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U.S. Supreme Court

International Paper Co. v. United States, 282 U.S. 399 (1931)

International Paper Co. v. United States

No. 37

Argued January 7, 1931

Decided January 19, 1931

282 U.S. 399


1. Section 120 of the National Defense Act of 1916, which empowered the President, in time of war, to place obligatory orders with corporations for any product or material required, of the kind usually produced by them, was sufficient authority for taking the right held by a lessee to make use of part of the water in a power canal, such taking being accomplished by requisitioning from the power company owning the canal all the electrical power capable of being produced by the use of all waters capable of being diverted through its intake for its plants and machinery connected therewith. P. 282 U. S. 406.

2. A requisition by the government upon a power company for the production of all the electrical power capable of being produced through the full use of the waters of its intake canal, including the use to which a lessee of the company was entitled under rights which, by state law, were a corporeal hereditament and real estate, held a taking for public use of the water rights of such lessee, and that the latter is entitled to compensation therefor notwithstanding that, by an agreement made between the government and the power company at the time of the requisition, the government chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 282 U. S. 400

waived delivery of the power on condition that it be distributed to certain designated private companies (of which the lessee was not one) for war uses, and the company waived all right to compensation if permitted to carry on its business and to sell its power consistently with the exigencies of the national security and defense. Omnia Commercial Co. v. United States, 261 U. S. 502, distinguished. P. 282 U. S. 407.

3. Secretary of War, in making war-time requisition of electrical power generated by diversion of water from Niagara River, held not to have acted pursuant to powers in respect of navigation or under treaty, but to have exercised power of eminent domain. P. 282 U. S. 407.

68 Ct.Cls. 414 reversed.

Certiorari, 281 U.S. 710, to review a judgment of the Court of Claims in favor of the United States in a suit against it to recover compensation for property rights in water alleged to have been taken for war purposes. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 282 U. S. 404

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