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burial at greater depths, but provision has been made for this to be done at the expense of the owners of the easements and without any expense to the United States.
For these reasons we urge the prompt passage of the bill as something in the nature of an emergency, in that delay in the passage of this bill delays the development of the Air Corps program.
The letter from the Secretary of War requesting the introduction of the legislation is as follows:
APRIL 2, 1930. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
DEAR Mr. SPEAKER: There is inclosed a draft of bill to amend the act approved February 25, 1929, entitled “An act to authorize appropriations for construction at military posts, and for other purposes” (45 Stat. 1304), which the War Department presents for the consideration of Congress with a view to its enactment into law.
The purpose of the proposed bill is to amend the proviso contained in the project “Shreveport, La. (attack wing),” under section 3 of the act of February 25, 1929, supra, which authorizes the acceptance, free from encumbrances and without cost to the United States, of title in fee simple, covering 25,000 acres of land, more or less, for a site for an aviation field in the vicinity of Shreveport, La., in order that donation of title may be accepted subject to such existing encumbrances as are determined will not interfere with the use of the property and also for the purpose of enabling the Secretary of War, to grant new rights of way for the relocation of any existing oil pipe lines, which, in their present location, may interfere with the use of the property.
Since the passage of the act of February 25, 1929, supra, abstracts of title covering the land to be donated have been prepared, and an examination thereof discloses that the property is subject to three easements for oil pipe lines of the Standard Pipe Line Co. (Inc.), the Texas Co., and the Shreveport-El Dorado Pipe Line Co., and to one easement for a gas pipe line of the Palmer Corporation. The pipe lines of the Standard Pipe Line Co. (Inc.) and the Palmer Corporation are the only ones that cross the flying-field area and they will require partial relocation and burial at greater depths. The reinstallation of these lines will be accomplished by the owners of the easements without expense to the United States.
The Secretary of War is authorized by the act of May 17, 1926 (44 Stat. 562; 10 U. S. C., Supp. II, sec. 1351), to grant easements for rights of way for gas, water, and sewer pipe lines, but does not possess any general authority to grant easements for oil pipe line rights of way.
An examination of the abstracts of title also discloses that portions of the property outside of the flying-field area are subject to gas leases which are not at present worked and which expire in the future, the longest term being until 1932. There is no necessity for the occupation or use of the premises covered by said leases prior to their expiration and the funds authorized to be appropriated by the act of February 25, 1929, supra, are intended for and will, when appropriated, be expended on other areas. While it is informally understood that the office of the Attorney General, in view of the above circumstances, will approve the validity of title to the land subject to such leaseholds, nevertheless, an amendment of the legislation is necessary in connection with the existing easements for pipe line rights of way.
The proposed amendment will not involve any expense to the United States or require an increase in the funds authorized to be appropriated by the act of February 25, 1929, supra. The donation of the land at Shreveport, La., can not be completed until the passage of this legislation. The early enactment of the draft of bill is, therefore, recommended. Sincerely yours,
PATRICK J. HURLEY,
Secretary of War. O
REPORT No. 1046
BRIDGE ACROSS THE COOSA RIVER NEAR GILBERTS
JUNE 18 (calendar day, June 19), 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. DALE, from the Committee on Commerce, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 10461)
The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 10461) authorizing Royce Kershaw, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge across the Coosa River at or near Gilberts Ferry, about 8 miles southwest of Gadsden, in Etowah County, Ala., having considered the same, report favorably thereon, and recommend that the bill do pass without amendment.
The bill has the approval of the War Department, as will appear by the annexed House of Representatives Report No. 984, which is made a part of this report.
The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 10461) authorizing Royce Kershaw, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge across the Coosa River at or near Gilberts Ferry, about 8 miles southwest of Gadsden, in Etowah County, Ala., having considered the same, report thereon with amendments, and, as so amended, recommend that it pass.
Line 9, after the word “Ferry," insert the following: “about eight miles southwest of Gadsden, in Etowah County, Alabama,”.
The Hon. M. C. Allgood, who introduced the bill, has submitted the following information with respect thereto:
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., March 6, 1930. Mr. Elton J. LAYTON, Clerk Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee,
House Office Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. LAYTON: This is to acknowledge receipt of your favor relative to H. R. 10461.
In reply to inquiry 1 will state that there is now a ferry in operation at Gilberts Ferry. It is my understanding that no tolls are charged to the people of Etowah County, this being the county in which the ferry is operated, but that tolls are collected from people outside of Etowah County.
In reply to inquiry 2 will say that I am informed that the people in the vicinity of the proposed bridge petitioned the Etowah County Board of Revenue for å toll bridge.
In reply to inquiry 3 will state that the members of the board of revenue of Etowah County have discussed this proposed bridge with me on several occasions and I have seen several articles in the Gadsden Times, a daily paper touching upon this proposed bridge. I received no protest from anyone against the building of this bridge.
In reply to inquiry 4 will state that neither the State or county or municipality is in financial condition to finance a free bridge in this locality.
In reply to inquiry 5 will state that it is my judgment that if this toll bridge is not constructed that the people will be forced to continue to use the ferry. Trusting this is the information you desire, I am, Yours respectfully,
M C. ALLGOOD. The bill as amended has the approval of the War Department, as will appear by the letter attached and which is made a part of this report.
WAR DEPARTMENT, March 12, 1930. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives.
So far as the interests committed to this department are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the accompanying bill (H. R. 10461, 71st Cong., 2d sess.) authorizing Royce Kershaw to construct a bridge across the Coosa River at or near Gilberts Ferry, about 8 miles southwest of Gadsden, in Etowah County, Ala., if amended as indicated in red thereon.
Patrick J. HURLEY,
Secretary of War.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington, D. C., March 11, 1930.
House of Representatives. DEAR MR. PARKER: Careful consideration has been given to the bill H. R. 10461, transmitted with your letter of March 5 with request for a report thereon and such views relative thereto as the department might desire to communicate.
This bill would authorize Royce Kershaw, his heirs, legal representatives, and assigns, to construct, maintain, and operate a bridge and approaches thereto across the Coosa River, at or near Gilberts Ferry, in Etowah County, Ala. The location indicated for the proposed bridge is not on the system of Federal-aid highways approved for Alabama. The bill appears to follow the usual form for a private intrastate toll bridge. Nevertheless, the bill would provide for a private toll bridge on a public highway, for which reason the department recommends against favorable action on the bill. Sincerely,
R. W. DUNLAP, Acting Secretary.
REPORT No. 1052
COMMEMORATION OF THE BATTLE OF HELENA, ARK.
JUNE 18 (calendar day, JUNE 19), 1930.—Ordered to be printed
Mr. SHEPPARD, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted
[To accompany S. 4515)
The Committee on Military Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 4515) to commemorate the Battle of Helena, Ark., having considered the same, report favorably thereon with the recommendation that it do pass.
The bill conforms to the recommendation of the board of officers appointed by the Secretary of War to make a study of battlefields in the United States for commemorative purposes, as authorized by act of Congress approved June 11, 1926, which recommendation is contained in Senate Document No. 46, Seventy-first Congress, second session.
The historical statement of this battle, made by the historical section, War Department, is as follows:
HELENA, ARK. In the spring of 1863 the principle effort of the Union forces in the West was centered on Vicksburg. Operations in Arkansas were suspended until after the important struggle for Vicksburg had been decided. The main body of troops in the Department of Missouri were sent to reenforce General Grant, then before Vicksburg. The Union force holding Helena, Ark., was reduced to send more troops to Grant, leaving a garrison of only about 5,000 men for the defense of the place.
Taking advantage of this reduction of Union forces, the Confederate authorities' in the Trans-Mississippi Department decided to move against Helena as a means of raising the siege of Vicksburg, and of keeping the Mississippi River closed in the event of the surrender of that city. Lieut. Gen. Thomas H. Holmes collected a force of about 7,646 near Clarendon, proceeded toward Helena by converging roads and reached Allen Polk's house, about 5 miles from Helena on the morning of July 3, 1863. There he learned the fortifications of Helena were much stronger than he expected. Maj. Gen. Benjamin M. Prentiss, commanding the Union force then about 4,129 having rightly sized up the indications of a premeditated attack, had materially strengthened his position.
Holmes's skirmishers opened up the attack on Prentiss's pickets at 3 a. m. July 4, 1863. The fight soon began in earnest and after several hours of desperate conflict the Confederates succeeded in penetrating a portion of the Union defenses, but the concentrated fire from the gunboat Tyler, from the forts, batteries, and infantry which had withstood the assaults, caused Holmes to withdraw his men from the field about 10.30 a. m.
The Union losses were about 239, the Confederate amounting to about 1,590. Helena remained in the hands of the Union garrison, the Mississippi was not closed, and troops released from the siege of Vicksburg which fell on the same day, eventually operated from Helena to penetrate Arkansas.