Imágenes de páginas

use of water; second, of co-ordinating the nation with the states in plans and works involving every use to which water can be put; and, third, carrying out these works under a general plan through the various services in which the jurisdiction properly lies. In this way, I believe, we can vastly advance the material progress of the entire country, and that we will present to the country a practical plan for ending this long-time contention between the sovereignties which has resulted in a paralysis of enterprise. (Applause.)

(After the address of Senator Newlands, the Congress resumed consideration of the unanimous recommendations of the Committee on Water Power. On a point of order by Mr. M. T. Bryan, of Tennessee, Chairman Fisher again ruled that the unanimous recommendations were properly before the Congress. The discussion was participated in by Mr. Bryan, Hon. T. H. Bankhead, United States Senator from Alabama, and Hon. John L. Burnett, member of Congress from Alabama.

On motion of Mr. Dudley G. Wooten, of Washington, the action of the Congress setting 3 o'clock as the hour for closing the discussion of water power was reconsidered and the time fixed at 4 o'clock.)

REMARKS OF MR. GIFFORD PINCHOT CHAIRMAN FISHER—I now have pleasure in introducing to you the Hon. Gifford Pinchot. (Loud cheers and applause.)

MR. PINCHOT—Mr. Chairman and members of the Convention: My talk will necessarily be short, since the Chairman, in his very wise fairness, proposes to give equal time to the opponents of the approval of the unanimous report by this Convention and to the friends of it. Therefore I shall confine myself as nearly as I can to the five minutes which he has allotted to me; at least I shall not run over that time more than seems to be absolutely necessary.

The first need that we have in this country as to water power is development on terms fair to the public. We cannot get development on terms fair to the public if the water power interests have an unregulated monopolistic control over the development and the ownership of that power. Is there danger —and that is the essential question—that such monopolistic control and ownership may be spread all over this country? In the minority report this morning I gave you some of the facts.

Water power development, with concentration of ownership of water power and control of it, has doubled in the last two years. The ten greatest groups of water power interests today control sixty-five per cent of all the developed power in the


United States, and one single group of interests, the General Electric Company, controls forty per cent of all the developed commercial power in this country.

In the last five years the concentration of control in the ten groups has increased about seven times faster than the total of all water power development in the country. This has gone all over the United States. In ten states, one company, and in seven states two companies, control from forty-two to ninety-six per cent of the developed commercial water power, and in fifteen of these seventeen states every one of these companies was organized or re-organized within the last three years.

This is no movement of the future. It is a movement of the present now. Power concentration is proceeding more rapidly in this country today than at any other time in our history. If this is not monopoly in the making, where can it be found?

The essential thing today is this, my friends, that commercial power to the extent that that power is now concentrated in the great water power interests is always and everywhere political power, whether it is used or not. There lies the great danger to our institutions and to the public welfare in this matter of water power control. (Applause.)

Wat power of course is a natural monopoly. But one company can use a power in one place. Of course, the hitching of powers so that more than one water power can be used to supply a large region is a good thing. But that has absolutely nothing whatever to do in the world with the vast question of the concentration of this tremendous ownership of the basic source of power, which underlies all civilization, in the hands of a few very rich men in this country.

I shall not stop to repeat the details which prove beyond question that the proper control of power does not prevent the proper development of power. We have had that proved beyond all question. What I do want to talk about just for a moment is the great fact that we are all facing and which we are attempting to fix and determine in this convention—the proper terms upon which water power may be granted.

The proper requirement of Governmental protection and control and compensation is not a technical question; not mainly a question of finance, although that is vastly important; not mainly a question of engineering, although that is vastly important; but that the central issue of this whole thing is the great broad human question of the welfare of all the people of this country and nothing else, is without doubt. The control of mechanical power is a control of industry and transportation and all the great material agents of civilization. The men who control that power, unless the hand of the Govern

ment is upon them to control them, also control the necessities of life. The men who, without regulation, control the necessities of life, control inevitably and necessarily the people whose necessaries of life they have. There lies the great question.

We are too late in this country, except at enormous expense and trouble, to break down some of these great monopolies. Anthracite coal is one of them, 96 per cent of which has passed into the hands of one group of interests. Thousands of millions of dollars worth of timber are in the hands of one group of interests. The Government of the United States, where it has given 125,000,000 acres of land to homesteaders, has given 350,000,000 acres of land to the great interests represented by the trans-continental railroads and wagon roads. We are too late to prevent a copper trust, a steel trust, a coal trust, and many of the other trusts, the effect of which we so well know and in the breaking down of which we have been so long and so fruitlessly occupied in this country. But we are not too late, if we take it now, to prevent the formation of a great all-embracing water power trust. (Applause.) The time is here for us not merely to prescribe the remedy, but also to make known to the people of the United States the disease. When the doctor at quarantine applies technically perfect methods in the exclusion of a great evil which may come into the country, he reasons for the right, and the power to use these methods comes through an education of the public sentiment which allows him to enforce the things which science has shown to be necessary for the public welfare.

We are now, if I am any judge of the temper of this convention, about to adopt as our recommendation to the Congress of the United States and to the legislatures of the different states, a platform stating the practical principles and showing the methods by which we believe the evils which exist in unregulated water power monopoly may be avoided, while the privilege and benests of widespread water power development may be given to the people.

You here in this convention occupy this double role, that at the same time you are pointing out the technical method by which the object can be accomplished, you are also proclaiming to the people of all the United States that there is a danger from water power monopoly, that it needs regulation, that in most of the states there is no regulation. In the state from which Senator Bankhead comes a single corporation controls in perpetuity, forever and for nothing. 96 per cent of the undeveloped water power of the state. In the state from which Senator Thomas and Senator Shafroth come, a single corporation, the Central Colorado Power Company, controls already sixty per cent of the developed water power of that

[ocr errors]

state. And yet they tell us that water power monopoly is out of the question.

I think we waste our time, my friends, in trying to alter the present division between State and National control of these matters—for that is what the states' rights men are trying to do. We waste our time in a fruitless discussion of these details while the water power interests are fastening their grip upon this country from one end to the other (applause) and the men who ought to be united in defense of the public interests are wasting their energies in quarrels among themselves.

I believe this Convention should speak out with no uncertain voice in favor of the unanimous report of the committee. That report, which through days and weeks of hammering has been brought out of a condition in which the majority of the committee stood squarely, as I believe, against the principles for which I stand, but to which they have now been brought; and therefore I believe and therefore I advocate the approval by this Convention of the unanimous report, the approval of which has been opposed by Senator Thomas and Senator Shafroth and also, I may say, by the various gentlemen who have risen to raise points of order in the last few minutes. Whether you approve that or not, my friends, is a small matter. The main thing is that there should go forth from this great Convention recognition of the fact that this water power question is underneath and behind every other matter, the question of the people's bread, the question of the cost of living, the question of the use of the natural resources of this nation, not in order to make a few men rich, but in order to make all the nation prosperous. That is the question. (Loud cheers and prolonged applause.)

STATEMENT BY DR. SWAIN CHAIRMAN FISHER—Dr. Swain, the Chairman of the Committee, wishes to make a statement with regard to the exact facts connected with these three reports.

DR. GEORGE F. SWAIN—Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen: I wish to make just a few statements with reference to these matters.

A majority of this committee from the beginning have held and do still hold that we have no fear of a water power monopoly in this country. Our public service corporations are by law subject already to so much public control that there is no danger that the public will suffer in any way by the linking up of powers over large areas and the control of those powers by one corporation. Mr. Pinchot himself is on record in favor of that

linking up of powers and single control, and everybody who knows and understands the technical conditions surrounding the water power question knows that to be true.

I want to correct Mr. Pinchot with regard to one statement which he made, which is absolutely incorrect. He said that after weeks of discussion the majority of this committee had receded from the position which they had held and had come to adopt his views. That is not true! (Applause.) report of this committee was prepared and adopted by a majority of the committee, and the majority have stood by that report through thick and thin, until now; and it is Mr. Pinchot and not the majority who have changed views.

I want to say just one thing with reference to that so-called unanimous report. The committee had a feeling that it would be desirable to agree—that is, some members of the committee had that feeling, some feeling it more than others did. (Laughter.) The committee adopted the report of the majority. Thereupon a statement was written out to see if we could agree on certain principles. That statement is the so-called unanimous report, which is not unanimous because Mr. Teal has not signed it; but it is the unanimous report of those who were here. Certain members of the committee stated that they would not sign that report if it was to go in as the report of the committee. I among others would not sign that report as the report of the committee because we believed the report of the majority discusses this question in a fairer and more complete and more comprehensive manner, a manner which is best suited to the needs of this particular moment and of this Convention. Therefore that so-called unanimous report is simply a memorandum which we signed as a statement of the facts upon which we could agree. The report of the committee is the report of the majority as presented to you yesterday.

REPLY BY MR. PINCHOT. CHAIRMAN FISHER-In view of the character of the state ment made by Dr. Swain, I think you will agree that Mr Pinchot is entitled to the floor for a moment.

MR. GIFFORD PINCHOT_We will have no hard feelings, gentlemen, about any of this. There is not need for anything of the kind. I merely wish to submit that if the views which I have just pronounced in your hearing amount to a recession from my old opinion and going over to Professor Swain's opinion, then I think I did well to go over! (Applause.)

MR. HENRY L. STIMSON—Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question of Dr. Swain ?

MR. HENRY L. STIMSON-Dr. Swain, by your statement do

« AnteriorContinuar »