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SWISS NATIONAL INS. CO., LTD. V. MILLER, 267 U. S. 42 (1925)

U.S. Supreme Court

Swiss National Ins. Co., Ltd. v. Miller, 267 U.S. 42 (1925)

Swiss National Insurance Company, Limited v. Miller

No. 132

Argued November 18, 1924

Decided February 2, 1925

267 U.S. 42


1. Where a corporation was an "enemy" within the definition of the Trading with the Enemy Act because doing business in Germany, the enemy status of its property then seized in this country was not changed by a subsequent cessation of such business. P. 267 U. S. 44.

2. The fact that an enemy corporation ceased to be an enemy when the war was ended by the Joint Resolution of July 2, 1921, did not entitle it to a return of its seized property, for, by § 12 of the Trading with the Enemy Act, such claims were to be settled by future direction of Congress. Id.

3. Clause 1 of § 9-b of the Trading with the Enemy Act, as amended June 5, 1920, c. 241, 41 Stat. 977, which provides for return of seized enemy property whose owner was and remains a "citizen or subject" of a nation other than Germany, Austria, Hungary, or Austria-Hungary, cannot be construed as including corporations. So held in view of the use of "citizen or subject" in other clauses of the section relating only to natural persons, and more particularly because the 6th clause of the same section makes a special classification of partnerships, associations, and corporations, allowing return of property if they were and remain entirely owned by subjects or citizens of nations other than those above mentioned. P. 267 U. S. 45.

4. Whether the terms "citizen or subject" are broad enough to include corporations depends upon the intent to be gathered from the legislation in which they occur. P. 267 U. S. 46.

Page 267 U. S. 43

5. Clause 11 of § 9-b of the Trading with the Enemy Act, added by the amendment of March 4, 1923, c. 285, 42 Stat. 1511, amounts to a legislative construction of clause 1 as above construed. P. 267 U. S. 48.

53 App.D.C. 173 (289 F. 571) affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia affirming a decree of the Supreme Court of the District which dismissed the appellant's bill against the Alien Property Custodian and the Treasurer of the United States to recover securities seized and held under the Trading with the Enemy Act.

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