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CONGRESS

LAND FOR SCHOOL PURPOSES IN GOVERNMENT TOWN

SITES ON RECLAMATION PROJECTS.

AUGUST 25, 1919.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of

the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. HERNANDEZ, from the Committee on the Public Lands, submitted

the following

REPORT.

[To accompany S. 794.]

The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (S. 794) granting lands for school purposes in Government town sites on reclamation projects, having considered the same, report to the House with the recommendation that it do pass with the following amendment, namely:

On page 1, line 3, after the word “be,” insert the following words: "and he is.

This bill passed the Senate August 2, 1919, and is identical with S. 3570 of the Sixty-fifth Congress as amended by the Senate Committee on Public Lands, in accordance with the suggestion of the Secretary of the Interior, and thereafter passed by the Senate.

The Senate Committee on Public Lands referred the bill to the Department of the Interior, and the Secretary of the department furnished that committee with the following report thereon:

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, July 1, 1919. MY DEAR SENATOR: By your reference I am in receipt of copy of the bill S. 794, with request for report.

The bill is entitled as follows: "A bill granting lands for school purposes in Government town sites on reclamation projects.

This bill is identical with the bill S. 3570, introduced in the Sixty-fifth Congress upon which I made report February 6, 1918, copy herewith, except that it contains the amendment as suggested in my former letter. I therefore favor the enactment of the bill. Cordially, yours,

FRANKLIN K. LANE, Secretary. Hon. Reed Smoot, Chairman Committee on Public Lands,

United States Senate,

The former report of the Secretary of the Interior on S. 3570, Sixtyfifth Congress, dated February 6, 1918, referred to above, is as follows:

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, February 6, 1918. MY DEAR SENATOR: I am in receipt of your request for report upon S. 3570, a bill granting lands for school purposes in Government town sites on reclamation projects.

I favor the enactment of some such legislation, but believe that lines 7 to 9 require some modification, and I therefore recommend that they be amended to read as follows:

conveying to such district such unappropriated undisposed of lands within any Government reclamation town site situated within such school district as, in the opinion of the Secretary of the Interior, are necessary for use by said district for school buildings and grounds." Cordially, yours,

FRANKLIN K. LANE,

Secretary Hon. HENRY L. MYERS,

Chairman Committee on Public Lands, United States Senate.

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CONGRESS

PREFERRED RIGHT OF HOMESTEAD ENTRY FOR DIS

CHARGED SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND MARINES.

August 25, 1919.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of

the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. FERRIS, from the Committee on the Public Lands, submitted the

following

REPORT.

(To accompany H. J. Res. 20.)

The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred the resolution (H. J. Res. 20) entitled “Joint resolution giving to discharged soldiers, sailors, and marines a preference right of homestead entry," having considered the same, report it back to the House with the recommendation that it do pass with the following amendments:

Page 1, line 10, strike out the words "not less than ninety days."

Page 1, line 13, strike out the word “law” and insert in lieu thereof “or desert land laws,"

Page 1, line 13, strike out the word "duly”. Page 2, line 2, after the word "rights,” strike out the period and add: "and as against preference rights conferred by existing laws or equitable claims subject to allowance and confirmation."

Insert as a new paragraph at the end of section 1, following the above amendment, the following:

Provided, That the rights and benefits conferred by this act shall not extend to any person who, having been drafted for military service under the provisions of the selective-service act, shall have refused to render military service or to wear the uniform of a soldier of the United States.

The purpose of this joint resolution is to give to soldiers, sailors, and marines a preferred right of entry for 60 days for the next two years when any of our public lands are opened or restored to entry by general order.

It is very likely that within the next two years there will be restored to entry lands formerly in forests or withheld for irrigation or lands which may have only recently been surveyed. This joint resolution, if passed, will hold such lands as may be restored for any soldier,

HR-66-1-vol 2-9

sailor, or marine who may desire to exercise his preference right. It is well known that only a comparatively small amount of public land remains available for homestead entry. It was therefore the thought of your committee that it should be no more than right that the discharged soldiers, sailors, and marines should have a preference right of entry on the land yet available.

The Secretary of the Interior has recommended the passage of the joint resolution. His report is as follows:

It is believed that some tangible and beneficial legislation for discharged soldiers, returning from the recent war with Germany, should be provided in our subsequent disposition of public lands so far as compatible with the substantial development of our present unused public domain.

The present resolution in my judgment is well calculated to accomplish the purpose above expressed, simply according a preferred right of entry for a period of 60 days for the next two years to the discharged soldier or sailor when any of our public lands are opened or restored to entry by general order. It should be remembered that the remaining public lands are of such a character for the greater part as not to be particularly inviting as a homestead proposition, nor as a rule susceptible of much use except grazing; but even so, the area of such lands will doubtless fall far short of satisfying the demand for homes that will ultimately be made by the returning soldier, for which reason he should be given, so far as we can, the first opportunity to make a selection therefrom.

From time to time during the next year or two, as in the past, there will doubtless be some restorations to entry of lands formerly in forests, or withheld for irrigation, or newly surveyed lands with respect to which the soldier could be given special consideration under this joint resolution, to which may be added possible openings of Indian lands as well as lands that may be classified as agricultural embraced within the old Oregon and California land grant and the Coos Bay Wagon Road grant, now revested in the United States.

As a working proposition this joint resolution presents no administrative difficulties, and if enacted will become immediately effective, a feature which should not be overlooked in its present consideration. Again, favorable action upon this proposition can not operate to seriously retard the development of our public lands, a matter not to be disregarded; for, were it otherwise, I might hesitate to recommend its approval.

The proposed measure, therefore, meets my approval as presenting a substantial provision in the interest of the returning soldier.

FRANKLIN K. LANE. O

REPORT 18 Session.' HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. No. 261

FORT BERTHOLD INDIANS.

August 25, 1919.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House and ordered to

be printed.

Mr. LITTLE, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 4382.]

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 4382) to confer on the Court of Claims jurisdiction to determine the respective rights of and differences between the Fort Berthold Indians and the Government of the United States, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it do pass with the following amendment: Strike out all after enacting clause to the end of the bill, and insert in lieu thereof the following:

That all claims of whatsoever nature which any or all of the tribes of Indians of the Fort Berthold Reservation, N. Dak., may have against the United States, which have not heretofore been determined by the Court of Claims, may be submitted to the Court of Claims, with the right of appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States by either party, for determination of the amount, if any, due said tribes from the United States under any treaties, agreements, or laws of Congress, or for the misappropriation of any of the funds of said tribes, or for the failure of the United States to pay said tribe any money of other property due; and jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon the Court of Claims, with the right of either party to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States to hear and determine all legal and equitable claims, if any, of said tribe against the United States, and to enter judgment thereon.

Sec. 2. That if any claim or claims be submitted to said courts, they shall settle the rights therein, both legal and equitable, of each and all the parties thereto, notwithstanding lapse of time or statutes of limitation, and any payment which may have been made upon any claim so submitted shall not be pleaded as an estoppel, but may be pleaded as an offset in such suits or actions, and the United States shall be allowed credit for all sums heretofore paid or expended for the benefit of said tribe or any band thereof. The claim or claims of the said tribes or band or bands thereof may be presented separately or jointly by petition, subject, however, to amendment, suit to be filed within five years after the passage of this act; and such action shall make the petitioner or petitioners party plaintiff or plaintiffs and the United States party defendant, and any band or bands of said tribe the court may deem necessary to a final determination of such suit or suite may be joined therein as the court may order. Such petition, which shall be verified by a petitioner or an attorney employed by said petitioner, tribes, or any bands thereof, shall set forth all the facts on which the claims for recovery are based, and said petition shall be signed by the attorney or attorneys employed, and no other verification shall be necessary. Official letters, papers, documents, and public records, or certified copies thereof, may be used in evidence, and the departments of the Government shall give access to the attorney or attorneys of said tribe or bands thereof to such treaties, papers, correspondence, or records as may be needed by the attorney or attorneys for said tribes or bands of Indians,

8E0. 3. That upon the final determination of such suit, cause, or action the Court of Claims shall decree such fees as it shall find reasonable to be paid the attorney or attorneys employed therein by said tribe or bands of Indians, under contracts nego. tiated and approved as provided by existing law, and in no case shall the fee decreed by said Court of Claims be in excess of the amounts stipulated in the contracts ap, proved by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Secretary of the Interior, and

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