Page images

down there in the lower end, where we drain all of the United States, feel pretty safe with the Army engineers.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Folse, we are very thankful to you for your statement, sir.

Mr. FOLSE. Thank you.

The CHAIRMAN. Now, gentlemen, we have a letter from Mr. Whittington, chairman of the Committee on Flood Control, suggesting the amendments which Mr. Folse referred to, and I would suggest that we have that inserted in the record.

Then Mr. Barrett, of the Ohio Valley Improvement Association, has a short letter here which I believe is pertinent and ought to be inserted, in regard to the bill.

If there is no objection, we will include those.
(There was no objection.)
The letters referred to are as follows:)



Washington, D. C., December 4, 1937. H. R. 7365. Hon. J. J. MANSFIELD, Chairman, Rivers and Harbors Committee,

Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. MANSFIELD: I beg to submit for the consideration of yourself and the committee the following 'amendments to the above bill:

Amendment No. 1: On page 2, line 23, after the word “rivers" intert the following: "except those rivers flowing into the Mississippi River from the east, and except those portions of said drainage basins which are now under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi River Commission."

Amendment No. 2: Page 3, line 6, after the word "west" insert: "except those portions of these drainage basins which are under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi River Commission.'

Amendment No. 3: Page 3, line 9, after the word “River" insert the following: "except those portions of the said drainage basins now under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi River Commission."

Amendment No. 4: Page 3, line 20, after the word "Commission" strike out the remainder of line 20, and all of lines 21, 22, and 23. Very sincerely,



Cincinnati, Ohio, December 1, 1937. Hon. JOSEPH J. MANSFIELD, Chairman, Committee on Rivers and Harbors,

House Office Building, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR JUDGE MANSFIELD: I notice in the press reports that there is sentiment for a drastic change in the proposed regional planning legislation. You will recall that the Ohio Valley Improvement Association was opposed to the bills before your committee.

According to the press, the changes considered are: (1) That the bill would authorize planning only, and (2) that the Corps of Engineers would retain full jurisdiction over all flood control.

With the retention of the engineers in full jurisdiction over flood control and all kinds of river and harbor work, we are in full sympathy, and we approve limiting the bill to planning.

We believe that the division of the country into regions under the bill will create rather than reduce confusion. Expense would mount rather than shrink. If any change from the present method is desired, then we would favor something in the nature of the national planning committee advocated in the address of Judge Whittington before the Mississippi Valley Association convention in St. Louis on November 22.

The committee proposed by Judge Whittington would be composed of officials already in Government service. This body could use existing agencies for gathering and coordinating data. No elaborate or expensive machinery would be required.

It is believed that the people of the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys will oppose any legislation of this kind that provides for more than that just indicated. Very truly yours,

O. SLACK BARRETT, President. The CHAIRMAN. You remember, several days ago I believe, we got permission to put in the record a statement from the Chamber of Commerce of Denver, and Mr. Collison, its manager, has sent a copy here.

Mr. SHORT. Is that the report the Governor of Wyoming called our attention to particularly?

The CHAIRMAN. Yes; it is the same statement. I suggest we ought to put it in the record.

(There was no objection.)
(The letter referred to is as follows:)


Denver, Colo., December 4, 1937. Hon. J. J. MANSFIELD, Chairman, Committee on Rivers and Harbors,

House Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR CHAIRMAN MANSFIELD: Under date of December 2, you wired us in respect to the regional authority bill—the Mansfield bill-as follows: "Present plan is to report existing bill in amended form. Written statement acceptable and will be printed in the Record.”

In accordance with your telegram we now enclose our statement and ask that it be included in the record of the proceedings of your committee. The statement is the report of our own committee appointed to investigate the Mansfield and Norris bills, which was unanimously adopted by our board of directors.

Your committee has before it the Rankin bill also, which is practically the same as the Norris bill, except that it has one feature that we would say is even more objectionable since it is to the effect that the immediate. management of its conservation authorities is vested in one person, an administrator, whereas under the Norris bill it is vested in three persons called directors. Since both the Mansfield and Rankin bills are before your committee and, as we understand it, have been the subject of the hearings which your committee has conducted, we ask that our enclosed statement directed to the Mansfield and the Norris bills be considered as if it were directed to the Rankin bill as well.

In closing we want to thank you for your promptness in answering our inquiry in respect to the question of whether the rewritten bill would be reintroduced at the next session and then referred again to your committee or whether your committee simply would report out to the House, during the present session, the bill as rewritten.

Will you be so kind as to acknowledge receipt of this statement, using the enclosed envelope that has been addressed for your convenience. Very respectfully,

G. E. COLLISSON, Manager. (The report referred to is printed on pp. 519 to 525 of these hearings.)

The CHAIRMAN. Now here is a letter from Mr. Mosier, with an editorial from the Plain Dealer, of Cleveland, in regard to the bill. I did not know whether he wanted to put it in the record or not. We will let that wait until another time.

The CLERK. Here is a letter from Mr. McSweeney.

The CHAIRMAN. I think you had better read that letter to the committee. Mr. McSweeney, who recently resigned from the committee, has written a letter here.

The CLERK. The letter reads as follows (reading]:


Washington, D. C., November 30, 1937. Hon. JOSEPH J. MANSFIELD, Chairman, Committee on Rivers and Harbors,

House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR JUDGE MANSFIELD: It is with deep regret that I sever my connection with your committee, but I felt for the sake of my comrades of the American Legion and of my State generally, that I should accept membership on the Foreign Affairs Committee.

May I convey to you and through you to my colleagues of your committee, my deep appreciation of your countless kindnesses. You personally made all of us new Members feel perfectly at home and you were more than lenient in giving to us opportunities to ask questions and to express ourselves on pending legislation. These courtesies and other evidences of your friendship will ever be a source of pride and gratification to me.

I hope you will convey to Mr. McGann, that bachelor son of his, and to the other faithful and courteous coworkers in the office, my appreciation of all that they have done for me. Respectfully yours,

JOHN MCSWEENEY. (Thereupon, the committee took a recess until tomorrow, December 8, 1937, at 10:30 a. m.)





Washington, D. C. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10.30 a. m., in the commitee room, House Office Building, Hon. Joseph J. Mansfield (chairman) presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. We will hear Mr. Smith.



Mr. SMITH. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am here representing Governor Hoffman of New Jersey. The last time I was here, as you recall, I represented our State Board of Commerce and Navigation and the Interstate Sanitation Commission.

My statement is in opposition to Mr. Mansfield's proposed Regional Conservation Act of 1937--H. R. 7365.

This bill and similar proposed legislation is opposed on three broad principles. Specific objections to various other features of the act have been well made by others.

We insist that any one of the grounds here set forth is sufficient to and makes mandatory the defeat of the bill, if we are to preserve our country on the basis of its present form of government. The bill would :

1. Centralize control of natural resources in federally appointed bureaucrats.

2. The doctrine of States' rights would be violated.

3. Taxes levied upon and paid by residents of one community would be used to assist in developing a competing locality to the prejudice and detriment of the other.

Point 1. Centralization of authority in Federal appointees to develop, integrate, and coordinate plans, activities, and projects having to do with stream flow, siltation, development, and coordination of navigation facilities, surplus waters, soil conservation, cultivation, prevention of pollution, sewage disposal, and reclamation of lands is inimical to the best interests of the country at large.

When the Constitution of the United States was under discussion prior to its adoption, the minority party was fighting for the emasculation of the doctrine of States' rights, but the people of the United States were emphatic in saying "No."

« PreviousContinue »