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[House Report No. 3593, Seventy-first Congress, first session]
A BILL To authorize an additional appropriation of $7,500 for the completion of the acquisition of land in the vicinity of and for use as a target range in connection with Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That a sum not to exceed $7,500 is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the completion of the acquisition of lands in the vicinity of and for use as a target range at Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont, and the Secretary of War is hereby authorized to complete the acquisition of said land.
LEASE PORTIONS OF AIR DEPOT, LITTLE ROCK, ARK.
FEBRUARY 24, 1931.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. HILL of Alabama, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 15493]
The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 15493) to authorize the Secretary of War to lease to the city of Little Rock portions of the Little Rock Air Depot, Ark., introduced by Mr. Ragon, having considered the same, report thereon with the recommendation that it do pass with the following amendment:
Line 8, strike out the period, insert a comma, and add the following: reserving to the United States, however, the right to resume possession_and occupy said tract, or any portion thereof, whenever in the judgment of the President an emergency exists that requires the use and appropriation of the same for the public defense.
Your committee is of the opinion this amendment should be adopted in order to protect the interests of the United States should it ever be necessary for the Government to use this air field.
H. R. 15493 is a bill authorizing the Secretary of War to lease to the city of Little Rock for an indeterminate number of years a portion of land connected with the intermediate air depot at Little Rock, Ark., and at present used as a flying field. This particular tract is now under a 5-year lease to private individuals who have subleased it to the city of Little Rock. The city of Little Rock has $200,000 with which they are purchasing land adjacent to the air depot in the construction of a large and commodious flying field. The work on this flying field is being rapidly pushed in order that the field may be made ready for immediate use for a landing field for a transcontinental airmail route.
In order to use this $200,000 in preparation of this flying field it is necessary that the city of Little Rock acquire the lease of the small flying field on the property of the intermediate air depot, and it must be for a longer period than five years, which is provided by the present
lease. Therefore this bill permits the city of Little Rock to lease it for an indeterminate number of years. Under the terms of this bill the city of Little Rock will provide a large field which will not only provide sufficient accomodations for the transcontinental air-mail route and commercial aviation activities, but will also provide increased facilities for the Observation Squadron of the Arkansas National Guard. Under the terms of the bill the present status of any lessee or sublessee will not be affected.
The report of the Secretary of War is as follows:
WAR DEPARTMENT, February 19, 1931.
Hon. W. FRANK JAMES,
Chairman Committee on Military Affairs,
DEAR MR. JAMES: Careful consideration has been given to the bill (H. R. 15493) to authorize the Secretary of War to lease to the city of Little Rock portions of the Little Rock Air Depot, Ark., which you transmitted to the War Department under date of January 5, 1931, with a request for information and the views of the War Department relative thereto.
That portion of this depot upon which the buildings and the major portion of the improvements are located was acquired subsequent to April 6, 1917, for storage purposes for the use of the Army, and is therefore covered by the act of July 11, 1919 (41 Stat. 129; 10 U. S. C., sec. 1263), which authorizes the President, through the head of an executive department, to lease property acquired for such purposes which, in the judgment of the President or the head of such department, is no longer needed for use by the United States. The remainder of the reservation was not acquired for storage purposes and can therefore be leased only as authorized by the act of July 28, 1892 (27 Stat. 321; 40 U. S. C., sec. 303), which authorizes the Secretary of War to lease property for the time not required for public use, for a period not exceeding five years and revocable at any time.
In 1925 the State of Arkansas was, by revocable license, authorized to use the landing field at this depot for the training of the One hundred and Fifty-fourth Observation Squadron, Arkansas National Guard, and is still using it. This use, however, is only for limited periods during the year. The Ordnance Department, the Quartermaster Corps, and the Arkansas National Guard have for some time used some of the installations on the tract acquired for storage purposes. Their needs, however, are served by a small part of the installations. During the past several years several projects for the use of the entire property, or portions of it, by commercial interests, the city of Little Rock, the State of Arkansas, and the Camp Pike honorary commission were initiated, but no satisfactory arrangement was effected. As a consequence, in 1930, the property was advertised for leasing and the White Bros. & Co., as the highest bidder, were awarded a lease. This lease, in so far as the area subject to leasing under the act of July 11, 1919, is concerned, is for a term of five years from May 23, 1930, with an option in the tenant to renew for an additional 5-year term, and subject to revocation only in." the event of emergency, the Secretary of War's determination of the emergency to be conclusive. The remainder of the property (the landing field) by the same instrument was leased, under the act of July 28, 1892, for five years from May 23, 1930, subject to revocation at the will of the Secretary of War. The lease reserved to the United States those parts of the property and installations used by the Ordnance Department, the Quartermaster Corps, and the State of Arkansas, and the use by the United States and the One Hundred and Fifty-fourth Observation Squadron of the landing field. Under this lease, in addition to the annual rental of $2,400, the United States secures the maintenance of the property by the lessee. The city of Little Rock did not submit a bid.
It is understood that the city of Little Rock has, by sublease from White Bros. & Co., obtained the landing field, subject to the rights reserved by the United States for its own purposes and for the benefit of the National Guard of Arkansas. The city of Little Rock now has a project for the development of a municipal airport involving the use both of the Government landing field and of additional land adjoining it on the east.
After due advertisement the Little Rock Air Depot was leased for a period of five years and the leases will not expire until May 22, 1935. The War Department, although it has the power to do so, does not wish to revoke the present lease as to the flying field merely for the purpose of turning the property over to
the city, as the city failed to avail itself of previous opportunities to bid on it. The proposed legislation authorizes the Secretary of War to lease to the city of Little Rock such portions of the Little Rock Air Depot as are now or may hereafter become available for leasing, but as the property is under lease until May 22, 1935, it is not believed that the proposed legislation will accomplish a useful purpose at this time.
For the above reasons the War Department does not favor the passage of the
F. H. PAYNE,
Acting Secretary of War.