Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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The U.S. Congress Repeals the 1939 Neutrality Act: House Joint Resolution No. 237, 17 November 1941

By late 1941, U.S. neutrality legislation had increasingly become a dead letter, as the U.S. government provided military assistance to Great Britain and other belligerents under the new Lend-Lease legislation. In October 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt requested the repeal of those provisions still in effect, which forbade the arming of American merchant vessels. Less than a month before Pearl Harbor, in November 1941, the U.S. Congress granted his request.

House Joint Resolution No. 237 to repeal Sections 2, 3, and 6 of The Neutrality Act of 1939, and for other purposes.

SECTION I

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the U.S. of America in Congress assembled, that Section 2 of The Neutrality Act of 1939 (relating to commerce with states engaged in armed conflict), and Section 3 of such act (relating to combat area) are hereby repealed.

SECTION II

Section 6 of The Neutrality Act of 1939 (relating to the arming of American vessels) is hereby repealed; and during the unlimited national emergency, proclaimed by the President on May 27, 1941, the President is authorized, through such agency as he may designate, to arm, or to permit or cause to be armed, any American vessel as defined in such Act. The provision of Section 16 of the Criminal Code (relating to hands from armed vessels on clearing) shall not apply to any such vessel.


Further Reading
Web site: ibiblio. Available at http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/1941/411117b.html. .
 

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