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- 57Mr. MAXWELL. It is the office of the National Reclamation Association. The sign on the door reads "National Reclamation Association." I am the executive director of the association, and have been for 27 years.Mr. SWING. And have you full powers to speak for it?Mr. MAXWELL. There is not a man who is a member of that association who is not thoroughly posted as to what I am advocating here to-day. The members of the association are kept well informed on the subject of the activities of the association, and if anybody wants to drop out of the association on account of those activities, he has a perfect right to do so.Mr. SWING. There have been no resolutions by them or their board of directors? Your views are the views of this reclamation association, and those who do not agree with your views simply drop out, and those who agree with them stay in? That is to say, it is a sort of personal organization.Mr. MAXWELL. If you want to call it a personal organization, in one sense of the word I should say you are right. An association that has existed as long as the National Reclamation Association, and has been in as active work and so much in the public eye is generally understood to stand for certain specific, worthy objects.Mr. LEATHERWOOD. You made a statement a moment ago that immediately it was revealed that a man belonged to your organization, steps were taken to get him to withdraw. Are we, as members of the committee, to infer that there is some secret or underground organization that is operating so that as soon as the members of your national organization are known, efforts are made to have them withdraw from the organization?Mr. MAXWELL. I do not know that I went to the extent of saying it is a secret or underground organization. This has been a bitter fight over the Colorado River for five years. It is pretty well understood who the people are who are in favor of using the water in the United States and those who are in favor of the plan which permits it to go to Mexico.The CHAIRMAN. I desire at this time to state that I have known Mr. Maxwell for 27 or 28 years. I well and favorably remember him as a young man taking the initiative in creating a sentiment in favor of national reclamation. So far as I know, he has ably devoted his whole life to that great policy without asking for any recognition from anybody whomsoever by way of appointment or emolument. I am not now indicating my opinion regarding what he is advocating, but I do say that Mr. Maxwell is heart and soul in favor of building up the western country, and he merits an attentive hearing before this committee, that he may fully express his views.Mr. LEATHERWOOD. Any questions that I may have asked should not be interpreted as a desire to the contrary.The CHAIRMAN. No; we understand that, Mr. Leatherwood.Mr. LEATHERWOOD. As one member of the committee, if there be agencies having for their object to destroy or break down any organization connected with reclamation work, I think the reclamation people ought to know it.The CHAIRMAN. Absolutely so.
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