Vol. VI, Laws     (Compiled from February 10, 1939 to January 13, 1971)

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Public Law 552 | Chapter 617
July 29, 1954 | [H. R. 130] 68 Stat. 580

To amend the Act approved June 27, 1947 (61 Stat. 189).
Section 2

Margin Notes
Chap. 617 Navajo Indian Reservation, N. Mex. Helium-bearing land rights.
Chap. 617 581 Agreement.
Chap. 617 Suit for recovery of additional sum.
Chap. 617 Jurisdiction.
Chap. 617 Interest.
Chap. 617 63 Stat. 102.
Chap. 617 62 Stat. 940.
Sec. 2 Court of Claims. Jurisdiction.
Sec. 2 582

Page 632

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 1 of the Act approved June 27, 1947 (61 Stat. 189), entitled "An Act authorizing certain agreements with respect to rights in helium-bearing gas lands in the Navajo Indian Reservation, New Mexico, and for other purposes", be and the same is hereby amended to read as follows:

"That the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Mines, and the Navajo Tribe of Indians are authorized to enter into an agreement dated December 1, 1945, entitled 'An agreement severing certain formations from oil and gas leases and substituting new leases as to those formations' and an 'Amending agreement', affecting lands in the Navajo Indian Reservation, New Mexico, copies of which are published in House of Representatives Document Numbered 212, Eightieth Congress, first session; and said agreements are ratified and approved. If said Navajo Tribe of Indians shall, after investigation, deem the total consideration payable to it by the United States pursuant to such agreement dated December 1, 1945, as amended, to be in any respect less than reasonable, fair, just, and equitable, said tribe shall be entitled within three years after the date of enactment of this Act to institute suit against the United States in the Court of

Page 633

Claims for the recovery of such additional sum, if any, as may be necessary to compensate said tribe for the reasonable, fair, just, and equitable value of all right, interest, and property passing from said tribe to the United States under such agreement, as amended. Jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon the Court of Claims to hear and determine any suit so instituted and to enter final judgment against the United States therein for such sum, if any, in excess of the total consideration payable pursuant to such agreement, as amended, as such court may determine to be necessary to provide consideration in all respects reasonable, fair, just, and equitable: Provided, That interest shall be allowed on such sum at the rate of 4 per centum per annum from October 20, 1947, to the date of payment and no offsets shall be deducted by the court from any sum determined by the court to be a reasonable, fair, just, and equitable consideration for the right, interest, and property passing to the United States under and pursuant to said agreement of December 1, 1945, as amended, and the interest thereon: Provided further, That the foregoing provision relating to interest and offsets shall not extend to any other claim or claims asserted in any such suit, whether or not the same arise out of the subject matter of said agreement, but such other claim or claims, if any, shall be governed by the law relating to actions brought pursuant to title 28, United States Code, section 1505. Appellate review of any judgment so entered shall be in the same manner, and subject to the same limitations, as in the case of claims over which the Court of Claims has jurisdiction under section 1491 of title 28, United States Code. Notwithstanding any contract to the contrary, not more than 10 per centum of the amount received or recovered by said tribe in satisfaction of any claim asserted under this section shall be paid to or received by any agent or attorney on account of services rendered in connection with such claim."

SEC. 2.

Said Act approved June 27, 1947 (61 Stat. 189), is hereby further amended by adding at the end thereof a new section to be designated section 3 and to read as follows:

"SEC. 3. Jurisdiction is hereby conferred on the Court of Claims to determine, notwithstanding any statute of limitations or laches, in any suit instituted pursuant to section 1 of this Act, (1) whether the assignment dated December 1, 1942, accepted and approved December 17, 1942, of oil and gas lease 149-ind-5337, covering the lands denominated '1942 lands' in section 4 of said agreement dated December 1, 1945, as amended, should in law or in equity, taking into consideration such fiduciary relationship as may exist between the United States and the Navajo Tribe, have been accepted by the United States for the account of the Navajo Tribe instead of for its own account, and, if such assignment should have been so accepted, whether the property interest or any part thereof covered by such assignment was taken by the United States from the said tribe at any time prior to the effective date of said agreement; (2) whether, and in what amount, if any, the Navajo Tribe is entitled on the basis of such determination to compensation for the acquisition or taking, by the United States, of the property interest or any part thereof covered by such assignment; and (3) whether, and in what amount, if any, the United States is entitled to credit against such compensation for rentals on such lease or for other expenditures, borne by the United States, for the benefit of such lease prior to any such acquisition or taking by the United States; and to enter judgment in accordance with such determinations. No offsets shall be deducted by the court from any net sum, and the interest thereon, if any, that the court awards under this section. The provisions of the last two sentences of section 1 of this Act shall be applicable to any judgment entered pursuant to this section."

Approved, July 29, 1954.

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