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TO PROVIDE FOR THE ACQUISITION BY THE UNITED STATES OF PRIVATE PROPERTY NEEDED FOR THE NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE.
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
SUBCOMMITTEE No. 1,
A subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary met at 10.30 a. m., with Hon. Warren Gard, presiding, there being present also Mr. Whaley, Mr. Neely, and Mr. Volstead, of the committee, having under consideration H. R. 11136.
Mr. GARD. Representatives of the Army are here to tell us regarding H. R. 11136, which is a bill to authorize the acquisition by the United States during the period of the present war of private property of any kind and all kinds, real, personal, and mixed, when needed for the national security and defense or the conduct of the Govern
ment, to provide a method of such acquisition, and for other purposes, which was introduced by Mr. Dent at the request of the War Department. It has been sent to this committee.
I have asked that these gentlemen come down and explain the matter to us. I haven't gone over the bill, and I would be very glad to have either of you gentlemen or both of you explain the need of the bill and such amendments or changes as you deem advisable.
STATEMENT OF LIEUT. COL. L. W. CALL, JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL.
Col. CALL. First speaking of the needs of this legislation with regard to the acquisition of real property for the uses of the War Department-I present the following memorandum:
Memorandum for Gen. Crowder.
MARCH 21, 1918
Subject: Legislation for acquisition of real and personal property.
In considering the need of this legislation, it will be convenient to consider thè subject first with reference to real property, and second with reference to personal property.
I. AS TO REAL PROPERTY.
1. Section 3736, Revised Statutes, provides: “No lands shall be purchased on account of the United States except under a law authorizing such purchases;" and section 355, Revised Statutes, prohibits the expenditure of money on lands purchased, i. e., acquired otherwise than by descent, until these conditions are satisfied, viz: (a) The title is approved by the Attorney General, and (b) jurisdiction over such lands is ceded by the State.
2. Under the law as existing at the beginning of the war it was necessary, if lands were to be acquired by the United States, (a) that express authority be given by Congress for such acquisition; (b) if the lands could not be obtained by purchase, it is also necessary that express authority of Congress be given to acquire them by condemnation; (c) the approval of the title by the Attorney General; (d) cession of jurisdiction by the State.
3. Prior to war. Except in special cases, the following statutes may be cited as giving the existing legislation, at the commencement of the war, for the acquisition of land for War Department purposes:
(a) The act of August 18, 1890 (26 Stat., 316), as amended April 28, 1904 (33 Stat., 497), authorizing acquisition of land by purchase or condemnation for sites for works of fortifications and coast defenses, including sufficient land in connection therewith for barracks and quarters for such fortifications.
(b) The act of April 24, 1888 (25 Stat., 94), authorizing acquisition by purchase, condemnation, or donation of land needed for river and harbor improvements for which provision has been made by law.
(c) The act of August 1, 1888 (25 Stat., 357), giving general authority, in cases where the procurement of real estate for public uses has been authorized by Congress, to acquire same by condemnation.
4. Insufficiency of legislation.-It will be manifest that these statutes could not meet the requirements of war conditions for the following reasons:
(a) The limited scope of the authority.
(b) The time necessary to comply with the requirements of section 355, Revised Statutes, supra, and to acquire the property through condemnation proceedings where the same could not be acquired by purchase.
5. Legislation to meet war conditions.-(a) Acts of May 12, 1917 (40 Stat., 42), and June 15, 1917 (40 Stat., 187), authorizing acquisition by purchase, donation, or condemnation of "such land sites throughout the United States as are immediately necessary for the permanent establishment of aviation schools, aviation posts, and experimental aviation stations and proving grounds for the United States Army."
(b) Act of July 2, 1917 (40 Stat., 241).
This act reenacts the provisions of the act of August 18, 1890, supra, covering the acquisition of land for sites for works of fortifications and coast defenses, broadening the scope of the same to include lands required for "military training camps." It authorizes the acqui