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ing bills; the drafting of regulations affecting the public domain and certain hearing procedures; and assistance rendered to congressional committees on proposed surplus property legislation and on various questions with respect to the administration of minerals in the public lands, particularly those relating to the leasing of potassium resources, the legality of withdrawals of public lands made by the Secretary of the Interior, and the purpose and effect of the potassium leasing regulations of January 4, 1945.
GRAZING SERVICE The Office of the Chief Counsel of the Grazing Service continued to handle an increasing volume of work, including the interpretation of statutes, rules and regulations, and orders affecting the administration of the Federal range; the preparation of contracts and cooperative agreements with individuals, livestock associations, State cooperative grazing districts, and Federal and State agencies; the drafting of proposed rules and regulations, instructions and forms necessary to administer the Taylor Grazing Act; the codifying of rules and regulations for publication in the Federal Register; and many other related subjects.
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION During the past year, apart from the time devoted to wartime activities, the attorneys of the Bureau of Reclamation, both in the Office of the General Counsel in Washington and in the field, have been engaged in the formulation of plans and the preparation and revision of contracts looking toward a return of the Bureau to its peacetime role and the early resumption of irrigation and other construction projects suspended during the war in accordance with War Production Board regulations. Part of a series of 37 basin reports, to be submitted to the Congress, providing postwar plans for the comprehensive development of the water, land, and hydroelectric power resources of the major basins of the West, are receiving legal review as of the writing of this report. Contracts were drafted involving the disposal of metropolitan water district unused electric energy, heretofore sold to Defense Plant Corporation for use in its magnesium plant, to the city of Los Angeles, Southern California Edison Co., and the California Electric Power Co. Negotiation of repayment contracts with the three irrigation districts of the Columbia Basin project, Central Valley project studies, the organization of three Montana irrigation districts, the treaty between the United States and the United Mexican States relating to the utilization of the waters of the Colorado, Tijuana, and Rio Grande Rivers, and numerous other intricate legal problems involving the multiplepurpose projects of the Bureau, demanded the attention of the Legal Division Bureau attorneys conducted or participated in a variety
of court cases arising in connection with Federal reclamation. After years of litigation, the United States Supreme Court on June 11, 1945, finally handed down an opinion in the best known and perhaps the most important case, Nebraska v. Wyoming and Colorado, United States, Intervener, defining the scope of State and Federal authority in interstate streams.
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY The Office of the Chief Counsel, Geological Survey, has furnished the legal implementations of the bureau's program in the search for and utilization of the Nation's mineral resources. It participated in the negotiation of 22 new unit agreements embracing 198,408 acres providing for immediate exploration and development of wildcat areas for oil and gas—to discover new oil reserves to replace dwindling known reserves. Seven communitization agreements were approved for the pooling or consolidation of Federal and non-Federal lands required under regulations of the Petroleum Administrator for War as a condition prerequisite to the use of material in drilling wellsa program designed to conserve vital materials without impeding maximum production. An agreement between the Navy and Interior Departments was consummated with respect to the supervision of the lands embraced within the Naval Petroleum Reserves.
An important victory was won in the case of United States v. General Petroleum Corporation, et al., involving additional royalties claimed to be due the United States from the holders of Federal oil and gas leases in the Kettleman Hills oil and gas field, California. The United States District Court held that the Secretary of the Interior has the power, under the Mineral Leasing Act of February 25, 1920, to determine the value of oil, natural gas, and natural-gas gasoline, or any of them, which ruling, if it becomes final, will result in the recovery of additional royalties estimated roughly at $1,500,000. The Chief Counsel's Office engaged in the defense of the case of The Ohio Oil Company v. United States, brought to recover oil and gas royalties alleged to have been wrongfully exacted by the Secretary of the Interior and, although this suit involves only $10,000, the decision will affect other royalties paid to the United States amounting approximately to $250,000.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE The Office of the Chief Counsel, National Park Service, during the fiscal year handled a large volume of matters involving jurisdiction with respect to hunting, disposal and control of wildlife, and the regulatory powers of the Federal Government over mineral locations and non-Federal lands, in areas administered by the National Park Service, questions with respect to the use of park roads, Federal and
State jurisdiction over parkway crossings, and the Service's authority as to public water reserves and power licenses in national park and monument areas. There were also many legal matters inherent in Service administration, such as water rights, land acquisition, wartime use of areas, drafting and reviewing permits and contracts, preparation of legislation, and assistance rendered the Department of Justice in the Jackson Hole National Monument case of Wyoming v. Franke, in which the authority of the Federal Government in establishing the Jackson Hole Monument was upheld by the court in a decision of February 10, 1945. The office had the responsibility for the preparation of the National Park Service law book supplement, as well as the compilation of proclamations, and orders relating to areas in the national park system. The Service's postwar programs of major importance in planning, construction and land acquisition, also required constant legal consideration and counsel.
Fish AND wildlife service
Participation by the Fish and Wildlife Service, in international fisheries problems became intensified during the year and brought out many questions for consideration by the chief counsel, both in frequent interdepartmental discussions and in the drafting of proposed agreements and legislation. At the same time, studies of the effects on the development and conservation of the wildlife and fishery resources of the numerous proposed irrigation and flood-control projects raised a variety of legal and legislative questions. Proposed legislation relating to the control of pollution and to other specific phases of wildlife conservation affecting long-time programs required the preparation of numerous reports. Of interest were the problems involved in negotiating for the transfer to the government of state lands lying in the Everglades section of the State of Florida. In anticipation of intensified hunting during the 1945–46 season, certain provisions of the migratory waterfowl regulations were revised with a view to offsetting any marked decrease in the waterfowl population.
DIVISION OF TERRITORIES
Implementing the departmental program of increased home rule in the territories, the Office of the Chief Counsel, Division of Territories, in cooperation with the Solicitor's Office, drafted a series of bills for introduction in the Congress and in the territorial legislature. Among the bills so drafted and enacted during the past fiscal year were bills outlawing racial discrimination in Alaska, and providing for a referendum on Alaskan statehood. Conferences with territorial officials and with the War Department culminated in military and presidential proclamations terminating martial rule in Hawaii. The legal staff of the Division of Territories assisted the Department
of Justice in several important cases involving the interests of the Department and the local governments; numerous legal memoranda and opinions with respect to controversial questions were prepared; Executive orders authorizing a variety of activities; and much time was devoted in acting as liaison between the territories and other departments of the Federal Government. The counsel-at-large for Alaska continued to represent the Solicitor and to protect the interests of the Federal Government in the resources of the Territory, handling a most diversified variety of problems affecting property and individual rights.
LEGISLATIVE DIVISION The variety and volume of matters passing through the Legislative Division continued to increase. Legislation introduced, including reports to committees, the Bureau of the Budget and related correspondence, involved 2,698 items; proposed legislation by the Department, 377 items; legislation proposed by other Departments, 104 items; bills introduced of interest to the Department, 738 items; laws enacted affecting the Department, 101 items. In addition the Division covered all pertinent congressional committee hearings and submitted reports where necessary; prepared or reviewed statements to be made by officials before committees; and participated in all sessions of the Departmental Legislative Committee.
PUBLIC LANDS DIVISION A substantial part of the work of the Public Lands Division involved questions arising in the administration of the Mineral Leasing Act, particularly with reference to oil and gas matters. Considerable time was devoted to cooperation with a committee from the oil industry in considering suggestions for amendments to the act. The possibility of augmenting the Nation's future oil supply from deposits in submerged coastal lands below low tide and the propriety of Federal administration of these reserves also engaged much attention. An original Supreme Court proceeding to determine title to the mineral rights in these lands is being urged as the appropriate method of settling this question. With the aid of the Division in preparing appropriate regulations and a form of cooperative agreement, an outstandingly important program for sustained timber yield, the first of its kind, was put into effect for the revested Oregon and California railroad lands, reconveyed Coos Bay Wagon Road lands and intermingled State, county, and privately owned timberlands. The Department's policy of conserving isolated tracts for their most economic use, including possible inclusion in Federal, State, or local projects, was clarified and public sales of such tracts approved only after careful consideration. Effective progress was also made in an effort to eliminate foreign control of valuable public land deposits of sodium borates and various forms of potassium as minerals vital to our national economy. The Division actively conducted litigation seeking to preserve title in the United States to rich sodium borate lands and railroad grant lands and to sustain administrative practice under the Mineral Leasing Act.
CONSERVATION DIVISION Matters of outstanding interest handled by the Conversation Division during the fiscal year were original opinions with respect to the excess-land provisions of the reclamation laws; the application of Canada-United States trade agreements to action proposed under amended salmon fishery orders; the acreage limitations on grazing districts under the Taylor Grazing Act; power rate schedules, interest requirements, repayment periods, and minimum revenue requirements for power generated and sold from the Columbia Basin (Grand Coulee) power project; advice to the Governors of Puerto Rico and Alaska as to the extent of their authorty in certain matters; questions concerning the liquidation of prewar debts in Japanese currency during Japanese occupation of Manila; and questions of Philippine Constitutional law growing out of the reoccupation of the Islands by the American Forces.
In addition to the usual volume of inquiries involving all phases of personnel and fiscal law, new questions arose with respect to the application of the war overtime pay statutes; the assignment of Federal personnel for duty in foreign countries; the acceptance of foreignnational trainees for assignment within the Department under the Government's over-all cultural-cooperation program; emergency employment of aliens, and the effect of the President's order of June 6, 1945, transferring to the Secretary of the Interior over-all responsibility for the Emergency Refugee Shelter at Oswego, N. Y. The Division continued to render opinions on questions submitted from all bureaus of the Department on matters affecting delegation of authority, damage claims, and administrative findings on appeals from contracting officers' findings of fact, as well as contract matters generally. Of particular interest in connection with the latter was the termination of a contract with private contractors for the construction of an oil refinery in foreign territory, and the negotiation and settlement of a claim by the Department against the operator of the Department's cafeteria.
MINES DIVISION The Mines Division continued to serve in the dual capacity as a branch of the Solicitor's Office and as counsel for the Bureau of Mines. Among the important services performed has been the work involving patents. Some 67 new inventions have been processed for the De