« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
under the supervision of the Secretary of the Interior, but said supervision shall extend no further than to see that every male adult member of the said tribe over 18 years of age is freely permitted to participate in said elections and that his vote is properly recorded; and that the votes cast in the general council are properly recorded. Without such acceptance and ratification this act shall be inoperative.
The object and purpose of that is to guarantee an absolutely fair and impartial election under the supervision of the department itself, of a general council, and that general council, again under the eye of the Secretary of the Interior,
is to consider this legislation and accept it or reject it.
Now, Mr. Chairman, that is important, for this reason. If this legislation is accepted by the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota in the way I have outlined, it is absolutely binding upon the Chippewa Indians. No claim can ever arise in the future against the United States, and this will clean up their matters for all time. Without that provision you are throwing open the gateway to possible claims arising in the future because the Indians have not accepted it, and you are changing treaties and agreements; and therefore, Mr. Chairmen, we submit that for the protection of the Government-and that is what this is designed and intended for, for the protection of the Government--that should be done.
Mr. MERITT. Mr. Chairman, this amendment is objectionable, for these reasons, among others: First, that it throws into the hands of the general council the power to say whether or not this legislation shall be accepted or rejected. The general council does not represent more than 55 per cent of the Indians of Minnesota whose property rights are involved. This legislation contains matters regarding the Red Lake Reservation and their property rights, and the general council has taken a position that is absolutely inconsistent with the position taken by the Red Lake Indians, and the Red Lake Indians, under this language, would have nothing to say in regard to this legislation, and it would throw all their property into the hands of the general council.
The CHAIRMAN. They would have the right to vote, would they not?
Mr. BALLINGER. Absolutely.
Mr. MERITT. They have all refused to participate in the proceedings of the general council or to send delegates to the general council.
The CHAIRMAN. But they have not refused to vote to ratify legislation ?
Mr. MERITT. But they have refused to have anything to do with the general council. If a provision of this character is to be placed in the bill it should be so worded that you would get an expression of all of the adult male and female members of the Chippewa Indians rather than get an expression of the members of the general council. That would be proper enough, so as to get an expression from all the Chippewa Indians, rather than from a few of them.
The CHAIRMAN. How would you propose to have this legislation ratified by the Indians ?
Mr. MERITT. If a provision of this kind is to be incorporated in the bill, I would have it ratified by a majority of all the adult male and female members of the Chippewa Indians, rather than to place it in the power of the general council.
Mr. ELSTON. What is your opinion as to the law question involved ? Would this bill, if enacted into law, be just as binding upon the Chippewas, even if it were not ratified, as if it were ratified ?
Mr. MERITT. My position is that Congress has absolute authority to enact this legislation, and it will be binding upon the Chippewa Indians, whether they ratify it or do not ratify it, as shown by the decision of the Supreme Court in what is known as the Lone Wolf case that I have quoted heretofore. · Mr. Elston. The only additional feature would be that in case ratification by the Indians were made, it would give it the added sanction of a contract, and of course the rules of evidence and interpretation and some of the rules of law applying to defenses against an act that is passed against the will of a person, even though the legislative agency
has absolute rights, would be a little different than they would be if the subject matter of the law was a matter of contract or agreement. Now, is that your contention Mr. Ballinger?
Mr. BALLINGER. The Supreme Court of the United States has settled this question in the case of Gritts v. Fisher, 224 U. S. at 648, from the Cherokee Nation. In that case the court held the legislation constitutional and valid, because the council of the Cherokee Nation asked that it be enacted, and the court held that it was binding upon them.
Mr. ELSTON. Do you think objection could be made, then, as to some parts of this act on the ground that it would be a repudiation of an agreement already entered into?
Mr. BALLINGER. Yes.
Mr. ELSTON. And to the extent that it changes an agreement made and nor preexisting law on the same subject it would not be valid?
Mr. BALLINGER. Precisely. It is my opinion that you can not change an agreement by some act of Congress without laying the Government liable to a claim.
Mr. Elston. That is in a mixed matter a part of which has been the subject of preexisting law. As to that part there could be no objection, but to the extent that the law also covers matter that has been the subject matter of agreement as well, you do not believe subsequent legislation can affect matters that have been agreed to between the Government and the Indians without the Indians' consent?
Mr. BALLINGER. Precisely that is my position, except this, that all the legislation to which the bureau refers has been in violation of the agreement of 1889 and we do not think it was valid, because it was prejudicial to the interests of the Indians and did not have their assent.
Mr. Elston. Mr. Meritt, on the other hand, you contend that notwithstanding this bill covers both subject matters, matters that have been enacted by law without agreement and matters that have been the subject of agreement between the Government and the Indians, that notwithstanding the mixed character of the subject matter in the bill, involving those two kinds of subjects, nevertheless this bill would be valid and binding if enacted into law, and no objection could be made to it; is that right?
Mr. MERITT. I think so, and my authority for that statement is the Lone Wolf decision by the Supreme Court, which I have quoted in the hearings.
Mr. RHODES. What was the point in that case?
Mr. MERITT. The point in that case was that notwithstanding the agreement with the Indians, Congress had the authority and the power to enact legislation, even inconsistent with the agreement, and that the act of Congress was binding upon the Indians.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, the Chairman would like, for his information, a combined bill, one prepared by Mr. Ballinger and one by the bureau, setting forth the amendments, that is setting them into the bill, those that have been agreed upon, and those that are in controversy, that is combining the two. As I understand it now, if anything is reported, there is no serious objection to reporting the jurisdictional bill and the original bill as amended as one bill. What I would like to have before me, for a study of the committee, is just what I have stated here. Take one of these bills and put it together, and interline it, and write it up so that we can have your notions about it before us, and also this, with the matters that have been agreed upon, without comment at all.
Mr. RHODES. Do we not also want Mr. Henderson's idea in the matter?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Henderson is going to give us a brief, as I understand it, and these other gentlemen will have 10 days in which to file briefs, and that is something we must consider. I think Mr. Henderson said he wanted to submit a proposed draft of legislation. That would be in addition to all this.
Mr. HENDERSON. That is my desire, Mr. Chairman, but whatever further is said upon this point, I desire it distinctly understood that the Red Lake Indians oppose strenuously the last amendment offered by Mr. Ballinger, and will, when the time comes, indicate by that draft and by the brief what their specific objections are. In order to do that intelligently and intelligibly as well, the representative of the Red Lake Band will have to have before him these two drafts, the one proposed by Mr. Ballinger and the one by the bureau, in order to see how far, if at all, they can concur in the agreement.
Mr. Elston. You have been making notes all the while?
The CHAIRMAN. I am asking for this, for my own information and for the information of this committee. You can get any information you want from any source you please. That is not an official proposition at all. This is simply for our information.
Now, as I understand it, all parties have 10 days in which to file briefs. The report of these hearings will not be printed until such briefs are filed, and they will, of course, be embodied in the record. Now, if you want to embody in your briefs your proposed bills, all right. Mr. HENDERSON. That is what we would like to do. The CHAIRMAN. Is that agreeable to the committee?
Mr. BALLINGER. I want to ask you to consider a matter which we have not discussed here. There are provisions in this bill, which you will find as you run along down through it relative to rolls and distinction between Indians on the White Earth and other reservations. I think some explanation ought to be made of them in some brief statement on the section.
The CHAIRMAN. If you want to give us any more information than you have up to this time, you have the right to put it in your brief, but I think there has been discussion enough on both sides
here on the proposed amendments, so that the committee will be fully advised, at least, as to the wishes of both parties, and we can use our own judgment as to what we will do about it.
Mr. BALLINGER. Mr. Chairman, I have here an official statement from the Secretary of the Treasury, showing the accounts of the Chippewa Indians, the Red Lakes, and all of them, and I am going to ask to have that inserted in the record, because it shows the total amount of money that has come into the Treasury, and the amounts that have been expended, and details that the committee probably would desire. A copy of that has been furnished to Mr. Meritt.
The CHAIRMAN. Does that have official sanction?
The CHAIRMAN. You had better put that in, too, if we put it in at all.
Mr. MERITT. I would want an opportunity to analyze those figures, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BALLINGER. I furnished the original to Mr. Meritt, and he had a photographic copy made of it, which he has in his office.
Mr. MERITT. We want to analyze those figures, Mr. Chairman, and we will want to show that a large part of this money has gone for the benefit of the Chippewa Indians, and we will oppose any statement going into the record that a large per cent of this money has been expended for administrative expenses.
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any such thing as that in this statement ?
Mr. MERITT. Mr. Ballinger intimated that that was the fact in his previous statement.
Mr. BALLINGER. I offer that for just what it shows on its face.
Mr. MERITT. In this connection it should be borne in mind that a large amount of this money has gone for the education of the Chippewa Indians; it has gone for furnishing the old people with food and clothing; and we have also paid out a large amount of money per capita to those Indians in the past, and for that reason the general statement that 50 per cent of this money has been used for administrative expenses is misleading, when you analyze what those administrative expenses have been.
The CHAIRMAN. Aside from that, you have no objection to the insertion of these figures ?
Mr. MERITT. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, we will insert the letter and these figures in the record. (The matter referred to is as follows:)
Washington, February 13, 1920. Mr. WEBSTER BALLINGER,
Washington, D. C. Sir: By direction of the Secretary, and in response to your request of the 29th ultimo, there is inclosed herewith a statement of Chippewašin Minnesota trust funds and appropriations for their benefit, for the fiscal years 1889 to 1920, inclusive, the balances stated being as of February 12, 1920. Respectfully,
R. C. LEFFINGWELL, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
341, 836. 68
2, 425. 11
128, 173.11 125, 276. 82 $1,875. 85 1,020.44
24, 568. 29
Transactions in Chippewas in Minnesota trust funds and appropriaitons for their benefit, fiscal years 1889 to 1920, inclusive.
$42, 560.36 $42,560.36
1,154.98 $28, 103. 28
$449.69 29, 707.95 28, 681.15
1, 258, 968. 72 894.48 1,259, 863.20 3 1,151, 180.91
2 100, 246. 42
407, 039. 20
17,932. 12 158, 666. 62
8, 287.40 120,000.00
368.58 128, 655.98 103, 669.29 24,986. 69
225.10 125, 150.78 117,833. 46 7,317.32
535.62 60,535.62 57,559. 15 2,976. 47
2, 350, 559.00
3,797.39 2,354, 356. 39 2,342, 623, 27 11,733.12
567,936.55 567, 936.55
90,000.00 55,869. 76 34, 130. 24
50,000.00 49, 660.55 339. 45
20,000.00 19, 782. 50 217.50
20,000.00 19, 491.05 508. 95
33, 773. 25 1, 226.75
105,000.00 101,832.63 3,167.37
450, 15 149. 85
15, 161.46 165, 161. 46
162, 285, 23
9,476. 84 255.00 9, 731. 84
713, 854. 24
12,000.00 1,000.00 11,000.00
3 Exclusive of $100,246.42 transferred to "Red Lake Chippewas 3 per cent minors' fund.”