Page images
PDF
EPUB

Philadelphia, and Prof. Hilprecht also resided in Philadelphia, and had resided there at least since 1888.

At the time of the marriage Mrs. Hilprecht had two sons, one of whom is now deceased and the other is living in the United States. The deceased son subsequently married and has children living in the United States who, of course, are the grandchildren of Mrs. Hilprecht.

As I have stated, Prof. Hilprecht, after his marriage in 1903 continued to reside in Philadelphia and continued to be a professor at the University of Pennsylvania until 1910. He did not take out and never has taken out naturalization papers. He remained a German subject. Whether that was by inadvertence, or for what reason, I do not know; but it is a fact.

In 1914, shortly before the outbreak of the European war, Prof. Hilprecht and his wife went on a pleasure trip to Europe. They frequently went there. Their intention was to return to America. They had gone over to spend the summer. They were in Munich when the war broke out on the 1st of August, 1914.

Prof. Hilprecht was a German subject, of course, in the eye of the German law, and in the eye of our law, by reason of her marriage to Prof. Hilprecht, Mrs. Hilprecht's citizenship was that of her husband. She could not leave Germany, being a German subject, and they remained in Germany during the progress of the war until we declared war upon Germany. When that event happened Mrs. Hilprecht went to Switzerland, where she has since been residing, at Lausanne, in Switzerland. I may say here that she is a cripple and she could not get home because she could not get passports to come home because, according to law, she was a German subject. We have recently arranged a passport for her to come home, and she will come home at such time as she is able to travel.

I will leave with the committee, and if you desire insert in the record as evidencing the fact of the marriage, a certified copy of the application for marriage of Prof. and Mrs. Hilprecht, from records of the State of Pennsylvania.

(The paper referred to is as follows:) STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA,

Philadelphia County, 8: Personally appeared Herman V. Hilprecht, who hereby requests the clerk of the orphans' court for the said county to issue a license for the marriage of himself to Sallie C. Robinson, and who, being duly sworn according to law, doth depose and say that he was born in Anhalt, Germany, on the 28th day of July, A. D. 18.39; that he resides at 1932 Locust Street, Philadelphia ; that his occupation is professor, University of Pennsylvania ; that he is not related by blood or warriage to the person whom he desires to marry; that he has once been married before, and the marriage was dissolved by death at Germany about 1st March, 1902; that Sallie C. Robinson (widow), whom he is about to marry, was born in Chester, Pa., on the 26th day of March, A. D. 1856; that she resides at same address; no occupation; that she has once been married before, and marriage was dissolved by death at Switzerland about 11 years ago; that he knows of no reason why the marriage may not be lawfully made.

HERMAX V. HILPRECHT, Sworn and subscribed before me this 22d day of April, A. D. 1903.

J. Aug. C. GOEBEL. Third Assistant Clerk of Orphans' Court.

[No. 159661 ; Duplicate, filed May 22, 1903.) I, Henry G. Weston, hereby certify that on the 23d day of April, 1903, at Philadelphia, Herman V. Hilprecht and Sallie C. Robinson were by me united in marriage, in accordance with license issued by the clerk of the Orphans' Court of Philadelphia County, Pa., No. 159661.

HENRY G. WESTON,

Jlinister of the Gospel. STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA,

Philadelphia County, ss: I hereby certify the foregoing to be a true and accurate copy of the application for marriage of Herman V. Hilprecht and Sallie C. Robinson, dated the 22d day of April, A. D. 1903; also the return of the officiating clergyman bearing date, April 23, 1903, as the same appears of record in the office of the clerk of the orphans' court of said county.

Witness my hand and seal of said court this 20th day of March, A. D. 1920. [SEAL.]

JAS. B. SHEEŅAN, Clerk of Orphans' Court.

STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, Philadelphia County, ss:

I, Joseph F. Lamorelle, president judge of the Orphans' Court of Philadelphia County, do certify, that the foregoing certificate and attestation, made by James B. Sheehan, Esq., register of wills and ex-officio clerk of said orphans' court, whose name is thereto subscribed and seal of said court affixed, are in due form and made by the proper officer.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, this 20th day of March in the year of our Lord 1920.

LAMORELLE (L. s.]

President Judge.

STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA, Philadelphia County, ss:

I, James B. Sheehan, Esq., register of wills and ex-officio clerk of the orphans' court of Philadelphia County, do certify, that Hon. Joseph L. Lamorelle, by whom the foregoing attestation was made, and who has thereunto subscribed his name, was at the time of making thereof, and still is president judge of the Orphans' Court of Philadelphia County, duly commissioned and sworn; to all whose acts, as such, full faith and credit, are and ought to be given, as well in courts of judicature as elsewhere.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the said court, this 20th day of March in the year of our Lord 1920. [SEAL.]

JAS. B. SHEEHAN, Register of Wills, and ex-officio Clerk of Orphans' Court. The Alien Property Custodian, believing it was his duty under the alien property act, with which I have no quarrel whatever, took over all of the property belonging to Mrs. Hilprecht. She has a large income which she derives from her father's estate and from investments of her own. I have here a schedule of the property which was in the hands of the Alien Property Custodian on the 30th day of November. We have no report from the Alien Property Custodian since that time. But since that time there has gone into the hands of the Alien Property Custodian further moneys and securities belonging to her.

Mr. DEWALT. You say the 30th of November; of what year!

Mr. SCHAFFER. Of 1919, Mr. Dewalt. I will leave that with the committee.

The Alien Property Custodian has taken over property belonging to Mrs. Hilprecht amounting, in round figures, to half a million dollars. Although she is the recipient of a large income under a trust declared for her by her father, and another trust which she declared for herself out of her own possessions, she is penniless in Switzerland and is being provided for by her brothers and sisters.

Now, it seemed to me that a case such as hers ought not to be one in which the United States, representing us all, would deprive her of her property, as only by a legal fiction is she not a citizen of the United States. She is just as much in reality a citizen of the United States as any of us is. She was born here; and, as I have said, she has always resided here. Her children are here and her grandchildren are here, and if the Alien Property Custodian's taking over all of her property shall be continued and her property shall be forfeited to the United States, or be used for the purposes that I understand the funds in the hands of the Alien Property Custodian are to be used for, that is to answer claims of American citizens against Germany, the result will be that, although her citizenship, as I have said, is just as good as mine and just as good as that of any other American-born citizen, she will lose all of her possessions and her children will also lose the benefit of them. There are no children by the second marriage, but her children by her first marriage and her grandchildren by her first marriage are all American born and have always resided here, and they will lose it, and it will not pass to them either by her will or by devolution, as provided by our law in Pennsylvania.

So it seemed to me that such a case as this was one in which the alien property act ought not to operate, and so I provided by this bill that I drew “ that no American woman born in the United States of American parents, also born in the United States, and who prior to April 6, 1917, shall have intermarried in the United States with a subject of the German Empire or a subject of the Empire of AustriaHungary, and at the time of such marriage was living in the United States, shall be deemed or held to be an alien enemy as the result of the war between the United States and the German Empire and between the United States and the Empire of Austria-Hungary. Then, the subsequent sections provide the machinery for getting the property back by a claim before the Alien Property Custodian and his return, with an opportunity to go into the United States district court to establish the claim for her property.

The CHAIRMAN. Why do you say "American parents, also born in the United States” ? What does that add to the situation? If the parents are American citizens, why is it necessary that they should be also of American birth?

Mr. SCHAFFER. I do not think it is. I simply put that in my bill hecause that was the fact in my particular case.

I thought there might be a case in which people of foreign birth had been in the United States and the child had been born here and that child, while born here, had gone back to either Germany or Austria-Hungary. I think I was overly cautious in that respect. I see no reason, if that is the view of the committee or of the chairman, why citizenship ought not to be enough to establish the citizenship of the person whose property was taken over. I was simply following the facts in my own particular case. I wanted to draw a general act to keep out of the way of special legislation. We have à constitutional provision in my own State against special legislation, and while I know there is no constitutional provision of that

[ocr errors]

kind in the Constitution of the United States, yet I know special legislation is very difficult to put through here, and I wanted to draft a general law which would reach everybody with a case similar to that of my own client.

The CHAIRMAN. Was this property taken over by the alien property custodian in the form of liquid assets, or was it corporate property or property which was engaged in manufacture, or anything of that kind ?

Mr. SCHAFFER. There was more than $60,000 in cash taken over. Then there is a long list of securities which she held, stocks and bonds of various corporations which she had inherited, or purchased with her savings, with her own income. Her income amounts, I think, to about $60,000 a year.

The CHAIRMAN. It was not property invested in a plant which was being operated ?

Mr. SCHAFFER. No, sir. And then too in the funds taken over there were $73,000 worth of Liberty bonds.

Mr. BARKLEY. Are any of these securities at all in German industries or German corporations?

Mr. SCHAFFER. No, sir; not a share.

Mr. BARKLEY. They are entirely in American corporations in the United States?

Mr. SCHIAFFER. They are entirely in American corporations.

Mr. BARKLEY. I notice you use the language in the bill, “Shall not be deemed an alien enemy as a result of the war.” Would it not be better to change that a little so as to say shall not be deemed or held to be an alien enemy within the meaning of the act creating the alien property custodian”? There might be some other relationship that might exist that we would not want repealed.

Mr. SCHAFFER. I think that is a very good suggestion, and I would not have any objection to that at all.

Mr. BARKLEY. In other words, what I mean is that as a matter of general law she is a German subject ?

Mr. SCHAFFER. Yes, sir.

Mr. BARKLEY. You do not want to secure a permanent repeal of that law so as it affects the entire situation, but only within the meaning of the act which took over the property?

Mr. SCHAFFER. That is correct. I endeavor to embody what you have in your mind in another section of this bill, but I did not do it as well as your suggestion does it. I endeavor to do that in the second section of this bill, but I think your suggestion does it in a better way.

The CHAIRMAN. The Winslow bill put in the same provision. Mr. Sims. Taking your statement as including all there is involved in the case, it seems to me no one could have any objection to this particular relief which is asked for, so it seemed to me that it would be much easier to get a bill through applying to this one particular case rather than to try to enact a general law that might bring so many different objections that might not apply to this particular case, as Mr. Barkley has suggested. I do not see any reason why we could not pass a private bill to give relief of this kind and not make it a general law. I only suggest that as a possible way of securing prompter action and having less delay.

Mr. SCHAFFER. If that can happen, I will be very glad to do it, speaking now particularly of the client I represent.

Mr. JONES. In that case Congress would be the court and jury and you would save the delay and expense of going through this other procedure.

Mr. BARKLEY. Still, if there are a number of cases of that same kind it would be a tedious matter to get through a separate bill covering each one of those cases; but if you could make the language general enough to cover all the meritorious cases that ought to be included, without including some that might get through a loophole.

Mr. Sims. This is in the nature of a war claim, and Congress has always had jurisdiction to pass private war claim bills running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mr. SCHAFFER. I have no objection to taking that course if the committee thinks that is the proper course to take and if we could secure the relief by the passage of such a bill.

Mr. Sims. Your statement to the effect that this lady is penniless has appealed to me as indicating that there ought to be some relief given in this particular case as quickly as possible.

Mr. MONTAGUE. I suppose there are a number of other similar

cases.

Mr. Sims. There may be others.

Mr. MONTAGUE. I know of one case of that kind that I think falls in that same category.

Mr. COOPER. Did I understand you to say that among the properties taken over by the Alien Property Custodian were seventy thousand and odd dollars of Liberty bonds?

Mr. SCHAFFER. Yes, sir.

Mr. COOPER. Did this lady buy those bonds while she was in Germany

Mr. SCHAFFER. No, sir; they were bought by her nephew, Mr. Ludlow, my associate in this matter, who is her attorney in fact.

Mr. COOPER. They were bought with her consent?
Mr. SCHAFFER. Yes, sir; with her money and her consent.

Mr. COOPER. Did not that show her spirit and her feeling toward America that she invested that much money in Liberty bonds?

Mr. SCHAFFER. There can not be any question about her feeling for America. She is coming back here to live. She will live here. Her children are all here and her grandchildren are here.

I happened to be in Europe when the war broke out; I was caught in Switzerland instead of in Germany, but she labored under just that unfortunate circumstance that she was in Munich when war was declared.

Mr. Sims. Is it not a fact that Gen. Von Beulow's wife was an American, and was caught there, too?

Mr. SCHAFFER. I think she resided in Germany. My client never had resided in Germany, but she resided in Philadelphia.

Mr. DEWALT. Where is Prof. Hilprecht now?

Mr. SCHAFFER. I am not certain whether he is in Germany or whether he is with her in Lausanne. I am informed by Mr. Ludlow that he has been in Lausanne since 1917.

Mr. DEWALT. There is no doubt about the fact that he is what is termed an alien enemy,

of course. He is a citizen of Germany? Mr. SCHAFFER. There is no question about that.

« PreviousContinue »