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Mr. Merritt. Then I have here a statement prepared six years ago, when this matter was before the committee, by the representatives from Oklahoma, signed by each one of them individually. It is signed by Scott Ferris, James S. Davenport, Charles D. Carter, Wm. H. Murray, Joseph H. Thompson, William W. Hastings, Jim McClintic, and Dick T. Morgan.
It is a memorandum which shows the number of acres of land in Oklahoma, the amount subject to taxation, the amount of Indian land, and a general statement made relative to the application then for the other 210,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any objections to it going in; if not, it may go in the record.
(The document referred to follows:)
STATEMENT FROM THE OKLAHOMA DELEGATION IN CONGRESS.
(H. R. 15156. A bill granting to the State of Oklahoma public Lands, etc.) The object of this statement is to show the true conditions of the State of Oklahoma, and the facts connected with its enabling act, and why H. R. 15156 should be enacted into a law.
Oklahoma when admitted to the Union as a State was composed of the territories of the Indian Territory and Oklahoma. All of the Indian Territory belonged to the Indians, and out of the 20,000,000 acres of land there was not an acre subject to taxation. In the statehood bill Congress in lieu of section 16 and 36 gave to the State for the support of its common schools the sum of $5,000,000. Senator Nelson, when the bill was under discussion, in referring to this appropriation, stated that in his opinion the land if available would bring from ten to twenty million dollars, and we are practically sure that he was correct in his deductions.
When it is taken into consideration that only a little more than one-fourth of the number of acres included in the State were subject to taxation when the same was admitted to the Union, it can be readily seen that many of its citizens have had extra hard burdens to bear.
Statistics Oklahoma, 1907. Oklahoma.....
24, 979, 200 Indian Territory..
do... 19, 840,000
17,991, 333 Estimated acres held by homesteaders not taxable.
7,000,000 Approximate number of acres taxable 1907.....
10, 191,333 The authority for the granting of the land asked for in this bill arises out of two statutes, namely the act of July 2, 1862, and July 23, 1866. The first act in substance makes the following provisions:
"That there be granted to the several States, for the purposes hereinafter mentioned, an amount of public land to be apportioned to each State, a quantity equa] to 30,000 acres for each Senator and Representative in Congress,” etc.
Later on the act of 1866 was enacted into a law, which in substance makes the following provisions:
The State of West Virginia was admitted to the Union in 1862, with a representation in Congress of five. Later on, by an act of April 14, 1864, the grant of 1862 was extended to this State, and script was issued in lieu of the 150,000 acres.
Probably the facts connected with the State of Colorado come the nearest to being identical with those of the State of Oklahoma. The enabling act was passed March 3, 1875, no reference was made to the acts of 1862 as amended in 1866, neither were there any grants of land made in lieu of these acts, neither was the State exempted from applying later to Congress for any grants of public land. Nine years thereafter the Representatives of the State made application to Congress for the amount of land it was entitled to, and by the act of April 2, 1884, the following act giving to the State 30,000 acres of land for each Representative was enacted into a law:
“An act to enable the State of Colorado to take lands in lieu of the sixteenth and thirty-sixth sections found to be mineral lands, and to secure to the State of Colorado the benefits of the acts of July 2, 1862, entitled 'An act donating lands to the several States and territories which may provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and mechanic acts.'”
The Department of the Interior, in referring to the case of the State of Colorado, used the following language which supports the contention of the State of Oklahoma, that no reference was made to the grant of 1862 in its enabling act, and not receiving any land in lieu of the same, or being accepted from the grant, the State is entitled to the
“The only new matter contained in section three of this act is the declaration of the number of acres to which Colorado was entitled under the act of 1862, and since its enabling act did not exclude it from the benefits of said acts, the provisions of which are duly accepted by the State, this is the sole and only purpose of said sections, which was enacted, as stated in the caption ‘To secure to the State' the benefits of the act of 1862."
Congressman Timberlake, of Colorado, was also a member of the subcommittee that carefully considered this bill, and he likewise felt that this was another precedent for this kind of legislation.
Oklahoma came into the Union in 1907. It received land in lieu of the internal improvement grant and the swamp act grant, but no reference is made to the act of 1862 as amended in 1866. No language is used in the enabling act to except the State from receiving any other grant of public land, or to show that any land was received in lieu of the acts of 1862 as amended in 1866. The legislature of the State of Oklahoma in 1910 passed a joint resolution accepting the terms of the grants of 1862, and the governor and the attorney general representing the State made application to the Secretary of the Interior for the amount of land the State was entitled to, and this case has been pending until recently a decision, which in substance is to the effect that whether or not the State of Oklahoma should receive the benefits of this grant, was a matter for Congress to decide, and if the State was to receive any benefits the same would have to come by an act of Congress.
Oklahoma, like West Virginia, Arkansas, and Colorado, had nothing in its enabling act relating to the grants of 1962 as amended in 1866. The State did not receive any land in lieu of this grant, neither was it excepted from the benefits of any grants except the ones relating to internal improvements and the swamp act grant.
Oklahoma is nearly a parallel case with the State of Colorado. In the same manner it comes to Congress nine years after it has been admitted as a State and shows that it did not receive the grant of 1866 and was not given any lands in lieu of the same, and asks that it now be granted in the same manner as all of the States admitted to the Union and who have received the benefit of this particular grant.
The Secretary of the Interior held in the Colorado case “That the enabling act did not exclude it from the benefits of said acts, and Congress recognized the State's claim by passing the act of April 2, 1884. We also desire to call attention to page 8 of the report made on this bill to the language used by the First Assistant Secretary of the Interior, in which he holds that the act of 1866 was a pledge and is ineffectual as a grant without further legislation. This is in line with the decision rendered, in which it was held that it would be necessary for action to be taken by Congress in carrying out this pledge and is the procedure that had been followed by the State of Colorado.
We desire to state that the enabling acts of every State have been carefully read; that the reports made by the House and Senate committee in 1906 when the bill admitting Oklahoma was considered have been diligently searched; that every speech made on this subject in the Congressional Record and all records fail to show that it was the intention of Congress to except the State of Oklahoma from the provisions of this particular grant, and inasmuch as all are silent, and it has been held in the Colorado case where the enabling act was silent as to this particular grant that it did not take from this State the right to participate in this grant, and later on Congress by a special act did grant to this State 30,000 acres of land for each Representative and Senator in Congress when the same was admitted, that Oklahoma should be treated in the same manner.
This bill has been carefully considered by a special committee when a public hearing was held, later on it received a unanimous favorable report from the Public Lands Committee, and we are asking that the State of Oklahoma be given the same consideration as the other 13 States that have been admitted since the year of 1862. We will be so thankful if you can assist us by voting for this measure. Very respectfully, SCOTT FERRIS.
JOSEPH H. THOMPSON. JAMES S. DAVENPORT.
WILLIAM W. HASTINGS.
Dick T. MORGAN, Mr. MERRITT. Now, here is another statement, just one page. It shows the States receiving the benefits of the acts of 1862 and 1866, those granted script and those granted lands.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, it may go in.
(The statement referred to is as follows:) States receiving benefits of acts 1862 and 1866: West Virginia
.script.. 150,000.00 Nevada....
..do.... 90,000.00 Colorado..
..do.. 90,000.00 North Dakota..
.do.... 90, 000.00 South Dakota.
..do... 120, 000.00 Montana.
..do.... 190,000.00 Wyoming..
90,000.00 Utah (specially exempted).
200,000.00 Arizona (special grant).
New Mexico (special grant).
.do.... 10, 489, 236.00 Colorado.
..do.... 4, 431, 778.00 Idaho..
..do.... 3, 631, 778.00 Montana.
..do.... 5, 867, 618.00 Nebraska..
.di.... 3, 457, 911. 00 Nevada..
..do.... 2,723, 647.00 New mexico..
.do.... 12, 406, 026. 86 North Dakota.
..do.... 3,163, 476.00 South Dakota.
..de.... 3, 432, 604. 00 Utah.....
..do.... 7,414, 276.00 Washington...
..do.... 3,044, 471.00 Wyoming..
.do.... 4, 138,569.00 States receiving more land than Oklahoma (10): Arizona..
.do.... 7,385, 236.00 New Mexico.
..do.. 9, 312, 026. 00 Montana.
..do... 2, 773, 618.00 Utah...
..do.... 4, 320, 276.00 Colorado.
..do.... 1,337, 778.00 Wyoming..
..do.... 1,044, 569.00 Idaho.
637, 778. 00 Nebraska.
..do.. 363, 911.00 South Dakota...
338, 604.00 North Dakota..
.do.. 69, 476.00 States receiving less than Oklahoma (2).
27, 583, 272.00 Mr. MERRITT. I think, gentlemen, that is all I wish to say, except to thank you for giving us this hearing and to say to you that the people of Oklahoma would most gratefully receive this river bed in lieu of the 210,000 acres that I think, under the law, that we clearly have a legal title to.
I thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. We just have Senator Gore to be heard, and he could not be here to-day. It is 5 o'clock, so I think we might adjourn until to-morrow.
Colonel RootE. Mr. Chairman, in view of the statement made by Mr. Macey, I would like to have the privilege at the next session of putting in the leases explaining.
The CHAIRMAN. You contend that they were not assigned?
Colonel Roots. No; I do not decide that. That was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States (197, U. S.).
The CHAIRMAN. Contrary to his position?
Colonel Roots. Yes, sir; but I want to show the character of the title. I have the papers here now, and it would only take just a moment.
The CHAIRMAN. On the ground it was decided contrary to his position?
Colonel RootE. It is an affirmation of the decision of the Supreme Court of Cali. fornia in the case of Chrisman v. Miller, 140 California.
The CHAIRMAN. 197 U. S.; what page?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, you may get them. The committee will stand adjourned until 2 o'clock to-morrow.
(Whereupon at 5.15 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned.)
COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC LANDS,
Wednesday, January 24, 1923. The committee met at 2 o'clock p. m., Hon. Nicholas J. Sinnott (chairman) presiding
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen of the committee, I have received a letter from Judge Dale which I think should be read into the record:
January 18, 1923. Mr. N. J. SINNOTT,
Member of Congress, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SIR: It seems from a telegram I received from Colonel Roote, that Major Dyar, representing the Government, has made the statement that it was doubtful whether we gave to placer mining locators an opinion on Red River lands before they made location.