- Page 13
- Colorado River question
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- ___________________ 13 that State's representatives that Arizona must bear the brunt of the Mexican burden; their apparent unwillingness to proceed to a settlement of the power question; their evident purpose and the purpose of their State, with its vast resources, to press for the enactment of the Swing-Johnson Bill, which is so glaringly unjust to Arizona, fills us with foreboding. "Nevertheless, in the face of these disquieting circumstances, despite these misgivings, if the vital matters to which reference has here been made can be resolved affirmatively—and it must clearly be understood that it is only upon the condition that they are resolved affirmatively—we will accept the first item of your proposal, relating to the allocation of water. This price will we pay that the Colorado River problems may be solved. We must suggest, however, that no further sacrifice be asked of us. In the event that these negotiations fail, and this conference terminates without an agreement being reached, this acceptance hereby is and shall be deemed to be withdrawn, as fully and completely as if it had never been made. Finally, we declare that this offer shall not be construed as representing Arizona's claims as to her rights in the Colorado River, and most emphatically we insist that at no other time or place, by any other tribunal, shall the proposal hereby accepted for the purpose at this time of bringing about a settlement of the Colorado River controversy, be employed as a basis of other negotiations." In a lengthy statement of her position, California rejected the proposal. SUMMARY OF ARIZONA REASONS FOR OPPOSING THE JOHNSON BOULDER DAM BILL The bill ignores every arbitration recommendation made, after months of labor by the Conference of Governors and advisers of the seven basin states, held at Denver in the fall of 1927, including their proposed compromise division of the river water. The bill denies the three requests of Arizona, viz: Protection against Mexico, an equal division of Colorado River water with California and that water power properties pay taxes like other property. (See opening statement of Arizona at Denver.) The bill pretends to limit Mexican use of water; actually it does not, but limits use in the United States to 16,000,000 acre feet until 1963—which means forever. (Line 21, page 13, and Art. 3, Section a, b, f, Santa Fe Pact.) The bill pretends to limit California to 4,600,000 acre feet; actually it authorizes her to take approximately 7,600,000 acre feet, or all the water allotted to the Lower Basin in the Santa Fe compact. (Line 15, page 6; line 6, page 7, 4,600,000 plus 3,000,000 acre feet of normal flow and evaporation.) The bill pretends to give Arizona and Nevada a power revenue similar to the coal and oil leasing law of 37 1/2% of the receipts; actually the bill's provision is upon the net instead of the gross receipts and inserted jokers preclude any net revenue. (Lines 11, 12, page 6; lines 16, 17, page 2. Receipts may be used for construction.) The bill pretends to put the Imperial and Coachella Valley development under the Reclamation Law, similar to other projects; actually it exempts California land from any payment for either the construction or operation of storage reservoirs and delivery canals. (Lines 16, 17, page 2 make water service free.) The bill proposes to improve navigation; actually it destroys it, as twenty locks—like those at Panama—would be required to lift vessels over Boulder dam. (Line 4, page 1.) It withdraws from entry all federal land needed for canals, etc., but it gives a blanket franchise for transmission lines anywhere over government land. (Lines 15, 18, page 16 and lines 1, 5, page 11.) It pretends to be an act to assist farm-makers; actually it is a bill to assist California farm and real estate promoters who are allowed to retain hundreds of millions of dollars of unearned increment produced by flood control, etc. (Lines 16, 17, page 2.) The bill's advocates pretend over 200 miles of canal are needed to "get out of Mexico", when only one-third of this amount is required. (Lines 13, page 2.) The bill omits the Reclamation Law limit of 160 acres to each individual, thereby subsidizing large landholders and speculators which makes federal aid for irrigation development unjustified.
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