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REPORT No. 1073
SALE OF COLUMBIA ARSENAL
ARSENAL PROPERTY, MAURY COUNTY, TENN.
JUNE 18 (calendar day, JUNE 20), 1930.-Ordered to be printed.
Mr. ROBSION, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the
(To accompany H. R. 2156)
The Committee on Military Affairs, to which was referred H. R. 2156, for the sale of the interest, rights, limitations, and reservations of the United States of America in the Columbia Military Academy property, situated in the ninth civil district of Maury County, Tenn., and near the town of Columbia, having considered the same, report thereon that the bill should be amended as follows:
Page 1, line 4, beginning with "the", the last word on the line, and "Columbia Military Academy", line 5, should be printed in capitals, so as to read, “The Columbia Military Academy”; and on page 3, line 15, “the Columbia Military Academy" should likewise be printed in capitals, so as to comply technically with the name of the eleemosynary school corporation, acquiring such rights under this bill, and, as amended, the committee recommends that this bill do
pass. In 1888, the people of Columbia, Maury County, Tenn., by private subscription purchased about 67 acres of land, approximately 2 miles from the center of the town of Columbia, and caused the then owners to deed the same to the United States of America. This land cost the Government nothing The Government after acquiring this property erected some nine brick and stone buildings of substantial character thereon, and for some years it was used as an arsenal; but in the latter part of 1903, it was abandoned for arsenal purposes.
In the second session of the Fifty eighth Congress, 1904, Public Act No. 152 directed the Secretary of War to convey to the Columbia Military Academy this property, but with the following restrictions, limitations, conditions, and reservations:
That the Secretary of War shall be a visitor to said school and have and exercise full rights of visitation, and he shall have the right and authority in his discretion, as the public interest requires, to prescribe the military curriculum
of said school, and to enforce compliance therewith, and upon refusal or failure of the authorities of said school to comply with the rules and regulations so prescribed by the Secretary of War, or the terms of the act, he is authorized to declare that the estate of the grantee has terminated and the property shall revert to the United States, and the Secretary of War is authorized thereupon to take possession of said property in behalf of the United States, and shall further reserve to the United States the right to use such lands for military purposes at any time upon demand of the President of the United States.
This property was accordingly conveyed to the Columbia Military Academy, a Tennessee corporation, subject to the provisions of the act above set out. The original corporation by its deed conveyed the same properties and subject to the same legislative restrictions above set out to the Columbia Military Academy a corporation of the same name, except the name appears in capitals and is an eleemosynary, educational corporation. It is not operated for profit, but purely for educational purposes in conformity with the act of Congress and the deed of the Secretary of War.
The Government had constructed the buildings for arsenal purposes, and they were practically all storage buildings. This educational corporation had to put this property in condition for school use. It had to revamp, rebuild, and construct the interior of nearly all buildings and adapt them for uses of the school, such as dormitory and classrooms. It put in a lighting and heating system, a gymnasium and a swimming pool, and generally improved the physical properties, spending more than $100,000. This fund was raised from the citizens of Columbia and Maury County. This school has grown from nothing to approximately 200 pupils, including the resident pupils. During the life of the school it has had the pupils from nearly every State in the Union. Some of the indebtedness has been paid. The balance of it is maturing. Other buildings and improvements are necessary to make this a progressive military school. These buildings are badly needed. In order to raise the money, it is necessary to remove Government restrictions and limitations on this property. It is the purpose of the trustees of this school and representative business men of the town of Columbia, Tenn., to conduct this school in accordance and in harmony with the conditions it was conveyed to the original corporation.
In the first session of the Seventieth Congress a bill was introduced (H. R. 12479) to have this property appraised with the buildings, that the Columbia Military Academy might purchase it. It was appraised by a committee of the Real Estate Board of Nashville, Tenn., at $30,214.69, or $350 an acre. This appraisal committee lived at Nashville, some 50 miles away from Columbia. They appraised the fee to the land and not the contingent rights of the Government therein. It was so stated by the Nashville board through its secretary, Mr. J. B. Gillespie:
NASHVILLE REAL ESTATE BOARD,
Nashville, Tenn. Mr. A. B. TARPLEY,
Secretary Columbia Military Academy, Columbia, Tenn. DEAR Sir: In compliance with your written request of January 16, 1929, to the Nashville Real Estate Board, that we explain the basis upon which we based our figures on the appraisal made by Messrs. Carroll L. Jones, J. W. Graham, and A. P. Martin, a committee appointed by the board, at request of the Secretary of War, which request was received by us on June 1, 1928.
We were authorized to make our appraisal as to the land value alone, without regard to the buildings thereon.
Our appraisal was what we considered the land to be worth if it were going to be sold and fee simple title conveyed, and further without regard to the improvements thereon. Respectfully,
J. B. GILLESPIE, Secretary. The Columbia Military Academy submitted in evidence the appraisal of the presidents of the three banks of Columbia, Tenn., and the three leading real estate men of that town. Their statement is as follows:
COLUMBIA, TENN., January 3, 1929. Hon. Dwight F. Davis,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C. Sir: At the request of Col. I. A. Cunningham, president of the Columbia Military Academy at Columbia, Tenn., and Congressman E. E. Eslick, we, the undersigned, C. A. Parker, president of the Maury National Bank; W. B. Greenlaw, president of the Columbia Bank & Trust Co.; H. 0. Fulton, president of the Phoenix National Bank of Columbia, Tenn., nominated and requested S. O. Thomas, H. C. Hendley, and G. P. Brownlow, our leading real estate men, to act with us in appraising the 67 acres of land embracing what is known as the Columbia Military Academy property, formerly the Columbia Arsenal property.
Having appraised this property at a sum total of $23,450, we were then requested to appraise the value of the rights of the United States of America as set out in act No. 542, Seventieth Congress (H. R. 12479).
Our committee after careful consideration unanimously decided that $10,000 would be a maximum value of the interest of the United States of America in and to this 67 acres above referred to. Respectfully,
H. 0. FULTON.
S. O. THOMAS. The presidents of the three Columbia banks and the three leading real estate men of Columbia, Tenn., placed the fee of this land at $23,450, and they say $10,000 would be a maximum value of the rights and interest of the United States of America in and to the 67 acres of land involved.
The present bill is to accept the offer of the Columbia Military Academy, a body corporate, for such rights as the Government may have in the said property at the price of $10,000, to be paid in cash and to be deposited in the Treasury for the benefit of the post construction fund.
It appears to your committee that this school has been used continuously as a military school since the United States conveyed it, and that the purpose of the school corporation is to continue it as a military school, and that it is a matter of absolute necessity to this school that these restrictions and limitations of the Government be removed from the said property that it may refinance additional buildings and equipment. This institution has for years had assigned to it a commissioned officer, detailed from the Army, in charge of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and the cadet corps ranks with the best in the military-academy circles. It has furnished many officers who saw service. It holds the highest rank among the schools of its class, and has furnished many trained men in academic and military lines; and while a contender for the rank of honor school in its annual examinations by the Government officers, it has always been handicapped in its rating for lack of funds to properly equip and modernize the plant. It is a provisionally accredited school for West Point Military Academy.
Your committee believes the sum of $10,000 as offered by the Columbia Military Academy is beyond question a full and fair price for the interest of the United States Government in said propertythat is, the rights herein defined-and that said offer should be accepted and upon payment of said sum of $10,000 that the Secretary of War should be directed to convey all interest and rights of the Government in said property to the Columbia Military Academy, a body corporate.
We may add this same bill passed the House in the Seventieth Congress, but reached the Senate too late for passage. The Secretary of War does not favor passage of this bill, without assigning specific reasons: Hon. W. FRANK JAMES, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs,
House of Representatives. DEAR MR. JAMES: I am pleased to comply with your request of June 21, 1929, for a report on H. R. 2156, a bill authorizing the sale of all the interest and rights of the United States of America in the Columbia Arsenal property, situated in the ninth civil district of Maury County, Tenn., and providing that the net fund be deposited in the military post construction fund, and for the repeal of Public Law No. 542 (H. R. 12479), Seventieth Congress.
The applicable provisions of existing law on this subject are the act of Congress approved April 23, 1904 (33 Stat. 296), pursuant to which the reservation is now held by the Columbia Military Academy, and the act of Congress approved May 26, 1928 (Public No. 542, 70th Cong.), which authorized the Secretary of War to dispose of the reservation at its appraised value.
The proposed legislation is similar to H. R. 16214, Seventieth Congress, upon which report was made on January 30, 1929. As stated therein the appraisal of the property provided for in the act of May 26, 1928, was made by the National Real Estate Board, Nashville, Tenn., and certified to June 16, 1928. The value was appraised at $30,214.69, which represented the fair market value of the land without regard to the buildings thereon. The effect of the present bill if enacted into law would be to permit the Secretary of War to accept $10,000 for this reservation instead of the appraised value.
I do not favor the passage of the bill.
If any additional information from the War Department is desired, I shall be pleased to furnish it. Should hearings be held upon the proposed legislation, suitable witnesses will be designated to appear. Sincerely yo 'S,
JAMES W. Good, Secretary of War. O
REPORT No. 1077
CLAIM OF THE GOVERNMENT OF NORWAY
JUNE 18 (calendar day, JUNE 23), 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. BORAH, from the Committee on Foreign Relations, submitted
[To accompany H. J. Res. 322]
The Committee on Foreign Relations, having had under consideration House Joint Resolution 322, authorizing payment of the claim of the Norwegian Government for interest upon money advanced by it in connection with the protection of American interests in Russia, reports the same without amendment and recommends that
it do pass.
The facts concerning this claim are set forth in House Report No. 1668, which is attached hereto and made a part of this report.
(House Report No. 1668, Seventy-first Congress, second session)
The Committee on Foreign Affairs, to which was referred House Joint Resolution 322, authorizing payment of the claim of the Norwegian Government for interest upon money advanced by it in connection with the protection of American interests in Russia, having had the same under consideration, reports thereon with the recommendation that the resolution do pass without amendment.
A similar resolution passed the House in the Seventieth Congress but in the closing days of the session failed to receive action in the Senate.
The committee subjoins as a part of this report a letter from the President of the United States and letters from the Hon. Wilbur J. Carr, Acting Secretary of State, as follows: To the Congress of the United States:
I transmit herewith a report from the Secretary of State in relation to a claim presented by the Government of Norway for the payment of interest on certain sums advanced by it for this Government in connection with its representation of American interests in Moscow, and I recommend that an appropriation be authorized to effect a settlement of this claim in accordance with the recommendation of the Secretary of State.
HERBERT HOOVER. The White House, March 12, 1930.