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JULY 2, 1941. To the Military Affairs Committee of the Senate:
I ask that bill S. 1579 would not be made a law. The reasons for my strenu: ous opposition to this proposed legislation are:
1. The weakest point in the bill is its wide scope that gives the Government the power to seize any property under a caption of national defense. They have seized property wrongfully in the past, and will now do so—then ram it down your throat and make you like it.
2. Three years ago I called the press' attention to the practice of this illegal seizure of citizens' private property. This was heralded by the papers over the entire United States. I foretold then that the power would be requested to curtail people's freedom and rights. The seeds of this plan were cut and dried 3 years ago. I ask that the committee do something now to stop this Fascist tendency, for I fear that 3 years hence we will suffer deep regret.
3. Why should we be subjected to a long ordeal through the courts in order to protect our rights and sustain our freedom?
4. The President or his agents are attempting to usurp the right to set the price of property. The trend toward such a dictatorial policy was evidenced by an undiplomatic remark of Judge Chesnut from the bench of the circuit court in Baltimore.
5. This bill would serve as an instrument for greater opportunities for malicious abuse of the power of eminent domain. This is clearly illustrated in the illegal seizure 3 years ago of property in the R. G. Fields 1 estate of which I am an heir. I charge fraud and collusion in connection with the case. The Government attempted to put over a false sale and a false condemnation. Certain heirs had no knowledge nor gave any consent to the transaction. They were never approached by any representative of the Government with respect to the case. Nor are they the only persons to be treated thus.
6. Undoubtedly the Army is behind the movement to have this bill passed.
I reiterate my request that you of the committee make a thorough investiga. tion of the bill itself and of its full import in light of past practices with the taking of property. Respectfully,
Mrs. ELIZABETH F. WIMSATT,
Washington, D. C.
1 Now the site of the Federal post office in Rockville, Md.
A BILL TO AUTHORIZE THE PRESIDENT OF THE
SITION BY THE UNITED STATES
JULY 1, 16, AND 17, 1941
Printed for the use of the Committee on Military Affairs