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The act provided that the lands selected shall be approved by the Secretary of the Interior when the Commissioner of the General Land Office certifies that the lands selected are of the character above mentioned.

Patent was authorized to be issued to Luther Burbank, his heirs or successors, for all or any of the legal subdivisions of the land set aside upon payment at the rate of $1.25 per acre. The issuance of the patent was also conditioned on the production of 100,000 growing plants of spineless cactus of a character suitable for animal food, upon said lands for a period of two years. It was also required to be shown to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Interior that the lands to be patented are suitable for the growth of spineless cactus and available for domestic animal food.

For various reasons the selections by Mr. Burbank and approval thereof by the Secretary of the Interior were greatly delayed until practically all of the lands were set aside on the 6th day of June, 1925. Consequently, the 5-year period provided for in the act will expire on the 6th day of June, 1930. The object of this proposed act is simply to extend the time in which the successors of Mr. Burbank may comply with the conditions required for the acquirement of the title to the lands involved.

LOCATION OF LANDS

The lands finally selected are all in the State of Arizona. An elaborate search was made to find lands suitable for the experimental purposes involved. The selection of 6 tracts, aggregating nearly 12 sections, was made of lands ranging in elevation from 400 to 3,000 feet, having normal annual precipitations from 5 to 15 inches and a wide range of extreme maximum and minimum temperatures, the idea being to allow experiment under a distinct variety of climatic conditions.

EFFORTS TO PERFORM CONDITIONS

Nearly 500,000 pounds of cuttings were planted, some failing because of unusual droughts and an important part of them being destroyed by rabbits and other rodents.

The successors of Mr. Burbank, profiting by the experience in the efforts so far made, purpose by necessary irrigation and protection against rabbits and other rodents to complete the experiment and comply with the conditions under which title to patent was to issue.

Information furnished the committee shows that the cost so far incurred toward perfecting this experiment and acquiring the lands aggregates more than $20,000.

The public has all to gain and nothing to lose by the perfection of this experiment and conveyance of the title on the conditions specified. Title to the lands will not pass until the price specified is paid, a price that is sufficient to compensate the Government for the value of the lands and also on condition that the experiment is a demonstrated success. The amount of money heretofore expended and the present determination of the interested parties to make good on the experiment furnish conclusive evidence of their good faith.

This bill, as amended, has the recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, as set forth in the following letter, which is appended hereto and made a part of this report:

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, February 7, 1930. Hon. Don B. COLTON, Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,

House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. Colton. In response to your request for a report on H. R. 9169, granting a 5-year extension to the act of August 24, 1912, with regard to patenting certain semiarid lands to Luther Burbank for experiments in the growing of spineless cacti, I am inclosing a report from the Commissioner of the General Land Office dated February 7, 1930. After consideration of the question, I recommend the passage of the bill if its wording is changed as proposed by Commissioner Moore. Very truly yours,

Ray LYMAN WILBUR, Secretary.

GENERAL LAND OFFICE,

Washington, February 7, 1990. Memorandum for the Secretary.

H. R. 9169 has been received from your office with the request of the chairman Committee on the Public Lands for a report to that committee.

The bill proposes to extend the time allowed within which to comply with the provisions of the act of August 24, 1912, entitled “An act to patent certain semiarid lands to Luther Burbank under certain conditions." The original act allows five years from the date of the order setting aside the lands selected under the provisions of the act, and the first of these orders was on June 5, 1925.

The proposed bill contains a reference to “The lands granted to Luther Burbank.” The original act merely granted the right to enter upon, make improvements, and propagate spineless cacti on lands to be set aside for that purpose, and to make payment and receive patent upon submitting satisfactory proof of compliance with the provisions thereof. The use of the quoted phrase might lead to the contention that the lands had heretofore been granted to Burbank. It is therefore recommended that the proposed act be amended to read as follows:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the time within which Luther Burbank, his heirs or successors in interest, must make payment and comply with the other provisions of the act of Congress approved August 24, 1912, entitled 'An act to patent certain semiarid lands to Luther Burbank under certain conditions,' be, and the same is hereby, extended until five years from the passage of this act.”

With this change in the wording of the bill it is thought the substitute will accomplish the same purpose as the bill submitted and remove a possible doubt in its interpretation. As thus amended, this office has no objection to its enactment.

C. C. MOORE, Commissioner. O

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SENATE

715T CONGRESS

od Session

REPORT No. 838

REMOVING CLOUD AS TO TITLE OF LANDS AT FORT

LYTTLETON, S. C.

May 29 (calendar day, JUNE 5), 1930.-Ordered to be printed

Mr. Nye, from the Committee on Public Lands and Surveys,

submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 9198]

The Committee on Public Lands and Surveys, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 9198) to remove cloud as to title of lands at Fort Lyttleton, S. C., having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that the bill do pass without amendment.

The facts are fully set forth in the report of the House Committee on the Public Lands (H. Rept. No. 937, 71st Cong., 2d sess.), which is appended hereto and made a part of this report, as follows:

(House Report No. 937, Seventy-first Congress, second session) The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 9198) to remove cloud as to title of lands at Fort Lyttleton, S. C., having considered the same, report it favorably to the House and recommend that it do pass without amendment.

The purposes of this legislation are fully explained in letters from the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Treasury. These letters are herein set out in full for the information of the House.

MARCH 15, 1930. Hon. Don B. COLTON, Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. COLTON: Careful consideration has been given to the bill (H. R. 9198) to remove cloud as to title of lands at Fort Lyttleton, S. C., which you transmitted to the War Department under date of January 31, 1930, with a request for information and the views of the department relative thereto.

Briefly stated, the facts regarding the Fort Lyttleton reservation are as follows:

By act of December 17, 1808 (3 Stat. L. S. C. 576), the State of South Carolina ceded to the United States for military purposes a tract of 5 acres which included the site of Fort Lyttleton. There was failure of commissioners representing the State and Nation to function in fixing specific boundaries, yet the site was

use.

well known, being located on a prominent point on the west bank of the river about 1 mile south of the city of Beaufort and must have contained the walls and embankments comprising the fortifications. Reference is here made to the accompanying official maps. In 1848 the Secretary of War leased those premises at a nominal rental for a period "during the pleasure" of the Secretary of War, to one Nathaniel Heyward, jr., who may have had possession of adjoining land. The place was probably used by the Union forces during the occupancy of that locality in the Civil War. No data have been found showing subsequent military

In September last the Secretary of the Treasury furnished to the War Department a copy of the letter bearing date of September 18, 1929, addressed by Acting Secretary of the Treasury Ogden L. Mills to Hon. W. F. Stevenson, House of Representatives, in reply to an inquiry respecting the interests in said land alleged to be claimed by private parties. The reply contained a summary in which it was noted that under the provisions of Federal laws enacted in the Civil War period placing a direct tax on land, the United States direct tax commissioners on selling land in the vicinity question for nonpayment of taxes in 1866 did not except this reservation; that inasmuch as said property was not subject to any taxation whatever, the sale of that plot was null and void and did not operate to pass title.

It appears that the fact of Government ownership was not well known after the Civil War, and this evidently accounts for the error of the direct-tax commissioners. It is also understood that the county land records were lost through the burning of the courthouse about 1864, and therefore those who have depended upon the invalid tax title were unable to trace recorded matters and evidently assumed that previous ownership had been vested in private parties.

Representation has been made by Mr. Lawrence Kirkland, an attorney of Camden, S. C., that the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank, Columbia, S. C., had, through its transactions, come into the possession of this tract; then disposed of it by warranty deed, and now has a mortgage thereon to secure a loan. In all transactions based upon the tax title it is understood that the Government reservation was not segregated, but was carried along with adjoining lands. The place has be ed by private interests for a long time, in connection with dredging of phosphate rock from the river, boat buildings, and more recently for shrimp packing. Such improvements as still remain were made by those occupants.

The United States obtained an absolute title to the 5 acres of land at Fort Lyttleton, and it is not regarded that any change in the legal status resulted from the unauthorized and erroneous action of the direct-tax commissioners, nor that any law relative to acquisition of title through adverse possession has application. There is now, however, no apparent need for this land in the mili. tary service. If, as appears probable from the papers before me, the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Columbia has executed a warranty deed, including this land, thus indirectly involving funds of the United States in securing confirmation of the title in its grantee, the War Department will interpose no objection to the passage of the bill if such action is recommended by the Secretary of the Treasury. Sincerely yours,

PATRICK J. HURLEY,

Secretary of War.

FEBRUARY 17, 1930. Hon. Don B. COLTON, Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: In accordance with the request contained in your letter of January 31, 1930, addressed to the Federal Farm Loan Board, careful consideration has been given to bill H. R. 9198, the purpose of which is to authorize the Secretary of War to convey whatever right, title, and interest the United States may have in 5 acres of land, the site of old Fort Lyttleton, to the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Columbia, thereby enabling that institution to convey good, merchantable title to its grantee.

The Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Columbia is a corporation organized under the agricultural credits act of 1923, and all its capital stock is owned by the Government of the United States. In April, 1927, the trustee in bankruptcy of the estate of the Truckers Supply Co., bankrupt, pursuant to an order of court conveyed to the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Columbia certain

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