United States v. Belmont,
301 U.S. 324 (1937)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Belmont, 301 U.S. 324 (1937)

United States v. Belmont

No. 532

Argued March 4, 1937

Decided May 3, 1937

301 U.S. 324


1. A decree of the Soviet Government dissolved a Russian corporation and expropriated all of its assets, including a deposit account with a bank in New York. Subsequently, the President of the United States recognized, and established diplomatic relations with, the Soviet Government, and, for the purpose of bringing about a final settlement of claims and counterclaims between that Government and the United States, it was thereupon agreed, among other things, that the Soviet Government would take no steps to enforce claims against American nationals, but all such claims, including the deposit account, were assigned to the United States with the understanding that the Soviet Government would be notified of all amounts so realized by the United States. Held that, as between the United States and the depositary, the deposit, in virtue of the international compact, belonged to the United States, whatever the policy of the State of New York touching the enforcement of acts of confiscation. P. 301 U. S. 327.

2. Judicial notice is taken of the facts that, coincidentally with the assignment, the President recognized the Soviet Government and normal diplomatic relations were established between the two Governments, followed by an exchange of ambassadors. P. 301 U. S. 330.

3. The effect of this was to validate, so far as this country is concerned, all acts of the Soviet Government here involved from the commencement of its existence. P. 301 U. S. 330.

Page 301 U. S. 325

4. The international compact was within the competency of the President, and participation by the Senate was unnecessary. P. 301 U. S. 330.

5. The external powers of the United States are to be exercised without regard to state laws or policies. P. 301 U. S. 331.

6. What another country has done in the way of taking over property of it nationals, and especially of its corporations, is not questionable in our courts. P. 301 U. S. 332.

85 F. (2d) 542, reversed.

CERTIORARI, 299 U.S. 531, to review the affirmance of a judgment of the District Court dismissing the complaint in an action by the United States to recover from executors a sum of money which had been deposited with their decedent by a Russian corporation and assigned by the Soviet Government, after expropriation, to the United States.

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