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the $1,000,000 which that company expended in controlling the Colorado River so as to prevent the destruction of the Imperial Valley? Mr. KETTNER. No; I do not think so, Mr. Hayden. Mr. SINNOTT. When was the Imperial Valley project started, with reference to that date, 1907? Mr. KETTNER. The Imperial Valley was started in 1899. I believe I am right, am I not, Mr. Rose? Mr. Rose. The first water ran in there June 19, 1901. Mr. SINNOTT. When was the reclamation act passed? Mr. Rose. 1902; the Laguna Dam was completed about 1911. Mr. TAYLOR. If there is any other message it might be well to insert it in the record. Mr. HAYDEN. Does the entire message deal with the situation in the Imperial Valley? Mr. KETTNER. Yes; it deals with the Imperial Valley only. It gives a full history of the Imperial Valley. Mr. Evans. How many acres of Government land did you say this will reclaim? Mr. KETTNER. About 400,000 acres. Mr. Eva Ns. At a cost of $14,000,000? Mr. KETTNER. Yes. Mr. SINNOTT. Do you know why they did not take President Roosevelt’s advice at that time? Mr. KETTNER. I do not, Mr. Sinnott. Mr. TAYLOR. Were there any hearings at that time, or was any bill introduced to carry out that message, or did anybody pay any attention to it? Mr. KETTNER. I have not had time to look it up. I have been busy with the Naval Affairs Committee. Mr. TAYLOR. Does anybody know about the history of this? Mr. KETTNER. I presume the delegation from Imperial Valley knows. Mr. Rose. The United States district attorney down there killed it by saying that it was impossible at that time to spend any money in Mexico. He said that nothing could be spent out of Government money in Mexico, and that practically put an end to it. Mr. KETTNER. Congress appropriated money and the hearings will show that it was to be spent in Mexico. The Appropriations Committee since I have been in Congress, in 1914, appropriated $100,000 to be spent in Mexico to protect these people. The point I am trying to make is that this is an exception to the general rule. The $1,000,000 appropriated during President Taft's administration was spent in Mexico, and President Roosevelt in this special message mentioned the fact that the money would have to be spent in Mexico. The CHAIRMAN. For what purpose? Mr. KETTNER. For the purpose of protecting the Imperial Valley from overflow. Mr. SMITH. The idea is that if you build the canal in the United States you would avoid trouble and controversy between the two Governments? Mr. KETTNER. Yes, sir; and it will also permit our Government to reclaim 400,000 acres of land which now has practically no value. The CHAIRMAN. That condition also makes the available water supply precarious, because of having to go through Mexico. That is true on account of the bad conditions down there, and the Secretary mentions that in his letter. Mr. KETTNER. Yes, sir. Mr. SMITH. Is there any controversy with Mexico over the question of securing the necessary water? Mr. KETTNER. No, sir; President Taft in his message.of June 25, 1910, states that there was a committee or a commission appointed, and they asked that a like commission from Mexico be appointed to settle the water question, but for some reason or other it was never settled. Mr. SINNOTT. Does the Mexican Government question our right to appropriate the water on our side? Mr. KETTNER. No, sir; they do not. Mr. LITTLE. In view of the fact that our Government has permitted the Mexican Government to transport an Army from Chihuahua through El Paso around to the Sonora district, don’t you think that they might make some arrangements with them that would be satisfactory to both sides by which we could secure such an attitude on their part toward the valley as would meet the situation in the entire valley down to the Gulf of California, and under which our Government would have enough governmental relation to it to have it enforced? It must have been a great accommodation to Mexico to permit her to transport her troops in that way, and it seems to me that a little shrewd diplomacy might secure an agreement with them under which we might have such a relation with the valley and the river as would meet all of these difficulties in a way that would be satisfactory to both sides. What do you think about that? Mr. KETTNER. Mr. Little, that is something greatly to be desired, of course, by the people in the Colorado River section, but, knowing the Mexican people as I do, I do not believe there is much relief to be looked for in that direction. Mr. HERNANDEz. The trouble is you do not know with whom you are dealing down there. Mr. KETTNER. Yes; that is true. Mr. SMITH. Have we not been trying to negotiate with them for the last 10 or 15 years, but, because .# those difficulties, they have been unable to make any progress? Mr. KETTNER. I will explain that Lower California has been unsettled the same as the balance of the Mexican Republic. They have had a governor who has been very reasonable in some ways and very unreasonable in others. Generally speaking, however, the people have gotten along very well with him. He makes his own laws if the laws of Mexico do not suit him. If the Mexican laws suit him he complies with them, but if they do not suit him he makes his own regulations in a roundabout way. For instance, we have had a great deal of trouble regarding the importation of cotton. American people are farming most of these lands in Lower California in Mexican territory, and our State Department has had an agreement that cotton should be entered, l believe, at $6 per bale at the Mexican frontier. He complied with the charge of $6, and then applied a charge of $6 for other purposes, making a total of $12. Mr. LITTLE. It seems to me that if our Government has proceeded in such a way as I have indicated with the Mexican Government we ought to be able to secure in return something from the Mexican Government, or something along the lines I have indicated. If the Mexican Government is clever enough to get such privileges from us, I should certainly hope that our great diplomats would be able to secure something from them. So far as the stability of the Government is concerned I would hate to believe that our Government would encourage the Mexican Government to the extent of allowing them to transport their troops across our territory in order to meet a rebellion and not require anything at the hands of that Government. So far as respect for the laws and regulations in the Valley of the Colorado is concerned, if they did not accord to us the rights to which we are entitled it seems to me that there would be a very simple and very proper method of getting at it. There is no earthly reason why the American Government, that has such intimate and friendly relations with the Mexican Government that it will allow them to transport their troops across our territory, can not itself have a friendly understanding about a little sandy valley there which nobody has any interest in. No Mexican cares anything about that valley. The only earthly purpose they have is to get what little water down there that you people do not use, or to give people an opportunity to rob you of that which you could use practically. It seems to me that some of our American statesmen ought to be able to secure some method or understanding by which to meet this situation, in view of what we have done for them. It ought to be entirely satisfactory to both sides. Do you not think so? Mr. KETTNER. If you could devise or suggest any way by which the Imperial Valley could have some permanent assurance of water they would build a memorial to you as high as the Washington Monument. Mr. LITTLE. I think I have furnished the method, and they can go ahead and build the monument now. Mr. SMITH. Down in Mexico, where they want to use the water Mr. LITTLE (interposing). Those men are mostly Americans, but if they were not and were Mexicans it should be satisfactory to both sides. Mr. TAYLOR. Did you see this? Mr. LITTLE. No, sir; but I have conversed with several men who were intimate with the facts personally, and they presented them to me. Mr. BARBOUR. You might enter into an agreement with the Mexican Government to-day and to-morrow they might have a different Government. Mr. LITTLE. What I was trying to suggest was that if we made an arrangement with the Mexican Government we would have self-respect enough to see that the arrangement made was carried out. If they once authorized the Government of Mexico to do whatever would be necessary in this respect, we would certainly see that the arrangement was enforced. §. The Mexican people have run over our people in the oil fields down there. Mr. LITTLE. I was suggesting a change in that attitude. Mr. HERNANDEz. The trouble is that you do not know with whom you are dealing down there. It is a state of anarchy. There are some clever people in Mexico, but they are greatly in the minority,
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and those clever people are really now quarreling among themselves to see who gets hold of the reins of Government.
Mr. LITTLE If we should have a treaty with them, it would be quite immaterial to me what faction would be in control of the Government to-morrow. When you have once made a treaty with them, we should carry it out, of course. The new Government should be compelled to live up to the treaty. If we ever made a treaty with the Mexican Government covering this situation, the United States certainly would have enough self-respect to protect its rights under such treaty, no matter who succeeded to the control of the Mexican Government. I do not think anybody would care to carry on an extended argument with our Government on such a question as that.
Mr. WELLING. Suppose we let someone else solve the diplomatic difficulties and let us proceed with the bill.
Mr. LITTLE. You may need my assistance in this. It is true I have only one vote, but the question might be decided by one vote. It seems to me that this is important, and I suggest that you figure a little upon the plan I have suggested.
Mr. SINNOTT. What is the position of our Government in regard to the matter? Is it the position of our Government that we will have to come to some agreement with Mexico about the water, or does our Government think it can go ahead and take the water?
Mr. KETTNER. I am informed that that was the position of President Taft.
Mr. SINNOTT. That we could appropriate the water without consulting the Mexican Government?
Mr. KETTNER. There was some agreement that was practically consummated when President Madero was killed.
Mr. SINNOTT. We had entered into an agreement?
Mr. KETTNER. Our State Department was about to do so, I am informed.
Mr. LITTLE. Along the lines I have suggested ?
Mr. SINNOTT. It is the position of our Government that we will have to reach an agreement with Mexico before we can take the water?
Mr. KETTNER. I do not think so. At the present time I think we hold a different view.
The CHAIRMAN We have the letter of Secretary LaneMr. LITTLE (interposing). We do not have to have any letter from Secretary Lane in order to go ahead if we want to.
Mr. HAYDEN. There is a treaty between the United States and Mexico which in some measure deals with the Colorado River.
Mr. KETTNER. It has to do with navigable streams, but it does not mention the Colorado River. It mentions navigable waters.
Mr. HAYDEN. That question came up in connection with the rivers and harbors bill, and my recollection is that the Colorado River was defined by treaty as a navigable stream.
Mr. KETTNER. Yes; I remember. I was a member of the Rivers and Harbors Committee at the time.
Mr. HAYDEN. You stated that President Taft entered into some negotiations with the Mexican Government.
Mr. KETTNER. He was about to do so.
Mr. HAYDEN. Something was done by him in regard to protection work in Mexico? Mr. KETTNER. Yes.
Mr. HAYDEN. There must have been some correspondence in relation to the flood waters of the Colorado River ?
Mr. KETTNER. You will find that referred to in the message of President Taft.
Mr. HAYDEN. We might put that message into the record now.
(Message of President Taft found in appendix, marked " Exhibit B.")
Mr. HAYDEN. If we can get anything further from the State Department along the line of Mr. Little's suggestion, we might be able to ascertain how far the negotiations advanced and what has been accomplished.
Mr. TAYLOR. We will have to answer all of those questions about our diplomatic negotiations on the floor of the House and about the relations between the United States and Mexico in regard to the waters of the Colorado River. They will want to know what treaty obligations there were, and we will want to be in a position to answer them. We want to have all of those questions answered in this record here so that we will have the whole thing laid down on the table in front of us and will know where we are at.
Mr. HAYDEN. Would it not be helpful to have the chairman of this committee transmit a copy of the bill to the State Department with a request that they furnish us such information as is compatible with the public interest with respect to the negotiations with Mexico relative to the waters of the Colorado River? Mr. KETTNER. I think that would be the proper way. Mr. LITTLE. That would include the Madero agreement ? Mr. KETTNER. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is a good suggestion, and the request will be made.
(Letter of Secretary of State and extracts of treaties and other documents referred to therein found in appendix, marked "Exhibit C."
Mr. LITTLE. I want to say that I am not suggesting this by way of a venture or for any reason in the world except for practical purposes. We have been sending troops down to Mexico every few months for various things, and I would rather send them down there to protect the water rights of these people than for some other reasons. I see no reason, since it has been testified that we had a preliminary arrangement with one president of Mexico, why we should not have one with another. We have allowed their troops to go through our territory, and it seems to me that we could have an arrangement covering this situation. If we make an arrangement with one Government, I do not care who the next President of Mexico is, we should enforce the agreement. It would be trading water for blood. If that were done, it might give your people the relief that they ought to have.
Mr. SMITH. It seems to me that we ought to get from the State Department information as to whether there is anything in the treaty relations between the two Governments that would prevent our people from keeping this water within our own borders.