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and postponed. The water power developed is thus shown to be intimately connected with navigation. It is a by-product of the improveBlent which can be turned into further improvement. And from the standpoint of constitutional law, it makes no difference whether the dam in question is to be erected by the Federal Government or by a private “orporation. If it is a dam which is to assist the navigation of the river as well as to create water power, the power of the Government will be complete. What the Federal Government can constitutionally do itself it can do through an agent. The corps of army engineers to whom are referred all proposed bills in Congress granting permits for dams for water power have been ac. cordingly, under Mr. Taft's administration, directed to investigate and answer specifically four questions in every report. They are directed to ascertain in regard to every such bill: First. Is the river on which the dam is to be created a navigable stream subject to being improved, either now or in the future of the country, at the expense of the general taxpayer? In the second place, they are asked whether the dam which is sought to be constructed will form an essential part of any such improvement. Thirdly, whether the dam will create water power of commercial value. Fourthly, whether the value of that water power will tend to increase with the growth and development of the Nation. You can see for yourself the pertinence of such questions. Once answered in the affirmative, there is a case presented upon which the jurisdiction of the Government's power can rest. Trial has now shown that the answers to these questions are nearly always in the affirmative. And as a result of the information thus obtained we are in a position now, unlike our position six years ago, where we can take a step forward, and hold permanently the ground thus gained. There is now laid before Congress a sure foundation upon which we can rest our national right to exact the fair value of these grants. Investigation has regularly brought out the fact that each one of these dams is essentially connected with navigation, and that a failure to preserve the right to regulate them and to exact compensation for the power created is throwing away a valuable national asset. The issue has been sharply drawn by President Taft, and his position clearly stated in his message, submitted on the 24th of last August, vetoing the bill which proposed to grant authority to build a dam in the Coosa River. The Coosa River is in Alabama. The bill in question sought to authorize the Alabama Power Company to build a dam suitable for the development of navigation in that river, and at the same time to create water power for the exclusive benefit of the corporation. It contained no provision permitting the Federal Government to exact any compensation for the rights of water power thus granted. The bill was strongly urged by powerful leaders of both houses of Congress. It was also vigorously opposed by the leaders of the conservation movement of Congress. But it ultimately passed. The President vetoed it in a message which asserts in unqualified language the duty of the Federal Government to reserve to itself the right to exact proper compensation. (Applause.) The President says on this point:
“I think this is a fatal defect in the bill, and that it is just as improvident to grant this permit without such a reservation as it would be to throw away any other asset of the Government. To make such a reservation is not depriving the States of anything that belongs to them. On the contrary, in the report of the Secretary of War it is recommended that all compensation for similar privileges should be applied strictly to the improvement of navigation in the respective streams—a strictly Federal function. The Federal Government by availing itself of this right may in time greatly reduce the swollen expenditures for river improvements which now fall wholly upon the general taxpayer. I deem it highly important that the nation should adopt a consistent and harmonious policy of treatment of these water power projects which will preserve for this purpose their value to the Government whose right it is to grant the permit.”
There are few subjects of equal importance with the proper improvement of our great river systems. We are behind many of the nations of Europe in our appreciation of this importance. The development of our rivers is not only vitally important for the commerce that they will thus carry, but even more for the regulative effect which they should and can have upon the freight rates of the railroads with which they compete. If Mr. Taft's position is sustained, it means that all the potential value of these streams can be turned toward the improvement of their navigation. As he says, it offers one of the possible solutions for our swollen river and harbor appropriations. On the other hand, it also means that the hand of the nation is to be kept on this great national asset of our water power; and that this great subject of water power regulation will be handled comprehensively, consistently, and with due regard for the wants of the Nation as a whole.
If, however, the view of the opponents of the President prevails, it means that this necessary improvement of our rivers will be greatly postponed, and that all the expense of such improvement will have to be borne by the general tax-payers of the Nation. And it further means that the closely related subject of our water powers on these navigable rivers, instead of being treated nationally and broadly, will be subject to the piecemeal policies of forty-eight different States. Seldom is there presented an opportunity to apply the principles of conservation simultaneously to two such important subjects as river transportation and water power regulation. (Applause.)
President WHITE—I am sure we all appreciate the address that has just been delivered by our distinguished representative of the President. It has left upon our minds the significance of the importance of protecting those natural resources that are permanent and which should not be given away to private individuals, or corporations.
We will now hear some announcements.
Mr. THOMAS R. SHIPP (Executive Secretary)—The section of which Dr. Wiley is chairman, the section on “Food”, will meet this afternoon at four instead of tomorrow morning. The meeting will be held in the Palm Room, Claypool Hotel, and will be open to the public. The fact that Dr. Wiley is at the head of this section and will preside and speak will make it of great interest to delegates. In addition to Dr. Wiley, there are other gentlemen of national reputation on this question who will speak. An invitation is extended to all delegates to attend this meeting this afternoon at 4:00 o'clock.
President WHITE--If there are no further announcements we will adjourn until this afternoon at 2:00 o'clock.
The Congress was called to order by President White at 2:00 o'clock p. m.
President WHITE–Gentlemen, we are a little late in getting together this afternoon, owing to the late adjournment of the morning session.
We have a program for four days, a most entertaining one. Those that do not get here will miss something, while those of us who are here are going to gain something.
The audience will please rise while the Rev. Dr. A. B. Storms invokes the Divine blessing.
INvocation—Our IIcavenly Father, we wait for a moment, asking for the blessings of Thy grace upon us. We need Divine guidance in all our counsels; may we be guided by Heaven. We return Thee thanks for Thy great kindness, for the bountiful harvest, for the resources with which Thou hast stored the earth. We thank Thee for the revela lion of Thy love, for the redemption that speaks of the worth of Thy children. We thank Thee for all the impulses Thou hast set in motion for bringing good out of evil, for bringing men to their best. We pray for the quidance of the divine spirit that in all these councils which have for their purpose the good of our kind, we may have such guidance and be sustained by such grace that permanent good shall come.
May Thy blessing rest upon this Congress, upon all it represents, upon our people and Nation. May this be a people whose God is the Lord, we ask in the Redeemer's name. Amen.
President WHITE–The first thing on this afternoon's program is a report from Dr. George E. Condra on “What the States are Doing.” He is President of the National Association of Conservation Commissioners. We are very much interested to know how far the spirit of Conservation is being taken up and applied in the different States. We will now hear Dr. Condra.
Dr. CoNDRA—Mr. President and Delegates: This report, prepared at the request of the Executive Committee of the Congress, is based on data received from several Governors, and the conservation organizations of various States. It can not be given in detail, for that would require too much of your time. Neither do we deem it advisable to treat the subject State by State, for it would call for needless repetition. Consequently the data are reviewed subject by subject corresponding to the leading departments of Conservation, and the States are mentioned only in connection with the progress they have attained in each department. It is assumed that: 1. You are in full sympathy with State Conservation and its coöperation with Federal agencies. 2. You do not expect to hear overdrawn statements. 3. You wish a review of such conservation facts as are really worth while in development. 4. You know how natural resources control industrial development. 5. You agree that the leading resources in the United States are mineral fuels, iron, water, soil, plant and animal life, the varying importance in the distribution of which determines to a considerable extent the locations of industrial and commercial centers, and that these resources are not distributed according to state lines, but that development is influenced to some extent by State laws.
The importance of coal in our country is much greater than most people suppose. It is well distributed. The amount of power derived from it is many times that of all our man power working every hour of the day. The annual production of our coal leads that of Great Britain by a wide margin. The ranking States in output are Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Wyoming, Tennessee and Maryland. Wyoming is thought to contain even larger natural stores of coal than Pennsylvania. Mr. Edward W. Parker, head of the coal division of the United States Geological Survey, reports over two trillion tons of unmined coal west of the 100th meridian, lying principally in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain provinces, and in smaller districts farther west.