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Mr. Walsh of Montana, from the Committee on Irrigation and

Reclamation, submitted the following

SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 8296]

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In order to carry out the views of the Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation, as heretofore expressed, an amendment in addition to that heretofore proposed should be made, and the committee recommends the same, namely, that the word "twenty" in line 1 on page 3 should be stricken out and "forty" inserted in lieu thereof.

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SENATE

715T CONGRESS

2d Session

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REPORT No. 659

AUTHORIZE SUIT AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BY THE

STATE OF OREGON

Mar 16, 1930.-Ordered to be printed

Mr. STEIWER, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the

following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 1198]

The Committee on the Judiciary, having had under consideration the bill (H. R. 1198) to authorize the United States to be made a party defendant in any suit or action which may be commenced by the State of Oregon in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, for the determination of the title to certain lands, etc., in the State of Oregon, reports the same to the Senate and recommends that the bill do pass without amendment.

The purpose of this legislation is set forth in the following excerpt from the House report on this measure:

This bill was favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee in the Seventieth Congress (H. R. 16394). It passed the House on February 25, 1929, but failed of action in the Senate owing to the fact that Congress adjourned on the 4th of March and it was not reached.

There is printed herewith and made a part of this report the pertinent part of Report No. 2441 in the Seventieth Congress, as follows:

“This hill will authorize the United States to be made a party defendant in any suit or action which may be commenced by the State of Oregon in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon for the determination of the title to any of the lands constituting the beds of the Malheur and Harney Lakes in Harney County, Oreg., and lands riparian thereto, and to any or all of the waters of said lakes and their tributaries, together with the right to control the use thereof, authorizing all persons claiming to have an interest in said land, water, or the use thereof to be made parties or to intervene in said suit or action, and conferring jurisdiction on the United States courts over such cause.

"The legislation is necessary in order to settle the conflicting claims of the United States, the State of Oregon, and certain landowners. There is situated in Harney County two inland bodies of water known as Malheur and Harney Lakes, which are fed by the waters of Silvies and Blitzen Rivers. Large bodies of arable land lie along and adjacent to said streams which are largely in private ownership and the owners thereof are using certain of the waters of these streams for the irrigation and reclamation of their lands. The State of Oregon, on the other hand, in its sovereign capacity, claims to be the owner of said lakes and of certain lands riparian thereto.

“The title of the land is also clouded by a proclamation issued by President Roosevelt on August 18, 1908, which set aside all of the land lying within the meandered lines of said lakes and designated the same as the Malheur Bird Reservation, and the Department of Agriculture claims the land by virtue of this proclamation.

“The uncertainty with reference to the title to the land is hindering and delaying the reclamation of the lands adjacent to said streams and lakes. Numerous attempts have been made to compromise the respective rights of the United States, the State of Oregon, and the riparian owners and water appropriators, but these parties have been unable to agree upon any terms of compromise, so the committee is informed. This bill will afford an opportunity for the various claimants to have their rights litigated and determined in the United States district court and its enactment is, therefore, urged in order to bring about a settlement of the whole matter.

The bill was referred to the Attorney General who advised the committee that he knew of no objection to its enactment."

The present bill is identical with the bill which was reported favorably and passed the House in the last Congress.

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Mr. HOWELL, from the Committee on Claims, submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 6414)

The Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 6414) authorizing the Court of Claims of the United States to hear and determine the claim of the city of Park Place, heretofore an independent municipality but now a part of the city of Houston, Tex., having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill do pass with the following amendments:

In line 4, after the word “determine" add the following: “and report to Congress".

The facts are fully set forth in House Report No. 135, Seventy-first Congress, second session, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.

(House Report No. 135, Seventy-first Congress, second session)

The Committee on War Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 6414) entitled “A bill authorizing the Court of Claims of the United States to hear and determine the claim of the city of Park Place, heretofore an independent municipality but now a part of the city of Houston, Tex.,'' having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it do pass without amendment.

A similar bill was introduced in the Seventieth Congress, favorably reported by your committee, and passed the House.

The facts in this case are fully set forth in House Report No. 984, Seventieth Congress, first session, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.

[House Report No. 984, Seventieth Congress, first session) The Committee on War Claims, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 10218) authorizing the Court of Claims of the United States to hear and determine the claim of the city of Park Place, heretofore an independent municipality but now a part of the city of Houston, Tex., having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it do pass without amendment.

SR-71-2-VOL 2- 32

2

CITY OF PARK PLACE

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The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Court of Claims to hear and determine the claim of the city of Park Place, Tex., heretofore an independent municipality but now included within the extended corporate limits of the city of Houston, Tex., for compensation for the destruction of the streets of said city of Park Place by the Army trucks of the United States in the years of 1917 and 1918.

Your committee does not attempt to determine the merits of the claim, but in view of the fact that an unusual amount of damage was done to the streets of Park Place by Army trucks during the war, and in view of the further fact that the case was considered by the board of officers convened at Ellington Field, Houston, Tex., and payment to the claimant in the sum of $8,448.94 was recommended, your committee feels that the claimants are entitled to a day in court, and therefore recommends that the bill do pass.

Further facts are set forth in a letter from the Secretary of War, under date of February 17, 1928, addressed to the clerk of the Committee on War Claims, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report.

WAR DEPARTMEHT,

Washington, February 17, 1928. Mr. Paul E. HAWORTH, Clerk Committee on War Claims,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. HAWORTH: In compliance with your request of February 4, 1928, I am pleased.to submit the following report on H. R. 10218, the subject of which is “A bill authorizing the Court of Claims of the United States to hear and determine the claim of the city of Park Place, heretofore an independent municipality but now a part of the city of Houston, Tex.”

The records of this department show that, under date of May 20, 1919, the claim of the city of Park Place on account of damage to its streets alleged to have been caused by Army trucks was considered by a board of officers convened at Ellington Field, Houston, Tex., and payment to the claimant in the sum of $8,448.94 was recommended. The case was reviewed under date of October 8, 1919, by the War Department board of appraisers, which recommended that the claim be denied, on the ground that it is not within the power of a municipality to collect damages from the owners of cargo vehicles of ordinary and well recognized types when the street surface is damaged by the lawful passage of such vehicles, however frequent. This report was approved by the Assistant Secretary of War under date of October 25, 1919, and the claimant was notified that its claim had been rejected by the War Department.

Inasmuch as the proposed legislation, if enacted into law, will not determine the merits of the claim, but will merely authorize the Court of Claims to hear and determine the same, no objection is interposed to its enactment.

If any additional information or comment is desired from the War Department, I shall be pleased to furnish the same, and, in the event that it is desired that a representative of the War Department appear before the Committee on War Claims in this connection, Capt. Frank J. Keelty, on duty in the office of the Chief Finance, is designated as such representative. Sincerely yours,

Dwight F. Davis, Secretary of War.

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