« AnteriorContinuar »
and the conservation of our water supply. Our water supply, as you may know, is one of the most important resources where we have a dense population entirely dependent upon the streams of the State; they are necessarily guarded with considerable jealousy because the State of New York has sometimes had projects before it of taking the water needed in our own State.
In coming through the Thompson and Fraser River canyons a few days ago I could not help noting the possibilities of irrigation; for the Thompson River as it flows through the valley has power and water enough to make that valley a veritable Garden of Eden. That is only a question of time, and as the West and Northwest and our sister country, Canada, gradually develop their natural resources and take warning also from our waste of these resources in the past, I feel that the future is great for agriculture, for mining, and for all those lines of development that lead to the highest state of prosperity. Irrigation, as I have said, is one of the greatest boons to a country like British Columbia, or to what we called originally in our geographies the “Great American Desert,” that can possibly be offered. When first I struck British Columbia there were a few fields of grain, but when I visited it as I did a few days ago I met a gentleman who has made a modest fortune in fruit farming, four miles from a railroad, and who had started twenty years before a railroad was built in British Columbia. How did he do it? Not by the large quantities he produced, but by raising the best. He told me that if he had not raised the best he would never have made a living, because transportation from this point was so high that he could not compete with other parts of the country. That is what irrigation may do. But as it is down on the programme for me tomorrow or Saturday to give you some ideas in regard to the conservation of power through electricity I will refrain from saying anything in regard to that now.
It gives me great pleasure to come before you after this long trip from the East. I am sure that many of you will not forget that in spite of our small area, as we may say, in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and States of that kind, and as we may say of England also, while we do not expect to compete with these wider areas, we do feel that we should at least receive consideration for the good work we have done with the little we had to do it with. (Applause.)
HoN. H. B. MICA FEE, MISSOUR".
Mr. Chairman, Ladics and Gentlemen:
I am very glad to bring to you the greetings of the State of Missouri. It is a disappointment that there is not a larger Missouri delegation here, but you may be sure that Missouri is interested in what this Congress stands for. I would say that it was the intention of our Governor to be here with a considerable delegation, but matters over which he could not exercise control hindered.
I am speaking for the State. We claim that we could put a fence around Missouri and live in it contentedly, but we are not going to do it; we join hands with you in developing the resources of the nation. Your problem here in this West is very different from ours in Missouri. We have not the ends to gain that you have here, and I hope we never shall have if I may judge from some of the addresses of this morning. I was disappointed to hear that the idea seems to be that the politicians are to be fought in this conservation movement. A corrupt politician is a bad thing, and a corrupt farmer or preacher would be a bad citizen. I take it that there is no fight between our conservation movement and the politician, or there ought to be none. I take it there is no fight between conservation and the corporations, or there ought to be none. A corrupt corporation is corrupt and should be downed; yet corporations are to be credited with the promotion and enterprise to assist in the development of our resources. In Missouri we are not facing those problems. Our politicians on both sides are conservation men. But we have the problem that exists in every State in the Union; it is public opinion that is so hard to move. It is hard to get from our legislatures, as from our National Congress, recognition of the movement, because they cannot see what we are after. It is the far view against the near view. It is what is to come to me against what is to go out from me to the generations that are to follow. That is the problem in Missouri. Missouri was settled largely by Kentuckians, and they do not know the proper use of water. We have on our eastern border the Mississippi, capable of all sorts of things in the way of navigation and power. We do not need it for irrigation, as you do here, but we need it for power and navigation. Then, cutting through the State is the Missouri and running up the western border of the northern half of the State, furnishing great power through the various parts of the State, we have possibilities of navigation and power. Not our politicians, not our corporations are standing in the way. There are men here today of the Missouri delegation who are at the head of the strongest lumber combines, of the strongest enterprises of our State; the largest corporations are not opposing conservation, but are hand and glove with the State in the effort to bring about the conservation of TeSOU11 CeS. Missouri joins hands with you to bring about the time when altruism shall enter into our calculations. I was told this morning we could not hope for it except through the Poketbook. I believe that these men and women who constitute this Congress, the precursor of many congresses that shall have a telling effect, are capable of the larger view, which says “not for myself but for my community and those who follow me.” That is conservation. (Applause.)
PROF. GEORGE E. CoN DRA, NEBRASKA.
Jr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:
One cannot in five minutes outline conservation work in a State. I would say without introduction and without any preliminary that the Governor of our State of Nebraska is interested in this movement, that the candidate for the Presidency in our State was one of the promoters of this movement, and that our commission is well organized and studying the subject. I did not come here to sing the praises of our State. Those of you who have crossed Nebraska have seen something of her prairie lands, something of her agricultural lands. Those of you who have come through on the trains and have reached the west end of the State in the daytime and the east in the nighttime have seen all the bad. Those who have travelled the other way have seen all that is good. We have a State in which there are great problems, and our commission was organized for the purpose of studying these. There is no politics in the commission in our State. If we had time I should outline some of the problems we have and are studying in Nebraska. We have in the northwest portion of the State 18,000 square miles of sandhill country given over largely to grazing, and we have men studying the grasses suitable. Near that there are 10,000 square miles of high plains like eastern Colorado in which there are six or eight types of soil, both good and bad, and it is the duty of our commission to conserve this land. There are agricultural possibilities there, and we want to tell the incoming people the truth about that region and not misrepresent it. Let me say that it is the duty of the conservation commissions to discover the truth about their States and to tell the truth and not misrepresent anything. Lying to the east and southeast, which many of you have crossed, there is a region most fertile, nearly as large as the northeast, in which we have beautiful homes and from that region there has come the agitation for better education and for agricultural schools. In that region we are producing 90 million bushels of corn and 50 million bushels of wheat. The problem there is the conservation of the fertility of the soil. We recognize in Nebraska that there is no bordering State set aside by State laws, but rather a great country, and we must not be Nebraskans or Missourians, but we want to join hands with you, and the Governor told me to say so. in this uplift in agricultural education to conserve outr fertility and to conserve agricultural education of every kind. I have about a minute left and would like to follow the thought given by Professor Carpenter, of keeping our universities in close touch with the farmers. As far back as ten years ago we placed in our schools the motto: “Wheat is the queen of crops and corn the king of crops.” But these are only to feed the animals and men in Nebraska. and we join hands with all in conserving the fertility of the soil. But we also join hands in producing our greatest crop. our principal product, manly men and womanly women, and that is conservation. (Applause. )