U.S. serves notice of neutrality in European war

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 1939 (UP) -- The United States served formal notice on the world today that it is determined to maintain a strict neutrality in the European conflict.

President Roosevelt signed the proclamation shortly after 1 p.m. It became effective as soon as countersigned by Secretary of State Cordell Hull.


This proclamation of neutrality by President Roosevelt was issued under terms of international law.

It was not required by this nation's neutrality legislation. Later in the day the state department is expected to issue a presidential proclamation invoking an embargo on arms, munitions and implements of war to belligerent nations. That step is mandatory under the neutrality statute which Mr. Roosevelt desires Congress to revise.

The arms embargo proclamation, officials, said, will be completed at a conference between Hull state department aides and Mr. Roosevelt. That conference will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Mr. Roosevelt signed the neutrality proclamation a few minutes before 1 p.m. in the presence of Hull, Acting Attorney General Robert M. Jackson, Under-secretary of State Sumner Welles, Assistant Secretary of State A. A. Berle and Stephen Early, White House secretary.

The proclamation was put in its final form during an hour-and-15-minutes conference participated in by those who witnessed its signature.

President Roosevelt acted with unprecedented speed in declaring American neutrality. He acted approximately three and a half months quicker than did President Wilson in similar circumstances during the first World war. Wilson did not formally declare United States neutrality then until November 13, 1914. That conflict started the first of August, 1914.

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