Page 4

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Title
Page 4
Source
Partial proceedings of Conference of Governors, Commissioners and advisors of the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, on the Colorado River
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http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
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ON THE COLORADO RIVER 3 would advance. The west is great in area but weak in numbers. The state of Pennsylvania alone has more representatives in congress than have all the states west of the Rocky mountains put together. It would be a tragedy for all of us if we should fall to fighting among ourselves. If we are to move toward our destiny we must stand together, and plan together, and work together, and fight together. The west has a set of problems of its own in which the busy and populous east has no interest, and unless we present a united front we shall receive scanty consideration from the rest of the country. Wise statesmanship and an enlightened self interest alike dictate that we compose our differences and go before the country as a compact unit. There are many reasons why we should do this, for the Colorado river is not the only problem of the great west. This conference is of unusual significance since it is participated in by the governors of seven states. That alone bespeaks its importance. I wish I might express the hope that it may become historic as an example of how states can settle their mutual problems by friendly negotiation, which is always more conducive to a square deal than contention and litigation. I also wish I might express the hope that this conference will become historic as a protest by seven states of the American union against the ever growing aggressions upon their sovereignty. Is it not about time that the west served notice upon the rest of the country that we believe in local self government? It is now about time for the west to proclaim that the Constitution of the United States with its reservations in favor of the states, is not a mere scrap of paper to be contemptuously brushed aside when it stands in the way of a misguided nationalism and centralization? Is it not about time that the western states made it known that they are getting sick and tired of the doctrine that everything in our states that is worth anything belongs to Uncle Sam? There seems to be a school of thought that wants to run everything from Washington and make the states mere figureheads and nonenities. I regret that even in the west there are some who evidently lack faith in the ability of their states to manage their own affairs and who want to deliver us over to federal bureaus. That program is fraught with danger and will carry us on to disaster. We need to revitalize our state governments in the eyes of the people. It is the only means of preserving democracy from the centralized bureaucracy that will otherwise spell ruin to our American ideals. As state officials we should hold up the hands of those of our congressional delegations who are defending the faith that

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