Page images

in the year.

actually figure down the number of wind hours from the record in Yuma it is very, very small compared to the number of wind hours

We have a strip of 8 feet of planks that we have maintained. This particular strip we have maintained since 1914. Previous to that there was another strip, from 1911. Four teams over the majority of the year keep that track open on that road. The actual amount of drifting sand on to that road is very, very much smaller than people have any idea of.

Senator Johnson: Did I understand you to say you were in the Reclamation Service at one time, Mr. Goodwin?

Mr. GOODWIN. I was in the Yuma office, in the engineering forces there.

Senator JOHNSON. How long, please?
Mr. Goodwin. From 1915 until just previous to 1920.

Senator Johnson. And your studies in this particular territory have been made recently, have they not?

Mr. GOODWIN. Yes, sir; when I was with the reclamation I was only interested in

there in Yuma. My studies in it have come since I was interested in road matters. I live within

very few miles of the sand hills, and probably spend more time there than any man living.

Senator Johnson. In your opinion the building of the All-American Canal in a perfectly feasible proposition?

Mr. Goodwin. It is merely a question of detail.

Senator PHIPPS. Have you made an estimate of the cost of the proposed highway through that section?

Mr. GOODWIN. Yes, sir.
Senator PHIPPS. What would it run?
Mr. GOODWIN. $50,000, 20 feet wide.
Senator PHIPPS. That would be complete?
Mr. GOODWIN. Yes, sir.

Senator PHIPPS. Does that $50,000 include the first oiling or any part of the oiling?

Mr. GOODWIN. Just the first oiling.

Senator KENDRICK. Mr. Goodwin, there seems to be some discrepancy in the statements made to the committee as to the distance through this territory known as the sand hills. What would be your estimate of the distance traversed by this canal that would properly be called sand hill territory!

Mr. GOODWIN. Not over 5 miles; you can probably lessen that. You would have about 2 miles of low sand hills on the north and east of the Government gap that contain a great amount of small drifting dunes, but in a project the size of the All-American Canal they wouldn't be as dangerous to you as they would to a highway. On this side, on the south and west side of the so-called Government gap you have about 2 miles of larger hills, possibly 242 miles and if your canal location, center line, was somewhere near th center line of the drift your menace would be materially lessened. It is when you cross at approximately 90 degrees or at right angles to the drift of the sand where the greatest menace comes.

The CHAIRMAN. We thank you, Mr. Goodwin.


The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Crawford, what is your name and occupation?

Mr. CRAWFORD. D. R. Crawford, farmer.
The CHAIRMAN. In the Imperial Valley?
Mr. CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What acreage do you farm?
Mr. CRAWFORD. I would have to count up-quite a large acreage.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you irrigate?
Mr. CRAWFORD. Yes, sir; have done so since 1901.

The CHAIRMAN. Very well, Mr. Crawford, the committee would like to hear your statement.

Mr. CRAWFORD. Well, we came here in 1900 and made our filing. In 1901 and 1902-the office was then out at Blue Lake; Blue Lake was about 160 acres of a lake at that time before the Colorado River broke in. And since that time I have been a strong advocate for the All-American Canal.

Senator Dill. Do you have land under the present Mexican ditch?

Mr. CRAWFORD. We are all under the Mexican ditch on the American side.

Senator Dill. You are under that ditch?
Mr. CRAWFORD. Yes, everybody is here.

Senator Dill. You think your land would be benefited to the extent of $40 an acre?

Mr. CRAWFORD. By being under the Mexican ditch?
Senator Dill. No, under the All-American Canal ?

Mr. CRAWFORD. No question about it. As I say, since 1901, when I first discovered the situation that we were in here in the Imperial Valley, I found out that interests across the line were determined to keep the water on the Mexican side, because they owned that land and they wanted the water over there. In fact, when we came down here they offered us 15,000 acres of land-one body right down below Calexico, in one body, fine land—for $15 an acre, and that included water; and we paid for the first five years; we only paid 5 per cent interest on that, which was $75 an acre; they put the water to our lands; we had free water, and then the last 15 years we paid a dollar an acre for that land we had free water; $15 an acre for that land, and they guaranteed us free water. That opened my eyes, what the people on the American side of the line had to do. Gentlemen, it simply means this, that if we have to take our water through Mexico we are simply peons to those Mexican interests, and that is all we are, we Americans on this side.

Senator Dill. The reason I asked you this, Mr. Crawford: We had representatives this morning who claimed they should not be forced to pay the added cost on the land because they would not get added benefits; and you being a landowner and willing to pay the added burden of expense, I wanted to get your viewpoint and your reason.

Mr. CRAWFORD. There isn't any question about that. If we have to take water through Mexican interests our water rights are not worth that.

Senator DILL. Will it increase the value of your land?

Mr. CRAWFORD. It will increase the value of our land 200 per cent. Land to-day right around El Centro, good land, is going begging at a hundred dollars an acre.

Senator Dill. Why?

Mr. CRAWFORD. Simply because you haven't got a water right that you can call your own; you are depending on a foreign Government, and you know the Mexican Government-whenever they want water they take it.

Senator DILL. Why, then, are they able to come in here and say that the owners of 270,000 acres are opposed to this?

Mr. CRAWFORD. They came to me—we represent, I suppose, about 3,000 acres—and they came to me and told me that they were in favor of the All-American Canal and the Boulder Dam. I says, “If you are, I will sign your petition.” After I signed the petition I found that they had-well, no matter what they did I demanded it be taken off, and I guess they did, I don't know, I have been told to-day that they haven't taken it off yet, but I rather think they better if they haven't no Now, that is how they got my name on there.

Senator Dill. Well, do you mean, then, that the list that is to be submitted to the committee as being the list of owners of 270,000 acres of land was secured as yours was secured?

Mr. CRAWFORD. I don't know; that is the way they secured mine, and I think they unsecured it; I don't know, though; I am going to find out. Senator JOHNSON. You see, Senator Dill, when the document is

, presented it never mentions the All-American Canal, to which they now say they are opposed. I will demonstrate that to you as we proceed.

Senator DILL. My point was that it is an untrue representation?

Senator Johnson. With this gentleman it was, as you suggest, untrue; with many others likewise, as will be demonstrated to you before we conclude.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you experienced a shortage of water for the purpose of irrigation?

Mr. CRAWFORD. Why, last year one of my renters, W. S. Harris, had in 240 acres; he had it in corn and cotton, and a fine crop of corn he had, but the water shortage came and instead of having about a ton and a half or so to the acre he didn't have much over half a ton, simply because he couldn't get water.

The CHAIRMAN. I am referring to your own experience.
Mr. CRAWFORD. Well, that is my own experience.
The CHAIRMAN. You said your neighbor?
Mr. CRAWFORD. No, he was my farmer, my renter.

Senator Phipps. Do we understand that your land would figure up about 3,000 acres in all?

Mr. CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.
Senator PHIPPS. That you work or have tenants work for you?
Mr. CRAWFORD. Yes, sir.

Senator KENDRICK. Mr. Crawford, could you inform the committee reliably as to the proportionate number of actual landholders in the Imperial Valley who are receiving water from the present Imperial irrigation district who would be willing to assume the additional expense in order to have the water from the All-American Canal? Do

you believe there would be a majority of them that would pay that added cost for the water through this canal?

Mr. CRAWFORD. I believe there would be two-thirds of them, easily. Senator KENDRICK. You have no information on that?

Mr. CRAWFORD. No, I don't know; I was just talking with the different farmers: I haven't found a farmer, I haven't talked with a farmer in this valley--and I live right here—that is oprosed to it, a regular farmer.

Senator KENDRICK. The evidence as indicated to the committee seems to have failed to reflect the actual attitude of the landowners.

The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. S. H. McIver, secretary of the Imperial irrigation district.



Mr. McIVER. My name is S. H. McIver, secretary of the Imperial irrigation district. I wish to submit a statement.

The CHAIRMAN. Are you a resident of this valley?
Mr. McIver. Resident of El Centro, Calif., and Imperial Valley.
The CHAIRMAN. You are a landowner?
Mr. McIVER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Farmer?
Mr. McIVER. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What extent are your holdings?
Mr. McIver. Forty acres.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it under this system of irrigation?
Mr. McIVER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAX. What is your occupation?

Mr. McIVER. Secretary and treasurer of the Imperial irrigation district. The Imperial irrigation district at the present time receives all of its water for irrigation and domestic use by sufferance of a foreign country. There are no treaties between the United States and Mexico affecting the use of these waters for irrigation or domestic purposes. Therefore, when the water which is diverted in California crosses the international line into Mexico all jurisdiction thereof is completely lost. To make possible the irrigation of Imperial Valley a Mexican corporation was formed which, in 1904, obtained a concession from Mexico, giving it the right to receive the water at the international line and reconvey the same back into the United States, provided that "enough shall be used to irrigate the lands susceptible of irrigation in Lower California with the water carried through the canal or canals without in any case the amount of water used exceeding one-half of the volume of water passing through said canals."

While this instrument is commonly referred to as a concession, and which it may properly be, in effect, it is nothing more than a contract, for a violation of which the Mexican corporation, the stock of which is held by the directors of the Imperial irrigation district, would have a claim against the Mexican Government for damages. The corporation is chartered under the Mexican laws and is prohibited from complaining to the Government of the United States against any treatment or wrong done it by the Mexican Government. In other words, here is a community of 55,000 people and property values of $100,000,000 wholly dependent upon the good faith of Mexico for its existence.

The construction of the heading or intake and the annual construction of the weir for the diversion of water in the United States is for the benefit of Mexico as well as Imperial Valley. Yet the cost has fallen wholly upon the American farmers. The Imperial irrigation district has expended $2,937,452.34 in the construction and maintenance of a protective levee system 76 miles in length with more than 50 miles of standard-gauge railroad. In addition to this sum the original company and other agencies expended several million dollars. This is for the benefit of Mexican land as well as our own, and yet the Imperial irrigation district has paid more than $200,000 in Mexican duties, brokerage, and counsel fees in the construction and maintenance of its works in Mexico. In addition to that, the Mexican corporation, controlled by the Imperial irrigation district, has been required to and has paid taxes and fines to the Mexican Government to the amount of more than $30,000. The only part of this expense borne by the Mexican land has been 50 cents per acre-foot for water service up to and including 1916, and 86 cents per acre-foot since that time.

In a letter from Mr. Cronholm, chief engineer of the district to the Secretary of Agriculture at Mexico City, dated December 28, 1920, and covering the period from August 1, 1920, to December 31, 1921, the expense of flood protection in Mexico and for operation and upkeep of diversion works and irrigation structures and facilities of the Mexican corporation is placed at $3,646,888.96. Based on water sales in Mexico, the Mexican lands paid $677,390.93, less than their just proportion.

A petition by Mr. C. N. Perry, chief engineer of the district to the Secretary of Agriculture and Fomento, dated June 12, 1919, states that from February 21, 1916, the Mexican corporation had spent more than $1,000,000 in protective work along the Colorado River, and before this the original company had spent more than $1,800,000; that the duties of importation paid until January 1, 1918, amounted to more than $50,000 and that the amount from January 1, 1918, to the date of the petition was close to $15,000; that the Mexican corporation had been charging 80 cents national gold for each 1,000 cubic meter of water delivered when the actual cost to the Mexican corporation during the year was more than $1.75 national gold.

Whatever may be argued as to revenue derived from the sale of water in Mexico it must be recognized that Mexico never has paid its just proportion of the cost.

There are three different bases on which the distribution of charges between the United States and Mexico might properly be computed:

First. To consider all of the basin north and south of the international boundary line as one project and allocate the cost, based upon the percentage which the water used on each side of the international line bears to the whole amount used.

Second. Based upon the concession, treat the portion of the basin north of the line and that south of the line as two separate areas, each bearing one-half of the cost; and

Third. Consider the whole system as owned by Imperial irrigation district, and the Mexican water users simply as customers.

« PreviousContinue »