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tion of a breakwater in San Pedro Bay extending over two miles out from Point Fermin to protect and partially enclose what had for many years been natural meandering channels running several miles inland capable of floating shallow draft vessels, in which the Federal Government had expended small sums from time to time since 1871 for maintenance. Los Angeles had no natural harbor, but it determined to, and did, build one made to order. The work on the breakwater began, and before it was finished in 1912 Los Angeles in rapid sequence had, in 1908, at its own expense and in the name of the people of the State of California, filed actions to quiet title to all tidelands theretofore patented by the State to private parties; in 1909 annexed a strip of territory a mile wide extending from its southerly boundary approximately 20 miles toward the ocean and consolidated with the smaller cities of San Pedro and Williamington comprising the territory which is now Los Angeles Harbor ; in 1910 voted its first bond issue for harbor improvements and begun the actual work of harbor and port development. Soon, in 1913, the California Supreme Court handed down the first of its decisions which gave the city title to practically all of the tide and submerged lands in the harbor area.
In the meantime, in 1908, the United States War Department had laid out a harbor and established harbor lines, so that, in 1914, by the time the first commercial vessel was able to traverse the Panama Canal westbound after the slides had been removed and it was again opened to traffic, Los Angeles had completed and placed in operation its first wharf and transit shed which was ready to receive this vessel. The work of building once begun, has never ceased, and the voters of the city have authorized bond issues in 1910, 1913, 1919, 1921, and 1923, amounting to $29,800,000, with $100,000 voted by Wilmington prior to consolidation. Additional sums were invested by the city, secured for the most part from revenues derived from port operations, so that on June 30, 1938, the total city investment approximated $43,000,000. The Federal Government has also expended up to the same date $18,149,229.55 in breakwaters, dredging channels and basins, and in other improvements.
At the close of the last fiscal year, June 30, 1938, Los Angeles Harbor had a total frontage of 2512 miles, both improved and unimproved, with about 95 percent owned by the city. The total improved frontage is 72,614 linear feet, with 67,481 feet occupied by wharves. The total length of wharves constructetd by the city is 45,703 feet, with 24 transit sheds for handling general cargo, varying from 44 to 120 feet in width. Privately owned wharves total 21,778 feet, most of which are constructed upon city lands under franchises or permits.
Total commerce through the port of Los Angeles during the past fiscal year was 20,264,264 tons, valued at $990,906,671, as compared with 18,610,713 tons, valued at $860,957,975, for the preceding fiscal year.
During the fiscal year 215 new industries were established in Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, entailing an investment of $4,300,000, with resulting employment of 3,350 additional persons. Similarly, expansions of existing industries in the same period numbered 275, requiring the services of 4,600 additional workers and the expenditure of $10,500,000. The industrial activity of the county for the calendar year of 1937 was, employment, 140,000 persons ; wages and salaries, $200,000,000; value of products, $1,000,000,000. All of these industries are users of Los Angeles harbor.
Vessels to the number of 5,702 entered the port during the 1937–38 fiscal year, as compared with 5,430 for the preceding year. In 1910, when the city took over the harbor and began its development program, arrivals amounted to 2,450, mostly small vessels, handling 1,660,975 tons, while the last fiscal year the arrivals had grown to 5,702 and the tonnage to 20,264,264 tons.
The foregoing figures and statistics reflect the use which is being made of the port of Los Angeles and show why the city is justly concerned in any matter which in any way questions its ownership of the tide and submerged lands and the improvements thereon.
The city is also concerned because of the bonded indebtedness it has incurred for harbor improvements. Of the total bond issues amounting to $29,900,000, there remains outstanding $17,761,000, which will not be completely matured and paid until 1968. In the past the harbor department has contributed each year from its own revenue funds to help pay the annual interest charges, although not legally obligated to do so. Interest charges for 1939 10 amount to $810,333.75, which the harbor department will pay in full if its funds permit. Bond maturities this year amount to $751,500. These are general obligation bonds of the city, and maturities and interest charges are paid from funds raised by taxation, less such contribution as may be made by the harbor department. The obligation of the city to pay off this bonded indebtedness would continue even though the city might lose its harbor and harbor revenues.
These resolutions further raise the question as to whether they refer to submerged lands as they exist today or whether they relate to submerged lands as they existed in a state of nature before the dredging of channels and the work of harbor improvement were begun. A study of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey map showing soundings made in 1859 and the topography of the territory now included within Los Angeles harbor limits before any work whatever was done in that portion of the harbor where oil mells are now producing shows certain narrow meandering sloughs, but it is difficult to ascertain from a study of this map the bottoms of some of those sloughs were actually covered with water at all times. The first wells drilled for the Los Angeles Harbor Department were located upon uplands or islands above the line of mean high tide as fixed by the courts, and there is no question but what these wells have drained oil from underneath the actual tidelands. Other wells were located upon land which is definitely tideland, but it would be practically impossible to prove at this late date whether any well is located upon or is draining from underneath lands which were submerged lands before the harbor-development work began. Those tideland wells are located at the extreme innermost end of the inner harbor and adjacent to the Long Beach City boundary line. They are between 3 and 4 miles from deep water in the outer harbor by way of ship channels and about a mile and a half from the open shore line across Terminal Island.
The revenues of the harbor department from oil wells on its lands during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1938, was $155,000. Some of these wells are a great distance from tidelands. Some, as we have indicated, are draining from tidelands, but none of them are located anywhere near or are draining from submerged lands in the outer harbor or on the offshore side of Terminal Island. At this time it is not even known whether there is any oil in the submerged lands last referred to.
We have superimposed upon a copy of the Coast and Geodetic Survey Map of 1859, above referred to, the harbor lines as established by the United States War Department. This shows at a glance the location of the present channels in relation to the old sloughs in the inner karbor while in a state of nature. All of the lands behind these harbor lines have been filled in and reclaimed excepting a small area easterly of the east basin where some of the oil wells mentioned are located. If the submerged lands mentioned in the resolution are to be interpreted as including submerged lands below the line of mean lower low water as they existed before reclamation work was begun, so far as Los Angeles Harbor is concerned, we believe it would be impossible at this late date to ascertain just where the submerged lands were. Even if the Congress should feel constrained to adopt any one of these resolutions we maintain that the meaning of the term "submerged lands" should be clearly defined. A copy of the map referred to is submitted herewith.
The Board of Harbor Commissioners of Los Angeles has carefully considered the object sought to be attained by these resolutions, that is, the conservation of natural resources for public defense. It does not feel that it is within the scope of its duties nor does it feel competent to say in what manner this object should be attained, but it feels in duty bound to object if the title of the city to the lands and waters under its control, supervision, and management, together with the improvements thereon, the whole constituting one of the great ports of this country, is questioned or jeopardized.
Respectfully submitted for the Board of Harbor Commissioners of the City of Los Angeles, Calif.
CLYDE M. LEACH,
Assistant City Attorney. Mr. WALTER. We will proceed with Mr. Trammell.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE TRAMMELL, CITY ATTORNEY OF THE
CITY OF LONG BEACH, CALIF.
Mr. TRAMMELL. My name is George Trammel, and I am city attorney of the city of Long Beach. We hoped to have put up during the noon recess some airplane photos showing this new oil field as well as the harbor there in Long Beach, which I think will be of aid as illustrative of some of the questions that you gentleman have had in mind.
I should like first to rapidly trace our title for you and attempt to answer some of the questions some of you
have asked. As you all know, California was at one time a part of Mexico. It was acquired by the United States through the Treaty of Guadalupe. The territory was held for some time and then a constitution was drafted by convention and ratified by the people of California.
In that constitution the boundaries of the State of California are set forth. One of those boundaries is the seaward side as extending 3 miles out into the Pacific Ocean and paralleling the coast line as far as it goes. That constitution was presented to the then President of the United States, who transmitted it to the Congress. The Congress received that and admitted California into the Union.
In the resolution admitting California into the Union it was stated : That the State of California shall be one, and is hereby declared to be one, of the United States of America and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the Original States in all respects whatever.
I have here a photostatic copy of that resolution, and I am not going into the question here of the gentlemen from the Navy Department as to the last part, because I think that a mere reading of that by the committee is a refutation of the representations advanced, unless the committee desires to go into that point.
It is our position that there was a recognition of the boundary of California; the boundaries of California have been 3 miles out into the sea ever since.
In 1911 the State of California granted to the city of Long Beach, all of the right, title, and interest of the State in and to all tide and submerged lands whether filled or unfilled, below the line of ordinary high tide of the Pacific Ocean, to be held in trust and upon certain conditions. In general, those trusts and conditions are that the property should be used for the purpose of building a port, and a harbor to be used for all people, that there could be no discriminations and tolls and so forth and so on.
At the time of that grant the boundaries of the city of Long Beach extended 3 miles out into the sea, along this entire waterfront, which is some 8 or 10 miles. At all times since the boundaries of the city of Long Beach have extended for 3 miles out into the sea.
The city of Long Beach, with its own funds, has constructed and in carrying out the grant of the State of California, has either already expended or incurred in the building of that harbor, in excess of 1612 millions of dollars.
The oil was discovered in this harbor district, and the people of the State
Mr. ROBSION. What is the date of that?
I might say here that was discovered over in Wilmington, and it is called the Wilmington oil field, although as the map will show
Mr. ROBION. There was no oil in 1923 when these rights were granted by the State? There was no oil discovered in 1923 or before?
Mr. TRAMMELL. There; at that particular place?
The people of the city of Long Beach, about 2 years ago, prepared a charter amendment, and in that charter amendment
Mr. WALTER. May I interrupt you at this point? Do you think the eastern boundary of the State of New Jersey was 3 miles in the Atlantic when it became part of the United States?
Mr. TRAMMELL. As to whether it was 3 miles, I do not know. I think that it was sufficiently far to protect its borders, and I think that each of the original States came in as a sovereign, and as an incident to that sovereignty they owned a sufficient amount of the territorial waters around that, to properly protect that State.
I frankly am not in a position to advocate as to whether it was 3 miles or 25 miles, but I do think that the principle was there.
That charter provision provided that the board of harbor commissioners of the city of Long Beach should have the power to develop and extract and sell oil in the harbor district, that is on lands owned by the city of Long Beach in the harbor district, including the tideland which the city might own.
Mr. Robsion. The Legislature of California granted that?
Mr. TRAMMELL. That was adopted by the people of the city of Long Beach and then ratified by the legislature, unanimously ratified by the Legislature of the State of California.
Mr. ROBSION. What was the date of that?
Mr. TRAMMELL. I have it in my brief. That was on May 14, 1937, I think; and I also will have copies of that.
Now, this charter amendment-we recognized that we held those lands in trust. Those lands were held by us to build a harbor, and
a therefore the people of the city of Long Beach with a sincere and honest desire to carry out that trust put in certain provisions as to what should be done with the moneys derived by the city of Long Beach from the development of that oil. Therefore, they provided that at least 50 percent of that money should be put into a special fund and it could be used only for paying off the principal and interest of the bonded indebtedness of the city which had been voted and expended solely for harbor purposes.
In other words, that money that was put in there, 50 percent was to be used only for paying off the harbor bonds and interest, and no other bond, just the harbor bonds, that is, until a sufficient amount was in there to amortize that out.
The remainder was to go into the harbor-improvement fund and is to be used solely for the building of a harbor.
Therefore, in its final analysis, by the provisions of the charter, the money which the city of Long Beach gets not only from its tidelands, gentlemen, but its other land, and we do own other lands, in the harbor district, uplands, must be used solely for that purpose.
Mr. ROBSION. Does that continue forever?
Mr. TRAMMELL. Yes; until it is changed. We might say to you, and I will reach that in just a minute, that I think is all that it can be used for and our supreme court has rather intimated that also.
Mr. HANCOCK. The school system gets none of that revenue ?
Mr. TRAMMELL. That is the State, and the State does provide that the State moneys there, a certain amount of it goes into the State revenue and we felt, I can say to you, that we felt that those prop
erties there, those tidelands had been turned over to the city for harbor and navigation purposes, and therefore in carrying out that trust, that the money should be taken from those lands and put back into building a port and in an aid of commerce and navigation, and that is why we have it that way.
Mr. HANCOCK. How much revenue does the city of Long Beach derive from these oil wells?
Mr. TRAMMELL. I might state that there have been no wells drilled yet out in those tidelands. I was hoping that we would have these airplane photos which we will get immediately, or are you going right on through? Mr. WALTER. We are going to recess.
Mr. TRAMMELL. When this oil was discovered, naturally a lot of people became envious of us, and even the State had some litigation with us, and we found this
Mr. MCLAUGHLIN. Have you accounted for all of the moneys now or 50 percent of it?
Mr. TRAMMELL. Fifty percent goes into a special fund which is to be used for the payment of the principal and interest on harbor bonds. All of the rest of it goes into the harbor revenue fund, which can only be used for building and maintaining a harbor and for navigation.
In other words, the whole part of it must be used to pay off past harbor debt or build a new harbor, and I might say today that we have in excess of $1,000,000 worth of projects going on in building a port there, and a great many of these are for the direct and some of them for the sole benefit of the United States Navy.
When Long Beach started in on some of the developments we had litigation. We had some wells we started on property which we considered to be upland, they had never been tidelands, and the difficulties we ran into immediately, when such litigation was threatened, was difficulty of leasing that property out. We made some very favorable leases, we think, and then when the wells were brought in, because the question had been raised by the State, there was a question of disposal of the oil, and I can say to you gentlemen who have been experienced in questionable titles to oil, that when a question as to the title of that is raised, it is very, very difficult to dispose of that oil.
We had great difficulty in disposing of that oil, which we all felt was without a question from uplands. We went through the supreme court in litigation with the State, and the supreme court of our State held that the city of Long Beach owned these lands, the submerged lands, in fee, subject to these conditions, and that it did have a right to go ahead and develop those lands for oil.
I should have told you that in this same charter provisonMr. Robsion. May I ask you, after California had granted this title and charter, and so on, why was this litigation which in effect was to repudiate the charter granted to them?
Mr. TRAMMELL. The State contended that it had not conveyed the oil rights, and that was the litigation.
Mr. ROBsion. The court held that Long Beach held it in fee?