The President is without legal power to override the judgment of Secretary Ickes and to direct the sale of helium for export.
The Congress has prohibited export sale of helium unless it is found that the quantity, under the circumstances, is not of military importance. The sale is so guarded that it requires the approval of the Secretary of the Interior and also unanimous approval of the National Munitions Control Board, which consists of the Secretaries of State, War, Navy, Treasury, and Commerce. Congress has in effect required unanimous agreement of six Cabinet officers that a proposed sale is not of military importance in order to authorize sale.
This is a discretion which each such Cabinet officer may exercise for himself.