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Naval Expansion Act, 19 July 1940


An act to establish the composition of the United States Navy, to authorize the construction of certain naval vessels, 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 authorized composition of the United States Navy in under-age vessels as established by the Acts of May 17, 1938 (52 Stat. 401), and June 14, 1940, Public Law Numbered 629, Seventy-sixth Congress, is hereby further increased by one million three hundred and twenty-five thousand tons, as follows:
(a) Capital ships, three hundred and eighty-five thousand tons;
(b) Aircraft carriers, two hundred thousand tons;
(c) Cruisers, four hundred and twenty thousand tons;
(d) Destroyers, two hundred and fifty thousand tons;
(e) Submarines, seventy thousand tons: Provided, That each of the foregoing increases in tonnages for capital ships, aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines may be varied upward or downward in the amount of 30 per centum of the total increased tonnage authorized herein so long as the sum of the total increases in tonnages of these classes as authorized herein is not exceeded.

SEC. 2. The President of the United States is hereby authorized to construct such vessels, including replacements authorized by the Act of March 27, 1934 (48 Stat. 503), as may be necessary to provide the total under-age composition authorized in section 1 of this Act.

SEC. 3. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated such sums as may be necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Act including not to exceed $150,000,000 for essential equipment and facilities at either private or naval establishments for building or equipping any complete naval vessel or portion thereof herein or heretofore authorized, $65,000,000 for essential equipment and facilities for the manufacture of ordnance material or munitions at either private or naval establishments, and $35,000,000 for the expansion of facilities for the production of armor at either private or naval establishments. The authority herein granted for essential equipment and facilities, and for the expansion of facilities, shall include the authority to acquire lands at such locations as the Secretary of the Navy with the approval of the President may deem best suited to the purpose, erect buildings, and acquire the necessary machinery and equipment.

SEC. 4. The allocation and contracts for construction of the vessels herein authorized shall be in accordance with the terms and conditions provided by the Act of March 27, 1934 (48 Stat. 503), as mended.

SEC. 5. The President of the United States is hereby further authorized to acquire and convert or to undertake the construction of--

(a) Patrol, escort, and miscellaneous craft at a total cost not to exceed $50,000,000; and
(b) One hundred thousand tons of auxiliary vessels of such size, type, and design as he may consider best suited for the purposes of national defense.

SEC. 6. The provisions of the Act of March 27, 1934 (48 Stat. 504), requiring not less than 10 per centum of the aircraft, including the engines therefor, procured subsequent to that Act to be constructed or manufactured in Government aircraft factories or other plants or factories owned and operated by the United States Government, shall not operate to curtail procurement so long as production at the said Government plants and factories is maintained at the limit of their capacity as determined by the Secretary of the Navy.

SEC. 7. No vessel, ship, or boat (except ships' boats) now in the United States Navy or being built or hereafter built therefor shall be disposed of by sale or otherwise, or be chartered or scrapped, except as now provided by law.

SEC. 8. The President of the United States is hereby authorized to acquire or construct naval airplanes, and spare parts and equipment, as may be necessary to provide and maintain the number of useful naval airplanes at a total of fifteen thousand: Provided, That if, in the judgment of the Secretary of the Navy, the total number of airplanes authorized herein is not sufficient to meet the needs of the national defense, he may, with the approval of the President, make such plans for procurement as the situation may demand.

Approved, July 19, 1940.

Source: United States Statutes at Large, 1939-41, Vol. 54, Part 1, pp. 779-80 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1941).

30 June 1999

Published: Mon Dec 04 08:21:48 EST 2017