Page images
PDF
EPUB

cial Conference will be in session during the coming September and can then give further consideration to judicial necessities. Of these eight judges, six are asked for in States having representation on the Judiciary Committee. I shall, therefore, not discuss in detail the facts in these districts. I might, however, call attention to the fact that the Judicial Conference, on page 14, Attorney General's Report, 1937, in speaking of improvement in the courts, said: Thus, the conference in recent years has had occasion repeatedly to call attention to the congestion and delay in the southern district of New York. It now appears, by the Attorney General's report, that the average interval between joinder of issue and trial in ordinary course in that district has been reduced from 18 to 2 months in actions at law and from 20 to 4 months in equity.

It might be said that for political reasons the Congress was unable to authorize sufficient judges for the southern district of New York until within the last few years. It is thought that with these additional judges, and the progress being made, no additional judge should be provided at this time.

EARL C. MICHENER.

CONGRESS

PER DIEM PAYMENTS FOR KLAMATII DELEGATES

March 30, 1938.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed

Mr. Hill of Washington, from the Committee on Indian Affairs,

submitted the following

REPORT

[To accompany H. R. 9128]

[ocr errors]

The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 9128) authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to pay salaries and expenses of the chairman, secretary, and interpreter of the Klamath general council, members of the Klamath business committee and other committees appointed by said Klamath general council, and official delegates of the Klamath Tribe, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it do pass without amendment.

The bill does not cost the Government any money. It merely authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to pay the salaries and expenses of the chairman, secretary, and interpreter of the Klamath General Council of Indians, and other officials of that tribe, out of the tribal funds of that tribe. It provides a maximum salary for certain officials of the Klamath Tribe when actually engaged on business of the tribe at the Klamath Reservation, of $5 per day plus an expense allowance of not to exceed $3 per day, and for delegates of the tribe who are required at times to transact business in Washington, a maximum salary of $5 per day and an expense allowance of not to exceed $5

The bill provides, further, that the salary should be fixed in advance by the general council of the tribe, or by the business committee. It also provides that the salaries and expenses shall not exceed $10,000 per year. It further provides that the length of stay of the official delegates at the seat of government shall be determined by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

Unlike most Indian Tribes, the Klamath Indians have large resources and pay out of their own funds their own expenses, including even the salary of Government employees assigned to the reservation.

H. Repts., 75-3, vol. 2----12

per day.

The Klamath Tribe owns 864,952 acres of tribal land. This land is heavily timbered, and the timber growing thereon is sold to lumber companies. The income from this timber, which is selectively cut, so as to perpetuate the forest, has amounted to as high as $1,300,000 per year. Receipts during the past year were approximately $600,000. Tribal property of this tribe has been conservatively estimated at $25,000,000, making the Klamath Indians among the wealthiest in the United States. Individually, besides tribal property, many of the Indians own considerable property.

The management of an enterprise of this nature, and more and more this management is being shifted to the Indian themselves, requires the best talent that the tribe can summon from its own membership, and your committee has felt impressed that the salaries provided are very modest compared with the responsibilities involved. Considering these responsibilities, your committee feels that a salary of $5 per day is modest and that expense allowances of $3 per day on the reservation (some officials having to travel 40 miles) and $5 in Washington are very moderate. The cost of living in Washington is extremely high, and it is impossible for delegates to live respectably on less than $5. By previous legislation of this same Congress, other officials of this tribe (members of the revolving loan-fund board) receive the same compensation and expense allowance. The officers here involved should receive the same salary.

As evidence that these Indians are responsible citizens and that they are seriously attempting to manage their affairs, during the last Congress they requested legislation under which they are now setting aside each year in a capital reserve fund the sum of $50,000, and into a revolving loan fund the sum of $50,000.

At the first session of the Seventy-fifth Congress, H. R. 5975, providing for expenses and per diem of those representing the Klamath Indian Tribe, was passed by the Congress and vetoed by the President. The grounds for the veto were that there was no maximum of expenses and salary provided in the act, and, for the second reason, that the length of stay of the official delegates at the seat of government was indefinite. The present bill, H. R. 9128, overcomes these two objections of the President. It provides a maximum of $10,000 for all salaries and expenses, and places with the Commissioner of Indian Affairs the right to terminate the stay of the delegates at the seat of government.

If the bill does not pass, the tribe feels that the government of its affairs may be seriously prejudiced. This act has been approved in council by the Indians; the Secretary of the Interior recommends the enactment of the bill, and although the Bureau of the Budget has reported adversely, even though no public funds are to be spent, it gives no reason to your committee for its recommendation.

If the opposition of the Bureau of the Budget is because of the veto of last year, it is ill-founded, for the present bill meets the objections of the President; if it is because of fear of a precedent, the position is unsound, for your committee appreciates that a bill of this nature for most tribes would not be proper, because most tribes do not have the business necessary to engage responsible men to supervise the same, nor do they have sufficient funds to compensate responsible help. Both conditions being met in the present case, the committee hopes that in the interest of proper management of the reservation, the bill

will pass.

The report of the Secretary of the Interior on the bill is as follows:

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, March 18, 1938. Hon. WILL ROGERS, Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,

House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Further reference is made to your request for a report on H. R. 9128, authorizing the payment of salaries and expenses of certain officials of the Klamath General Council and of members of the Klamath business committee and other committees appointed by the general council, and official delegates of the Klamath Tribe.

During the first session of the present Congress, H. R. 5975, authorizing the establishment of per diem payments in lieu of compensation and expenses of the members of the Klamath business committee and official Klamath delegates to Washington was considered. The bill was vetoed by the President on August 31, 1937, because the amount to be expended in any one year was unlimited; there was no restriction on the number of delegates to be sent to represent the tribe in Washington at any one time; representatives of the tribe could visit Washington at will; and the tribal representatives could stay in Washington for an unlimited time. The records of your committee will show that the Department report on H. R. 5975 pointed out certain objectionable features to the legislation. It was suggested that if the bill were to receive favorable consideration it be amended in accordance with a proposed substitute stated in the report. Your committee was also advised that the Bureau of the Budget had informed the Department that the proposed legislation, either in its original form or in the amended form suggested by the Department, would not be in accord with the program of the President.

H. R. 9128 was drafted by the attorney for the Klamath Indians after a conference with officials of this Department and with the tribal delegates now in Washington. It is intended to conform to the wishes of the tribe expressed through its business committee. The maximum that may be expended in any one year is $10,000. This limit will overcome the first objection stated in the veto message on the earlier legislation. The length of stay of the official delegates at the seat of government is to be determined by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. This provision overcomes the fourth objection to the earlier legislation. The bill does not restrict the number of delegates to be chosen to represent the tribe in Washington, and it does not indicate when tribal representatives may visit this city. With the two safeguards included in the bill, objections two and three to the bill vetoed last year are overcome at least in part. Representatives of the Klamath Tribe have visited Washington annually for a number of years. The delegation usually consists of only two or three representatives of the tribe and I am satisfied that the tribe will exercise sound judgment in selecting a delegation to transact its business here.

The present bill contains other features not included in the bill considered in the first session of the present Congress. This bill authorizes the payment of a salary to the chairman, secretary and interpreter of the general council, members of the business committee, and members of other committees appointed by the general council whenever these individuals are engaged on business of the tribe. Salaries are to be on a per diem basis of not to exceed $5, and an allowance of $3 in lieu of subsistence and all other expenses is authorized. An individual engaged on business of the tribe would receive a total of $8 for each day of service. When councilmen or committeemen are engaged on business of the tribe it is necessary for them to leave their ordinary duties. The business committee and the general council consider it only fair that these individuals receive some compensation for their services and be reimbursed for their expenses.

The bill also authorizes a salary of $5 a day and a per diem of $5 a day for the official delegates of the tribe sent to Washington to conduct business matters for the tribe. It will be noted that the amounts to be allowed for salaries and expenses are established as maximums, the rate eventually to be paid to be fixed in advance by the general council or by the business committee if so authorized to do by the general council. The representatives of the tribe who visit Washington are away from their employment, whatever it may be. It may be necessary at times for a tribal delegate to employ someone to do his work on the farm while he is absent from the reservation. A salary to the delegate to reimburse him in part for the amount he so expends would appear to be a proper charge against the tribal funds of the Klamath Indians.

On November 8, 1937, the following resolution relating to this legislation was adopted by the business committee:

Be it resolved, That legislation be enacted by the Congress of the United States providing for an appropriation of the sum, not to exceed $10,000 per annum from the available funds of the Klamath Indian Reservation, Oreg., to defray the expenses of the general council, the Klamath business committee, the compensation of the members that serve on the reimbursable and the loans committees of the Klamath Indian Reservation; also defraying the expenses of the duly elected representative and delegate to Washington, D. C.; be it further

Resolved, That the Klamath Indian delegation of the Klamath Indian Reservation, Oreg., shall be composed of not more than three members duly elected by the Indians of the Klamath Indian Reservation, Oreg.

“That the said delegation, shall not remain longer than it is necessary, or the closing of the session of Congress; that the delegation shall be paid the sum of $10 per day while in attendance as a delegate or delegates; the chairmen and secretary, interpreter for the general council, shall be paid the sum of $8 per day, also the members of the Klamath business committee and the members of the reimbursable or loan committee while in actual attendance for service.

"Subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs and the Secretary of the Interior.

The Acting Director of the Bureau of the Budget has advised that the proposed legislation would not be in accord with the program of the President." Sincerely yours,

HAROLD L. ICKES,

Secretary of the Interior,

« PreviousContinue »