Page 13

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Title
Page 13
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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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12 SEVEN STATES CONFERENCE the streams for hydro-electric energy, the question of the usurpation of these streams by the federal government touches them all. The congress of the United States was ready and willing at the last session, in my opinion, to construct the Boulder dam, and to build the Ail-American canal, except for one thing—a sufficient number of the members of congress did not believe that the terms of the Swing-Johnson bill were fair to the state of Arizona. It is strange indeed that a large body like congress should be so solicitous about the protection of one state. It was not Arizona alone that concerned them, but it was the establishment of a precedent. They were unwilling to punish a state by depriving it of its natural resources. I supported the Swing-Johnson bill and yet I could not and did not deny the legal contentions of the state of Arizona. I stated on the floor of the senate that I thought that Arizona was entitled to have amendments to that bill. I prepared an amendment and submitted it to the senators and representatives from California, and to their delegation which was sent on there by their governor, asserting that Nevada was entitled to compensation for the use of her waters and her land for the building of a dam that created hydro-electric power. The amendment 1 asked for was that Nevada have the prior right to purchase at cost one hundred thousand horse power created at Boulder dam. The senators from California recognized the principle and agreed to the amendment. I asked only for one hundred thousand horse power because the former Nevada commission appointed by my state opposed taking more. That demand was based upon the principle that we were entitled to compensation, but the measure of compensation was entirely wrong. It should have been half of the power as I pointed out in my speech in the United States senate when the bill was under consideration. I may go further and say, there was not a senator on the floor who questioned the principle, when the amendment was read on the floor of the senate. I realize that some of you may feel that the injection of this power question into this conference is injurious. Our delegation patiently waited a week while these various negotiations were carried on by the conference, but it is evident from the public statements made here that the settlement of the water and power question is indissolubly intermingled and the whole history of this matter since 1920 discloses the same thing. The representatives of Arizona publicly said here a few days ago, "Yes, if the agreement on the division of water is satisfactory to us, we will agree to it at this time with the understanding that

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