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DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL

RESOURCES

HEARINGS

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SEVENTY-FIFTH CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION

ON

H. R. 7365

AND

H. R. 7863

BILLS TO PROVIDE FOR THE REGIONAL CONSERVATION
AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL RESOURCES

AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

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COMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS

JOSEPH J. MANSFIELD, Texas, Chairman JOSEPH A. GAVAGAN, New York

GEORGE N. SEGER, New Jersey RENÉ L. DEROUEN, Louisiana

ALBERT E. CARTER, California LEX GREEN, Florida

FRANCIS D. CULKIN, New York CLAUDE V. PARSONS, Illinois

GEORGE A. DONDERO, Michigan WILLIAM M. COLMER, Mississippi

DEWEY SHORT, Missouri CHARLES J. COLDEN, California

GEORGE J. BATES, Massachusetts ALFRED F. BEITER, New York MARTIN F. SMITH, Washington

ANTHONY J. DIMOND, Alaska WILLIAM T. SCHULTE, Indiana

SAMUEL W. KING, Hawaii
HUGH PETERSON, Georgia
C. JASPER BELL, Missouri
CHARLES R. ECKERT, Pennsylvania
GRAHAM A. BARDEN, North Carolina
JOHN MCSWEENEY, Ohio
ELMER H. WENE, New Jersey
HAROLD G. MOSIER, Ohio
NAN W. HONEYMAN, Oregon
FRANCK R. HAVENNER, California

JOSEPH H. McGANN, Clerk

II

REGIONAL CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE

NATIONAL RESOURCES

THURSDAY, JULY 15, 1937

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS,

Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10:30 a. m., Hon. Joseph J. Mansfield (chairman), presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. We will begin hearings this morning on H. R. 7365, introduced by me as chairman of the committee, to provide for the regional conservation and development of the national resources, and for other purposes; and H. R. 7863, introduced by Mr. Rankin, of Mississippi, to provide for the creation of conservation authorities, and for other purposes.

(H. R. 7365 reads as follows:)

A BILL To provide for the regional conservation and development of the national resources, and for other

purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the Regional Conservation Act of 1937.

TITLE I

PURPOSE AND POLICY OF THE ACT

SECTION 1. It is the purpose and policy of this Act to develop, integrate, and coordinate plans, projects, and activities for or incidental to the promotion of navigation, the control and prevention of floods, the safeguarding of navigable waters, and the reclamation of the public lands, in order to aid and protect commerce among the several States, to strengthen the national defense, to conserve the water, soil, mineral, and forest resources of the Nation, to stabilize employment and relieve unemployment, and otherwise to protect commerce among the States, provide for the national defense, and promote the general welfare of the United States.

REGIONAL PLANNING AGENCIES

Sec. 2. To carry out the purposes of this Act, there are hereby created the following regional planning agencies, which shall be agencies and instrumentalities of the United States: (1) Atlantic Seaboard Planning Agency, for the drainage basins in the United States of the rivers flowing into the Atlantic Ocean and of the rivers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, from the east, below the basin of the Suwannee River; (2) Great Lakes-Ohio Valley Planning Agency, for the drainage basins in the United States of the rivers flowing into any of the Great Lakes and of the Ohio River, except the drainage basins of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers and of the rivers flowing into the Mississippi River above Cairo, Illinois, from the east; (3) Tennessee Valley Planning Agency, for the drainage basins of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, of the rivers flowing into the Mississippi River below Cairo, Illinois, from the east, and of the rivers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico east of the Mississippi River, except the rivers below the basin of the Suwannee River; (4) Missouri Valley Planning Agency, for the drainage basins within the United States of the Missouri River and the Red River of the North and of the rivers flowing into the Mississippi River above Cairo, Illinois, from the

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west; (5) Arkansas Valley Planning Agency, for the drainage basins within the United States of the Arkansas, Red, and Rio Grande Rivers and of the rivers flowing into the Gulf of Mexico west of the Mississippi River; (6) Southwestern Planning Agency, for the drainage basins within the United States of the Colorado River and the rivers flowing into the Pacific Ocean south of the California-Oregon line, and the Great Basin, that is, the drainage basins of the rivers in the western United States having no outlet to the sea;

and (7) Columbia Valley Planning Agency, for the drainage basins within the United States of the Columbia River and the rivers flowing into the Pacific Ocean north of the California-Oregon line. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the functions, powers, or duties of the Mississippi River Commission as created and now functioning under the Act of June 28, 1879 (ch. 43, secs. 1 to 7, inclusive, 21 Stat. 37), as amended, and as compiled in sections 641 to 651, inclusive, of title 33 of the United States Code. The President shall from time to time more specifically define or redefine the territorial boundaries of the regional planning agencies as he finds necessary or appropriate to facilitate the regional development, integration, and coordination of plans, projects, and activities in accordance with the purposes of this Act and to obtain the advantages of natural and economic boundaries for such plans, projects, and activities or any classification or classifications thereof.

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Sec. 3. (a) For each regional planning agency, except the Tennessee Valley Planning Agency, there shall be established a regional planning director and & regional conservation committee. The President may establish two or more regional conservation committees for a regional planning agency if he deems such committees necessary or appropriate, considering the character and extent of the territory of such agency and the nature of the problems with which such agency must deal. If more than one regional conservation committee is established for a regional planning agency, the President shall distribute and define the duties and functions to be performed by each such committee under this Act.

(b) Each regional planning director shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall receive a salary at the rate of $ a year, and shall maintain his principal office at a convenient place within the territory of the agency for which he is appointed. The regional planning director shall be a member of and, unless the President shall designate another member to act as chairman, shall act as chairman of the regional conservation committee or committees of such agency, and shall be the chief administrative officer for the regional conservation committee or committees of such agency. The administrative officer on the staff of each regional planning director, next highest in rank to the regional planning director, may be designated by the regional planning director as deputy regional planning director and as such shall perform the duties of the regional planning director, in the event of the absence or sickness of the regional planning director, until such absence or sickness shall cease, and, in the event of a vacancy in the office of the regional planning director, until á successor is appointed. No regional planning director shall, during his continuance in office, be engaged in any business, but each shall devote himself to his duties under this Act. No person shall be appointed a regional planning director unless he professes a belief in the feasibility and wisdom of this Act. No regional planning director shall, during his continuance in office, have any financial interest, in any public-utility company engaged in the business of generating, transmitting, distributing, or selling electric energy to the public, or in any holding company or subsidiary company of a holding company as such terms are defined in the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935.

(c) Each regional conservation committee shall consist of the regional planning director and not less than two nor more than eight other members, as the President may from time to time determine. The members of such committees shall be appointed by the President and, with the exception of the planning director, shall receive no compensation for their services other than a per diem, not to exceed $ per day, for time spent in the discharge of their duties, and shall be reimbursed for expenses (including traveling and subsistence expenses) incurred by them in the discharge of their duties. Each regional conservation committee shall adopt its own rules of procedure, including provision as to the number of members necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. All matters of general policy affecting a regional planning agency shall be considered and determined by the regional conservation committee having jurisdiction thereof, but the members of such committee other than regional planning director shall not participate in the administrative work of the regional planning agency except to the extent requested by the regional planning director. And the regional planning director shall direct and control the execution of the policies determined by the regional conservation committee in accordance with, and to the extent authorized by, the provisions of this Act. No person shall be appointed a member of a regional planning committee unless he professes a belief in the wisdom and feasibility of this Act. No member of a regional planning committee shall, during his continuance in office, have any financial interest in any public-utility company engaged in the business of generating, transmitting, distributing, or selling electric energy to the public, or in any holding company or subsidiary company of a holding company as such terms are defined in the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935.

(d) The powers and functions conferred upon the Tennessee Valley Planning Agency by this Act shall be exercised and performed by the Tennessee Valley Valley Authority as its Board of Directors shall direct.

COORDINATION AND INTEGRATION OF PLANS, PROJECTS, AND ACTIVITIES SEC. 4. (a) The regional planning agencies shall be subject to the supervision and control of the President, or of such national planning agency as the President may designate, for the purpose of insuring appropriate conformity of regional plans to a national policy and appropriate coordination of regional plans, having due regard for regional and local requirements and conditions.

(b) With a view to the coordination and integration of plans for projects, activities, and regional developments for the purpose of increasing efficiency and eliminating waste and duplication of effort, each regional planning agency shall study and survey the projects and activities within its jurisdiction, undertaken or planned by the departments and agencies of the United States, relating to the to the promotion of navigation, the control and prevention of floods, the safeguarding of navigable waters, and the reclamation of the public lands, and shall study and survey the regional developments undertaken or planned by such departments and agencies for the conservation and prudent husbandry of the water, soil, mineral, and forest resources of the Nation, including the prevention of waste of the Nation's resources from droughts, winds, dust storms, and soil erosion, and the control and retardation of water run-off and the restoration and improvement of the absorption and infiltration capacity of the soil. Each regional planning agency insofar as practicable shall endeavor to coordinate and integrate plans for projects, activities, and regional developments by devising and effecting arrangements for the cooperation of the field offices and services of the departments and agencies of the United States. Each regional planning agency insofar as practicable shall consult and cooperate with the field offices and services of such departments and agencies and may call upon such field offices and services for any information or data relevant to such projects, activities, or regional developments and it shall be the duty of such departments and agencies to have their field offices and services take such action as may be necessary or appropriate to cooperate with each regional planning agency.

(c) Each regional planning agency insofar as practicable shall consult and cooperate with the States and with public and cooperative agencies in the making of studies, the collecting of information and data, and the development of plans for carrying out the purposes of this Act. Each regional planning agency may make available to the departments and agencies of the United States and to the States and the people thereof, and to public and cooperative agencies, such information and studies, and such recommendations for State legislation, as the regional planning agency deems advisable to aid in carrying out the purposes of this Act. Each regional planning agency shall have power to constitute one or more regional or local advisory committees to advise the regional planning agency generally or upon specific matters.

(d) There shall be included in the plans submitted to the President by each regional planning agency under section 5 such recommendations as the regional planning agency deems necessary or appropriate (1) for the economic and efficient cooperation in the carrying out of plans, projects, activities, and regional developments among Federal, State, regional, and local departments and agencies; and (2) for further legislation to promote the development, integration, and coordination of plans, projects, activities, and regional developments of the United States and the several States.

SUBMISSION OF PLANS TO THE PRESIDENT AND THE CONGRESS

Sec. 5. (a) Each regional planning agency, not later than October 15, of each year, or such earlier date as the President may designate, shall submit to the President, or such national planning agency as the President may designate,

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