페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Following these suggestions, the Imperial-Laguna Water Co. continuously endeavored to cooperate with the Imperial irrigation district, Coachella Valley County water district, and the west side irrigation district, and to that end all the above-named interests had their representatives in Washington and a bill satisfactory to all was prepared and introduced by Hon. William Keitner (H. R. 6044), and on June 19, 1919, said bill was referred to the Secretary of the Interior for report. July 3, 1919, the Secretary of the Interior reported upon said measure favorably, stating, among other things, that

“ The provisions of the bill covering the details of this procedure have been carefully worked out and it is believed will be found practicable in application to the conditions.

2

“ The proposition involved in this bill has had consideration of this department for a number of years, and the gravity of the situation has long been recognized as one which must necessarily be met as soon as practicable.

“In my opinion this bill as amended presents a satisfactory and feasible method of working out the problem, and I therefore suggest favorable action thereon."

Since said report of the Secretary of the Interior was received by the House Committee on Irrigation of Arid Lands interests foreign to Imperial Valley have requested certain amendments to the bill H. R. 6044, which amendments, if adopted, might be claimed to prevent the carrying out of the provisions of the aforesaid contract between the United States and the Imperial-Laguna Water Co.

A redraft of the bill (H. R. 6044), containing the proposed amendments will, we are informed, soon be presented to the Secretary of the Interior for report, and in order that the interest and investments of the Imperial-Laguna Water Co. under said contract may be fully protected (yet not desiring to do anything that may bring about delay or interfere with legislation) we respectfully make the following suggestions with the approval of all the interests above referred to for the purpose of providing a means whereby the stockholders of the Imperial-Laguna Water Co. will be able, without conflicting with the State settlement or soldiers' preference right plans, to acquire a sufficient portion of said mesa lands covered by the said contract to enable them to reimburse themselves for their outlay. We desire to call attention to the fact that the Imperial-Laguna Water Co. is a mutual water company, a nonprofit organization, and not a private corporation operating for profit. It is exactly the same character of corporation as the other 13 or 14 mutual water companies now operating in Imperial Valley.

The matter of an adjustment in the light of the new elements entering into the situation has been discussed by the representatives of the Imperial irrigation district and the other organizations, including the representatives of the State of California and the American Legion (the two latter being the foreign interests referred to), and also Representative William Kettner, representing the congressional district in which the lands affected are located, and a conclusion reached that if the adjustment hereinafter suggested receives the sanction of the department it will meet the situation, will be satisfactory to them, and that they will, if requested, so state to the Secretary of the Interior.

We therefore respectfully suggest the following adjustment to meet a situation newly arisen, due solely to the soldiers' settlement agitation and the desire of the State of California to acquire 50,000 acres of land in Imperial Valley for State settlement purposes :

The Imperial-Laguna Water Co. to surrender its said contract with the United States of date July 6, 1917, excepting as to the lands hereinafter described, or to surrender its entire contract and to immediately enter into a new contract covering only the lands hereinafter described.

The Imperial-Laguna Water Co. to withdraw its application for certain rights of way filed under the act of March 3, 1891, Los Angeles Serial No. 027026.

The Imperial-Laguna Water (o. to limit the location of its stock to lands in township 16 south, range 17 east, fractional township 17 south, range 17 east, and a fractional portion of township 17 south, range 18 east, S. B. M., containing approximately 23,000 acres of irrigable land.

The adoption of the above suggestions would open the way to deal with the soldiers and the State Land Settlement Board of California, if it is the desire of the department to do this, and at the same time would permit the ImperialLaguna Water Co. to come out whole. Under the adjustment the company

would be limited in its activities to about one-tenth of the amount of land covered by its original contract with the United States. In other words, it would be releasing approximately 200,000 acres from the provisions of its contract, but would be enabled, nevertheless, to reimburse its stockholders for their outlay, amounting to approximately $50,000, expended in good faith during the past six years in their efforts to bring about the irrigation of the east side mesa lands.

We submit herewith a rough plat of the particular lands to which the suggestions refer.

If the suggestions meet the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, we will be pleased to take up with the department the details of adjustment to meet the situation. Yours, respectfully,

MARK ROSE,
President Imperial-Laguna Water Co.

R. WOODLAND GATES,
Attorney for Imperial-Laguna Water Co.

The CHAIRMAN. What was the date of that letter? Mr. GATES. December 24, 1919. The CHAIRMAN. Addressed to whom? Mr. GATES. Addressed to the Secretary of the Interior by Mr. Mark Rose and myself. The quotation commencing on the first page of our letter is from a letter addressed by the department to us April 16, 1918, postponing, at our request, action upon the contract with the Imperial Laguna Water Co., copy of which contract will be inserted in the record.

The land referred to in our said letter as being covered by the contract is this land [indicating on blue print).

The CHAIRMAN. You mean the mesa land? Mr. GATES. Yes, sir; this is the East Side mesa land. That is covered by the contract. Our letter of December 24, 1919, to the Secretary of the Interior was written in order to meet a new situation which had arisen because of the request of the American Legion for a preference right, as set forth in the bill now under consideration (H. R. 11553), and the desire of the State of California to obtain 50,000 acres of land under said bill for soldier-settlement purposes. In our said letter we agreed to release from the provisions of the contract approximately nine-tenths of the land covered thereby if it were the desire of the department to favor such soldier preference right and to allow the State to obtain the 50,000 acres for soldier-settlement purposes. This offer, if accepted, would leave the land shown in yellow on this blue print to be irrigated by means of the Imperial Laguna Water Co. In other words, instead of irrigating more than 200,000 acres of land, the company would be restricted in its operations to approximately 23,000 acres of irrigable land.

Mr. Smith of Idaho. You say “release” it. What claim has Mr. Rose to what is covered there?

Mr. GATES. All of this East Side mesa land, Mr. Smith, is covered by the Rose contract.

Mr. Suth of Idaho. You mean to curtail the contract to the extent of that?

Mr. Gates. Yes, sir. One of the main questions before this committee to-day is whether or not this land that is embraced in this contract is in such a condition that Congress can now deal with it without taking care in some way of Mr. Rose's contract.

Mr. Smith of Idaho. Because of the money he expended under the contract?

Mr. GATES. Because of the existence of the contract, and, in addition, the moneys the company expended. To act without taking care of the contract would be to violate the obligations thereof.

Mr. BARBOUR. Why not state briefly there the substance of that contract?

Mr. GATES. The contract provides—it is a 20-page document and it is difficult to recollect all its provisions in detail; but

Mr. SMITH of Idaho. Is that township of land in the public domain now?

Mr. GATES. Yes; but it is withdrawn from entry excepting a little more than two school sections.

Mr. Rose. All but two sections of it.

Mr. GATES. I have the whole history of this matter from the time Mr. Rose first took it up in 1912, but do not know whether you gentlemen wish to go into this entire history or merely to consider the question raised by the letter of Secretary Lane referring our offer to this committee.

Mr. BARBOUR. State it briefly.

Mr. GATES. Mr. Rose was here first in 1912, asking that those lands, which were withdrawn first in 1903 and again at later dates, be restored to entry under the desert-land law.

Mr. SMITH of Idaho. Why were they withdrawn?

Mr. GATES. They were withdrawn under the reclamation act, and in 1913 the Director of the Reclamation Service reported to the Secretary of the Interior that they were no longer needed in connection with the Yuma project. We thought then that, following the provisions of the reclamation act, the Secretary would restore the land. It has never been restored. After several years' effort we finally obtained the contract of July 6, 1917—the Imperial Laguna Water Co. contract with the Government. This contract provided that we should make surveys, plans, specifications, and estimates of cost of the construction of certain canals and works therein specified, and that upon the submission of our engineers' report the Secretary was to take one of three courses.

The CHAIRMAN (interposing). What kind of a survey was to be made For what purpose ?

Mr. GATES. I will read that portion of the contract.
Mr. TAYLOR. I suppose that contract ought to go into the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. Gates. Regarding surveys that contract provided as follows:

SECTION 1. Surveys. That immediately on the execution of this contract the company shall proceed with diligence to make a complete and detailed survey, specification, and estimates of cost for the following:

(a) All necessary works and structures for the diversion of water from the Colorado River at and through said Laguna Dam, thence through said existing main canal of the United States supplying said Yuma project and such enlargement and modifications thereof as may be sufficient to divert and carry all water needed by the company for the reclamation of the lands herein described as contemplated by this contract without impairing the utilization of said diversion works and canal of the full extent necessary to supply said Yuma project on its complete development.

(b) A main supply canal, with all necessary appurtenant structures for the practical operation thereof, of sufficient capacity and proper and durable construction, connecting with said main canal of the United States referred to in

(a) above at or about said point described as “Syphon Drop" as may appear most feasible and practicable, and thence continuing and extending, either in part through the Republic of Mexico or entirely in the United States, as hereinafter provided, on such line of elevation and to such points as to cover and supply water for all requisite laterals and ditches for the practical and sufficient irrigation and reclamation of all lands susceptible thereof described in the permises and contemplated by this contract: Provided, That the company shall make and submit separate surveys, specifications, and estimates of cost for a canal built partially in the Republic of Mexico and for a canal built entirely within the United States. (c) Any and all works, structures, and equipment for power development or pumping operations which may appear feasible and practicable in connection with or as a part of said irrigation system contemplated by this contract. (d) Also to make sufficient preliminary investigation upon which to base estimate of the cost of sufficient main laterals and appurtenant works connecting with the said main canal described in (b) above to convey all water needed for irrigation purposes as herein provided for, within one mile, over which a practicable ditch can be constructed, of every smallest legal subdivision (40 acres) of land for which the company is under contract to furnish water for irrigation purposes. SEC. 2 Time for surveys.-That said surveys, specifications, and estimates of costs aforesaid shall be completed and full report thereof submitted to the Secretary of the Interior within six months from the date of this contract, or such extension of time as the Secretary of the Interior may in writing grant.

Mr. GATEs. With the permission of the committee I will at this point insert the contract in the record.

CoNTRACT BETweFN THE UNITED STATES AND THE IMPERIAL LAGUNA water co.

This agreement, made and entered into this 6th day of July, A. D. 1917, by and between the United States of America, acting in this behalf by Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, hereinafter styled the United States, party of the first part, and the Imperial Laguna Water Co., a corporation duly organized and existing umder and by virtue of the laws of the State of California, hereinafter styled the company, party of the second part,

Witnesseth :

Whereas, there are now withdrawn from entry certain public lands located in the county of Imperial, State of California, lying north of the international boundary line between California and Lower California, Mexico, and north and east of the East Side High Canal in Imperial Valley in township 9 South, range 13 east, sections 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, and 36; township 9 south, range 14 east, sections 19 to 36, inclusive; township 10 South, range 14 east, sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 35, and 36; township 10 south,' range 15 east, all; township 11 south, range 15 east, sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 34, 35, and 36; township 12 South, range 15 east, sections 1, 2, 11, 12, and 13; township 10 south, range 16 east, sections 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33; township 11 south, range 16 east, west half; township 12 south, range 16 east, west half; township 13 south, range 16 east, sections 4, 5, 9, and 16; townships 14, 15, and 16 South, range, 17 east, all; townships 15 and 16 south, range 18 east, all; township 16 south, range 19 east, all; fractional township 17 south, ranges 17, 18, and 19 east, all; fractional townships 14, 15, and 16 south, range 16 east, Sections 1, 12, 13, 24, 25, and 36; fractional township 17 south, range 16 east, sections 1, 11, 12, 13, and 14, all of San Bernardino meridian ; and

Whereas in connection with the Yuma project, Arizona-California, a dam on the Colorado River known as the Laguna Dam, situate about 10 miles northeast of Yuma, Ariz., together with a main diversion and supply canal extending from said dam southerly to a point known as “ Syphon Drop,”

situate in section 10, township 16 south, range 22 east, San Bernardino meri

dian, has been constructed and completed by the United States Reclamation Service under the provisions of the reclamation act of June 17, 1902, and acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto; and Whereas the company proposes to construct an irrigation system for the purpose of irrigating the above-described lands and is for that purpose desirous of connecting said irrigation system with said Laguna Dam and canal and making

185833—20—24

its main and principal diversion of water for irrigation from the Colorado River at said Laguna Dam and through said canal or enlargement thereof; and

Whereas by the act of February 21, 1911 (36 Stat., 925), the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to cooperate in the construction and use of reservoirs and canals under reclamation projects with irrigation districts, water users' associations, corporations, entrymen, or water users, for the construction of such reservoirs, canals, or ditches as may be advantageously used by the Government and irrigation districts, water users' associations, corporations, entrymen, or water users, for impounding, delivering, and carrying water for irrigation purposes :

Now, therefore, for and in consideration of the mutual covenants, agreements, and considerations to be kept and performed and paid as hereinafter stipulated and provided, it is hereby agreed as follows, to wit:

SECTION. 1. Surveys.—That immediately on the execution of this contract the company shall proceed with diligence to make a complete and detailed survey, specifications, and estimates of cost for the following:

(a) All necessary works and structures for the diversion of water from the Colorado River at and through said Laguna Dam, thence through said existing main canal of the United States supplying said Yuma project and such enlargement and modifications thereof as may be sufficient to divert and carry all water needed by the company for the reclamation of the lands herein described as contemplated by this contract without impairing the utilization of said diversion works and canal of the full extent necessary to supply said Yuma project on its complete development.

(b) A main supply canal, with all necessary appurtenant structures for the practical operation thereof, of sufficient capacity and proper and durable construction, connecting with said main canal of the United States referred to in (a) above at or about said point described as "syphon drop" as may appear most feasible and practicable, and thence continuing and extending, either in part through the Republic of Mexico or entirely in the United States, as hereinafter provided, on such line of elevation and to such points as to cover, and supply water for, all requisite laterals and ditches for the practical and sufficient irrigation and reclamation of all lands susceptible thereof described in the premises and contemplated by this contract; provided that the company shall make and submit separate surveys, specifications, and estimates of cost, for a canal built partially in the Republic of Mexico and for a canal built entirely within the United States.

(c) Any and all works, structures, and equipment for power development or pumping operations which may appear feasible and practicable in connection with or as a part of said irrigation system contemplated by this contract.

(d) Also to make sufficient preliminary investigation upon which to base estimate of the cost of sufficient main laterals and appurtenant works connecting with the said main canal described in (6) above to convey all water needed for irrigation purposes as herein provided for, within 1 mile, over which a practicable ditch can be constructed, of every smallest legal subdivision (40 acres) of land for which the company is under contract to furnish water for irrigation purposes.

SEC. 2. Time for surveys.—That said surveys, specifications, and estimates of costs aforesaid shall be completed and full report thereof submitted to the Secretary of the Interior within six months from the date of this contract, or such extension of time as the Secretary of the Interior may, in writing grant.

SEC. 3. Federal and State inspection and cooperation.—That in the making of said surveys, specifications, and estimates of costs aforesaid, the company shall employ at its sole expense, deposit sufficient to cover which shall be made in advance, one engineer to be designated by the Secretary of the Interior at a compensation to be fixed by him, such engineer diligently to work and cooperate with the engineers of the company and to have available all data procured by the company and its engineers, in making such surveys, specifications, and estimates, but with the privilege and duty of making a separate and independent report to the Secretary of the Interior in case he is unable to concur in the conclusions arrived at by the company and its engineers; likewise, the State of California shall be entitled to assign an engineer to work and cooperate with said company engineers, with the same privileges as said engineer appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, such engineer to be designated by the governor of California, and his services to be rendered at the sole expense of the State of California.

« 이전계속 »