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Who would have thought 10 years ago that the city of Los Angeles, then just having finished a great aqueduct, and the other cities of southern California would feel it incumbent on them to prepare to spend $150,000,000 to bring the Colorado River to the Coast Plain in order to supply the domestic water to the people there and the people who are probably coming there!
All we know is that in this arid west, this great national asset, the waters of the Colorado River, is vital to any development, to any progress, it is vital to life itself. It is not only king, it is the king of kings in the Southwest of America.
If the late President Harding was correct in his prognostication and if President Coolidge is correct in the statement he has made that it is our duty to plan for a nation of 300,000,000 in our national confines, then we have got to look forward to the time when 15 or 20 of those 300 million are going to be in the Southwestern States.
I, in my humble opinion, think that it would be a national crime for which we would be held accountable certainly by the generations to come after us, should we permit the waters of the Colorado River in excess of that to which they are already used to slip through our fingers and become affixed irrevocably to the soil of a foreign country. [Applause.]
I believe that when a project comes out of Congress and the national point of view is considered, that American statemen who are charged with the expenditure of American money will not lend themselves to the use of American moneys to the furtherance of a plan which must of necessity injure our country and result in the loss of a great national asset.
Secretary Franklin K. Lane, in speaking about this very AllAmerican Canal, said, with reference to the legislation, whether the All-American Canal was built or not, it ought to be authorized in legislation, because we are never going to get anywhere with a treaty with Mexico for the division of the waters until it is authorized. His statement was, “You can get nothing from Mexico by going to her in the attitude of a man with his hat in his hand, asking her to donate.” Mexico wants nothing in the way of a treaty on dividing the waters of the Colorado River. The fact is that our country has tried to get a treaty with Mexico to divide the water of the Colorado River and put a limitation upon them, and they have always said, “Manana, manana.” Why should they go into a negotiation to change conditions which are already to their advantage? And they won't, in my opinion. They have the advantage, they are not where God put them, on the end of the river; through the manipulations of man they have been put upon the water supply ahead of Imperial Valley. We are their hostages. We must, in order to get water for ourselves, guarantee water for them, no matter what the cost may be to us. And it is not merely that they get the rise of it temporarily, because it is my conviction that no treaty will be negotiated with Mexico which does not follow the precedent which treaties have already established and recognize the use or extent to which it has been put in Mexico at the time the treaty is negotiated. I just wanted to emphasize it that way. It seems to me-try and look at it from a national point of view-it is the only big outstanding factor that must appeal to any red blooded American, that here is this
great Colorado River with its streams flowing through the States where water is the basis of life, if we make the use that we ought to make of it here in this great Southwest and in the Colorado River Basin there will rise and bloom the greatest civilization the world has ever seen! Look at the valley of the Nile and the civilization that rose in that place, based upon the use of the waters of the Nile. Look at the Tigres and the Euphrates and the civilzation that grew there. And they lacked the one great factor which has so contributed to modern civilization, and that is hydraulic power. We can have all the civilization they had plus a new force, which is hydraulic power, if we are only wise enough, farsighted enough to recognize, as Secretary Works says, that the Colorado River is one of the great natural resources of the United States, and plan to utilize it in the interests of our own country, for the development of units for our citizens, and for the aggrandizement and enrichment of our own country. And if we do that our children and our children's children will rise up to give to us the title which we have given to our forefathers and call us, as we called our forefathers, pioneer builders. If not, I don't want to know what names they will call us.
(Whereupon, at 11 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned to meet at 10 o'clock a. m., Friday, October 30, 1925, at El Centro, Calif.)
COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION
UNITED STATES SENATE
S. Res. 320
(68th Congress, 2nd Session)
DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND
OF THE COLORADO RIVER BASIN
EL CENTRO, CALIF.
OCTOBER 30, 1925
Printed for the use of the Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation
COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION
CHARLES L. McNARY, Oregon, Chairman WESLEY L. JONES, Washington.
MORRIS SHEPPARD, Texas. LAWRENCE C. PHIPPS, Colorado.
THOMAS J. WALSH, Montana. FRANK R. GOODING, Idaho,
JOHN B. KENDRICK, Wyoming. RALPH H. CAMERON, Arizona.
KEY PITTMAN, Nevada. TASKER L. ODDIE, Nevada.
FURNIFOLD MOL. SIMMONS, North Carolina.
HENRY F. ASHURST, Arizona.