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ON THE SUBJECT
IMPROVEMENT OF MISSOURI RIVER FROM
KANSAS CITY TO THE MOUTH
HELD BEFORE THE
COMMITTEE ON RIVERS AND HARBORS
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
STEPHEN M. SPARKMAN, Florida, Chairman. GEORGE F. BURGESS, Texas.
SAMUEL M. TAYLOR, Arkansas. RENJAMIN G. HUMPHREYS, Mississippi. MURRAY HULBERT, New York. CHARLES G. EDWARDS, Georgia.
WILLIAM E. HUMPHREY, Washington. JOIIN H. SMALL, North Carolina.
CHARLES A. KENNEDY, Iowa. CHARLES F. BOOHER, Missouri.
ANDREW J. BARCHFELD, Pennsylvania. THOMAS GALLAGHER, Illinois.
KOBERT M. SWITZER, Ohio. DANIEL A. DRISCOLL, New York.
ALLEN T. TREADWAY, Massachusetts. 1 HOMAS J. SCULLY, New Jersey.
JAMES A. FREAR, Wisconsin. CHARLES LIEB, Indiana.
DOW H. DRUKKER, New Jersey.
I'ETER E. COSTELLO, Pennsylvania.
DECEMBER 9, 1915
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Thursday, December 9, 1915. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. Stephen M. Sparkman (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, the committee is called together this morning for the purpose of hearing a delegation from the Missouri River section. I had hoped for a larger attendance, but of course they will be coming in from time to time. I should say that, owing to the Waterways Congress which we have in session here, a good many of the Members find they have constituents in the city making demands upon their time, others have gone to the departments, but will no doubt be back very soon.
Mr. Speaker, would you like to be heard now?
STATEMENT OF HON. CHAMP CLARK, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
Mr. CLARK. Mr. Chairman, I have not anything to say except the things I have said so often that they have become absolutely stale. There is no sense in piecemeal appropriation; not a particle. You might just as well take the money and throw it into the Atlantic Ocean. What we want is the continuation of the scheme that was laid out here two or three years ago, to give the Missouri River $2,000,000 a year for 10 years. The Kansas City people have now waked up, and I think some other people are waking up also. I tried my best to wake them up last summer. They are doing what I said had to be done in order to induce Congress to continue appropriations. I told them that it was nonsense to come here and harass and bedevil Senators and Representatives trying to get appropriations unless they did two things: First, put boats on that river and use those boats; and second, build proper steamboat terminals. The Kansas City people are now doing remarkably well, and St. Louis is beginning to move and mobilize its forces, to use Mr. Wilson's favorite phrase.
There is no reason on the face of God's earth why St. Louis should not put all the boats it needs on the Mississippi River, because they have 6 feet always from Cairo to St. Louis, and when you get to Cairo of course you can float a warship. However, the Kansas City men who are here come with a demonstration of what they are doing. They are enlarging the commerce very much, and it is a freight regnlator, and I want to see the plan that was laid out here continued. That is all I care to say about it one way or the other. I do not care what Col. Deakyne said. It was none of his business. He was appointed to do one thing and he undertook to do another. His business was to find out whether the river could be made navigable or not. That is what he was ordained to do; but instead of that he went out to get information that we could get from other people a good deal better than from him. He does nct know anything about how much commerce would come in; and as to that report of his, I have never had any particular delicacy about expressing my opinion of his performance.
Mr. HUMPHREYS of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, there is this to be said about it. It is our fault more than it is the fault of the Engineers. The Engineers did not want to undertake the responsibility of reporting and passing on anything but engineering problems.
Mr. Clark. That is what they ought to do.
Mr. HUMPHREYS of Mississippi. But we went to work and passed a law which required them after they got through with their business—that is to say, after they got through reporting on matters they had particular information about-we required them to take the part of the statesmen and report on the desirability of these improvements and whether or not the commerce, prospective and present, would justify them. Now, we made them do that by law.
Mr. CLARK. Well, you ought to repeal that law. Mr. HUMPHREYS of Mississippi. I just mention that in explanation of the work of the Engineers.
Mr. CLARK. I never think about them, any way, that I do not think about their reports about the jetties. They all swore by the great flying mackerel that it was impossible for Capt. Eads to ever get deep water at the mouth of the Mississippi River, and for a year or two after he got it they insisted that he had not got it. They seem to be prejudiced against river work, although I do not know why, or anything about it. If we are going to keep on trying to improve the Missouri River we ought to continue this appropriation.
By the way, I was lecturing up in Massachusetts a week or two ago. Of course, I have a lecture that I can put in anything I please and leave out anything. It is fixed up like a political speech of a judge out in Missouri who said his speech was like a stovepipe with joints; that you could put them in or take them out. I had an enormous crowd at Boston and Worcester and a good crowd at New Bedford. I told the newspaper people there that I was going to give them a little fatherly advice; that they ought to quit talking about pork; that they were not helping their own case any to be bellowing around about pork; that pork seemed to me on the same basis as the definition a fellow once gave of orthodoxy and heterodoxy. He said that orthodoxy is my doxy and heterodoxy is your doxy. I told them that the Government ought to discharge its legitimate functions whatever they were; that it seemed to me that the eastern papers on this side of the Alleghenies, especially in Boston and New York, thought if any money was appropriated out of the Treasury for any purpose on this side of the mountains it was a great and patriotic performance; but if it was to go on the other side, except to Pittsburgh, it was pork. I told them it was just as great and patriotic a performance to enlarge Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, if they needed enlarging for the public service, as it was to keep the navy yard in Boston; that it was just as patriotic a performance to improve the Missouri and
the Mississippi as it was to dig out the harbor in Boston; that it was just as patriotic to improve the Tennessee and Cumberland and the Red River and the rest of them as it was to improve the Connecticut River; and that the less they had to say about pork hereafter the better off they would be. The upshot of it was that I raised a rumpus that is still running on up there in the newspapers and I think it will do them some good.
Now as to the Washington papers, they have schemes enough on hand here now to take $20,000,000 out of the Treasury for the benefit of this town. I am also going to give them a lecture. The very minute you talk about public buildings out West or the improvement of a river, we are a lot of “ porkites," and I am tired of it.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you going to lecture in New York very soon? Mr. CLARK. I might; yes. I have an invitation to go there now.
The CHAIRMAN. Some of the New York papers seem even yet to hold those views.
Mr. CLARK. If I do, I am going to write out that part of the lecture and have copies enough made to give one copy to all of those papers. [Laughter and applause.]
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Borland, whom do you wish to call now!
Mr. Booner. Senator Reed is here, Mr. Chairman, with this delegation, and will probably want to address the committee.
Senator REED. I have no desire to displace Mr. Borland, but I am on what we call the steering committee, which has to make up the committees of the Senate, and I understand that work must be concluded to-day, and if Mr. Borland is courteous enough to give me the right of way I will get through and go to my other labors.
Mr. BORLAND. I will be very glad to yield.
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES A. REED, A SENATOR FROM THE
STATE OF MISSOURI.
Senator REED. Mr. Chairman, I do not know whether there is any use in anyone standing here and talking to members of this committee. I know that the chairman and other members who have served upon this committee for years have studied these problems, and it seems to me just like carrying coals to Newcastle; but I want to see if I can not at least plant the germ of an idea regarding river improvements which I think we must plant if we ever really succeed in getting the full use and benefit of these rivers.
Now, speaking of pork, there is, of course, and always has been, a disposition to expend public moneys for the benefit of local situations. I think there have been forts located in this country for the purpose of helping some gentlemen to come to the Senate. I think there have been innumerable post offices built for the purpose of popularizing some Congressman or some Senator in a particular part of the country, and yet I expect that if all in all the whole matter were fairly considered it would be found there has been much exaggeration and much misstatement regarding even those matters to which I have adverted. I apprehend that in the long run, particularly in the matter of post offices and public buildings, the Government has not been the loser to any great extent. However that may be, I want to draw the line between two classes of expenditures.