Imágenes de páginas

has doubled in the last two years; that the amount of water power held undeveloped by the ten greatest groups of power interests has doubled in the last two years; that in the last five years water power concentration has proceeded seven times faster in the United States than the water power development. There are two perfectly clear-cut and separate questions in this matter. One of them is the proper method of water power regulation, and upon that this Convention pronounced yesterday, and I have no desire to revive that controversy in any way. But there is the other question, failure to pronounce upon which seems to me would be a failure to perform the most important duty that can rest before this body.

All over the United States today, in the states, powers are passing out of public control in perpetuity and without public consideration. In my own state of Pennsylvania the Pennsylvania Railroad alone controls one hundred water corporations. Ten great groups of interests in the United States have already succeeded in getting into their hands 65 per cent of all the developed power in the United States, and one single group of interests, not one single corporation, but one single group of interests, whose operations extend into seventeen states, already has 40 per cent of the developed water power in this country. In the state of Alabama 96 per cent of the water power now developed has gone out of the hands of the state on terms which give the controllers of that power perpetual ownership so far as the state is concerned.

What we need today then, as I see it, is not merely to emphasize proper methods of control, but also to call the attention of the people of this country to the necessity for control. (Applause.) We shall not have performed our duty, in my judgment, if this great Congress, which has attracted such widespread attention all over the United States and whose conclusions are awaited with so much interest and will have so much weight—we shall not have expressed our duty unless we send the note of warning that unregulated power monopoly in this country constitutes one of the greatest of the dangers that we now face, to the public welfare in general. (Applause.)

Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I move as an amendment and addition to the report of the Committee on Resolutions, the following:

Whereas, Concentrated monopolistic control of water power in private hands is swiftly increasing in the United States, and far more rapidly than public control thereof; and Whereas, This concentrating, if it is fostered, as in the past, by outright grants of public powers in perpetuity, will inevitably result in a highly monopolistic control of mechanical power, one of the bases of modern civilization, and a prime factor in the cost of living; therefore,

Be it resolved, that we recognize the firm and effective public control of water power corporations as a pressing and immediate necessity urgently required in the public interest;

That we recognize that there is no restraint so complete, effective, and permanent as that which comes from firmly retained public ownership of the power site;

That it is, therefore, the solemn judgment of the Fifth National Conservation Congress that hereafter no water power now owned or controlled by the public should be sold, granted, or given away in perpetuity, or in any manner removed from the public ownership, which alone can give sound basis of assured and permanent control in the interest of the people.

I move the adoption of that as an amendment and addition to the report of the Committee on Resolutions. (Numerous cries from various parts of the audience of “I second the motion, I second the motion.”) CHAIRMAN FowleR—The motion, duly seconded, is that we adopt the amendment just offered by Mr. Pinchot. The Chair recognizes Mr. Herrick. MR. SAMUEL HERRICK, of South Dakota—Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of this Convention: On behalf of the Resolutions Committee, I desire to say a few words. I am a member of that committee, selected by the delegates from South Dakota, which was not represented on the water power section of that committee, and I was not appointed on the water power section of that committee, and was not present at any time during the deliberations. But on behalf of the entire committee I wish to say to you that that committee has been in almost continuous session, in committee and subcommittees, since they were selected here yesterday morning; that there have been sub-committees appointed on five or six different subjects; that they have met frequently, that they have extended invitations to any person interested in the subject, either pro or con, to submit resolutions to them and appear before them. The water power committee, after being appointed, were informed by this body yesterday afternoon that the water power matter had been taken out of their jurisdiction. That at least was the way they construed the vote passed here after very extensive debate and when all the sides were represented. Mr. Chairman, without saying that any disrespect was intended for the Committee on Resolutions or any sub-committee of that committee, I suggest to you that in view of the action of this assembly, after due deliberation yesterday afternoon, nothing remained for the water power section to do except to state a few broad principles and adjourn. That they did. There was, I understand, a unanimous agreement on those few principles. Those principles were endorsed by the entire committee, and have been presented to you in this report of the Committee on Resolutions. Mr. Chairman, an attempt is now made which seems to me to be an attempt to re-open the entire subject. It was resolved by the entire committee, representing every state in the Union, that in the interest of harmony, the best interests of conservation and in the interest of the continued growth and usefulness and life on this Congress—and I say “life” because I understand one or two state delegations even threaten to bolt the Convention—they were agreed that the water power matter should not be brought up here except in a way that we could all join in, and in a way to prevent further and unnecessary and continuous and embittered discussion. Mr. Chairman, as I look around this hall, I see about onethird of the seats filled. It is apparent that from one-half to two-thirds of the members of this Congress are not present at this time. Many of them have gone to their respective homes. Many of them are seeing the sights of the city. It does not seem to me that further discussion here and further votes will bring out the views and the real objects and purposes and desires of this Congress at this late hour. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the Resolutions Committee—and in this connection I will say I have consulted the chairman of that committee, who was formerly chairman of this Congress—I move you that this resolution or amendment just presented be laid on the table. (Cries of “I second the motion' I second the motion") CHAIRMAN FowleR—The Chairman of the Committee on Resolutions, the ex-President of this organization, has requested the privilege of saying a few words before any action is taken. I think out of respect to him we should concede that opportunity. CAPTAIN J. B. WHITE–Mr. Chairman, as a matter of personal privilege and to correct the understanding of the chairman of that committee, I wish to state that the committee on waters and water power felt that they had no authority and felt that the Convention had decided yesterday that they had not referred those subjects to the Committee on Resolutions. Therefore they did not make a report upon the so-called majority report or the so-called minority report or the so-called unanimous report. They carefully and loyally recognized the fact that this Convention did not intend to refer those subjects to the Committee on Resolutions. Therefore, they made a report, such as has been embodied in the report which has been read here and is now before you. I want to say that I believe it is good parliamentary practice that when this Convention decided to retain the discussion of that subject to itself and did not refer it to the Committee on Resolutions—and it was so ruled and so decided—that they still have the right to consider that question now. (Applause.) I hope the Chair will rule, and I presume he will rule, that the resolution offered by Mr. Pinchot is in order. It is of course unexpected to us. We were not expecting it, but it certainly would seem to be in order. (Applause.)

MR. DUDLEY G. WooteN, of Washington—Mr. Chairman' (Cries of “Vote! Vote!”) CHAIRMAN FowleR—The Chair recognizes Mr. Wooten, although under strict parliamentary procedure the Chair rules that a motion to lay upon the table is not debatable. (Great confusion in the hall.) CHAIRMAN FowleR (after obtaining order)—The Chair has no doubt at all that this body, in its sovereign power, has the right to take up this subject or any other subject at this hour and act upon it. The resolution has been offered as an amendment to the report of the Committee on Resolutions. The motion has been made and seconded that this amendment be adopted. The motion has also been made that this amendment or motion be laid upon the table. It is now up to this body, in its sovereign power, to take such action as it deems wise. MR. DUDLEY G. WooteN–In behalf of the delegation from the state of Washington, Mr. Chairman, I call for a division and vote by states. CoNGRESSMAN JoHN L. BURNETT, of Alabama—I rise to a point of order, Mr. Chairman. CHAIRMAN FowleR—State the point of order. CoNGRESSMAN BURNETT–A motion to table having been made, all debate is out of order. CHAIRMAN FowleR—You are quite right, if I understand you correctly. CoNGRESSMAN BURNETT–The point of order I make is that the motion having been made to table the amendment offered by Mr. Pinchot, all debate is out of order. CHAIRMAN FowleR—You are quite right, sir. MR. BURKE—Mr. Chairman, I desire to inquire if, under the rules which govern this Congress, the motion offered by the gentleman from South Dakota, if carried, will not carry to the table the report of the Committee on Resolutions, as well as the amendment.

CHAIRMAN FowleR—The motion was made to lay on the table. It is up to this body to decide whether they wish to lay this motion on the table or not.

MR. DUDLEY G. WooteN—Mr. Chairman, we call for a division by states and a roll call by states. We make this demand as representing the delegates from the state of Washington. MRS. LIVINGSTON Rowe SchUYLER—Mr. Chairman, Roberts says that all amendments laid upon the table carry with them every subject with three exceptions, to wit, an amendment to the minutes, a reconsideration, and an appeal. (Applause.) CHAIRMAN FowleR—You are quite right. MR. SAMUEL HERRICK, of South Dakota—Mr. Chairman, I will withdraw my motion, under the circumstances. CHAIRMAN FowleR—The maker of the motion desires to withdraw his motion. The motion now before this house is the adoption of the resolution which was read to you by Mr. Pinchot as an amendment to the report of the Committe on Resolutions. Are you ready for the question? MR. FREDERICK W. KELSEY, of New Jersey—Mr. Chairman, fellow members and sisters of this Congress: There is perhaps not a member within the sound of my voice who more earnestly favors regular proceedings under parliamentary rules. There is not a person present who believes in standing by the committees of the organization more than he who now speaks from New Jersey. I have reason, unexpectedly, after what occurred yesterday, to second the resolution of Mr. Pinchot for the reason that I believe it is a vital question that is before us. (Applause.) In my observation and experience in civil affairs and business affairs, I have never known any advantage gained in this country by any party or any organization that straddled a vital question at a vital time. (Applause.) I yield to no one in my regard for the Committee on Resolutions, from the chairman to the least member or the last member of that committee. Before coming here, I heard that this question was to be fought out upon the Hetch Hetchy proposition, and upon my arrival here I heard in the lobby of this hotel that the Hetch Hetchy question had been sidetracked, and that the great question to come before this great Congress, one representing organizations of this country and of the world, was not a question of the discussion of San Francisco and its rights for water in one of the public parks of this country—not

« AnteriorContinuar »