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Indian Office they certified something that was not authorized by law. They have paid for something that Congress never appropriated for, and I think it could be recovered by an action on the part of the United States for the benefit of the Indians. In some cases they get appropriations for counsel fees, but not in this manner. How can you liberalize the language of the act so as to include counsel fees when they enumerate the other items specifically? The inclusion of one excludes the other under the rule of construction of statutes.
There is another thing that I do not need to point out, because you can find it by reference. I want to make this point in addition to the other, that this appropriation, from 1915, was an appropriation “for the expenses of the general council.” If they had left it out, of course, legal expenses would be included, even if not specified, but we had paid some of these annual bills; I think most of them were in the annual appropriation bills. This appropriation simply said " for the fiscal year” mentioned, and we afterward paid them. For instance, in 1919, for the fiscal year 1918, they presented their bill, which, I think, covered almost the whole appropriation, and it was paid. By what reason can they now bring in a bill for covering all prior years? They also presented the bill within the appropriation, whether it included counsel fees or anything else--a very important point about the expenditure, when rendering an annual bill of expense, and which is paid, unless there is a distinct understanding otherwise, that pays the bill up to date. The last bill presented and paid was for the fiscal year 1921.
Mr. JEFFERIS. That is July 1, 1921 ?
Mr. STEENERSON. Yes, sir. When you paid that, there is no authority to go back and pay for the years you have already paid.
A further point that I want to make is that I did not hear all of Mr. Ballinger's recital. I want to say that he is a very industrious man and I have no personal animosity toward him. I listened to him as long as I could while I was here, and I can not understand how he can claim anything for the fiscal years prior to 1921.
The appropriation act for the fiscal year 1919, approved May 25, 1918, appropriated $10,000,“ or so much thereof as may be necessary,” to pay the expenses of the general council and the expenses of said general council in looking after the affairs of said tribe, including the actual necessary expenses of the legislative committee in visiting Washington during the second session of the Sixtyfifth Congress. The itemized bill for this amounted to $9,929.30, so that there was $69.70 left. The claim was therefore paid in full. It was for the Sixtyfifth Congress, second session. No further claim can be recognized for this session.
Mr. Roach. If you will pardon me, he claimed in that connection that the amounts paid to him were only credits on his account.
Mr. STEENERSON. I did not hear him say that. I do not think that is just right. If you will examine the photostatic copies of account, there was no mention of credit; it was for the bills, and therefore when paid they are paid. So far as I can understand, the only right and justifiable claim before the committee would be for the actual work done since the fiscal year 1921 instead of for prior years. He and the council he represents have received from 1915 down to date thirty-four thousand and some odd dollars, a large sum.
Mr. Roach. Mr. Ballinger reports $9,000 and Mr. Meritt reports something över $10,000.
The CHAIRMAN. Anyhow, it is in the record.
Mr. STEENERSON. If you will examine these photostatic copies it can be ascertained. I have summarized them in a statement.
Mr. LEATHERWOOD. Is it your contention you have referred to accounts, accounts stated technically?
Mr. STEENERSON. Yes, sir. It seems to me you could not bring in a bill approved for the expenses for a fiscal year and get paid and then come in and say that was not all. · I have been connected with the Postal Service for 19 years. I have had charge of the large appropriations, which we examined in detail, and nobody would ever think of coming in with a bill covering the same period for which an appropriation has been made and once paid
Mr. Roach (interposing). Has Mr. Ballinger ever rendered a bill, or has he just accepted payment without rendering any bill?
Mr. STEENERSON. This comes from the bureau. I suppose these items are all enumerated here.
Mr. Roach. Does it show the disposition of the general appropriation? It does not show any bills rendered at all.
Mr. STEENERSON. I am simply making a statement and I will leave it to your wisdom.
Mr. ROACH. I just wanted to find out if the bill has been rendered.
Mr. STEENERSON. This is a statement of expenditures for the sum of $6,000 appropriated by the act approved May 18, 1916, from the Chippewa tribal funds for the council and delegates, expenses for the fiscal years 1915, 1916, and 1917. Here are the items : National Hotel, Gus H. Beaulieu, lodging, etc., $11.25"; then, “ Gus H. Beaulieu, traveling expenses, $283.61 ; William Madison, traveling expenses ” —that is ditto- “$32.80.” Then there are a whole lot of traveling expenses, giving the different names, running from $3.60 to $30, and, down to the last item in the footing, each one is minutely specified, “ This has been paid."
The CHAIRMAN. If you will pardon me, Mr. Steenerson, Mr. Ballinger, if he were working for anyone, was working for the council, and is it not possible that the council paid him from year to year what it could spare out of this appropriation?
Mr. STEENERSON. Oh, I do not think so.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it your contention that when Mr. Ballinger was paid a certain amount out of an appropriation that that was all the council had agreed to pay him for that year?
Mr. STEENERSON. I do not know anything about that, but I do say that when the council, through their legislative agent, asked for an appropriation of $6,000 or $10,000 to reimburse them for expenses for the fiscal year and Congress passed it and it was paid, that they could not afterwards come in and bring in another bill for the same fiscal year.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is a good point. I think that is the best point that has been made in the argument so far on the question.
Mr. STEENERSON. I thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. I think you have pointed out rather a salient point, but I still maintain that if Mr. Ballinger was working for the council he may still have a fair claim against it for services that have not beer settled, up to this time. Whether it is due to him in what he reports, is another story.
Mr. STEENERSON. The burden of the other side would be to show such a thing. Calling attention to a fact which all business men know, when you appropriate a sum to pay for the expenses of the year and that money is paid, you can not afterwards go up and charge it over. What Mr. Ballinger has shown here since the fiscal year 1921 expired, I do not know. It does not . seem to me it could amount to very much. I do not remember what he said about it. I do not think I was here when he reached that period.
The CHAIRMAN. My understanding is that the bill presented here covers Ballinger's services in this connection since 1918 down to a certain date in 1921.
Mr. BALLINGER. Since 1914.
The CHAIRMAN. Since 1914. Such payments as he has had, according to his understanding, have been simply on account.
Mr. STEENERSON. He has not said that, as far as I know. If the committee wants to put that interpretation on it, I can not agree.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not say that the committee desires to place that interpretation on it. . That is the information I have gathered from the testimony I have heard.
Mr. STEENERSON. If I present a bill for services and Congress appropriates a certain sum for the payment of that claim, it is paid ; that is the end of the story, so far as the law of business goes. However, there is here another point that I make, that the appropriation bill for this last year-I want to read it because it relates to this—this is for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1919
Mr. JEFFERIS. Is not that the same one that you read before?
That the sum of $10,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary, of the tribal funds of the Chippewa Indians of the State of Minnesota is hereby appropriated to pay the expenses of the general council of said tribe to be held at Bemidji, Minn., beginning July 9, 1918, pursuant to the constitution of the
general council of said Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, organized in May, 1913. and to pay the expenses of said general council in looking after the affairs of said tribe, includ.ng the actual and necessary expenses of its legislative committee in visiting Washington during the second session of the Sixty-fifth Congress; said sum to be immediately available and said actual and necessary expenses to be approved by the president and secretary of the general council and certified to the Secretary of the Interior and as so approved and certified to be paid.”
I think I am repeating, but you will excuse me.
The items of expenditure that they are authorized to pay does not include legal expenses, lawyer fees, because they have enumerated all the items they appropriated for, but left out employment of legal counsel, either for the tribe or the alleged general council. (See appropriation act for fiscal year 1917 and subsequent appropriation acts.) Even if by reason of general language legal services may be included, they must be for the time covered by the fiscal year for which the appropriation is made.
Mr. Roach. Do you make the same contention as to each one of the various appropriations made in the past?
Mr. STEENERSON. Unless legal expenses are enumerated.
Mr. Roach. I mean in these appropriations made in a general way, do the Chippewas pay any legal expenses not particularly authorized in those appropriations?
Mr. STEENERSON. Most of them have been in the annual appropriation bills; they are not specified.
Mr. Roach. I was rather impressed with the point you made that Mr. Ballinger would be bound by the council and if he presented an account here for general allowance, and secured that general allowance, that any of their subagents, such as Mr. Ballinger, would later on be precluded from asking any additional amount. If you are correct in that conclusion now, that no attorney fees were contemplated or authorized, would not that destroy the suggestion which you have just made?
Mr. STEENERSON. Charge it against the acts. In some acts they do specify attorney fees and in some they do not, and where it is omitted I 'contend thai they can not bring in anything except what is specified.
Where a statute enumerates the persons or things to be affected by its provisions, there is an implied exclusion of others; there is then a natural inference that its application is not intended to be general. (Sutherland, on Statutory Construction, p. 413.)
Mr. JEFFERIS. This language you have just read says to pay the expenses of the general council in looking after the affairs of said tribe. That is general language. Then it says, “ Including the actual and necessary expenses of its legislative committee in visiting Washington during the second session of the Sixty-fifth Congress.”
The CHAIRMAN. You mean the employment of counsel ?
Mr. STEENERSON. But you will find that this photostatic copy includes items that were earned or alleged to be earned after the fiscal year.
The CHAIRMAN. Suppose the attorney in this case had neglected to send in his bill previous to a certain date and the appropriation had been made, would they have a right to take from that fund under that language and pay a bill which had been created six months or a year before?
Mr. STEENERSON. If it presented a clear case of loss of memory or something of that kind the draftsman of the present bill evidently admits that former appropriation bills did not include legal services, for now this bill says, “ for all expenses of the general council of said tribe incurred in all litigation and proceedings instituted by direction of said general council.”
The CHAIRMAN. Permit me to ask you a few questions.
The CHAIRMAN. You are deeply interested in this matter because the Indians whom you represent are involved in the money and you are desirous of saving the tribe as much money as you possibly can. In all of your arguments here I have not seen, perhaps I have not listened-I have not seen anywhere where you pointed out anything that would show that Mr. Ballinger had not represented the council and had not given them good service and had not earned the money that he claims. I want you to point that out.
Mr. STEENERSON. I will come to that immediately. In this Mr. Ballinger does not represent the Indians, as I contend. He represents this organization, a paper organization, which one band controls, a few of them have had control for the last 10 or 12 years.
There are many bands, as shown by a paper prepared by Mr. Henderson, as follows:
Reasons why the so-called “general council ” of the Minnesota Chippewas does not properly represent the Chippewas of the State in their tribal matters are as follows:
On January 14, 1889, at the time the Nelson Act went into effect, there were four distinct classes of Chippewa Indians residing within the State of Minnesota, namely, the Mississippi Bands, the Pillager Bands, the Red Lake and Pembina Bands, and the Lake Superior Bands.
Of the Mississippi Bands there were six, namely, Gull Lake, Mille Lac, Sandy Lake, Rabbit Lake, Pokagomin Lake, and Rice Lake. Of the six, four resided for the most part on the White Earth Reservation, one at Mille Lac Lake, and one on the White Oak Point Reservation.
Of the Pillager Bands, three, namely, the Leech Lake, Case Lake, and Lake Winnibigoshish, resided on three separate reservations adjoining one another known as the Leech Lake, Case Lake, and Lake Winnibigoshish Reservations; the fourth, namely, the Otter Tail Band, residing on a distinct portion of the White Earth Reservation.
The Red Lake Band resided on their own reservation at Red Lake, and with them some of the Pembina Band, the other Pembinas having removed to a tract of land embracing a separate township within the limits of the White Earth Reservation.
The Lake Superior Bands, namely, the Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, and the Bois Forte Bands, resided each on separate reservations known, respectively, as the Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, and Bois Forte Reservations.
The effect of the Nelson Act was not to throw into hotchpot all the property rights and interests of all the bands of Chippewa Indians above named, but only such portions of the property belonging to each as was ceded to the United States for sale and disposition under the express terms of the act.
This left the Minnesota Chippewas as a body the owners of a prospective communal fund in which all the members of the bands were to participate according to the terms of the act. It did not disturb in any wise the other property interests, rights, or claims of the respective tribe which were not expressly ceded under the terms of the act.
Certain property rights and interests claimed by one or more of the respective bands are wholly separate and distinct from the property owned or claimed by other Minnesota Chippewa Bands.
Sonre of the property rights, interests, and claims of one or more of the bands are the subject of antagonistic claims by other bands.
Among the bands interested alike in the proceeds arising from the administration of the trust created by the act of January 14, 1889, some are opposed to being represented before the Department of the Interior and the Congress of the United States by the so-called general council” of the Minnesota Chippewas.
Among the Minnesota Chippewas, irrespective of the organization according to bands, there are different classes of members having opposite interests in respect to the manner in which the trust funds should be administered and disposed of. Accordingly the class or classes which are not in control of the management of the so-called general council are opposed to having their interests represented by that organization and should not be compelled to do so.
They have conflicting interests. The legislation which Mr. Ballinger has advocated before this committee is hostile to the Red Lakers. It would be ruinous to them. Why should they pay out of their share of the trust funds for hostile services? The White Earth Bands have 6,500 population out of a total of 10,000. They elect 65 delegates out of a total of 100. The Red Lake Band was given only 15 and the other band 20. Why, there would be a saturnalia of fraud if these timberlands on Red Lake and other lands were thrown open to the highest bidder at auction. That is the substance of the bill that he advocates, and to divide the proceeds among the Indians.
Mr. SANDERS. You spoke of his having done something for the Indians ?
Mr. STEENERSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. STEENERSON. He has sought to give the Indians control of their own money.
The CHAIRMAN. Permit me to state that the assistant commissioner has put into evidence the statement that the council represents 60 per cent of the Indians involved in this matter, so there would be more than a few.
Mr. STEENERSON. Sixty per cent of the Indians belong to White Earth, and of these the council represents a majority. It is a majority of a majority-not a majority of all the Indians. Those on other reservations and, if you add the minority on the White Earth—25 per cent—you have 65 per cent actually opposed to this council. There have been conflicts with the full bloods for a long t'me, and these men who control this council have always, as the full bloods claim, feathered their own nests at the expense of the others. People up there are well aware of this controversy.
Mr. Roach. Your contention is that 1 per cent controls 60 per cent?
Mr. STEENERSON. There are 100 votes in the general council. The White Earth Indians control 65 votes. If you control a majority, the same as you do in a caucus of the House, you have the council. if you call a council somewhere, as they did at Bemidji, a long distance away. Statements I introduced showed that they paid thousands of dollars for traveling expenses for those Indians. These full bloods have not any expense money and they can not travel; it is utterly impossible.
I never interfered with any of Mr. Ballinger's bills unt:l I saw that his scheme was to release the Indians entirely from all Government supervision. In fact, one bill, if I recall aright, was to give thé general council jurisdiction to supercede the Indian Office, and that they wanted to sell and dispose of all the lands and timberlands that were on any of these reservations and divide the proceeds per capita. We would have thousands of helpless Indians, some of whom would go to the Government and say, “ We are the wards of the Government," a great many in my district. The others who are United States citizens would be thrown on the State and county authorities.
Mr. SANDERS. The bill you have just referred to, when was it introduced in Congress?
Mr. STEENERSON. The bill that Mr. Ballinger had introduced ?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; but the one that we had the large hearings on and on which we worked for a month. Mr. Ballinger was not the only man, by any means, who thought it should be done.
Mr. STEENERSON. The question was asked whether or not Mr. Ballinger had done anything against the interests of these Indians.
The CHAIRMAN. No; that was not the question. I asked you to point out whether or not Mr. Ballinger had earned more than he had received, or whether he was entitled to compensation.
Mr. STEENERSON. That depends on whether he services have been in good faith in behalf of the Indians, or whether they have been in behalf of the able men who are American citizens. The proposition of all of these bills, I recall, has been to emancipate the Indians and their property from the control of the Government. I think that would be disastrous. I see my people are interested, because it would turn them over to the State and county authorities as paupers. That has been the claim of this general council for years, that the way to benefit the Indians was to turn them loose and let them rely on themselves. That is all right for a young man, but take an old man or an old woman, suffering from trachoma, nearly blind, or tuberculosis—you can ask Mr. Collins, who is here from the Department of Justice and was up there recently, and he will tell you that nearly 50 per cent of the Indians, especially the full bloods, are suffering now, and that the State authorities are trying to do what they can for them. That result has followed from the activities of these gentlemen who want to have them released. The first bill that released the lands of the allottees was known as the Clapp Act.
The CHAIRMAN. In order to bring the matter somewhere near a conclusion, it is your judgment, as I understand from your argument, that you are opposed to this bill?