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Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Conveying Certain Mineral Rights to Mrs. Pearl O. Marr.

September 01, 1954

I HAVE TODAY approved S. 3251, "An Act to provide for the conveyance of certain mineral rights to Mrs. Pearl O. Marr, of Crossroads, New Mexico."

The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to quitclaim to Pearl O. Marr the oil, gas and other mineral interests reserved by the United States at the time the lands involved were patented to John W. Marr, her husband.

This bill first came to my attention on August 27, 1954. At that time the Department of the Interior advised me on the basis of the information then available to it that there were no special equities in this case to warrant singling it out as an exception to the general law which requires that public lands valuable for certain minerals may be patented only upon condition that the mineral rights are reserved to the United States. Under these circumstances I issued a memorandum of disapproval on August 27, 1954.

It now appears that an error was made.

The Secretary of the Interior advised me today that his attention has been directed to new evidence which indicates that special equities do exist in this case. He informed me that subsequent to the time Mr. Marr was required to file waivers of mineral rights on his homestead, a determination was made by the Department of the Interior that there was no evidence to establish that the lands were prospectively valuable for oil and gas and that as a result of this determination almost all of the homesteaders in that area at that time received patents to their lands without reservation of oil and gas tights. It was then too late to correct the patent which Mr. Marr had received.

The Secretary of the Interior, therefore, now recommends that the bill be approved. Accordingly, I have reconsidered the bill in the light of this additional information and agree that the bill shall be approved. Fortunately, the constitutional time period within which I must act has not yet elapsed.

Note: As enacted, S. 3251 is Private Law 988, 83d Congress (68 Stat. A285). The Memorandum of Disapproval dated August 27, 1954, was withdrawn.

The statement was released at Lowry Air Force Base, Denver, Colo.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Conveying Certain Mineral Rights to Mrs. Pearl O. Marr. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231785

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