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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the years 1921-1932

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 2, 1921,   pp. [1]-69 ff. PDF (26.8 MB)

Page 24

sion in business conditions and the financial stringency. For these 
reasons also the prices obtained have in most cases been lower than 
those received in 1920; and in many instances it has been found 
necessary, with the consent of the Indians interested, to extend the 
time of payment on thenotes of the purchasers. 
A number of tracts of land have been purchased for Indians with 
their trust funds, and in these cases the abstracts of title have been 
examined in this office, and in case the Indian interested was re- 
garded as not competent to handle his affairs, a restriction as to 
future alienation except with the consent of the-Secretary of the 
Interior has been included in the deed. 
Under the act of Congress dated June 25, 1910 (36 Stats. L., 
855), allotted Indians who are holding their lands under trust patents 
are authorized to lease the same fora period not to exceed five years 
under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior. Under 
these regulations allottees at various agencies have been classified as 
competent and noncompetent, the competent being permitted to 
transact the business incident to making their own leases and col- 
lecting their own rentals. In the case of incompetent Indians leases 
of lands are negotiated in the agency office and the rentals paid 
through the superintendent. 
In order to eliminate as far as possible the extra handling of legs- 
ing work and the routine transmission of papers to the office, super- 
intendents and others in charge of allotted Indian lands were early 
in the year authorized to grant certificates of competency to Indians 
who were properly qualified to negotiate leases. This has resulted in 
a considerable saving in clerical work and" such applications for this
privilege are not now sent'to the bureau for action. 
Under the act of February 14, 1920 (41 Stat. L., 408-415), the 
department was authorized and directed to charge a reasonable fee 
for the work incident to the sale, leasing or assigning of tribal or 
allotted Indian lands, the same to be collected from vendees, lessees, 
or grantees and covered into the United States Treasury as miscel- 
laneous receipts. Regulations were accordingly promulgated which 
fixed a fee of $5 for each lease or sublease. This fee in some cases 
was found to work a hardship, and by order of May 27, 1921, the 
department directed that in all farming and grazing leases a fee 
of but $1 be charged where the total rental is not more than $100; 
a fee of $2.50 where such rental is not over $250; and $5 where the 
total rental is more than $250. 
A further saving and reduction in the amount of official work was 
effected by an item in the Indian appropriation act of March 3, 
1921 (41 Stat. L., 1225-1232), which requires that all farming and 
grazing leases thereafter entered into shall be subject only to the 
approval of the superintendent or other officer in charge of the res- 
ervation where the land is located-this provision not to apply to the 
Five Civilized Tribes. Regulations were promulgated March 3, 1921, 
under the foregoing act, which required superintendents to approve 
and retain at the agency all leases of the character indicated, except 
that in cases where disputes or contests arise that he is unable to ad- 
just satisfactorily, he shall submit all th   fafts and evidence with a 
copy of tihe lease to the office for settlement. 

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