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"Ustawy"  Polish Government Acts 1920


A C T  1
Dated 17 December 1920
regarding the acquisition of land in certain districts of the Republic of Poland into State ownership


Article 1. The following properties in the districts listed in Article 6 of this Act hereby are taken into State ownership:    

  1. property of the Russian treasury, state, apanages [Ed. note: assets assigned for the maintenance of a member of the family of a ruling house] and cabinet as well as the assets of the former Włościański Bank;
  2. treasury assets, granted by the Russian authorities as majorats [Ed. note: the right of succession which belongs to the first-born child or son of a family];
  3. assets belonging to members of the former Russian royal family;
  4. religious and monastic assets owned by the Catholic Church following agreement with the Apostolic See and, regarding other assets – subject to agreement with the representatives of the appropriate faiths, as long as this agreement can take place before 1 April 1921;
  5. assets of other public institutions especially foundations, whilst protecting the objectives of the foundations.


Article 2. Under this Act, private lands can also be transferred to State ownership:

a) in entirety, lands abandoned by the owner, where the owner or persons representing their rights, does not return to their residence before 1 April 1921;

b) in part, general land in excess of 400 hectares with one farmhouse to be left for the owner, if the owner or a person representing their rights is present or returns to their property before 1 April 1921;

c) that part of the owner’s property that is abandoned and remains so for 1 year after the conclusion of the peace treaty with Russia.

That part of the owner’s property that is abandoned and remains so for 1 year after the conclusion of the peace treaty with Russia. Owners unable to return but have evidence of internment or forcible removal by foreign powers are entitled to retain one farmstead not greater than 400 hectares.

Article 3. The time and method for establishing a purchase price as well as for the method of payment to the owner of lands acquired by the State as set out in Article 2, will be determined by a separate Act.

Article 4. This land stock, with the exception of waters, wastelands, larger tracts of woodland and land designated for public use, shall be allocated for settlement by soldiers and agricultural reform.

Article 5. The owners of lands acquired by the State in accordance with Article 2 of this Act who return after 1 April 1921 may receive land in another location equivalent in size and value to that previously owned, but not exceeding 45 hectares and, in the event that buildings were acquired they can obtain at no cost the necessary building materials for the construction of buildings of equivalent size to those owned previously but not exceeding 80 square metres.

This right for previous owners will remain in force for three years after this Act is published.

Owners returning to their farmsteads before 1 April 1921 must compensate settlers for costs incurred for managing the land and building work.

Article 6. This Act applies in the following districts in accordance with the administrative divisions used to date:

1) Brześć, 2) Prużana, 3) Wołkowysk, 4) Słonin, 5) Nowogródek, 6) Baranowicze,

7) Wilejka, 8) Dzisna, 9) Nieśwież, 10) Łuniniec, 11) Pińsk, 12) Kobryń, 13) Włodzimierz,

14) Kowel, 15) Łuck, 16) Równe, 17) Dubno, 18) Sarny, 19) Krzemieniec, 20) Ostroga, 21) Grodno, 22) Lida.

Article 7. In each of the districts listed in Article 6 a District Land Distribution Committee will be formed to carry out the acquisition of land into State ownership and allocate it as set out in Article 4. The Committee will be composed of:

  • Chair - the head of the local council [starosta] or his deputy, and
  • members - representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and State Property, the Treasury and Defence, and the Central Land Authority, one from each ministry and authority, and as
  • advisors - two local farmer representatives, one with smaller and one with larger ownership appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture and State Property.

The committees will adjudicate by majority voting; a split vote will be decided by the Chair holding a casting vote.

Article 8. Interested parties have the right of appeal against resolutions issued by the District Land Distribution Committee, to the Appeals Committee within thirty days from the date the resolution is issued. The Committee shall be set up by the Minister of Agriculture and State Property in agreement with the President of the Central Land Authority.

Article 9. Implementation of this Act shall be entrusted to the Ministry of Agriculture and State Property in agreement with the President of the Central Land Authority.

Article 10. This Act shall come into force on the day of its publication.



Marshal:
Trąmpczyński

Prime Minister:
Witos

Minister of Agriculture and State Property:
p.p. Z. Chmielewski

President of the Chief Land Authority:
T. Wilkoński



A C T  2
Dated 17 December 1920
regarding the granting of land to soldiers of the Polish Army


Article 1. Soldiers of the Polish Army who defended the homeland borders may be given ownership of land from the stock generated by the order of the  Act of 17 December 1920 by which  the Republic of Poland acquires land into State ownership in certain districts in accordance with the framework set out in the following articles;

Article 2. The following shall be entitled to be given land given at no cost:
a) war invalids and Polish army soldiers who particularly distinguished themselves,
b) volunteer soldiers to the Polish army who served on the front.
 
Article 3. All other invalids and soldiers capable of agricultural work may purchase land depending on availability.

Article 4. Precluded from acquiring land (Article 2 and 3) are soldiers:
a) punished for crimes against the armed forces of the Polish State,
b) punished for the crime of desertion,
c) held accountable for misuse of state funds, until such time as they are judged innocent,
d) who broke demobilization regulations,
e) who, in violation of the law, took possession of another's land arbitrarily.

Article 5. The size of land allocated to individual soldiers is to be sufficient for operating an independent farm but must not exceed 45 hectares including land hitherto owned by the soldier. Groups of soldiers affiliated in partnerships may receive land for division later in amounts not exceeding 45 hectares for each member of the partnership on principles to be established by the Central Land Authority in agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture and State Property.

Article 6. A soldier allocated land who does not, or whose family does not settle on the land within a year, or who having settled, fails to work the land within three years from the day the land was granted, can be evicted following an administrative procedure based on a resolution of the District Land Distribution Committee in which case, ownership of the land returns to the State for re-allocation by the Committee, or to the Central Land Authority.

Article 7. The cost of the land purchased by soldiers on the basis of Article 3 will be established by the value of 30 - 100 kilograms of rye per hectare per annum, paid in cash to the State for a period of 30 years, starting 5 years after the land is granted in half-yearly instalments in arrears; however, on application by the purchaser, this can be paid off sooner.

Article 8. The Polish State will, as far as possible, provide the necessary help in kind or in cash for the development of land received by individual soldiers or by companies.

The following is allocated for this purpose:
1) part of the livestock and materials released following the army’s demobilisation, as determined by the Minister of Military Affairs in consultation with the Minister of Agriculture and State Property;
2) construction materials not exceeding 80 m3 per farm, on the basis of the Act of 28 February 1919 regarding the provision of wood for construction and for heating to the population;
3) two billion marks at the disposal of the Ministry of Agriculture and State Property for granting credit to soldiers in cash, or in agricultural implements, grain seed etc.

Only those persons referred to in Article 2)  can benefit from State aid covered in paragraphs 1) and 2) if they have no means for purchase; persons referred to in Article 3) can benefit from aid at no cost covered in paragraph 2) if they have no means of purchase.


Article 9. The military authorities will be responsible for assessing soldiers for entitlement to land at no cost or to land subject to purchase.

Article 10. Farmsteads established under this Act cannot be divided or sold without the permission of the District Land Office for a period of 25 years from the date of acquisition. Any contracts that breach this provision will be invalid. Courts will be responsible for deciding the validity on cases to be prosecuted by the District Land Office once in operation; meanwhile responsibility is with District Land Distribution Authorities.

Article 11. The District Land Distribution Committees, formed on the basis of article 7) of the Act I of 17 December 1920 regarding taking land in certain districts of the Republic of Poland into State ownership, are required to arrange the granting of land to soldiers.

No appeal can be made against decisions taken by the District Land Distribution Committees in the implementation of this Act.

Article 12. The Ministry of Military Affairs and military units (divisions, brigades, etc) are obliged to cooperate with the Central Land Authority in the technical division of land between individual soldiers for the implementation of the regulations to this Act and under the direction and control of the  District Land Distribution Committees and other bodies forming part of the Central Land Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Article 13. Implementation of this Act is entrusted to the President of the Central Land Authority, the Minister of Agriculture and State Property and the Minister of Military Affairs in consultation with Ministers concerned.

Article 14. This Act becomes effective on the day of its publication.


Marshal:
Trąmpczyński

Prime Minister:
Witos

President of the Chief Land Authority:
T. Wilkoński

Minister of Agriculture and State Property:
p.p. Z. Chmielewski

Minister for Military Affairs
Sosnkowski

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