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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/2627/fdrs-heinous-crimes/

FDR’s Heinous Crimes

October 21, 2004 by

On April 5, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the confiscation of gold from US citizens, in one of the most heinous acts of mass-robbery imagineable. Below is the text of Roosevelt’s order.

Forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion and Gold Certificates By virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 5(b) of the Act of October 6, 1917, as amended by Section 2 of the Act of March 9, 1933, entitled

An Act to provide relief in the existing national emergency in banking, and for other purposes in which amendatory Act Congress declared that a serious emergency exists,

I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do declare that said national emergency still continues to exist and pursuant to said section to do hereby prohibit the hoarding gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States by individuals, partnerships, associations and corporations and hereby prescribe the following regulations for carrying out the purposes of the order:

Section 1. For the purpose of this regulation, the term ‘hoarding” means the withdrawal and withholding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates from the recognized and customary channels of trade. The term “person” means any individual, partnership, association or corporation.

Section 2. All persons are hereby required to deliver on or before May 1, 1933, to a Federal Reserve bank or a branch or agency thereof or to any member bank of the Federal Reserve System all gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates now owned by them or coming into their ownership on or before April 28, 1933, except the following:

(a) Such amount of gold as may be required for legitimate and customary use in industry, profession or art within a reasonable time, including gold prior to refining and stocks of gold in reasonable amounts for the usual trade requirements of owners mining and refining such gold.

(b) Gold coin and gold certificates in an amount not exceeding in the aggregate $100.00 belonging to any one person; and gold coins having recognized special value to collectors of rare and unusual coins.

(c) Gold coin and bullion earmarked or held in trust for a recognized foreign government or foreign central bank or the Bank for International Settlements.

(d) Gold coin and bullion licensed for the other proper transactions (not involving hoarding) including gold coin and gold bullion imported for the re-export or held pending action on applications for export license.

Section 3. Until otherwise ordered any person becoming the owner of any gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates after April 28, 1933, shall within three days after receipt thereof, deliver the same in the manner prescribed in Section 2; unless such gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates are held for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a),(b) or (c) of Section 2; or unless such gold coin, gold bullion is held for purposes specified in paragraph (d) of Section 2 and the person holding it is, with respect to such gold coin or bullion, a licensee or applicant for license pending action thereon.

Section 4. Upon receipt of gold coin, gold bullion, or gold certificates delivered to it in accordance with Section 2 or 3, the Federal reserve bank or member bank will pay thereof an equivalent amount of any other form of coin or currency coined or issued under the laws of the Unites States.

Section 5. Member banks shall deliver alt gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates owned or received by them (other than as exempted under the provisions of Section 2) to the Federal reserve banks of there respective districts and receive credit or payment thereof.

Section 6. The Secretary of the Treasury, out of the sum made available to the President by Section 501 of the Act of March 9, 1933, will in all proper cases pay the reasonable costs of transportation of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates delivered to a member bank or Federal reserve bank in accordance with Sections 2, 3, or 5 hereof, including the cost of insurance, protection, and such other incidental costs as may be necessary, upon production of satisfactory evidence of such costs. Voucher forms for this purpose may be procured from Federal reserve banks.

Section 7. In cases where the delivery of gold coin, gold bullion, or gold certificates by the owners thereof within the time set forth above will involve extraordinary hardship or difficulty, the Secretary of the Treasury may, in his discretion, extend the time within which such delivery must be made. Applications for such extensions must be made in writing under oath; addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury and filed with a Federal reserve bank. Each applications must state the date to which the extension is desired, the amount and location of the gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates in respect of which such application is made and the facts showing extension to be necessary to avoid extraordinary hardship or difficulty.

Section 8. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and empowered to issue such further regulations as he may deem necessary to carry the purposes of this order and to issue licenses there under, through such officers or agencies as he may designate, including licenses permitting the Federal reserve banks and member banks of the Federal Reserve System, in return for an equivalent amount of other coin, currency or credit, to deliver, earmark or hold in trust gold coin or bullion to or for persons showing the need for same for any of the purposes specified in paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) of Section 2 of these regulations.

Section 9. Whoever willfully violates any provision of this Executive Order or these regulation or of any rule, regulation or license issued there under may be fined not more than $10,000, or,if a natural person may be imprisoned for not more than ten years or both; and any officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in any such violation may be punished by a like fine, imprisonment, or both.

This order and these regulations may be modified or revoked at any time.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
President of the United States of America
April 5, 1933

Murray Rothbard also deals with FDR’s jihad against sound money — gold — in Taking Money Back
In addition to cancelling the redemption of dollars into gold, Roosevelt in 1933 committed another criminal act: literally confiscating all gold and bullion held by Americans, exchanging them for arbitrarily valued “dollars.” It is curious that, even though the Fed and the government establishment continually proclaim the obsolescence and worthlessness of gold as a monetary metal, the Fed (as well as all other central banks) clings to its gold for dear life. Our confiscated gold is still owned by the Federal Reserve, which keeps it on deposit with the Treasury at Fort Knox and other gold depositaries. Indeed, from 1933 until the 1970s, it continued to be illegal for any Americans to own monetary gold of any kind, whether coin or bullion or even in safe deposit boxes at home or abroad. All these measures, supposedly drafted for the Depression emergency, have continued as part of the great heritage of the New Deal ever since.
Robert Higgs briefly touches on this in How FDR Made the Depression Worse, then moves on to the other industries and areas that Roosevelt savaged. Roosevelt’s onslaught against human liberty includes:
  • The day after he took the oath, FDR declaring a “bank holiday”. Indeed, it was a holiday for banks — better than Christmas — as they got to avoid paying out their liabilities while still collecting on loans! Roosevelt, the lying quack, had opposed the very same measure just three days earlier when Hoover suggested it!

  • Invoking the “Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917″, which mandated that “all banking transactions shall be suspended.”

  • Abandoned the gold standard, forbade the private ownership of gold in almost all cases, nullified all contractual promises — public or private, past or future — to pay in gold.

  • After finishing his jihad on the banking system and the gold standard, Roosevelt then decided to declare war against agriculture.

  • Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933. It provided for acreage and production controls, restrictive marketing agreements, and regulatory licensing of processors and dealers “to eliminate unfair practices and charges.” It authorized new lending, taxed processors of agricultural commodities, and rewarded farmers who cut back production.

  • Almost nationalized industry via the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, which allowed FDR, the US’ third dictator (lying Abe and crazy Teddy being the first two), to license businesses or control imports.

  • Also to his discredit: “National Labor Relations Act of 1935, reinstating union privileges, and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, stipulating regulations for wages and working hours. The Bituminous Coal Act of 1937 reinstated an NRA-type code for the coal industry, including price-fixing. The Works Progress Administration made the government the employer of last resort. Using the Connally Act of 1935, Roosevelt cartelized the oil industry. Eventually, of course, the Supreme Court came around to Roosevelt’s way of thinking.” It should be noted that the USSC came around to FDR’s way of thinking after he packed the courts with zealots like himself. So much for the naive idea of the constitutionalists (and some minarchists) that a Constitution can protect us.

  • And that’s not even including World War II. After ruining the US, FDR turned to bigger and better things: ruining the world. He was determined to get into the second world war. He knew about Pearl Harbor and did nothing. He became close friends with history’s largest mass-murderer, Joseph Stalin (who was responsible for more murders than Hitler). Stalin was a suitable friend for FDR. Completing his legacy, FDR insured that half of Europe would be in economic ruin for more than half a century after his death via his agreements with Stalin and Churchill at Yalta.
Indeed, FDR’s death couldn’t have come soon enough. I’d guess that if FDR lived another 20 years longer he’d have been our dictator, er, I mean “President” for another 20 years. Truman dropped two atom bombs; at the very least, FDR would have done that much, and probably he would have gone even further.


Jardinero1 October 21, 2004 at 10:24 am

Duuuude….. take a valium!

mike October 21, 2004 at 11:32 am

Great post on gold. It is shocking to see the actual language of the EO. Interested if you have the cite for when the EO was repealed and by whom.

For further reference, note that the basis of EO6102 is Section 5(b) of the Trading With The Enemy Act, 40 Stat. 415, enacted 10/6/17 (another progressive era time bomb!) ; incorporated in 12 USC 95a.

For a lovely demonstration of the effect of these heinous acts, see Perry v. US, 294 US 330 (1935), in which an individual bought with gold a US bond payable in gold and sought that payment in gold on maturity or the current market value dollar equivalent ($10,000 bond face vs. $17,000 market). The Court held, citing these laws inter alia, that Congress could change the ratio of dollars to gold and prohibit transactions in gold and thereby pay the bondholder only the face amount of the bond in the new debased unconvertable dollars. Thereby, the USG confiscated the bondholder’s wealth by act of congress.

Just what the framers had in mind!

mike October 21, 2004 at 11:53 am

Just to belabor the point, here is a quote from The Four Horsemen, the New Deal dissenters, in one of many of their losing battles (McReynolds writing), in Norman v. B&O RR Co. 294 US 240 (1935)(repudiation of gold clauses in contract):

Just men regard repudiation and spoliation of citizens by their sovereign with abhorrence; but we are asked to affirm that the Constitution has granted power to accomplish both. No definite delegation of such a power exists; and we cannot believe the farseeing framers, who labored with hope of establishing justice and securing the blessings of liberty, intended that the expected government should have authority to annihilate its own obligations and destroy the very rights which they were endeavoring to protect. Not only is there no permission for such actions; they are inhibited. And no plenitude of words can conform them to our charter.

Stirring words indeed.

Jay October 21, 2004 at 2:37 pm


“Interested if you have the cite for when the EO was repealed and by whom.”

I don’t have a cite, but Jerry Ford repealed it in 1974.

David Heinrich October 21, 2004 at 2:41 pm

Murray Rothbard gives credit to Ron Paul for his heroid leading the effort to have a gold coin minted in 1986.

Jardinero1 October 21, 2004 at 4:03 pm

Why would any libertarian want the government to peg the value of a dollar to gold? Isn’t there a contradiction there? That’s a pretty hefty intrusion to the market.

David Heinrich October 21, 2004 at 4:24 pm

Actually, pegging the value of a dollar to gold would be a great step foward. That is, a “dollar” should be redeemable for a specific weight of gold. This would be a first step in curtailing the money-printing press. Rothbard discusses this in Taking Money Back. You should also note that there’s a difference between ensuring that a dollar is redeemable for a certain weight in gold and trying to artificially keep the price of gold at a certain level. Furthermore, gold coins are not valued at face-value; their value is determined by supply and demand, namely the spot price of gold.

Matt October 22, 2004 at 9:00 am

And the supply of gold is fairly stable. The reason the price of gold shoots around is because it’s measured against the dollar, which is massively being devalued at present time.

Bob November 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Franklin Roosevelt was no less a dictator than Uncle Joe, Il Duce, and the Fuhrer.

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