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opens up a vast field for the exercise of the fertile minds of those who not only oppose Government transmission lines, but believe that the power resulting from Federal expenditures for water-resource conservation should be disposed of in a way that will permit the gleaning of as large a private profit as possible between the reservoir and the ultimate consumer.
Without belaboring the point at length I can only state that the proviso in the river and harbor bill would tend to deprive the Government of access to the widest possible market, and thereby tend to prevent the power from being sold for what it is worth. To an extent which cannot readily be forecast it would impair the Government's ability to market its power wisely, economically, and without discrimination as to public bodies and cooperatives. I cannot very well transmit power to preferred organizations if I am not allowed to go near them. I hope, therefore, that the committee will not insert this restricting proviso in the suggested power amendment to this bill.
Now that I have gotten my second wind, I would like you to bear with me while I put in a word of support for S. 1519, Senator McClellan's bill to provide for the construction, operation, and marketing of power from projects in the basins of the Arkansas and White Rivers, which I understand you are also considering at this time. I think that this bill should be enacted. It spells out to a greater degree than may be desirable in an omnibus bill a program for the coordinated development of the resources of a particular region. Its enactment would make for effective cooperation in the development and utilization of the resources of that region by all of the Federal agencies concerned. The possibilities for great advancement in agriculture and industry and mineral development in the Arkansas and White River Basins have already been ascertained. With effective flood protection, adequate water for irrigation, and large quantities of low cost electric power, the economy of the area can be vastly improved and stabilized.
The result would be real and lasting benefit to its people. I understand that about $250,000,000 is expected to be spent in these basins for dam and reservoir projects. We cannot afford to be hesitant in laying down safeguards for the administration of an investment of that kind. All of the proposed projects do not involve power but the proper integration of the projects and the observance of proper sales policies can make a vital contribution to the welfare of the area in the form of low-cost power. The enactment of S. 1519 would hasten and make more certain the end that we all seek in the way of coordinated basin development. You are probably aware that Senator Maybank has introduced a bill, patterned after Senator McClellan's bill, which would apply to streams in the Carolinas.
In my written report to your committee on S. 1519 I suggested several minor amendments to which I invite your attention. The purpose of the amendments for the most part is to square the bill with other enactments of the same character, such as the Bonneville and Fort Peck Acts. In addition, it seems clear that the marketing of power from the Blakely Mountain Dam project in Arkansas should be under the same administrator and staff as the marketing of power from other projects in Arkansas which would be subject to the pro
visions of S. 1519. Testimony on this matter has already been presented by members of my staff.
The fullest beneficial utilization of water resources necessitates, in addition to irrigation and power, a consideration of other associated values such as recreation and fish and wildlife conservation. I am glad to find a provision for recreation in section 3 of H. R. 4485. My report contains a suggested revision of this section which is designed to strengthen it and to tie its provisions in with existing recreational and fish and wildlife statutes. In order to make the experience of the National Park Service fully available to the War Department in handling the recreational aspects of projects administered by the latter, the proposed revision declares that recreational features at these projects shall be constructed and operated in accordance with plans to be made by the National Park Service. It also provides for the implementation of similar functions conferred upon the Fish and Wildlife Service by the so-called Coordinating Act of 1934. These provisions should promote good management and a better coordination of Federal recreational and conservationist activities. However, I feel obliged to inform you that the Bureau of the Budget has indicated that it does not agree with the suggested revision of section 3.
The issues that I have been discussing are also presented to a considerable extent in Senator Clark's flood control bill, S. 1812, to which I understand that you are giving consideration in connection with H. R. 4485. I am submitting a formal report on that bill suggesting revisions similar to those that I have been urging today. In addition, I recommend that title II of S. 1812 be omitted. The provisions contained in that title are largely repetitious of authorities to conduct soil and moisture conservation work for flood control and related purposes now vested in the Departments of Interior and Agriculture. Because of the somewhat loose manner in which these provisions are written I believe that they would serve to confuse rather than strengthen the programs that are now being carried on in this field, and would serve to unsettle the very satisfactory working arrangements which now exist between this Department, the Department of Agriculture, and the local stockmen and farmers.
In conclusion, the essence of all of my recommendations is this: To take full advantage of the experience and organization that a generation of conservation has created; to provide for the development of the Nation's water resources on a basis that will encourage the maximum utilization of all of their possible benefits; and to follow the principles which the Congress has developed over the years to assure that the benefits of waters conserved for irrigation or for power shall be distributed as widely as possible among the people.
I want to express my sincere thanks to all of you for the many courtesies that have been accorded my associates and myself in the hearings on this and on the rivers and harbors bill. Naturally, when one is convinced that certain definite principles connected with the administration of a public trust are right, he will seek to express those principles as vigorously and as often as possible, even though in so doing he runs counter to the convictions and dispositions of others whose ideas are different. The action that your committee has taken on the rivers and harbors bill encourages me to believe that the views that I have expressed today are in substantial accord with your own. I know that diametrically opposite views have been pressed upon your committee by others. Insofar as they involve a conflict between entrenched interests and the public weal, I can only express the hope that the committee will like me for some of the enemies that I have made.
Senator OVERTON. We thank you very much for your appearance today, Mr. Secretary.
Are there any questions?
Senator MILLIRIN. I would like to ask the Secretary a question, if I may.
Senator OVERTON. Certainly.
Senator MILLIKIN. Mr. Secretary, yesterday we put in the record a letter from you to Senator McClellan in which in substance you stated it would be agreeable to you if the O'Mahoney amendment were put into the McClellan bill. Your testimony was not intended to preclude that?
Mr. Ickes. No. Of course, I think that the proposed legislation like others could be improved and tightened, but I think the principle that is outlined is a sound principle. I think there has been too much catch-as-catch-can in legislation; that while it affects the country as a whole, necessarily it is of particular interest to particular agencies. There ought to be more coordination, more give and take, more desire to work out a general program along coordinated lines.
Senator OVERTON. Mr. Secretary, do I understand you are giving your unqualified approval to the O'Mahoney amendment?
Mr. ICKES. No, as I said, I think the O'Mahoney amendment could be improved. There are certain principles, however, of it that I think might well be considered.
Senator OVERTON. Is that all, Mr. Secretary? Mr. ICKES. That is all that I have to say. Senator OVERTON. Thank you. Mr. ICKES. Well, there is one remark that I would like to make. I didn't think I would dignify it by putting it into my formal statement, but I did read with a good deal of interest Congressman Elliott's testimony before this committee and I am assuming that the committee was no more impressed by it than I was, and that the committee is not going to legislate on the basis of calling names. People call names when they cannot think of convincing arguments, and I will leave it to this committee and will leave it to my record here for 11 years to determine how much of a socialist I am and how communistic I am. I have been trying to carry out faithfully the laws of the Congress which first took their present form under that outstanding “Communist” Theodore Roosevelt; and since his incumbency not only other Republican administrations but Democratic administrations have strengthened and reaffirmed the laws; and whenever the Congress of the United States wants a different type of administration in the Department of the Interior, all that it has to do is to say so. I try to follow the law as laid down by the Congress.
Senator OVERTON. You will of course understand, Mr. Secretary, and readily appreciate that a subcommittee in conducting hearings will have witnesses that will make statements occasionally that perhaps the committee would prefer were not made.
Mr. ICKES. Oh, I understand that.
Senator OVERTON. But as to whether or not to stop an American citizen in his criticism of any official or anyone else is a rather delicate subject, and, after all, if they don't go too far we let them go ahead.
Mr. ÍCKES. I doubt whether it was worth mentioning. The hearings conducted by this committee, so far as my Department is concerned, have been conducted with dignity and on a high plane. We have gone on the theory that what you want is the facts from our point of view, and those we have tried to present.
Senator OVERTON. Well, we certainly welcome your advice and suggestions at any time and we appreciate your appearance here today.
Mr. ICKES. Thank you.
Senator OVERTON. Governor Sharpe of South Dakota is present, and I understand possibly has to leave today or tomorrow, so that the committee is going to extend preference to the Governor and have him appear now.
MISSOURI RIVER VALLEY PROJECT
STATEMENT OF M. Q. SHARPE, GOVERNOR OF SOUTH DAKOTA,
PIERRE, S. DAK. Governor SHARPE. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I certainly appreciate the preference in allowing me to appear now so that I can go if necessary. I will proceed with my statement without further introduction.
My name is M. Q. Sharpe; address, Pierre, S. Dak. I desire to submit the following statement as Governor of South Dakota.
I am also chairman of a committee known as the Missouri River States Committee, which is a committee appointed by the Governors of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Colorado. My statement, however, is not a statement of this committee. The Missouri River States Committee has not yet formally and finally acted on the various plans of Missouri River development which are being considered by Congress. During the summer of the year 1943 this committee conducted public meetings in each of the 8 Missouri River States under the personal auspices of the Governor of each of such States for the purpose of consideration of a general flood-control plan for the Missouri Valley. A printed report of these 8 meetings is available for your consideration if desired.
I am also a member of the Mississippi Valley Association and a member of its resolutions committee, and served as such at its last national convention at St. Louis, Mo., October 16, 1943.
For more than 30 years I have lived on the banks of the Missouri River and have been a member of various associations interested in its development, and have attended many meetings and conventions in all parts of the valley in connection with it. From all this experience I have gained considerable personal familiarity with the entire river system.
I desire to make the following statement in support of H. R. 4485, “A Bill Authorizing the Construction of Certain Public Works on
in latituent at St. drains from
Rivers and Harbors for Flood Control and Other Purposes,” which I shall hereafter refer to as the flood-control bill.
I refer to and make a part of this statement my former statement made before the Flood Control Committee of the House of Representatives on February 16, 1944, as reported in volume II, pages 936, et seq., of the 1943-44 hearings of said committee. I wish to add the following information upon some of the topics discussed in that statement.
My first topic in that statement was and in this statement is that flood control must be the prior and always indispensable element in anv plan of development of any large river system.
To consider this topic intelligently it must always be borne in mind that the Missouri Basin contains 529,000 square miles, or more than one-sixth of the continental United States in area; that the river is 2,470 miles in length and drains from a high elevation of 13,000 feet to a low of 400 feet at St. Louis; also that the upper reaches of this river are in latitudes where much winter weather is common and vast areas, by the time of the spring break-up and run-off, are frequently covered with a heavy blanket of packed snow and ice—thousands of square miles of it-sometimes as much as 4 feet deep. The vast expanse, long mileage, and steep slopes of this river system, coupled with the heavy winter weather conditions over its northern half, make it one of the most continuing dangerous flood threats of the entire Nation. The volume and velocity which its floods attain always tend to enlarge its damage as the flood crest moves down the river, so that it takes out or seriously damages all structures in its path and projects its damage far into the Mississippi, of which it is the largest tributary.
When the House Flood Control Committee considered this bill in February 1944 we presented to it fresh events of the 1943 flood which did a calculated damage of between forty and fifty million dollars along the Missouri in that one year and a plainly apparent but uncalculated damage of very large proportions in addition. Also, there were reviewed flood damages and history for a hundred years back showing plainly that this one river had already done many times the damage that it would cost to take it completely under flood control. Since that date we have the additional evidence of the 1944 flood which affected large areas and localities of the Missouri River and, while not so large in calculated dollar damage as the 1943 flood, is the most logical kind of corroboration of the proposition that flood control must be the prior and indispensable element of any plan for control or development of this Misouri River system.
The wisdom and judgment of any Congress which spends substantial sums of money for irrigation, navigation, power development, or any other structures in this kind of river, without first providing for an absolute flood control, would always be open to serious question and criticism; the advent of any reasonably to be expected flood of the Missouri, taking out one or more of such expensive installations, would undoubtedly foment such questions and criticism into open censure. In fact, it seems almost foolhardy to consider any structures of substantial cost in this river without first taking the sensible, logical step of providing a complete flood control system.
The next topic of my House committee statement on which I wish to make some additional statement is the Army flood-control plan.