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I believe that the Pick plan, supplemented with the Bureau of Reclamation projects, will take 12 years or more to construct and that appropriations of $60,000,000 a year would carry the plan to completion. During these 12 years the project would be consuming a great deal of labor and equipment. This would afford a practicable aid to millions of people who will soon be returning from the war and to whom the Federal Government plainly owes the obligation of post-war adjustment.
The Pick plan is a flood-control plan and must be justified on that basis before consideration of its advantages as a source of irrigation, navigation, and power.
During the 1913 flood, the direct loss in the valley was $90,000,000 besides the millions of dollars of damage annually through bank erosion of rich bottom lands, and the yearly loss of crop production that is never directly calculated.
This river plan would not only aid the Missouri River Basin, but is necessary if the Mississippi River is ever to to have a safe and sure flood-control plan.
It seems plain that we have a plan on which the United States has spent much money for surveying, engineering, and preparation, and which would result in the construction of a great internal improvement of natural resources belonging to the Nation, covering more than one-sixth of the Nation, located in the geographical center of it, and which, among other benefits produced, would connect its great industrial East and its great industrial and agricultural South by a useful, cheap, supplemental transportation system.
The conflict of interests betweeen the irrigation advocates in the upper basin and the navigation enthusiasts on the middle and lower river is more apparent than real. This apparent conflict is based solely on the question of whether there is enough water for the present and future requirements of each. I believe, as the United States engineers do, that the conflict will be dissolved by the storage possibilities of the proposed reservoirs. The conflicts can be reconciled, compromised and adjusted so that this great national improvement can start on its way of benefit for the present generation and generations to come.
The plan above Sioux City, Iowa, consists of seven huge multiple-purpose reservoirs and would be the most expensive part of the project. The total for this would be $385,000,000. The seven reservoirs will have a storage capacity in acre-feet of 41,000,000, adding Fort Peck Reservoir now built, of 20,000,000, making a total of 61,000,000 acre-feet of storage.
Since all of these dams are necessary for flood control and storage to carry over dry periods, they should be multiple-purpose ones, so that the water can be used for irrigation, navigation, power, water supply, pollution abatement, wildlife conservation, and recreation purposes. Such a framework, because it will not be completed for many years, must be sufficiently flexible to meet changed conditions that may arise in the future. The Pick plan has this flexibility.
The Upper Missouri Valley Association has always favored irrigation where it is feasible and also favors navigation and its benefits to the valley as a whole.
It is the opinion of the Upper Missouri Valley Association: That Congress called on the Army engineers, probably the most respected agency of its kind in the world, to prepare a plan;
The plan was prepared by Colonel Pick who is regarded as highly as anyone; so highly that he has been called to direct the building of the Ledo Road in Burma by the War Department;
The Pick plan is the deliberate judgment of the Corps of Engineers;
That the Missouri River watershed will provide enough water by storing the floods to serve all purposes.
If during any period of drouth that judgment should prove wrong, then the engineers urge that irrigation should be given first priority on the water. With that recommendation our association wholeheartedly agree. We think the current quarreling, if persisted in, will produce nothing but disaster and failure for all in the valley.
We do not think there is any real conflict between irrigation and navigation and if we thought there were not enough water, would favor irrigation. Let's store the water in the reservoirs as now proposed, and in the years to come these so-called differences can be settled without injury to any interests in the valley. Respectfully submitted,
JOHN D. FORSYTH, President, Upper Missouri Valley Associaiton, Niobrara, Nebr.
TOPEKA, KANS., June 10, 1944. Senator John H. OVERTON,
Şenate Commerce Committee. I am in favor of the Pick plan as a comprehensive plan of development for the Missouri River Valley. I am confident that it permits the constructive and necessary adjustments to meet all reasonable requirements of sectional interests as the development proceeds. I hope that the proper enactments can be effected to permit development to get under way as soon as possible. Best regards.
ANDREW F. SCHOEPPEL,
Governor of Kansas. Senator OVERTON. Senator Austin, the committee will be very glad to hear from you.
STATEMENT OF SENATOR WARREN R. AUSTIN, OF VERMONT
Senator Austin. Mr. Chairman, gentlemen of the committee, I am going to try to be very brief on account of your own great responsibilities and the exactions upon your time and energy involved in this important bill. I speak in favor of the Millikin amendment, offered Friday, June 9, to H. R. 4485.
As I understand this problem, in its present setting, which is some different from the setting in 1938 when the distinguished chairman of this committee and I had our keen debate on the floor of the Senate, connected with the Barkley amendment. As I understand its setting today I am practically assuming for the basis of what I have to say that the distinguished Senator from Louisiana was right and that the Senator from Vermont was not right; but I do not admit it, I just make that for the record, to keep the record straight. There may be a time when we can debate the fundamental question and perhaps come to an agreement; I do not know.
Taking the law as its exists, assuming that the policy of centralization is correct and that flood control is distinctively a national problem and can be settled—which I do not admit, for I shall take the same position that the Attorney General of Vermont has taken and will take on this bill, that the administration of it at least is local or regional-yet assuming all these things, I say that this amendment offered by the Senator from Colorado is extremely important..
It represents a principle of government which is just exactly as important asthe principle of Federal control of flood control. It is a principle of government that affects the feelings and the judgment of the people of America today quite as much as it ever did, as evidenced by what occurred at the governors' meeting in Philadelphia, when both Democratic governors and Republican governors emphasized this same principle throughout their meeting.
It is not a step backward. It is not quite the same thing as the old States' rights controversy. It is a step forward. It contains a new principle of government, which is entirely in harmony with the times that have been developed by a world war and the development of progress, and development even of the world, especially in the world of government. Assuming that the Federal Government rightfully takes charge of the great rivers of the Nation, and rightfully says this problem of flood control is a national one, nevertheless, we must not forget that the evil tendency of that is to concentrate enormous power in the Federal Government, and that we should all be guarding against that trend, which is extremely present and a great temptation to us in time of war, and, of course, immediately after the invasion of Europe. We now feel the necessity of speed, of united effort, and all the power that comes from concentration; and so we have a duty as I see it, as Senator and legislators, to look around and see what we do not get now so deep in this proposition of centralization that we cannot get out of it.
The new principle is a principle of cooperation, it is not the principle of separation of State and National or State and Federal authority. In my opinion, with the brief study I have made of it, it is a better principle than that of separation. It is stated quite succinctly in the first paragraph of the amendmentto recognize the interests and rights of the States in determining the develop-ment of the watersheds within their borders and likewise their interests and rights in water utilization and control; to preserve and protect to the fullest possible extent established and potential uses, for all purposes, of the waters of the Nation's rivers; to facilitate the consideration of projects on a basis of comprehensive, basin-wide development; and to limit the authorization and construction of navigation works to those in which a substantial benefit to navigation will be realized therefrom and which can be operated consistently with appropriate and economic use of the waters of such rivers by other
And thereupon, it goes on and lays out a scheme for consultation, for joint study of the problem of the convenience and necessity for the development of any new project, giving to the affected State and States a chance to be heard. What does it cost? What does it cost in time? Time? It is admitted that it costs time, and it might cost a long time in some cases. For example, there is the first 90 days, mentioned in the amendment; then there is the second 90 days; so that there might be even 180 days involved in getting this plan considered by both State and Federal Governments and submitted to the Congress. Then it might cost a little time; but we are dealing in a long-run project; we are dealing with demobilization or remobilization. We are looking forward; our vision is not foreshortened. This question of 180 days might be disturbing for some particular thing, but relative to the great problem of government that is involved here it must be considered as relatively unimportant.
I will not take your time to analyze this amendment. You have already done it. You know more about it than I do.
Senator BURTON. Mr. Chairman, would it be appropriate to inquiry just there? I am not so familiar as I might be with the particular language, but isn't it true that the 180 days might expand into a great deal longer period than that if there were not an agreement reached forthwith?
Senator AUSTIN. Yes, it is true.
Senator OVERTON. I have not had the opportunity, Senator, I should say, to read the amendment.
Senator AUSTIN. Would you mind, then, if I read it?
Senator OVERTON. It was read here by Senator Millikin into the record.
Senator Austin. Oh, well, then I will not read it.
Senator AUSTIN. I have called attention to this, in view of the question. On page 2 in clause (b), the Senator says:
The authorization, if objections thereto are set forth in such a submission, shall not be effective unless and until otherwise provided by subsequent act of Congress.
That might prolong it further than 180 days.
Senator BURTON. The 180 days brings it to an issue, if it is to be brought to an issue?
Senator AUSTIN. Yes.
Senator BURTON. And the determination of the issue may take much longer?
Senator AUSTIN. Yes. It may not ever have such issue, at all; in all likelihood it would not, for the consultative process has been disclosed to be effective in bringing reasonable people together. I can hardly imagine more than a few cases where objection would get to the point of being presented to Congress. It might arise first in the study made in the field. There, the Army engineers work it out, and local people, to their entire satisfaction; and by the time it reached here the fight would be all over.
What is the difference, anyway, between that and this method ? People come in here from States and object to particular projects, right now, and that takes time. They are not quite so successful generally speaking as they would be if they were in the field and looking at the project before it was all crystallized. I think the States now are at a great disadvantage in that regard, and that the plan is all formulated before they get a shot at it. They do not have a chance to direct or to modify or to mold in any way the plan, so to to adapt it to the wishes of 'hte people of the State or to the plans, or to have any regard for those things that are just as full of trouble as they can be for us, as national legislators; that is, those things that affect the removal of graveyards, church, courthouses, villages, and ancient landmarks. They have an awful lot of disquite in them, and we can avoid that by having a principle of cooperation written into the law. We should have laws to live by, and not edicts of men to direct us and govern us.
That principle is a good principle, and is being encouraged and urged upon Congress in many ways. It comes to us today—this very day—in a report of the special George committee, so-called. I am not going to take a long time to read it to you, but I would just like to call attention to a phrase or two in it which carries this thing.
In the first place, the report, at page 7 refers to these projects, such as the flood-control project, in this way:
Careful consideration should also be given to the preparation of a portfolio of useful public works that can be started quickly, and terminated quickly, to be held as a reserve and to be utilized only when necessary, in order to avoid Government-works projects merely for the purpose of providing workto which everyone apparently is opposed.
Useful public-works projects in the field of road building, reclamation, irrigation, flood control, and probably many other fields, are thoroughly justified. The smaller the individual project within reasonable bounds the better, as it is the small project that can be started quickly and terminated quickly when the need for it as a prop to employment is passed.
The Congress should also determine to what extent if any it expects to subsidize public-works projects by States and their political subdivisions. The fiscal position of the States has improved to such an extent in recent years that there probably is neither reason for justification for Federal subsidies to the States for public works. However, many local governments have public-works projects in the blueprint stage, and they may not be in the same happy financial condition, and until they know whether the Federal Government is going to participate in the cost of those projects they are hindered from going ahead with their financing plans. They should know what the situation is to be in this respect, so that if necessary they can go ahead with their own financing. Careful consideration might well be given to loans to States and their political subdivisions for architectural and engineering fees and other things preliminary to the preparation of their projects and pending their financing.
I turn over to page 10, where there also is reference to this overlapping of Federal and State functions, overlapping the functions of government; and this committee, of which I am a member, made a report on February 9, this year, in which it said:
Regional, State, and local considerations have been overlooked of necessity in the mobilization for war, for in war central power is essential. They cannot be overlooked in the reconstruction program for which we are now preparing. The economic life of this Nation must not be permitted to become dependent upon Washington directives for peace as it has been for war.
Now, skipping, on the bottom of that same page, 10, the last line:
It follows that it should leave to the States those matters that do not necessarily fall within its orbit. The States must reexamine and reassert those responsibilities. On the other hand, the citizens, as well as the States and their political subdivisions, must cease to look to Washington for aid on every problem that burdens them. Local authority and local responsibility must go hand in hand. If the Congress discharges its obligations in the fields set out above, we can well have what Mr. Baruch called “an adventure in prosperity." If it does not survey these fields and reach wise decisions in them, we can well have economic chaos.
I urge due consideration of this amendment, on the theory that it has in it the element of unity, it has in it the quality of government by the people. In other words, admitting if you want to that flood control is a Federal interest primarily, still, the administration of flood-control legislation ought to give the several States, away out on the end of the branches of government, a participation in it at the earliest stage, not wait till the Federal Government has made the plan and crystallized it with the idea of presenting it to the Congress, and then have our people come down all aroused as they were in a recent case—actually terrified, at the possibilities. Of course, they were nobly cared for through the wisdom of this committee. I am entirely satisfied. I am not making any comment to express dissatisfaction in respect to what has passed; I think it was a fine disposal of the problem; but you will not always get that; and how much better it would be, and probably how much better the plan would be, if the people had their chance to participate in it in the beginning.
How much better it would have been, this very moment, with respect to the West River project, had the people been able to present to Congress as fully in the early days the plan for flood control on that river, instead of having to come down here to be put in the place of opposition to the Army engineers, a place they do not want to be in.
In other words, where there is an alternative, why not have it submitted to the Army engineers, and then a review of it made and submitted to the Congress, before Congress makes the authorization ?