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That is the rational way to do it, instead of forcing our people into the position of being opponents to the project, and obliging them to come down here to Washington, several of them, in order to prove to a committee in Washington that the plan is unwise, and that they know a way, apparently, of handling it wisely and having the flood-control project really established in a better form when it is done that way.
Before I finish, I want to read into the record a statement by our attorney general. It is brief. May I do that?
Senator OVERTON. Indeed, you may.
Senator Austin. This is by Alban J. Parker, attorney general of Vermont :
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I do not raise my voice in objection to the principle of flood control. As has been stated many times before, Vermont is not opposed to flood control; we are convinced that all reasonable means should be adopted to control flood waters in our streams to the end that the loss in life and damage to property may be reduced to a minimum.
We are prompted by a deep-seated belief in fundamental principles to protect against the methods which are written into present Federal legislation.
It has been said that flood control is national in scope. This, we believe, is unsound. The flood-control problem may rightfully be said to be national in scope—the means of combatting this danger are State or regional.
As the statutes now stand the agency designated to act in flood-control plans can proceed in developing its plans without reference to local interests or needs. The plans are then submitted to Congress. If congressional hearings are held, the persons or interests claiming to be aggrieved may appear before the committee hearing these matters. Here, however, is the present undesirable situation. I like this part of his speech.
The aggrieved persons are put in the position of opponents to the plan. The Corps of Army Engineers having submitted its findings quite naturally becomes an abvocate for its proposals. The usual procedure leaves the congressional committee in a place where it must approve or reject the Army plan for dams und other works-no alternative is available and changes are still quite naturally resented by the engineers. The engineers have made the studies and the conclusions arrived at embody what these engineers believe are proper conclusions.
Our position is that present legislation be so amended as to make it mandatory for the Federal agency to consult with local people and local interests and include in plans for dams and other works such reasonable suggestions as will best protect local values as well as to give protection to lives and property further down the course of the stream or streams.
We sincerely urge this committee give serious consideration to and favorable action upon this request.
In making this request we have in mind (though we realize the request can be considered by this committee only as bearing upon the subject matter before it) that such amendment, in order to be effective throughout the Nation, should be included in legislation dealing with all phases of water control such as the following (a) Flood control; (b) River and Harbor Acts, except those waters which are strictly within the older concept of navigable waters; (c) Federal Power Commission; (d) reclamation service; and (e) soil erosion.
We believe such modifications as are here suggested are entirely feasible in practice and are consonant with the democratic way of carrying out governmental functions.
We further believe that this is a matter entirely within the province of the leg. islative branch. It is stated in Oklahoma ex rel. Phillips v. Atkinson Co. (85 L Ed. 1487, 1503 (313 U. S. 508, 61 S. Ct. 1050) ) : “But the fact that Congress has introduced power development into this project as a paying partner does not derogate from the authority of Congress to construct the dam for flood control, including river flow."
In summary, we urgently request the Congress as representing the people and the States, to incorporate into Federal legislation provisions for giving to the States and localities a real voice in and reasonable control over the waters within their borders which form one of the most valuable assets of this great land and from which they were excluded by the act of 1938 and subsequent legislation.
I thank you very much for your courteous hearing:
Senator OVERTON. Senator, we certainly appreciate your appearance and the statement you have given. You referred to paragraph (b) of the Millikin amendment
Senator MILLIKIN. Mr. Chairman, may I, please, make a very brief interruption? I prefer not to have that referred to as my amendment. Senator OʻMahoney has been the leader in this matter. He is indisposed, and so I am just pinch hitting in his absence. The amendment represents his views and the views of Senator Robertson, the views of Senator Johnson of Colorado, and my own views, and, I am sure, of all those who joined in the original Ö’Mahoney amendment; so I do not want to get myself in the position of being a particular sponsor of the amendment. Thank you very much.
Senator BURTON. Is this the modified O'Mahoney amendment ?
Senator OVERTON. Of course, I would be very glad to acede to your wishes and call it the O'Mahoney amendment. I called it Millikin amendment, because there are two or three O'Mahoney amendments bearing on the same subject matter, and it is difficult to distinguish between the one and the other. I do not know what number this would be-O'Mahoney amendment No.--what would this be?
Senator MiLLIKIN. I am not ashamed of the amendment, Mr. Chairman.
Senator OVERTON. No; I do not say you are, but just for the purposes of the record.
Senator MILLIKIN. But I just do not want to be grasping after an honor that is not exclusive to myself.
Senator Burton. Is this the O'Mahoney-Millikin amendment ?
Senator OVERTON. I was going to say, we might call it the O’Mahoney-Millikin amendment to distinguish it from the other amendments on the same subject matter that have been introduced by Senator O'Mahoney.
Senator MillikIN. I think the Senator might refer to it as an amendment desired by perhaps 40 or 50 Senators.
Senator BURTON. You would not say, more than a majority, would you?
Senator MILLIKIN. I am getting awfully close to that, Harold.
Senator OVERTON. I thought the other amendment was also supported by quite a number of Senators.
Senator MILLIKIN. Pardon the interruption, Mr. Chairman.
Senator OVERTON. I am seriously at a loss to know how to designate the amendment, to identify it in what I am about to say. At any rate, it is the amendment that has been submitted through Senator Millikin to this committee, to which you referred, I think, in your testimony.
Senator AUSTIN. Yes.
Senator OVERTON. Paragraph (b) of that amendment provides this, in substance. Since you have been testifying, I have been following your testimony, and glancing through it. It relates to the authorizations in the present bill, whatever they may be.
Senator AUSTIN. That is right.
Senator OVERTON. Those authorizations will not be effective, if any State lodges an objection, after Congress has acted, or in all cases, I think it must be west of the ninety-seventh meridian, but I am not so sure about that, but in many instances where the Department of the Interior lodges an objection. The evidence before this committee justifies me in the conclusion that whatever action the Congress may take in respect to many projects contained in this bill, there will be objections lodged by affected States and objections lodged by the Department of the Interior; and those objections are going to relate to very, very important projects in the flood-control plan contemplated in this bill.
It seems to me that if this amendment is to be adopted, we might as well not have any report on the bill but simply report this amendment, because it would be a case of "love's labor lost." You would have to await the action of the States, under paragraph (a), and of the Department of the Interior. The Army engineers would then have to start anew on all the projects contained in this bill and submit them to the different States and the Department of the Interior, to obtain their views.
If subparagraph (b) is adopted, it would be many and many a day in my opinion before the Congress would be in a position to authorize some of the most vital and important projects of flood control. That is also true, if the same principle were applied to the river and harbor bill. The answer may be, that that is all right; no matter how long it takes, no policy ought to be adopted unless it is wisely adopted, after due consideration. However, the policy that has been pursued by the Congress and that is contemplated in the present bill is a policy that has been pursued for over a hundred years with respect to rivers and harbors, and ever since 1928 with respect to flood control, and I say it is regarded as a national obligation, and the responsibility so far as the Federal Government is concerned is placed primarily upon the Corps of Army Engineers, represented by the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers.
They state—and I do not think there is any serious question in respect to that—they state that they consult with State and local interests in the preliminary examinations and surveys, and they state that when a project has been so processed that it reaches the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, another public hearing is held at which all interested or opposed may appear; then you have the definite plan to which any Federal agency or any State agency or any American citizen may lodge his objection, and that is considered by the Board of Engineers on Rivers and Harbors.
Then, when the report is submitted, they refer to the reports, and while they do not publish them in full as I understand it, they give a synopsis of the objections that have been made by various interests and agencies of either the State or Federal Government; and then, as we have been doing here for days and days, each of these projects is then considered in the light of the testimony of those who desire either its approval or modification or rejection. So the whole plan, both as to its general aspects and as to its details, is very thoroughly considered.
Let me give you an illustration of what I mean. You take the Vermont situation that we had up, the other day, and as you stated, I personally came to the conclusion that there could be a rather satisfactory adjustment of that problem, and I suggested it, and it seems
to have met with approval. However, if that modification of the Vermont project, by elimination of West River from the plan, should be adopted by the Congress, it may be that some affected State may object--for instance, the Governor of Connecticut may object, and so on; and so it throws it all back into the laps of Congress again. Interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium. It is in the interest of the public that there should be an end to litigation. It is in the interests of the Government that there should be some end and some determination of these rather exhaustive hearings and considerations of river and harbor and flood-control projects; so, offhand, I do not think now that clause (6) should in any event be adopted, and I have my serious doubts as to clause (a).
Clause (a) refers to what could be done in the future. It is not related to this bill, but it relates to what is to be done in reference to future projects. If another flood-control or river and harbor bill comes along, the Congress may change their policy at that time, so it is not so very vital that what we say should be taken in the future, because the Congress of that day will determine what to do with respect to those particular projects; but I am very much concerned with what we have been laboring upon and laboring to get here for the last few weeks. I am very much concerned that it should not be entirely upset on the objection of the governor of some State or the Department of the Interior, or some Federal agency.
I think the whole matter has been thoroughly threshed out, and I think we can come to a very happy conclusion, if we are minded to
I sympathize, for instance, with the Missouri River Basin problem, and I suggested the outline of a proposal that would amply take care of the interest of those who are concerned primarily with irrigation. However, it has not yet been accepted. They are still insisting on this provision that is contained here in the last part of the O'Mahoney amendment. It is one to which personally I cannot subscribe.
I just wanted to give you my view. Senator AUSTIN. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, is it likely that the Winooski River Dam projects will be considered in connection with this bill.
Senator OVERTON. No.
Senator AUSTIN. We have not seen the printed report on that. We would like to have it
go over. General Robins. They were presented before the committee, and they are in line for inclusion.
Senator OVERTON. They have been, but has there been any objection to them?
General ROBINS. I do not know whether the State of Vermont objects to that or not.
Senator Austin. I will tell you, I live right on the Winooski River. I am quite interested, and I would like to see the report. They have never been reported. As soon as the report is out we can know whether we object or do not object.
Senator OVERTON. Can the Senator be furnished with a copy?
General GOETHALS. We can furnish a copy. The printer has not finished with it yet.
Senator OVERTON. They will furnish you with a copy of it.
Senator Austin. I would be very much obliged if you could do that. It might save delay.
Senator OVERTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. Case, I think I will ask you to come around, because I have been advised that there is a report made by the engineers of the different States out on the Missouri River Basin.
Representative CASE. That is correct.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANCIS CASE, MEMBER OF CONGRESS,
REPRESENTING THE SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF SOUTH DAKOTA
Senator OVERTON. What is the name of that committee?
Representative Case. It is the report of the engineering subcommittee to the Missouri River States Committee.
Senator OVERTON. You may proceed.
Representative CASE, Senator, and Mr. Chairman, for the record, my name is Francis Case, and I represent the Second Congressional District of South Dakota. Governor Sharpe, before he left the other day, left with me the report of the engineering subcommittee of the Missouri River States Committee. This report was prepared and is signed by the State engineers, as follows: Colorado, C. L. Patterson; Iowa, L. A. Winter; Kansas, George S. Knapp: Missouri, R. E. Duffy; Montana, Fred E. Buck; Nebraska, Wardner G. Scott; North Dakota, J. J. Walsh; South Dakota, Dean W. Loucks; and Wyoming, L. C. Bishop.
I may state, Mr. Chairman, that following the hearing before the House Committee on Flood Control, the Missouri River States Committee, which is composed primarily of the Governors of those States, with an additional member, generally speaking, requested Governor Sharpe, of South Dakota, who was chairman of this Missouri River States Committee, to call a meeting at Omaha for further consideration of all the problems involved in the Missouri River proposals.
Senator_OVERTON. Let me interrupt you a moment. Were you here the other day when Governor Sharpe testified?
Representative CASE. I was not, but I read his statement. attended many of your hearings, but I was not present when he presented his original statement.
Senator OVERTON. I stated I would leave the record open for the report to which he referred. Is this the report to which he referred ?
Representative Case. This is that report.
Senator MILLIKIN. Mr. Chairman, might I identify that report, if I can?
Senator OVERTON. All right.
Representative CASE. This is a report to the Missouri River States Committee, by the engineering subcommittee.
Senator MILLIKIN. Has it been accepted by the Governors?
Representative CASE. Yes, sir. That is, Governor Sharpe, by telegraph, after he received the report, contacted the various Governors of the several States and asked for their release on it, and before he left he had received wires from a majority of the Governors, and in