Page images




Yuma, Ariz. The committee met, pursuant to adjournment of yesterday, at 8.30 o'clock p. m., in the banquet room of the Southern Pacific Hotel, Yuma, Ariz., Senator Charles L. McNary presiding.

Present: Senators Means (chairman), Jones of Washington, Phipps, Kendrick, Cameron, Pittman, Oddie, Shortridge, Dill, Johnson, and Ashurst.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will now commence its session. The hour is late, and if any of you desire to go, I hope you may find it convenient to do so at this time, so you will not disturb the meeting. But we will be pleased to have you all remain. I am very happy that you have shown by your behavior that you would like to remain.

At the request of a member of the Senate committee, as the first witness this evening, I am going to call upon Mr. D. E. Carpenter, of Denver, Colo. Mr. Carpenter, do you desire to stand while you make your remarks? You will be seated, Mr. Carpenter, and it is hoped that you may give to the record your observations in as brief a period as possible. We will be glad to hear you make your statement. STATEMENT OF DELPH E. CARPENTER, ATTORNEY, COLORADO

Mr. CARPENTER. In view of certain discussions by the committee at its meeting at El Centro respecting the matter of conducting the negotiations of the Colorado River commissioners at Santa Fe and the author of the compact, I am requested to make a statement concerning the compact and to cover the details of proceedings at Santa Fe. The question presents itself as a phase of the human element concerning the Colorado River compact and its adoption. It would probably be nothing but fair to the committee, at least fair to the committee, to go a little into the earlier history respecting the negotiations which led up to the compact. They are embodied in an address issued by the governors of four of the States, recently published in the press in part. I will ask the attorney general of Colorado at the appropriate time to read that address into the record as part of my talk.

The CHAIRMAN. May it not go into the record right here without being read?

Mr. CARPENTER. Yes; this I present for entry into the record, an address issued at Denver, Colo., by the governors of the four upper States in August of this year, the address being directed to the people of the States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

This address goes into the various history leading up to the conclusion of the Colorado River compact. To the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming:

1. The Colorado River rises in the States of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. The lands are arid and the first use of the waters of the river is essential to the growth, development, and general welfare of our States. The construction of enormous works on the lower river, which might give rise to assertions of claim to monopolies and exclusive use of our waters, would be destructive of our institutions and inimical to our welfare unless adequate protection is provided in advance of such construction. The Colorado River compact affords this protection. It protects the future development of the upper States without injury to the States of the lower basin and permits imme. diate construction of necessary flood-control works on the lower river without resultant injury to the upper States. Its provisions are fair and just. Our legislature ratified the compact, but for reasons of interstate comity, we remained silent that the States of Arizona and California might conclude their discussions. But conditions now demand that we speak lest our silence be misconstrued.

2. To a more complete understanding we respectfully call attention to the following events :

(a) In 1905 the Colorado River broke over the protecting divide and flowed across the farms of the Imperial Valley and into the Salton Sea, eroding a deep gorge and threatening to completely submerge the entire basin, its farms, towns, and cities. Later the river destroyed the fields on portions of the Yuma project of the United States Reclamation Service in Arizona. The everincreasing flood menace caused the citizens of Arizona and California to press the necessity of early flood control and river regulation upon the attention of the States of the Colorado River Basin. National and State agencies were solicited to aid in solving the flood menace, and a meeting of representatives of the seven Colorado River States was held at Salt Lake City, Utah, January 18–21, 1919, at which representatives of Arizona and California ably and earnestly importuned the upper States, úpon pleas of humanity and necessity of immediate preservation of lives and property, to assist in the organization of a general program of flood control, with full assurances that any works constructed for such purposes would in no wise injure or interfere with present or future development of the upper States of the basin.

(6) Similar representative meetings were held at Los Angeles, at which the theme of interstate cooperation in immediate flood control for the protection of Yuma project in Arizona and the Imperial Valley in California was persuasively presented to the attention of the delegates, and on August 25–27; 1920, a similar meeting was held at Denver, Colo., where representatives of Arizona and California again urged the necessity of immediate aid upon humanitarian grounds and gave renewed assurances that works constructed would never become a source of monopolistic claims or of interference with future development in the upper States. The Governor of Arizona presided and the Director of the United States Reclamation Service and others represented that the water supply of the Colorado River is adequate to meet present and future necessities of the Colorado River States, and that the use of waters by flood control and other contemplated works for the benefit of the lower river would not interfere with the future use of the waters of the river in the upper States. l'pon assurances so given the following resolution was adopted :

Resolved, That it is the sense of this conference that the present and future rights of the several States whose territory is in whole or in part included within the drainage area of the Colorado River, and the rights of the United States, to the use and benefit of the waters of said stream and its tributaries should be settled and determined by compact or agreement between said States and the United States, with consent of Congress, and that the legislatures of said States be requested to authorize the appointment of a commissioner for each of said States for the purpose of entering into such compact or agreement for subsequent ratification and approval by the legislature of each of said States and the Congress of the United States."

(c) The legislatures of the Colorado River States and Congress promptly authorized the Colorado River Commission to give legal form and binding force to the many assurances theretofore given by representatives of Arizona and California in order to permit immediate flood protection. At a meeting held at Riverside, Calif., December 8-10, 1921, the extreme necessity of imme diate action was again pressed upon the States and the members of the Colo

rado River Commission by representatives of Los Angeles and southern California municipalities, the Imperial Valley, and the Yuma project in Arizona.

(d) Moved by considerations of humanity and immediate necessity, the governors of the Colorado River States met at Denver, May 10, 1921, and adopted resolutions requesting Congress and the President to provide for the appointment of a representative of the United States upon the Colorado River Commission. These resolutions were presented to the President by the governors at Washington, May 19, 1921, and thereafter Hon. Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce, was appointed. After a full study of the problems of the river the commission concluded the Colorado River compact at Santa Fe, N. Mex., November 24, 1922. The legislatures of the Colorado River States, except Arizona (one of the States pleading for immediate flood protection), failed to recommend approval of the compact and the legislature took no action.

(e) The failure of the Arizona Legislature to approve the compact prevented flood control. The States of Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming by action of the 1925 sessions of their legislatures offered to avoid further delay by the concurrent enactment of uniform legislation by the six ratifying States to provide that the compact should be effective between the States of California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming when the six named States should have enacted such legislation, without awaiting action by Arizona. But the State of California failed to agree, thus preventing the compact from becoming immediately effective, thereby again delaying construction of flood-control works.

3. The States of the upper basin, with promptness and without reservations, have passed every measure essential to make the Colorado River compact effective and flood control and other development immediately available. But our proffers of cooperation and good will have been ignored; our silence has been misconstrued ; threats of groundless litigation against us are being encouraged and efforts are being made to secure the construction of enormous works along the lower river, without our consent and without regard to our future necessities and the welfare of our Commonwealths.

4. We stand now, as we have consistently stood throughout all negotiations, for prompt action that will provide adequate flood control in the lower basin of the Colorado River, but as an economic proposition such flood-control works would not be constructed unless the waters controlled are also appropriated and utilized for profit in the production of power and for other purposes. To make claim to waters of the river under such appropriations without first protecting the upper States by an equitable division of the waters, as provided in the compact, would menace future development in those States. This must not be. We can not and will not cooperate with the lower basin States until protection is afforded our States by compact between the States interested. To that end the representatives of our States stand ready to meet the representatives of the lower basin States, together with those of the Federal Governmen, to discuss and effect plans whereby flood control and full development of the river may proceed. Therefore, pending and until the approval of the Colorado River compact, considerations of self-preservation compel us to oppose the construction of any works for flood control, power development, or any other uses, and we call upon the Senators and Representatives in Congress of the States of Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico. Utah, and Wyoming, and the public officials of said States, to use every legitimate means to protect the rights of our States as set forth herein.

5. We commend and indorse efforts now in progress to bring about cooperative action by citizens to organize for the common purpose of protecting present and future development in the upper states.

6. We earnestly ask the attention of the Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation of the Senate of the United States, authorized to proceed during the month of October to make a close and intimate study of the problems of the Colorado River Basin, to the point of view of the upper States, as set forth in this address. Done at Denver, Colo., Saturday, August 29, 1925.


Governor of Wyoming. GEO. H. DERN,

Governor of Utah. CLARENCE J. MORLEY,

Governor of Colorado. A. T. HANNETT,

Governor of New Mecici

Mr. CARPENTER. The question has arisen, though, as to what degree were the deliberations of that body executive, and, if so, was the session one described as a star chamber session?

The Colorado River Commission, as this committee will well remember, was the outgrowth of acts of the legislatures of the seven States and of Congress, appointments to the commission having been made by the Governors of these States and by the President. The hearings of the commission commenced in Washington, D. C., in open session at the Department of Commerce. At that' session the officers of the commission were selected, Mr. Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce, being made chairman of the commission, and Mr. Clarence C. Stetson, secretary. After two days of open session the commission went into executive session for the purpose of ascertaining various details of the subject matter presented and arranging for future itinerary. That was in January, 1922. In that year, in the spring, the commission held a series of hearings throughout the Southwest; beginning at Phoenix, going to Yuma, up to Boulder Dam, in the Imperial Valley, at Los Angeles, Salt Lake, Grand Canyon, Denver, and Cheyenne. Much the same material was presented before that commission as has been presented before this committee. Sessions were open; everybody had the privilege of speaking who cared to, and the committee gave all of the time requested to the hearings it held in the various sections where problems of importance were presented.

It was then agreed by this commission that they would adjourn until immediately following the election in November, realizing that if such an adjournment was not taken various people with political ambition would immediately draw the river question into cheap partisan politics. The commission reconvened some two days

. after the election, at Santa Fe, N. Mex., at the Bishop's Lodge, which had been selected by a subcommittee as the place to meet. The first day's session was an open session at which the Diamond Creek project of this State of Arizona, and other projects presented some important data, and finished the completion of the presentation of their case. Hotel accommodations at Bishop's Lodge were limited, and the many visitors coming with business or upon missions of curiosity found themselves badly crowded. The commission went into what I might call semi-executive session after the first day; that is to say, there were present at these sessions the commission, its officials, and reporters. All the governors of the seven States came and went with freedom, without restraint. All the newly elected governors were invited to be present and participate, not in the discussions, but in looking on and in the discussions on the side lines. All the attorneys general of the seven States, any Federal official or official of any department of the Federal Government, for example, Mr. Hoover came there with Mr. Hamlet, his legal adviser, Arthur P. Davis, and Mr. Smith as his engineering advisors. Each commissioner took with him also an engineering or legal adviser and others still, in addition, were present at those sessions throughout, from beginning to end. At no time did the Colorado River Commission go into completely executive

« PreviousContinue »