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of the Constitution are we acting! We are acting upon the broad, general ground, regardless of the Constitution, that when we take a sum of money out of the public Treasury and expend it in such a manner that it benefits the people of the whole country we are properly serving the country. It does not make any difference how we quibble and equivocate and seek for a reason—that is the reason and we all know it is the reason, and it has been one of the most beneficent things that this Government has ever done. While occasionally there is some jackass who gets on his hind legs and brays about the expenditure of money for seeds, the truth of the matter is that the Agricultural Department of this country has paid for itself a thousand times over, and everybody knows it. 'We take the money of this Government and we build fine public buildings; we take the money of this Government and we go out here and build great ditches and reservoirs, and we gather the waters flowing down from the mountains and preserve them. We then fill these ditches out on the arid lands where God Almighty did not put enough water.

Now, under what clause of the Constitution do we proceed in doing that?. We proceed under the clause of common sense, or under that doctrine of common sense which I announced a little bit ago, that that which benefits the whole people this Government has the right to do.

Now, I come to the question of the improvement of these rivers. Ought it to be any longer put upon the narrow, miserable basis of commerce, or ought it to be elevated to an entirely different plane? Ought it not, gentlemen of the committee, to be put upon the basis that these rivers are subject to governmental control; that no riparian owner has the right to stick a pile into the river bank; that no State has the right to mark the lines and borders of these streams; that nobody has the right to build bridges across them; that nobody has the right to dam their waters; and that they are altogether under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government? Now, I put this proposition before you: If it is right for this Federal Government to take the money of the people of this country and use it to build a canal that is hundreds of miles from our shores, that is laid in foreign soil, or in soil that was foreign until we promoted a revolution in a peaceful country in order to ravish it of its sovereignty-if it is right to spend $400,000,000 in that way and to dig an artery for the purpose of putting commerce there, and. I repeat, if it is right to spend the money of the Government in building great reservoirs to capture the waters from the mountains and to hold them, and to build great ditches in order to put these waters out on arid lands, then, I want to know, if it is right to spend money to put water on ground, why it is not right to spend the money of the Government to keep water off of ground, when that water comes from a river that this Government asserts its sovereignty over?

Why not face this question as it is? Why not meet it as a great question of national internal improvements in this country? Why not say to this country that we propose to harness this river and to keep it within its banks? Why not say that we propose to do that because it will be a blessing to this country to restore agriculture, or to give to agriculture in the first instance a domain that is richer and more necessary than are any of the arid lands of the West? While

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I am speaking of that, I do not mean for a moment to stop the improvement of the arid lands of the West. Why is it true, if we can take $300,000,000, as now recommended-and I do not criticise thatat least, not at this moment and probably I never shall—to increase the Army and Navy-if we can meet that question in that big way, why not meet the other question in a big way? If we can build the Panama

'anal and spend $400,000,000 in doing that big work, why not take hold of this cther proposition upon the basis that it is not going to be piecework, that it is not to be a little patchwork here with the river breaking out again in a few months and tearing it all up, or putting in a dyke for the river to take out at the first freshet? This work should be undertaken as a comprehensive scheme, as big as this Government and as luminous as its future.

We propose to start at the Gulf of Mexico or at St. Paul, Minn., or from some other point-I care not where we start—and we propose to absolutely harness these great streams and put them in subjection to the power of man and to keep them within their legitimate borders. We propose to take this mighty domain of arable land that is now subject to overflow every few months and make it safe, and we propose to do it upon a basis that is as comprehensive as the problem. Why not do it? What is the use of fooling with this question? It is a matter of extreme wonder to me why it is that we should trifle with it any longer. I take my own State because I am more familiar with it, but when I speak of my own State I only foreshadow the greater question involved in the bottom lands of other States. I can go along the Missouri River and I can point you to vast areas of soil that there is absolutely no bottom to that have never been farmed. If these lands were surely safe from innundation they would produce from 90 to 125 bushels of corn to the acre, and they would produce any other crop grown in the north temperate zone with equal generosity.

The CHAIRMAN. You would be willing to extend that beneficent doctrine to other States?

Senator Reed. I am only using my own State as an illustration, and what is true of my State is also true of all the States that border these mighty arteries of commerce,

The CHAIRMAN. We have in Florida what is known as the Everglades.

Senator REED. Absolutely, and I am willing to extend it to include that. I say that this problem ought to be taken up by the Government wholly upon this basis that we are promoting agriculture and that we are promoting the safety and the property of our people. We do not propose to do it on the basis of commerce, but we propose to do it upon the basis of the combined benefits to commerce and agriculture and safety of life. This country loses enough money-I will not say every year, because we do not have a freshet every year-but it loses enough money every day through the waste of land and through the destruction of the property of the citizens and through the discouragement of agriculture to riprap and revet and levee these rivers from the Gulf of Mexico up. You have got a problem in your State, Mr. Chairman, that I am not entirely familiar with, but it looks to reclamation, and as I have willingly voted to help the people reclaim arid lands I am willing to vote to reclaim overflowed lands.

Mr. HUMPHREYS. You speak of this great loss to the people, and I want to call your attention to the statement of the engineer that in the Missouri Valley alone there is an average of more than 10,000 acres of farm lands moving into the river every year.

Senator REED. Yes, and that brings up the question, as I said before, of taking up this matter systematically and broadly and as one project. Let me illustrate: Some people make fun of the Missouri River, but the Missouri River where it branches with the Mississippi River, at St. Louis, is the larger stream. That river will start across and will throw countless billions of cubic yards of silt into the stream. Where does it go! It goes down ultimately, or some of it, clear to the Gulf of Mexico. You ought to take up this thing as one problem, and I am willing to vote bonds for it. I would like to lift the question clear out of this narrow channel and put it on the great, broad plane that we propose to have the reclamation of these lands. There has been a great deal said about preparedness. It is a great question, and I am thoroughly convinced, for one, that the ideas I used to have that our country was so big and so safe and so mighty must be modified. I do not know how far I am going to modify them; but I do say this, that the fact that the Mississippi River, if we should improve it, would be navigable to boats; that the Missouri River would be navi. gable to boats; and that the Ohio River would be navigable to boats, with a great commerce established upon them, might be the one thing that would save this country if we ever got into the grip of a desperate foreign war.

Now, think about that. Of course, no one country, unless it were England. could place any embargo upon our ports; but two, or three, or four countries might do it, and I have about lost all faith in humanity not doing those things because it is not right to do it. Is it not now a question that ought to be thought of, and is it not a fact that over in Europe today the circumstance that two or three rivers are kept open has kept one. or two, or three countries from being almost starved to death? Is not that worth thinking about!

Mr. Switzer. Senator Reed, do you think there will be any increased sentiment over in the Senate in favor of specific appropriations? Now, we have been making specific appropriations for a couple of Congresses, but that has been met with rather bad faith. What is your notion about it? If we should prepare a bill again, what would happen? You know it is getting to be an old story. It is rather like chewing your tobacco twice.

Senator REED. That is a very practical and sensible question, and I am going to answer it with all the frankness of which I am capable. I think that the sentiment in the Senate is now and has been overwhelmingly in favor of carrying on these projects, and that the opposition to the House bills that have come over there has been an opposition that has been limited to but few men. Unfortunately, however, we have unlimited debate in the Senate, which places it in the power of a few men to do a great deal of obstructive work. We would have passed the rivers and harbors bill in the last Congress, however, I think. without any question, and substantially as you sent it to us, saving always, of course, those slight modifications that are to be expected, if it were not for the fact that it was used as a buffer ag inst the ship purchase bill by the filibusterers against that bill. Now,


thank God, a very good man, but a good man who went wrong in one respect, is no longer with us, and I think if you can get this bill over pretty early, so that we can get it on the docket and get it under debate, we will be able to head off any filibuster. Of course, if we get it late, there will be an anxiety to get away.

I back now to make this final statement: Is it not time to lift this question onto a different plane? Is it not time to take up a great system of internal improvements that will bring a return on every dollar we invest? You, with your Florida lands, or Mississippi with its great bottom lands, and the lands along the other streams that run into the Mississippi-is it not time for the Government of the United States to harness these horses and not let them run at large and destroy millions of dollars in property every year?

The CHAIRMAN. Would you do that on the rivers and harbors bill or in rivers and harbors legislation, or would you have a separate program?

Senator REED. I do not know. I would want to consult with you and with other men upon that. I do not know what is the best method. These are practical questions like the one the Congressman asked me a moment ago. Thus far we have not undertaken to do

anything in any manner except just to follow the old course. I hope this committee will get it started in some way. I believe it can be done, perhaps through the instrumentality of this committee, at least in the way of having a comprehensive survey made and an estimate made of the amount of land that would be reclaimed, at what cost, and an estimate made of the benefits to be derived. I suggest that in order to get the subject into something like concrete form. There is one other suggestion I would like to make: I think we ought to take out of this bill the language which allows the engineer to pass upon the question of whether there will be commerce or not. That is a question for Congress. The question for the engineers to settle is whether the river can be made navigable and how much it will cost. I think we ought to insist on putting this bill through and carrying all of these fixed appropriations through this year. I do not believe we are in any such shape where we have got to stop internal improvements in this country in order to get ready for war. I think we can do both.



Mr. BORLAND. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I want to emphasize only one point: A few years ago this committee entered upon a very deliberate and well-considered plan of restoring navigation on inland waters. It made a substantial start upon that well-considered plan. You did that after a complete foundation had been laid, and we are in the midst now of a test of the wisdom of that plan. We are here, so far as our project is concerned, and these gentlemen are here with their technical facts, to show that the portion of that plan which embraced the improvement of the Missouri River was not only well considered and well conceived, but that it has been successful. We have had, first, to appear before this Rivers and Harbors Committee to demonstrate whether there was a local sentiment in favor of improving the Missouri River.

Before 1910, when I first became a Member of Congress, in 1908, these gentlemen came down here. The proposition was then made to them that they must demonstrate their willingness to navigate an unimproved river. In 1910 we came back here and we were given a first appropriation for the improvement of the banks, $1,000,000, but no adoption of the project. Another examination was required from an engineering standpoint, and in 1912, after a further examination and test and further practical experimentation, this committee adopted the project. Now, we had one full navigation season, the season of 1913, succeeding that, but we had numerous appropriations totaling about one-third of the total cost. Six million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars had been appropriated out of the $20,000,000 to be used, but in the last session of Congress a provision was inserted in the other body providing for another examination of the Missouri River project. That examination was made both from an engineering standpoint and a commercial standpoint, and from an engineering standpoint it developed that the improvements had been an engineering success, and the report of the engineers, affirmed all the way up through the channels of the War Department, is to the effect that the plan of improvement is feasible, that the river is being reclaimed and made navigable, that a 6-foot channel will be secured, and that it will come within the estimated cost. That is a rather unusual line of success from an engineering standpoint, but the report of the division officer, which came like a blow to the commercial interests

Mr. HUMPHREYS. Let me make this suggestion, that before the project was adopted the members of the River and Harbor Committee, including the chairman, made a trip down the river and had all of that information.

Mr. BORLAND. Yes; both documentary and personal. But the report of our division engineer went into the question of the commercial value of the river. It conceded from every standpoint the engineering feasibility and the item of cost, but went into the commercial value and, strange to say, that report took the season of 1913, although it was written in 1915—took the season of 1913 as the commercial criterion of the use of the Missouri River, the first season following the actual adoption by Congress of the project.

The CILAIRMAX. So far as that is concerned and in view of the large amount of money we are expected to spend on that stretch of the river they might as well have taken 1914 or 1915.

Mr. BORLAND. Certainly.

The CHAIRMAN. If we were to rely solely upon the commerce now being handled on the river the expenditure could not be justified for a moment.

Mr. BORLAND. That is true.

The CHAIRMAN. If it is never to increase, expenditure certainly would not be justified from the standpoint of commercial advantages to be attained.

Mr. BORLAND. Certainly; that is true.

The CHAIRMAN. But Congress adopted that project on the theory that its commerce would increase and increase very largely in the not distant future.

Mr. BORLAND. Yes; and the point I want to make in this connection is that the commerce did increase in 1913, 1914, and 1915, and the increase has been in the last year 132 per cent over 1914.

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