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Post-WW1 & 1920s: Espionage Act of 1918

Espionage Act of 1918

United States Statutes at Large (65th Cong., Sess. II, Chp. 59, p. 533-534)

AN ACT

To punish the willful injury or destruction of war material, or of war premises or utilities used in connection with war material, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the words ''war material,'' as used herein, shall include arms, armament, ammunition, live stock, stores of clothing, food, foodstuffs, or fuel; and shall also include supplies, munitions, and all other articles of whatever description, and any part or ingredient thereof, intended for, adapted to, or suitable for the use of the United States, or any associate nation, in connection with the conduct of the war.
The words ''war premises,'' as used herein, shall include all buildings, grounds, mines, or other place wherein such war material is being produced, manufactured, repaired, stored, mined, extracted, distributed, loaded, unloaded, or transported, together with all machinery and appliances therein contained; and all forts, arsenals, navy yards, camps, prisons, or other military or naval stations of the United States, or any associate nation.
The words ''war utilities,'' as used herein, shall include all railroads, railways, electric lines, roads of whatever description, railroad or railway fixture, canal, lock, dam, wharf, pier, dock, bridge, building, structure, engine, machine, mechanical contrivance, car, vehicle, boat, or aircraft, or any other means of transportation whatsoever, whereon or whereby such war material or any troops of the United States, or of any associate nation, are being or may be transported either within the limits of the United States or upon the high seas; and all dams, reservoirs, aqueducts, water and gas mains and pipes, structures and buildings, whereby or in connection with which water or gas is being furnished, or may be furnished, to any war premises or to the military or naval forces of the United States, or any associate nation, and all electric light and power, steam or pneumatic power, telephone and telegraph plants, poles, wires, and fixtures and wireless stations, and the buildings connected with the maintenance and operation thereof used to supply water, light, heat, power, or facilities of communication to any war premises or to the military or naval forces of the United States, or any associate nation.
The words ''United States'' shall include the Canal Zone and all territory and waters, continental and insular, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
The words ''associate nation,'' as used in this Act, shall be deemed to mean any nation at war with any nation with which the United States is at war.
Sec. 2. That when the United States is at war, whoever, with intent to injure, interfere with, or obstruct the United States or any associate nation in preparing for or carrying on the war, or whoever, with reason to believe that his act nay injure, interfere with, or obstruct the United States or any associate nation in preparing for or carrying on the war, shall willfully injure or destroy, or shall attempt to so injure or destroy, any war material, war premises, or war utilities, as herein defined, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than thirty years, or both.
Sec. 3. That when the United States is at war, whoever, with intent to injure, interfere with, or obstruct the United States or any associate nation in preparing for or carrying on the war, or whoever, with reason to believe that his act may injure, interfere with, or obstruct the United States or any associate nation in preparing for or carrying on the war, shall willfully make or cause to be made in a defective manner, or attempt to make or cause to be made in a defective manner, any war material, as herein defined, or any tool, implement, machine, utensil, or receptacle used or employed in making, producing, manufacturing, or repairing any such war material, as herein defined, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than thirty years, or both.

Approved, April 20, 1918.


Last update: March 18th, 2002.
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