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WAR MINERALS RELIEF COMMISSION

The next item is on page 10, line 18, War Minerals Relief Commission. There you are asking for an increase of $2,000.

Mr. BURLEW. Yes, sir. They cut the appropriation $2,000. It is purely a salary appropriation, and we are confident we will not be able to complete the War Minerals business before the end of the year. We have 87 cases still pending and this interest act which passed, the act of May 18, 1936, provides an appropriation of $725,000 for interest on a certain number of claims. The act of June 30, which you know about, opens up cases which had not been filed previously to the act of 1929, which brings additional work to us, so that altogether we have got pending 87 cases with 63 cases still in court awaiting decree, and this means that we have to furlough some of the people up to $2,000 if this went through.

Senator HAYDEN. Now, as I understand the situation, Congress passed an act authorizing the appropriation of $1,250,000. Mr. BURLEW. Yes.

Senator HAYDEN. To settle all war minerals claims.

Senator ADAMS. What was the original authorization?

Mr. BURLEW. The original authorization was $50,000,000. That was an authorization rather than an appropriation.

Senator HAYDEN. $1,250,000 was appropriated. Now, that $1,250,000 will pay all of them, in your judgment?

Mr. BURLEW. Yes. There is no question about it.

Now, $500,000 was appropriated a year ago and this year in the Deficiency Act we got $750,000, which completes the appropriation under the authorization.

Now, there is an earmark on that of $100,000 to pay these claims which have not been filed before the act of 1929.

Mr. KIRGIS. It allows two things, substantially. One is that it allows certain court cases to proceed despite the fact that there were technical objections theretofore, because they were not declared in sufficient time. Second, it allows the Secretary to consider such claims which could properly be filed under the 1925 amendment, but which were not.

Senator HAYDEN. They are small in amount?

Mr. BURLEW. Yes.

Senator HAYDEN. Although a number of them involve considerable detail.

Mr. BURLEW. Yes.

Senator HAYDEN. What I am trying to get to is how long will it be necessary to maintain that War Minerals Commission?

Mr. BURLEW. It will be wiped out at the end of this fiscal year. Senator ADAMS. You have maintained that hope for a number of years?

Mr. BURLEW. I know that we have, Senator, and we have worked religiously to try to cut it out. We would like to stop it, as well as you people.

Senator HAYDEN. Do you think this will probably be the last appropriation that will be made for the War Minerals claims?

Mr. BURLEW. I think so. Of course, it depends on these 63 cases in the courts. If we get decrees within a reasonable time, it certainly will.

Mr. KURGIS. I think that in most cases that it can be handled expeditiously now. As a matter of fact, our office is handling those and we expect to clear up most of those very shortly.

Senator HAYDEN. That will be a gratification to this committee. when we see the Budget estimate next year with nothing in it for the War Minerals Relief Commission, indicating that its business has been wound up.

Senator O'MAHONEY. How many persons are employed by that Commission?

Mr. BURLEW. There are five; a commissioner, two examiners, and two secretaries.

This is completely for the salary roll, $20,000. I may say that, if I am permitted, Congress keeps amending this War Minerals Act and not us.

Senator O'MAHONEY. I think that there is something in that.

GENERAL LAND OFFICE

Senator HAYDEN. I notice that there is nothing in your letter with respect to the General Land Office.

Mr. BURLEW. No, sir.

Senator HAYDEN. Upon the other hand, I am firmly convinced in my own mind that the General Land Office is in a bad way and I want to suggest that you direct the Commissioner to bring to the attention of the committee the conditions of his office. It is very far behind in its work, as every western Congressman knows.

Senator O'MAHONEY. I am glad that you have suggested that, Mr. Chairman, because we know that the General Land Office is one of the bureaus of the Government which is really producing some income to the Government in the administering the public lands.

Senator HAYDEN. It has had added to its duties the administration of the Grazing Act, which brings income and also added duties, and I would like to have them present to the committee for its serious consideration what is necessary to bring the Bureau up to where it will furnish some satisfaction to those who have business with it.

Mr. BURLEW. I will be glad to do that.

Senator BANKHEAD. What is the amount of the appropriation now? Mr. BURLEW. I do not recall the total, but it is only a few hundred thousand dollars.

Senator HAYDEN. It is shown right here in the book.

Senator NYE. $587,000, including one clerk.

Senator BANKHEAD. That is an unusual item.

Senator HAYDEN. That is the clerk who signs the President's name. Senator BANKHEAD. I was wondering what that was.

Senator HAYDEN. Will you do that, Mr. Burlew, and we will call them up here later.

Mr. BURLEW. Yes, sir.

Senator HAYDEN. Then, with respect to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, we will call the Commissioner a little later, of course. Mr. BURLEW. I have nothing on that.

152102-37- -3

AUTOMOBILE FOR THE SECRETARY

Senator O'MAHONEY. Mr. Chairman, let me interrupt. I noticed from some of the newspaper reports of this appropriation bill when it was in the House that there was some question as to whether or not the Secretary of the Interior should be allowed a sufficient appropriation to furnish him with a suitable automobile. The automobile that the Secretary was using was wrecked by the Secretary, and I think the witness (Mr. Burlew).

Mr. BURLEW. I was knocked out at the time.

Senator O'MAHONEY. I do not believe that either the Secretary or the witness was driving. But, that happened, and I am impressed with the thought that the Secretary of the Interior really ought to have a satisfactory car.

May I ask Mr. Burlew, will you make some statement about that? Mr. BURLEW. We now have a car for the Secretary that is about 4 years old. We have authority for only two passenger cars in Washington, and this Secretary's car is an old Packard, the new one having been demolished in this wreck.

What we asked for is to replace it with a new car, and in the deficiency bill we asked for a second car.

The car ought to be turned in because it is too old to give good service. That would give us the original two cars.

One of the members of the deficiency committee asked if I knew that in at least four departments the Assistant Secretaries had to ride in $750 cars, and I said no, and asked him who they were, and he proceeded to show me very promptly.

So, the House committee dropped even the $750.

Now, the newspapers had a story that we were asking for $4,000 for a car. We were not. We were asking for $2,500 for a car and the balance of the $4,000 was to pay for transferring the telephone service to the new Interior Department Building.

We have in this present bill $2,500 for a new car for the Secretary. I do not know what kind of a car that amount of money will buy. We have always had an allotment of more money than that. We think it is necessary to get a car which has a division between the chauffeur and the passengers, because of the fact that the Secretary frequently talks on confidential business matters while driving.

We have a small Chrysler which has been loaned to us by the Treasury Department which The Assistant Secretaries and bureau officers are using and we frankly would like to get another $2,500 for a second car.

Senator O'MAHONEY. What about this item? This says $2,500. Mr. BURLEW. We do not think that is sufficient

Senator O'MAHONEY. What do you think would be sufficient? Mr. BURLEW. With the trade-in value of our present car, we ought to have certainly $3,800. Heretofore we have had a limitation of $5,000.

Senator NYE. Could you not come back at another date prepared to give us the precise figures?

Mr. BURLEW. We have to get bids, Senator. That is the trouble. Now, the present car cost approximately $3,800 with the trade-in of an old car, and that is around the amount we usually pay.

Senator O'MAHONEY. There is no trade-in value for a wrecked car.

Mr. BURLEW. No. It would just probably be worth $300, salvage value.

Senator HAYDEN. In your opinion, if the limitation of $2,500 were increased to $3,800, you could acquire a satisfactory car?

Mr. BURLEW. I think we could acquire a suitable car.

Senator HAYDEN. It does not add anything to the sum total of the appropriation.

Mr. BURLEW. Nothing at all. It does not have anything to do with that. Is is taken out of our contingent funds.

VIRGIN ISLANDS, DEFRAYING DEFICIT MUNICIPAL TREASURIES

Senator HAYDEN. The last item in the Secretary's letter is for defraying the deficits in the treasuries of the municipal government of the Virgin Islands.

Mr. BURLEW. For some reason that went out in the House on a point of order.

Senator HAYDEN. That is on page 126, line 8.

Mr. BURLEW. They threw out the appropriation for the deficits in the municipal treasuries in the Virgin Islands on a point of order.

Congress has been appropriating for these deficits since 1917 nad no point of order has ever been raised on it, we feel, as stated in this letter, and according to the organic act passed June 22, 1936, that that is sufficient itself to warrant the appropriation.

We do not know what would happen if we did not get this money because the municipalities down there are the actual government and not cities as some people think. They do not have the funds to defray the expenses of the government.

Senator ADAMS. Perhaps they thought that the new rum industry down there was so prosperous.

Mr. BURLEW. It is, Senator. In a year or two there will be no deficits down there. In fact, it might not be that long.

Senator HAYDEN. How is the rum industry progressing?

Mr. BURLEW. Very satisfactorily. We have a selling agent who has got a wide market for distribution. They have ordered 10,000 cases, and have sent in an additional order. We are shipping 1,500 tons of sugarcane processed by the Virgin Islands Co., and grown by the natives under the auspices of the company.

We have made a contract with the Anagastora bitters manufacturers to manufacture their product in the Virgin Islands, which means a profit to the Virgin Islands Co. and to the municipal government. Senator ADAMS. They are moving their plant?

Mr. BURLEW. Yes.

Senator ADAMS. Where were they located?

Mr. BURLEW. I do not know.

Senator ADAMS. On another island?

Mr. BURLEW. I do not know, but they have moved over to the Virgin Islands and are opening up a big plant. They will buy a very large amount of alcohol which nets us a good profit.

Now, on this sugar, the municipality of St. Croix gets a very large revenue which helps cut the deficit. I think they get $10,000 on this one shipment alone.

These deficits have reached as high as $343,000 at one time and we have consistently cut them down to this $110,000. In 1922 they were

$343,000 and since the Interior Department took over the islands they have run from $231,000, $238,000, $187,000, $172,000, $130,000, and this year $110,000.

Now, this money goes to pay for fire and police protection, health, education, and all activities of the municipalities, and is amounts that municipalities cannot raise from taxation or other sources of revenue and which the Federal Government makes up in the form of a deficit payment.

Senator HAYDEN. There are no other bureaus other than the Land Office and those that you have mentioned, in which you want the Budget amounts restored?

Mr. BURLEW. We have the Office of Education here also.

I may say that the reduction in the House involves items totaling $11,389,040, and in this letter that we are presenting we are asking for a restoration of $3,478,750, so even if you allowed all that we have asked, we are well below the Budget estimates, and below the House. Senator HAYDEN. Thank you. Dr. Gruening, you have a statement you desire to make?

STATEMENT OF DR. ERNEST HENRY GRUENING, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF TERRITORIES AND ISLAND POSSESSIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Dr. GRUENING. Yes, Mr. Chairman, I have a statement regarding two items that were eliminated in the House, we think by accident, and which we hope that the Senate will restore.

I wish to thank you for this opportunity to appear before you and plead for the restoration of two items originally contained in the Interior Department appropriation bill and eliminated by the House. I refer to the reduction of $3,240 for salaries for the Division of Territories and Island Possessions, and recommend that on page 3, line 17, of the House bill, the figure $55,520 be increased to $58,760; also that the item of $110,000 to provide for the anticipated deficits of the respective municipal governments of the Virgin Islands during the coming fiscal year be restored.

In connection with the personnel needs of the Division, it must be borne in mind that we are a very young organization, having been in existence only since July 1, 1934, and our personnel growth has been determined directly by the growth of duties and responsibilities which we have been called upon to assume. With a small staff of only 21 employees, we must administer the affairs of the Territories of Alaska and Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Equatorial Islands, and a number of special activities. These responsibilities have grown beyond the capacity of our present staff and we must have additional personnel if we are to continue to function in an efficient manner. The request for two additional clerks is exceedingly modest and I am sure that, if the House had fully realized the seriousness of the situation, it would not have eliminated the item of $3,240 for their salaries. As the work of these employees is largely in connection with Alaskan matters, I suggest that the committee hear Mr. Paul W. Gordon, Supervisor of Alaska Affairs in our Division, if further and detailed justification is necessary.

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