페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

appropriatoostate that proposto do, is a very

Just howation should bumperial Valle that water has b

that they are going to get aid. That is the point I wanted to bring out.

Mr. HAYDEN. I think we are all agreed on what should be done, and that is the recognition of the fact that water has been beneficially applied to lands in the Imperial Valley, and that to that extent their appropriation should be prior to any land subsequently irrigated. Just how to state that proposition so as not to do more than we intend to do, or less than we intend to do, is a very difficult matter. I would suggest, Mr. Taylor, that if possible you might prepare what you think would accomplish the desired result, and then confer with the attorney for the Reclamation Service and see if you can not agree upon an amendment which will do just what is intended.

Mr. WELLING. Suppose we didn't say a word about it?

Mr. HAYDEN. Then it would be necessary to have these contentions decided by the courts: First, that the Imperial irrigation district had no water right; why? Because Congress had never given them the right to divert water out of the Colorado River, a navigable stream.

Second, because they have previously obtained water through a concession granted by the Republic of Mexico and now propose to secure it by another method.

For the third reason that they had changed their point of diversion.

All of which means a lawsuit, and what the courts would decide nobody knows.

Mr. WELLING. They are going to have a lawsuit anyway. This won't prevent a lawsuit. No State court would recognize that as proper appropriation or disposition of water within the State.

Mr. HAYDEN. The State courts would recognize this provision in section 15 to be at least an assertion by Congress that the people of the Imperial Valley had lost nothing by changing their point of diversion, and that Congress had given them authority to divert water from the Colorado River. Now, I am satisfied their appropriation would be adequately protected, and if we can state it in Mr. Taylor's way I would be glad to do so.

Mr. SUMMERS. In regard to this request, Mr. Rose, that the occupation and address of the stockholders of the Laguna irrigation dis. trict be furnished—there has been a request made, and I understand you are going to comply with it.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes. We will adjourn now until Friday morning.

(Whereupon at 4.30 o'clock p. m. the committee adjourned until 10 o'clock a. m. Friday.)

COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION OF ARID LANDS,

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Wednesday, March 3, 1920. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. M. P. Kinkaid (chairman) presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. I want to announce first to the members of the committee that I spoke this morning to Mr. Fordney, chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, and I have been continuing the effort to get a hearing there of our Committee on Irrigation in behalf of the bill for an appropriation for the reclamation fund, pursuant to the request made by the governors, pursuant to the understanding had with the association of governors who were here. The Committee on Ways and Means are going to hear the soldier representatives first and complete that, except that they will now hear the constituents of Mr. Smith of Idaho, because they are a long ways from home, and they will defer hearing the members of our committee in behalf of this appropriation or some means of replenishing the reclamation fund; they will defer that until after they get through with the soldier representatives and have heard these gentlemen from Idaho. They will hear them this week. Mr. SMITH of Idaho. They expect to hear them to-morrow. The CHAIRMAN. Yes; but the members of this committee can not get a hearing before that committee before next week, probably, but they will hear us. I wanted to say that it is important that all the members of the committee be present before the Committee on Ways and Means, and that you hold yourselves in readiness for next week, and Monday if possible. Mr. LITTLE. What is it we want? The CHAIRMAN. We want the reclamation fund replenished, and we are to have a hearing in accordance with the understanding had by the governors when they were here representing the Association of Western States, organized for the purpose of storing water. Mr. LITTLE. Does that $250,000,000 take care of Imperial Valley? Will it do that? The CHAIRMAN. Well, perhaps it will. Mr. LITTLE. I don’t believe I would support it if it did not. * CHAIRMAN. They may not need it, and they might need some of it. Mr. BARBOUR. It was suggested at the meeting of governors that the Imperial Valley project should be kept separate. Mr. LITTLE. That would not be satisfactory to me. The CHAIRMAN. The committee has met this morning, gentlemen, to consider H. R. 12537, and the Secretary of the Interior has reported

as follows upon it:
- DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, February 25, 1920.

Hon. M. P. KINKAID,
Committee on Irrigation of Arid Lands,
- House of Representatives.

MY DEAR MR. KINKAID: I have your letter of February 18 transmitting copy of a bill, H. R. 12537, with request for report thereon. The bill is entitled as follows:

“A bill to provide for an examination and report on the condition and possible irrigation development of the Imperial Valley in California.”

You state that the bill was introduced after a conclusion had been reached that neither the Kettner bill (H. R. 11553) nor anything like it could be passed at this session. The bill proposes to authorize an appropriation not to exceed $20,000, under which no expenditure shall be made or obligation incurred until provision has been made for the payment of one-half the cost of the examintaion provided by the bill by associations and agencies interested in the irrigation of lands in the Imperial Valley.

On February 16, 1918, I made a contract with the Imperial irrigation district providing for investigations, surveys, and cost estimates of an all-American canal from Laguna Dam, Arizona-California, into Imperial Valley, which contemplated an expenditure of $45,000, of which the Imperial district furnished $30,000. This report has just been printed, and I inclose herewith a copy for the committee.

This report was devoted largely to the engineering features of the proposition. The bill in question will authorize a more general study of the character of the lands and their availability for irrigation, together with a number

of other important details regarding the feasibility, necessity, and advisability of the undertaking.

In view of the conditions regarding the possibility of passing an appropriation for construction of the works as presented by the committee, it seems to me that the best thing which can be done at the present time to advance the interests of this proposition, which I regard as meritorious, would be to appropriate further moneys for the necessary investigations which would be preliminary to construction.

I therefore suggest favorable action upon the bill.

Cordially, yours,
FRANKLIN K. LANE, Secretary.

Mr. Kettner is to be here at the meeting this morning. He wishes

to be here and support this bill. He is not here yet, and, as Mr.

Kibbey is present, we might just as well hear a few words from him, and then we want to hear Director Davis.

STATEMENT OF MR. WALTER B. KIBBEY, REPRESENTING THE IMPERIAL WALLEY IRRIGATION DISTRICT,

Mr. KIBBEY. Mr. Chairman, I took the matter of the bill up at the time of its introduction with the people of Imperial Valley. They held a mass meeting last Saturday of representatives of the American Legion and the irrigation district board—in fact, they say “Imperial Irrigation District, Interpost Council of American Legion and affiliated organizations.” Mr. SMITH of Idaho. Where is that from ? Mr. KIBBEY. From the board of directors of the Imperial irrigation district. Mr. SMITH of Idaho. But from what city? Mr. KIBBEY. From El Centro. It is addressed to me in care of the Washington Hotel, dated February 29, and reads as follows:

EL CENTRo, CALIF., February 29, 1920. WALTER KIBBEY, - Care the Washington, Washington, D. C.:

The board of directors of irrigation district, Interpost Council American Legion, and affiliated organizations, which have been urging the passage of the Kettner bill, 11553, met to-day and considered your committee report and statements from Washington that neither this bill nor any other bill for the relief of Imperial Valley can be considered this session of Congress, excepting only the Kinkaid bill, which directs the Secretary of the Interior to make additional surveys, and gather complete data on construction costs, amount of lands affected, and apportionment of costs contemplated by our bill, and to make his report to Congress, with recommendations, not later than December 6 next. We reaffirm our belief that the provisions of the Kettner bill, 11553, more fully and adequately cover the needs of this valley than any measure heretofore presented or considered ; that the needs of the valley urgently require the passage of such bill in substantially its present form; that the valley will at the next session of Congress again urge such bill for passage. We believe, however, that the provisions of the Kinkaid bill, if passed at this session, will provide needed data which will be helpful to the valley whenever the Kettner bill is finally considered by Congress. We must regard the provision of the Kinkaid bill when passed as a pledge given at this time that Congress will pass legislation to carry into effect whatever recommendations for the relief of Imperial Valley shall be contained in the report required by this bill to be made to Congress by the Secretary of the Interior. You are therefore directed by this board to urge Congress to pass the Kinkaid bill at this session, and you are authorized to pledge this district to pay to the Secretary on demand onehalf of the cost of the work provided for by said bill.

BOARD OF DIRECTORs IMPERIAL IRRIGATION DISTRICT.

I take it that if Congresses passes this bill they are morally bound to give the Imperial Valley some relief. The CHAIRMAN. All this means—their expression is that we are acting in good faith. Mr. SMITH of Idaho. Excepting the passage of this bill does not mean that Congress must pass another bill. Mr. KIBBEY. No; of course not. The CHAIRMAN. Now, gentlemen, I will read the bill:

[ocr errors]

A BILL To provide for an examination and report on the condition and possible irrigation development of the Imperial Valley in California.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed to have an examination made of the Imperial Valley in the State of California, with a view of determining the area, location, and general character of the public and privately owned unirrigated lands in said valley which can be irrigated at a reasonable cost, and the character, extent, and cost of an irrigation system, or of the modification, improvement, enlargement, and extension of the present system, adequate and dependable for the irrigation of the present irrigated area in the said valley, and of the public and privately owned lands in said valley not now under irrigation, which can be irrigated at a reasonable cost from known Sources of Water Supply.

SEC. 2. That the said Secretary shall make report to Congress not later than the 6th day of December, 1920, of the result of his examination, together with his recommendation as to the feasibility, necessity, and advisability of the undertaking, or the participation by the United States, in a plan of irrigation development with a view of placing under irrigation the remaining unirrigated public and privately owned lands in said valley, in connection with the modification, improvement, enlargement, and extension of the present irrigation systems of the said valley.

SEC. 3. That the said Secretary shall report in detail as to the character and estimated cost of the plan or plans on which he may report; and if the said plan or plans shall include storage, the location, character, and cost of said storage, and the effect on the irrigation development of other sections or localities of the storage recommended and the use of the stored water in the Imperial Valley.

SEC. 4. That the said Secretary shall also report as to the extent, if any, to which, in his opinion, the United States should contribute to the cost of carrying out the plan or plans which he may propose; the proportion of the total cost that should be ‘borne by the various irrigation districts or associations or other public or private agencies now organized or which may be organized; and the manner in which their contribution should be made; also to what extent and in what manner the United States should control, operate, or supervise the carrying out of the plan proposed, and what assurances he has been able to secure as to the approval of, participation in, and contribution to the plan or plans proposed by the various contributing agencies.

SEC. 5. That, for the purpose of enabling the Secretary of the Interior to pay one-half of the cost of the examination and report herein provided for, there is hereby authorizéd to be appropriated not to exceed the sum of $20,000: Provided, That no expenditure shall be made or obligation incurred hereunder by the Secretary of the Interior until provision shall have been made for the payment of one-half the cost of the examination and report herein provided for by associations and agencies interested in the irrigation of the lands of the Imperial Valley.

We will now hear Mr. Kettner just briefly. You have examined the bill that I introduced here, H. R. 12357, for investigating the Imperial Valley situation?

STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM KETTNER, A REPRESENTATIVE

IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.

Se Nr: KETTNER uma ang

Mr. KETTNER. I have read the bill, Mr. Chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, will you state to the committee whether you favor the bill as a solution of the problem at this time?

Mr. KETTNER. Mr. Chairman, I think it is evident to every member of the committee that Congress must do something for the Imperial Valley, and as this is the only solution, in my opinion, at this time, I strongly favor it and for the reason that the Imperial Valley people must take steps to prove to the people of Yuma that they are in earnest and that they want to remove the very serious situation which occurs every year at high water.

The CHAIRMAN. You mean remove the menace ? Mr. KETTNER. Remove the menace, yes; which is very serious; at least, they are thoroughly convinced, in my opinion, that it is very serious.

Mr. TAYLOR. It hangs over them like the sword of Damocles.

Mr. KETTNER. Yes, sir. It is very true that it is very serious with the people of Yuma and also the people of Imperial Valley.

Mr. ÊVANS. It seems to me this is putting it off a long time. We had all hoped ever since last summer that Imperial Valley might be relieved more immediately. Why can we not get faster action on this?

Mr. KETTNER. Mr. Evans, I would freely give everything I have on earth if we could give immediate relief to the people of Imperial Valley. Mr. EVANS. It is a disappointment to me, this delay.

Mr. KETTNER. In my opinion, that is impossible at the present time, and as this is the very best we can do—at least I have reached that conclusion after thorough investigation—I think the committee should act immediately and grant us at least this small relief, which, I hope, will prove to the people of Yuma that we are doing everything we can.

Mr. SUMMERS. Mr. Kettner, in view of the fact that an investigation would have to be made before progress could be made on the work, even if your bill were passed, we are not particularly delaying, it seems to me, in providing for the investigation in this bill and the reporting back at a very early date—December 6.

Mr. KETTNER. The people of Imperial Valley have made several surveys, and they think that the Government should go ahead and make an appropriation; but the committee, I understand-or, at least, a number of them-are not satisfied with the surveys that were made, and they want a survey made directed by the Congress itself.

Mr. SUMMERS. But, Mr. Kettner, isn't it a fact that those surveys have mostly been in that part of the country, and that they have not taken into consideration all of the damage that may be done by storage and the cost of storage and various things of that kind on the upper river? And those things will have to be investigated before the work can proceed in the lower valley?

Mr. KETTNER. That is very true.

Mr. SUMMERS. That part of the investigations, as I understand it, had not been fully made at any time by anybody.

« 이전계속 »