54 STAT.] 76TH CONG. , 3D SESS.-CH. 888 -OCT. 17, 1940 regulations of the Department of the Interior for the perfection, defense, or further assertion of rights initiated or acquired prior to the date of entering military service. It shall be lawful for any person while in such service to make any affidavit or submit any proof which may be required by law or the practice or regulations of the General Land Office in connection with the entry, perfection, defense, or further assertion of any rights initiated or acquired prior to enter- ing such service, before the officer in immediate command and hold- ing a commission in the branch of the service in which the person is engaged. Such affidavits shall be as binding in law and with like penalties as if taken before a register of a United States land office. The Secretary of the Interior may issue rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of sections 501 to 512, inclusive. SEC. 508. The Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to suspend as to persons in military service during the period while this Act remains in force and for a period of six months thereafter or during any period of hospitalization because of wounds or disability incurred in line of duty that provision of the act known as the "Reclamation Act" requiring residence upon lands in private ownership or within the neighborhood for securing water for the irrigation of the same, and he is authorized to permit the use of available water thereon upon such terms and conditions as he may deem proper. SEC. 509. The Secretary of the Interior shall issue through appro- priate military and naval channels a notice for distribution by appropriate military and naval authorities to persons in the military service explaining the provisions of this article except as to section 500 hereof and shall furnish forms to be distributed in like manner to those desiring to make application for its benefits, except as to said section. SEC. 510. (1) During the pendency of any war in which the United States may be engaged while this Act remains in force any homestead entryman shall be entitled to a leave of absence from his entry for the purpose of performing farm labor. The time actu- ally spent in farm labor shall be counted as constructive residence, if within fifteen days after leaving his entry to engage in such labor the entryman files a notice of absence in the land office of the district in which his entry is situated, and if at the expiration of the calendar year the entryman files in that office a written statement under oath and corroborated by two witnesses giving the date or dates when he left his entry, the date or dates of his return, and the place where and person for whom he was engaged in farm labor during such period or periods of absence. (2) Nothing in this section shall excuse any homestead entryman from making improvements or performing the cultivation upon his entry required by law. The provisions of this section shall apply only to persons whose applications have been allowed or filed prior to the effective date of this Act. SEc. 511. Any person under the age of twenty-one who serves in the military service while this Act remains in force shall be entitled to the same rights under the laws relating to lands owned or con- trolled by the United States, including the mining and mineral leas- ing laws, as those over twenty-one now possess under such laws. Any requirements as to establishment of residence within a limited time shall be suspended as to entry by such person until six months after his discharge from military service. Applications for entry may be verified before any officer in the United States or any foreign country authorized to administer oaths by the laws of the State or Territory in which the land may be situated. 1189 Rules and regula- tions. Residence require- ments, lands in pri- vate ownership, etc. Use of available water. Explanatory notice to bedistributed. Application forms. Performance of farm labor. Leaves of absence to entrymen during pendency of war. No excuse allowed for nonperformance. Public lands. Equal rights accord- ed persons under age of 21.