page 63

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page 63
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http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/dig,8
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63HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION OF ARID LANDS,Friday, March 19, 1926. The committee met at 10.45 a. m., Hon. Addison T. Smith (chairman) presiding.The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. We will resume consideration of H. R. 9826, introduced by Mr. Swing, of California, providing for the protection and development of the lower Colorado River Basin.Mr. Ward Bannister,. of Denver, is present and will address the committee on the bill.STATEMENT OF WARD BANNISTER, DENVER, COLO.Mr. BANNISTER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I represent the city of Denver and nobody else in the statement that I am to make.I believe that some two years ago I appeared before this same committee in opposition to the then Swing-Johnson bill, opposing it upon the ground that it did not by its terms offer or insure adequate protection to the upper States. By "adequate protection" what I meant was that it did not insure the exemption in favor of the city of Denver and upper State interests of any quantity of water free and clear from the demands that would be made upon it by the project which was the subject matter of the then Swing-Johnson bill.I argued then in favor of the view that, given an interstate stream, the waters of the stream ought to be divided among the States in accordance with the principle of equitable or fair division, and not in accordance with a principle of priority regardless of State lines; that that principle was especially true when it came to the matter of spending Federal money, because Federal money is, in part, the money of all of the States, and therefore in part the money of the upper States of the Colorado River basin. I stood for the same view which has always been espoused by Commissioner Carpenter of my State, that there should be a fair division of water among the States, especially when Federal money is used in connection with water projects. That principle would be the principle that would obtain among nations upon the same international stream, and there is no reason why it should not obtain among States which belong to the same union. Under no other principle would the States be guaranteed as to their economic future. So that was the underlying argument which I made against the then Swing-Johnson bill.My attitude toward the present Swing-Johnson bill as that bill is now constituted is still one of opposition, very decided opposition, because as the bill now stands it affords to the upper States only partial protection and therefore to the city of Denver, which alone I represent, only partial protection in that it does not assure the upper State of the exemption of a portion of the now unused waters of the river system from the attachment of the water ap-propriation that would go with this gigantic project which is proposed by the Swing-Johnson bill. The reservoir contemplated by that bill would store more than the average annual flow of the

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