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Australian law provides for gold confiscation -- and it's not unique

Section: Confiscation

9:45p ET Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Writing tonight for The Market Oracle, Paul Behan notes that a mechanism for government confiscation of privately held gold is already explicitly part of the law in Australia. Behan's commentary is headlined "Gold and Silver Confiscation? It's Written In the Law" and it's posted at The Market Oracle here:

Six years ago the Perth Mint's Bron Suchecki noted as much at his Internet site, Gold Chat, but elaborated in detail about the law's nuances and the political circumstances likely to bear on any attempt to implement it. Suchecki commented astutely that any confiscation of gold by government probably would manifest itself as nationalization of mines, the sources of large amounts of gold, long before it got around to privately held metal. Suchecki's commentary was headlined "Australian Gold Confiscation" and it's posted here:

With some difficulty seven years ago GATA extracted an answer on the point from the U.S. Treasury Department, which replied that the U.S. government, upon proclamation of an emergency by the president, claims the power provided by statutes enacted in 1917 and 1977 to confiscate from the people not just gold and silver but any damn thing the government feels like confiscating:

Since most U.S. citizens can't even spell gold and fewer still own it, such confiscation probably would not accomplish much, and certainly the rationale for the U.S. government's trying to confiscate gold as it did in 1933 evaporated long ago, gold then being a huge part of the country's official money stock and today constituting none of it.

And yet if, as some observers suspect will happen, gold is restored to an official place in the international financial system, once again backing currencies directly or indirectly, gold held in the United States might become more vulnerable to confiscation.

This is largely a political question that can't be answered with any assurance, and in the end, of course, liberty will belong only to those ready to put themselves at risk for it. But the worsening authoritarianism of governments in even nominally democratic countries may argue for diversification in the location of the vaulting of one's monetary metals.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.


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