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Mr. KIBBEY, Where is that?
Mr. WELLING. This section provides: “To levy and enforce the payment of any taxes, forced contributions, or special assessments.” What is a “ forced contribution" under the law ?
Mr. KIBBEY. Well, a forced contribution, I would take it, is an assessment levied and payment forced, by sale of the property. Mr. WELLING. Is that covered by the other terms, then? Mr. KIBBEY. I think it is; yes. The CHAIRMAN. It simply means not voluntary? Mr. KIBBEY. Not voluntary, that is it.
Mr. HAYDEN. That language was taken from the bill introduced by Mr. Smith of Idaho, known as the Smith-Chamberlain bill, which provided for bond issues. The terms were copied from that bill.
Mr. Smith of Idaho. I think it was also used in the act of August 11, 1916, providing for the formation of irrigation districts on the public domains.
Mr. HAYDEN. It may be mere repetition and surplusage, but we wanted to make it perfectly clear that by whatever means necessary the money would be repaid.
Section 6 provides :
SEC. 6. That the proportion or amount of the cost of the canals and works, the construction of which are authorized by this act to be borne by any irrigation district, State land settlement board, soldier settlement board, water users association, or other organization, as fixed and determined by the Secretary of the Interior, may be paid in cash, and when so paid shall be deposited in the Treasury to the credit of the Laguna project fund hereinafter provided for, and may be expended by the Secretary of the Interior in the same manner as money appropriated by Congress pursuant to this act.
The CHAIRMAN. That seems to be self-explanatory.
Mr. KIBBEY. There is just one thing I desire to say in connection with that, that the Secretary of the Interior under the bill can not sell the bonds until he gets par for them. Under this provision, if the districts wish—and I think they will, if they can't obtain parif they get close to it, they may sell their bonds and pay cash instead of depositing the bonds; therefore putting the cash into the hands of the Secretary of the Interior.
The CHAIRMAN. Which ought to be acceptable. Mr. HAYDEN. You will also remember that Dr. Mead stated that the State of California would in all probability pay cash for their share of the irrigation works, if they were given a certain tract of land to develop. This section covers all such contingencies:
SEC. 7. That the public lands of the United States declared by the Secretary of the Interior to be susceptible of reclamation under the provision of this act, and included within any irrigation district or any other similar organization the boundaries and bonds of which are accepted by the said Secretary under the terms of this act, shall be subject to the provisions of the act entitled "An act to promote the reclamation of arid lands," approved August 11, 1916 (39 Stat. L., p. 506), notwithstanding the district may contain more than a majority acreage of such public lands.
Mr. KIBBEY. This is the section which provides for the organization of the districts, the scheme of payment, of course, being by the issuance and sale of district bonds; therefore we must have all of the lands incorporated into a district. We now have two districts already formed—it is contemplated to include the new lands in other districts. There may be several districts, but the power is
given to the Secretary of the Interior to designate what lands shall be taken into the particular districts as formed. Mr. HAYDEN. The act of August 11, 1916, which this section seeks to amend, provides that where public lands are included within an irrigation district, the majority acreage of which is private land, that the minority acreage of public lands may be included. This section extends that law so that the majority of the acreage within an irrigation district may be Government land. t Section 8 provides: SEC. 8. That, except as hereinafter provided, any unentered lands of the United States found by the Secretary of the Interior to be susceptible of irrigation from the irrigation works the construction of which is provided for by this act, may be sold whem water is available therefor, to citizens of the United States, not more than 160 acres to any one purchaser, under such rules and regulations as the said Secretary may prescribe, at the fair appraised value thereof, which shall be fixed at not less than $10 per acre. The land so sold shall be paid for in cash, or on deferred payments, at the option of the purchaser, in installments of one-fifth cash and one-fifth annually until fully paid. with interest on the deferred payments at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from date of sale, patent to issue upon full payment of the purchase price and compliance with all of the requirements of this act. Mr. KIBBEY. Dr. Mead suggested in his statement an amendment to this section providing that all the lands be opened to homestead entry. I heartily agree with that. The object of the section as written was to hold the lands in Government ownership until water was available. Under sections 1 and 2 of the California irrigation act it is impossible to form districts, irrigation districts, until at least 500 persons reside within the boundaries of the proposed districts. I don’t think that it is possible to sell this land prior to the time when water is available and form a district before water has become available. I think that is utterly impossible. Mr. SMITH of Idaho. You would not expect, Mr. Kibbey, that these homesteaders would go on this dry land and live there during the time before water is available? Mr. KIBBEY. No. Mr. SMITH of Idaho. You would have to have a special law, then, to excuse them from residence? Mr. KIBBEY. No; because. I don't propose to have the land open until the water is available. Mr. SMITH of Idaho. I thought you suggested that these homesteaders would go on there in order to be able to form a district in compliance with the California statute? Mr. KIBBEY. I was just trying to show that they would not do that until the water was available; and under our scheme it is not intended that they shall do it until water is available. The CHAIRMAN. And the idea is that the water shall be available before the lands are sold? Mr. KIBBEY. Exactly. The CHAIRMAN. And then after they have been sold, then they will proceed to form a district? Mr. SMITH of Idaho. Have you 500 people residing within these proposed districts? Mr. KIBBEY. In the new districts, no. Mr. SMITH of Idaho. Then, how are you going to comply with the statute?
Mr. KIBBEY. When the water becomes available—we don't intend to form those new districts until such time as the Secretary of the Interior has said that water is available for those districts. Up until that time we can carry on the work by the sale of bonds of the districts which are already organized.
Mr. HAYDEN. Section 9 provides:
SEC. 9. That all unentered public lands in California susceptible of irrigation hereunder lying south of the third standard parallel and east of the Imperial irrigation district shall be set apart and reserved until water is available for said lands, and all persons who served in the military or naval forces of the United States during any period in which the United States was engaged in war and who have been honorably separated or discharged therefrom or placed in the Regular Army •or Naval Reserve shall have the exclusive right of purchase thereof in tracts not to exceed 160 acres to any purchaser at the rate of $1.25 per acre, for a period of six months after said lands shall be opened to purchase: Provided, That any of said lands may be set aside for use under any soldier-settlement plan which may hereafter be authorized by act of Congress: And provided further, That the State of California shall have the option for a period of 12 months after the passage of this act to acquire not to exceed 50,000 acres thereof by exchange of State lands of equal area and value, or by purchase at $1.25 per acre for settlement under provisions of the California State land settlement act. All of said lands purchased by persons having served in the military or naval forces, as aforesaid, shall be included in one or more of the irrigation districts to be organized under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior and subject to assessment for payment of the bonds to be issued by said districts in payment for their proportionate part of the costs and charges hereunder: Provided, however, That in the event the State of California shall exercise the option herein granted, then the Secretary of the Interior and the proper authorities of the State of California shall enter into an agreeement whereby not more thant 160 acres of such lands shall be sold to any one purchaser, and whereby persons having served in the military or naval forces, as aforesaid, shall have a preferential right of purchase, and whereby such lands shall be pledged for the payment of the proportion of the costs and charges to which such lands may be subject, and payment thereof shall be made in the manner determined by the Secretary of the Interior.
An amendment suggested by the department is to strike out the words “purchase thereof.” in line 4, page 8, and insert the words “entry under the homestead laws”; and then strike out the words “purchaser at the rate” in line 5, and insert the words “person upon payment,” so that it will read that any soldier or sailor “shall have the exclusive right of entry under the homestead laws in tracts not to exceed 160 acres to any person upon payment of $1.25 per acre ; a. period of six months after said land shall be opened to purChase. Mr. HUDspETH. The provision providing for the exchange of State lands is also cut out in my bill. Mr. HAYDEN. The recommendation was made that it be cut out, but subsequently the Secretary of the Interior said that he thought if he had authority to exchange for forest lands, as suggested by Dr. Mead, it might be well to leave it in. The Secretary was under the impression that it was proposed to exchange certain desert lands belonging to the State of California for the east mesa lands, but if forest lands could be exchanged, it would be best not to amend the bill by striking out the words “by exchange of State lands of equal area and value, or,” in line 13: The Secretary also suggests a proviso at the end of section 9: Provided, That the State shall forfeit the right to any lands not improved and made ready for settlement within such time after water is ready for Mr. BARBour. What do you think of the acreage, Mr. Kibbey— 160 acres for each soldier? Mr. KIBBEY. It savs “not to exceed.” The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kibbey, I wish you would just point out. those lands on the map. Mr. KIBBEY. They are the lands colored in blue, south of the third standard parallel [indicating]. I think that is the third standard parallel there—green, I should say. It is the land between there and the red line at the boundary. The CHAIRMAN. All that mesa? Mr. KIBBEY. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. Now, that is the east mesa? Mr. KIBBEY. That is what we call the east mesa. Possibly the mesa goes up a little bit farther, but it is the east mesa south of the third standard parallel. Mr. HERNANDEz. This is applicable to any soldier of any war; not exclusively to the soldiers of the late war. Mr. BARBOUR. Dr. Mead said the other day that 40 acres is ample, and he suggested indirectly, if not directly, that a limit of 40 acres be placed upon these allotments. If that is true, and that amount is ample, there would be a lot more land there for soldiers. Mr. KIBBEY. Exactly. Mr. BARBOUR. And I think it would have a tendency to prevent speculation. Mr. KIBBEY. I have no objection; in fact, I have always been a believer in the public lands being disposed of to men who want to make homes upon them. Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Kibbey, ought we not to reduce that maximum to at least 80 acres? If this is to be $400 or $500 land, it has got to be leveled and a lot of work has got to be done on it, and 40 acres is as much as any man can possibly tend, and hadn't we better pass this around a little more? Mr. KIBBEY. I am perfectly agreeable to it, and am assured that the Secretary of the Interior would do that anyway. Mr. TAYLOR. I think we ought to reduce it at least from 160 to 80 if not to 40 acres. Mr. BARBour. If we are going to legislate for the soldiers, the more we can benefit, the more good will be accomplished by this legislation. Mr. TAYLOR. And if the land is any good 40 acres is enough; and if it isn't any good, they are not going to take it. The CHAIRMAN. There will not be any more land this way, but there will be land for more soldiers, and if there is any place where 40 acres is adequate on a reclamation, project, it seems to me the Imperial Valley is the place. . I don’t know of any place where they could expect to make a living for a family on as small an area as that, except possibly on some fruit lands. Mr. HAYDEN. Perhaps it would be well for you to give the committee the history of this section; how it became part of the bill. Mr. KIBBEY. I started in on that the other day. As I say, the former committee, when they came back from Washington, told us that an amendment of this kind would kill the bill. We did not believe that—that is, some of us did not; the Legion did not believe it at any rate.
delivery, as may be agreed upon in contract between the State and the Secretary, at the time the State exercises the option provided for in this section.
Evidently the majority of the people of our district-did believe it. We started the fight through our local Legion. We did not get very far with it and we called upon Dr. Mead. We asked for his assistance, knowing that he and the State Land Settlement Board were taking up the soldiers settlement proposition. In response to our petition to him he suggested a meeting of all interested parties at Berkeley for October 1, I think was the day set. That invitation was made general to all interested organizations, corporations, and associations in the Imperial Valley, to attend and send representatives. We had quite a time getting the irrigation district board and the board of supervisors to agree to attend, because of the vital need for aid in the valley and the impression they had that the soldier amendment would kill the bill, but as the result of our efforts we did get the irrigation district directors to attend in a body. We got the board of supervisors to attend in a body; we got the farm bureau to attend in a body. The other day I said that the Laguna Water Co. was represented there; I had been informed that there were stockholders in the Laguna Water Co. present. I am not familiar with the names of them, but Mr. Rose tells me they were not present, so I wish to withdraw that statement that the Laguna Water Co. was represented. I have a list of all who attended that conference, which I think with the exception of the Laguna Water Co. included every organization in the Imperial Valley, the associated chambers of commerce, the chambers of commerce of every city in Imperial; the mutual water companies, the board of directors of the irrigation district, the board of supervisors, and all organizations of which I have any knowledge. Mr. WELLING. Was Judge Swing at that meeting? Mr. KIBBEY. Judge Swing was at that meeting; and I will say that Judge Swing was opposed to the amendments there upon the grounds that Congress would defeat the bill if the soldier amendments were included. I served upon the committee that was appointed there with him, and he gave those reasons to me as well as to the public. The result of that meeting was the adoption of resolutions requesting the amendment as incorporated in this section, which are on file with your committee and are already printed in the report of the hearings on H. R. 6044. They were finally agreed to unanimously—I will say that Judge Swing announced he was going to attend a meeting which Senator Johnson was to address and would not be present at the evening session. Mr. WELLING. When you say “these amendments” do you mean the matter contained in section 9? Mr. KIBBEY. Yes; I will read just exactly that resolution. Mr. WELLING. I don't care to have it. Just what you say is sufficient. Mr. KIBBEY. They recommended that the lands on the east side Mesa be reserved in the first place for soldier settlement—at that time they were considering the Lane bill in Congress—that if the Lane bill passed or any legislation by Congress should pass, that these lands, being the most valuable in California in public ownership, should be reserved so that they would come under the operation of that bill; if that bill did not go through, that they be opened to