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Segregations temporarily withdrawn, etc.-Continued.
Acres. 175,000 136, 000
Grand total now applied for ....
1, 232, 120 From the official statement of the State land board of Colorado it is shown to your committee that the million acres of land originally granted the State have been of very great benefit to Colorado; that the board is very desirous of securing the additional million acres as expeditiously as possible, so that thay may be able to supply a large number of responsible applications that are being made to reclaim land under the provisions of the Carey Act.
The bill is local in its application, and inasmuch as the applications far exceed the amount of land heretofore granted to the State, and very large and important irrigation projects are being held in abeyance pending this legislation, your committee are of the opinion that an emergency exists and the importance of this measure is so urgent that it should be enacted into law at the present session of Congress.
The provisions of the Carey Act, when successfully carried out, as they are shown to have been in the State of Colorado, are of very great and permanent benefit toward the development of the country, and as there appears to be no valid objection to the extension of the provisions of this act as herein contemplated, your committee, therefore, recommends that the said Senate joint resolution do pass without amendment.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
WASHINGTON IMPROVEMENT & DEVELOPMENT CO.
August 5, 1911.- Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.
Mr. ROBINSON, from the Committee on the Public Lands, submitted
[To accompany H. J. Res. 142.]
The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred House joint resolution 142, to declare and make certain the authority of the Attorney General to begin and maintain and of the circuit court to entertain and decide a suit or suits for the purpose of having judicially declared a forfeiture of the rights granted by the act entitled "An act granting to the Washington Improvement and Development Company a right of way through the Colville Indian Reservation in the State of Washington," approved June 4, 1898, having had the same under consideration, beg leave to report the same with the recommendation that it do pass.
The circumstances which make the passage of the resolution necessary are clearly disclosed by the following memorandum and letter from the Department of Justice:
The act entitled "An act granting to the Washington Improvement and Development Company a right of way through the Colville Indian Reservation in the State of Washington," approved June 4, 1898, provides:
"Sec. 5. That the right herein granted shall be forfeited by said company unless at least twenty-five miles of said railway shall be constructed through such reservation within two years after the passage of this act.”
Section 3 provides for the filing with the Secretary of the Interior of maps of definite location, subject to his approval, and requires the company to commence grading its located line within six months after filing the map, declaring that, upon its failure to do so within that tiine, “such location shall be void.”
The grantee filed a number of maps of location, which were approved by the Secretary of the Interior June 23 to November 27, 1899, but it never undertook any construction work whatsoever. Sometime in 1906 it appears to have assigned its rights to the Washington & Great Northern Railway Co., which latter concern later assigned to the Great Northern Railway Co.
At the request of the Secretary of the Interior this department caused a suit to be filed against the three corporations in the circuit court for the eastern district of Washington to forfeit the grant. The bill was filed April 18, 1911. Up to that time no
work had been done, and the grant, so far from being a public benefit, was a puble detriment. July 18, 1911, Judge Rudkin, sitting in the circuit court, sustained defendants' demurrer on the ground that, notwithstanding the complete breach of the conditions subsequent to the grant, there was no authority in the Executive branch or in the courts to maintain proceedings to declare a forfeiture. He did not, of course, question the power of Congress to pass an enactment which would, in and of itself, declare a forfeiture, or to authorize the Attorney General and the courts to bring about the same result judicially. He does, however, question, in spite of the specific language of section 5, whether Congress intended to authorize judicial proceedings in this case. Shortly before the decision was announ
unced, the Great Northern Railway Co., Dotwithstanding the pendency of the suit, entered upon the locus in quo and began its railway construction work, in the course of which damage was inflicted upon the divers Indian allotments, which had been laid out and improved long subsequent to the orig. inal and now void locations.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
Washington, August 1, 1911. Hon. Joseph T. ROBINSON, Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,
House of Representatives. My Dear MR. ROBINSON: I take the liberty of sending you herewith a memorandum concerning the status of litigation against the Great Northern Railway Co. et al., growing out of the grant of a right of way to its predecessor, the Washington Improve ment & Development Co., across the Colville Indian Reservation, in the eastern district of Washington. I also submit as a working basis a joint resolution declaring the authority of the Attorney General to maintain proceedings to forfeit the grant.
In the opinion of this department and the Department of the Interior, the language of the granting statute as it stands (sec. 5) should be regarded as sufficient for this purpose. There is identical language in the general railway right of way act on March 3, 1875 (18 Stat., 48.3, sec. 1), and other similar acts, including the general act which grants rights of way through public lands for reservoirs, irrigation canals, etc. 1:26 Stat., 1102, sec. 20). Such acts, particularly the one last inentioned, bave always been regarded as conferring upon the Attorney General the right to ask a judicial forfeiture in each case of a breach of conditions subsequent, and suits have been repeatedly begun and maintained for that purpose.
In the present case it is believed that Congress would be amply justified in pasing a resolution declaring an absolute forfeiture of the grant. The grantee and its assigns have been guilty of flagrant neglect, and the high-handed conduct of the present claimant certainly does not commend it to special consideration.
I am sending a duplicate of this letter and inclosure to Hon. Knute Nelson, chair. man of the Senate Committee on Public Lands. Senator Jones of Washington, is cognizant of all the facto. Respectfully,
(For the Attorney General.)
BRIDGE ACROSS PETIT JEAN RIVER, ARK.
August 5, 1911.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.
Mr. RICHARDSON, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign
Commerce, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 10652.]
The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (II. R. 10652) to authorize the counties of Yell and Conway to construct a bridge across the Petit Jean River, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.
The bill has the approval of the War Department, as will appear by the indorsements attached and which is made a part of this report.
Washington, June 3, 1911. 1. Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.
2. The accompanying bill (H. R. 10652, 62d Cong., 1st sess.), to authorize the construction of a bridge across Petit Jean River, in the State of Arkansas, is in the usual form and makes ample provision for the protection of navigation interests.
3. So far as those interests are concerned, I know of no objection to its favorable consideration by Congress.
4. It is deemed proper to say, however, that the necessity for the passage of the bill by Congress is not apparent, as the stream lies wholly within the State of Arkansas, and Congress has provided by section 9 of the river and harbor act of March 3, 1899, that such streams may be bridged under authority of State laws, if the plans for the structures are presented to and approved by the Chief of Engineers and the Secretary of War.
W. H. Bixby, Chief of Engineers, United States Army.
WAR DEPARTMENT, June 5, 1911. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, inviting attention to the foregoing report of the Chief of Engineers, United States Army.
ROBERT SHAW OLIVER,
Assistant Secretary of War. O