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Page 19
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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18 SEVEN STATES CONFERENCE Under the Federal Power Act we attempted to protect the states' rights because we provided in that Act that a municipality— that is a city, or county, or state—shall have prior right to a permit to use the public lands for the building of dams and plants for the generation of hydro-electric power. The Congress of the United States may pass a bill such as the Swing-Johnson Bill which does not provide any priority to any state and which does not provide for any state sovereignty over the waters of the state. A dam will be built at Boulder Canyon and it may be built under the Federal Water Power Act by private capital, or it may be built by the Government after long and expensive litigation, and it may be that when it is built it will be not only a federal dam but a federal institution in every sense of the word, with all of the water and power under the arbitrary control of some bureau of the United States Government. When I see these states of Arizona and California with this vast quantity of water alloted to them by this agreement suggested by the four Upper States,—four million acre feet each in comparison with the three hundred thousand acre feet alloted to my own state, a state in size equal almost to either one of them,—when I think of it, that they on account of the division of only one-fifth of what is alloted to them—one-tenth possibly of the whole amount involved— should threaten the enactment of a precedent that may destroy the most valuable asset that these states have,—I want the people of these states to know the facts, and I want the Congress of the United States to know the facts, and this conference has done a magnificent thing in giving them the facts. Now, I know the people of the Western country are surely not going to endanger their sovereign rights by reason of selfishness manifested on the part of their representatives. The statement of the settled law of the country as to the rights of states with regard to water must be set out in the resolution, or the resolve that such rights shall be maintained will be meaningless. We recognize existing law, we do not create it by resolution, therefore the statement of existing law should be in the recital clauses rather than under the resolving clauses. The second resolve that The states have a legal right to demand and receive compensation for the use of their lands and waters," is more easily applicable to individuals and corporations because in such cases the state can unquestionably prevent construction until the state's demands are complied with. Peculiar situations and conditions may arise if Congress authorizes the United States to build a dam under its delegated authority to regulate commerce. Whilst the declared purpose is to

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