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BANCO MEXICANO DE COMMERCIO E INDUSTRIA ET AL. v. DEUTSCHE BANK MILLER

decided: January 21, 1924.

BANCO MEXICANO DE COMMERCIO E INDUSTRIA ET AL
v.
DEUTSCHE BANK; MILLER, ALIEN PROPERTY CUSTODIAN, ET AL.



APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

Author: Mckenna

[ 263 U.S. Page 595]

 MR. JUSTICE McKENNA delivered the opinion of the Court.

Appeal from the decree of the Court of Appeals affirming the decree of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia which dismissed the suit of appellants, brought in the latter court by them under the Act of Congress of October 6, 1917, entitled, "An Act To define, regulate, and punish trading with the enemy, and for other purposes," as amended June 5, 1920. 40 Stat. 411; 41 Stat. 977.

The Deutsche Bank of Berlin was duly appointed liquidator of the Banco Mexicano, a banking corporation

[ 263 U.S. Page 596]

     organized under the laws of Mexico, and authorized to act in the process of liquidation through Elias S. A. De Lima and Carlos Schulze as the representatives of the Banco Mexicano. Upon their appointment they proceeded with the liquidation of the affairs of the bank.

By virtue of their appointment and during the period they were acting as such liquidators, they were authorized to make loans of the assets of the bank for its account and to collect and, if necessary, to sue for and collect upon the claim which is the subject of this action.

They as liquidators for and on behalf of the Banco Mexicano made a loan of 500,000 gold dollars in New York City on December 15, 1916, to the Deutsche Bank of Berlin, a banking corporation existing under the laws of the German Empire, for six months with interest at the rate of 5% per annum.

The amount was paid to Hugo Schmidt, the agent of the latter bank at its place of business in the United States, and the bank agreed to repay the same in that city on June 15, 1917, with interest at the rate above mentioned.

Upon receiving that amount, represented by check, the bank forthwith deposited the same with the Guaranty Trust Company of New York to the credit of its general bank account which it then had with that institution.

On April 6, 1917, war was declared between the United States and Germany. Thereafter, as the appellants are informed and believe, under the provisions of the Trading with the Enemy Act and other statutes in such case made and provided, all moneys, securities and property owned by the Deutsche Bank in the United States or held for it by others were turned over to or seized by the Alien Property Custodian of the United States and have ever since been held by him.

It is averred, on information and belief, that the money so loaned was never transferred from the United States physically or otherwise, but constituted a part of the balance

[ 263 U.S. Page 597]

     of the general deposits and securities and other property in the United States of the bank which were taken over and seized by the Alien Property Custodian. The total amount of such balance and the total value of the securities and property, are unknown to appellants but are sufficient, as they are informed and believe, after the payment and satisfaction of all other claims and ...


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