« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Roberts' Rules of Order shall govern the procedure of all meetings of the committees and the general council.
FRANK CAJUNE, Chairman.
JOE Louis. Adopted by the General Council of the Chippewas of Minnesota this 4th day of October, 1915% and as amended by the general council at its fourth annual meeting, held at Bemidji, Minn., July 11, 1916.
I, Paul H. Beaulieu, secretary of the General Council of Minnesota Chippewas and custodian of the records thereof, do hereby certify that I have compared the foregoing copy of Constitution and By-Laws of the General Council of all the Chippewas in Minnesota with the original thereof, now in my custody, and that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of said constitution and by-laws, and of the whole thereof.
Witness by hand and the seal of the General Council of Minnesota Chippewas this 20th day of January, '1917. (SEAL.]
PAUL H. BEAULIEU, Secretary General Council Chippewas of Minnesota. Attest:
J. G. MORRISON, Jr., Chairman Executive Committee of General Council. Mr. JEFFERIS. Is that the general council that you are representing? Mr. BALLINGER. That is the general council that was organized in May. Mr. JEFFERIS. Just answer my queston.
Mr. BALLINGER. Yes, sir. This is the general council organized in May, 1913, specifically referred to in every appropriation bill enacte:1 since that time.
Mr. Chairman, it has been charged that I have performed certain work, shown bills drafted and introduced in Congress, that has been injurious to the more ignorant and helpless class of Indians. I throw the cold challenge to any man that makes that accusation to point out any provision contained in any bill that I have ever had anything to do with that is injurious to the more helpless class of Indians. I have with me several of those bills, including one now pending before this committee, and I lay them there and I ask the man who makes those charges to point out so that I may deal with it specifically. That is a fair proposition. If it can not be done I want them to shut up. I will pass them over and I want him to point it out.
The Indian Bureau and the department knew at all times that I appeared before those branches of the Government as the duly accredited attorney for the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota. This is shown by petition filed April 19, 1919:
“Comes now the general council of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, by its attorney, Webster Ballinger, and respectfully shows unto your honor."
There can be no question about it.
Mr. BALLINGER. I am reading now from a copy of a petition filed with the Secretary of the Interior that presented and covered the entire Chippewa situation.
The CHAIRMAN. What is that paper and give the date?
Mr. BALLINGER. The Tomahawk, the official paper of the Chippewa Indians, printed at White Earth, Becker County Minn., April 24, 1919. The object in. printing that was so every Indian among the Chippewas might know exactly what the general council was doing, an:/ when it has held its general council the resolutions adopted by each general council have been printed in full in that paper so that every Indian, every white man, every person interested, might know exactly what that general council has done.
Mr. JEFFERIS. That is true prior to 1919?
Mr. BALLINGER. Prior to 1919 I can not say that all of them were printed, but the substance of the resolutions as adopted will appear in the Tomahawk after every council.
Certified copies of the records of the general council showing my employment under the resolutions adoptel were annually filed with the department. Certified copies of the annual transcripts of the records were filed so that the department knew exactly what I was doing and what the authorization was. I was at all times received at the department and accorded every recognition that I could have been accordled had I held an approved contract. Every dollar paid me by the general council passed through the Indian Bureau in the form of accounts submitted and were carefully scrutinized. They are there present in the Indian Office so that any man may see them. The Comptroller of the United States held on at least two occasions that sections 2103 to 2107 of the Revise 1 Statutes of the United States had no application to my employment in view of the authority given the general council in the laws annually passed by Congress to look after the affairs of the Chippewa tribe. The Comptroller hel:1 that in looking after the affairs of the tribe the services of an attorney were necessary and overruled the objections of the Indian Bureau to the payment of the accounts on the ground that I had not an approved contract as required by sections 2703-2707 of the Revised Statutes of the United States.
Gentlemen, this bill presents no new proposition. It has been the policy of Congress ever since I can recall or ever since I can find any reference to Indian matters in the statute books to do justice to attorneys who had rendered valuable services to Indians without approved contracts: In many instances Congress has realized that the Indians would have been left helpless, as in the present case, if they had not been able to obtain the services of an attorney without an approved contract. The laws of Congress contain many provisions for payment of fees of attorneys, reasonable compensation for services rendered without approved contracts. I shall refer only to a few of the laws. The act of May 29, 1909 (35 Stat., 444, p. 445), referring the claim of Samuel Garland against the Choctaw Nation to the Court of Claims for compensation upon the basis of quantum meruit. At page 451 it referred the claim of Belt and Mullen against the Choctow and Chickasaw freedmen to the Court of Claims for equitable adjudication on the basis of quantum meruit. At page 457, the claims of Vernon et al. and Winton et al. against the Mississippi Choctaws were referred for allowance upon the basis of quantum meruit.
The act of February 15, 1909 (35 Stat., 619), referred the claim of the Mille Lac Indians against the United States to the Court of Claims and provided for the allowance of just compensation to the attorneys on the basis of quantuin meruit. No approved contracts.
The Indian depredation act of March 3, 1891 (26 Stat.. 851), authorized the court to allow reasonable compensation for work done by the attorneys. The act of June 21, 1906 (34 Stat., at 377, 378), authorized the Court of Claims to allow reasonable compensation to Bulter, Vale & Gordon for services rendered the Colville Indians, which services were rendered exclusively before the committees of Congress.
The act of August 1, 1914 (38 Stat., 582, 600), authorized the Secretary of the Interior to allow reasonable compensation to the attorneys who secured the enrollment of the persons named in the act. The act of July 6, 1912 (37 Stat.. pt. 2, p. 220), authorized the Secretary of the Interior to consider the claim of the attorney of record in certain cases therein named, " and to allow said attorney such fee as he may consider reasonable and just." In that case there was no approved contract.
I could continue the citation of similar acts indefinitely wherein ('ongress has authorized either the Court of Claims or the Secretary of the Interior to consider the claims of attorneys for services rendered where there was no approved contact, and to allow the attorney fair compensation. The test in each of these cases has been the value of the attorney to his client.
Mr. DALLINGER. Is there any question as to that?
The CHAIRMAN. Those older ones, I expect, were taken to the courts before the bureau was operating under such a regulation as we have now put into the laws, that the contract must be approved by the Indian Bureau and by the Secretary of the Interior.
Mr. JEFFERIS. Is that in the law?
The CHAIRMAN. Ever since I have been on the committee fees of attorneys have either been fixed or limited to a certain per cent and the contract must be signed by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs or Secretary of the Interior. Mr. BALLINGER. Sections 2203 to 2207 of the Revised Statutes were enacted back in the seventies, and Congress has been passing just such legislation as this ever since their enactment to do equity and justice between the parties and to the attorneys.
The CHAIRMAN. I am glad you cited those cases because that is information for me, anyway.
Mr. BALLINGER. There can be no question about the attitude of Congress throughout in these matters.
Now, I want to deal first as briefly as I can with this mass of stuff that Mr. Coffey has been injected into this record. It is only fair to the general council, because some of the men against whom these charges have been leveled are now dead and they can not speak for themselves. Therefore, it is necessary that I bring to your attention the official records so that you yourselves may decide from those records whether or not there is a word of truth in those charges.
Mr. KNUTSON. I would like to be heard on H. R. 6872 before we get into any controversial matter that is unrelated to the bill under consideration.
The CHAIRMAN. We have had hearings going on for more than a week and have gotten to the point where I supposed the testimony was all in and Mr. Ballinger is to make rebuttal.
Mr. KNUTSON. I have been the bureaus every morning this week and it has not been possible for me to appear before.
The CHAIRMAN. We have given Mr. Ballinger 20 minutes and after that we will hear you.
Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, before I proceed, I will ask Mr. Coffey if Benjamin Caswell is president of the general council from whom he claims to hold authority.
Mr. COFFEY. He is president of the incorporated General Council of the Chippewa Indians.
Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Coffey stated to this committee that he came to me, or rather, that I went to him in the fall of 1917 and solicited employment; that he told me that he would take it up with the Indians out in that country and that he later arranged for my employment under which the contract was signed. Mr. Chairman, the services rendered under the contract to which he referred, commenced with the filing of a suit, as will appear from the official record, on September 17, 1915, in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. That is two years prior toʻthe time he says that I came to him. There is the official record. I will be glad to have anyone check it up.
Mr. JEFFERIS. That is two years before you entered into the contract?
Mr. JEFFERIS. Two years before that you had been bringing suit, or had you, on that same matter?
Mr. BALLINGER. Yes, sir; under authorization from the officers of the general council.
Mr. JEFFERIS. Was it in regard to the same matter?
Mr. BALLINGER. Same subject of litigation. Now, Mr. Chairman, at the meeting of the general council held in July, 1917, at which Mr. Coffey appeared as a delegate from Fond du Lac, there is his name, James I. Coffey, in the record this resolution was adopted by the general council, resolution 12, and he sat in that council and voted for it.
“It is hereby resolved that the president of the general council and the executive committee shall make such arrangements with Webster Ballinger, attorney of the city of Washington, D. C., to continue in his present capacity in representing the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota before the courts and the departments of the United States upon the cases now in progress between the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota and the offices and departments of the United States in Washington, and to arrange to provide for all necessary expenses to continue to completion all suits and action already taken on behalf of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, and provide for and pay the fees of the said Webster Ballinger for said services. The legislative committee of the general council is hereby authorized to procure from Congress an appro
priation of the funds of the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota in the Treasury of the United States a sum sufficient to pay said fees and expenses which may be found and agreed upon by the president and the executive committee of the general council.”
That was six months before the time he says he employed me.
Mr. BALLINGER. He was present, as shown by the official record, and voted for the resolution. Were you present at that council in July?
Mr. COFFEY. That council that you refer to as having employed you had no existence before that. This that you refer to was on the Indians in secret council; the council or commission which you refer to as having authorized we did not know anything about. The only thing we have known about
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). He is taking up your time.
Mr. BALLINGER. I can not let him take up any of my time. He says that his crowd represents the full-blood element of the Indians of that country. When they are talking about the full-blood element, they are talking about a misnomer. On the White Earth Reservation 7,000 Indians were allotted in 1913. There was a classification of those Indians into mixed bloods and full bloods. There was found to be 156 of the 7,000 that were full bloods; that is, enrolled as full bloods. If he represents the full-blood faction, he represents 156 out of 7,000 on the White Earth Reservation.
Mr. COFFEY. Will you let me explain?
Mr. BALLINGER. He came here as a delegate in the fall of 1917, as a duly accredited representative, one of the legislative committee of the general council. He had no sooner gotten here than he commenced to play double with his colleagues. They found it out, and they wired to President Morrison to come here, and Morrison came to Washington. Morrison sent for him and told him that if he did not play the game on the level he would be removed. Thereupon Coffey resigned. He went to Minnesota and organized what he calls this other council in 1918. Benjamin Caswell was elected the president of that general council that was organized in 1918. I have here a photolithographic copy showing the scheme that Coffey and Caswell have been trying to work out since the organization of that council. This is a photolithographic copy of a letter signed by Banjamin Caswell and addressed to the Nichols-Chisolm Lumber Co., Frazee, Minn., dated December 5, 1918, three or four months after that council was organized. I will read the paper, because it is the most startling proposition that has come to my attention. It is as follows:
Cass LAKE, MINN., December 5, 1918. The PRESIDENT NICHOLS-CHISOLM LUMBER Co.,
Frazee, Minn. SIR: This letter is addressed to you for the purpose of submitting to your company and through you to others who would be similarly affected by my contemplated action.
I have a good selected case with the intention of bringing the same for action in the proper court against the constitutionality of the whole of the socalled Clapp Act. The Morrow decision as to taxes of the said Clapp Act gave me absolute encouragement of taking the case to court for a final conclusion, but the events have transpired which lead me to make the proposition I am going to make for your consideration. The full bloods for whose sympathy inspired me for the contemplated action have been paid a large sum of money as additional consideration for the lands and timber they have attempted to convey, this in a great measure is righted what I personally thought was injustice to the full bloods; that my success in the contemplated action would benefit almost entirely the mixed bloods who needed no aid of any kind in their personal allotted land deals; that my health is not what it might be and that I longed to have a peaceful rest; that the case in the contemplated action would inevitably take a long time to conclude, for the foregoing reasons, I make the following propositions :
That I drop forever of the contemplated action against the constitutionality of the Clapp Act for the consideration of
1. That you and others give $100,000 in cash to me in hand immediately or as soon as consistent to good business.
2. That you have your attorney, Mr. R. J. Powell, member of the Chippewa Enrollment Commission, to place on the White Earth Reservation status roll the following allottees as full bloods :
0-369 Me ge zeence,
0_370 Lewis Caswell. I further agree to see to it that none of the foregoing take any action against your company on timber deals and land deals, if any, you have made in good faith with them.
If I do not hear from you in a few days I will consider my proposition rejected. I will add that if I once start the action, it will be impossible for me to call off the action as it will become a tribal case then. Yours, truly,
Mr. Chairman, when that came to the attention of Mr. Morrison, president of the general council, and Ben Fairbanks and other officers of the council, they said they would have nothing to do with those scoundrels, and since that time they have never permitted one of them to be elected to any office even as a delegate to the general council. Let me go one step further to clear it up.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be about the last step.
Mr. BALLINGER. In 1919 this man Coffey came here to Washington, claiming to represent the general council and represented to the department and Congress that he represented 90 per cent of the Indians in that country. The regular general council, through John W. Carl, then a member of its legislative committee here, took the matter up with Commissioner Sells, and Commissioner Sells sent for James I. Coffey, John W. Carl, and William Lufkins, who claimed to represent another faction, had a conference with them in the Indian Bureau, and there was then signed up an agreement by which an election was to be held in that country under the supervision of departmental officers. The official order that went out was dated June 2, 1919. It was signed by Cato Sells, commissioner, and approved by John W. Carl, representing the regular general council; William Lufkins, representing somebody out there that he claimed to represent; and James I. Coffey, representing the Caswell council.
Mr. BURTNESS. Is that the same conference Mr. Meritt has referred to in his testimony?
Mr. BALLINGER. Yes. That telegram was sent to every superintendent in the Chippewa country. I will not read it, but I want to include it in the record. The CHAIRMAN. Just that one sheet. (The telegram referred to is as follows:)
JUNE 2, 1919. DICKENS,
Superintendent, Detroit, Minn.: After conference here with representatives all factions Chippewa Indians it has been decided to adjourn the selection of delegates of both factions, proposed to be held to-morrow, June 3, until Tuesday, June 17, 10.30 a. m., when delegates will be selected to the general council to be held at Cass Lake Tuesday, July 8, 10 a. m. Said delegates shall be elected on the basis of 1 delegate for each 100 Indians or fraction thereof on each reservation and ceded reservation. You will notify immediately the Indians of your reservation of this action and direct them to be governed accordingly. The adjourned place of election on the White Earth Reservation shall be held in the pavilion at Pinehurst. You are also directed to be present on the day of election and see that it is conducted fairly and honestly.
CATO SELLS, Commissioner. Approved by:
John W. CARL.