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at some later date and study this situation yourselves. We will be glad to take you on a trip down this ribbon of water that runs through the most fertile soil in this country, down to New Orleans, and we will prove to you that what we say is true.
STATEMENT OF HON. EDWARD VOIGT, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF WISCONSIN.
Mr. Voigt. Mr. Chairman, might I make a brief statement at this time?
The CHAIRMAN. I understand you appear against the bill.
The CHAIRMAN. I would suggest to the proponents of the bill that the following matters have occurred to the chairman as being subjects upon which it would be desirable that testimony should be given at as early a day as the proponents find it advisable.
The bill provides for a depth of 9 feet in the Illinois River. There has been a survey recommending an improvement to a depth of 7 feet, and with a view of ultimately providing a depth of 8 feet. It has been the unbroken custom of the committee and of the Congress for over 20 years not to authorize an improvement until there has been a survey which has passed in regular course from the local to the division engineer, then to the Board of Engineers and finally to the Chief of Engineers, and so to Congress.
The bill, in that respect, seems to be in conflict with that provision. There may be some explanation for it, and the committee should have that preliminarily.
Then the diversion of 10,000 cubic feet is in this project. That is a most important project, and it has never been referred, so far as a survey is concerned, to the engineers, and no report is before the committee on that question.
Then we come to another question, upon which I am not at all clear. I have only given it a very cursory examination, and that is the question as to whether or not the proposed bill would be in conflict with the treaty between the United States and Great Britain regarding boundary waters between the United States and Canada, which treaty was proclaimed on May 13, 1910.
In regard to that question as to whether or not it is in conflict with the treaty, I would call the attention of the proponents of the legislation to Articles I, II, III, and VIII of the treaty.
In the next place, there has been called to my attention by those who oppose the bill the fact that there have been two cases tried in the Federal courts regarding proposed diversions, and I understand that a decree has been entered in at least one of those cases. It should be made to appear whether or not those cases have any bearing upon the provisions of this bill.
No doubt all these questions have been studied by the proponents of the legislation. They have simply been called to my attention by those who oppose the legislation, and they are preliminary questions. And because they are preliminary questions it would seem to me that they are important. While I want to leave you a free hand and the committee wants to leave you a free hand to proceed as you are advised, it would seem to me it would be highly advisable to deal with these questions in the early part of the hearings so that the committee may know what are the answers to these questions.
Mr. VOIGT. Mr. Chairman, I have received a telegram from Mr. Ekern, the attorney general of my State, saying that he could not be here for a day or two, at least, and asked me to represent him here, or rather speak for the State of Wisconsin in his absence.
I have met with certain gentlemen not only from our own State but from other States who are interested in opposing this legislation.
The CHAIRMAN. May I say this, that these questions have been directed to my attention particularly by the Lake Carriers' Association and by the president of that association, Mr. Livingstone.
Mr. Voigt. I can clear that matter up, Mr. Chairman. I want to say that there are five interests in opposition to this bill. We have tried to group them, and there are five groups of interests that wish to appear here in opposition to this bill.
We want to oppose this bill and some others, so far as diversion of water from Lake Michigan is concerned.
We have no quarrel with the general proposition to build a waterway from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi; and, so far as I am informed, the building of that waterway only—that is, the supplying of water for that waterway--would not meet with any opposition from the people who propose to oppose this bill.
Now, I would like to inquire, to start with, whether the chairman of the committee has requested the War Department or the Army engineers to appear here and give their opinion in reference to this matter.
The CHAIRMAN. Such a request has not been made as yet, but of course they would be heard before the hearings are concluded.
It has seemed to the chairman of the committee that the orderly procedure would be to have those interested in the passage of this bill present their case first, and then probably have the opponents present their side of the matter, and then hear the Army engineers. It might be advisable, however, to have the Army engineers come in between the presentation of the two sides of the case. That. I think, the committee will find it advisable to take up and decide for itself.
Mr. Voigt. The opponents will leave that to the decision of the committee. We have no choice in the matter.
But we do request that the committee ask the Army engineers to present such information or opinion as they have with reference to This bill. There is a great deal of information in the engineers’ office respecting this project and our opposition to it on that point.
I want to say this, that these five interests that oppose this bill. and some others who oppose it on the one point of the diversion of water from Lake Michigan, may be grouped as follows:
First, there is the Great Lakes Harbors Association, of which Mr. William George Bruce, of Milwaukee, is the president. He is present here to-day.
The second group is the Lake Carriers' Association.
The third group is the attorneys general of five States-Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. I am informed that somebody will also be here to speak for the State of Pennsylvania, although I have no definite knowledge on that at the present time.
The fourth group will be the Association of Drainage and Lever Districts of Illinois, who are represented in this case by ex-Congressman Shaw of Illinois.
Also, some one will appear here in behalf of the Canadian Government, and that will bring up the question in connection with the treaty, to which the chairman has referred.
So far as I know, Mr. Chairman, there will be probably 20 or 25 people who will wish to be heard in opposition. May I inquire now how much time the committee will give to each side?
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think that now, at any rate, there should be any limitation of time. We may find it necessary later to limit the time. But as the question is a most important one, the committee will want to be most liberal in allowing time to both sides.
Mr. Voigt. I have conferred with the people who are opposing this bill on the point of the diversion of water, and, of course, we want to save the time of the committee as far as possible. I want to say I think the people who are in opposition to the bill would want about eight hours of time to be heard by the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. You will probably find it will be more than that.
Mr. Voigt. I think, considering the way in which the case of the opposition will be presented, we can get through in eight hours.
The CHAIRMAN. The disposition of the committee will be to be very liberal and there will not be any ruling, I take it, limiting the time, at least not until after we have proceeded far enough to determine whether it is necessary.
Mr. Voigt. I suppose the proponents of the bill will put in their case first.
The CHAIRMAN. So far as they can conveniently do so. We want to make it convenient and easy for everybody. If they have not all of their witnesses present we will go on with the other side. But I think the orderly way to proceed would be the way that you suggest. But we will make the procedure subject to the convenience of those who are here.
Mr. Voigt. There appear to be four bills before the committee, H. R. 5475, H. R. 7044, H. R. 6822, and H. R. 6873. Each one of these bills contemplates the diversion of water from Lake Michigan in large quantities. I would like to ask, is the committee going to hear these four bills together?
The CHAIRMAN. I should think that if their purpose is substantially the same--and I take it that it is—there could be no objection to doing that, and if there are any respects in which they differ we could very easily hear the testimony separately. But I can not see any objection to combining them, so far as the hearing is concerned.
Mr. Voigt. We would like very much to have the committee consider our opposition as directed to these four bills. These people who will appear in opposition come from some distance and it would be unfair to them to have them appear separately on each one of these bills, and to make them come here and appear before the committee when each one of these bills comes up.
The CHAIRMAN. There will be no disposition on the part of the committee to be at all technical in the matter. I am sure the committee wants to get at the facts in the case and consider the merits of the proposition.
Mr. Voigt. In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I want to say that the people representing these five groups I referred to, for the present have agreed upon Mr. Bruce as their spokesman. He will control the time of the opponents of these bills.
Mr. SWEET. The gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Voigt), has registered the names of the groups who will appear in opposition. Are we to understand that the five groups will include all those who are in opposition, and that any who may appear later in opposition will come under some one of those five heads?
Mr. Voigt. That is my understanding, that any man who comes here and opposes these bills must group himself with one of these five groups.
Mr. Sweet. Then should we not have notice of the appearances for the proponents also at this time so that we will know who is to appear in favor of the legislation and who is to appear against it?
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is a good suggestion.
Mr. KINDRED. The statement of the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Voigt) that he assembled all the parties opposing this bill into five groups would not exclude any other opponents, if they wanted to come in?
The CHAIRMAN. No; I think the committee is agreed that we will not be technical. We want simply to get at the merits of this proposition. We will be most liberal in time and in our treatment of the matter. What we want to do is to get all the information possible from both sides. That is the way we want to treat the proposition.
STATEMENT OF MR. C. S. FERRIS, REPRESENTING THE WATER
POWER COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
Mr. FERRIS. Mr. Chairman, I have come here with the attorney of the Water Power Commission of the State of New York, and I have no doubt that we will be able to agree with the gentleman who just spoke and who suggested that there has been some arrangement into groups, so far as the matters to be treated are concerned.
But I do not know very many of these gentlemen, and if it is not asking too much of the committee I would like to have the appearance of everybody noted here, so that we could have a list of those appearances, and thus I might be able to confer with some of these gentlemen and in that way help to save the time of the committee.
I think perhaps we will agree with Wisconsin and that group of States in the opposition which they have taken. But there are reasons which the State of New York desires to present as to why the diversion at Chicago of 10,000 second-feet at least should not be continued indefinitely, which we think perhaps do not apply to the other States.
I do not know whether you will agree with me that it would be a good idea to have all the appearances noted, so that we could have a list of them before we go on presenting the case.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that would be a good idea. (The following appearances were noted :)
Mr. Ray Williams, traffic manager Cairo (Ill.) Association of Commerce and member Cairo Board of Trade; also appearing for the city of Cairo, Ill.
Mr. Frank H. Keefer, representing the Province of Ontario.
Mr. J. K. Shields, representing the Chamber of Commerce of Erie, Pa.
Mr. Edgar B. Thomas, secretary the Watson Co., architects and engineers, Cleveland, Ohio, representing the Chamber of Commerce of Cleveland, Ohio.
Maj. D. W. Hoan, Milwaukee, Wis., representing the Great Lakes Harbors Association.
Mr. William George Bruce, Milwaukee, Wis., representing the Great Lakes Harbors Association.
Mr. Arthur V. White, representing the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of the Province of Ontario, Dominion of Canada.
Mr. Hilts, representing the Dominion of Canada.
Mr. J. P. Daly, traffic manager of the Donner Steel Co. (Inc.), Buffalo, N. Y., representing the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. C. S. Ferris, representing the Water Power Commission of the State of New York.
Mr. E. Griffin, representing the State of New York.
Mr. H. G. Legan, representing the Chicago Shippers Conference Association, Chicago, Ill.
Mr. J. P. Kerr, president of the Association of Drainage and Levee Districts of Illinois, Versailles, Ill.
Mr. Charles A. Livingston, representing the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, 1424 Fort Dearborn Bank Building, Chi
Mr. P. J. Grant, Erie, Pa., representing the Erie Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. D. W. Harper, Erie, Pa., representing the Erie Water Board.
Mr. N. R. Buller, Harrisburg, Pa., commissioner of fisheries of the State of Pennsylvania.
Hon. Guy L. Shaw, Beardstown, Ill., representing the Association of Drainage and Levee Districts of Illinois.
Hon. L. A. Jarman, Rushville, Ill., representing the Association of Drainage and Levee districts of Illinois.
Mr. A. D. Millard, Beardstown, Ill., representing the Association of Drainage and Levee Districts of Illinois.
Judge Edward J. Boyle, of Chicago and Eldred, Ill., representing the Association of Drainage and Levee Districts of Illinois; also representing local owners.
Mr. Schram, Hillview, Ill., representing Association of Drainage and Levee Districts of Illinois; also representing local owners.
Judge Franklin Velde, Pekin, Ill., representing the Association of Drainage and Levee Districts of Illinois.
Mr. PEAVEY. May I make a suggestion, Mr. Chairman? I understand that Attorney General Daugherty, of the State of Michigan, is already here, representing the five or six States which have been mentioned, or at least he will be here some time to-morrow to speak for the attorneys general of those different States. May it not be possible for this gentleman to associate himself with Mr. Daugherty and have him appear, either in unanimity or separately, after they have conferred ?