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settler does not obtain title to his land until he has paid all of the installments. It requires continuous residence as well as continuous cultivation.
CHANGES OF LAW NEEDED.
Some examination of the question has convinced me, as I now see the facts, that a modification should be made in both of those directions. I believe that the law should be so changed that the settler upon the irrigated lands who has cultivated his land for a certain period of time, who has lived upon it a sufficient period of time, to be fixed by law, to make sure that he is a bona fide settler, should be enabled to get title to his land and be enabled to borrow money upon it and develop it as any other individual should (Applause), subject at all times to the lien of the government for the unpaid installments. (Applause) I find that that suggestion meets one of the principal, if not the principal objection which has arisen in the West on the part of men who are enthusiastic adherents of the policy of irrigation through the government agencies and who still find that the law has not been completely adapted to their particular conditions. For instance, suppose the law required that a settler should continuously cultivate his land during the first two years, and that he should live upon it the last three years of a five-year period, and should then be enabled on proof of cultivation, continuous and progressive cultivation, and of residence for the time I have mentioned, that he could then acquire title subject to the lien of the unpaid five installments, I believe that it would be to the great advantages of the public and to the settler, to bring about that reform. What will be the result? In many instances the farmer, the settler, would transfer the burden of the debt from the government to the bank. He would go to the bank, make better terms than it would be possible for him to make with the government under the law with regard to the unpaid five installments, and the result would be that the banks would be carrying the burden of the indebtedness, as they should as a part of their legitimate function in the community; while the government would have released to it those installments for use in some other place where the settlers are crying for the advent of the Reclamation Service. These are some of the great questions that come up and which in very definite form impress me as being the most important that we can consider. I believe that we should undertake a solution of problems of exactly that character. I think when we do this that the objection which has been raised in many quarters to conservation as being theoretical will instantly disappear.
There is only one other topic on which I wish to speak, and that is the question of water power. I have very little to say about that. At the last meeting of this Congress in St. Paul, I presented in a somewhat brief and compact form my views upon that question. I believe that no solution of the water power question will be worked out in the United States until state and nation are working together at the problem. (Applause) Not only is there no necessary or natural conflict between state interest and federal interest, but those two interests must be coordinated before we reach a right solution. We find a quite general attempt on the part of those who have interests that may not be free from suspicion to arouse a feeling of state pride, of state interest, as against the federal government. I think that those interests can be properly worked out and reconciled. I believe that the natural and legitimate interest of the state, the locality, is in the regulation of the service, and of the rates at which the power is sold. I believe that the interest of the federal government is in the development of the streams as units, and that no other instrumentality can so effectively work out that portion of the problem. Then why not adjust the two Why not adopt, as the cardinal principle in our water power development, that the federal government shall make the grant subject to the reservation that the grantee will at all times acquiesce in whatever reasonable regulations of service and rates may be made by the state or by any delegated agency of the state. There should be compensation and there should be periodical readjustment of the compensation paid to the federal government, so that every ten years, or whatever the period may be, there will be enforced upon the public authorities, state and national, an inquiry into the condition of the water power grants, and their development. If with this we will adopt the fundamental principle that every dollar of the compensation paid to the federal government, except that necessary for administration, should go back into the development of the stream, and the water shed of the stream, from which the revenue was derived, so far as needed for that purpose, we, in my judgment, will have reconciled and coördinated those two agencies so that they will work together like the best team that any of you men drive on any of your farms. (Applause) And the protection of the public interest, in my opinion, will to some extent be automatic. For what will happen? If the federal government at the end of the first ten-year period wishes to readjust the compensation, it will make an inquiry, and if it finds that that particular grantee is furnishing proper service at proper rates to the community, that the state or its delegated agencies have properly exercised their functions of regulation, there will be neither opportunity nor incentive to increase the compensation. But if, upon the other hand, the state has been derelict in its duty, if it has not protected the public interest, the Nation will be able, by the increase of the compensation, to prevent undue profits and, indeed, to make it to the financial interest of the grantee to see that that situation does not happen again. And always the legitimate interests of the grantee must be adequately protected. Now, these are some of the concrete questions which come up in the Department of the Interior with regard to the federal domain. They all relate to the general principle for which we stand. They all come
back to that fundamental proposition, that the purpose of conservation is to secure wise development in the interest of the public as a whole. (Applause)
Chairman CoBURN–The powers that be, and over which I have no control, have seen fit to readjust this program, whereby Mr. Bryan, who was to have addressed us this evening, will speak this afternoon and again to this Congress tonight at eight o'clock. He is with us on the platform this afternoon, and I have asked him to stand up and say a word to you, in order that you might give him the glad hand. I take pleasure in introducing the Honorable William Jennings Bryan. (Applause)
Mr. BRYAN–Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen. I did not come to this Congress to speak as an expert. I came merely to testify to my interest in a great and growing subject. When they told me that the time of my speaking was postponed from this afternoon until this evening, I consented on condition that they would appoint others to assist me in entertaining the audience. I was afraid that I might not be able long to satisfy the audience assembled. So they have arranged with two others, with whom I shall divide the time and I know that that may be an inducement to you to come. (Applause)
I feel that it is necessary for me to fortify my invitation with theirs. Now, if this were a subject upon which I had been speaking, I might make it a condition that no one else would be permitted to speak (Applause), for there are a number of subjects upon which I can speak at sufficient length to occupy an evening. But this is not one. I mention it at this time in order to emphasize the fact that as I have insisted that two others shall help me tonight you will understand why I do not attempt to divide my short speech into an afternoon and evening speech. I am afraid that I will have little enough to say if I put it all into one speech, and yet I confess to you that I do not know now how long I shall talk tonight.
I feel the spirit of the meeting taking possession of me (Applause); and by night I may ask my associates to limit their time. (Applause) I find that every time I hear a speech on this subject the subject seems larger. I am gratified that I could hear the speech made this afternoon by the Secretary of the Interior. Whatever others may say on this subject, his speech must of necessity be of paramount interest, because most of us can only advise without any great assurance that the advice will be accepted, but the Secretary of the Interior acts, and we are all interested in knowing the lines upon which he will act. I have been interested in the brief outline that he has given us this afternoon—the conclusions which will doubtless be set forth at more length in his official report. Tonight I want to speak on a little broader line. He has covered conservation as it commenced, conservation as it relates to his department; conservation of land, of the forest, of the water and of water power. These are the things that are in his domain; but I confess that as I have studied the subject it reaches out until it touches all parts of our lives, and that is why I am so uncertain as to how long I will talk tonight. I know the limit of my speaking, the maximum, but I would not attempt to fix a minimum. (Applause) I spoke once, twenty years ago, and more, at a little meeting not far from Lincoln. On the train as I was going out to this place I met a citizen of Lincoln who said that he did not think a man could be interesting on any subject for more than one hour. Well, I was in the habit of talking more than an hour, and it worried me a little to think that anybody.believed that I could not be interesting as long as I talked. (Applause) I combated the proposition, but he seemed so fixed in his opinion that I soon gave up the discussion. When I arose to speak in the afternoon he was present, and his presence embarrassed me, and at the end of an hour he arose and left the meeting. (Applause) I don't know how many of you entertain his views, and I may hesitate to run beyond the hour. I heard of a man who spoke in Yale, and just before rising to speak he asked the chairman of the meeting how much time he would be permitted to occupy. He was assured that he could speak as long as he pleased, but the chairman said that a very careful examination of the records revealed the fact that no one who had ever spoken at Yale had said anything after the first twenty minutes. (Applause) I do not know how many of you have received your training at Yale. I have a general outline in my mind; I want to sum up some things; I want to speak of the phases of conservation that are most prominently presented, and then I desire to show how this subject is connected with every large thing, with these larger things that underlie civilization itself, and I am afraid to commence on that speech this afternoon, for fear I may become so interested that I will give it to you now and have nothing to say tonight. (Applause)
Mr. WALLACE—A letter from Col. Roosevelt, Mr. Chairman, and Gentlemen of the Congress. We have had a great meeting, but we have not had everybody here that we wanted to get. We wanted Gifford Pinchot, but he had to go to Alaska. We wanted Mr. Page, but he was obliged to go into the hands of a doctor instead of starting here. We wanted James Garfield, and he was expected to come until the last moment, and then had to stop. We wanted Roosevelt; I wrote him and he declined. I wrote him that I would not accept his declination, and then he wrote me a letter telling why. Then I wrote him for permission to read that letter here, as that would be the next best thing to himself, and here is the letter.
DEAR MR. WALLACE: If only you could be in my office and see the numerous letters I receive requesting me to speak for matters which I regard as of very great consequence to the welfare of our people, you would realize, as naturally it is now impossible for you to realize, that I simply cannot possibly accept the invitation to speak at the Conservation Congress. I believe with all my heart in conservation: I believe in the movement against child labor; I believe in the movement against the white slave traffic; I believe in every rational movement to promote the cause of temperance; I believe in the cause of industrial and agricultural education; I believe in the movement for playgrounds in every great city; I believe in the movement for the betterinent of rural life conditions; I believe in the movement to secure workmen's compensation acts; I believe in the movement for bettering tenement house conditions; I believe most emphatically in something being done carefully to investigate the increased cost of living, and to see just how much of the increase paid by the consumer goes to the producer, and how much is absorbed by the middleman, properly or improperly; I believe in a very great number of similar movements, all of them of very real importance. Within the last month, I have had requests to speak for each one of the movements I have mentioned, and for very many others; and each body of men who made the requests sincerely felt that their movement stood on a very different plane from any other, and that while they entirely agreed with me that I ought not to speak generally, and that especially I ought not to speak for the other movements, yet they were perfectly sincere in their belief that for their movement I must and should speak. Now, my dear Mr. Wallace, I cannot speak for one unless I speak for the other movements. After. I came back from abroad, I felt that I ought to try to show my appreciation of what the American people had done for me in the only way that was possible—by trying to visit each section, and if possible each state, and speaking therein for some one of these causes in which I believe. In different sections and different states, I have spoken for all of them, and for innumerable others. In particular. I have spoken again and again for the cause of conservation, and as a matter of fact have spoken for it far more frequently than for any other of the great social and industrial movements for righteousness in which I so thoroughly believe. I have found by actual experience that every speech I make simply means that I am asked to make a hundred others, and that (and this is notably the case as regards conservation) instead of the fact that I have spoken with all my heart for any movement and said all I have to say for it, being accepted as a reason why I should not speak for it again, it is apparently accepted as a reason why I should keep on speaking, and keep on repeating these speeches I have already made. This, however, is not only true of conservation. In Berkeley, last year, across the bay from San Francisco, I delivered an address on the three hundredth anniversary of the authorized version of the Scriptures, and not only did this result in my being asked to repeat the address in New York, Detroit and Memphis and a number of other Eastern cities, but I was actually and in good faith urged to come back, only one month later, and repeat the address in San Francisco itself . If I had gone on speaking as my good friends wished me to speak, I not only should have had to abandon all thought of doing anything else, and have become practically an itinerant giver of free lectures, but what would be much more serious, I should have lost all weight and power to do good to any cause and this purely by yielding to the demand of good men who wish me to speak for good causes. If I stop at all I have to stop entirely—at least for the time being. Now I hate to have to answer you in this way. If you will come on here to New York and give me the chance to have the talk with you that I would so like to have, I will show you a mass of correspondence which I am sure will make you realize that I cannot answer in any other way than I am now answering. I am very sorry. Very sincerely yours, Tii Fonore Roosevelt.
Chairman CobURN—The next number on this program is by Mr. A. P. Grout, of Illinois, representing the National Soil Fertility League, who will talk to you on “The Rape of the Soil.” I may say in passing that Mr. Grout is one of the biggest farmers in Illinois, and this is he. (Applause)
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: I am to speak for a few minutes upon a subject or condition that has been developed in the soil management of this country. I speak to you as a farmer, one who has not only had experience as a farmer, but who must plead guilty to the charge of having been, in the no distant past, no better than the rest, for a due regard for truth compels me to admit that I have been something of a soil robber myself. In the course of time my connection and