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1st Session.


No. 116.



AUGUST 3, 1911.- Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. TAYLOR of Colorado, from the Committee on the Public Lands,

submitted the following


[To accompany S. 3052.]

The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred Senate bill 3052, having had the same under consideration, respectfully submit the following report:

That the bill be amended by striking out, after the word “Dakota," page 1, line 6, all of the remainder of lines 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 and the syllable “dence” in line 1, page 2, and insert in lieu thereof the following: in the Denver, Pueblo, Sterling, Hugo, Lamar, and Glenwood Springs land districts, in the State of Colorado: in the Valentine, O'Neill, Broken Bow, and Alliance land districts, in the State of Nebraska; in the Lawton, Woodward, and Guthrie land districts, in the State of Oklahoma; in the Dickinson, Minot, Williston, and Bigmarck land districts, in the State of North Dakota; in th· Cheyenne, Evauston, Sundance, Buffalo, and Douglas land districts, in the State of Wyoming; in the Clayton, Fort Sumner, L's Cruces, Tucumcari, Roswell, and Santa Fe land districts, in the Territory of New Mexico; in the Phoenix land district, in the Territory of Arizona; in the former Spokane Indian Reservation, in the State of Washington; and in the Burns, Vale, La Grand, and The Dalles land districts, in the State of Oregon, are hereby relieved from the necessity of residence and cultivation.

And as thus amended the committee recommends that the bill do pass.

While the present law authorizes the granting of leave of absence to homestead settlers in certain cases of severe drought and other exceptional casualties, after the settlers have established their residence upon the land, there is no law that allows the granting of a leave of absence or relief to those homestead entrymen who have not yet been able to establish actual residence. This bill is local in its application and is intended to relieve a very large number of people who have made their homestead filings, but who, owing to the severe drought and almost entire lack of rain in their portion of the country this season, have been unable to establish residence or make improvements, or even exist on the land upon which they have filed. This bill merely extends the time within which they may establish their residence until the 15th of April, 1912. The bill does not, however, relieve the homesteader in any way from fully complying with the law as to five years' residence.

From the report of the officials of the Department of the Interior and the personal knowledge of the Representatives in this House from the districts affected, as well as the register and receiver of the land offices in these various districts, it was conclusively shown to your committee that this is a matter of very great urgency; that in some of the districts there has not been 1 inch of rain for many months and that streams and wells have dried up and that it is an actual impossibility for the settlers to maintain residence upon the land; that the bill is not only a necessary and humane measure, and will tend to protect the property rights of a large number of deserving people, but will very greatly aid in the enforcement of the public-land laws and the development of the country. It is further shown that unless the measure can be passed at this extra session of Congress the failure to afford this relief will inevitably cause the utter loss to thousands of settlers of their homes and practically all of their property rights. There seems to be no possible objection or reason why this measure should not be enacted into law.

Your committee recommends the amendment suggested because of the information as to its necessity being obtained by your committee since the passage of the bill by the Senate, and it is not deemed advisable to further amend or encumber the bill than by the additional land districts that are suffering from the drought to such a degree as to warrant this extension.

The suffering of homestead settlers affected by this bill being so conclusively shown and their relief so imperatively necessary, your committee is of the unanimous opinion that an emergency exists, and that this bill should therefore be enacted into law as speedily as possible.

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REPORT No. 119.


AUGUST 4, 1911.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the

Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. RICHARDSON, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign

Commerce, submitted the following


[To accompany S. 3024.]

The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (S. 3024) to provide for the reconstruction, alteration, and repair of a bridge across the Weymouth Back River, in the State of Massachusetts, having considered the same, report thereon with amendments and as so amended recommend that it pass.

Amend the bill as follows:

On page 2, line 3 strike out the word “one-half,” and insert in lieu thereof the word “one-third."

On line 4, page 2, after the word “bridge,” strike out the period and add the following: "as may be ascertained by the Secretary of War.”

The following is the report of the Senate Committee on Commerce: The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (S. 3024) to provide for the reconstruction, alteration, and repair of a bridge across the Weymouth Back River, in the State of Massachusetts, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass without amendment.

The bill is identical in terms with House bill 30273, Sixty-first Congress, third session, which was favorably reported from this committee in the closing days of the Sixtyfirst Congress and passed the Senate, but failed to receive the approval of the President.

Following is the report of the House committee on the above-mentioned bill, which sufficiently states the facts:

"The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 30273) for the relief of the city of Quincy, the towns of Weymouth and Hingham, and the Old Colony Street Railway Co., all of Massachusetts, having considered the same, report thereon with amendment and as so amended recommend that

*Amend the bill as follows: "Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu thereof the following:

“"Whenever there shall be fixed by the Legislature of the State of Massachusetts the proportion of the total expense toward the reconstruction, alteration, and repair of a bridge across the Weymouth Back River, on Lincoln Street, in the town of Hingham in said State, made necessary because of the erection of a naval magazine, and for

it pass.

other governmental purposes, to be paid by the Old Colony Street Railway Company, a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Massachusetts, the town of Hingham, in Plymouth County, in said State, and the town of Weymouth and the city of Quincy, both in Norfolk County in said State, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, an amount not exceeding fifty thousand dollars, and not, in any case, to exceed one half of the sum necessary to reconstruct, al and repair said bridge, to be determined by the Chief of Engineers.

“Said work shall proceed under the provisions of an act entitled "An act to regulate the construction of bridges over navigable waters," approved March twenty-third, nineteen hundred and eix.'

"The Weymouth Back River is a small stream not over 4 miles in length, not having at this time, and never having had, any material commerce, but being used, as far as it has been used at all, for pleasure boats. It is spanned by a wooden bridge, built and maintained by the town of Hingham, in Plymouth County, Mass., the town of Weyinouth, and the city of Quincy, in Norfolk County, Mass. There is attached to this bridge, but in other respects a separate structure, another bridge, constructed and used by the Old Colony Street Railway Co., a corporation organized under the laws of Massachusetts. In order to provide a suitable passage for such craft as have used this river, a draw 25 feet in width was included in the construction of these bridges, and this draw has been sufficient for the requirements of the river traffic up to this time.

“The Navy Department, desiring to construct a naval magazine, has purchased the land on both banks of the river from a point 90 feet above the bridges to substantially the source of the river, and is constructing the necessary buildings for magazine purposes, a railroad to connect them

with the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, and making other improvements incident and necessary to the completion of its plant and for the purpose above stated.

“As the Navy Department owns all of the abutting land on the river, and it being necessary to prevent any trespassing on the magazine grounds, it is the purpose of the Government to prevent in future any navigation above the bridge other than that made necessary by the occupation of the shores for the magazine purposes, and only for those purposes, but in order to provide a sufficient passage for the tugs and lighters which will necessarily pass through the bridge in connection with this service it has been found necessary to widen the draws of both bridges from 25 to 50 feet, necessitating the reconstruction of the bridges, which are about 100 feet in width, at an estimated cost of $100,000. As the bridges as now constructed are suitable for all present purposes of navigation and travel, it is believed that an unreasonable burden is put on the towns and street-railway company by the Government in requiring the rebuilding of the bridges and the widening of the draws, especially as the sole purpose for so doing is to promote the business of the Government. In order that this improvement may be made it becomes necessary for the Massachusetts Legislature, which is now in session, to authorize the rebuilding of the bridges and to apportion the expense for so doing among the local parties at interest. Therefore it is especially desirable that action on this bill be taken at this session of Congress, as otherwise the improvement may not be undertaken until the Massachusetts Legislature of 1912 has acted.

In the case of the Union Bridge Co. against the United States the Supreme Court in its decision clearly recognizes the propriety of Congress contributing in such a recomstruction as this, for it said:

“*Some stress was laid in argument upon the fact that compliance with the order of the Secretary of War will compel the bridge company to make a very large expenditure in money. But that consideration can not affect the decision of the questions of constitutional law involved. It is one to be addressed to the legislative branch of the Government. It is for Congress to determine whether, under the circumstances of a particular case, justice requires that compensation be made to a person or corporation incidentally suffering from the exercise by the National Government of its constitutional powers.'

“We believe that an equitable division of the expense would be one-half to be paid by the General Government and one-half by the other parties in interest. The committee has given very careful consideration to this matter and has had the benefit of the testimony of ex-Secretary of the Navy John D. Long, a resident of the town of Hingham and thoroughly conversant with the local conditions.

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