Another exchange-traded gold fund starts trading Friday on Amex

Section:

U.S. Law May Still Authorize Seizure
of Gold and Silver; GATA Queries Treasury

Press Release via Business Wire
Thursday, January 27, 2005

http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?
ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20050127005585&newsLang=en

Despite recent assurances to the contrary from the
U.S. Treasury Department, U.S. law still appears
to empower the president to seize gold and silver
coins, bullion, and shares in mining companies
from private citizens, the Gold Anti-Trust Action
Committee says.

While GATA believes that the law may violate
the U.S. Constitution's prohibition against the
government's taking private property for public
use without paying fair compensation, precious
metals investors may still be in some jeopardy
here. So GATA has written to the Treasury
Department seeking clarification and a meeting
with department officials.

The text of GATA's letter is appended.

Protecting precious metals investors and the
mining industry against threats like this would
seem to come within the province of gold
industry organizations. But since such
organizations do no advocacy of precious metals
when governments may get in the way, and little
advocacy in any case, this work has fallen to
GATA.

The Treasury Department is not likely to respond
to GATA's letter without some prodding from the
congressmen who represent metals investors and
mining companies, so U.S. citizens are asked to
share the letter with their congressmen and the
mining companies in which they are invested
and to ask the congressmen and mining
companies to get involved with the issues the
letter raises.

* * *

GATA LETTER TO TREASURY DEPARTMENT

January 20, 2005

Roberta K. McInerney
Assistant General Counsel/Banking and Finance
Department of the Treasury
Washington, D.C. 20220

Dear Ms. McInerney:

Michael Kirk of U.S. Rep. John B. Larson's office has
forwarded to me your letter to him of December 17,
which answered my e-mailed inquiry to him about
forcible redemption by the Treasury Department of
gold and silver coins held by private citizens. You
replied that a statute empowering the Treasury
Department to do that, 12 U.S.C. Section 248(n),
had been repealed.

But since reading your letter I have learned of a similar
statute: Title 12, Chapter 2, Subchapter IV, Section 95a,
which provides in part:

"During the time of war, the president may, through
any agency that he may designate, and under such rules
and regulations as he may prescribe, by means of
instructions, licenses, or otherwise -- (A) investigate,
regulate, or prohibit, any transactions in foreign
exchange, transfers of credit or payments between, by,
through, or to any banking institution, and the
importing, exporting, hoarding, melting, or earmarking
of gold or silver coin or bullion, currency or
securities. ..."

Section 95a further authorizes the president to "prevent"
the "use" by U.S. citizens of any property "in which a
foreign country or a national thereof has any interest."

These provisions are of the greatest concern to investors
in gold and silver bullion, coins, and shares of gold and
silver mining companies, and to those companies
themselves. So the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee
urgently requests that the Treasury Department explain
how it construes these provisions. Particularly, we'd like
to know:

-- How does the Treasury Department construe "the time
of war"? How can gold and silver investors know when
the powers described in Section 95a are in operation or
likely to come into operation? Are formal declarations
of war by Congress required here, or lesser declarations,
or none at all, but rather declarations made only by the
president?

-- How does the Treasury Department construe
"hoarding"? Does it include the ordinary collection of
gold and silver coins, numismatic or not, and bullion by
U.S. citizens, businesses, and corporations, absent any
collaboration with enemies of the United States?

-- Does the Treasury Department construe Section 95a
to empower the president to interfere with the ownership
of shares in gold and silver mining companies merely
because shares of such companies also might be owned
by foreign nationals or foreign governments, at war
with the United States or not? Under what
circumstances would the president be so empowered?

In essence, we need to know whether Section 95a
contemplates the instant destruction of gold and silver
investors and the precious metals mining industry in
the United States. So the Gold Anti-Trust Action
Committee asks the Treasury Department for a
meeting with the officials who might become responsible
for implementing Section 95a, at which we might discuss
the concerns of precious metals investors and mining
companies. Would you kindly forward our request to the
appropriate people?

Thanks for your help.

Sincerely,

Chris Powell, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

----------------------------------------------------

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----------------------------------------------------

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----------------------------------------------------

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