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Mr. JEFFERIS. Mr. Burke, Mr. Ballinger, having known the law on the statute books, as you have mentioned, can you give this committee any reason why he did not proceed according to the statute during the time that he was rendering these services, or claimed services?
Mr. BURKE. I certainly could not give any reason. I said in my statement that I presumed it was for reasons best known to himself. I do not know whether he did it without knowing the law or whether he did it regardless of the law, thinking that he could get compensation anyway, I do not know.
Mr. HAYDEN. I asked Mr. Ballinger that question when he was testifying before us, and I gathered from his reply that he made no tender of contract because he was well satisfied it would not be approved.
Mr. BURTNESS. That was it exactly; that they were taking a position that was contrary to the wishes of the bureau at that time,' and that it would not be approved, and that was the reason why he did not present the contract. I think his testimony covers that.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other questions that anyone desires to ask the commissioner?
Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, could I ask the commissioner just a question or two, to clear up a matter here?
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think we ought to go into that. We cailed the commissioner here this morning to hear his testimony, after having had an opportunity to study the hearings; Mr. Ballinger has had several days in court; I think he stated his case quite fully, and if we open it up again there will be no end to it, and I think we ought to close the hearing right where it is now.
Mr. DALLINGER. I move it be closed.
The CHAIRMAN. You have heard the motion that the hearing close now. Now, the chairman, if it is agreeable to the committee, would like to have an executive session for just a few moments to discuss what we shall do about the matter.
Mr. BURKE. By unanimous consent may I make one statement?
Mr. BURKE. Mr. Ballinger wanted to ask a question, and I would have answered it very promptly if he had, if some of the things he was contending for were not for the benefit of all the Indians, and I most certainly say they were. If the Indians could sue the State of Minnesota and get several million dollars for swamp lands, that would benefit all the Indians. There are certain things he was contending that all would have benefited from if accomplished, I want to say that Mr. Ballinger has done much to bring about a much better relation between the so-called business council and the department than existed when I came into office. The attitude at that time was of such a nature and so antagonistic that the Tomahawk, a newspaper published by the White Earth Band, was assailing the department in every issue, and Mr. Ballinger has accomplished much in making things very much more cordial and pleasant than they were before.
(Thereupon, at 12.10 o'clock p. m., the committee went into executive session.)