De Laval Steam Turbine Co. v. United States,
284 U.S. 61 (1931)

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U.S. Supreme Court

De Laval Steam Turbine Co. v. United States, 284 U.S. 61 (1931)

De Laval Steam Turbine Co. v. United States

No. 6

Argued October 16, 1931

Decided November 23, 1931

284 U.S. 61


Pursuant to the Act of June 15, 1917, empowering the President "to . . . cancel or requisition any existing or future contract for the building, production, or purchase of ships or material," the government took over by requisition the purchasers' rights in certain private contracts for the manufacture and sale of marine steam turbines. Before the contracts were performed, it cancelled them.


1. That the manufacturer was entitled to just compensation, as for property taken by eminent domain, not to damages as for breach of contract. P. 284 U. S. 70.

2. Just compensation is the value of the contracts at the time of their cancellation. P. 284 U. S. 72.

3. It does not include an allowance of anticipated profits. Russell Motor Car Co. v. United States, 261 U. S. 514. Pp. 284 U. S. 70-72.

4. The fact that the contracts, if carried out, would have been profitable must be given proper weight in determining just compensation. P. 284 U. S. 70.

5. The Act cited applies expressly to contracts made before its passage. P. 284 U. S. 73.

6. Such contracts are entered into subject to future exertion of the power of eminent domain. Id.

70 Ct.Cls. 51 affirmed.

Certiorari, 283 U.S. 814, to review a judgment fixing compensation for contracts requisitioned and afterwards cancelled by the government.

Page 284 U. S. 68

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