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Congress Urged to Modify Heirless Property Law for Benefit of Relief Organizations

Robert P. Patterson, ex-Secretary of War, and Gen. Lucius Clay today urged a House subcommittee to change the law so that the heirless properties of victims of the Nazis may be used for aiding relief organizations.

Under the Trading With The Enemy Act there is no provision for the disposal of such property, if the owner died and left no heirs, it was pointed out. Mr. Patterson said: “The U.S., I am certain, does not want to make a profit out of these assets that were enemy-owned only in the most technical sense, being in reality the property of friends of the United States.”

Gen. Clay and Mr. Patterson asked the subcommittee that the law be changed so that persecutees’ heirless properties can be turned over to relief organizations approved by the President. They specified that such should be used to aid needy persons of “the same group” as the deceased owners. Mr. Patterson said that the total value of such property was probably under $2,000,000. The testimony was given before a House Inter-State Commerce subcommittee.