« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Mr. BALLINGER. I call the attention of the committee to the fact that under date of January 20, 1919, again under date of April 19, 1919, again under date of January 30, 1920, and again under date of July 19, 1919, I addressed communications to the Indian Bureau, with the request that I be furnished information with reference to the expenditure of funds, particularly on the Red Lake Reservation, so that I might make a comprehensive statement to the committee, or file their statement with the committee, but I have never been able to get any statement from the Indian Bureau with reference to expenditures made from funds not shown on that statement thus far. I would like to have it. The CHAIRMAN. Have you got what you desire in these figures here now Ż Mr. BALLINGER. No, sir. Those figures show the amount that was received and went into the Treasury. Under section 7 of the act of 1889, the departments were authorized to deduct from the funds received, operating expenses, and only the net amount went into the Treasury. Only the net proceeds went in there. What I am trying to get at is the amount of expenditures before the deposit in the Treasury, and I can not get it. Mr. ELSTON. That is a proper question to ask. We will ask Mr. Meritt for that in one of these items. Mr. MERITT. We have no objection to furnishing that information to the committee, but the Red Lake Indians object to Mr. Ballinger assuming to handle the Red Lake affairs when he is taking a position contrarv to the interests of the Red Lake Indians. Mr. ELSTON. Mr. Meritt, of course, Mr. Ballinger is here in a little different capacity from that of a meddler. He is here o: practically, so far as outward indications and credentials go, the official representative body of the Chippewa Indians, and that body, representing all of the Indians, would certainly have a right to inquire . a certain preferential band, as they allege, has had preferential treatment, and if so, to what extent. Now, I should think that the representatives of the whole body should have the right to inquire into the affairs of a particular little group. Now, there was a half intimation in your remark that it was presumption for all the Chippewas of Minnesota to inquire about whether these Red Lakes had not had some draw off they ought not to have had, and it looks to me as if they ought to have full opportunity to find out just exactly how the Red Lake affairs stand, and if they can find that the Red Lakes have gotten anything that belongs to all the Chippewas they ought to have it, if they can establish their claim to it. It looks to me like that is a perfectly proper inquiry. Mr. MERITT. That conclusion would be absolutely correct, if the general council did represent all the Chippewa Indians. Mr. ELSTON. Well, so far as the legality of it is concerned—I am not speaking of it now from the standpoint of what you call the merits or essential representation—I am speaking of the legal right by reason of the prima facie aspect of the thing, if you want to call it that: They have got the certificate of election, they have got the official representation, so far as the laws permit them to represent that whole body. In essence, you say they do not represent them, but they surely are in a position to legally make demand and get returns on it. Then, if their position legally in getting this data is not a sound.
one, you will later take care of that. If the result would be to harass and irritate them merely, in order to get data upon which a legal claim might be established on the part of all the Chippewas to get something from the Red Lakes which the Red Lakes claim they ought to have, I should say it is a perfectly proper result.
You can not contemplate with any degree of aversion the capture by the whole of the Chippewas of something that the Red Lakes think they own and strenuously are keeping. That, of course, is a calamity to those who might be friends of the Red Lakes, but it is purely a matter of right and justice to all of the Chippewas, so I would like to see, myself, this thing opened up to give absolutely free access to everything on the part of everyone.
Mr. RHODES. Do you object to furnishing the information for the record ?
Mr. MERITT. Not at all, but what we do object to, gentlemen-and I want to make it perfectly plain—what we do .object to is this: Mr. Ballinger is constantly asking for detailed information regarding Chippewa affairs, and it would take the time of a large number of clerks to get that information for him. Now, we have pressing. matters coming up in the Indian Bureau, and we are behind in our correspondence, and this matter can not be settled by anybody except the Court of Claims, and at the proper time we will furnish the Court of Claims with all available information. We have even gone so far in the jurisdictional bill as to say we will furnish attorneys that information free of charge, but we do not want to be harassed continually by these requests for information, which take the time of clerks that have so many other things to do.
Mr. ELSTON. What you mean is this. You do not intend to give to attorneys, whether they have a case or not, the mere right of discovery to go into all of your affairs in order that they might possibly rake up something, stale and old, which might be the basis of a claim and in that respect to the extent of giving them a job?
The CHAIRMAN. That is about the essence of it.
Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, I have a letter from the Commissioner of the General Land Office, showing the moneys expended outside of those enumerated in the Treasury Department's statement, and I will ask that that be included in the record so that you may have the facts. I have had no difficulty in obtaining information from any other Bureau but the Indian Bureau. (The letter referred to is as follows:)
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
GENERAL LAND OFFICE,
Washington, February 21, 1920. Mr. WEBSTER BALLINGER,
Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SIR: In response to your letter dated January 30, 1920, requesting to be advised as to the total amount expended by this office in the disposal ceded Chippewa Indian lands in Minnesota under the act of January 14, 1889 (25 Stat., 642), I have to advise you that, according to House of Representatives Document No. 645, second session Sixty-second Congress, pages 11 and 12, mentioned in my letter of January 27, 1920, addressed to you, the total amount reimbursed to the United States May 16, 1911, on account of expenditures for the Chippewa Indians from appropriations by Congress for the relief, civilization, survey, allotment, negotiations, drainage, and for educational purposes properly reimbursable under said act and subsequent acts was $3,820,439.05. Said Document No. 645 shows an itemized statement of the disbursements, some of which were made under the superivision of the Office
of Indian Affairs. You can probably obtain more definite information in regard to such expenditures from that office.
The expenses of surveying the lands, for which the Government was reimbursable, amounted to $92,197.42, as computed in this office in 1903, and the total expenses of the various examining corps in the way of salaries to October 31, 1903, were about $317,000.
This office does not have the figures showing definitely all the expenses incident to the surveying, examining, and selling of the lands and pine timber. These may be obtained from the Indian Office, or from the proper accounting officers.
The total disbursements made by the superintendent of logging up to January 1, 1920, under the act of January 14, 1889, and the act of June 27, 1902 (32 Stat., 400), are $400,831.20. Very respectfully,
('LAY TALLMAN, Commissioner. Mr. HENDERSON. In order to make my position clear on the record, on behalf of the Red Lakes I desire to say that the Red Lake Indians reserve the right to show to the committee, which they will do in the brief, their views on this question as to whether the General Council represents all the Chippewas in Minnesota, exclusive of the Red Lake Band. They declare, of course, and they maintain the position throughout this hearing, that the General Council does not represent the Red Lake Band. They will want to be heard as to the extent to which the General Council represents the rest of the Chippewas in the State of Minnesota.
Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, I was requested by the president and members of the General Council to thank this committee for the courteous manner in which they have been received, and the careful attention you have given to their matters, and I am merely obeying instructions. Personally I desire to extend my appreciation.
The CHAIRMAN. The appreciation is gratefully received on the part of the committee.
Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, this is the first time in almost 31 years that an inquiry has been made into their affairs and they appreciate it.
The CHAIRMAN. If there is nothing further, we will consider the hearing on the Chippewa matters closed, and we thank all parties concerned for the courtesy they have extended the committee.
Mr. HENDERSON. On behalf of the Red Lakes I desire to say that they very much appreciate the courtesy of the committee, Mr. Chairman.
(Whereupon the hearing was closed.)