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MINERAL PATENTS - APPLICATIONS REJECTED - REFUND ALLOWING THE CLAIM OF THE PACIFIC OIL COMPANY FOR REFUND OF PURCHASE MONEY PAID IN CONNECTION WITH PATENT APPLICATIONS FILED FOR CERTAIN MINING CLAIMS IN COLORADO WHICH WERE SUBSEQUENTLY REJECTED. SEES NO REASON TO DISAGREE WITH THE FINDINGS OF THE DEPUTY SOLICITOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR THAT NO REFUND OF THE PURCHASE MONEY HAS YET BEEN MADE UPON WITHDRAWAL OF THE MINING CLAIMS AND THAT 43 U.S.C. 1374 DOES NOT REQUIRE PAYMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF LANDS THAT ARE NOT CONVEYED. WHICH APPLICATIONS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY REJECTED. IT WAS THE DEPARTMENT'S OPINION THAT THE APPLICATION FOR REFUND WAS PROPER AND SHOULD BE PAID. GIVING RISE TO PACIFIC'S CLAIMS ARE SUMMARIZED BELOW.

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B-168907, MAY 12, 1971

MINERAL PATENTS - APPLICATIONS REJECTED - REFUND ALLOWING THE CLAIM OF THE PACIFIC OIL COMPANY FOR REFUND OF PURCHASE MONEY PAID IN CONNECTION WITH PATENT APPLICATIONS FILED FOR CERTAIN MINING CLAIMS IN COLORADO WHICH WERE SUBSEQUENTLY REJECTED. THE COMP. GEN. SEES NO REASON TO DISAGREE WITH THE FINDINGS OF THE DEPUTY SOLICITOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR THAT NO REFUND OF THE PURCHASE MONEY HAS YET BEEN MADE UPON WITHDRAWAL OF THE MINING CLAIMS AND THAT 43 U.S.C. 1374 DOES NOT REQUIRE PAYMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF LANDS THAT ARE NOT CONVEYED. THEREFORE, REJECTION OF THE PATENT APPLICATIONS WARRANTS REFUND OF THE PURCHASE MONEY.

TO MR. CLAIR THUNEM:

YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 26, 1970 (YOUR REFERENCE 1374(D-831)), CONCERNS A CLAIM OF THE PACIFIC OIL COMPANY (PACIFIC) FOR REFUND OF PURCHASE MONEY PAID IN CONNECTION WITH PATENT APPLICATIONS FILED FOR CERTAIN ENUMERATED MINING CLAIMS, WHICH APPLICATIONS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY REJECTED. IN OUR RESPONSE TO YOU OF MARCH 13, 1970, B-168907, WE RETURNED THE MATERIALS TO YOU POINTING OUT THAT UNDER 31 U.S.C. 82D, THE VOUCHER PRESENTED TO THE CERTIFYING OFFICER FOR CERTIFICATION MUST ACCOMPANY A REQUEST FOR DECISION. WE ALSO NOTED THAT SECTION 204(A) OF THE ACT OF JULY 14, 1960, 43 U.S.C. 1374, PLACES WITH THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A REFUND SHOULD BE MADE IN CASES INVOLVING THE SALE, ENTRY, LEASE, USE OR OTHER DISPOSITION OF PUBLIC LANDS. WE FURTHER STATED THAT IF EITHER THE SECRETARY, OR HIS DESIGNEE, IN HIS CONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER, OR YOU, UPON RECEIPT OF AN ADMINISTRATIVE APPROVED VOUCHER, WISHED TO PRESENT THE MATTER TO THIS OFFICE FOR A DECISION, WE WOULD CONSIDER IT AT THAT TIME. ON APRIL 7, 1970, YOU RESUBMITTED THE MATTER TO THIS OFFICE, ACCOMPANIED BY AN APPROVED VOUCHER. BECAUSE 43 U.S.C. 1374 PLACES THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A REFUND SHOULD BE MADE WITH THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, ON MAY 27, 1970, WE REQUESTED AN EXPRESSION OF VIEWS ON THE MATTER FROM THE SECRETARY. BY LETTER DATED MARCH 15, 1971, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY REPLIED TO OUR LETTER, INDICATING, IN EFFECT, THAT FOR THE REASONS STATED IN AN ENCLOSED MEMORANDUM SIGNED BY THE DEPARTMENT'S DEPUTY SOLICITOR, IT WAS THE DEPARTMENT'S OPINION THAT THE APPLICATION FOR REFUND WAS PROPER AND SHOULD BE PAID.

THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES AS SET OUT IN THE DEPUTY SOLICITOR'S MEMORANDUM, GIVING RISE TO PACIFIC'S CLAIMS ARE SUMMARIZED BELOW.

ON FEBRUARY 12, 1952, LANGDON H. LARWILL AND HORACE G. SLUSSER, TRUSTEES FOR THE STOCKHOLDERS OF WHEELER SHALE CO., FILED MINERAL PATENT APPLICATIONS COLORADO 04383 AND 04384. ON MAY 19, 1952, THE APPLICANTS PAID PURCHASE MONEY IN THE AMOUNT OF $8,540 FOR THE LANDS INCLUDED IN THE MINING CLAIMS SUBJECT TO COLORADO 04383 AND $6,350 FOR THE LANDS INCLUDED UNDER COLORADO 04384. ON MAY 27, 1952, FINAL CERTIFICATES OF MINERAL ENTRY WERE ISSUED AND THE PURCHASE MONEY APPLIED AS EARNED ON THE SAME DATE.

ON NOVEMBER 18, 1952, THE APPLICANTS WITHDREW THREE OF THE 16 MINING CLAIMS COVERED BY PATENT APPLICATION COLORADO 04384. THE REMAINING 13 CLAIMS CONTINUED SUBJECT TO PATENT APPLICATION 04384. ON OCTOBER 28, 1953, THEY AGAIN FILED PATENT APPLICATION FOR THE THREE CLAIMS WHICH HAD BEEN WITHDRAWN. THIS APPLICATION WAS GIVEN SERIAL NO. COLORADO 07395. AUGUST 23, 1954, FINAL CERTIFICATE OF MINERAL ENTRY WAS ISSUED FOR COLORADO 07395 AND $1,200 OF THE $6,350 INITIALLY PAID UNDER COLORADO 04384 WAS THEREUPON TREATED AS PURCHASE MONEY PAYMENT FOR THE CLAIMS INCLUDED UNDER COLORADO 07395.

IN APRIL AND MAY 1959, THE MANAGER, COLORADO LAND OFFICE, REJECTED THE PATENT APPLICATIONS ON THE GROUND THAT THE CLAIMS INVOLVED HAD BEEN FRAUDULENTLY LOCATED. THE APPLICANTS APPEALED THROUGH THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES OF THE DEPARTMENT, LOSING AT EVERY STEP. THE SECRETARY AFFIRMED THE DECISION IN LANGDON H. LARWILL, ET AL., A-28697 (MAY 16, 1963). ON SEPTEMBER 7, 1965, THE ORIGINAL APPLICANTS CONVEYED THEIR RIGHTS, TITLE AND INTEREST IN THE CLAIMS TO PACIFIC. IN AN ATTEMPT TO HAVE INTERIOR'S DECISION REVERSED, PACIFIC BROUGHT SUIT IN THE FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM. IT LOST IN BOTH THE DISTRICT COURT AND THE TENTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS AND ON JUNE 23, 1969, THE SUPREME COURT, IN PACIFIC OIL V HICKEL, 395 U.S. 978, DENIED CERTIORARI.

ON JULY 30, 1969, A REPRESENTATIVE OF PACIFIC OIL COMPANY ORALLY REQUESTED THAT REFUND BE MADE OF THE PURCHASE MONEY PAID FOR THE LANDS INCLUDED IN THE MINING CLAIMS SUBJECT TO THE REJECTED PATENT APPLICATIONS. WRITTEN REQUEST FOR THE SAID REFUND WAS MADE ON SEPTEMBER 23, 1969. THE STATE DIRECTOR, COLORADO, REVIEWED AND APPROVED THE CLAIM FOR A REFUND. PRIOR TO CERTIFYING PAYMENT OF THE REFUND, YOU SUBMITTED THE QUESTION OF THE PROPRIETY OF MAKING SAID REFUND TO THIS OFFICE FOR DECISION. YOU NOTE IN YOUR SUBMISSION THAT ALL RECORDS DATED PRIOR TO 1960 RELATING TO THE MATTER HAVE BEEN DESTROYED, SO THAT YOU WERE UNABLE TO DETERMINE INTO WHICH RECEIPT FUND THE PURCHASE MONIES HAD BEEN PAID NOR WHETHER A REFUND HAD BEEN MADE PRIOR TO 1960. THE QUESTIONS YOU PRESENT TO THIS OFFICE ASK, IN ESSENCE, WHETHER A REFUND CAN NOW BE MADE AND, IF SO, FROM WHAT FUNDS AND TO WHOM THE REFUND IS PAYABLE.

AS NOTED ABOVE, 43 U.S.C. 1374 PLACES WITH THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A REFUND SHOULD BE MADE. THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY IN HIS LETTER TO THIS OFFICE AGREES WITH THE CONCLUSION OF THE DEPUTY SOLICITOR OF YOUR DEPARTMENT THAT A REFUND SHOULD BE GRANTED TO PACIFIC. IN SETTING FORTH THE REASONS FOR HIS CONCLUSION, THE DEPUTY SOLICITOR IN HIS MEMORANDUM FIRST DISCUSSES WHETHER THE PURCHASE MONIES APPLICABLE TO THAT PORTION OF COLORADO 04384 WHICH WAS WITHDRAWN HAD BEEN REFUNDED TO THE APPLICANTS. HE STATES:

"PATENT APPLICATION COLORADO 04384 WAS NOT WITHDRAWN IN ITS ENTIRETY. THAT APPLICATION, AS FILED, COVERED SIXTEEN PLACER MINING CLAIMS. NOVEMBER 18, 1952, THREE PLACER MINING CLAIMS, I.E., VICTORY NOS. 26, 27, AND 28, CONTAINING A TOTAL OF 480 ACRES OF LAND, WERE WITHDRAWN FROM THE PATENT APPLICATION FOR THE STATED PURPOSE OF DOING ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORK. IT WAS FURTHER STATED IN THE WITHDRAWAL THAT THE APPLICATION WAS TO REMAIN IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT AS TO ALL OTHER LANDS EMBRACED IN THAT APPLICATION, I.E., AS TO THE THIRTEEN CLAIMS NOT COVERED BY THE WITHDRAWAL.

"THIS WITHDRAWAL OF THE THREE CLAIMS WAS EFFECTED AFTER FINAL CERTIFICATE OF MINERAL ENTRY HAD BEEN ISSUED ON MAY 27, 1952, AND THE $6350 PURCHASE MONEY PAID IN CONNECTION WITH THE APPLICATION HAD BEEN APPLIED AS EARNED. ACCOUNTING ADVICE NO. 7278 (DUPLICATE IN RECORD) IS EVIDENCE OF THIS APPLICATION.

"WITHIN ONE YEAR AFTER THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE AFORESAID THREE CLAIMS, ON OCTOBER 28, 1953, PACIFIC'S PREDECESSORS AGAIN FILED APPLICATION FOR PATENT FOR THESE THREE CLAIMS. THIS APPLICATION WAS ASSIGNED THE SERIAL NUMBER COLORADO 07395.

"IN CONNECTION WITH THIS APPLICATION, PACIFIC'S PREDECESSORS, AS REQUIRED, FILED ON FEBRUARY 8, 1954, AN 'APPLICATION TO PURCHASE LANDS' AND A 'PROOF OF SUMS PAID'. BOTH DOCUMENTS STATED THAT $1200 PURCHASE MONEY (480 ACRES AT $2.50 PER ACRE) HAD BEEN PAID FOR THESE THREE CLAIMS AT THE TIME THEY WERE INCLUDED UNDER COLORADO 04384. THE APPLICANTS REQUESTED THAT THAT PAYMENT BE REAPPLIED AS PAYMENT UNDER THE NEW APPLICATION IDENTIFIED AS COLORADO 07395. THE COVERING LETTER OF FEBRUARY 5, 1954, ACCOMPANYING THESE DOCUMENTS CONTAINED STATEMENTS TO THE SAME EFFECT.

"FINAL CERTIFICATE OF MINERAL ENTRY FOR COLORADO 07395 WAS ISSUED ON AUGUST 23, 1954. THIS DOCUMENT STATES THAT RECEIPT NO. 10172 (ISSUED ON MAY 27, 1952, FOR COLORADO 04384) COVERS THE $1200 PURCHASE MONEY DUE UNDER THE APPLICATION. IN ADDITION, THE SPACE PROVIDED FOR THE PURCHASE MONEY RECEIPT NUMBER CONTAINS THE ENTRY '10172'. ON THE FACE OF BOTH THE APPLICATION TO PURCHASE LANDS AND THE PROOF OF SUMS PAID THERE APPEARS A WRITTEN NOTATION THAT 'RECEIPT 10172 UNDER C-04384 COVERS THE $1200 PURCHASE MONEY (L.O. BY H.O.)'. 'L.O. BY H.O.' REFERS, PRESUMABLY, TO LAND OFFICE BY H. ODEGAARD. H. ODEGAARD WAS THEN EMPLOYED BY THE COLORADO LAND OFFICE AND SHE PARTICIPATED IN THE HANDLING OF THESE APPLICATIONS. (SEE, E.G., ACCOUNTING ADVICES 7277 AND 7278).

"IT IS OUR OPINION THAT THE ABOVE-MENTIONED CIRCUMSTANCES ADEQUATELY ESTABLISH THAT THERE WAS NO REFUND OF PURCHASE MONEY UPON THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE AFORESAID THREE MINING CLAIMS, THAT THE $6350 PURCHASE MONEY PAID IN CONNECTION WITH COLORADO 04384 REMAINED WITH THAT APPLICATION UNTIL THE FILING OF PATENT APPLICATION COLORADO 07395 AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS, AND THAT $1200 WAS REAPPLIED AT THAT TIME TO THE LATTER APPLICATION. AT THIS POINT, THERE WERE THREE PATENT APPLICATIONS OF PACIFIC'S PREDECESSORS PENDING BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT, COLORADO 04383 ($8540 PURCHASE MONEY), COLORADO 04384 ($5150 PURCHASE MONEY), AND COLORADO 07395 ($1200 PURCHASE MONEY)."

THEN THE DEPUTY SOLICITOR DEALS WITH THE PROBLEM OF WHETHER ANY OF THE PURCHASE MONIES HAD BEEN REFUNDED. HE STATES:

"THE RECORDS SHOW THAT THERE WAS NO OTHER WITHDRAWAL FILED IN CONNECTION WITH THE THREE PATENT APPLICATIONS IN QUESTION. IT WAS NOT UNTIL MAY 16, 1963, THAT FINAL ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION WAS TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT REJECTING THE PATENT APPLICATIONS. THE DEPARTMENT'S ACCOUNTING RECORDS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE PERIOD FROM THAT DATE TO THE PRESENT TIME. THERE IS NO RECORD OF ANY REFUND MADE TO PACIFIC OR ITS PREDECESSORS.

"IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE APPLICANTS FILED TIMELY APPEALS FROM THE DECISIONS OF THE MANAGER OF THE COLORADO LAND OFFICE AND OF THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT. NONE OF THESE DECISIONS PROVIDED THAT THE DECISION WAS EFFECTIVE UPON PROMULGATION. CONSEQUENTLY, UNDER THE DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT ALL PERTINENT TIMES, THE SAID DECISIONS NEVER BECAME EFFECTIVE. SEE 43 CFR 221.101 (NOW 43 CFR 1853.8). IF THE APPLICANTS HAD WITHDRAWN A PATENT APPLICATION AT ANY TIME DURING THE PERIOD FROM OCTOBER 28, 1953 TO MAY 16, 1963, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF THAT APPLICATION ON THE MERITS BY THE DEPARTMENT. THE MATTER WOULD HAVE BEEN MOOT. CLEARLY, THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

"THE SAME HOLDS TRUE AS TO THE COURT SUITS FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW OF THE DEPARTMENT'S REJECTION OF THE PATENT APPLICATIONS ON MAY 16, 1963. IF AN APPLICATION HAD BEEN WITHDRAWN AFTER THAT DATE, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO JUSTICIABLE CONTROVERSY INVOLVING THE DEPARTMENT'S FINAL ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION REJECTING THAT PATENT APPLICATION, AND THE ISSUE OF REJECTION WOULD HAVE BECOME MOOT. AND, WITHOUT A WITHDRAWAL, THERE WOULD, OF COURSE, BE NO CAUSE FOR A REFUND OF PURCHASE MONEY.

"ACCORDINGLY, WE ARE SATISFIED THAT THE PURCHASE MONEY PAID IN CONNECTION WITH COLORADO 04383, 04384, AND 07395, HAD NOT BEEN REFUNDED TO PACIFIC OR PACIFIC'S PREDECESSORS PRIOR TO JUNE 23, 1969, THE DATE ON WHICH THE SUPREME COURT DENIED CERTIORARI AND THE LITIGATION TERMINATED, NOR WAS IT REFUNDED THEREAFTER. THE 'REPAYMENT SCHEDULES' OF THE COLORADO LAND OFFICE COVERING PERIODS PRIOR TO AUGUST 31, 1960, HAVE BEEN DESTROYED, IT IS TRUE, PURSUANT TO THE FEDERAL RECORDS DISPOSAL PROGRAM AND ARE NOT AVAILABLE AS EVIDENCE TO SHOW THAT NO REFUND HAD BEEN MADE DURING THAT PERIOD, BUT, IN OUR VIEW, THIS COLLATERAL EVIDENCE IS NOT ESSENTIAL TO A DETERMINATION IN THIS CASE THAT NO REFUND HAD BEEN MADE DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION."

HAVING DETERMINED THAT NO REFUND HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN MADE, THE DEPUTY SOLICITOR DISCUSSES WHETHER A REFUND IS NOW APPROPRIATE:

"SECTION 204(A) OF THE ACT OF JULY 14, 1960 (43 U.S.C. SEC 1374), PROVIDES THAT THE SECRETARY, UPON APPLICATION OR OTHERWISE, MAY CAUSE A REFUND TO BE MADE FROM APPLICABLE FUNDS WHERE HE IS SATISFIED THAT ANY PERSON HAS MADE A PAYMENT UNDER AND STATUTE RELATING TO THE SALE, ENTRY, LEASE, USE, OR OTHER DISPOSITION OF PUBLIC LANDS WHICH IS NOT REQUIRED, OR IS IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT REQUIRED, BY APPLICABLE LAW AND THE REGULATIONS ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY.

"THE APPLICABLE LAW AND REGULATIONS PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF $2.50 PER ACRE FOR THE PURCHASE OF LANDS INCLUDED IN A MINERAL PATENT FOR PLACER MINING CLAIMS. THE FINAL REJECTION OF A MINERAL PATENT APPLICATION IS, INTER ALIA, A REJECTION OF THE APPLICATION TO PURCHASE LANDS. CLEARLY, THE LAW AND REGULATIONS RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF MINERAL PATENTS DO NOT REQUIRE PAYMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF LANDS THAT ARE NOT CONVEYED. CONSEQUENTLY, THE REJECTION OF THE THREE PATENT APPLICATIONS INVOLVED HEREIN WOULD WARRANT THE REFUND OF THE PURCHASE MONEY PAID IN CONNECTION WITH THESE APPLICATIONS AND COVERED INTO THE TREASURY, IF A REFUND IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW AND OTHERWISE PROPER. SECTION 204(A) OF THE ACT OF JULY 14, 1960, SUPRA, PROVIDES, AS IT WAS INTENDED, THE NECESSARY AUTHORITY TO MAKE REFUNDS OF SUMS WHICH HAVE BEEN APPLIED AS EARNED AND COVERED INTO THE TREASURY."

WITH DUE REGARD TO THE PROVISIONS OF 43 U.S.C. 1374, WE HAVE REVIEWED THE CONCLUSIONS - AND THE BASES THEREFOR - PRESENTED BY THE DEPUTY SOLICITOR IN HIS MEMORANDUM, AND, IN EFFECT, CONCURRED IN BY THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY ON BEHALF OF THE DEPARTMENT, THAT THERE HAS BEEN NO PREVIOUS REFUND OF THE PURCHASE MONIES AND THAT, THEREFORE, A REFUND AT THIS TIME WOULD APPEAR PROPER. WE FIND NO REASON TO DISAGREE WITH THESE CONCLUSIONS. ACCORDINGLY, REFUND OF THE $14,890 PURCHASE MONEY PAID IN CONNECTION WITH MINERAL PATENT APPLICATIONS, COLORADO 04383, 04384, AND 07395, WOULD BE PROPER.

IN SUPPORT OF ITS CLAIM FOR REFUND PACIFIC HAS SUBMITTED A STATEMENT TO THE EFFECT THAT NONE OF THE PURCHASE MONEY HAD BEEN PREVIOUSLY REFUNDED; COPIES OF AGREEMENTS EXECUTED IN 1951 AND 1963 RELATING TO VARIOUS RIGHTS OR INTERESTS OF PACIFIC AND ITS PREDECESSORS IN AND TO THE MINING CLAIMS SUBJECT TO PATENT APPLICATIONS COLORADO 04383, 04384, AND 07395; A STATEMENT TO THE EFFECT THAT DELIVERY HAD BEEN MADE TO PACIFIC OF THE DEED OF CONVEYANCE OF THE SUBJECT MINING CLAIMS; AND A STATEMENT TO THE EFFECT THAT PACIFIC HAS NOT ASSIGNED ITS RIGHT TO THE PURCHASE MONEY IN QUESTION. IN ADDITION, PACIFIC'S PREDECESSORS IN INTEREST HAVE SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED THAT THE REFUND BE PAID DIRECTLY TO PACIFIC. AGREE WITH THE DEPUTY SOLICITOR THAT THE AFOREMENTIONED DOCUMENTS MAY BE CONSIDERED TO REASONABLY ESTABLISH PACIFIC AS THE PROPER PARTY TO RECEIVE THE REFUND. FINALLY, THE DEPUTY SOLICITOR DISCUSSES THE PROPER FUND FROM WHICH THE REFUND SHOULD BE PAID:

"2. RECEIPT OF PURCHASE MONEY PAID IN CONNECTION WITH COLORADO 04383, 04384, AND 07395 (SEE EARLIER DISCUSSION) WAS ACKNOWLEDGED BY RECEIPTS 10171 AND 10172, DATED MAY 19, 1952.

"ACCOUNTING ADVICES NOS. 7277 AND 7278 WERE PREPARED UPON ISSUANCE OF FINAL CERTIFICATE OF MINERAL ENTRY. ACCOUNTING ADVICE NO. 7277 RECITES THAT IT APPLIES TO MINERAL ENTRY COLORADO 04383 COVERING 3415.97 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED IN GARFIELD COUNTY, COLORADO. THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT APPEARS UNDER THE CAPTION 'REMARKS':

"FINAL CERTIFICATE ISSUED MAY 27, 1952. APPLY $8540, PURCHASE MONEY, RECEIPT 10171. (PURCHASE MONEY $2.50 PER ACRE OR FRACTION THEREOF) SIMILARLY, ACCOUNTING ADVICE NO. 7278 RECITES THAT IT APPLIES TO MINERAL ENTRY 04384 COVERING 2539.40 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED IN GARFIELD COUNTY, COLORADO. THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT APPEARS UNDER THE CAPTION 'REMARKS':

"FINAL CERTIFICATE ISSUED MAY 27, 1952. APPLY $6350, PURCHASE MONEY, RECEIPT 10172. (PURCHASE MONEY $2.50 PER ACRE OR FRACTION THEREOF)

"IN OUR OPINION, THE ABOVE ACCOUNTING ADVICES SHOW THAT THE PURCHASE MONEY IN QUESTION WAS TO BE APPLIED AS PURCHASE MONEY FOR LAND.

"WITH RESPECT TO THE APPLICATION OF MONEY AS EARNED, IT IS THE DULY AUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT TO APPLY THE PURCHASE MONEY SUBMITTED WITH AN APPLICATION FOR MINERAL PATENT AS EARNED MONEY AT THE TIME OF ISSUANCE OF THE FINAL CERTIFICATE OF MINERAL ENTRY. THE FINAL CERTIFICATES IN COLORADO 04383 AND 04384 WERE ISSUED ON MAY 27, 1952, AND THE APPLICATION OF SUCH FUNDS AS EARNED IS EVIDENCED BY ACCOUNTING ADVICES NOS. 7277 AND 7278. THE FINAL CERTIFICATE IN COLORADO 07395 WAS ISSUED ON AUGUST 23, 1954, AND IT SHOWS THAT THE RECEIPT OF PURCHASE MONEY AND ITS APPLICATION AS EARNED MONEY IS RELATED BACK TO COLORADO 04384, AND RECEIPT NO. 10172 AND ACCOUNTING ADVICE NO. 7278 THEREUNDER. (SEE EARLIER DISCUSSION.)

"AT ALL TIMES PERTINENT HEREIN, THE ONLY FUND AUTHORIZED BY THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT FOR APPLICATION OF PURCHASE MONEY PAID IN CONNECTION WITH A MINERAL PATENT APPLICATION IS THE FUND APPLICABLE TO THE SALE OF LAND. THIS FUND IS REPRESENTED BY FUND SYMBOL 145881. APPLICATION OF THE PURCHASE MONEY IN QUESTION TO ANY OTHER FUND WOULD HAVE BEEN UNAUTHORIZED AND ERRONEOUS AND IS NOT TO BE PRESUMED.

"IT IS OUR OPINION THAT THE RECORDS ADEQUATELY SHOW THAT THE PURCHASE MONEY WAS APPLIED IN THE FUND APPLICABLE TO THE SALE OF PUBLIC LAND, WHICH IS REPRESENTED BY FUND SYMBOL 145881, AND ANY REFUND OF SUCH MONEY SHOULD BE DEBITED AGAINST THE SAME FUND."

BASED ON THE FOREGOING DISCUSSION, WE AGREE THAT THE PURCHASE MONEY MUST HAVE BEEN ERRONEOUSLY DEPOSITED INTO THE TREASURY FOR CREDIT TO FUND SYMBOL 145881. THEREFORE, REFUND OF THE $14,890 PURCHASE MONIES PAID IN CONNECTION WITH MINERAL PATENT APPLICATIONS COLORADO 04383, 04384, AND 07395, MAY BE PAID TO THE PACIFIC OIL COMPANY.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SUBMITTED VOUCHER MAY BE CERTIFIED FOR PAYMENT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, AND THE VOUCHER TOGETHER WITH YOUR CASE FILE IS RETURNED HEREWITH.

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