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REPORT No. 1129.
CEMETERY OF THE WHITE'S TABERNACLE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
MARCH 1, 1917.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. JAMES, from the Committee on the District of Columbia, submitted the following
[To accompany H. R. 7621.]
The Committee on the District of Columbia, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 7621) prohibiting the interment of the body of any person in the cemetery known as the Cemetery of the White's Tabernacle No. 39 of the Ancient United Order of Sons and Daughters, Brethern and Sisters of Moses, in the District of Columbia, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass. The report of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, who have investigated the matter, which explains the situation desired to be regulated by this legislation, is as follows:
Hon. JOHN WALTER SMITH,
COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
Chairman, Committee on the District of Columbia,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C.
SIR: The Commissioners of the District of Columbia have the honor to submit the following report on H. R. 7621, entitled “An act prohibiting the interment of the body of any person in the cemetery known as the Cemetery of the White's Tabernacle, No., 39, of the Ancient United Order of Sons and Daughters, Brethern and Sisters of Moses, in the District of Columbia."
The cemetery described in this bill was established about 1880, and there have been approximately 192 interments in it. The first interment was made on April 21, 1881, and the last interment was made on July 25, 1910. The greater part of the area covered by this cemetery lies within the lines of Thirty-seventh Street west, as established by the official street-extension plan. This fact, it is believed, has interfered with the making of interments of recent years and is likely to continue so to interfere. The cemetery is therefore simply abandoned.
It is desired now, it is understood, by the owners of this cemetery to remove the remains from it to some other suitable place. Of this plan, the commissioners heartily approve, since experience has shown that cemeteries not in active use are very soon neglected and become eyesores and from an aesthetic and sentimental stand point nuisances. While aesthetic and sentimental nuisances are not ordinarily taken
cognizance of by the law, yet the law has apparently always manifested a certain amount of sentiment with respect to the care and disposal of the dead, and no reason appears why it should not do so in a case of this kind.
An obstacle to the removal of the bodies interred in this cemetery exists in the laws now governing disinterments. The law absolutely forbids the opening of graves in which have been buried the bodies of persons dead of certain communicable diseases. It forbids, moreover, the opening of all other graves unless application for permission to disinter the remains buried therein be made by the nearest relatives or the legal representatives of the deceased. In the present instance it would be difficult, if not impossible, to locate the nearest relatives of many of the persons whose remains are buried in this cemetery and their legal representatives, if they ever had any, have long since settled their accounts and lost their official status. For these reasons, an act of Congress seems to be necessary in order to permit the removal of the remains that are now buried in this ground. It is understood that those owning the cemetery which it is desired to abandon have already purchased ground for a new cemetery for their present purposes and that said ground is not located in the District of Columbia. Since this cemetery is a cemetery of an established fraternal order, there would seem to be no objection to allowing the removal of the remains of those members who have been buried in the District to such other cemetery as may be established by the order, even though that cemetery be beyond the confines of the District of Columbia. The Commissioners of the District of Columbia recommend favorable action on the proposed legislation.
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, By OLIVER P. NEWMAN, President.
DISPOSAL OF LANDS IN FORT BERTHOLD INDIAN RESERVATION, N. DAK.
MARCH 1, 1917.-Ordered to be printed.
Mr. GRONNA, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the
[To accompany H. R. 12030.]
The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 12030) to amend an act entitled "An act to provide for the disposal of certain lands in the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, N. Dak.," approved August 3, 1914, having carefully considered the same, recommend that the bill do pass.
The report of the House Committee on Indian Affairs recommending the passage of the bill mentioned is here adopted, in part, as follows:
The following letter from the Interior Department explains fully the reason for this legislation:
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Hon. JOHN H. STEPHENS,
Chairman Committee on Indian Affairs,
House of Representatives.
MY DEAR MR. STEPHENS: I am in receipt of your request of the 21st instant for a report on House bill 12030 for the use and information of your committee.
This bill is "To amend an act entitled 'An act to provide for the disposal of certain lands in the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, N. Dak.,' approved August 3, 1914." This measure is designed to make operative the legislative intent in the matter of the disposal of certain school sections numbered 16 and 36 within that portion of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota opened under the acts of June 1, 1910 (36 Stat., 455), and August 3, 1914 (38 Stat., 681).
The said act of 1910, by section 1 thereof, provided for the withdrawal or reservation of lands found to contain coal until provision for the disposal of such lands should be made by Congress. Under authority of such provision this department, on June 27, 1911, approved the recommendation of the Director of the Geological Survey that 238,082 acres of land within said opened reservation be reserved because valuable for coal. Unallotted school sections 16 and 36, or portions thereof, embracing 9,366.08 acres, were included in the area classified as valuable for coal and reserved as aforesaid. The State, within the time allowed for that purpose, filed an indemnity selection list embracing 9,197.48 acres of land within the opened reservation and has since
S R-64-2-vol 1—34
selected 168.36 acres of other land outside of the opened reservation in lieu of the like area of the aforesaid school-section lands.
As noted herein, lands found to contain coal were, by the terms of the act of 1910, held in reservation until provision for their disposal should be made by Congress, and the act of August 3, 1914, supra, was intended on the part of Congress to provide for the disposition of the lands so withheld. The opening clause of said act provided "that the lands in Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, N. Dak., which, on account of their containing coal, were reserved from allotment and other disposition under the act of June 1, 1910, shall be subject to disposal under the provisions of said act," and the act then provides for a surface title, with a reservation of the coal for the benefit of the Indians.
This, in the main, constituted a solution of the problem that Congress had undertaken, to wit, the "disposal" of the lands theretofore reserved on account of their mineral contents. Congress, however, still had a further duty to provide for the classification and appraisal of these mineral lands, for lands of that kind had been excluded from appraisal under the act of 1910. Accordingly, suitable provisions were made for such appraisement, but in specifying the lands to be so appraised the declaration occurs "except sections 16 and 36." If this exception had not appeared in the statute, there would not have been any occasion for the present proposed amendatory legislation, for the reason that the State would have taken indemnity for such sections where classified as coal, and they would have been duly appraised and sold for the benefit of the Indian fund in accordance with the general intention of the statute.
It would appear, however, that Congress at the time of the passage of this act was not advised as to the pendency of the indemnity selections theretofore made by the State; hence the consequences of excepting sections 16 and 36 from appraisal were not then understood.
From the foregoing it is apparent that Congress intended the State to receive indemnity for those portions of sections 16 and 36 that contained coal, and should have made provision for the disposition by appraisal and classification of the base land, and that a failure so to do left no authority for their disposal.
The present bill will remedy the omission in the law, as it now stands, by the appraisal and disposition of coal lands within sections 16 and 36, the same as any other coal land, in general accordance with the plan provided by the act of August 3, 1914.
This bill is identical with a draft prepared in the department and submitted with my letter of February 19, 1916, to the House Committee on the Public Lands, wherein I stated in substance the necessity for this legislation as in the foregoing.
Until such time as statutory provision is made for the disposition of the base lands, as proposed herein, action will be withheld in the department upon the pending indemnity selections made by the State, from which may be seen the urgency of this
CHANGING NAME OF STEAMER "FRED G. HARTWELL" TO "HARRY W. CROFT.”
MARCH 1, 1917.-Ordered to be printed.
Mr. HARDING, from the Committee on Commerce, submitted the
[To accompany S. 8300.]
To authorize the change of name of the steamer Fred G. Hartwell to Harry W. Croft (favorable report of Department of Commerce attached).
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,
MY DEAR SENATOR: I have received your letter of the 22d instant transmitting papers and copies of bills introduced yesterday for the purpose of changing the names of the steamers Fred G. Hartwell to Harry W. Croft and Harry A. Berwind to Harvey H. Brown, and requesting a report on the applications.
I perceive no objection to the passage of these bills.
WILLIAM C. Redfield,