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Mr. LANE, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the



[To accompany S. 7027.]

The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S. 7027) for the relief of the Osage Indians in Oklahoma, having investigated the said bill, report it back favorably with an amendment as follows:

Page 1, line 6, after the word "Indians," strike out the following: "residing on the Osage Indian Reservation."

This legislation is in line with certain other bills for the relief of other Indian tribes. This act, however, deals with a tribe whose claims arise in large measure from the leasing of oil lands on the reservation belonging to the Osage Indians, and certain losses. entailed in the development and operation of properties under the leases. It is recommended that the legislation proposed be adopted.


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Mr. BANKHEAD, from the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads, submitted the following


[To accompany S. 7859.]

The Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads, to whom was referred the bill (S. 7859) authorizing the Postmaster General to increase prices for certain supplies to conform to abnormal market conditions, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass with an amendment proposed by the committee. The reasons that impel the committee to report this legislation favorably are contained in the following statement of facts submitted to it by the Post Office Department.

The purposes of this bill are to assure a continuous supply of stamped envelopes, postal cards, money-order forms, and departmental envelopes, and also to give needed relief to a number of fouryear contractors who are suffering financial loss because of the great increase in the price of paper and other materials, at least some of whom will face bankruptcy unless relief is speedily given.

There are about 30 contracts affected, all of which were made either before the European war or in the early days of the war, when paper was abnormally low. Since that time it has increased in price approximately 200 per cent, and inks and other materials have increased as much or more. Labor cost is also high.

The stamped-envelope contract contains a provision by which the Postmaster General may require certain grades and designs of envelopes at a price fixed by mutual agreement, but there is no similar clause in any of the other contracts except in that for postal cards, and the Comptroller of the Treasury has decided that inasmuch as the paper now being furnished for postal cards is satisfactory no increased price can be given under this clause.

Inasmuch as it has already been decided to require new grades and designs of stamped envelopes at a price that will relieve the contractor, it is thought no more than fair to give the same relief to all other fouryear contractors furnishing supplies manufactured of paper.

So far as the stamped envelope contract is concerned, this bill will affect only the contract grades and sizes and not the additional grades and designs that it has already been decided to supply.

SR-64-2-vol 1-19

If this bill becomes a law, it will not only enable the Post Office Department to insure a continuous supply of envelopes, postal cards, and money-order forms, but at a much lower price than could be obtained in the open market. For example, the postal card contractor is asking only $80,000 per year additional, or 25 per cent; whereas open-market purchases of postal card stock recently made indicated that an acceptable grade of paper could not be obtained under a price almost 200 per cent higher than that named in the contract, which would require an additional outlay of $500,000 annually. In event the contract is forfeited under the terms of the agreement between the department and the contractors and recovery is sought of the bondsmen, adequate relief, due to the excessively increased cost of paper in the open market, can not be obtained, since the price that the Government or other contractors, if new bids were sought, would have to pay for certain necessary grades of paper is about 12 cents per pound as against about 8 cents per pound which some of the contractors will pay for it because of contracts already made by them pursuant to their contracts with the Government. Thus the proposed legislation not only will do justice by these contractors, but will actually prove a material economy to the Government. The amounts involved on the present contracts are approximately

as follows:

Stamped envelopes......

Department and Postal Service envelopes.
Postal card stock..

Money-order forms, exclusive of the Public Printer and the Bureau of
Engraving and Printing....


Annually. $1,560, 000 300, 000 270,000


2, 180,000

It is believed that a temporary increase of not less than 25 and not more than 50 per cent will meet the needs of the situation, whereas in the open market the increase would probably be at least 200 per cent.

The precedent for the proposed action is found in the change by the Postmaster General and the Public Printer in the color and quality of postal-card stock in 1910 and an increased price for paper, which change was made in the middle of the contract period.

The Post Office Department is the only department having fouryear contracts, practically all the others running for one year. It is possible for one-year contractors to protect themselves, and their losses on a rising market are not so great as in the case of four-year


It is a well-recognized principle of law that in the event of civil war and in certain other war conditions contracts are automatically suspended. While the present European war has fortunately not involved this country, its effect on market conditions has been almost as great as though war were on our own soil.

In case this legislation is not passed, it is certain that a number of contractors, some of whom are old in the Government service, will be forced to the wall and it is not certain that some of the supplies can be obtained at all and if they are obtained it will be at a price greatly in excess of that at which the Postmaster General could obtain them under the provisions of this act.


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