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We are opposed to the passage of this bill in its present form. It is an amendment to section 1 of the act for the acquisition, establishment, and development of the George Washington Memorial Parkway along the Potomac from Mount Vernon and Fort Washington to the Great Falls, etc.
In the original measure the States of Virginia and Maryland are to pay one-half of the cost of acquiring the lands and construction in the respective States. It is provided in the act that "no money shall be expended by the United States for lands for any unit of this project until the National Capital Park and Planning Commission shall have received definite commitments from the States of Maryland or Virginia, or political subdivisions thereof, or from other responsible sources, for one-half of the cost of acquiring the lands in its judgment necessary for such unit of said project deemed by said commission sufficiently complete, other than lands now belonging to the United States; not to exceed $3,000,000 may, however, be expended by the United States for the payment in full of the purchase price of lands deemed by the commission absolutely essential and necessary to the project, said amount to be matched by subsequent donations, the total expenditure of the Federal Government for acquisition of lands in said parkway not to exceed 50 per cent of the total cost of lands acquired hereafter in such parkway."
This expenditure of $3,000,000 by the Government when the record clearly discloses that neither the State of Virginia nor the State of Maryland, nor any subdivision thereof, have provided the 50 per cent required by the original act, or neither of these States, nor the subdivisions thereof, are in any way legally committed to the payment of its proportional part in the acquiring of said lands or any unit thereof, nor has the same been guaranteed from any responsible sources therefor, and this appropriation and expenditure of $3,000,000 is based purely upon the assumption that the States of Maryland and Virginia or the subdivisions thereof will, at a later date, meet the requirements of the original act by providing their one-half of the funds; but, as above stated, there is nothing in the record to show that either State, or any subdivision thereof, has bound itself in any way in a legal manner to provide this fund, or any part of it.
If the $3,000,000 is expended and the States of Maryland and Virginia, or the subdivisions thereof, should fail to provide one-half of the amount as required by law, then it would mean a $3,000,000 loss to the Federal Government, or the Government would have to pay the entire money to build the project without any contribution from the States of Maryland or Virginia.
It is said that the Government could well offer to do this and make it a Federal project and not a joint project with the States. If this is the intention or the purpose of the committee, then the bill should
recite the facts that the House may know that it is wholly a Federal Project to be acquired and the construction paid for with funds of the Government, and not upon the condition or representation that the Government is to contribute one-half of the money necessary to acquire the lands and build the project.
PEARL P. OLDFIELD,
E. E. ESLICK.
CANCEL CERTAIN REIMBURSABLE CHARGES AGAINST LANDS WITHIN GILA RIVER INDIAN RESERVATION, ARIZ.
FEBRUARY 12, 1931.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. LEAVITT, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the following
[To accompany S. 5313]
The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S. 5313) to cancel certain reimbursable charges against certain lands within the Gila River Indian Reservation, Ariz., having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it do pass without amendment.
The report of the Secretary of the Interior, which is appended hereto, was requested in connection with H. R. 14992, the House bill which is identical to S. 5313 in the form in which the latter was introduced. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee, in reporting S. 5313, have adopted the amendments suggested by the Secretary of the Interior.
Hon. SCOTT LEAVITT,
Chairman Committee on Indian Affairs,
Enactment of this bill is urged by the Secretary of the Interior in order to cure a situation which will work injustice to owners of allotted Indian lands of the Gila River Reservation that are now included, or may in the future be included, in the San Carlos irrigation project. The favorable report of the Secretary of the Interior is as follows: DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Washington, February 2, 1931.
MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: In response to your request of December 12, 1930, for a report on H. R. 14992, which is a bill that would cancel certain reimbursable charges against certain lands within the Gila River Indian Reservation, I transmit herewith a memorandum on the subject that has been submitted by Assistant Commissioner Scattergood of the Office of Indian Affairs.
After a review of the proposed measure, agree with Mr. Scattergood.
Very truly yours,
RAY LYMAN WILBUR, Secretary.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Memorandum for the Secretary.
This is in reference to a letter addressed to you under date of December 12, 1930, from Hon. Scott Leavitt, chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, House of Representatives, with which he transmitted a copy of H. R. 14992, Seventy-first Congress, third session, for your consideration and report.
The proposed legislation will relieve the allotted Indian lands of the Gila River Reservation, that are now included or may in the future be included, in the San Carlos irrigation project, of the old reimbursable obligations made years ago, except for an electric transmission line, the cost of which is placed at $100,000 and which is considered an asset to that amount. These reservation lands would then be charged only with their share of the money expended for irrigation on the San Carlos project, together with such charges for the clearing and leveling of the lands as may be placed against them under legislation subsequent to the San Carlos act.
In the pending Interior appropriation act, H. R. 14675, as it passed the House (71st Cong., 3d sess.), pages 30 to 31, is language which eliminates irrigation expenditures prior to June 7, 1924, with the exceptions therein made from being considered as part of the cost of the San Carlos project to be covered by contract between the United States and the San Carlos irrigation and drainage district, as required by the act of June 7, 1924, supra. Unless the present bill be enacted into legislation, injustice will result, as these old costs will remain a charge against the Pima Indian lands included in the San Carlos project, thereby placing the construction cost against those lands between $30 and $35 in excess of the construction cost against the white-owned lands within the said San Carlos irrigation project. There is no justification for such inequities.
The second section, page 2 of the proposed bill, contemplates the dividing of the old reimbursable obligations, with the exception of the $100,000 for the electric ransmission line, into two classes-First, those represented by works of a stated present value; second those not so represented by a present stated value. The second class would include the expenditures for the Sacaton Bridge; the cost of surveys and investigations which while not now represented by tangible works were necessary and produced valuable results.
The proposed legislation would write off all of the charges listed in the second class. It would leave reimbursable to the United States the present value of the tangible structures except the Sacaton Bridge. The value of the small part of such structures as are of use in serving the secondary Indian allotments, situated outside of and far below the San Carlos project, would remain charged against those lands in the amounts that the Secretary of the Interior may determine, not exceeding in the aggregate $50,000. The present value of the rest of the structures is to remain reimbursable but charged only against the unallotted and other lands of the Gila River Reservation not included in the San Carlos project.
The general writing off of the old obligations for the purpose of relieving the Indian lands of the San Carlos project is advisable because of the fact that there are no tribal funds, and the tribal part of the Indian reservation lands is of relatively small value. The Gila River Indian Reservation consists of approximately 369,000 acres, of which 110,000 acres are regarded as possibly irrigable, leaving approximately 250,000 acres, suitable only for grazing, a large part of which is mountainous, and also some 10,000 acres susceptible of irrigation to be classified as tribal as distinguished from the irrigable allotments.
All of these old Indian reimbursable obligations, amounting to $1,685,545.69, are shown in the following table, together with the present estimated value of the tangible works:
1. Pima Santan Canal and structures.
2. Pima Casa Blanca Canal and structures..
5. Pima Sacaton bridge and dam..
6. Pima Gila River surveys...
7. Pima Gila River undistributed..
8. Pima Little Gila..
9. Pima Sacaton Flats.
10. Pima construction irrigation project.
11. Pima Gila River investigations..
12. Pima Lower Gila..
13. Pima M. & O. irrigation system.
14. Pima Sacaton Experimental Farm.
15. Pima Sacaton school pump...
16. Pima Salt River power payments.
(A) Structures, well canal
Item 1. Pima Santan Canal and structures:
(a) Santan Canal, width, 26 feet; length, 53,100 feet...
1 set river-control gates...
22 checks and turnouts..
(1) Structures in sublaterals
1 As siphon.
The above present values of items 1 to 4, inclusive, and the present value of item 5 to the extent of $75,000 as a siphon, totaling $162,000, is to remain reimbursable under this proposed legislation but hereafter only be a charge against the unallotted lands of the reservation. The $300,000 value of item 5 as a bridge is to be written off. The total present value of items 6 to 15, inclusive, aggregating not over $50,000 is to remain reimbursable, but only a charge against the secondary allotments outside the San Carlos project. Item 16, Salt River power payments, costing $100,000 and valued at the same amount, is to remain reimbursable as heretofore. This will leave a total approximating $312,000 of the old reimbursables still reimbursable and will write off the difference of $1,373,545.69.
A detailed analysis of the present value of the works constructed under these old expenditures is given below:
30 checks and turnouts.
9 concrete drops..
29 timber culverts..
Total for item 1..
718, 284. 14
40, 783.40 42, 913. 13 21, 197.90 790.22 17,553.83 3, 103.93 2,056.54 138, 593. 03 293.89
1,685, 545. 69 612,000.00
Original Present cost
Present value tangible works
23, 750.00 3,000.00 550.00 175,000.00 $300,000.00