July 9, 1942
H. R. 7184
Public Law 66
6

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 underage vessels, as established by the Act of March 27, 1934 (48 Stat. 503), as amended by the Acts of May 17, 1938 (52 Stat. 401), June 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 394). July 19, 1940 (54 Stat, 779), December 23, 1941 (Public Law 369, Seventy-seventh Congress, first session), and May 13, 1942 (Public Law 551, Seventy-seventh Congress, second session), is hereby further increased by one million nine hundred thousand tons of combatant ships, as follows :

(a) Aircraft carriers, five hundred thousand tons ;

(b) Cruisers, five hundred thousand tons; and

(c) Destroyers and destroyer escort vessels, nine hundred thousand tons : Provided, That the foregoing increases in tonnages for each of the three classes of aircraft carriers, cruisers, and destroyers and destroyer escort vessels may be varied downward in the amount of 30 per centum of the total increased tonnage authorized herein, and if so varied downward, the tonnage so decreased may be used to increase the tonnage of any other class of vessel authorized above, or to increase the tonnage of submarines heretofore authorized, so long as the sum of the total increases in tonnages of these classes, including submarines as authorized herein, is not exceeded: Provided further, That the total authorized tonnage by classes of vessels authorized by the Acts of May 27, 1934 (48 Stat. 503), May 17, 1938 (52 Stat. 401), and June 14, 1940 (54 Stat. 394), may be varied upward or downward in the amount of 30 per centum so long as the sum of the total increases in tonnage of these classes so authorized is not exceeded.

Sec. 2. The President of the United States is hereby authorized to construct such vessels as may be necessary to provide the total underage composition authorized in section 1 of this Act and to maintain such total increased authorized composition by constructing replacement vessels for such vessels as may be overage as defined in section 7 of the Act approved June 14. 1940 (54 Stat. 395), or as may have been or may be lost: Provided, That notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, parts of laws, or other provisions of this Act, the replacement vessels herein authorized are not required to be of the same class as the vessels which have become overage or been lost, so long as they are either battleships, cruisers, aircraft carriers, destroyers or destroyer escort vessels, or submarines, and so long as the total authorized composition of the United States Navy in underage vessels, as herein or hereafter increased, is not exceeded.

Sec. 3. The Secretary of the Navy, with the approval of the President, is hereby authorized to undertake the construction of not to exceed eight hundred small vessels suitable for use as patrol vessels, mine vessels and the like, as he may consider best suited for the successful prosecution of the war, such vessels to be in addition to those heretofore authorized.

Sec. 4. The Secretary of the Navy is hereby authorized to acquire and convert not to exceed two hundred small vessels for coastal defense, patrol, mine sweeping, and similar purposes as he may consider necessary for the successful prosecution of the war, such vessels to be in addition to those heretofore authorized.

Sec. 5. (a) Section 5 (a) of the Act approved July 19, 1940 (54 Stat. 780), is hereby amended by striking out the words "at a total cost not to exceed $50.000,000", and inserting in lieu thereof the words "to a total number not to exceed seventy-two".

(b) Section 2 of the Act approved January 31, 1941 (55 Stat. 5), is hereby amended by striking out the words "to a total amount not exceeding $400,000,000".

Sec. 6. 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.

Approved, July 9, 1942.