Page images
PDF
EPUB

Or course, the one thing that would do us more good than anything else would be to build a highway to Alaska, but unfortunately the Canadians have not yet agreed to it. They say that they have not enough money; that they do not know where they will get'it.

Mr. Fitzpatrick. What is the condition of privately owned railroads up there, as compared with the Government railroad?

Mr. Dimond. Do you mean as to whether they are making money?

Mr. Fitzpatrick. Physical condition, whether they are safer.

Mr. Dimond. I think so; yes. The Copper River Railroad, I know, a number of years age before I came to Washington in 1933, was in incomparably better physical condition than the Alaska Railroad.

Mr. Johnson. Where is it?

Mr. Dimond. It extends from Cordova northeast 196 miles to the copper mines in the interior. Up to 1932 the physical condition of the Copper River Railroad was very much better than the physical condition of the Alaska Railroad.

Mr. Chairman, may I revise my remarks?

Mr. Scrugham. Yes, sir.

Is there anything further?

Mr. Rich. Are we going to take any action so far as doing anything that might save lives is concerned?

Mr. Scrugham. Not at this time.

Mr. Rich. We will go right through with these other items?

Mr. Scrugham. We will go right through the other items, and consider it all in executive session after the hearings are completed.

Mr. Dimond. Do you mind if I say one more word, about tin?

Alaska is the only place in the United States that produces any tin at all, any commercial tin. The production is slowly increasing. Last year we took out about 100 tons.

Mr. Johnson. Where is your tin?

Mr. Dimond. The tin is now being worked right near Bering Straits.

Mr. Fitzpatrick. How much would that be? About one-tenth of 1 percent of what we use?

Mr. Dimond. I have not figured it up. It is less than that. We import about 70,000 tons a year, and produce about 100 tons.

Mr. Johnson. What are the potentialities?

Mr. Dimond. The potentialities as reported to me are very promising, for there appears to be a wide distribution throughout Alaska, in the interior of Alaska, and also on Seward Peninsula.

I suggest that it would be in the interest of true national economy to provide money to make a thorough investigation of the tin resources of Alaska. I proposed that last year, but we did not get any money for it.

I thank you, gentlemen of the committee, for listening so courteously to my statement of some of the things which ought to be done in Alaska.

Mr. Scrugham. Is there any further statement?

Mr. Dimond. And I do really hope that you can take care of these items that 1 have brought to your attention.

139751—37—pt 2 2

Wednesday, March 24, 1937.

Application Of State Of Oklahoma For Funds To Carry Out PubPoses Of Public, No. 638, Seventy-fourth Congress, For Care, Etc., Of Destitute Indians

STATEMENTS OF HON. JAMES V. McCLINTIC, A FORMER REPBESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA; I. M. NICHOLS, CHAIRMAN, OKLAHOMA STATE BOARD OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS; AND CHARLES F. BARRETT, ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA

Mr. Johnson. Gentlemen of the committee, we have some gentlemen here from Oklahoma who desire to be heard at this time. This request is a little out of order, and I will say to the visiting gentlemen that this committee usually does not let anybody break in at any time during the progress of our hearing. At the suggestion, however, of Hon. Jim McClintic, who served with distinction as a Member o! Congress for many years, we will hear these gentlemen at this time.

We also have with us Mr. L. M. Nichols, a member of the Oklahoma State Board of Public Affairs, and Adjutant General Barrett, of the State of Oklahoma, who also has given the State of Oklahoma many years of valuable, unselfish service.

Do you care to make a statement first, Mr. McClintic?

Mr. Mcclintic I will make a short statement.

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, first I want to express my sincere appreciation in behalf of Mr. Nichols, the adjutant general, the Governor, and myself for your courtesy in allowing us to appear before you this morning. I realize full well the accuracy of the statement made by Mr. Johnson, that this is a little out of order.

We are here this morning, gentlemen, for the purpose of complying with an authorization act passed in the Seventy-fourth Congress, known as Public 638. This bill was sponsored by a representative of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It was an act to amend an act in order to clarify it, thus making it possible for every State in the Union to stand on what might be termed an even keel. It relates to taking care of destitute Indians in any State in the Union where public institutions under the jurisdiction of a State provide that kind of help.

This bill was considered by both the Indian Affairs Committee?, the committee of the Senate and the committee of the House. It was my privilege to appear before the Indian Affairs Committee of the House and to explain the provisions of the act, and at that meeting was a representative of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, who also sponsored the act. It carried with it a favorable recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, and we are here this morning to ask that the act be vitalized, and that our claim, the claim of the State of Oklahoma, be placed before the Appropriations Committee in order that we may receive that which Congress intended us to have.

I want to say further that this is not a selfish presentation, as no individual that appears here this morning can gain a nickel's benefit, but it is a claim based upon merit, and based upon the actual expenditure that the Board of Public Affairs of the State of Oklahoma makes every year for the purpose of taking care of distressed Indians in the various State institutions.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I want to ask the privilege of reserving my time to answer any questions that might be asked by the members of the Committee, and I also want to ask at this time that Mr. Nichols, the chairman of the State board of public affairs, be allowed to present his argument and to give you such information as he has with respect to what the State of Oklahoma has done in taking care of destitute Indians, that this bill which I have referred to provides should be taken care of by the Federal Government.

Mr. Johnson. All right, Mr. Nichols. The committee would be glad to hear you now.

Mr. Nichols. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the State of Oklahoma, through the State board of public affairs, respectfully desires to submit the following information for the purpose of conforming with the terms of the act known as Public, No. 638, Seventy-fourth Congress, entitled [reading]:

An Act to amend an Act entitled "An Act authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to arrange with States or Territories for the education, medical attention, relief of distress, and social welfare of Indians, and for other purposes,"

which in part is as follows [reading]:

That the Secretary of the Interior be, and hereby is, authorized, in his discretion, to enter into a contract or contracts with any State or Territory, or political subdivision thereof, or with any State university, college, or school, or with any appropriate State or private corporation, agency, or institution, for the education, medical attention, agricultural assistance, and social welfare, including relief of distress, of Indians in such State or Territory, through the agencies of the State or Territory or of the corporations and organizations hereinbefore named, and to expend under such contract or contracts, moneys appropriated by Congress for the education, medical attention, agricultural assistance, and social welfare, including relief of distress, of Indians in such State of Territory.

Section 2 of the act relates to the leasing of abandoned buildings, etc. Therefore, it is not necessary to quote the act in full. Section 3 of the act provides as follows:

That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to perform any and all acts and to make such rules and regulations, including minimum standards of service, as may be necessary and proper for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this act into effect: Provided, That such minimum standards of service are not less than the highest maintained by the States or Territories within which said contract or contracts, as herein provided, are to be effective.

It will be noted that this authorization specifically refers to the various kinds of State institutions which are charged with the responsibility of giving medical attention, social welfare, education and other forms of relief; and under the terms of the act the State of Oklahoma, as well as other States that provide this kind of relief to Indians, are eligible to enter into contracts with the Secretary of the Interior for the purposes as are above outlined.

According to my information some States have been ablo to obtain reimbursements for taking care of this class of Indians. However, to avoid confusion in the interpretation of the original act, the Seventyfourth Congress amended the law in order that all States might obtain equal consideration.

I desire to respectfully call attention to the report of the Secrtan of the Interior on this legislation, the same being given in s ies: dated August 20, 1935, which is as follows:

DEPARTMENT OF THE IVTT WIR

Washington, August 7, :Hon. ELMER THOMAS, Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,

L'nited States Senate. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN; Since the approval of the Johnson 4) Meer i. of April 16, 1934 (48 Stat. 596), authorizing the Secretary of the Ist > arrange with States or Territories for the education, medical attention, m . distress, and social welfare of Indians, some difficulty has been exponer : placing its provisions into effect. * The above-mentioned act authorizes contracts with any State Tee having legal authority to enter into such contracts. This provisno some confusion as some State officials have apparently interpreted this set as a caveat requiring enactment by State legislatures of legislation s authorizing the execution of contracts of this nature before such matn be entered into. Few, if any, of the several States with which at Ned enter into contracts for the purposes of this act have passed such ca. On the other hand, the attorneys general of the States of Washington I . have rendered opinions holding that the governors of the respectare Slain . inherent power to enter into such contracts.

It is also desired to authorize the execution of contracts diretly with ticular agencies of the proper subdivision of the State which is in chart d activities involved in order that more direct contract and more effect.ne u will obtain. Furthermore, no contracts can be entered into with state and universities unless the legislatures of the respective States with . tracts are desirable specifically authorize the execution of such aree to there are other instances where it may be desirable to enter into rotnar , hospitals, schools, welfare organizations, and agencies, which mas

9 the supervision of a political subdivision of a particular State The art . . permit contracts with private organizations. In order to effectrate the results under the act, present experience indicates the need of electing pr. modifications of the existing law.

There is enclosed a draft of a proposed bill containing an endrert enacted, would permit carrying out of the purposes and intent of the art greater expedition and more effective administrative resulta

It is recommended that the proposed bill receive appropriate conside action by your committee and the ('ongress. Sincerely yours,

HAROLD L ICKE

Secretary of the le This report shows conclusively that the Indian Department : full cognizance of the provisions included in the bill and further a representative of the Indian Bureau appeared before the momi after the bill had passed the Senate, and favored its passage Is interesting to note here that the bill received a unanimous report me the House Indian Affairs ('ommittee and further, when it cam for consideration in the House of Representatives on the l'nanis Consent ('alendar, there was no objection from any sourre la ry of the fact that the merits of this bill were fully explained to be committees of Congress and it was personally sponsored by a fer sentative of the Indian Bureau, it is only natural to conclude the Indian agency of the Government had looked with farno the provisions contained in the same.

What is now the State of Oklahoma was originally set apart sa home for many tribes of Indians that formerly resided eke bors it is for this reason that the State of Oklahoma has within its des aries more Indian citizens than are to be found in any other Stas

I think it will be of interest to the members of the committee have some figures which are offered for the purpose of showing we

fine moral claim the State has against the Federal Government for id in this connection. According to the World Almanac of 1937, age 556, we find that the area of the State consists of 70,057 square dies, or 44,836,480 acres.

Oklahoma, according to this statement, has 203,888 farms with an creage of 33,978,200 acres, making the average size of farms of 166 cres. Further, the record shows that in part of the State formerly nown as Indian Territory, there was in 1930, 19,551,800 acres of land elonging to the various Indian tribes, which was valued at $320,96,333, or approximately $10.60 per acre. When it is taken into conderation that the entire acreage within the State is 44,836,480 and !iat there is located within the western portion of the State, which was jrmerly known as Oklahoma Territory, large tracts of Indian land •elonging to the Kiowas, Comanches, Arapahos, Cheyennes, and other cattered Indian tribes; in addition, the Fort Sill Military Reserve and he large tract of Government land located near to El Reno, it is a air and a correct statement to say that one-half, if not more, of all he land within the State of Oklahoma is not taxable. Furthermore, when a computation is made with respect to taxes on he 203,808 farms consisting of 166 acres each, at a tax rate of $100 per arm per annum, it means that the State of Oklahoma loses every year he sum of $10,194,400 of tax revenue, because no tax can be levied on ndian-owned lands. Figuring this on a basis of thirty years since Statehood, it is conservative to say that the State has lost the sum of 5304,332,000, without taking into consideration the extra 10,858,280 icres which is not included in this compilation. This, according to ihe record, is the greatest contribution that has been made by any State within the Union towards the upkeep and the maintenance of the various Indian tribes.

I respectfully desire to call vour attention to a copy of a communication, which is marked as Exhibit A in this presentation, dated April 16, 1936, from Mr. Arthur Grunert, who is an attorney for the Oklahoma State Board of Public Affairs, that gives the information which is a basis for the claim the State is making in accordance with the terms of Public, No. 638. According to the information contained in this communication, the State of Oklahoma is now taking care of 507 Indians who are without funds and who would be subject to the provisions of this act.

The following is a list of the institutions and the number of Indians confined in each; and the average per capita cost, or the statutory fees charged by the State for paying patients, together with the total annual charge by institutions.

[table]
« PreviousContinue »