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Senator NEUBERGER. I want to reiterate one question I asked earlier: Was anybody with Mr. Chilson from the Indian Bureau, either officials of the Indian Bureau or technical foresters of the Bureau of Indian Affairs? Mr. MATHIS. No, there was not, Senator. The only other party
I saw in the Department of the Interior was Secretary Chilson's secretary when we waited in the outer room. We went in his office and sat there and talked to him and then left.
Senator NEUBERGER. Nobody else was present during your discussion with him?
Mr. MATHIS. Just one moment, and let me check that.
Senator NEUBERGER. And Mr. Grorud, your position or title and association.
Mr. MATHIS. Mr. Grorud is a lawyer. He is retired.
Senator NEUBERGER. Mr. Gamble tells me that you were his predecessor. You will forgive me for any ignorance of your identity.
Mr. GRORUD. I was with the committee for 28 years.
Senator NEUBERGER. I am comparatively new here. Thank you very much.
The thing that at the moment puzzles me, Mr. Mathis, and I am very candid about it, is that Secretary Chilson did not reveal to this committe what was undoubtedly a rather prolonged discussion with you. I asked him about any indications that he had had from the lumber industry as a whole or from various segments of the lumber industry as to any interest in the possible purchase of this timber.
I am puzzled by the fact that he did not make any mention of it.
I have always had a very favorable impression of Mr. Chilson as being a very open and candid and frank individual in all my relationships with him. I am just curious now, as to why he did not tell the subcommittee for the record about his conversation with you on that matter.
Mr. MATHIS. Senator, I am curious about that, too.
I want to be entirely fair to Mr. Chilson. I do not wish to impugn his integrity, his honesty, or lack of frankness with this committee. I feel that he may have overlooked it. He is a very busy man. He may have overlooked it, or he may have forgotten it for the time being.
This, I believe, was in July of August of last year.
The only explanation I have for it is that he may have confused me with the New York lawyer or he may have overlooked it at the time he testified.
I am sure that he will remember it, at least when he checks his appointment register. He will find I was there.
Senator NEUBERGER. That is entirely possible. I want to repeat what you said, there is no desire to impugn the integrity or honesty of Mr. Chilson in any way. As I say, I am favorably impressed with any relationships I have had with him. I was just curious that he had not mentioned his conversation with you.
of this year.
I want to ask you this: When you did speak with Secretary Chilson, did he outline to you any of the potential provisions in $. 3051 at that time?
You will remember when you visited him last summer-you said in July of 1957—that S. 3051 had not then been introduced or had not been presented by the Department. We only received it in January
Did the Secretary outline to you the potential provisions of S. 3051?
Mr. MATHIS. No, Mr. Chairman. In fact, the only time I saw or had any information about S. 3051 was, I think, the day of our first hearing on that bill here.
I received a copy of a letter which was from, I believe, Secretary Seaton to the Vice President.
Senator NEUBERGER. As the President of the Senate, it was sent to him.
Mr. MATHIS. That is right. He attached a copy of a proposed bill to the letter.
Very frankly, when I read that letter and I read the proposed bill, I thought, well, this is quite a reversal of the provision from my discussion with Mr. Chilson in July or August of last year,
Senator NEUBERGER. By that, you mean that the Secretary gave you to think that the Department would make a substantially different proposal than that contained in S. 3051?
Mr. Mathis. Yes, sir. I had no idea of the forfeiture provisions. I had no idea that they would undertake to introduce a new bill in the first place.
I thought they were trying to sell the lands under existing public law and trying to get out of the land business, so far as the Klamath Indian Reservation was concerned, by 1960, as presently provided.
Senator NEUBERGER. In other words, you had the impression from the Secretary that they were going to allow the existing Termination Act to run its course. Mr. MATHIS. I had no contrary impression.
Senator NEUBERGER. It is that act which calls for a completion of the termination proceedings by August 13, 1960. You say you had no contrary impression at that time.
Mr. MATHIS. That is correct. I had no inkling that a new bill was going to be proposed in this session, or that there was any change in thinking. I thought they would make disposition under that act.
I do recall that Secretary Chilson said they would be quite surprised if they were able to close this out by August 13, 1960. It was such a large and complicated thing, it would be very diffcult to perform their duties by the termination date.
Senator NEUBERGER. Let me ask you this: I want to go back over one thing. Did you discuss with him the possibility of sustainedyield operation of this forest?
Mr. Mathis. Very definitely.
Senator NEUBERGER. The reason I asked the question is that under Public Law 587 there is absolutely no mention of sustained-yield operation of the forest.
Mr. MATHIS. That is correct.
Senator NEUBERGER. So in what frame of reference and in what context did you discuss with him sustained-yield operation, when, under the existing statute, there is no sustained-yield provision ?
Mr. Mathis. My people presently operate or manage susbstantial timberlands. They are all operated under a sustained-yield basis.
a When my client and I first discussed this, I told him I was confident that this would be an attractive feature if it were included in a bid to the Secretary of the Interior that they would operate these lands or manage them on a sustained-yield basis if they were the successful bidder.
He said they would not think of buying them under any other condition, because they did not want to denude the land. It would not be profitable to operate them any other way except on a sustainedyield basis.
So I raised this subject myself.
The Secretary said, “Yes,” they wanted the lands to be conducted on that basis, but they did not know how, under the existing legislation, they could require it.
Senator NEUBERGER. In other words, you gave the Secretary to think that if your principals purchased the timberland, they would operate them on a sustained-yield basis, voluntarily, without any legal compulsion to do so?
Mr. Mathis. That is right; by agreement in their bid, if they were the successful purchaser, to do that.
I told him two other things at the same time; that if a purchaser were compelled to buy the swampland and some other desirable land, that I thought my client would be willing to dedicate back to the Indians for use as a reservation and fishing lands and things of that kind, those lands. I think they would have.
I would not have recommended that they buy those lands, to be practical about it.
Senator NEUBERGER. The further thing I would like to ask you about is this: Since your meeting with the Secretary, the total amount of the appraisal made by the Western Timber Services has come out at around $121 million or $122 million, with the pine timber forest valued at around $118 million, in round figures.
Have you had enough discussion with your principals to know whether they would regard that as a feasible sum, a reasonable sum, or an unreasonable sum?
Mr. MATHIS. Frankly, Mr. Chairman, I have not.
Since we have not available any appraisals on the land, and I understand two have been made, we have not known what figures the appraisers had in mind or the basis on which those appraisals were made.
In the earlier part of my testimony I referred to that. I said I hoped that this committee could do something to speed up our getting that information so we would know what we were talking about, because we have no information except what has been in public hearings, for example, some of the hearings last year. I think I have a copy of one of them here.
There were hearings on S. 2047 during the first session, held on October 2 and 4, 1957.
Senator NEUBERGER. Those were the hearings held in the State of Oregon. I am quite certain.
Mr. Mathis. I do not recall now. I have not looked at it recently.
Senator NEUBERGER. I presided at the hearings and they were held at Klamath Falls and Portland.
Mr. Mathis. Some of the witnesses appear to be from Klamath Falls.
Senator NEUBERGER. Have you talked to any members of the Klamath Indian Tribe about the interest of your principals in this forest?
Mr. MATHIs. Rather briefly. I talked to Mr. Wade Crawford and to Mrs. Crawford a time or two about it. They kept me posted a little bit on what was going on out there.
For example, I do not know how I would have ever gotten a copy of the notice that I refer to in my earlier testimony if Mr. Crawford had not sent me a copy.
I asked to have my name put on the list.
That is about as much as I have discussed with Mr. Crawford. I know his views on the subject, but that is all.
Senator NEUBERGER. Do you represent Mr. Crawford in any legal way?
Mr. MATHIS. Not at all. I never have.
Senator NEUBERGER. Several times in his testimony before the subcommittee, and again this is just subject to my memory, Mr. Crawford has mentioned that he has known of some operators who might be po tential buyers of this timber.
Do you think he might have had reference to the principal whom you represent?
Mr. MATHIS. He could well have because I told him that we represented substantial principals who were interested if the terms and conditions could be arranged.
Senator NEUBERGER. That is certainly logical and reasonable.
Mr. COBURN. I would like to get back to your meeting with Mr. Chilson, Mr. Mathis.
As a result of your conference, were there any conclusions reached by you and the Secretary?
Mr. MATHIS. That is a difficult question, Mr. Coburn. I think I ca answer it in this way: I concluded that the lands were probably going to be sold under the exiting law, and that there would be about 175 or 180 small parcels that would be sold.
The Secretary was quite concerned that there was no restriction in that act that would prevent the complete cutting of all timber on all parcels as they were sold. He was quite worried about the economic situation that may result in the Northwest by having the market flooded with all this timber at one time.
Mr. COBURN. At that point did he ask you about sustained yield and management ?
Mr. MATHIS. That raised the sustained yield proposition. I am sure we had already discussed it. He did not want that timber to be sold all at one time so it would glut the market, and so that the land would be denuded, which is quite understandable.
Mr. COBURN. As I understand your previous testimony, he did leave the impression with you that he thought the terms of Public Law
587 would have to be carried out within the time limitations set in the act?
Mr. MATHIS. That is correct. Mr. COBURN. Did you get the impression that he was entertaining whatever suggestions or offers that you made to him, seriously?
Mr. MATHIS. Very definitely. I did not think I was wasting my time at all to talk to the Secretary of the Interior or the Under Secretary.
Mr. COBURN. Which one are you talking about? You are talking about Mr. Chilson, are you not?
Mr. MATHIS. I meant the Under Secretary when I said "Secretary of the Interior."
Mr. COBURN. Did you make what could be considered a firm offer?
Mr. MATHIS. No, sir, I did not. I told him my people would bid if they could get an appraisal. I was told that the appraisal was being made and being completed and would be made available at an early date.
I understand it is not yet available to the public. That is the appraisal that was due to be completed, I believe, in March or April or early 1957.
Mr. COBURN. Since your conference with Mr. Chilson, have you had an occasion to discuss your proposal with any other representatives of the Department?
Mr. MATHIS. I never discussed the substance of my conversation with Mr. Chilson or the Klamath Reservation with anyone else in the Department of the Interior.
Mr. COBURN. How about representatives of the Indians other than Mr. and Mrs. Crawford ?
Mr. MATHIS. I believe they are the only Indians I know that are from the Klamath Tribe. I have not discussed it with any others. In fact, I discussed it very little with Mr. and Mrs. Crawford because they were only interested in the proposition that there was somebody who was interested in buying in a private sale.
Mr. COBURN. In your letter and in your testimony. I believe you mentioned the problem of working out sustained yield agreements. You say something about other necessary factors that would
have to be considered before your client would be interested in making a firm offer. Could you tell the subcommittee what those other factors are !
Mr. MATHIS. I am referring to the forfeiture clause in the bill itself.
Mr. COBURN. You are against that?
Mr. MATHIS. That is correct. I do not believe I would recommend it if my client should ask if he should purchase the land with that forfeiture clause in that bill.
If he asked me my opinion of that I would recommend he not purchase the property with the sustained yield requirements to be laid down and subject to rules and regulations of any Government department that would have authority to change those rules and regulations from time to time.