A-6927, JANUARY 27, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 633

A-6927: Jan 27, 1925

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1925: THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION OF THIS OFFICE THE MATTER OF THE GRANT TO THE STATE OF MONTANA FOR COMMON-SCHOOL PURPOSES OF CERTAIN CROW INDIAN RESERVATION LANDS FOR WHICH. " THE UNITED STATES IS REQUIRED TO MAKE PAYMENT TO SAID INDIANS. THERE BEING FOR DECISION THE MATTER OF WHETHER THE AMOUNT THUS PAID FOR THE LANDS SO GRANTED IS WITH OR WITHOUT INTEREST FROM THE DATE OF ITS PAYMENT TO THE DATE OF ITS AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTION AMONG THE TRIBAL MEMBERS. IT IS STATED: BY DEPARTMENT LETTER DATED AUGUST 20. ATTENTION WAS INVITED TO SECTION 16 OF THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 4. REQUEST WAS ALSO MADE IN THIS LETTER THAT AN ACCOUNT BE STARTED IN YOUR OFFICE AND A WARRANT ISSUED BY THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT CREDITING THE SUM OF $220.

A-6927, JANUARY 27, 1925, 4 COMP. GEN. 633

INDIAN AFFAIRS - INTEREST ON INDIAN MONEYS UNDER SECTION 16 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, 41 STAT. 756, WHICH PROVIDED FOR THE PAYMENT OF $5 PER ACRE TO THE CROW INDIANS FOR CERTAIN RESERVATION LANDS GRANTED TO THE STATE OF MONTANA FOR COMMON-SCHOOL PURPOSES, ALL SUCH AMOUNTS PAID SHOULD, IN THE ABSENCE OF A SPECIFIC PROVISION REQUIRING THE PAYMENT OF INTEREST, BE CREDITED TO OTHER THAN AN INTEREST-BEARING ACCOUNT, THERE TO REMAIN UNTIL DISPOSED OF AS PROVIDED BY SAID ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, OR SUBSEQUENT LEGISLATION.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL, JANUARY 27, 1925:

THERE IS FOR CONSIDERATION OF THIS OFFICE THE MATTER OF THE GRANT TO THE STATE OF MONTANA FOR COMMON-SCHOOL PURPOSES OF CERTAIN CROW INDIAN RESERVATION LANDS FOR WHICH, PURSUANT TO SECTION 16 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, 41 STAT. 751-757, ENTITLED "AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE ALLOTMENT OF LANDS OF THE CROW TRIBE, FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF TRIBAL FUNDS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES," THE UNITED STATES IS REQUIRED TO MAKE PAYMENT TO SAID INDIANS, AT THE RATE OF $5 PER ACRE, FOR THE LAND SO GRANTED, AN AMOUNT SUFFICIENT TO MAKE PAYMENT BEING APPROPRIATED BY THE SAID ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, THERE BEING FOR DECISION THE MATTER OF WHETHER THE AMOUNT THUS PAID FOR THE LANDS SO GRANTED IS WITH OR WITHOUT INTEREST FROM THE DATE OF ITS PAYMENT TO THE DATE OF ITS AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTION AMONG THE TRIBAL MEMBERS.

IN AN UNSIGNED LETTER DATED DECEMBER 10, 1924, ADDRESSED TO THIS OFFICE AND PURPORTING TO BE FROM THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, IT IS STATED:

BY DEPARTMENT LETTER DATED AUGUST 20, 1924, ATTENTION WAS INVITED TO SECTION 16 OF THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 4, 1920 (41 STAT. L. 751-756), PROVIDING IN PART THAT THE UNITED STATES SHALL PAY THE CROW INDIANS FOR LANDS GRANTED TO THE STATE OF MONTANA FOR COMMON-SCHOOL PURPOSES AT THE RATE OF $5 PER ACRE, AND ALSO PROVIDING FOR AN APPROPRIATION OUT OF THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES TO CARRY THIS PROVISION INTO EFFECT. REQUEST WAS ALSO MADE IN THIS LETTER THAT AN ACCOUNT BE STARTED IN YOUR OFFICE AND A WARRANT ISSUED BY THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT CREDITING THE SUM OF $220,403.70 TO THE CROW INDIANS UNDER THE TITLE "PAYMENT TO CROW INDIANS FOR LANDS, ACT JUNE 4, 1920.'

WARRANT NO. 25, DATED NOVEMBER 24, 1924, SIGNED BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL NOVEMBER 28, 1924, APPROPRIATING THIS MONEY UNDER THE TITLE REQUESTED IN DEPARTMENT LETTER OF AUGUST 20, HAS BEEN RECEIVED. THE INDIAN OFFICE IS NOW IN RECEIPT OF A CERTIFICATE OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, NO. 1493-I, DATED NOVEMBER 20, 1924, AND CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT NO. 30873, DATED NOVEMBER 29, 1924, FROM WHICH IT APPEARS THAT IT IS INTENDED TO CARRY THIS FUND TO THE CREDIT OF "MISCELLANEOUS RECEIPTS--- PROCEEDS OF CROW LANDS, ACT JUNE 4, 1920," AND IT IS INFORMALLY UNDERSTOOD THAT IT IS INTENDED BY THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT TO CREDIT THIS MONEY EVENTUALLY TO THE CROW INDIANS UNDER THE TITLE "CROW CONSOLIDATED 4 PERCENT FUND.' I WILL APPRECIATE AN EARLY DECISION AS TO WHETHER THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT REGARDS THIS MONEY AS INTEREST BEARING OR NONINTEREST BEARING, AND REQUEST THAT A DEFINITE TITLE THEREFOR BE FIXED IN ORDER THAT THE MONEY MAY BECOME AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE WHEN NEEDED.

ARTICLE II OF AN AGREEMENT WITH THE INDIANS OF THE CROW RESERVATION IN MONTANA, APPEARING IN AND AS A PART OF SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1904, 33 STAT. 352-358, THE SAID ACT BEING ENTITLED "AN ACT TO RATIFY AND AMEND AN AGREEMENT WITH THE INDIANS OF THE CROW RESERVATION IN MONTANA, AND MAKING APPROPRIATIONS TO CARRY THE SAME INTO EFFECT," PROVIDED, IN CONSIDERATION OF CERTAIN RESERVATION LANDS CEDED BY ARTICLE I OF THE AGREEMENT, THAT THE LANDS THUS CEDED WOULD BE SOLD IN A CERTAIN MANNER AND AT NOT LESS THAN A STIPULATED PRICE PER ACRE. OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT RECEIVED ON ACCOUNT OF THE SALE OF THE LANDS, DESIGNATED AMOUNTS WERE APPROPRIATED FOR EXPENDITURE FOR STATED OBJECTS, TO WIT, FOR IRRIGATION, FOR FENCING THE DIMINISHED RESERVATION, FOR ERECTION, PURCHASE, AND REPAIR OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS, FOR ERECTION AND FURNISHING OF A HOSPITAL, AND FOR PURCHASE, DISTRIBUTION, ETC., OF CATTLE, JACKASSES, STALLIONS, AND EWES, ETC. THE AMOUNT OF $100,000 WAS APPROPRIATED AND SET ASIDE AS A TRUST FUND, TO BE PLACED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, THERE TO REMAIN FOR 15 YEARS, THE SAID FUND TO BEAR INTEREST AT THE RATE OF 4 PERCENT PER ANNUM, THE INTEREST ACCUMULATIONS TO BE EXPENDED IN MAINTAINING AND MANAGING AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM. THE AMOUNT OF $50,000 WAS APPROPRIATED AND SET ASIDE AS A TRUST FUND, TO BE PLACED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, THE SAID FUND TO BEAR INTEREST AT THE RATE OF 4 PERCENT PER ANNUM, THE INTEREST ACCUMULATIONS TO BE EXPENDED IN MAINTAINING THE HOSPITAL ERECTED AND FURNISHED PURSUANT TO THE SPECIFIC APPROPRIATIONS REFERRED TO, SUPRA. WITH RESPECT TO THE BALANCES OF ANY OF THE APPROPRIATIONS FOR SPECIFIC OBJECTS AND THE BALANCE OF THE FUND UNAPPROPRIATED, IT WAS PROVIDED IN SAID ARTICLE II OF SECTION 1, AS FOLLOWS:

* * * PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT SHOULD THE FUNDS ACCRUING TO THE INDIANS FROM THE SALE OF THEIR LANDS RENDER IT ADVISABLE, THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR MAY EXPEND THE FURTHER SUM OF TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS IN THE FURTHER PURCHASE OF CATTLE OR SHEEP, SHOULD A MAJORITY OF THE INDIANS SO DECIDE AND THE SAME BE APPROVED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT WHEN EACH OBJECT FOR WHICH A SPECIFIC APPROPRIATION HAS BEEN MADE IN THIS AGREEMENT SHALL HAVE BEEN FULLY CARRIED OUT AND COMPLETED THEN THE BALANCE REMAINING OF SAID APPROPRIATION MAY BE EXPENDED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CROW TRIBE OR PLACED TO THEIR CREDIT IN SUCH MANNER AS THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR MAY DETERMINE: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR MAY, IN HIS DISCRETION, WHILE THE FUNDS FOR THE SEVERAL PURPOSES ABOVE NAMED ARE ACCRUING FROM THE SALE AND DISPOSITION OF THE LANDS, MAKE PER CAPITA CASH PAYMENTS FROM THE PROCEEDS AT SUCH TIMES AND IN SUCH AMOUNTS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD, SHARE AND SHARE ALIKE, HAVING TRIBAL RIGHTS ON THE RESERVATION, AS HE MAY DEEM FOR THEIR BEST INTERESTS.

SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, 41 STAT. 754-755, REPEALED SO MUCH OF ARTICLE II, SECTION 1, OF THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1904, 33 STAT. 357-358, AS RELATED TO THE DISPOSITION OF THE TRUST FUNDS OF THE TRIBE, TO THE PURCHASE AND DISTRIBUTION AMONG THE INDIANS OF CATTLE, JACKASSES, STALLIONS, AND EWES, AND THE BUILDING, ETC., OF FENCES, SCHOOLHOUSES, HOSPITALS, DITCHES, DAMS, CANALS, ETC., AND PROVIDED:

* * * PROVIDED, THAT ALL UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF TRUST FUNDS ARISING UNDER SAID AGREEMENT SHALL THEREUPON BE CONSOLIDATED INTO ONE FUND TO THE CREDIT OF THE TRIBE, THE SAME TO BEAR INTEREST AT THE RATE OF 4 PERCENTUM PER ANNUM: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THERE SHALL BE RESERVED AND SET ASIDE FROM SUCH CONSOLIDATED FUND, OR ANY OTHER FUNDS TO THE CREDIT OF THE TRIBE, A SUFFICIENT SUM TO PAY THE ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE AGENCY FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE YEARS; $100,000 FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE AGENCY BOARDING SCHOOL; $50,000 FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE AGENCY HOSPITAL, AND NOT TO EXCEED $4,000 OF THIS AMOUNT SHALL BE EXPENDED IN ANY ONE YEAR FOR THE SUPPORT OF SAID HOSPITAL; AND $50,000 FOR A REVOLVING FUND TO BE USED FOR THE PURCHASE OF SEED, ANIMALS, MACHINERY, TOOLS, IMPLEMENTS, AND OTHER EQUIPMENT FOR SALE TO INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF THE TRIBE, UNDER CONDITIONS TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR FOR ITS REPAYMENT TO THE TRIBE ON OR BEFORE JUNE 30, 1925: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE EXPENDITURE OF THE SUMS SO RESERVED AND HEREBY SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED, EXCEPT THOSE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES OF THE AGENCY, WHICH SHALL BE SUBJECT TO ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS BY CONGRESS: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT AFTER SAID SUMS HAVE BEEN RESERVED AND SET ASIDE, TOGETHER WITH A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT TO PAY ALL OTHER EXPENSES AUTHORIZED BY THIS ACT, THE BALANCE OF SUCH CONSOLIDATED FUND, AND ALL OTHER FUNDS TO THE CREDIT OF THE TRIBE OR PLACED TO ITS CREDIT THEREAFTER, SHALL BE DISTRIBUTED PER CAPITA TO THE INDIANS ENTITLED. * * *

SECTION 16 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, 41 STAT. 756-757, PROVIDED:

THAT THERE IS HEREBY GRANTED TO THE STATE OF MONTANA FOR COMMON SCHOOL PURPOSES SECTIONS SIXTEEN AND THIRTY-SIX, WITHIN THE TERRITORY DESCRIBED HEREIN, OR SUCH PARTS OF SAID SECTIONS AS MAY BE NONMINERAL OR NONTIMBERED, AND FOR WHICH THE SAID STATE HAS NOT HERETOFORE RECEIVED INDEMNITY LANDS UNDER EXISTING LAWS; AND IN CASE EITHER OF SAID SECTIONS OR PARTS THEREOF IS LOST TO THE STATE BY REASON OF ALLOTMENT OR OTHERWISE, THE GOVERNOR OF SAID STATE, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO SELECT OTHER UNOCCUPIED, UNRESERVED, NONMINERAL, NONTIMBERED LANDS WITHIN SAID RESERVATION, NOT EXCEEDING TWO SECTIONS IN ANY ONE TOWNSHIP. THE UNITED STATES SHALL PAY THE INDIANS FOR THE LANDS SO GRANTED $5 PER ACRE, AND SUFFICIENT MONEY IS HEREBY APPROPRIATED OUT OF THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES NOT OTHERWISE APPROPRIATED TO PAY FOR SAID SCHOOL LANDS GRANTED TO THE SAID STATE:PROVIDED, THAT THE MINERAL RIGHTS IN SAID SCHOOL LANDS ARE HEREBY RESERVED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE CROW TRIBE OF INDIANS AS HEREIN AUTHORIZED: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT THE CROW INDIAN CHILDREN SHALL BE PERMITTED TO ATTEND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF SAID STATE ON THE SAME CONDITION AS THE CHILDREN OF WHITE CITIZENS OF SAID STATE.

IT APPEARS FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF APRIL 27, 1904, REFERRED TO, SUPRA, THAT THE ONLY FUNDS TO BEAR INTEREST WERE THOSE SET ASIDE AS TRUST FUNDS. SECTION 11 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, REFERRED TO, SUPRA, CONSOLIDATED THOSE TRUST FUNDS INTO ONE FUND, THE SAID CONSOLIDATED TRUST FUND TO "BEAR INTEREST AT THE RATE OF 4 PERCENTUM PER ANNUM.' THERE IS REFERENCE IN SECTION 11 TO OTHER FUNDS THAN THE INTEREST-BEARING TRUST FUNDS, BUT THAT REFERENCE IS TO THEIR ULTIMATE DISPOSITION WITH NO SPECIFIC DIRECTION OR OTHER INDICATION THAT SUCH FUNDS SHALL BEAR INTEREST. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HELD THAT THE AMOUNT PAID TO THE INDIANS BY THE UNITED STATES FOR THE LANDS GRANTED TO THE STATE OF MONTANA FOR COMMON -SCHOOL PURPOSES DOES NOT BEAR INTEREST AND, THEREFORE, IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE CREDITED TO THE "CROW CONSOLIDATED 4 PERCENT FUND," BUT IS REQUIRED TO BE CREDITED TO OTHER THAN AN INTEREST-BEARING ACCOUNT THERE TO REMAIN UNTIL DISPOSED OF AS PROVIDED IN THE SAID ACT OF JUNE 4, 1920, SUBSEQUENT LEGISLATION.

A COPY OF THIS DECISION WILL BE FURNISHED FOR THE INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR AND THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.