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for the purpose of conserving the surplus waters, and provided further the plan involved the expenditure of a larger per cent of the costs of the system against lands now having no present water supply, and provided further, that large tracts of lands in private ownership now having no water right should be required to be sold at prices to be fixed by the Secretary of the Interior as a condition of participation. In considering the question as to whether there is sufficient water in the Colorado River flowing to waste to irrigate such a large body of land, and whether if there is not sufficient water, the bill contemplates the storage of water to meet the necessity, there has been urged upon us by the Imperial people and we find : 1. That the normal flow of the Colorado River is sufficient in volume to irrigate the added lands, except for a short period of from one to two months each year, and that certain crops may be grown to maturity by use of Water during such times as it is abundant. 2. The bill, with the Secretary's proposed amendments, provides that money obtained from the sale of public lands, within said district, together with assessments made against patented lands having no water rights, shall be used, together with additional moneys required and assessed by the Secretary of the Interior, for that purpose, in building storage reservoirs to meet the necessities for water during the dry season. 3. The bill has the entire approval of the Secretary of the Interior, and is the first step in the development of the secretary's plans for conserving the waters of the Colorado River. 4. Under a contract made between the former owner of the land in Mexico through which runs the canal leading into the United States, and the Mexican corporation owned by the California Development Co., which contract has been approved by the Mexican Government, as a condition for permitting the water to be run over the Mexican land, such lands are entitled to one-half the flow of the water running through the canal. If, therefore, the plan suggested by Mr. Schenk and his associates were adopted, and the water taken from the Yuma dam were carried through American territory through the Hanlon heading and thence through the old canals through Mexican territory into the United States, such Mexican lands would be entitled to one-half of these waters, even though it had been greatly augmented at great expense by storage in the United States. 5. It is impracticable during low water to further maintain the weir in the Colorado River, and thus, unless we are to give Mexico and the Mexican lands one-half of the flood waters of the river which may hereafter be conserved by storage, an all-American canal system must be constructed. 6. The bill gives to the Secretary of the Interior the power to fix and determine the proportionate amount to be paid by each district for the construction of a canal or canals, and which determination shall be based upon the number of acres in each district susceptible of practical reclamation. We believe that it can be fairly left to the secretary to determine the proportionate amount to be paid by the different districts for the consruction of the canal, and that in assessing the amount to be paid, the secretary will properly gauge the benefits to be derived, and make his determination accordingly. 7. The plan as construed by the Secretary of the Interior does not contemplate the diversion of the full flow of the Colorado for use exclusively on United States soil. In this connection the secretary says: “This proposition does not contemplate the diversion of the full flow of the Colorado for use exclusively upon United States soil, for it would be entirely feasible to connect such a canal with that now in Mexico for the supply of lands therein, which are at present supplied, and the supply could be extended by storage.” 8. We believe, from the representations made to us, that the sentiment of the residents of the Imperial Valley taken as a whole, is in favor of the bill with the amendments proposed by Secretary I,ane. 9. Finally we find, that it is of the utmost importance that contemporaneously with the construction of the proposed canals, reservoirs be constructed to store the flood and normal waters of the river; unless. this is done, and waters are in storage ready to meet the added need when the great area of desert land is placed under cultivation, this plan will spell only disaster for its proponents, and we can not urge too strongly that the Government undertake at the very earliest moment, the constructions of the reservoir. We direct attention, however, to the fact that an all-American canal does not entirely solve the problem of the Imperial Valley. The Imperial Valley largely lies below sea-level, and unless the Colorado River, where it runs
through Mexican territory, is not at flood times kept within its banks through levees properly maintained, the flood waters will spread over the country, flow into the Imperial Valley basin and imperil the whole valley. There is no question but that all the land served by the Colorado River, together with Magdalena Bay which in the hands of an unfriendly naval power will be a great menace to this country, ought to belong to the United States, and that steps should be taken to purchase the same from Mexico. However, even though all this Mexican territory were to be purchased by the United States, it would still be necessary to build the canal proposed, if the great Coachella Valley is to be given water. If it is impracticable to obtain the Mexican lands through purchase, then the United States should arrange by treaty with Mexico that the United States and officials and citizens of the United States should have the right, without the payment of duty, to enter Mexico for the purpose of maintaining the levees along the Colorado River.
The bill in effect provides that no person shall be permitted to purchase more than 160 acres of unentered land and leaves free any person having a valid entry of land not yet patented, to acquire title under the act. A great deal of land under the proposed ditch has simply been entered and no work has been performed upon the entry. The committee from the valley acquiesced in our suggestion that all such entries should by the bill be reduced to 160 acres.
In conclusion, the committee recommends that the chamber of commerce indorse the aforesaid bill, with amendments thereto proposed by Secretary Lane in his letter of July 3, 1919, to the House Committee on Irrigation of Arid Lands and with the added recommendation that the Government take steps to provide that of all Government land lying within the all-American canal district, whether entered or unentered, only 160 acres shall be disposed of to any one person. We further strongly recommend that inasmuch as the canal can never reach its greatest usefulness until the present water supply of the river at low stages is supplemented by conserved waters, that proceedings be begun at once by the construction of suitable reservoirs for the conservation of flood waters of the river.
It further appears to your committee that a large portion of the land not now under ditch, but in the territory to be benefited by he proposed plan, is held in large tracts in private ownership. A great deal of this land is without water and is worthless until some plan is developed for irrigating it. When through the act of the Government in financing this plan water is placed upon these lands they will become of great value.
Our returning soldiers have been promised land by the Government at fair prices based on the present value of the lands to be entered or purchased. Where desert lands are reclaimed, either by the Government directly or indirectly, through its act in financing an enterprise of this character, they should be subdivided into small holdings and sold at a price based largely upon their present value, and we strongly urge that the Secretary of the Interior as a condition to permitting the owners of these lands to participate in the proposed plan require that lands be sold in lots of not to exceed 160 acres at a price to be fixed by the Secretary commensurate with the present value of the land, plus merely a reasonable profit, and that such condition be embodied in the bill and the rules and regulations of the Secretary of the Interior thereunder. Respectfully submitted.
THE ARIZONA CALIFORNIA RIVER REGULATION COMMITTEE,
T. E. GIBBON,
J. B. LIPPENCOTT. I hereby certify that the above is true and correct copy of report adopted by the board of directors of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce at their reguar meeting, Thursday, August 28, 1919, and that copies were ordered transmitted to all organizations, newspapers, and other interested parties located in the Imperial Valley, as well as to Secretary of the Interior and southern California's Representatives in Congress.
WATT S. MORELAND, President.. Attest:
FRANK WiggiNS, Secretary.
WEST SIDE IMPERIAL IRRIGATION Co.,
Los Angeles, July 5, 1919. Congressman MOSES P. KINKAID,
Washington, D. C. DEAR Sır: This company was organized for the purpose of securing water from the Colorado River by means of an all-American canal for the irrigation of 200,000 acres of arid land lying on the west side of Imperial Valley. Ours is the part of the great project which has for its purpose the reclaiming of 600,000 acres of America's most fertile land-land which is unexcelled in productivity, but which at the present time is nothing but a barren waste.
To this end we have had, and still have, representatives in Washington, who, together with representatives of the other sections of the valley, have been working with the Government officials and Congressmen to secure the legislation which will make this desert land an agricultural empire, settled by thousands of loyal and patriotic Americans. Fundamentally, we believe that American water should be used for the benefit of American lands rather than for the benefit of Mexican lands. The net result of our representatives' labors is bill H. R. 6044.
We inclose herewith a clipping from the morning edition of the Los Angeles Times, which speaks for itself. If this article states the facts correctly, the work of years, and the expenditure of thousands upon thousands of dollars. has been wasted. We can not believe that such is the case. We have every confidence in the patriotism, farsightedness, and good intentions of Secretary Glass. We believe this report to be sadly garbled. We are confident that the Secretary is desirous of placing this land under cultivation. We realize, however, that the mere fact that such an article as this can be published indicates that our project has virulent opposition.
We respectfully bespeak, therefore, your assistance in bringing to Secretary Glass and other governmental officials the true facts regarding, and the importance of, this project.
Representing American citizens who have claims in this arid region, which they took with the belief that the Government would assist thein in making homes and gardens on this arid waste, we ask you to use every influence which you have to secure the passage of this bill. Most respectfully, yours,
WEST SIDE IMPERIAL IRRIGATION Co.,
By D. W. SHOEMAKER, Secretary. The Los Angeles Times article referred to follows:
ALL-AMERICAN CANAL KILLED—CLASS KNOCKS OUT IMPERIAL VALLEY PROJECT
FINANCIAL FEATURES OPPOSED BY TREASURY HEAD-POSSIBLE HELP VIA STATE DEPARTMENT IS HOPE. [By Robert B. Armstrong.)
WASHINGTON, July 2. Secretary of the Treasury Glass has hit in the head with a sledge-hammer blow the all-American canal project for the Imperial Valley irrigation district. He has written the Committee on Irrigated Lands of the House, in response to its request for his opinion of the bill introduced by Congressman Kettner at the request of the committee from the Imperial Valley. In this letter he objected to every proposal for financing the canal and the extended irrigation districts. He declares that the proposal to have the United States issue certificates of indebtedness running for a period as high as 40 years is all wrong. He further declares that the United States is asked to place its credit back of a , proposition where the securities are issued without any control on the part of the United States and without any safeguards. He says that if Congress wants an all-American canal the money should be appropriated without any camouflage, such as provided in the bill. He ends his letter by absolutely refusing to consent to the bill in its present forin and with any of the financial features now contained therein retained.
The result of the action of Secretary Glass is equivalent to the death of the bill for the Interior Department will follow the lead of the Treasury; and, while the committee of seven here from the Imperial Valley is still trying to save something from the wreck, no reason exists for hoping for any legislation of the sort proposed.
Some progress may be made through the State Department for an international agreement on the matter between the United States and Mexico but the bill now proposed is dead and contemplated hearings before the committee, if held at all, will be perfunctory.
IMPERIAL ALL AMERICAN CANAL ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES,
Los Angeles, Calif., July 1, 1919. Hon. MOSES P. KINKAIN,
Washington, D. C. DEAR Sir: The Los Angeles Times of the 311 issue states, that Secretary Glass has killed the prospects for an all-American canal. We, as representatives of the All-American Canal Association of Los Angeles, Calif., representing 200 meubers, beg of you to use your influence to secure the passage of the Kettner bill, H. R. No. 6044. This bill represents the hopes of thousands of American citizens who are anxious to go into the desert and reclaim it.
There is a large number of returned soldiers, members of our organization, who are claimants for land in this desert, and other returned soldiers who are waiting to offer their filings under the homestead and desert land laws of the United States. The 600.000 acres of American lands that will come under this bill would make homes for thousands of American citizens, and without the support of the Government in reclaiming this land it must remain a desert to the detriment of the United States.
To kill this bill would give encouragement to a few syndicates and big private land holders below the boundary line in old Mexico.
We pray you to give this matter your serious consideration and see if you can not assist this all-American canal to take all-American water and put it on American land to make homes for American citizens. Yours, respectfully,
HARRY WM. ELLIOTT, President.
EL CENTRO, CALIF., August 4, 1919. Hon. M. P. KINKAID,
Wshington, D. C. Sorry to learn your committee unable visit Imperial Valley as soldier organizations wished personally present your committee recommendation for amendment to House bill 6044 by Kettner. Can committee continue consideration of bill giving us reasonable time to present matter? Please answer, wire collect.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE EL CENTRO Post AMERICAN LEGION.
WASHINGTON, D. C., August 5, 1919. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE,
El Centro Post, American Legion, El Centro, Calif. If you wili mail your proposed amendments to the Kettner bill our committee will give the same due consideration.
M. P. KINKAID, Chairman.
EL CENTRO POST THE AMERICAN LEGION,
El Centro, Calif., August 18, 1919. Hon. M. P. KINKAID, Chairman Committee on Irrigation of Arid Lands,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN: Please accept our thanks for your telegram stating that your honorable committee will give due consideration to the amendment we wish to propose to House bill No. 6044, now before your committee.
Pending a general conference between our organization, the directors of the Imperial irrigation district and the returned members of our valley Washington committee, which is scheduled for next week, we are not at this time able to formally present the amendment to you, but ask your indulgence for a short time longer.
The amendment which is under consideration will be drawn to provide that honorably discharged soldiers, sailors, and marines be given six months as a preferential period in which to purchase the public lands to be disposed of by this bill. Such a change will not disturb the primary object of the bill, which is to construct canals and works to better the valley's present water supply and to bring into cultivation lands now unproductive.
Assuring you of our appreciation of whatever consideration your committee may give our request, we are, Yours, very truly,
ARTHUR M. NELSON, Chairmail Temporary Executive Committee.
EL CENTRO Post THE AMERICAN LEGION, El Centro, Calif., August 23, 1919. Hon. M. P. KINKAID, Chairman House Committee on Irrigation of Arid Lands, - Washington, D. C. SIR: Upon instructions from the temporary executive committee of the Imperial County posts of the Americal Legion, given at a regular meeting of that body held August 22, 1919, in El Centro, Calif., I inclose resolution covering amendment to House bill No. 6044, which amendment provides for a preferential right of six months to be given to all persons who served in the military or naval service of the United States in time of war and who have received honorable discharges or have been placed on inactive duty. I also inclose resolution from San Diego Post No. 1 of the American Legion in regard to an amendment of this kind. Thanking you in behalf of the Imperial Valley posts of the American Legion for your courtesy in this. matter, I remain, Respectfully, John M. KEPLEY, Secretary of Temporary Earecutive Committee of the Imperial County Posts of the American Legion.
Whereas there is now pending in the United States Congress House bill No. 6044, which has been referred to the House Committee on Irrigation of Arid Lands, and consideration of said bill is now pending before said committee; and Whereas the posts of the American Legion at El Centro, Brawley, and Imperial, in the county of Imperial, State of California, have directed their several executive committees to take such action as may be expedient, in an attempt to procure an amendment of said bill, by the insertion therein of a provision to the effect that a preference right be granted to all persons who served in the military or naval service of the United States in time of war, who have received honorable discharge, or have been placed on inactive duty, for a period of six months, to purchase said lands, upon the terms therein provided; and Whereas the said respective posts have authorized their said respective committees to take such steps as may be deemed advisable in an attempt to secure such a preference right in any bill or act of Congress which may provide for the disposal of those certain lands known as the Eastside Mesa Lands, lying in the county of Imperial, State of California; and Whereas the said respective posts have not expressed any opinion, nor given any direction to their said respective executive committees with reference to any other provisions of said House bill No. 6044, or any bill which may be introduced having for its purpose the disposal of said lands: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the said respective executive committees in joint meeting duly assembled at the county court house in the city of El Centro, Calif., this 22d day of August, 1919, that it is the sense of the various posts of the American Legion of the county of Imperial, State of California, that the lands known as the Eastside Mesa Lands in the county of Imperial, State of California, and now being public lands of the United States should not be opened for sale, entry, or settlement, unless the right shall be given to all persons who served in the military or naval service of the United States in time of war, who have received honorable discharge, or have been placed on inactive duty, to purchase, enter, or settle upon said lands; which right shall be exclusive for the period of six months from and after the time when the said lands or any part thereof shall have first been declared open to such purchase, entry, or settlement: And be it further Resolved, That we do now in joint meeting duly assembled respectively petition the United States Congress to so amend said House bill No. 6044 that it may provide a preference right as hereinbefore set forth : And be it further Resolved, That the chairman and secretary of this meeting be and they are hereby instructed and directed to forward copies of this resolution to the chairman of the House Committee on Irrigation of Arid Lands, to the Hon. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior of the United States, and to the Hon. William C. Kettner, Member of Congress from this district.