United States v. Munday,
222 U.S. 175 (1911)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Munday, 222 U.S. 175 (1911)

United States v. Munday

No. 593

Argued October 25, 1911

Decided December 4, 1911

222 U.S. 175


Section 2350, Rev.Stat., is, by §§ 1 and 4 of the Act of April 28, 1904, 33 Stat. 552, c. 1772, continued in force in the District of Alaska, and prohibits more than one entry of coal land by or for the same person or association of persons.

The policy adopted by Congress of restricting one coal land entry to each qualified entryman was to prevent monopolization of coal lands by securing to every citizen the right to obtain for himself one tract of not exceeding one hundred and sixty acres.

The rule of construction that an intention to depart from a long enforced uniform policy will not be imputed to Congress, applied in construing the Act of April 28, 1904, 33 Stat. 552, c. 1772, relative to coal lands in Alaska.

A policy to confine the entryman to one entry is not affected by the fact that Congress leaves him free to assign a location made in good faith. United States v. Keitel, 211 U. S. 370.

All the statutes affecting coal land entries -- Act of March 3, 1873,

Page 222 U. S. 176

17 Stat. 607, c. 279, now §§ 2347-2349, Rev.Stat.; Act of June 6, 1900, 31 Stat. 658, c. 996, and Act of April 28, 1904, 33 Stat. 525, c. 1772 -- are in pari materia and must be read together, and no part of the earlier acts is to be regarded as inoperative unless no other construction of the later legislation is reasonable.

The single object of the Act of 1904 in regard to coal lands in Alaska was to provide for the sale of unsurveyed coal lands, and it becomes inoperative as soon as the lands are surveyed.

The facts, which involve the construction of statutes relating to location of coal lands in Alaska, are stated in the opinion.

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