A-12864, FEBRUARY 4, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 584

A-12864: Feb 4, 1926

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THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS DIRECTED TO RETAIN IN HIS CUSTODY UNTIL OTHERWISE DIRECTED BY LAW ALL ROYALTIES AND OTHER PROCEEDS AND INCOME RECEIVED BY THE GOVERNMENT FROM THE RED RIVER OIL LANDS. THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE THE FEES AND COMMISSIONS TO BE PAID THE REGISTER OF THE LAND OFFICE ON ACCOUNT OF BUSINESS TRANSACTED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4. 1926: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 26. IS AS FOLLOWS: THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS DIRECTED TO RETAIN IN HIS CUSTODY UNTIL OTHERWISE DIRECTED BY LAW THE 12 1/2 PERCENTUM AND OTHER ROYALTIES HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER RECEIVED BY HIM IN PURSUANCE OF PUBLIC ACT NUMBERED 500. APPEARS THAT LEASES WERE GRANTED AS OF DECEMBER 1.

A-12864, FEBRUARY 4, 1926, 5 COMP. GEN. 584

RED RIVER OIL LANDS - CUSTODY OF GOVERNMENT PROCEEDS - COMMISSIONS OF REGISTER OF LAND OFFICE UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1925, 43 STAT. 1302, THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS DIRECTED TO RETAIN IN HIS CUSTODY UNTIL OTHERWISE DIRECTED BY LAW ALL ROYALTIES AND OTHER PROCEEDS AND INCOME RECEIVED BY THE GOVERNMENT FROM THE RED RIVER OIL LANDS, BOTH PRIOR AND SUBSEQUENT TO THE LEASE OF THE PROPERTY. THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE THE FEES AND COMMISSIONS TO BE PAID THE REGISTER OF THE LAND OFFICE ON ACCOUNT OF BUSINESS TRANSACTED UNDER THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1448, CONTROLLING THE LEASING OF OIL LAND IN THE RED RIVER DISTRICT, SUBJECT TO THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION OF $3,000 PER ANNUM.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, FEBRUARY 4, 1926:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 26, 1926, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE DIRECTION IN THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1925, 43 STAT. 1302, AS TO RETENTION IN THE CUSTODY OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR OF ROYALTIES DERIVED FROM OIL LANDS IN THE RED RIVER DISTRICT APPLIES TO ROYALTIES, BONUSES, AND RENTALS RECEIVED SUBSEQUENT TO LEASE OF THE PROPERTY, DECEMBER 1, 1925, AS WELL AS ROYALTIES RECEIVED DURING OPERATION BY THE GOVERNMENT PRIOR TO THE LEASE OF THE PROPERTY, AND AS TO THE RIGHT OF THE REGISTER OF THE LAND OFFICE OF GUTHRIE, OKLA., TO COMMISSIONS BASED ON RECEIPTS SUBSEQUENT TO THE LEASE OF THE PROPERTY.

SECTION 2 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1925, SUPRA, IS AS FOLLOWS:

THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS DIRECTED TO RETAIN IN HIS CUSTODY UNTIL OTHERWISE DIRECTED BY LAW THE 12 1/2 PERCENTUM AND OTHER ROYALTIES HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER RECEIVED BY HIM IN PURSUANCE OF PUBLIC ACT NUMBERED 500, SIXTY-SEVENTH CONGRESS, APPROVED MARCH 4, 1923.

THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, 42 STAT. 1448-9 GOVERNING THE CONTROL AND LEASING OF THE RED RIVER OIL LANDS, REFERRED TO IN THE QUOTED STATUTE, PROVIDED FOR LEASE OF THE PROPERTY AS SOON AS THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR DETERMINED THE PROPER PARTIES ENTITLED THERETO, AND THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THE MINERAL LEASING ACT, OF FEBRUARY 25, 1920, 41 STAT. 437, SHALL APPLY TO THE LEASES AND PERMITS GRANTED, INCLUDING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 35 AND 36 THEREOF RELATIVE TO THE DISPOSITION OF ROYALTIES. APPEARS THAT LEASES WERE GRANTED AS OF DECEMBER 1, 1925, SEE 5 COMP. GEN. 377, AND THAT THE REGISTER OF THE LAND OFFICE AT GUTHRIE, OKLA., IS COLLECTING THE ROYALTIES, RENTALS, ETC., IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE CONTROLLING STATUTES.

THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1925, SUPRA, IS IN GENERAL TERMS DIRECTING THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO RETAIN IN HIS CUSTODY UNTIL OTHERWISE DIRECTED BY LAW THE 12 1/2 PERCENT AND OTHER ROYALTIES HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER RECEIVED BY HIM IN PURSUANCE OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923. THE USE OF THE WORD "OTHER" WOULD SEEM TO INDICATE THE INTENT THAT THE WORD "ROYALTIES" WAS USED IN THE BROADER SENSE OF ALL INCOME OR PROCEEDS DUE THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE. APPARENTLY, THE CONGRESS CONTEMPLATES THE ENACTMENT OF SPECIAL LEGISLATION TO PROVIDE FOR DISPOSITION OF THE ENTIRE RECEIPTS OF THE GOVERNMENT FROM THE RED RIVER OIL LANDS, AND PASSED THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1925, TO PREVENT DISPOSITION IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED IN THE MINERAL LEASING LAW OF FEBRUARY 25, 1920.

I AM CONSTRAINED TO HOLD, THEREFORE, THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS DIRECTED TO RETAIN IN HIS CUSTODY ALL ROYALTIES, BONUSES, AND RENTALS ACCRUING TO THE UNITED STATES FROM THE RED RIVER OIL LANDS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, BOTH PRIOR AND SUBSEQUENT TO THE LEASE OF THE PROPERTY. FOR POSSIBLE FUTURE USE IN THE DISPOSITION OF THESE PROCEEDS A SEPARATE ACCOUNTING SHOULD BE MADE OF THE PROCEEDS RECEIVED PRIOR TO LEASE DURING FEDERAL CONTROL AND THE PROCEEDS RECEIVED SUBSEQUENT TO THE LEASE OF THE PROPERTY. THE MONEYS SO COLLECTED BY THE REGISTER SHOULD BE DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY TO BE CARRIED IN A SPECIAL ACCOUNT TO THE CREDIT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR UNTIL SUCH TIME AS OTHER DISPOSITION MAY BE DIRECTED BY THE CONGRESS.

SECTION 38 OF THE MINERAL LEASING ACT OF FEBRUARY 25, 1920, 41 STAT. 451, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT, UNTIL OTHERWISE PROVIDED, THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE FEES AND COMMISSIONS TO BE PAID REGISTERS AND RECEIVERS OF UNITED STATES LAND OFFICES ON ACCOUNT OF BUSINESS TRANSACTED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.

SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1923, SUPRA, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

THAT EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED HEREIN THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF CONGRESS APPROVED FEBRUARY 25, 1920, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO PERMIT THE MINING OF COAL, PHOSPHATE, OIL, OIL SHALE, GAS, AND SODIUM ON THE PUBLIC DOMAIN," SHALL APPLY TO THE LEASES AND PERMITS GRANTED HEREUNDER, INCLUDING THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 35 AND 36 OF SAID ACT RELATING TO THE DISPOSITION OF ROYALTIES: * * *

AS SECTION 38 OF THE PRIOR STATUTE IS NOT EXCEPTED IN THE LATER STATUTE, THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR IS AUTHORIZED TO PRESCRIBE THE FEES AND COMMISSIONS TO BE PAID THE REGISTER OF THE LAND OFFICE AT GUTHRIE, OKLA., ON ACCOUNT OF BUSINESS TRANSACTED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE LATER STATUTE WITHIN THE MAXIMUM LIMITATION OF $3,000 PER ANNUM FIXED BY SECTION 2240, REVISED STATUTES, AND THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1145. SEE NO REASON FOR HOLDING OTHERWISE BECAUSE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1925, DIRECTING THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO RETAIN IN HIS CUSTODY AMOUNTS DUE THE GOVERNMENT.

THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE PROTECTED BY REQUIRING THE REGISTER TO FURNISH BOND IN AN AMOUNT WHICH WILL BE COMMENSURATE WITH THE BUSINESS TRANSACTED. SEE SECTION 3639, REVISED STATUTES.