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64TH CONGRESS,

2d Session.

SENATE.

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REPORT No. 1134.

RELIEF FOR OWNERS OF MINING CLAIMS WHO HAVE BEEN MUSTERED INTO THE SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES AS OFFICERS OR ENLISTED MEN IN THE MILITIA OR NATIONAL GUARD.

MARCH 1, 1917.-Ordered to be printed.

Mr. WALSH, from the Committee on Mines and Mining, submitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 18826.]

The Committee on Mines and Mining, to which was referred the bill (H. R. 18826) to relieve the owners of mining claims who have been mustered into the service of the United States as officers or enlisted men of the Organized Militia or National Guard from performing assessment work during the term of such service, have had the same under consideration and recommend the passage of the bill. The necessity for its enactment is fully explained in the House report, as follows:

[House Report No. 1276, Sixty-fourth Congress, second session.]

The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 18826) to relieve the owners of mining claims who have been mustered into the service of the United States as officers or enlisted men of the Organized Militia or National Guard from performing assessment work during the term of such service, having considered the same, report the bill and recommend that it do pass without amendment. It appears that there are a number of the officers and enlisted men of the Organized Militia or National Guard now in Federal service who own mining claims which they are liable to lose unless this legislation is speedily passed because they are not earning sufficient funds to pay for having their annual assessment work done, and they can not leave the military service of the United States to do the work themselves. Congress has, by a joint resolution approved August 29, 1916 (39 Stat. 671), extended similar relief to homestead entrymen who are serving as soldiers on the Mexican border or in mobilization camps. It appears to your committee that it would be unfair to these men that they should forfeit their mining claims by reason of the service that they are rendering to their country.

The Secretary of the Interior recommends the passage of this legislation in the following letter addressed to the chairman of the Committee on the Public Lands:

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, January 9, 1917.

Hon. SCOTT FERRIS,
Chairman Committee on the Public Lands, House of Representatives.

MY DEAR MR. FERRIS: In response to your letter of December 29, 1916, transmitting copy of H. R. 18826, for report thereon with recommendations, I have the honor to submit the following:

The purpose of the bill is, as expressed in the title, to relieve the owners of mining claims who have been mustered into the service of the United States as officers or

enlisted men of the Organized Militia or National Guard from performing assessment work during their term of such service.

Under section 2324, Revised Statutes, the owner of a mining claim located since May 10, 1872, is required to perform during each year and until patent is issued not less than $100 worth of labor, or make improvements of that value upon the claim, and where failure to comply with these conditions occurs, the claim or mine becomes open to relocation in the same manner as if no location of the land had been made, provided that the original locator, his heirs, assigns, or legal representatives have not resumed work upon the claim after failure and before such location. Section 2324 was amended by section 2 of the act of June 22, 1880 (21 Stat., 61) to provide that the period within which work was required to be done annually on unpatented mining claims shall commence on the 1st day of January succeeding the date of location. Under the provisions of the bill, a claimant must file in the office where his location notice is recorded and within 90 days after the passage and approval of the act, a notice of his muster into service and of his desire to hold the claim under the act, and claims so held will not be subject to forfeiture for nonperformance of annual assessment work until six months after the owner is mustered out of service, or until six months after his death in the service.

Where failure to perform annual assessment work on claims for the year 1916 has occurred, such claims became open to relocation on January 1, 1917, but should no relocation be made of the land prior to the enactment of the proposed law the locators could take the benefit of the provisions and, by filing the required notice, prevent relocation of the land, the provisions of the bill being sufficient, as I understand them, to include claims on which failure has already occurred, except in cases where valid locations adverse to the defaulting claimant have been made.

I have no information at hand as to the number of claims which would be affected by the proposed law, but there are probably comparatively few, so that the enactment of the bill will not have any material effect on the development of mining claims generally.

While legislation for the relief of soldiers and sailors in the service of the United States who are claimants of public lands has been confined to cases requiring the actual presence of the claimant on the land, and relief in that respect has been given to those engaged in military service on the Mexican border and in mobilization camps by the act of August 29, 1916 (39 Stat., 671), I can see no valid objection to granting the relief proposed by the bill. While the owner of an unpatented mining location is under no obligation to personally perform development work on his claim, yet there may be cases where the soldier is not financially able to meet the necessary expense of hiring the work done, and being prevented from performing the work himself for the reason that the Government has called him into the service of his country, it is but a matter of simple justice that the relief proposed be given to him. I recommend, therefore, that the bill be enacted.

Cordially, yours,

O

FRANKLIN K. LANE, Secretary.

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MARCH 2 (calendar day, MARCH 3), 1917.-Ordered to be printed.

Mr. CHAMBERLAIN, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 20872.]

The Committee on Military Affairs has had under consideration the bill (H. R. 20872) making appropriations for the support of the Military Academy for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1918, and for other purposes, and submits a favorable report thereon and recommends that the bill be passed. The bill passed the House on the evening of March 2, 1917, and your committee report it back to the Senate without amendment.

The following figures are submitted for the information of the Senate:

Amount appropriated for the support of the Military Academy, fiscal year 1917...

Amount estimated for fiscal year 1918.

Amount in present bill as passed House and as reported to the Senate. The bill appropriates less than the total amount of the estimates submitted..

The bill appropriates more than the amount carried by the appropriation act for the fiscal year 1917...........

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$1, 225, 043. 57 2,058, 673. 30 1,343, 496. 18

715, 177. 12

118,452. 61

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