Page images
PDF
EPUB

512803

COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS

EDWARD T. TAYLOR, Colorado, Chairmanı CLARANCE CANNON, Missouri

JOHN TABER, New York CLIFTON A. WOODRUM, Virginia

ROBERT L. BACON, New York JOHN J. BOYLAN, New York

RICHARD B. WIGGLESWORTH, MassachuLOUIS LUDLOW, Indiana

setts THOMAS S. MCMILLAN, South Carolina WILLIAM P. LAMBERTSON, Kansas MALCOLM C. TARVER, Georgia

D. LANE POWERS, New Jersey JED JOHNSON, Oklahoma

J. WILLIAM DITTER, Pennsylvania J. BUELL SNYDER, Pennsylvania

ALBERT E. CARTER, California WILLIAM B. UMSTEAD, North Carolina ROBERT F. RICH, Pennsylvania WILLIAM R. THOM, Ohio

CHARLES A. PLUMLEY, Vermont JOHN F. DOCKWEILER, California

EVERETT M. DIRKSEN, Illinois
JAMES MCANDREWS, Illinois

ALBERT J. ENGEL, Michigan
EMMET O'NEAL, Kentucky
GEORGE W. JOHNSON, West Virginia
JAMES G. SCRUGHAM, Nevada
JAMES M. FITZPATRICK, New York
LOUIS C. RABAUT, Michigan
JOACHIM O. FERNANDEZ, Louisiana
MILLARD F. CALDWELL, Florida
DAVID D. TERRY, Arkansas
JOHN M. HOUSTON, Kansas
JOHN P. HIGGINS, Massachusetts
J. BURRWOOD DALY, Pennsylvania
JOE STARNES, Alabama
ROSS A. COLLINS, Mississippi
CHARLES H. LEAVY, Washington
WILLIAM D. McFARLANE, Texas

MARCELLUS C. SHEILD, Clerk

SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERIOR DEPARTMENT

EDWART T. TAYLOR, Colorado, Chairman JED JOHNSON, Oklahoma

ROBERT F. RICH, Pennsylvania
JAMES G. SCRUGHAM, Nevada

WILLIAM P. LAMBERTSON, Kansas
EMMET O'NEAL, Kentucky
JAMES M. FITZPATRICK, New York
CHARLES H. LEAVY, Washington

1 Elected chairman Mar. 5, 1937, to succeed Hon. James P. Buchanan, deceased Feb. 22, 1937.

II

INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILL, 1938

HEARINGS CONDUCTED BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE, MESSRS. EDWARD

T. TAYLOR (CHAIRMAN), JED JOHNSON, JAMES G. SCRUGHAM, EMMET O'NEAL, JAMES M. FITZPATRICK, WILLIAM P. LAMBERTSON, AND ROBERT F. RICH, OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, IN CHARGE OF THE INTERIOR DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATION BILL FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1938

MONDAY, MARCH 15, 1937, The CHAIRMAN. I desire to say that because of the multitude of duties which have been placed on me by reason of the fact that I have recently taken over the chairmanship of the general committee, I shall be unable to be present during a considerable part of the hearings on this bill and that I shall have to depend on Mr. Johnson, in the main, to take charge and act as chairman during my absence.

Mr. Johnson. May I state that I am sure I speak the sentiment of each member of this committee when I say that all of us feel gratified and honored that our chairman, who has served so faithfully and efficiently for many years, is now chairman of the full committee on appropriations. We realize full well that his duties are extremely beary. We understand that this year with the multiplicity of demands for additional cash by the heads of all departments of government, and with the urgent demand for curtailing governmental expenses that the load is especially heavy for the chairman of the appropriations committee.

I desire to assure our chairman that members of this committee will cooperate to the fullest possible extent and will do our utmost to bring in this bill below the estimates. May I say for the benefit of the new members of this committee that inasmuch as Congressman Scrugham is very familiar with the subjects of mining and geology, I am going to ask him to take charge of the bill when we reach that point. Governor Scrugham is also familiar with and deeply interested in reclamation and national parks, and therefore will conduct the hearings on all matters concerning these subjects.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 1937.

STATEMENT OF HON. HAROLD L. ICKES, SECRETARY OF THI

INTERIOR

The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen of the committee, we have the Secre. tary of the Interior, Mr. Ickes, with us this morning, and I understand he is prepared to make a general statement to the committee. Un. fortunately, we were unable to have the Secretary with us at the begin

1

ning of the hearings owing to his illness. I am glad to observe that he has fully recovered and I know his statement will be of benefit and interest to the members of the committee.

Secretary Ickes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Gentlemen, I appreciate this opportunity to address you. Of course, my statement will necessarily be a general one, and it would have been made at your first hearing if I had not been in bed.

Mr. Johnson. I suggest that the Secretary's statement appear in the record at the beginning of our hearings.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes; that will be done. We will be glad to hear your statement, Mr. Secretary.

GENERAL STATEMENT

Secretary Ickes. I hope that the next time I appear before your committee in connection with the annual appropriations the department will carry the new designation proposed by the President, namely, the Department of Conservation. The proposed title would be more indicative of our activities. There is not a single Government agency that now has the function of promoting the conservation of our natural resources, although six of the seven bureaus of the Department of the Interior and three divisions under the Secretary are engaged directly in such work. In my opinion, the mere designation of a Department of Conservation would assist materially in the preservation and wise use of our natural resources by establishing a unified national conservation policy which is so greatly needed in this epoch if we are to avoid the mistakes of the past. Conservation would be given an entity heretofore lacking in our scheme of Government. A consciousness of conservation would be created in the minds of legislative and executive officials alike. There would be placed on the officers of the new department a definite responsibility that does not now exist anywhere in the Government. Even though some conservation agencies were continued in other branches of the Government, a department of conservation would exert a desirable influence.

During my 4 years as Secretary of the Interior it has been my endeavor to strengthen the Department in all of its public relationships with a view to dealing equitably and conscientiously with citizens who come before it. The benefits of this policy have been reflected in numerous ways. In establishing the grazing service, I arranged for local autonomy in the management of the range. In the program of rehabilitating the Virgin Islands, the native population has been given a chance to participate to an unprecedented extent through the activities of the Virgin Island Co. in the growing of sugarcane and the manufacture of rum. As a result, the islands will be self-supporting in a very few years. The Division of Investigations has been reorganized within the present fiscal year and the consolidation with the investigative work of the Public Works Administration has been abolished. The American Indians have been given an opportunity to participate in the management of their own affairs. Every aggrieved employee of the Department's staff of more than 40,000 has the right of appeal directly to the Secretary of the Interior.

I regret to announce the death of Dr. William A. White, the late superintendent of St. Elizabeths Hospital, who has appeared before your committee for many years. Dr. White was a great physician, en efficient executive, and a fine citizen. He had been associated with the institution since 1903 and had devoted more than half of his lifetime to the public service. His untimely death is a severe blow to the medical world in general and to the Department of the Interior in particular.

RECLAMATION CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM

The Federal reclamation construction program is progressing satisfactorily. All operating projects had a prosperous year during 1936, despite the fact that some of them were in the heart of the area stricken hr drought for the second time in 3 years. Water conserved by the Federal projects not only brought crops to harvest on the lands served by the reclamation canals, but in many ways mitigated the effects of the drought of 1936 in wide surrounding areas. Without this wellplanned and soundly executed program, now 35 years old, last year's disaster would have had even more tragic effects in the West, and States in the drought area would have been more crippled than they were.

Federal reclamation has assumed its rightful place in the public construction program in the West. There is probably no phase of the national works program which will return more to the Nation through repayment of costs, increased national wealth, conservation of a precious resource and improved social and economic conditions in a large area. This work, as it progressed in 1936, provided in addition a large amount of employment at construction sites spread all over the West, and indirectly, in virtually every industrial center in the country.

The Budget estimates submitted and now before you will provide for the continuance of this program on a relatively modest scale during the 1938 fiscal year. The projects now under construction must be continued to completion or the result will be a waste of funds already expended and a long delay in providing improvements thai are badly needed.

NATIONAL POWER POLICY

On January 18, 1937, the President appointed a committee to make terommendations to him with regard to a national power policy. In his letter appointing the Secretary of the Interior as chairman, the President said:

Power from the Bonneville project will be available for distribution this year. Therefore, legislation is immediately necessary. At the same time, it is highly advisable that such legislation conform to a national power generating, transputting and distributing policy, such policy to be uniform as far as practicable or sivi-able. This does not mean identical rates in every part of the country but it does mean uniformity of policy. This policy once established will apply to existing projects, such as Boulder Dam and portions of the T. V. A. and to all Ipv power developinents as they are completed during the next few years.

Tie committee has alressiy submitted a progress report relating to the Bonneville project and is now actively engaged in carrying out the other phases of its assignment. The members of the committee, in addition to the Secretary of the Interior, are: Frederic A. Delano, Vice Chairman, National Resources Committee; James M. Landis, Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission; John M. Carmody, Administrator, Rural Electrification Administration; and Frank R. McNinch, Chairman, Federal Power Commission.

Although the committee avails itself as much as possible of information available from the several Government agencies, it, nevertheless, requires a competent staff of its own to perform necessary research and work out details of the problem as directed by the committee.

OIL CONSERVATION POLICY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Five States—Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas-producing 73 percent of the national oil output, have adopted the policy of regulating oil production so as to prevent waste. Each State determines for itself the amount of oil which currently may be produced therein without waste.

Under the act approved February 22, 1935, generally known as the Connally hot-oil law, the Federal Government, through the Department of the Interior, supports the State policy of oil and gas conservation by providing that petroleum, or the products thereof, produced in excess of the amounts permitted by State law is contraband and may not be moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

Ďuring the fiscal year ended June 30, 1936, the Department issued 5,968 certificates of clearance involving 222,034,000 barrels of petroleum at an over-all cost of about one-tenth of a cent a barrel. The administration of the law is so essentially a field activity that, of the 78 persons employed, 60 are in the field and only 18 in Washington. The current appropriation for the administration of the act is $300,000

The act has been upheld uniformly in the Federal courts and no issue thereunder has been presented to the Supreme Court of the United States. The prosecution of cases rests with the Department of Justice which prosecutes civil and criminal proceedings under the act. Out of 248 cases in the courts, the Government has been successful in 231 and unsuccessful in 2, with 15 pending.

The Connally law expires by limitation on June 16, 1937, but a bill to make it permanent has now passed the Senate and is pending in the House. Only one Federal Tender Board, that for east Texas, has been established but, if the law is extended, it is very probable that a new Federal Tender Board will have to be established for the Corpus Christi area, and it is anticipated that an appropriation of $500,000 will be required for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1938.

INDIAN REORGANIZATION PROGRAM

Collectively, the various elements of the Indian Reorganization Act, approved June 18, 1934, aim to bring about a social and economic rehabilitation of these wards of the Nation and to end certain disastrous policies and abuses which had developed in Indian administration. In broad outline, the act aims to put a stop to the further alienation of Indian lands to white ownership which has been proceeding since 1887 at an accelerating rate. It reverses the traditional policy of destroying Indian self-government and instead establishes a system of home rule which, we hope, will ultimately put an end to the Indians' dependency on the arbitrary regulation of the Indian Bureau. It lays down a broad program designed to arrest the steady pauperization of Indians by providing them with land and access to an adequate

« PreviousContinue »