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to help in bringing about a scheme of national irrigation, because the interest of any part of this country is the interest of all of it; and no man is a really good American who fails to grasp that fact.
The National Government is still, as you all well know, but as many Easterners do not know, the greatest land. owner in the Western States, and among all those States Nevada holds the great proportion of vacant public land, and the need of Nevada for Federal assistance was one of the strongest arguments used in the discussion which preceded the reclamation act of June, 1902, the irrigation act of a year ago. The great extent of the vacant public lands in the State, the fact that its water supply came chiefly from streams rising in the adjoining State of California, and the overwhelming difficulties which for these and other reasons prevented the people of Nevada from efficiently acting in their own interest, made, in my judgment, and, as it proved, in the judgment of the Congress, Federal interference absolutely imperative. It is a matter for the strongest congratulation not only for the West, but for the whole Nation that the policy went into effect. It is a matter of special congratulation to Nevada that the Secretary of the Interior, guided in his choice wholly by actual conditions on the ground, has been led to undertake one of the five sets of works which have been first undertaken, here in Nevada, particularly near Reno on the Truckee River, as one of the national projects for the starting and working of the methods of the law. Extensive surveys have already been made, and the projects for water storage and water distribution are at a point which warrants our belief that immediate action is in sight. There are vast tracts of excellent land still in the ownership of the General Government here in Nevada and elsewhere to which the reclamation act will bring the flood waters that now annually go to waste. For Nevada most of these waters originate in the high mountains lying in
sight of Reno, largely just across the State line in California. Some of these mountains have been included in the forest reserves, and your interests and the interests of the irrigators in California imperatively demand the extension of the forest-reserve system so that the source of supply for the great reservoirs and irrigation works may be safe from fire, from over-grazing, and from destructive lumbering. I ask you to pay attention to what I say when I use the word destructive lumbering; no one can desire to prevent, or do anything but help, practical and conservative lumbering. In other words, my fellowcitizens, we have reached a condition in which it must be the object of the Nation and the State to favor the development of the home maker, of the man who takes up the land intending to keep it for himself and for his children, so that it shall be even of better use to them than to him.
The opportunities for the development of Nevada are very great. Until recently Nevada was only thought of as a mineral and stock-raising State. Much can be done yet as regards both the mineral exploitation and the raising of stock within the State; but now under the stimulus of irrigation it is probable that irrigated agriculture will come to the front, and when it does the population will increase with a rapidity and permanence never before known. The State of Nevada has led the way not only in the strength of its plea for national aid in irrigation, but also in its willingness to assist in the work. I wish to lay emphasis on the fact that in Nevada the authorities have been anxious in every way to help in working out the problem of irrigation; and to pay all acknowledgment to them now. The recent legislature passed laws which in many respects should serve as models for the legislation of other States. The union of land and water under the national law has been recognized, and so has the fundamental proposition which necessarily underlies
the prosperity of all communities in which irrigated agriculture is the chief industry-namely, that the water belongs to the people and cannot be made a monopoly. The public appreciation of this fundamental truth, that the water belongs to the people to be taken and put to beneficial use, will wipe out many controversies which are at present so harmful to the development of the West. And the example of Nevada will be of material aid in bringing about this fortunate result.
As I said of the forests so it is even more true of the water supply. It should be our constant policy by National and by State legislation to see that the water is used for the benefit of the occupants of the soil, of those who till and use the soil, that it is not exploited by any one man or set of men in his or their interests as against the interests of those on the land who are to use it. It is a fundamental truth that the prosperity of any people is simply another term for the prosperity of the home makers among that people. Cur entire policy in irrigation, in forestry, in handling the public lands, should be in recognition of that truth, to favor in every way the man who wishes to take up a given area of soil and thereon to build a home in which he will rear his children as useful citizens of the State.
AT SPOKANE, WASHINGTON, MAY 26, 1903
Senator Turner, and you, my fellow-Americans :
I am in a city at the eastern gateway of this State, with the great railroad systems of the State running through it. On the western edge of this State, in Puget Sound, I have seen the homing places of the great steamship lines which, in connection with these great railroads, are doing so much to develop the Oriental trade of this country and this State. Washington will owe no small part of its future greatness (and that greatness will be great indeed) to the fact that it is thus doing its share in acquiring for the United States the dominance of the Pacific. Those railroads, the men and the corporations that have built them, have rendered a very great service to the community. The men who are building, the corporations which are building, the great steamship lines have likewise rendered a very great service to the community. Every man who has made wealth or used it in developing great legitimate business enterprises has been of benefit and not harm to the country at large. This city has grown by leaps and bounds only when the railroads came to it, when the railroads came to the State; and if the State were now cut off from its connection by rail and by steamship with the rest of the world its position would, of course, diminish incalculably. Great good has come from the development of our railroad system; great good has been done by the individuals and corpora
tions that have made that development possible; and in return good is done to them, and not harm, when they are required to obey the law. Ours is a government of liberty by, through, and under the law. No man is above it and no man is below it. The crime of cunning, the crime of greed, the crime of violence, are all equally crimes, and against them all alike the law must set its face. This is not and never shall be a government either of plutocracy or of a mob. It is, it has been, and it will be a government of the people; including alike the people of great wealth, of moderate wealth, the people who employ others, the people who are employed, the wage worker, the lawyer, the mechanic, the banker, the farmer; including them all, protecting each and every one if he acts decently and squarely, and discriminating against any one of them, no matter from what class he comes, if he does not act squarely and fairly, if he does not obey the law. While all people are foolish if they violate or rail against the law, wicked as well as foolish, but all foolish -yet the most foolish man in this Republic is the man of wealth who complains because the law is administered with impartial justice against or for him. His folly is greater than the folly of any other man who so complains; for he lives and moves and has his being because the law does in fact protect him and his property.
We have the right to ask every decent American citizen to rally to the support of the law if it is ever broken against the interest of the rich man; and we have the same right to ask that rich man cheerfully and gladly to acquiesce in the enforcement against his seeming interest of the law, if it is the law. Incidentally, whether he-acquiesces or not, the law will be enforced; and this whoever he may be, great or small, and at whichever end of the social scale he may be.
I ask that we see to it in our country that the line of division in the deeper matters of our citizenship be drawn,