Page 15

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Title
Page 15
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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14 SEVEN STATES CONFERENCE Arizona does not go into the Seven States compact, according to your view of the matter, you are just as unprotected as you were in 1920; and she won't go into that compact unless the power question is satisfactorily settled. We might just as well understand each other now for there would be no use of our staying here two or three weeks unless Arizona withdrew her position on that proposition, or later on California would agree to the principles underlying the power proposition. We have not, in my opinion, right at the present moment, very much chance, with the disposition I have seen manifested, to reach a conclusive agreement now. But this conference has done a lot of good. We have had the opportunity of hearing both sides. Both sides have doubtless been helped by it. And there is not very much difference as to the demands of those two states as to the division of the water of the Colorado. I wish to say, however, that congress is liable to put through a bill at their next session containing provisions that this conference may agree upon, or that the disinterested states may consider fair to the interested ones. If such a bill is introduced in congress and is opposed by one of these states, then the influence of such state will end. It was only because many in congress believed that the bill was unfair to Arizona that there was no successful action on the matter. The congress of the United States is ignorant of our problems. There are 435 men in the house of representatives of the United States. Four-fifths of them know nothing on earth about water-particularly those that live in the city and state of New York. They are too impatient to listen to a discussion on water What is the result? If a bill is introduced and submitted by the administration, no matter how destructive it may be of the fundamental rights of the states, those men will vote with the administration because it is the safest thing to do. They will go to their constituencies and say, "1 voted with the administration." This impending legislation is about to establish a precedent. There is not a western state to my knowledge but what has experienced encroachments upon their rights by the federal government. The different bureaus in charge are demanding, or contending, that it is the federal government that has control over the waters of the states and not the states. They are contending that they may disturb even the vested rights of citizens for the purpose of putting water on non-irrigated Indian lands, or upon government projects; that such is the power of the federal government. Their attitude in all legislation relating to the use of waters disclosed that they

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