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water supply would contribute materially to our ability to meet payments on an All-American Canal.
A few owners of large tracts, fearful lest they be compelled to reduce their holdings if the Reclamation Service be given a hand in water affairs, have joined forces with the interests across the line in opposition to our program. They first urged a storage dam, thinking the cost of storage would kill the idea of a canal. Now they are using every effort to separate the two, still hoping to kill the canal. But the great and effective majority of the people of Imperial want the All-American Canal and the Boulder Dam. In view of the international situation, the flood menace and the credit conditions, we feel justified in petitioning the Congress of the United States for the enactment of the Swing-Johnson bill. We believe there is an added reason in the fact that Imperial Valley has borne the greater part of the burden of the development of this Government's great plan for the conservation of the resources of the Colorado. We are in danger of a great physical disaster. The discouragement attendant upon failure of this legislation, following upon ten years of intense, adverse advertising when our misfortunes and shortcomings have been held up to the gaze of the entire United States would be a disaster almost equally great. We ask the Congress of the United States to afford us a fulcrum by which we may pry ourselves out of an intolerable situation. Senator PITTMAN. Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. Senator Pittman. Senator PITTMAN. The statement you have made with regard to the acceptance of half a loaf, unless it is explained, might be taken as meaning that your conservation society was advising your representatives and representatives who are in a similar position here in the West, that we should fight for the full proposition.
Mr. ROBINSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. ROBINSON. This fight has lasted for 10 or 12 years on some particular phases, but we are not deterred.
Senator PITTMAN. The reason I asked you is this: I don't think there is a member of this committee here, although I can not speak for them but what is sympathetic with your desires to have an allAmerican canal; in fact, I can not conceive of any American citizen but what would have that desire; but, mind you, we have not, as legislators, obtained all we have desired or sought, at least not in the 13 years I have been in the Senate. I want you to get back of this legislative situation, and I want your advice on it, because I think that you are a very calm, sound man. We have been trying since 1902 to get irrigation projects established in various places in the West. They are very small in comparison with the land that this development you have in mind would put under irrigation. We have got a number of them started. Within the last few years we have been having a desparate time getting sufficient money appropriated to even complete them, and in some cases there were mistakes made by the engineers as to the amount of water available, and there was not half enough water for the crops, and you know what that
We have a reclamation fund that is derived from the sale
of our public lands. Some even begrudge the spending of our own money on our own projects that we all agree on. But even that fund only amounts to several million dollars a year. There is not enough to go around, so the Department of the Interior tells us, not even to complete the existing projects.
Strange as it may seem, during the hard times that overcame the farmers after the war, and they have suffered terribly throughout the country, they have been led to believe that that trouble is one of the results of irrigation. Consequently, throughout the Middle West the inhabitants of those vast farming areas have been led into a position of opposition to reclamation. The eastern people always fought this policy of Government enterprise. As a period of economy comes on, necessary economy, and the appropriations must be cut down, we find nevertheless that the demand for appropriations for rivers and harbors is increasing, and there isn't enough to go around. Then, in the improvement of rivers and harbors, the element of selfishness comes in, and when we, out here in the West, ask to take something out of that fund we arouse the selfishness of every Congressman whose own project will be cut down by reason of our grant. We find that there will be contractual troubles that might arise; the Department of the Interior at times has asked that the irrigated lands guarantee the success of the new land to be put under irrigation, in fact, that is the policy that they are trying to establish now.
You may think that all of this land under the proposed high-line canal will pay out in 20 years or 30 or 40, and then the Department of the Interior asks that you guarantee that, that you guarantee the annual payments on that land whether it pays out or not. Then that difficulty must be settled.
There is one thing that we are all sure of; at least, I think so, and that is that it is the duty of the Government to remove the danger of the flooding of this valley. That policy of flood control has been adopted throughout the United States, and no one argues against it; and I have never seen a case such as you have here, demanding such immediate action for protection from the menace of these floods. And I am sure that the policy of the Government is such that if they build a dam at Boulder Canyon, or Black Canyon, or somewhere else to hold back those flood waters and to desilt the waters, that they will build it of such capacity that it will be an economic success, because it is also the policy of the Government when they expend money to get it back, and they can only get it back through the sale of the water for various purposes.
Now, we may go there and we may fight for months and months and months for everything that we are entitled to, and then we may find that we have nor a majority of the votes in those two bodies of Congress. Remember, there are 435 Members of Congress in the Lower House, and our western representative power in the Lower House does not amount to much numerically; it has little political influence; it has no voting power to speak of. What your Congressmen have obtained is perfectly marvelous by the speeches and arguments and debates they have made; and yet it is a serious question. We can not get even half of the Congressmen there to listen to us talk. We are lucky if we get a third. So, if, after several months of fighting we see that we can not get the votes to carry the AllAmerican Canal as a complementary part of this project, but we can get a dam at Boulder Canyon, or Black Canyon-a big dam to impound a tremendous lot of water, to hold back the silt, to have the water there obtainable for all purposes—would you want us to go ahead and get that dam, and then early in the next session to fight to take advantage of it, or would you want us to turn down the proposition of the dam and fight on?
Mr. ROBINSON. Senator Pittman, this club in the Imperial Valley has been under the necessity of holding its forces in line for the full program, and if, when you have made a good fight, when you have put the proposition to Congress with all the fight that you have, and you can succeed in getting only the one feature, the Boulder Canyon Dam, the American Conservation Club will pat you on the back and say, “Well done." But we do want to make one good strong try for the whole thing.
STATEMENT OF ELMER W. HEALD, REPRESENTING INTER
POST COUNCIL OF AMERICAN LEGION OF IMPERIAL COUNTY
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Heald, didn't you make a statement at Los Angeles, or did you? Mr. HEALD. No; I didn't make a statement at Los Angeles. The CHAIRMAN. What is your full name, Mr. Heald ?
Mr. HEALD. My name is Elmer W. Heald. I live at Calipatria, in Imperial County.
Senator Dill. 'A little louder; I can't hear you.
Mr. HEALD. I say my name is Elmer W. Heald; I live in Calipatria, Imperial County. "At the present time my profession is that of an attorney and I am practicing law in Imperial County. I am here to-day, however, as a representative of the Interpost Council of the American Legion, Imperial County. I am also authorized to speak on behalf of the State Department, American Legion, State of California. The CHARMAN. Well
, that department was heard at the Los Angeles hearings, Mr. Heald; we know its entire sympathy with this great development, and I believe the committee would be happy, indeed, if you would limit your time to the general situation here.
Mr. HEALD. That is my intention. Now, the chairman of this committee said last night that what you gentlemen wanted was facts. That is what I am going to endeavor to present to you during the five minutes that I am going to speak to you. They are facts that I want to present as an ex-service man, and from an ex-service man's standpoint. I want to present those to show you first that the United States Government has a priority concerning land settlement by ex-service men; second, that there is a demand on behalf of exservice men for land on which to settle; third, that there is land available or land can be made available by this legislation for exservice men to settle upon; and last, that it is possible, financially possible, for ex-service men to settle on this land and reclaim it and make a productive farm out of it.
Now, the United States Government, in 1919, immediately after the war was over, appropriated, as a preliminary measure, $110,000 and turned it over to the Reclamation Service to make a survey of all available lands in the United States which would be available for
settlement by ex-service men. That survey was made; that was submitted to the United States Congress. That survey showed in the Eastern States there was no land available for settlement; in the Southern States there were some lands available for settlement, and in the Western States there were desert lands a vailable for settlement. The swamp land in the South has too much water, and these western lands haven't got enough water. We are interested primarily as ex-service men in these Western lands and particularly the desert lands which will be reclaimed by the Boulder Canyon Dam and the All-American Canal.
The statement has been made and is prevalent, I think, that exservice men do not desire to settle on land. Now, I have some facts that I want to present to you gentlemen, if you will bear with me for just a few minutes. This is the Reclamation Record; this is the paper that is gotton out by the Department of the United States Government; the Reclamation Service gets this record out. In this record there is a statement on page 221, concerning the opening of the Platte project. I simply cite this to you for the purpose of showing you that there is a demand, a necessary demand, and an insistent demand on behalf of ex-service men for some land on which to settle, and there is no land now available for them.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, may I offer this remark: I am familiar with the report, and one also issued by Secretary Fall and I want to remind you that the present Secretary of the Interior says he has available on irrigation projects 6,000 unoccupied farms. thought perhaps you were not familiar with that statement.
Mr. HEALD. I am familiar with that, yes sir, Mr. Chairman. This other was thrown open in 1919. There were eight units available, and there were over 3,000 men who made application for it. Those 3,000 men deposited with the United States Reclamation Service $1,192,000 to pay the official construction cost necessary to be paid before they could get their land. There were only 80 men who could get land out of that 3,000 men who made application. Now, I looked up the records of the Reclamation Service too, of the Interior Department at Washington at one time when I happened to be there, and I was informed and I found from the records that since 1919, since men were discharged from the United States Army, up to 1924, March, 1924, 204,541 men had made application for land and they had been informed that there wasn't any land. Since that time the Reclamation Service has stated that there have been 1,000 applications a month that have come in.
Now, we feel here in Imperial County, the ex-service men do, that if this legislation goes through it would make available approximately 500,000 acres of land below this dam which would be available for settlement under the Swing-Johnson bill, which would give preference to ex-service men. Those figures I took from the
The CHAIRMAN. That is already an existing statute.
Mr. HEALD. I realize that, yes sir, but we are interested in this legislation because it will make available for settlement under the present Reclamation Act.
Now, on behalf of the ex-service men of Imperial County, I wish to state this, that we have here in Imperial County ex-service men who are farmers. We have men who have been placed on farms here in Imperial County by the Veterans' Welfare Bureau; some 76 or 78 men are now occupying farms which they obtained under the Federal Vocational Training in Imperial County.
We also have in Imperial County ex-service men who are farming land under the Federal welfare bureau of the State, and these men are interested in this legislation for floor protection primarily. That is one reason why they are interested in it. They are interested in seeing further lands brought in, so that other ex-service men who desire--these two hundred odd thousand ex-service men who desire to settle on lands may have an opportunity to do so. Now, there has been a statement made here that the farmers of Imperial Valley do not want to have their lands burdened to help construct the AllAmerican Canal. I can say this on behalf of the ex-service men farmers who are in Imperial Valley, that they are willing to bear their proportionate share of the cost of constructing the All-American Canal in order that this water may be brought in, not necessarily and primarily for land that they are farming, but to reclaim Government land out there on the mesa. They are willing to bear their proportionate share of the cost of constructing that canal for the purpose of making other lands available for other ex-service men.
Senator Dill. Who worked out the figures by which they propose to charge $37 or $38 an acre straight on the present irrigated lands?
Mr. HEALD. Those figures I think you will find, Senator
Senator Dill. Who worked them out? Who made those figures; that is, what organization or set of men?
Mr. HEALD. Do you mean the cost of--construction cost per acre for the construction?
Senator DILL. For the figuring out, what was the basis by which they arrived at that?
Mr. HEALD. It appears in the All-American Canal report. That is my impression of those figures in this
document. There is just one more thing to it: While in Washington at one time, I was before this committee when Senator Kendrick's bill was before the committee. I just wish to say this, that if the Kendrick bill were passed as proposed, and I listened to the testimony very carefully there, I believe that financial assistance could be made available so that an ex-service man could go onto 40 acres of this desert land and make an improved farm out of it. I say that for this reason, that veterans in the State of California have been considered by our own State legislation and have gone upon the farms and out of all the farms that have been given ex-service men here, we haven't had one failure. And if this proposed legislation, as submitted in the Kendrick bill, were put through, as I understand it, land would be made available to ex-service men by which they would have $3;800---I think I am correct in that statement--which they could borrow from the reclamation office, which would be a revolving fund, and if this land were made available and that money were made available, then under the reclamation act which provides that they pay down 5 per cent of the construction cost at the time the land is opened, and it is opened upin five years, then on the beginning of the fifth year after the land is turned over to the veteran, he has 15 years in which to complete his payments. And, I believe, under that there would be no question but what an ex-service man could go on this land and make a productive farm out of it in the course of 10 years anyway.