MS •MV, RALI), PMttnii City, Fl»„ Sunday, June 23, 1W4 ates Wage Oil Dispute , ILEANS (UPI) - It jlKltforthless, few people la care where Louisiana iandTexas begins. , fiat that isn't the case. Oil is an increasingly precious com- rhodlty, so valuable the govern* rnents of Texas and Louisiana have hired a small army of attorneys to determine the precise boundary between them. The boundary, a matter of dispute for years, is critical since it runs through the oil rich waterbottoms of the Sabine River, the historical dividing line between the two states. Texas says the boundary should be drawn down the mid* die of the river. Louisiana says it owns it all. Some have estimated at least $1 billion is at stake. Last month, attorneys for both sides met in a mapclut- tered federal courtroom at New Orleans for four days of hearings before U.S. District Judge Robert Van Pelt of Nebraska. Van Pelt was appointed a special "master" by the U.S. Supreme Court to study the evidence and present his recommendations for a decision later this year. He said he will give both states until the first week of September to file briefs on evidence presented In last month's hearings, and he then may schedule still another hearing before finally making his suggestions to the high court. The case is wrapped in complex geographical definitions and detailed survey maps of the two states dating back more than a century. And both sides have presented an array of Impressive witnesses to support their contentions. Dr. Robert D. Hodgson, a geographic specialist from the State Department, testified during last month's hearings he believed Louisiana's case was more accurate. However, another State Department expert disagreed. Richard Young, head of the State Department Committee SINGER FABRIC CLEARANCE 20%TO60%OFFPR.CES POLYESTER DOUBLEKNITS EXTM-SPECUL nMCNASE! $022 * YD. • Solids and jacquards »Machine washable,58"-60"wide COTTONS, POLYESTERS, BLENDS $122 I vn YD. • Knits, wovens.45"-60 w • Machine washable FASHION CLASSICS YD. • Various blends • Plaids, checks, more 45" - 60" WOVEN DRESSWEIGHT SELECTIONS YD. Fancies, solids> chtckt • Machine washable, 45" width SINGER Most fabrics at most stores Sewing Centers 557 HARRISON AVE. PANAMA CITY, FLA. •A Tridcmirk of THE SINGER COMPANV Copyright t> IV74 THE SINGER COMPANY. All Ri|hli Reserved Throu|hoV» the World. on Sea Law, told Van Pelt the middle of the Sabine should serve as the Louisiana-Texas line, The Supreme Court earlier had called for a mld-rlver boundary, but had sidestepped the issue of which state owned several islands in the Sabine. Van Pelt expressed the belief Louisiana should be granted rights to the islands, but the indefinite Supreme'Court ruling sparked the latest legal battles and there appears little hope for a solution before next fall. Louisiana claims title to the entire river based on an 1848 treaty between the United States and Mexico. The area under contention runs 172 miles from Logansport, La., to the Gulf of Mexico. Former Texas Attorney General Crawford Martin once said a ruling In Texas' favor would be worth at least $1 billion. . The price rise of oil and gas has Increased that figure significantly. In May, 1972, Van Pelt told the Supreme Court the boundary should be at the center of the river. At that time, Martin claimed victory for Texas. "The decision is a solid victory worth at least $1 billion to the state, our public school fund and the cities of Port Arthur and Orange," said Martin, who has since died. "Over 35,000 acres of land, four producing oil wells and $2,660,568 in lease bonuses collected by Texas are directly involved in the litigation." On the middle-of-the-rlver decision by the Supreme Court, Louisiana Attorney General William J. Gustesaid: "The decision is not the end of litigation. It's actually only the beginning of the tldelands case. The reason for this is that the Supreme Court has referred back to the master the question of who owns the Islands in the western half of the river and, secondly, after that's determined, we have to determine where the center or deep point of the river really is." Guste said once the issue of ownership of islands in the river is decided, the case would revert back to the question of the tidelands, the "valuable land between the coast line of Texas and the three-mile limit." . "That is where the money really is in the case," he said. "There are many, many miles that are still in dispute that will have to be divided by the court." 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