Page images
PDF
EPUB

istered when they begin generating it under an Executive order, but that Executive order only applies for the duration. They cannot make a contract for the sale of that power and distribution of it for a period of time beyond the duration of the war. Still, we are going to come to the end of the war some day without any legislative policy with respect to the distribution of power.

Senator BURTON. This is again limited to these projects in this area. The distribution of power would stand as a precedent, in many other cases, would it not? It would be difficult to distinguish one area from another?

Senator McCLELLAN. Yes, sir; I think it would somewhat set a precedent. There would be nothing compulsory about following it in other basins, but it does possibly set a precedent, at least for this particular basin, and as I have said in the beginning, I was not necessarily trying to place a control over other areas, but if they want to follow it, it will have my support.

Senator BURTON. But this would be rather a general policy to crowd into a flood-control bill. I can see why you have introduced it as a separate bill rather than tacking it on as an amendment to the flood-control bill.

Senator McCLELLAN. When I introduced this I could not see what would happen with respect to the flood-control bill, but I have read the flood-control bill and I see no reason why this could not go in as an amendment.

Senator BURTON. Well, it would involve a debate on the floor of the Senate as to distribution of power from all power plants in the country.

Senator McCLELLAN. It might to some extent, Senator. I can foresee that but, after all, if this is the way we want to handle our power down in that particular area, I don't see why possibly other sections of the Nation would particularly object to it when they still have the right to deal with theirs by legislation, as I am undertaking to do with this, in any way they want to. I think, however, this would have a good general policy for the whole Nation,

Second, to dispose of or sell at wholesale this electric energy to public bodies or cooperatives operating primarily for service to the public rather than for profit, particularly to rural cooperatives financed by the Rural Electrification Administration and to private corporations or persons, in that order of preference. That preference is by the act fixed now as a matter of policy.

I want to call your attention to this, the importance of the construction of these projects from the standpoint of flood control. According to the best information I have, the projects now authorized by the Congress when completed would refute the flood hazards of these two streams approximately 50 percent; and, with other projects in the comprehensive program that is anticipated to be made later, if approved by the Congress the reduction in flood losses will probably amount to from 80 to 85 percent.

Now, with respect to the bill, reports have been filed by the Secre. tary of War, Secretary of Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Federal Power Commission, and by the Budget—the Secretary of the Budget. I will not go into great detail regarding these reports. Some amend. ments are suggested, but I have looked at the reports of the Army engineers. They returned a copy of the bill with some-one particularly suggested amendment, and I would have no objection to that amendment. It deals with the storage for irrigation and navigation purposes. Then they suggested one or two amendments, which are just a change of wording, and which are all right. The Secretary of the Interior recommends the bill and I quote from his report:

I recommend that the bill be enactedand further, in commenting on the measure, he saysit seems appropriate for me to state that I consider the basic plan and objective of the bill to be timely; the bill would provide a policy and a framework for the prosecution of an integrated efficient program of water control and utilization in the basins of the White and Arkansas Rivers.

Senator BURTON. Of course, he was writing of a separate bill. He didn't have the issue before him of whether it should be put in as a separate flood-control bill. He didn't attempt to cover that point?

Senator McCLELLAN. No; that point is not covered in any of the reports. Usually if they approve the principles of the bill it indi. cates they would have no objection, whether the bill was enacted as an amendment or a separate flood-control bill. It would have no effect on any other projects in the bill.

Senator BURTON. It might hold up all the other flood-control projects.

Senator McCLELLAN. I don't see why it should. No construction is going to be done until the appropriations are made by the Congress.

Senator BURTON. I meant because of its controversial character.
Senator MCCLELLAN. Its controversial character ?
Senator BURTON. And its widespread application.

Senator McCLELLAN. My thought is this: Some day Congress ought to take responsibility for settling some policy. We are authorizing millions of dollars on all the streams of the Nation and nobody knows today who is administering these projects; we are generating power but we cannot make contracts

Senator BURTON. I am not disputing that point. I was just trying to feel my way along as to its effect as an amendment to a floodcontrol bill such as we have here.

Senator McCLELLAN. Yes, sir. The Secretary of Agriculture is very favorable in his report on the measure and they point out the benefits that agriculture will derive from it. The Federal Power Commission will request certain amendments. They rather favor the policy or idea of establishing an authority over each of these streams. Well, I point out again that the purpose of this bill is not to establish a new agency of the Government or a new authority, but to try to do this job within the existing executive branches of the Government, agencies already established that are permanent. I may be wrong in that theory, but I am not seeking to set up any new authority. I am trying to avoid it. Now, other recommendations of the Federal Power Commission are, with respect to certain provisions of the Federal Power Act, sections 301, 302, and 303 of the Federal Power Act, that they be made applicable. I have no serious objection to that.

Senator OVERTON. Will you file their communications with your statement ?

millions of who is admke contracting that p

powers today who is on all the ng some policome day Co

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Horeams. Welldea of estabertain amenrom it. Theer, poin

tout doing an auments. The Federat out

Senator McCLELLAN. Well, they are on file with the committee. I was just making brief comments. The Federal Power Commission further recommends that section 3 of the bill be amended to providethat rates and schedules shall be based upon allocation of costs, to be made by the Commission as between production of electric energy and other purposes such as flood control, navigation, and irrigation.

I have no objection to such an amendment. I think it is proper. The bill is not perfect.

Senator OVERTON. You have no objection to allocation of costs being made by the Federal Power Commission?

Senator MCCLELLAN. I don't care what agency makes it, whichever one Congress is willing to make is satisfactory to me.

Senator OVERTON. But they want to make that allocation?

Senator McClILLAN. They do. I think the Federal Power Commission does make it now under some of the acts of Congress with respect to other basins. As far as I know I don't have any disagreement with the Federal Power Commission on this, except I don't want to set up another authority or another agency. You remember bills have been introduced in past sessions of Congress to establish an Arkansas Valley Authority. I believe we can do this without establishing a new authority. I woudn't have any serious objection to an authority bill, but we run into opposition to turning over our streams to an authority, whereas I rather think it is better to keep your established streams like this, where there are many levees and projects, and so forth, under the Army Engineers. I think it is better to keep the jurisdiction and the authority and the responsibility under the established agencies of the Government.

The Secretary of the Budget apparently approves the measure in his report, subject to the amendment, subject to making sections 301, 302, and 303 of the Federal Power Act applicable. He further recommends a slight modification in section 6 which is not objectionable.

Now, Mr. Chairman, sometime after I introduced this bill I received from the President of the United States a letter dated January 14, 1944, which I would like to read into the record at this time:

THE WHITE HOUSE,

Washngton, January 14, 1944. Hon. John L. McCLELLAND,

United States Senate. MY DEAR SENATOR MCCLELLAN: I am very much interested in your bill, S. 1519, relating to the construction and operation of water control and utilization proje ects in the basins of the Arkansas and White Rivers. Enactment of the bill would be an important forward step in effectuation of the policy of multiplepurpose development of our great river basins and the prudent conservation of our vast public resources.

I feel certain that the people whose homes are in the basins of the Arkansas and White Rivers and the soldiers who will want to return to the area and to work and make homes there would be deeply grateful if the Congress were to pass S. 1519. The benefits that they would derive from a well-coordinated program for the prevention and control of floods, the improvement of navigation, the disposition of low-cost electric power, and the irrigation of fertile lands would be of incalculable value. I am particularly pleased that the direct and more tangible henefits from power and irrigation would be made available in accordance with the sound principles of public benefit that the Congress has previously laid down. Sincerely yours,

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT.

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate very much the courtesy of the committee in permitting me to appear and present in a general way this measure, and I respectfully request that the committee hear representatives of the different departments. I believe I see a member of my State flood-control commission present, Mr. Caudle, from Russellville, and I would like to have him testify on this bill while he is in the city. I believe I can say the bill has the approval of the floodcontrol commission of my State. I believe they have passed resolutions

Senator OVERTON. Senator, before you finish I want to ask a few questions.

Senator McCLELLAN. I would be very happy to try and answer them, Mr. Chairman.

Senator OVERTON. I think this committee would like to work into the House bill such provisions of your bill as they approve of, and are not already covered by the House bill. My impression, as I stated to you at the outset, is that many of the provisions of your bill are already covered by the House bill. I may observe, in addition, that the power provisions contained in your bill have been thoroughly studied by this committee in the river and harbor bill; they have recommended an amendment to which I will call your attention in a few minutes. Now, you take section 1 of your bill. The general principles and purposes therein set forth are practically the same as those set forth in H. R. 4485.

Senator McCLELLAN. No; I don't think they are set forth as soundly and as vigorously in the House flood-control bill.

Senator OVERTON. Well, the main purposes of flood control and the main purpose of a project of this character are set forth in this section 1 of the bill.

Senator BURTON. Section 2 of the bill, Mr. Chairman.

Senator OVERTON. Yes; I mean section 2. I was talking about section 1 of the House bill; section 2 of your bill, section 2 of S. 1519 is practically the same as to the general purposes to be served as that already contained in H. R. 4485.

Senator McCLELLAN. Well, then, if that is correct, this bill as an amendment, with respect to these two particular basins, would do no violence to the general principles of the flood-control bill.

Senator OVERTON. Well, there is no necessity to repeat the provisions, because we are taking up projects in a certain prescribed way and if they are already covered there would be no necessity of repeating them.

There is, however, one provision that you have in the bill that is contrary to the general provisions of the House bill and that is, these projects in the Arkansas and White River Basins shall be initiated as expeditiously as practicable and in any event not later than immediately following the cessation of hostilities in the present war. The purpose of the flood-control bill is to establish a backlog of projects and no appropriations are to be made for these projects until 6 months after the cessation of hostilities. Now, we cannot very well make a distinction between the projects in the Arkansas and White River Basins and projects in the other areas of the United States. We either have to adopt your language and make it apply to all of them, or else stand upon the provisions of the House bill in that regard.

Senator McCLELLAN. I don't know, Senator, that they will be able to get to any of them before 6 months after the war, but if we get through this thing and the war is over and our soldiers come back here and there is no jobs for them, do you know what is going to happen? In my judgment we are going to have to provide another blank check in the form of appropriations and turn it over to some agency to find jobs for them. If we can get this law enacted with respect to the White and Arkansas River Basins and these projects under construction, there won't be very much need for some agency of the Government to go out and try to find jobs. We will create a lot of jobs.

Senator OVERTON. Well, is may be that the House bill should be amended to provide for the prosecution of these works immediately upon cessation of hostilities and not wait for 6 months thereafter. However, that would be a matter for the committee to determine, but certainly whatever provision is applied in that regard to the White and Arkansas Rivers ought to be applied to all other areas in the United States.

Senator McCLELLAN. I certainly would have no objection. I think the policy would be sound as to all of them.

Senator OVERTOX. Now, take section 3A of your bill in which you provide that dams and other works shall be constructed and operated under direction of the Secretary of War and the supervision of the Chief of Engineers. That provision already appears in the House bill.

Senator McCLELLAN. I think that does. I think that is substantially covered, but there would be one difference as to policy, and that is subsection D which sets out a different policy that is not covered in the House bill.

Senator OVERTON. Well, what would be done with each project is determined primarily by recommendations made by the Engineers when they make a study of the project. They recommend for flood control and also for power if it is capable of generating power, and they take up each project by itself and make the recommendation to Congress, as each one of these projects is submitted in a report to the Congress. Don't you think that is a better policy than to undertake to state that all projects constructed in the White and Arkansas Rivers shall be for navigation, flood control, generation of hydroelectric power, and reclamation and irrigation purposes? Each project comes up on its own merits and it is determined whether or not it is capable of irrigation use, capable of generation of power, whether it is beneficial from a flood-control standpoint or from a navigation standpoint. It seems to me that is the orderly process and procedure.

Senator McCLELLAN. Well, that is not done by any declaration of law. You have not declared that to be the policy.

Senator OVERTON. Oh, yes.
Senator McCLELLAN. Not as provided in subsection D.

Senator OVERTON. You are correct, we do not determine in advance that a project shall be used for all multiple purposes or just certain multiple purposes or only one purpose, but as the project is presented with the recommendations of the Chief of Engineers we determine what the purposes of that project will be.

Senator MCLELLAN. Well, that is true, when you authorize a project in your authorization bills for their construction, you authorize

« PreviousContinue »