page 44

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page 44
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44Mr. LEATHERWOOD. Do you also favor writing into the law the language of subdivision (c), page 6?Mr. SQUIRES. Yes, sir.Mr. LEATHERWOOD. Do you favor writing in section 7 of the Federal water power act, as provided in that subdivision?Mr. SQUIRES. I have not read section 7 of the Federal water power act. We are perfectly satisfied in that respect.STATEMENT OF HON. HERBERT HOOVER, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, we are considering H. R. 9826, introduced by Mr. Swing, of California, providing for the protection and development of the lower Colorado River Basin. We are very pleased to have you here, and will ask you to make such statements as you desire to make. This bill is identical with the committee print.Secretary HOOVER. This subject has been before this committee for years. Most of the members have visited the region and I should be wasting the committee's time by any review of the physical situation. If it were possible I should like to lend emphasis to the necessity for action in solution of this question. We have here in the Arizona and California valleys a considerable population and great wealth subject to the great menace of terrific spring floods of the Colorado River, and these floods to the California Valley are a unique menace. Because a large part of that area lies below sea level and once the river breaks its banks it means either complete destruction or enormous expenditure at the recovery of the valleys. There is very large production and wealth from this area both now and in the future. Its credit standing and the possibilities of expansion in agriculture are constantly limited by the threat of flood.There is further urgent necessity for solution because of the international questions involved in the use of these waters by which permanent losses may be incurred to the United States through delay. Beyond this again is the urgent necessity for completion in order that water for municipal and domestic purposes may be rendered available to the million and a half people in southern California.Beyond the question of urgency are other questions of very large national importance--the development of further agricultural areas of power and increased national wealth. The problems surrounding this question do not lie in the lack of enormous resources in water, in arid land, or in power or the private or public capital to develop it.The difficulties which make the problem are the sharp conflicts of opinion of the people in the basin. A multitude of questions as to their rights, their interests, and the method of development of the river. These conflicts have been in progress for the last 20 years.I do not need to recall to the committee my own association with the problem, beginning with 1922, when at the requests of the seven governors of the States in the basin and of President Harding, I undertook the chairmanship of the Colorado River committee, which was assigned by Congress and by the State legislatures a duty

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