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FEDERAL RESERVE BANK
OF DALLAS

Dallas, Texas, September 4,1941

LUXEMBURG DECREE-LAWS OF APRIL 22, 1941, AND
OFFICIAL NOTICE RELATING THERETO

To All Banking Institutions, and Others Concerned,
in the Eleventh Federal Reserve District:
Reference is made to our circular dated May 16, 1941, enclosing copies of a
letter dated April 22, 1941, from the Secretary of State to the Secretary of the
Treasury, and its enclosures, including copies in translation of Luxemburg
Decree-Laws of February 28, 1940, and February 5, 1941.
At the request of the Secretary of the Treasury, we now enclose, printed in a
separate pamphlet, copies of the following:
Letter dated July 29, 1941, from the Secretary of State to the Secretary
of the Treasury, enclosing copies of a note dated June 23, 1941, from the
Luxemburg Minister and its enclosures.
The note dated June 23, 1941, from the Luxemburg Minister to the Secre­
tary of State, enclosing copies of two Luxemburg Decree-Laws of April 22,
1941, English translations thereof certified by the Luxemburg Minister, and
a copy of an Official Notice relating to such Decree-Laws taken by the
Luxemburg Government, copies of which note and enclosures were enclosed
with the letter from the Secretary of State.
The English translations, certified by the Luxemburg Minister, of the
Luxemburg Decree-Laws of April 22, 1941, which were enclosed with the
foregoing communications.
The Official Notice relating to the Decree-Laws of April 22, 1941, taken
by the Luxemburg Government, which was enclosed with the foregoing
communications.
Additional copies of this circular and the enclosed pamphlet will be furnished
to interested parties upon request.
Yours very truly,
R. R. GILBERT
President

This publication was digitized and made available by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Historical Library (FedHistory@dal.frb.org)

Luxemburg Decree-Laws of April 2 2, 1 941, and
Official Notice Relating Thereto

This pamphlet contains copies of the following:
Letter dated July 29, 1941, from the Secretary o f State to
the Secretary o f the Treasury, enclosing copies o f a note dated
June 23, 1941, from the Luxemburg Minister and its enclosures.
The note dated June 23, 1941, from the Luxemburg Minister
to the Secretary o f State, enclosing copies of two Luxemburg
Decree-Laws o f A pril 22, 1941, concerning the effects of measures
taken by the German authorities occupying Luxemburg and acts
o f dispossession committed by them and relating to dispositions
taken by the Luxemburg Government, English translations there­
of certified by the Luxemburg Minister, and a copy o f an Official
Notice relating to such Decree-Laws taken by the Luxemburg
Government, copies o f which note and enclosures were enclosed
with the letter from the Secretary o f State.
The English translations, certified by the Luxemburg Minis­
ter, o f the Luxemburg Decree-Laws of A pril 22, 1941, which were
enclosed with the foregoing communications.
The Official Notice relating to the Decree-Laws of A pril 22,
1941, taken by the Luxemburg Government, which was enclosed
with the foregoing communications.

Copy o f Letter to the Secretary o f the Treasury.
A D D R E S S O F F I C I A L C O M M U N I C A T IO N S
TH E SE C R ETA RY

O F

TO

STATE

W A S H IN G T O N , D . C .

DEPARTMENT OF STATE
W ASHINGTON

In reply refer to
Eu 850A.00/106

July 29, 1941

My dear Mr. Secretary:
Reference is made to the Department’s letter of April 22, 1941, enclosing copies of
a note dated April 8, 1941 from the Luxemburg Minister, with copies, in translation, of
the Luxemburg Decree Laws o f February 28, 1940 and February 5, 1941.
A further communication, dated June 23, 1941, has been received from the Minister
of Luxemburg enclosing copies of two Luxemburg Decree Laws of April 22, 1941 con­
cerning the effects o f measures taken by the German authorities occupying Luxemburg
and acts of dispossession committed by them and relating to dispositions taken by Luxem­
burg Government. Copies of the note and Decree Laws are enclosed.
The Minister o f Luxemburg would be grateful if copies o f this letter and enclosures
could be transmitted to the Federal Reserve Bank with his request that such documents,
in appropriate form, be brought to the attention of interested persons and institutions in
the United States.
Sincerely yours,
F or the Secretary of State:
(Signed)

D

eax

A

chesox

Dean Acheson
Assistant Secretary
The Honorable
Henry Morgenthau, Jr.,
Secretary of the Treasury.

Enclosures:
Copies of note and Decree
Laws as stated above.

Copy o f N ote from the Luxem burg M inister to the Secretary o f State.

Legation Du Grand-Duche
De Luxembourg
Washington, D. C.

June 23, 1941.

Sir
I have the honor to enclose copies of two Luxembourg Decree-Laws of A pril 22, 1941
concerning the effects of measures taken by the German authorities occupying Luxem­
bourg and acts o f dispossession committed by them and relating to dispositions taken
by the Luxembourg Government.
Copies of an English translation of these two legislative acts are transmitted here­
with to the Department of State, as well as an Official Notice on the subject.
I shall be grateful if Your Excellency will furnish a copy of this note to the appro­
priate authorities of the United States Government and if they will take any steps deemed
necessary to bring the contents of the Decree-Laws of A pril 22, 1941 to the attention of
interested persons and institutions in the United States.
I avail myself, Sir, of this occasion, to renew to Your Excellency, the assurances of
my highest consideration.
(Signed)

The Honorable
The Secretary o f State.
Enclosures as stated.

H

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Le

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DE

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G R A N D -D U C H E

LU XEM BOURG

W A S H IN G T O N ,

D.

C.

O F F IC IA L NOTICE RELATING- TO TH E D E C R E E -L A W S
OF A P R IL 22, 1941, T A K E N B Y TH E LUXEM BOURG GOVERNM ENT

A decree-law of A pril 22, 1941 proclaims the complete nullity o f all measures which
the German authorities in Luxembourg might take, whether they concern public law,
administrative organization, the social order or private laws and interests of citizens.
A number of these measures are manifest violations o f international conventions
regulating the exercise o f ‘ de fa cto ’ power and the duties of the occupier. Others con­
stitute a violation of property rights and are, in fact, only acts of spoliation. Others,
finally, constitute attacks on the sovereignity of the Luxembourg State, particularly on
the constitutional principle of the equality of all Luxembourg nationals without distinction
of beliefs, race or language. They find their origin in an occupation effected by violence
in defiance o f international law. They are, accordingly, vitiated in their very essence.
They can produce no effect with regard to Luxembourg law. Any interested party will be
entitled to oppose or to have recorded, before any competent jurisdiction, the nullity of
the measures in question and o f the acts perform ed in consequence thereof, as respects
anyone who should seek to avail himself thereof.
Decrees issued by the occupier, appointments which he has made, and Contracts
which he has approved as a public power will automatically cease with the disappearance
of his ‘ de fa cto ’ power.
The nullity in question affects all conventions or juridical acts exceeding mere meas­
ures of protection and conservation. The same shall be true, in particular, as concerns
alienations o f movable or immovable property, transfers o f credits and, in a word, o f all
acts o f disposition.
All those who, in Luxembourg or abroad, are made instruments of the occupying power
with a view to the drafting or execution o f measures exceeding the scope o f conservational
acts, expose themselves to prosecution and condemnation to most severe penalties, through
application o f the provisions which may be made with respect to particular categories o f
infraction.
Representatives, outside occupied Luxembourg territory, of Luxembourg or foreign
firms or companies would seriously endanger their civil and penal responsability by execu­
ting instructions relative to the management of these companies which might be given them
by the occupying authority or its representatives.
Furthermore, another decree-law dated A pril 22, 1941 applies the principles defined
above to the special case of movable or immovable property belonging to the State, the
provinces, communes, public establishments or to private persons, which has been or will
be the object o f acts or dispossession and spoliation committed by the enemy.
The nullity of such acts entails for the dispossessed owners the right of reclaiming
these properties, without the owner being in any case required to reimburse the holders of
the properties for the amount they cost them. The same decree furthermore provides
penalties from three months to three years imprisonment and from 2000 to 20,000 francs
fine for the act of having lent assistance to the execution of measures taken by the enemy
with respect to the said properties or for having sold or purchased them or given or
accepted them as security.
The Luxembourg Government wishes to warn against the possible legal consequences
which any operations effected with agents without valid powers might entail.
Montreal, A pril 22, 1941.

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G R A N D -D U C H E

LU XEM BOURG

W A S H IN G T O N .

D.

C.

GRAND DUCAL D E C R E E OF A P R IL 22, 1941, R E L A T IN G TO
TH E M EA SU RES OF D ISPO SSESSIO N E F F E C T E D B Y TH E ENEM Y.
In view o f the laws of September 28, 1938 and o f August 29, 1939 concerning the extent
o f the executive power;
In view of Article 27 o f the law o f January 16, 1866 concerning the organization o f the
State Council, and considering that a state of urgency exists;
Upon the report and upon the deliberation of the Government in Council:
H A V E D ECR EE D AND DO D E C R E E :
Article 1. Are void and cancelled, unless originating as a result of normal administration,
all acts of disposition or acts pledging as security, holdings o f property or real estate
belonging to the State, to the communes, or to establishments o f public interest, seized by
the enemy since May 10, 1940.
Article 2. Are likewise void and cancelled all acts of disposition or acts pledging as
security, holdings of property or real estate, which were confiscated, seized, or sold by
force, or by any other measures used in appropriating private property by the enemy
since May 10,1940.
Article 3. The properties mentioned in articles 1 and 2 may be claimed by the original
owners from any holder thereof, and without obligation in any case on their part to
indemnify such a holder for the price p a id ; the latter in turn may have recourse only from
his seller. No action for claim may be made after the expiration of three years following
the conclusion o f peace.
Article 4. Any person, who, since the publication of the present decree, has voluntarily
supported the execution of the irregular measures taken by the enemy in regard to the
mentioned property, sold, acquired, given or accepted as security the property stated in
these regulations, will be punished by imprisonment o f from three months to three years
and a fine o f 2,000 to 20,000 francs or either one o f these penalties.
These infractions will be persued before the tribunals of the Grand Duchy whatever the
place where they happened and even if the accused is not found in the Grand Duchy.
Article 5. Our Prime Minister, President of the Government and our Minister of Justice
are charged with the execution of the present decree, which will become valid on the day
of its publication in the Memorial.
Montreal, A pril 22, 1941
CH AR LO TTE.
The Prime Minister
President of the Government
P IE R R E DUPONG
The Minister o f Foreign Affairs
JO SEPH BECH

The Minister of Labor
P IE R R E K R IE R
The Minister o f Justice
VICTO R BODSON

I, the undersigned, Hugues Le Gallais, Luxembourg Minister to the United States,
hereby certify that the above is a true translation of the official text in the French language
of the Luxembourg Decree-law of April 22,1941, published in the “ M emorial” of April, 22,
1941.
W ASHINGTON, June 23, 1941
(Signed)

H

ugues

Le

G a l l a is

L E G A T IO N

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1

DU

G R A N D -D U C H E

LUXEM BOURG

W A S H IN G T O N .

D.

C.

GRAND DUCAL D ECR EE OF A P R IL 22, 1941, D ETERM IN IN G
TH E E F F E C T OF M EA SU RES T A K E N B Y TH E OCCUPIER.
In view o f the laws of September 28, 1938 and of August 29, 1939 concerning the extent
of the executive pow er;
In view of article 27 of the law of January 16, 1866 concerning the organization of the
State Council and considering that a state of urgency exists;
Upon the report and upon the deliberation of the Government in Council:
H A V E D ECR EE D AND DO D E C R E E :
Article 1. The measures taken by the occupying enemy are held to be repealed entirely
as and when the territory becomes liberated.
Article 2. Unless other dispositions are made, the Grand Ducal decrees, ministerial
decrees, regulations and as a general rule all dispositions taken by the legal authority are
obligatory throughout the Grand Duchy. The administrative and judicial authorities will
continue the application o f the measures, without further notice, as and when the territory
will be liberated.
Article 3. Our Prime Minister, President of the Government is charged with the execution
of the present decree which becomes effective on the day of its publication in the Memorial.
Montreal, April 22, 1941
CH ARLO TTE.
The Prime Minister
President o f the Government
P IE R R E DUPONG
The Minister of Foreign Affairs
JO SEPH BECH
The Minister of Labor
P IE R R E K R IE R
The Minister of Justice
VICTO R BODSON
I, the undersigned, Hugues Le Gallais, Luxembourg Minister to the United States,
hereby certify that the above is a true translation of the official text in the French
language of the Luxembourg Decree-law of A pril 22, 1941, published in the “ Memorial”
of April 22, 1941.
W ASHINGTON, June 23, 1941.
(Signed)

H

ugues

L

e

G a l l a is

Hugues Le Gallais


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102