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Mr. HAYDEN. Oh, no; whenever the money is received from the sale of public lands the Secretary can expend it, but not otherwise, However, by the provision in section 14 of the bill which authorizes the inclusion of public lands in irrigation districts, although the majority of the lands may be public lands, if there are simply enough private landowners or entrymen to qualify to form an irrigation district under the State laws, they can create a district. The members who form the district can vote the bonds and such bonds can be approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and, taking into consideration, as this bill says, the prospective value of the land, the Secretary of the Treasury can receive them on deposit. The money can thus be immediately obtained to do the share of the work apportioned to the public lands. In that way the money is made available at the start without waiting for the sale and settlement of the public lands. I think that is perfectly clear in the bill.
Now, there was one other matter that I wanted to ask you about, and that is the provision in section 11 about payment in cash. We talked about that at a previous hearing. I have provided that if anybody has any money that they want to put into this project, they can do so. That would allow the State of California, if it had money derived from taxes or the sale of bonds, and wanted to cooperate on a soldier-settlement scheme, to turn the money over to the Secretary of the Interior. That is not provided for in the Kettner bill. Do you think that would be advantageous ?
Mr. Davis. That is a good thing; yes, sir.
Mr. HAYDEN. Section 17 we have discussed. Do you think it is right that lands not under cultivation should nevertheless pay the construction and operation charges? Do you think that such an amendment should be adopted ?
Mr. Davis. That can be put in in an additional section.
Mr. SMITH of Idaho. Is it not quite reasonable to suppose that those $10,000,000 of bonds when issued by the State of California would contribute a good deal toward developing the Imperial Valley project?
Mr. BARBOUR. I should think so. I don't see why they could't cooperate under this bill.
Mr. Davis. Under the Kettner bill the Secretary is directed to sell the land. That puts it in private ownership and out of the hands of the Government.
Mr. HAYDEN. That is the difference between my section 7 and the first section of the Kettner bill. The provision in the Kettner bill is that any unentered public lands shall be offered for sale and sold; the provision in section 7 of my bill ismay be offered for sale to citizens of the United States under such rules and regulations as the said Secretary may prescribe.
That places it in the discretion of the Secretary to sell them or not. At the end of section 7 it is provided that the Secretary of the Interiormay offer such public lands to be sold and reclaimed in cooperation with the California State Land Settlement Board or the Arizona Soldier Settlement Board, or he may use all or any part of such lands in connection with any soldier settlement legislation that may be enacted by Congress.
In other words, it gives him a free hand to make the best use of the public lands under the project. Do you think that is proper?
Mr. DAVIs. Yes, sir. Mr. SINNOTT. In section 6 you confine the remedy in case of default solely to a suit to compel the assessment and collection of such taxes for the payment of the amount of principal and interest. Why don't you give the right to the Government to commence suit to foreclose and sell the land? Mr. HAYDEN. I copied section 6 from section 9 of the SmithChamberlain bill. There was no provision at all in the Kettner bill, for any action on the part of the Secretary of the Interior in case of default in payments. I thought there ought to be some provision for the collection of the money due. The CHAIRMAN. What court action do you contemplate, a mandamus proceeding? Mr. HAYDEN. I thought it was broad enough to say that upon failure of the State authorities to levy the tax, the United States might institute suit. The CHAIRMAN. You will compel them, then, to levy the tax? Mr. HAYDEN. It provides that— the Secretary of the Treasury shall cause suit to be instituted in the name of
the United States, and take such legal action as may be necessary to enforce the assessment and collection of Such taxes.
Now, maybe that is not enough, but there was nothing provided in the Kettner bill. The CHAIRMAN. I was not saying it was not broad enough; I was talking about what you expected to do. I think it is firstrate that way, to leave it to the court and not pass on their jurisdiction, but I simply wanted to know what you expected us to comprehend by the language, the latitude you have given. Mr. HAYDEN. The courts would enforce the payment of the taxes. I do not know just what the court procedure would be to direct the irrigation district authorities under the State laws to levy the tax and collect it. The CHAIRMAN. I think the provision is very ample and all right. Mr. TAYLOR. It puts the modus operandi up to the court. The CHAIRMAN. You will see we will have to answer for this on the floor, if you get this bill up there. Mr. SMITH of Idaho. I didn't get your question back there, Mr. Chairman. The CHAIRMAN. I say, what remedy would you use, mandamus, to compel the board or the proper officers to act? Mr. SMITH of Idaho. You couldn't use any other remedy. The CHAIRMAN. No, I don’t think of anything else, and that is why I say it is very broad, and I believe in leaving it to the courts. Just put it up to them to do the proper thing. I think that is all right. ‘. HAYDEN. The Attorney General is directed to prosecute the suit, and jurisdiction is conferred on the district court in which the lands lie to enforce the provisions of the act. Mr. WELLING. Just a moment there, if I may suggest: As I understand, Mr. Davis, you don’t consider section 17 of the Hayden bill sufficiently strong to force men with large holdings to come in and bear a proper charge for the lands? Mr. DAVIs. Yes, sir.
Mr. WELLING. Have you any provision in any reclamation project which now forces men with large holdings to bear a proper relationship to the charges of the project?
Mr. Davis. Yes; it is a provision that is authorized by the reclamation extension act. It provides that before the land is taken into the project at all the Secretary requires a binding agreement on their part to sell the excess at a price that he names and within a limited time.
Mr. WELLING. And you think some such provision as that ought to be included in this bill?
Mr. Davis. That provision would be effective, I think, or the one that I suggested, to require them to pay their share of the charges until they do so. That would have a similar effect.
Mr. WELLING. I think that surely ought to be done, because they are getting their share of the benefits growing up around them. Mr. DAVIS. Exactly; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. If that is all, we will hear now from Mr. Rose. Please give your name and residence and whom you represent.
STATEMENT OF MR. MARK M. ROSE, OF IMPERIAL COUNTY,
CALIF. Mr. Rose. I am here representing the Imperial irrigation district of California.
The CHAIRMAN. You are a landowner there and a water user? Mr. Rose. Yes, sir; I have been for the last 18 years. The CHAIRMÁN. And you are a farmer? Mr. Rose. Yes, sir. Now, in the first place, the Hayden bill eliminates the one thing which Imperial Valley has proposed to do—that was, to build the all-American canal upon the lines of the survey made jointly between the United States Government and the Imperial irrigation district, eliminating it from Mexico. That the bill does not provide for.
Another thing is this bill is a very general bill. As Mr. Hayden suggests, it does not limit itself to the irrigation to the particular project in Imperial County, Calif. It might be construed to take in everything on the lower Colorado River. I don't know what constitutes the lower Colorado River reclamation project or whether there is such a thing.
Mr. HAYDEN. If I may interrupt you, I am establishing the lower Colorado River reclamation project and state in the bill that all lands that can be reclaimed by diversion of water from the Laguna Dam may be in the project. That is, all lands in the United States. Of course, we can not take in any lands in Mexico. I am trying to make the highest possible use of the existing works at Laguna.
Mr. TAYLOR. Not necessarily limiting it to just what you gentlemen have in view now in California.
Mr. HAYDEN. In other words, let the Secretary of the Interior do the most that he can with the facilities he has at the Laguna Dam to divert water from the Colorado River.
Mr. Rose. Of course, if the project was limited to the United States, that would limit it to some extent, but under the bill it would not be.
Mr. HAYDEN. Suppose we make an amendment, say, at line 7 on page 1, by inserting within the United States or within the State of California," so that it would read:
That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and empowered upon compliance with the several requirements of this act, and in conformity with its provisions, to construct or cause the construction of canals and other necessary works within the United States to connect the present irrigation system of the Imperial irrigation district in Imperial County, Calif., with the diversion dam of the Yuma reclamation project, known as the Laguna Dam.
We can not specify in the law just the particular plan that may be agreed upon. Supposing the Secretary of the Interior wanted to widen the all-American canal two feet.
Mr. Rose. That could be stated approximately. Some leeway could be given him there.
The proposition, then, on the other hand, is this, that the Kettner bill provided for the sale of the public lands, which would allow him to organize an irrigation district and file their bonds, which the Kettner bill provided for, for the construction of the all-American canal; under this bill that probably would not be done, because onethird of the security which the people of Imperial County propose to offer to the Government under the Kettner bill would be withdrawn. Now, that would be a very serious objection to this bill. The bonds to cover the all-American canal are to be filed with the Secretary of the Interior, who shall file them with the Treasury of the United States for the construction of the all-American canal. Now, if you withdraw two or three or four hundred thousand acres of land, and don't dispose of that land, and the water is there, who is going to file the bonds representing that land ?
Mr. HAYDEN. There is nothing in my bill that will prevent that, because I have copied into my bill the provision that notwithstanding the fact that the public lands may comprise a majority of the acreage in any irrigation district yet such district may be formed. I state further that the Secretary shall take into consideration in approving these bonds the prospective value of the land when water is applied.
Mr. Rose. But, Mr. Hayden, under the irrigation district law of the State of California there must be 500 bona fide residents and voters upon this land. Now, if the land was sold they could go on there and build houses and reside there and organize a district and vote their bonds under the district law of the State of California and file them; but under the present condition there is no one to do that.
Mr. HAYDEN. Under the provision of either bill the Secretary of the Interior can sell 500 farm units on the edge of the area of Gov. ernment land. As soon as they acquired title he could incorporate the rest of the public lands with their area in an irrigation district, which would be organized under the laws of the State of California, and that irrigation district, while a great majority of it would be public lands, could vote bonds, and the bonds could be deposited in the Treasury, and thus get the money right away.
Mr. ROSE. I doubt if you could. My reason for doubting it is simply this: The bill in the first place doesn't direct them to; it possibly authorizes them to, but it doesn't direct him to sell that land. Now, he might possibly get 500 settlers interested in this scheme to
go in there, but I doubt very much if he would. He would have to sell a great deal more than that to get a sufficient number of settlers to go on there. Then, there is another thing, and that is this: That in the irrigation of this land the people there who are going to take a second-water right ought to be able to get themselves in shape to protect themselves as to storage. Now, the bill, the original bill, provided after the amendments were accepted in the Imperial Valley, it provided for storage, provided for spending money for storage, and it would provide storage. But there is again this objection that I see: It gives the Secretary the right to say that the lands within the Imperial irrigation district which now have a valid water right can be charged for storage, and so forth, and he has a right to set that charge and he has the right to deny to them the right of the benefits of the use of the all-American canal until they pay it. Mr. TAYLOR. Well, I can't see why, if they get the benefit, they shouldn't pay for it. Mr. Rose. They are not getting the benefit of the storage, Mr. Taylor, at all, because there is ample water there to supply their needs, and they have been using it. They only get the benefit of the all-American canal in which to carry the water to them which is already there. Mr. TAYLOR. Isn't that all the Secretary would charge them with ? Mr. Rose. I don’t know. That is in his discretion. Mr. HAYDEN. The discretion of the Secretary of the Interior is limited to this provision in my bill, that he must, in fixing the obligations, act with, due regard to actual and comparative benefits to be derived in the construction of such canal, reservoir, or works. There is a general instruction which he must follow, and he could not consistently if he found that you had little benefit charge you a large sum for it. Now, you must do business with the Secretary of the Interior, and Congress must give him discretion in the administration of this act. If you try to hamper the Secretary by directing him to sell lands which he may find it advisable not to be sold, if you insist that he must recognize your rights to the water of the Colorado River and you will not be bound in any way to pay for storage, and so on, it seems to me you are starting out in a rather antagonistic frame of mind, which does not indicate that you intend to give him hearty cooperation. Mr. WELLING. Isn't it a fact also that under the provisions of our bill any charges for storage could be assessed against the uma project as well as the Imperial Valley project if they get additional benefits? Mr. HAYDEN. If they obtain any benefits; yes. Mr. WELLING. And it leaves it up to the secretary to decide about the amount of benefits to the projects, just as it does for irrigated lands in other projects. Mr. Rose. I don’t think it does, because Mr. Hayden exempted that portion of the Yuma project which is now to be open and is naturally exempt under the contract which we have given the Yuma people for the right to connect with the Laguna Dam. Mr. HAYDEN. If the Secretary found that a certain area of lands in the Imperial Valley had adequate, and valid water rights, and that certain lands in the Yuma Valley had adequate and valid