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H. R. 6911

TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 1942

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,

Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10:30 a. m., Hon. Sol Bloom (chairman) presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will kindly come to order. The committee has under consideration H. R. 6911, which I will kindly ask the reporter to insert at this point, together with a message from the President of the United States.

(H. R. 6911 and the message from the President of the United States are as follows:)

[H. R. 6911, 77th Cong., 2d sess.]

A BILL To implement article 28 of the convention signed at Geneva on July 27, 1929, and

proclaimed by the President on August 4, 1932 (47 Stat. 2074, 2092), by making it a criminal offense for any person to use the emblem and name of the Red Cross for commercial or other purposes

or

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 4 of the Act entitled “An Act to incorporate the American National Red Cross", approved January 5, 1905 (33 Stat. 600), as amended (Act of June 23, 1910, 36 Stat. 604, U. S. Code, title 36, sec. 4), be and it hereby is, further amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 4. That from and after the passage of this Act it shall be unlawful for any person within the jurisdiction of the United States to falsely or fraudulently hold himself out as or represent or pretend himself to be a member of or an agent for the American National Red Cross for the purpose of soliciting, collecting, or receiving money or material ; or for any person to wear display the sign of the Red Cross or any insignia colored in imitation thereof for the fraudulent purpose of inducing the belief that he is a member of or an agent for the American National Red Cross. It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation, or association other than the American National Red Cross and its duly authorized employees and agents and the Army and Navy sanitary and hospital authorities of the United States for the purpose of trade or as an advertisement to induce the sale of any article whatsoever or for any business or charitable purpose to use within the territory of the United States of America and its exterior possessions the emblem of the Greek Red Cross on a white ground, or any sign or insignia made or colored in imitation thereof, or of the words 'Red Cross' or 'Geneva Cross', or any combination of these words: Provided, however, That any person, corporation, or association that actually used or whose assignor actually used the said emblem, sign, insignia, or words for any lawful purpose prior to January 5, 1905, may continue the use thereof for the same purpose and for the same class of goods for a period not exceeding one year after the date of the enactment of this Act. If any person, corporation, or association, or any member, director, officer, agent, representative, or employee thereof violates the provision of this section he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and unon conviction in any Federal court shall be liable to a fine of not more than $5,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both, for each and every offense.”

1

(H. Doc. No. 693, 77th Cong., 2d sess. ]

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TRANSMITTING A REPORT

FROM THE ACTING SECRETARY OF STATE WITH AN ACCOMPANYING DRAFT BILL, DESIGNED THE MORE EFFECTIVELY TO CARRY OUT OUR OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE RED CROSS CONVENTION OF 1929

To the Congress of the United States of America:

I am transmitting for the consideration of the Congress the enclosed report from the Acting Secretary of State, with an accompanying draft bill, designed the more effectively to carry out cur obligations under the Red Cross Convention of 1929.

I commend the report and the proposed legislation to the favorable consideration of the Congress.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, (Enclosures: (1) Report; (2) draft bill.) THE WHITE HOUSE, April 3, 1942.

The PRESIDENT:

The protection of the emblem of the Red Cross and the words "Red Cross" and “Geneva Cross," which was important in times of peace, is even more important now that we are at war, and makes it necessary to take steps to prevent their use for commercial purposes.

The Red Cross was given its distinctive name and emblem by the convention of 1864. The United States became a party to that convention in 1882. The first American National Association of the Red Cross was formed in Washington in 1881. From the beginning it was contemplated that the distinctive name and emblem should be used only by governments, through their medical, sanitary, and relief services, and by the national societies to be formed in the different countries. Unfortunately, our legislation has never been entirely adequate to protect either the name or emblem against commercial exploitation.

It was not until January 5, 1905, when the American National Red Cross was reincorporated by act of Congress, that commercial exploitation was prohibited by Federal statute; and the prohibition enacted was effective only as to persons or corporations not then “lawfully entitled to use the sign of the Red Cross.” Two years later, in 1907, on becoming a party to the revised Red Cross convention of 1906, the United States assumed an express obligation under the convention to prohibit all commercial exploitation. Notwithstanding the obligation thus freely assumed, the act of June 23, 1910, contains a clause providing that "no person, corporation, or association that actually used or whose assignor actually used the said emblem, sign, insignia, or words for any lawful purpose prior to January fifth, nineteen hundred and five, shall be deemed forbidden by this act to continue the use thereof for the same purpose and for the same class of goods."

The obligation assumed under the 1906 convention was amplified and reaffirmed in the Red Cross convention of 1929, to which the United States became a party in 1932, but nothing has been done with respect to amending the acts of 1905 and 1910 so as to carry out the obligation contained in chapter VIII, article 28, of that convention which provides :

"The Governments of the High Contracting Parties whose legislation may not now be adequate shall take or shall recommend to their legislatures such measures as may be necessary at all times:

(a) To prevent the use by private persons or by societies other than those upon which this Convention confers the right thereto, of the emblem or of the vame of the Red Cross or Geneva Cross, as well as any other sign or designation constituting an imitation thereof, whether for commercial or other purposes ;

"(6) By reason of the homage rendered to Switzerland as a result of the adoption of the inverted Federal colors, to prevent the use, by private persons or by organizations, of the arms of the Swiss Confederation or of signs constituting an imitation thereof, whether as trade-marks, commercial labels, or portions thereof, or in any way contrary to commercial ethics, or under conditions wounding Swiss national pride.

“The prohibition mentioned in subparagraph (a) of the use of signs or designations constituting an imitation of the emblem or designation of the Red Cross or Geneva Cross, as well as the prohibition mentioned in subparagraph (b) of the use of the arms of the Swiss Confederation or signs constituting an imitation thereof, shall take effect from the time set in each act of legislation and at the Jatest 5 years after this convention goes into effect. After such going into effect it shall be unlawful to take out a trade-mark or commercial label contrary to such prohibitions."

Other nations recognizing their treaty commitments have enacted laws to prevent the use of the name and emblem for commercial purposes. I am told that the extent to which the name and emblem is presently being used in the sale of varied products has grown out of all proportion to its commercial use in the period prior to the passage of the original act. The resulting confusion is today a source of increasing embarrassment and danger to the Medical Corps of our armed forces, in our relations with foreign countries, and to the far-flung activities of the American Red Cross.

I attach for your consideration a draft bill designed to amend the existing law in a manner which would enable us to discharge our conventional obligations and at the same time protect our medical and sanitary services and the American Red Cross. The bill was prepared in the Department of Justice and has the approval of the Attorney General and the chairman of the American National Red Cross. I also understand that it has the approval of the Surgeons General of the Army and the Navy. Respectfully submitted.

SUMNER WELLES, Acting Secretary of State. (Enclosure: Draft bill.)

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, April 1, 1942. A BILL To implement article 28 of the Convention signed at Geneva on July 27, 1929, and

proclaimed by the President on August 4, 1932 (47 Stat. 2074, 2092), by making it a criminal offense for any person to use the emblem and name of the Red Cross for commercial or other purposes

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 4 of the Act entitled “An Act to incorporate the American National Red Cross," approved January 5, 05 (33 Stat. 600), as amended (Act of June 23, 1910, 36 Stat. 604, U. S. Code, title 36, sec. 4), be, and it hereby is, further amended to read as follows:

"SEC. 4. That from and after the passage of this Act it shall be unlawful for any person within the jurisdiction of the United States to falsely or fraudulently hold himself out as, or represent or pretend himself to be, a member of or an agent for the American National Red Cross for the purpose of soliciting, collecting, or receiving money or material; or for any person to wear or display the sign of the Red Cross or any insignia colored, in imitation thereof for the fraudulent purpose of inducing the belief that he is a member of or an agent for the American National Red Cross. It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation, or association other than the American National Red Cross and its duly authorized employees and agents and the army and navy sanitary and hospital authorities of the United States for the purpose of trade or as an advertisement to induce the sale of any article whatsoever or for any business or charitable purpose to use within the territory of the United States of America and its exterior possessions the emblem of the Greek Red Cross on a white ground, or any sign or insignia made or colored in imitation thereof, or of the words 'Red Cross' or 'Geneva Cross' or any combination of these words: Provided, however, That any person, corporation, or association that actually used or whose assignor actually used the said emblem, sign, insignia, or words for any lawful purpose prior to January fifth, nineteen hundred and five, may continue the use thereof for the same purpose and for the same class of goods for a period not exceeding one year after the date of the enactment of this Act. If any person, corporation, or association, or any member, director, officer, agent, representative, or employee thereof violates the provision of this section he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction in any federal court shall be liable to a fine of not more than five thousand dollars, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both, for each and every offense."

The CHAIRMAN. The first witness this morning that wishes to appear before the committee is Senator Smathers, of New Jersey, who has a statement he wishes to make.

Senator, the committee would be very glad to hear you now.

STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM H. SMATHERS, A UNITED STATES

SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY

Senator SMATHERS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my name is William H. Smathers. I am the senior Senator from the State of New Jersey.

I am very much opposed to the passage of this bill.

I am authorized by the senior Senator from Georgia, Senator George, to state that he is also opposed to the passage of this bill.

I understand that the bill has for its purpose the taking away from industry of the right to use the Red Cross emblem as a trademark. In my State of New Jersey one of the outstanding industries of the State, one of the most patriotic industries of the State, uses the Red Cross symbol as a trade-mark. They copyrighted this symbol more than 60 years ago and for the past 60 years they have put into this trade-mark symbol their integrity and their ingenuity, and to me to pass this law to take away from them the right to use this trade-mark symbol would be a great injustice and outrage.

The CH \IRMAN. Senator, would you mind mentioning the name for the record ?

Senator SMATHERS. The industry in New Jersey that uses the Red Cross symbol as a trade-mark is Johnson & Johnson, an industry at New Brunswick, probably the largest pharmaceutical makers in America today.

The CHAIRMAN. Any questions, gentlemen? (No response.) We all thank very much, Senator, for appearing before the committee.

Senator SMATHERS. Thank you, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee appreciates it very much.
Mr. Hughes, will you kindly give your full name?

STATEMENT OF H. J. HUGHES, REPRESENTING THE AMERICAN RED

CROSS, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. HUGHES. My name is H. J. Hughes.
The CHAIRMAN. And whom do you represent?
Mr. HUGHES. The American Red Cross.
Mr. Chairman, I have a letter. Mr. Norman Davis, our chairman,
planned to be present this morning to state the position of the Red
Cross, but at the last moment was called to the State Department,
and, unfortunately, has not been able to attend.

I have a letter which he prepared and asked me to present to you.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you wish to read it?
Mr. HUGHES. It is at some length. Perhaps it will give-

The CHAIRMAN (interposing). Do vou wish to make a statement and then put the letter in the record ?

Mr. HUGHES. I would rather read the letter as it gives in a great deal more detail and concrete form–I will make it as rapid as I possibly can.

The CHAIRMAN. I would not make it rapid, Mr. Hughes. This is very important legislation and I think the committee would like to

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