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013105, the Grand Oil and Developing Company, filed August 25, 1920, for 160 acres, affecting Secs. 7, 17 and 18, T. 5 S., R. 14 W., I. M.

013315, J. T. Pearson, filed February 17, 1921, for 160 acres, affecting Secs. 13 and 14, T. 5 S., R. 15 W., I. M.

013324, John S. Lutes, filed March 2, 1921, for 160 acres, affecting Sec. 18, T. 5 S., R. 14 W., I. M.

013340, Philip Freshwater, filed March 17, 1921, for 960 acres, affecting Secs. 5 and 6, T. 5 S., R. 14 W., and portions of Sec. 35, T. 4 S., R. 14 W., I. M.

APPLICATION FOR LEASE UNDER THE ACT OF FEBRUARY 25, 1920.

013062, Melish Consolidated Placer 0:1 Mining Association, tiled July 26, 1920, for 180 acres, affecting Secs. 4 and 5, T. 6 S., R. 12 W., and Sec. 32, T. 5 S., R. 12 W., I. M.

MISCELLANEOUS.

1042049, Pacific-Wyoming Oil Company, filed June 5, 1922, for 160 acres, affecting Sec. 18, T. 6 S., R. 14 W., and Secs. 13 and 14, T. 6 S., R. 15 W., I. M.

APPLICATIONS FOR HOMESTEAD ENTRY UNDER SECTION 2280 REVISED STATUTES.

012360, Robert S. Raysdale, filed May 7, 1919, for 160 acres, lying south of Sec. 36, T. 4 S., R. 14 W., south of Sec. 31, T. 4 S., R. 13 W., I. M.

012357, John M. Bender, filed March 6, 1919, for 160 acres, lying south of Sec. 36, T. 4 S., R. 14 W., I. M.

012753, Lillard Orville Wilfong, filed December 16, 1919, for 45 acres, affecting Secs. 6 and 1, T. 5 S., Rs. 15 and 16 W., I. M.

012782, Rufus H. Jones, filed January 12, 1920, for 80 acres, south of Sec. 36, T. 4 S., R. 14 W., I. M.

The CHAIRMAN. I have another letter from Secretary Fall, dated August 18, 1922. adressed to the chairman :

AUGUST 18, 1922. Hon. X. J. SINXOTT, Chairman Committee on the Public Landx,

House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. SINNOTT: Referring to H. R. 12233, dealing with alleged equities of oil claimants in the portion of the bed of Red River lying south of the medial line of the main channel, a number of interested parties were heard by me recently, or have filed briefs requesting various modifications of the bill.

I am convinced that the measure in its present form is well adapted, if Congress deems it proper, to vest the Secretary of the Interior with authority and discretion to adjust any equitable claims existing as to those lands and deposits, but to meet existing conditions, am willing to recommend the following modifications of the bill:

At the end of section 1, line 2, page 2. strike out the period and insert a colon and the following clause: “ Provided, That in the equitable adjustment herein provided for the secretary may give consideration to applications for permits or leases filed under the general leasing act of February 25, 1920.” Section 2, line 7, page 2, after the word

insert: Except where two or more locations or claims originally located or held by different persons have been assigned to one person or corporation, in which case not more than 480 acres in the aggregate may be leased to any such one person or corporation."

Section 3, page 2, line 14, after the word “lost" insert: * And any funds in the hands of the receiver or other Government officer shall, so far as they shall

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acres

be sufficient, be available, and the receiver or other officer, upon proper authorization, may pay said amount to the Secretary of the Interior.”

Section 4, line 25, page 2, add: “and including that portion of section 19 which provides that all permits or leases thereunder shall inure to the benefit of the claimant and all persons claiming through or under him by lease, contract, or otherwise, as their interests may appear.” Respectfully,

ALBERT B. FALL, Secretary.

With reference to H. R. 13475, introduced by Mr. Sanders of Indiana, I have the following report from Secretary Fall, dated January 2, 1923 :

JANUARY 2, 1923. Hon. N. J. SINNOTT, Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,

House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. SINNOTT: Answering your request for report upon H. R. 13475, authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to adjust and determine equitable claims to lands and oil and gas deposits south of the medial line of the channel of Red River, Okla., I direct attention to my letter of June 29, 1922, proposing legislation on this subject, which was later introduced by you as H. R. 12233. The purpose of that bill and H. R. 13475 appears to be practically similar, and I have no objection to interpose to the enactment of either measure.

It has been suggested that in order to secure for the United States and the State of Oklahoma their percentage of the value of the oil and gas produced and disposed of from these lands prior to the receivership the following proviso be added to section 4 of the bill :

Provided, That the Secretary of the Interior is authorized and directed to collect from the person or persons who produced and disposed of the same 121 per cent of the value of all oil and gas produced by him or them from any of said lands prior to the inclusion of said property in the receivership."

Such an accounting would be required by any lessee as to oil or gas produced by him by the bill as it stands, but it might be construed as not requiring such an accounting by others who might have produced and disposed of oil or gas prior to the receivership and who did not show themselves entitled to leases under this bill. Respectfully,

ALBERT B. FALL, Secretary.

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All of these bills were transmitted to the Attorney General, together with Secretary Fall's reports thereon, and the Attorney General was requested to report to the committee. For the information of the committee I shall read the report of the Attorney General, signed by W. D. Riter, Assistant Attorney General, dated January 11, 1923, addresed to myself:

JANUARY 11, 1923. Hon. N. J. SINNOTT, Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. SINNOTT: I am in receipt of your letter of January 6, 1923, requesting a report on certain bills providing for the disposition of oil lands lying in the south half of Red River, Okla., and funds derived therefrom; and also requesting me to designate a representative of this department to attend a hearing before your committee.

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These bills all deal, in the main, with lands and funds now in the possession of the Supreme Count of the United States by its receiver, and should, of course, be so expressed as not to interfere with the court's possession or with its jurisdiction to determine all matters in controversy upon the record before it.

Bill No. 12223, introduced at the suggestion of the Secretary of the Interior, however, provides for the disposition of these lands and funds without mentioning the litigation, and contains, as I believe, some provisions which might embarrass the Court, if it should become a law before the case is finally disposed of.

Bill No. 13475, however, is expressly guarded in this respect, and it is obvious, I think, that any legislation now enacted should contain some similar provisions.

Beyond this, however, all the bills, as it seems to me, proceed upon a fundamental misconception of the actual situation. There is in the hands of the receiver of the court a fund now approaching $3,500,000, most of which has , been produced from oil wells put down by the receiver himself under orders of the court. The court has already decided that neither the State of Oklahoma, the State of Texas, nor any of the private parties to the litigation has any legal rights whatever to or in the south half of Red River, or to the oil or the proceeds thereof.

All the bills, however, proceed upon the assumption that some of the private parties who went upon this land and began to develop for oil did so in good faith, and were only prevented by a technical construction of the law from reaping the benefits of their expenditures; for all the bills provide that when leases are granted by the Secretary of the Interior the lessees shall become entitled to all moneys in the receiver's hands less only a one-eighth royalty to be paid to the United States as owner of the lands. In other words, the authors of these bills assume that the situation is substantially the same as that provided for in the relief provisions of the leasing act of February 25, 1920 (41 Stat. 437). This assumption, I believe, is wholly unwarranted.

The relief provisions of the leasing act are contained in sections 18, 18a, and 19. Sections 18 and 18a relate solely and exclusively to lands withdrawn under the Executive order of September 27, 1909, and again withdrawn on July 3, 1910, after Congress, by the act of June 25, 1910, had given to the President express authority to make such withdrawals.

The relief given by these two sections only extends to parties who initiated mineral oil claims upon lands withdrawn by those two orders prior to the withdrawal; that is to say, the parties to whom relief extended went upon lands then undoubtedly open to mineral location. Their need of relief arose from the fact that while their entry and possession was perfetly legal they had failed to perfect their rights by making a discovery of oil before the lands were withdrawn; and this legislation simply recognized a right in them to go on and make a discovery, reap the benefits thereof, and enable them at their option to take a lease of the lands on a royalty basis rather than con tinue litigation with the Government.

Section 19 only gives relief to bona fide claimants under claims initiated when the lands were still open to location.

In the present case, however, none of the lands were open to location at the time the alleged claims were initiated, or at any other time. The Supreme Court has so expressly held. The claimants were trepassers ab initio, never had any right whatever to make locations on the land, and, by decree of the court, have been absolutely dismissed from the case.

This alone constitutes a fundamental difference between the two cases.

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be sufficient, be available, and the receiver or other officer, upon proper authorization, may pay said amount to the Secretary of the Interior."

Section 4, line 25, page 2, add : “and including that portion of section 19 which provides that all permits or leases thereunder shall inure to the benefit of the claimant and all persons, claiming through or under him by lease, contract, or otherwise, as their interests may appear.” Respectfully,

ALBERT B. FALL, Secretary.

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With reference to H. R. 13475, introduced by Mr. Sanders of Indiana, I have the following report from Secretary Fall, dated January 2, 1923:

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JANUARY 2, 1923.
Hon. N. J. SINNOTT,
Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,

House of Representatives.
MY DEAR MR. SINNOTT: Answering your request for report upon H. R. 13475,
authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to adjust and determine equitable
claims to lands and oil and gas deposits south of the medial line of the chan-
nel of Red River, Okla., I direct attention to my letter of June 29, 1922, pro-
posing legislation on this subject, which was later introduced by you as H. R.
12233. The purpose of that bill and H. R. 13475 appears to be practically simi-
lar, and I have no objection to interpose to the enactment of either measure.

It has been suggested that in order to secure for the United States and the State of Oklahoma their percentage of the value of the oil and gas produced and disposed of from these lands prior to the receivership the following proviso be added to section 4 of the bill :

Provided, That the Secretary of the Interior is authorized and directed to collect from the person or persons who produced and disposed of the same 121 per cent of the value of all oil and gas produced by him or them from any of said lands prior to the inclusion of said property in the receivership.”

Such an accounting would be required by any lessee as to oil or gas produced by him by the bill as it stands, but it might be construed as not requiring such an accounting by others who might have produced and disposed of oil or gas prior to the receivership and who did not show themselves entitled to leases under this bill. Respectfully,

ALBERT B. FALL, Secretary.

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66

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All of these bills were transmitted to the Attorney General, together with Secretary Fall's reports thereon, and the Attorney General was requested to report to the committee. For the information of the committee I shall read the report of the Attorney General, signed by W. D. Riter, Assistant Attorney General, dated January 11, 1923, addresed to myself:

JANUARY 11, 1923.
Hon. N. J. SINNOTT,
Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,

House of Representatives.
DEAR MR. SINNOTT: I am in receipt of your letter of January 6, 1923, re-
questing a report on certain bills providing for the disposition of oil lands lying
in the south half of Red River, Okla., and funds derived therefrom; and also
requesting me to designate a representative of this department to attend a
hearing before your committee.

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These bills all deal, in the main, with lands and funds now in the possession of the Supreme Count of the United States by its receiver, and should, of course, be so expressed as not to interfere with the court's possession or with its jurisdiction to determine all matters in controversy upon the record before it.

Bill No. 12223, introduced at the suggestion of the Secretary of the Interior, however, provides for the disposition of these lands and funds without mentioning the litigation, and contains, as I believe, some provisions which might embarrass the Court, if it should become a law before the case is finally disposed of.

Bill No. 13475, however, is expressly guarded in this respect, and it is obvious, I think, that any legislation now enacted should contain some similar provisions.

Beyond this, however, all the bills, as it seems to me, proceed upon a fundamental misconception of the actual situation. There is in the hands of the receiver of the court a fund now approaching $3,500,000, most of which has, been produced from oil wells put down by the receiver himself under orders of the court. The court has already decided that neither the State of Oklahoma, the State of Texas, nor any of the private parties to the litigation has any legal rights whatever to or in the south half of Red River, or to the oil or the proceeds thereof.

All the bills, however, proceed upon the assumption that some of the private parties who went upon this land and began to develop for oil did so in good faith, and were only prevented by a technical construction of the law from reaping the benefits of their expenditures; for all the bills provide that when leases are granted by the Secretary of the Interior the lessees shall become entitled to all moneys in the receiver's hands less only a one-eighth royalty to be paid to the United States as owner of the lands. In other words, the authors of these bills assume that the situation is substantially the same as that provided for in the relief provisions of the leasing act of February 25, 1920 (41 Stat. 437). This assumption, I believe, is wholly unwarranted.

The relief provisions of the leasing act are contained in sections 18, 183, and 19. Sections 18 and 18a relate solely and exclusively to lands withdrawn under the Executive order of September 27, 1909, and again withdrawn on July 3, 1910, after Congress, by the act of June 25, 1910, had given to the President express authority to make such withdrawals.

The relief given by these two sections only extends to parties who initiated mineral oil claims upon lands withdrawn by those two orders prior to the withdrawal; that is to say, the parties to whom relief extended went upon lands then undoubtedly open to mineral location. Their need of relief arose from the fact that while their entry and possession was perfetly legal they had failed to perfect their rights by making a discovery of oil before the lands were withdrawn; and this legislation simply recognized a right in them to go on and make a discovery, reap the benefits thereof, and enable them at their option to take a lease of the lands on a royalty basis rather than con tinue litigation with the Government.

Section 19 only gives relief to bona fide claimants under claims initiated when the lands were still open to location.

In the present case, however, none of the lands were open to location at the time the alleged claims were initiated, or at any other time. The Supreme Court has so expressly held. The claimants were trepassers ab initio, never had any right whatever to make locations on the land, and, by decree of the court, have been absolutely dismissed from the case.

This alone constitutes a fundamental difference between the two cases.

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