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TO AMEND AN ACT ENTITLED “AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE CREATION OF THE COLONIAL NATIONAL MONUMENT IN THE STATE OF VIRGINIA, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES”
FEBRUARY 17, 1931.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. HOOPER, from the Committee on the Public Lands, submitted
[To accompany H. R. 15984)
The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 15984) to amend an act entitled “An act to provide for the creation of the Colonial National Monument in the State of Virginia, and for other purposes," approved July 3, 1930, having considered the same, report it favorably to the House with the recommendation that it do pass with the following amendment:
Page 1, line 5, after the figures “1930” and before the comma insert the following:“(46 U. S. Stat. at Large 855)”.
The section of the act of July 3, 1930, which this bill amends appears below. The part to be omitted is shown in black brackets and that to be inserted is printed in italics:
That there is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sums (not exceeding $500,000] as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act, to be available for all expenses incident to the examination and establishment of the said Colonial National Monument and the protection and maintenance of lands and of buildings as acquired and/or constructed, as well as for the acquisition of lands needed for the completion of the monument, including the securing of options and other incidental expenses.
The area of the Yorktown battlefield, authorized for inclusion in said monument, is hereby extended to not to exceed four thousand five hundred acres, and all Government-owned lands within the boundaries of said monument as established by presidential proclamation, except those determined by the Secretary of the Interior as not necessary in carrying out the objects of said monument, are hereby transferred to the administrative jurisdiction and control of the National Park Service.
This measure, if enacted, will remove the limitation of $500,000 on appropriations to be made for the establishment of the Colonial National Monument. It is felt that it is very desirable that no amount
of money be stated in the bill because of the effect on the value and price of land. This plan meets with the approval of the Bureau of the Budget, as stated in a letter from the Secretary of the Interior addressed to the chairman of the Public Lands Committee under date of February 12.
It is also necessary that the acreage of this national monument be increased from 2,500 to 4,500 in order to fully accomplish the purpose for which the Colonial National Monument was established. The additional land to be effected by this increase is located on the Yorktown Battlefield. In order to adequately protect and preserve for all time all historic points in connection with Yorktown Battlefield, it is necessary to increase the acreage in this national monument.
The letter from the Secretary of the Interior, mentioned above, together with a memorandum of the Director of the National Park Service, is set forth and made a part of this report. These communications more fully explain the necessity for this legislation.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, February 12, 1931.
House of Representatives.
In this connection I am advised by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget that upon the basis of an understanding with the Director of the National Park Service that the proposed amendments of the act of July 3, 1930, will not result in the submission of any supplemental estimates of appropriations for the fiscal years 1931 and 1932, the enactment of H. R. 15984 would not be in conflict with the financial program of the President. Very truly yours,
Ray LYMAN WILBUR, Secretary.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,
Washington, January 14, 1931. Memorandum for the Secretary.
Reference is made to the request under date of January 13, 1931, from the chairman, Committee on the Public Lands, House of Representatives, for a report on H. R. 15984, entitled "A bill to amend the act entitled, An act to provide for the creation of the Colonial National Monument in the State of Virginia,' approved July 3, 1930."
The bill would remove the limitation of $500,000 on appropriations to be made for the establishment of the Colonial National Monument; would increase from 2,500 to 4,500 acres the amount of land of the Yorktown battlefield which may be included in the monument, and would transfer to the Department of the Interior such tracts of Government-owned land as are necessary for completion of the monument.
At the outset let me say that no more funds will be requested during the present session of Congress, but ultimately, and perhaps next year, further increments of money will be needed and this legislation would open the way for the submission of estimates at the proper time. As a matter of fact, if this bill is enacted into law, it will give the Colonial National Monument the legal status originally approved by the Bureau of the Budget.
When the original bill for the creation of the Colonial National Monument was before the Bureau of the Budget and the Appropriation Committees of Congress, we had no data as to the value of lands that would be required for monument purposes. As a result of work done during the past summer we now have a fairly accurate line on land values, and it appears that at least $1,500,000 in addition to the original $500,000 will be required for acquisition of lands to complete the project. While we recognize the desirability of having a limitation in law placed on expenditures for a new project, we feel it important in this case not to have an amount stated in the bill because of its influence on the value of land. We know by experience that as soon as an amount is stated, the owners have a tendency to fix the value of their land in accordance with the amount authorized. We would prefer to leave it to the Bureau of the Budget and Congress to determine the amounts which may be estimated for under this authority and abide by their decision as to whether we are proceeding in an orderly and businesslike fashion.
A study of the Yorktown battlefield, parts of which are to be included in the Colonial National Monument, indicates that it will not be possible to protect all the principal points of this historic spot under the limitation of 2,500 acres-which the Colonial Monument act authorizes to be acquired. However, if this is raised from 2,500 to 4,500 we will be able to adequately protect and preserve for all time all historic points which should be properly a part of the monument. It is not proposed to acquire by purchase all of the additional 2,000 acres. Approximately 1,000 acres within the limits of the monument as defined by the proclamation belong to the city of Newport News, being a part of the watershed protecting the municipal water supply. As the objects of the city and the National Park Service will be along the same lines, to preserve and protect the area, it is not contemplated to buy the city's lands and it is believed that the city will grant certain rights of way and a landscape easement by donation or at small cost.
Several tracts of land now under the jurisdiction of other departments should form a part of the Colonial National Monument. These are the peace monument at Yorktown, administered by the War Department; the monument on Jamestown Island, administered by the Treasury Department; and two or three small parcels in the Navy mine depot and the Navy fuel station. The transfer to the department of such areas as are essential is provided by proclamation of the President and this proposed legislation is merely confirmatory of such action
I believe that H. R. 15984 is a most desirable bill, and it is necessary if the Colonial National Monument is to be complete. Therefore, I recommend that it be enacted into law
HORACE M. ALBRIGHT, Director.