question, sheds some light on the intent of Congress. Prior to its 1942 amendment, the federal Act was designed to notify the Commonwealth of Virginia formally of the assumption of police jurisdiction over the Park by the United States, as contemplated by a 1928 Virginia statute ceding the Park lands, to enable the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior
'* * * effectively to administer the area by providing for the appointment of a United States Commissioner to hear and act upon complaints of violation of law or of the rules and regulations made by the Secretary of the Interior for the government of the park and for the protection of (wildlife) and objects of interest in the park. * * *' H.Rep.No. 1116, 75th Cong.1st Sess. (1937).
The purpose of the 1942 amendment was to reconcile questions relating to federal jurisdiction over the Park which arose from the following facts:
The 1928 Virginia Statute, ceding exclusive jurisdiction over the Park to the federal government, authorized such cession only as to Park land 'conveyed' to the United States. There were lands in the Park title to which was vested in the United States by means other than conveyance. Hence, the United States had exclusive jurisdiction only as to 'conveyed' lands and concurrent jurisdiction as to the remainder. To correct this situation, Virginia, in 1940, enacted a law which ceded to the United States, with certain reservations, exclusive criminal and police jurisdiction over the Park, but reserved concurrent civil jurisdiction.
Congress apparently designed the 1942 amendment to § 403c-1 of the 1937 Act primarily to accept this cession formally in order to enable the administration of the laws and regulations applicable to the Park to be carried out more efficiently. H.Rep.No. 1795, 77th Cong.2d Sess. (1942).
Section 403c-1(g), upon which plaintiffs rely, appears to have been included in this amendment to acknowledge and accept Virginia's reservation of concurrent jurisdiction over civil causes of action and not to confer on district courts a new jurisdiction over civil actions merely because they arose within the Park. The latter conclusion does not appear expressly in the Report but is reasonably inferable therefrom. This conclusion is also supported by the fact that the language in 403c-1(g) was taken almost verbatim from the 1940 Virginia statute. It is reasonable to conclude that, having no power to confer jurisdiction on federal courts, Virginia, in enacting its own statute in the language later embodied by Congress in 403c-1(g), intended only to preserve its traditional jurisdiction and, that Congress, in adopting the very language of the Virginia statute, intended no more.
The limitations clause 'to the same extent as if the cause of action had arisen in the county or city in which the land lies outside the park area, * * *' was intended, we think, to provide that concurrent federal and state jurisdiction in civil causes of action arising within that Park should be the same as, and not different from the concurrent federal and state jurisdiction over like causes arising in the same Virginia county outside the Park. Absent diversity this court would have no jurisdiction over this action if the collision had occurred outside the Park in the same county and, as we construe this statute, the occurrence of the collision within the Park effects no change. That the United States may acquire or confer a limited jurisdiction over causes of action arising on lands acquired by it from a state is clear. Stewart & Co. v. Sadrakula, 1940, 309 U.S. 94, at page 99, 60 S. Ct. 431, at page 433, 84 L. Ed. 596 wherein the court said:
'It is now settled that the jurisdiction acquired from a state by the United States whether by consent to the purchase or by cession may be qualified in accordance with agreements reached by the respective governments.'
In this view of the case it is unnecessary to pass upon defendants' remaining contentions and, accordingly, we enter this
Now, February 11, 1958, defendants' motion is granted and plaintiffs' action is dismissed for want of jurisdiction.