« PrejšnjaNaprej »
Mr. ToLAN. Did you not have a photostatic copy of something else this morning? Could you introduce that in the record ?
Mr. TRAMMELL. Yes. The copy of the act admitting California into the Union.
(The letter (Secretary of the Interior, December 22, 1933) and copy of act follow :)
CHAP. L.-AN ACT FOR THE ADMISSION OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA INTO THE
Whereas the people of California have presented a constitution and asked admission into the Union, which constitution was submitted to Congress by the President of the United States, by message dated February thirteenth, eighteen hundred and fifty, and which, on due examination, is found to be republican in its form of government:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 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.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That, until the representatives in Congress shall be apportioned according to an actual enumeration of the inhabitants of the United States, the State of California shall be entitled to two representatives in Congress.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said State of California is admitted into the Union upon the express condition that the people of said State, through their legislature or otherwise, shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the public lands within its limits, and shall pass no law and do no act whereby the title of the United States to, and right to dispose of, the same shall be impaired or questioned; and that they shall never lay any tax or assessment of any description whatsoever upon the public domain of the United States, and in no case shall nonresident proprietors, who are citizens of the United States, be taxed higher than residents; and that all the navigable waters within the said State shall be common highways, and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of said State as to the citizens of the United States, without any tax, impost, or duty therefor: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed as recognizing or rejecting the propositions tendered by the people of California as articles of compact in the ordinance adopted by the convention which formed the constitution of that State.
APPROVED, September 9, 1850.
THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, December 22, 1933. Mr. OLIN S. PROCTOR,
Long Beach, Calif. MY DEAR MR. PROCTOR: I have received, by reference from the Department of State, copies of your letters of October 15 and November 22.
As to the jurisdiction of the Federal Government over lands bordering on tidewater, the Supreme Court of the United States has held in the case of Hardin v. Jordan (140 U. S. 371), as follows:
"With regard to grants of the Government for lands bordering on tidewater, it has been distinctly settled that they only extend to high-water mark, and that the title to the shore and lands under water in front of lands so granted inures to the State within which they are situated, if a State has been organized and established there. Such title to the shore and lands under water is regarded as incidental to the sovereignty of the State-a portion of the royalties belonging thereto and held in trust for the public purposes of navigation and fishery-and cannot be retained or granted out to individuals by the United States."
The foregoing is a statement of the settled law, and therefore no rights can be granted to you either under the leasing act of February 25, 1920 (41 Stat. 437), or under any other public-land law to the bed of the Pacific Ocean either within or without the 3-mile limit. Title to the soil under the ocean within the 3-mile limit is in the State of California, and the land may not be appropriated except by authority of the State. A permit would be necessary to be obtained from the
War Department as a prerequisite to the maintenance of structures in the navigable waters of the United States, but such a permit would not confer any rights to the ocean bed.
I find no authority of law under which any right can be granted to you to establish your proposed structures in the ocean outide the 3-mile limit of the jurisdiction of the State of California, nor am I advised that any other branch of the Federal Government has such authority. Sincerely yours,
(Signed) HAROLD L. ICKES,
Secretary of the Interior. Mr. TRAMMELL. I want to call attention of the committee to this chart here. This is much larger than would appear on the chart. Mr. Johnson can explain this more fully to you but there are certain points that I would like to call attention to if I may.
For the benefit of those who have been here, this is the flood-control channel, and is the beginning of the harbor district, and this way is west.
This is the dividing line here from the city of Long Beach and Los Angeles. All of this property along here and all of this property [indicating] is owned by the city of Long Beach. There is in there several hundreds of acres of land, the greater portion of which has been filled land, filled entirely at the expense of the city of Long Beach.
In other words, here is all of this land in here, and a great deal over here [indicating] has been built by the city of Long Beach.
Now at one time that was tide as well as submerged lands and, according to our interpretation of this act, were it successful, why it would also have the same effect on these lands as upon the lands further on out. For your benefit, there have been billions of dollars expended here at the present time on these lands. There is more than $1,000,000 worth of improvements going on, a portion of which are for the exclusive benefit and use of the Navy.
I might say that this right here [indicating] shows the Navy landing there for the battle force when stationed off Long Beach. Mr. Johnson will explain to you the circles representing existing oil wells but I should like to call your attention to the fact that you will notice that on none of the city property except right over in here, there are no wells, and I might say that none of these wells have been whipstocked out into the ocean, and we require that each well that is drilled there that surveys shall be presented to the city, and they are very carefully checked, and we know where the bottoms of all of those wells are.
My point is that they have not been whipsocked out into the ocean.
Now I think it is apparent that under this act, if it is adopted, you will note that there is language there requiring the Justice Department to proceed through the proper legal proceeding to take trespassers off
, and also to prevent any further action. Now, you will note the great number of wheels here; and, of course, it will be very apparent to you that the passage of this act, and the stopping of the operations by the city of Long Beach is not going to create naval reserve for the Navy, but will be for the benefit of these privately owned wells, because I don't know of any theory that has been advanced so far whereby you can go up on the upland and stop all of those wells from producing, too; so you can see the great harm and damage which would come to the city if that is carried out, as well as those improvements.
141082-39—ser. 2- --12
I should like to call your attention again to these filings which have been made, and if I may I should like to have in the record this map which I believe each one of the members has, and I should like to call your attention to that part which fronts along the beach.
You will notice there that the entire front, or the water front of Long Beach, that is several miles, has been plastered with these claims. There are, at the last check, 111 applicants.
Mr. WALTER. We have been all over this, and I don't like to appear abrupt, but we have been over this, and I think it is fully as is necessary for our purpose.
Mr. TRAMMELL. There is just one point that has not been brought out with regard to that, and that is—may I ask you to consider this:
If this act is carried, do not the applicants—and if the Federal Government has title, are not the applications of these applicants good and do they not have a vested right and, therefore, will not the Federal Government be compelled to give them a prospecting permit!
There is a line of cases, Mr. Chairman, a long line to that effect, and I would sincerely request the committee to give very serious consideration—that, would not the effect of the passage of this bill be for the aid of these applicants?
May I simply suggest that?
Now, there have been some questions asked here about sovereignty over there. There is one excerpt from a case that I may read that is directly on the point, if I may. It is from a case which has been cited here quite a bit, but I haven't heard this part of it read, if I may.
Mr. MICHENER. Just right there, assuming that you are correct in your conclusion, does not this bill attempt to take and impound this oil as naval reserves and a contract might be entered into similar to the one that was entered into in connection with the Teapot Dome matter?
As I recall, those were naval reserves, and the Navy had control, and the only way that an outside interest might get any of the oil was through a contract with the Navy Department or the Interior, whichever Department controlled.
Fall entered into the contract.
Now, if this resolution becomes law, and this land and oil is taken as naval reserves, how could these claimants claim anything?
Mr. TRAMMELL. There are two answers to that, if you please. First, we have an engineer here whom we hope will be able to appear before you, who will show, we think, beyond any peradventure of a doubt, that it is physically impossible to establish naval oil reserves there.
The next point is that we believe that there is title, there must be title vested, either in the State of California, the city, or the Federal Government. In other words, it isn't something that is up in the air. Now, we think that unless you had the title, or the Federal Government has had the title all along, that you cannot go out and take that property unless you do it under the power of eminent domain.
Now, if the courts should decide that the Federal Government does have the title, and it has had the title all the way along, my point is then that these applications will have been good, they will have a vested right there, of which the Federal Government can not divest them without due process of law in the payment of just compensation.
Mr. MICHENER. Then this resolution would give no vitality to the Navy, as far as these particular reserves are concerned!
Mr. TRAMMELL. We think as a practical matter, that is what we have an engineer here for, that it is a physical impossibility to estab
લ lish a naval reserve there. We think that he can convince you gentlemen of that.
We think that he can also convince you of that as to all of the other nonsubmerged oil fields in California.
Mr. MICHENER. Personally, I am not interested in whether or not it would be a physical impossibility to establish a naval reserve there. To me it is a question of title to these lands, and I think that you are going far astray and getting away from the real question that is before this committee. I am speaking as one member of the committee.
Mr. WALTER. You voice the sentiment, I think, of the entire committee. What difference does it make if the improvement were worth $1 or $1,000,000; that is entirely immaterial, I think.
Mr. TRAMMELL. Mr. Chairman, the whole basis of the resolution, as I understand it, is that it is declared essential for the national defense, and so forth, that these things be done. Now, it is assumed that this committee which is passing on this matter has first determined those questions of fact, or you would not be passing upon such a resolution with those things in it. I think that those are some of the things.
Mr. WALTER. That is an engineering problem that we could never possibly be concerned with. Mr. TRAMMELL. You are supposed to pass upon it. Mr. WALTER. Just proceed, please,
Mr. TRAM MELL. This case of Shively v. Bowlby (152 U. S. 1), reads as follows:
By the common law, both the title and the dominion of the sea, and of rivers and arms of the sea, where the tide ebbs and flows, and of all the lands below highwater mark, within the jurisdiction of the Crown of England, are in the King. Such waters, and the lands which they cover, either at all times, or at least when the tide is in, are incapable of ordinary and private occupation, cultivation, and improvement; and their natural and primary uses are public in their nature, for highways of navigation and commerce, domestic and foreign, and for the purpose of fishing by all the King's subjects. Therefore, the title, jus privatum, in such lands, as are waste and unoccupied lands, belongs to the King as the sovereign, and the dominion thereof, jus publicum, is vested in him as the representative of the nation and for the public benefit.
That is the common law of England. Now we go ahead. The common law of England upon this subject, at the time of the emigration of our ancestors, is the law of this country, except so far as it has been modified by the charters, Constitutions, statutes, or usages of the several colonies and States, or by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The English possessions in America were claimed by right of discovery. Having been discovered by subjects of the King of England, and taken possession of in his name, by his authority or with his assent, they were held by the King as the representative of and in trust for the nation; and all vacant lands, and the exclusive power to grant them, were vested in him.
And upon the American Revolution all of the rights of the Crown and of Parliament vested in the several States, subject to the rights surrendered to the National Government by the Constitution of the United States.
The new States admitted into the Union since the adoption of the Constitution have the same rights as the original States in the tidewaters, and in the lands below the highwater mark, within their respective jurisdictions.
We go ahead to the next case of Weber v. State Harbor Commissioners, which deals with tide and submerged lands in the State of California (85 U. S. 18, 21 Law Div. 798).
Although the title to the soil under the tidewaters of the bay was acquired by the United States by cession from Mexico, equally with the title to the upland, they held it only in trust for the future State. Upon the admission of California into the Union upon equal footing with the original States, absolute property in and dominion and sovereignty over all soils under the tidewaters within her limits passed to the State with consequent right to dispose of the title to any part of said soils in such manner as she might deem proper, subject only to the paramount right of navigation over the waters so far as such navigation might be required by the necessities of commerce with foreign nations or among the several States, the regulation of which was vested in the Federal Government.
Again, another California case, if I may, please. The case of Knight v. United Land Association, 142 U. S. 161, dealing with the same question:
It is the settled rule of law in this Court
Bear in mind "the settled rule of law in this Court" that absolute property in and dominion and sovereignty over the soils and the tidewaters in the original States were reserved to the several States, and that the new States since admitted have the same rights, sovereignty, and jurisdiction in that behalf as the original States possess with their respective waters. Upon the acquisition of the territory from Mexico, the United States acquired the title to the tidelands equally with the title to the uplands, but with respect to former, with respect to the tideland they held it only in trust for the future State that might be erected out of such territory.
Mr. WALTER. They all follow Pollard v. Hagan, do they not?
Mr. TRAMMELL. Yes; but these are California cases, and this resolution here deals only with California.
Mr. GWYNNE. Those cases have to do with the title of land between the high-water mark and the low-water mark; they did not include the so-called submerged lands?
Mr. TRAMMELL. That is my understanding. As a matter of fact, the word “tidelands" is used interchangeably with “submerged lands." It is generally used by most writers unless they are getting down to a very fine point as covering both the submerged lands as well as the tidelands. Very seldom do you see that fine distinction made.
Mr. MURDOCK. Judge Hobbs made a distinction between the two in his argument.
Mr. GWYNNE. That is the point. I am wondering about that.
Mr. MURDOCK. He very specifically pointed out that the tide is between the high and low water, and he absolutely excluded it under his resolution and in his argument.
Mr. TRAMMELL. Does not the same principle apply?
Mr. TRAMMELL. I cannot see any difference in the principle between the tidelands and the submerged lands.
Mr. MICHENER. That is the head, heels, and stomach of his resolution.
Mr. TRAMMELL. There cannot be any distinction between them,
Mr. GWYNNE. I am not sure of those cases, but they decide the question of title to the submerged lands. There are a lot of cases that pass upon title of this land between high- and low-water mark, but cases that actually decide the title of the land beyond the low-water mark are rather few and far between, and I just wondered if you had any cases of them.