B-5152, AUGUST 9, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 175

B-5152: Aug 9, 1939

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EXCEPT UNDER A LAW AUTHORIZING SUCH PURCHASE" IS NOT APPLICABLE TO SUCH PURCHASE WHICH. IS HELD IN TRUST FOR THE SCHOOL. 1939: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22. AS FOLLOWS: A TRACT OF 120 ACRES OF LAND IS NEEDED AT THE SENECA INDIAN SCHOOL. THE COST OF THE ADDITIONAL LAND WILL BE $2. THERE IS AVAILABLE AMPLE INDIAN MONEYS. TITLE TO THE PRESENT SCHOOL LAND IS IN THE UNITED STATES. IN HANDLING THE VOCATIONAL INSTRUCTION PROGRAM THE INDIAN SERVICE IS ENDEAVORING TO GIVE STUDENTS AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE BUSINESS END OF THE VOCATIONAL. EVERY EFFORT IS BEING MADE TO MAKE THE PROFITS FROM THE FARMS VISIBLE IN TERMS WHICH THE STUDENTS WILL UNDERSTAND. USE OF RECEIPTS FROM THE SENECA SCHOOL FARM FOR PURCHASE OF ADDITIONAL FARM LAND IS REGARDED AS DISTINCTLY ALONG THIS LINE AND AS DEMONSTRATING THE NECESSITY FOR PLANNING TO INCREASE PROPERTY HOLDINGS.

B-5152, AUGUST 9, 1939, 19 COMP. GEN. 175

INDIAN AFFAIRS - SCHOOLS - PURCHASE OF LAND FROM TRIBAL, ETC. FUNDS LAND FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH THE SENECA INDIAN SCHOOL MAY BE PURCHASED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR FROM THE FUND " INDIAN MONEYS, PROCEEDS OF LABOR, SENECA SCHOOL"--- SUBJECT TO THE LIMITATION IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1940, 53 STAT. 704, UPON EXPENDITURES FROM TRIBAL AND SCHOOL REVENUES--- IN VIEW OF THE BROAD DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY GRANTED THE SECRETARY BY THE ACT OF MAY 17, 1926, 44 STAT. 560, AND THAT THE PROHIBITION OF SECTION 3736, REVISED STATUTES, AGAINST THE PURCHASE OF LAND "ON ACCOUNT OF THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT UNDER A LAW AUTHORIZING SUCH PURCHASE" IS NOT APPLICABLE TO SUCH PURCHASE WHICH, EVEN THOUGH TITLED IN THE UNITED STATES, IS HELD IN TRUST FOR THE SCHOOL.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, AUGUST 9, 1939:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF JULY 22, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

A TRACT OF 120 ACRES OF LAND IS NEEDED AT THE SENECA INDIAN SCHOOL, QUAPAW AGENCY, OKLAHOMA, FOR RAISING FEED FOR THE SCHOOL LIVESTOCK AND FOR PASTURE, AND FOR USE IN CONNECTION WITH VOCATIONAL TRAINING IN AGRICULTURE.

THE COST OF THE ADDITIONAL LAND WILL BE $2,850. THERE IS AVAILABLE AMPLE INDIAN MONEYS, PROCEEDS OF LABOR, SENECA SCHOOL, LARGELY PROCEEDS OF THE SCHOOL FARM, WHICH THE INDIAN SERVICE WISHES TO USE TO BUY THE ADDITIONAL FARM LAND. TITLE TO THE PRESENT SCHOOL LAND IS IN THE UNITED STATES.

IN HANDLING THE VOCATIONAL INSTRUCTION PROGRAM THE INDIAN SERVICE IS ENDEAVORING TO GIVE STUDENTS AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE BUSINESS END OF THE VOCATIONAL, TRADE, AND AGRICULTURAL COURSES THEY PURSUE. TO THIS END THERE HAS BEEN STATED A GENERAL POLICY THAT RECEIPTS FROM SCHOOL FARMS, SHOPS, OR OTHER DEPARTMENTS SHALL FIRST BE USED FOR UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE OF THE DEPARTMENT WHERE THE FUNDS ACCRUED AND THAT ONLY ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS WHICH MAY BE REGARDED IN THE LIGHT OF PROFIT MAY BE USED FOR GENERAL SCHOOL PURPOSES. THE SCHOOLS ENDEAVOR TO MAKE ALL OF THESE MATTERS CLEAR TO THE STUDENTS AS HAVING EDUCATIONAL VALUE, AND EVERY EFFORT IS BEING MADE TO MAKE THE PROFITS FROM THE FARMS VISIBLE IN TERMS WHICH THE STUDENTS WILL UNDERSTAND. USE OF RECEIPTS FROM THE SENECA SCHOOL FARM FOR PURCHASE OF ADDITIONAL FARM LAND IS REGARDED AS DISTINCTLY ALONG THIS LINE AND AS DEMONSTRATING THE NECESSITY FOR PLANNING TO INCREASE PROPERTY HOLDINGS. I THEREFORE PREFER TO PURCHASE THE LAND FROM INDIAN MONEYS, PROCEEDS OF LABOR, RATHER THAN FROM THE APPROPRIATED FUND, INDIAN SCHOOL BUILDINGS, 1940. AS THE SCHOOL FARMS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY PRODUCTIVE, IT IS HOPED, IF A FAVORABLE DECISION IS GIVEN IN THIS CASE, TO BE ABLE TO BUY ADDITIONAL TRACTS FROM INDIAN MONEYS, PROCEEDS OF LABOR, AT OTHER SCHOOLS WHERE MORE LAND CAN BE USED TO ADVANTAGE IN RAISING PRODUCTS FOR THE SCHOOLS AND PROVIDING AGRICULTURAL INSTRUCTION FOR STUDENTS.

THE ACT OF MAY 17, 1926 (44 STAT. 560), PROVIDES:

"THAT HEREAFTER ALL MISCELLANEOUS REVENUES DERIVED FROM INDIAN RESERVATIONS, AGENCIES, AND SCHOOLS, WHICH ARE NOT REQUIRED BY EXISTING LAW TO BE OTHERWISE DISPOSED OF, SHALL BE COVERED INTO THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE CAPTION " INDIAN MONEYS, PROCEEDS OF LABOR," AND ARE HEREBY MADE AVAILABLE FOR EXPENDITURE, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE INDIAN TRIBES, AGENCIES, AND SCHOOLS ON WHOSE BEHALF THEY ARE COLLECTED, SUBJECT, HOWEVER, TO THE LIMITATIONS AS TO TRIBAL FUNDS, IMPOSED BY SECTION 27 OF THE ACT OF MAY 18, 1916 ( THIRTY-NINTH STATUTES AT LARGE, PAGE 159). * * *"

ATTENTION IS ALSO CALLED TO THE ACT OF NOVEMBER 2, 1921 (42 STAT. 208), AUTHORIZING APPROPRIATIONS AND EXPENDITURES FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, ITEM 5 OF WHICH PROVES " FOR THE ENLARGEMENT, EXTENSION, IMPROVEMENT, AND REPAIR OF THE BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS OF EXISTING PLANTS AND PROJECTS.'

THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1940 AUTHORIZES THE USE OF TRIBAL FUNDS AND SCHOOL REVENUES UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 17, 1926, ABOVE REFERRED TO, AND READS IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

"SUPPORT OF INDIAN SCHOOLS FROM TRIBAL FUNDS: FOR THE SUPPORT OF INDIAN SCHOOLS, AND FOR OTHER EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES, INCLUDING CARE OF INDIAN CHILDREN OF SCHOOL AGE ATTENDING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS, TUITION AND OTHER ASSISTANCE FOR INDIAN PUPILS ATTENDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND SUPPORT AND EDUCATION OF DEAF AND DUMB OR BLIND, PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED, OR MENTALLY DEFICIENT INDIAN CHILDREN, THERE MAY BE EXPENDED FROM INDIAN TRIBAL FUNDS AND FROM SCHOOL REVENUES ARISING UNDER THE ACT OF MAY 17, 1926 (25 U.S.C. 155), NOT MORE THAN $305,250, * * *.'

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, I REQUEST A DECISION WHETHER THE PURCHASE OF ADDITIONAL LAND FOR THE SENECA SCHOOL MAY BE MADE FROM THE FUND " INDIAN MONEYS, PROCEEDS OF LABOR, SENECA SCHOOL.'

IT IS PROVIDED IN SECTION 3736, REVISED STATUTES, AS FOLLOWS:

NO LAND SHALL BE PURCHASED ON ACCOUNT OF THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT UNDER A LAW AUTHORIZING SUCH PURCHASE.

IN 5 COMP. GEN. 661, IT WAS HELD BY THIS OFFICE THAT SAID SECTION OF THE REVISED STATUTES WAS NOT APPLICABLE WHEN THE LANDS WERE NOT PURCHASED FOR THE ACCOUNT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THAT THE APPROPRIATION FROM TRIBAL FUNDS FOR THE SUPPORT AND CIVILIZATION OF THE INDIANS MIGHT BE USED FOR THE PURCHASE OF GRAVE SITES FOR THE INDIANS. SEE, ALSO, 6 COMP. GEN. 73.

WITH RESPECT TO THE PRESENT MATTER IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT WHILE THE TITLE TO THE LAND PURCHASED WOULD BE VESTED IN THE UNITED STATES SAID LAND WOULD BE HELD IN TRUST FOR THE SENECA INDIAN SCHOOL. ACCORDINGLY, AND IN VIEW OF THE DISCRETION VESTED IN THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR WITH RESPECT TO INDIAN SCHOOL FUNDS BY THE ACT OF MAY 17, 1926, 44 STAT. 560, THERE APPEARS TO BE NO LEGAL OBJECTION TO THE USE OF THE FUND," INDIAN MONEYS, PROCEEDS OF LABOR, SENECA SCHOOL," FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE ADDITIONAL LAND CONTEMPLATED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THAT SCHOOL PROVIDED THE LIMITATION OF $305,250 IMPOSED IN THE APPROPRIATION ACT FOR 1940, 53 STAT. 704, UPON EXPENDITURES FROM TRIBAL AND SCHOOL REVENUES FOR THE SUPPORT OF INDIAN SCHOOLS, ETC., BE NOT EXCEEDED.