Government of the United States against the consequences of their misconduct.

This proclamation shall continue in full force and effect unless and until modified, revoked or otherwise terminated, pursuant to law.

Contents:

Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options


Title: Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: Franklin D. Roosevelt, "121 Proclamation 2348 Proclaiming the Neutrality of the United States.," Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939 in Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1938-1950), Item 174 Original Sources, accessed September 22, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DJZRJPU8RCIQTQM.

MLA: Roosevelt, Franklin D. "121 Proclamation 2348 Proclaiming the Neutrality of the United States." Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939, in Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1938-1950), Item 174, Original Sources. 22 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DJZRJPU8RCIQTQM.

Harvard: Roosevelt, FD, '121 Proclamation 2348 Proclaiming the Neutrality of the United States.' in Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939. cited in , Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939 (New York: Russell & Russell, 1938-1950), Item 174. Original Sources, retrieved 22 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DJZRJPU8RCIQTQM.