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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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ON THE COLORADO RIVER 15 do not think that the states have any right to a superior control over the waters. Mr. Hoover takes that view and Mr. Work takes that view. Neither one of them are lawyers, but they are the men whose views will probably be accepted by the congressmen I am telling you about as the will of the administration, unless we unite in opposing such a destructive program. The question arises, if reclamation dams are built in the state, shall the government establish the policy of making a profit over and above the cost? Are we to remain silent while the United States government through its delegated authority to regulate navigation assumes authority of the streams for all other purposes, although such additional authority has never been delegated by the states to the federal government. What are you going to do in the upper states? Are you going to support the principle of state sovereignty over waters, or are you going to support the principle of federal control? These questions will be voted upon in the next session of congress and we in the West will have a desperate fight if the senators from the western states are contending for different principles and policies. A little question of four or five hundred thousand acre feet of water as between these two states of Arizona and California is insignificant in comparison with the establishment of the principle of the exclusive sovereign rights of the states to the exclusive control of the waters of the states. You may not realize it now, but the time will come when you will, and it may then be too late to protect the states. Sovereignty of the states means supreme control by the states. It originated in England. England originally had sovereignty over the waters in this country when she owned the colonies. She had sovereignty over the water of the colonies until the Revolution broke those ties. At that time there was not any Constitution of the United States. Our existing states became separate sovereignties. They confederated together for certain purposes, but each of the succeeding sovereign states succeeded to the sovereign rights of Great Britain. And every one of those states was a sovereign state. Many people think the federal government created the states. It was the states that created the federal government under the constitution they established. The United States Constitution expressly states that only those rights and powers delegated to the agency called the United States government shall be exercised by that government and that all jurisdiction and authority not expressly delegated shall be reserved to the states exclusively. And the supreme court of the United States has said time and time again that

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