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The Illinois Rivers and Lakes Commission, without attempting to pass on the legality or the right of the applicant to erect the proposed structure, offers at this time no objection to the construction of said bridge, conditioned upon the following:

1. The structure shall have an opening between abutments of 196 feet supported on three piers, each to be not wider than 4 feet 6 inches. The elevation of the lowest point of the clearance line of the superstructure to be not lower than elevation 677.75, Memphis datum. The elevation of the clearance line at the center pier shall not be less than 680.17. The superstructure shall not be anchored to the piers and abutments.

2. Whenever, in the opinion of the said Illinois Rivers and Lakes Commission, said structure, or any part of the same, interferes with navigation or works designed for navigation, or when any part of said structure interferes with flood discharge or land drainage, the permittee, or his heirs or assigns, shall, at his own expense, remove all or any portion of the aforesaid structure as may be required by the said commission.

3. The existence of the work is further subject to the authority of the United States governing the removal of obstructions in United States navigable streams.

ILLINOIS RIVERS AND LAKES COMMISSION.
ARTHUR W. CHARLES, Chairman,

L. K. SHERMAN.
Attest:

CHARLES CHRISTMANN, Secretary.

64TH CONGRESS, | HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. 1st Session.

TO RESTORE HOMESTEAD RIGHTS IN CERTAIN CASES.

MARCH 29, 1916.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the

state of the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. MCCLINTIC, from the Committee on the Public Lands, submitted

the following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. R. 8492.)

The Committee on the Public Lands, to which was referred the bill (H. R.8492) to restore homestead rights in certain cases, reports the same to the House and recommends that the bill be passed as amended.

The committee unanimously agrees that the bill shall be amended as follows, which corresponds with the recommendations made by the Secretary of the Interior. Strike out all of the bill after the enacting clause and insert in lieu thereof the following:

That from and after the passage of this act any person who has heretofore entered under the homestead laws, pursuant to purchase by competitive bid for a price equivalent to or greater than $5 per acre, lands embraced in a ceded Indian reservation, shall, upon proof of such fact, if otherwise qualified, be entitled to the benefits of the homestead law as though such former entry had not been made: Provided, That the provisions of this act shall not apply to any person who has failed to pay the full price for his former entry, or whose former entry was canceled for fraud.

In the past, certain laws referring to the sale of Indian lands have been enacted requiring purchasers to acquire possession of these lands at public sale as the highest bidder, also requiring actual residence, cultivation, and all the requirements of the homestead laws. Certain lands in the Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache reservations were sold in accordance with the act approved June 5, 1906, (34 Stats. L., p. 214), and the act approved June 28, 1906 (34 Stats. L., p. 550).

This bill will give those who have purchased their lands at a public sale in competition with the entire public and lived up to the terms of their contract with the United States Government the right of making a homestead entry if their land was purchased at a price exceeding $5 per acre.

The following report has been made by the Secretary of the Interior:

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, February 1, 1916. DEAR MR. FERRIS : I am in receipt of your request for report upon H. R. 8492, a bill to restore homestead rights in certain cases.

On January 7, 1916, I submitted a report upon H. R. 401, a bill designed to secure the same end, stating that I was not convinced that the legislation is warranted by the facts before me, but that if enacted the bill should be amended in certain respects.

Upon further consideration of the subject, in connection with H. R. 8492, and of the fact that in many instances where lands in former Indian reservations were disposed of by competitive bidding, either at public auction or through sealed bids, prices varying from $5 to more than $30 an acre have been paid, thus imposing upon the entrymen a heavy financial burden in addition to the added requirement that he meet the provisions of the homestead laws, it would seem that such transactions were really more in the nature of sales for the benefit of the Indians, and in cases where so large a payment was made, it may be equitable to accord to such purchasers who have completed the payments the right to make other entries, if otherwise qualified.

I have therefore caused to be drafted a tentative form of measure, which I herewith submit and recommend be substituted for H. R. 401 and H. R. 8492, and to the enactment of which I know of no valid objection. Cordially, yours,

FRANKLIN K. LANE, Secretary. Hon. SCOTT FERRIS, Chairman Committee on Public Lands,

House of Representatives.

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PATENT APPLICATIONS.

MARCH 30, 1916.—Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. OGLESBY, from the Committee on Patents, submitted the following

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The Committee on Patents, to whom was referred House bill 13720, respectfully report that they have had the same under consideration and recommend that the bill be passed.

The bill proposes to amend section 4894 by adding thereto the following:

"Provided, however, That no application shall be regarded as abandoned which has become the property of the Government of the United States and with respect to which the head of any department of the Government shall have certified to the Commissioner of Patents, within a period of three years, that the invention disclosed therein is important to the armament or defense of the United States."

The purpose of the amendment is to permit the Government to hold in patentable status applications for such patents as it might desire to keep secret and with full protection from the consideration of conflicting applications by others.

The result of its enactment will not keep secret patents issued by the Government, nor will it relieve the Government in any manner from the strict rules of the office against additions or changes in applications which would result in incorporating new matter into them. It would confer no benefit whatever upon the Government which is not now enjoyed by any applicant who for any reason has succeeded in keeping his application alive in the office for a number of years. It merely relieves the Government from the requirement of the statute under which applications must be brought up for action at least once in each year to escape the holding of abandonment.

The amendment is so drawn as to limit its benefits to the United States and nly to the United States in matters relating to national

defense.

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