Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

Are there any questions?

Mr. LIPSCOMB. In regard to your last statement, do you not feel that we do need a national water resources policy?

Mr. STEWART. I feel that we have a policy, Congressman. It needs implementing and maybe enlarging a little bit, but over the past 50 years practically any act of Congress that has had to do with our water resources has pointed out the policy that has grown up, and there have been pointed out in the testimony today the main facts on that policy.

Mr. LIPSCOMB. Without leadership from the national level some areas are today almost dry. If we do not do something soon, when they turn on the faucet there will not be any drinking water, if we do not get some kind of a national water resources policy.

Mr. STEWART. I think that is true. There are some areas where the people are awakened to the fact that they need to do something about their water resources. That is why I pointed out it should be started in the area where it has not been, and in the areas it has been, have it continued.

Mr. LIPSCOMB. If we follow the same policy of taking all of the water out of the ground, we just will not have any water. For example, on the west coast we are concerned about salt-water intrusion, and on the Atlantic coast also. We must somehow look into getting a national water resources policy. At least that is my belief.

Mr. STEWART. I think you are right, and you should implement the present policy by developing it to take care of shortages that have been developed. We have gone on for years and wasted our water resources, but in some of the areas we are taking care of it, and we should do that in all areas.

Mr. LIPSCOMB. I think that great progress has been made in this area under the previous policy, and you are satisfied with it.

Mr. JONES. Any further questions?
Mr. LIPSCOMB. That is all.

Mr. Jones. Thank you very much, Mr. Stewart. We appreciate your being here with us today.

Mr. Jesse Williams, of Montgomery, Ala., representing the Alabama Rural Electric Cooperatives.

We are glad to have you, Mr. Williams.

STATEMENT OF JESSE M. WILLIAMS, JR., REPRESENTING THE

ALABAMA RURAL ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION OF COOPERATIVES

Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Jesse M. Williams, Jr., and I am a practicing attorney of Montgomery, Ala. I have represented REA cooperatives for the past 15 years and am sympathetic with the programs and problems of REA cooperatives, the TVA, and other public power projects.

I now represent the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives, an association of 16 REA cooperatives who have banded together for their mutual protection in order to better promote the REX program; the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative at Prattville, Åla., a distributing cooperative, and Alabama Electric Cooperative at Andalusia, Ala., a generating and transmission cooperative.

Mr. JONES. That is the Gant station ?

Mr. WILLIAMS. That is the MacWilliams steam plant. Mr. MacWilliams is with us and we do not call it Gant today.

I am glad you stated I could comment on the task force rather than the Commission, because the only part of the Commission I ever saw is the task force, at Chattanooga, and I had prepared my statements about that.

Mr. Jones. You may proceed. Mr. WILLIAMS. I attended for a day and a half the hearing held at Chattanooga, Tenn., by the task force of the Hoover Commission on water resources and power. This task force was chairmanned by Admiral Moreell and was composed of presidents of large corporations, or the chairmen of boards of large corporations, in practically every instance. I was struck by the fact that the Honorable Thomas A. Edison, Jr., was a member of this task force, the son of the first owner of a private electric utility in the world. I was also forcibly moved by the manner in which the hearing was conducted by the chairman of the task force and felt that the admiral in charge of the task force, in his inimitable manner, had met the enemy and in true naval style proceeded to subdue it. Unfortunately, he was using his warlike talent against the programs of REA cooperatives, TVA and all public power projects.

I had come to Chattanooga with the idea that the task force desired to receive testimony on the needs and the progress heretofore made, not only by so-called private enterprise electric utilities, but also from REA cooperatives and other public bodies. It was obvious that most of the time allotted was turned over to the private electric utilities, and when it came time for our testimony, it was necessary to have quick conference to determine out of a great number of statements prepared to be made, one man who would speak for all of us. We felt that we were crowded off the program.

I listened to the lengthy reports of the private utilities and to the great service that they were rendering the people, read from prepared statements to the committee. I was struck with the interest evidenced by the chairman to build up a voluminous record in favor of the socalled private enterprise utilities and against anyone representing public bodies. His leading questions to private utility representatives were aimed to produce favorable replies by them when they faltered at any point.

The outstanding example which I heard and which indicated definitely to all present his prejudice in favor of private utilities were comments he made to a representative of Duke Power Co. At the termination of a lengthy report by this representative, the chairman asked him who owned the Luke Power Co. The representative didn't catch the cue offered to him and said, "the stockholders.” Another cue was offered in a question that elicited the reply that the Duke Foundation was one of the principal stockholders. The chairman further asked what the Duke Foundation did with profits that were made on this stock and the representative caught this cue. He stated that Duke Foundation spent the profits from its stock to found hospitals, grant scholarships, and to do great amounts of charitable work. The chairman then stated that he just wanted the record to show that all private utilities were not as they had been called octopi." This elicíted great laughter from his favorable audience.

At no time did he seem to be at a loss for words to assist the private utilities, but when any of the representatives of any public bodies began to testify, he, as well as other members of the committee, often interrupted them with questions designed to embarrass them and to place their projects in a position subject to ridicule. At this time, he was not satisfied with the number of questions that he and the committee could think up on their own, but in the background at a table was sitting some type of expert, I would call him an expert on sarcasm-who constantly passed to the chairman questions to be asked, none of which reflected favorably upon the great work which has been done by REA cooperatives, TVÅ and other public power projects.

I may be naive, but my sense of fair play was shocked and if this was the manner in which the task force was seeking information upon which to base its report to the Congress, I felt sure of the type of report which would come out of the committee, and I have not been disappointed in this prognostication.

I had an opportunity for comparison due to the fact that I had several years ago been present at a hearing of President Truman's Water Resources Committee held in Atlanta, Ga. At this hearing, while I was present, the proponents of both

types of philosophies were given an even break to present facts to this Commission.

In conclusion, gentlemen, I feel that the reports of the task force were based upon self-serving testimony before a highly prejudicial committee, who were prejudiced in favor of private utilities and against any public power project. If I were a Member of Congress, knowing that their report is so based, I would feel it my duty to give their conclusions very little, if any, consideration.

The people whom I represent wish to go on record before this committee as strenously objecting to the recommendations of the Hoover Commission in proposing an increase of the interest rates to REA cooperatives, the abolition of the REA's, the financing of REA cooperatives through those agencies similar to the Foreign Credit Administration, and, in addition thereto, the recommendations that no steam plants or transmission lines be built by Federal agencies. They are vitally interested in and opposed abolishing the preference clause of the Flood Control Act of 1944, as is suggested by the Hoover Commission report, not in those words, but in that sense.

I wish to thank the committee for allowing me this time.

Mr. JoNEs. Thank you very much, Mr. Williams. Are there any questions?

(No response.)
Mr. JONES. Thank you, sir.

Our next witness is Mr. John Lile, who is representing the State Association of Soil Conservation District Supervisors of Alabama.

We are glad to have you, John.

STATEMENT OF JOHN M. LILE, LEIGHTON, ALA., DISTRICT SUPER

VISOR, COLBERT COUNTY, ALA., CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, NORTHWEST ALABAMA SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICT, MEMBER, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE, STATE ASSOCIATION OF SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICT SUPERVISORS; ACCOMPANIED BY J. M. CAIN, TUSCALOOSA, ALA., DISTRICT SUPERVISOR FROM TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AND VICE PRESIDENT OF ALABAMA ASSOCIATION OF SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICT SUPERVISORS; AND O. L. KIVETTE, BRILLIANT, ALA., DISTRICT SUPERVISOR FROM MARION COUNTY, ALA., CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, TOMBIGBEE-WARRIOR SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Mr. LILE. Mr. Chairman, I have with me two other members of our organization.

Mr. Jones. Would you be kind enough to introduce them?

Mr. LILE. Mr. J. M. Cain, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., who is the district supervisor from Tuscaloosa County and vice president of the Alabama Association of Soil Conservation District Supervisors.

Mr. Cain, will you stand ? Also Mr. O. L. Kivette, of Brilliant, Ala., district supervisor from Marion County and chairman of the board of supervisors, TombigbeeWarrior Soil Conservation District.

Mr. Kivette, will you stand ?

My name is John M. Lile, and I live in Leighton, Ala. I am district supervisor from Colbert County, Ala., chairman of the board of supervisors of Northwest Alabama Soil Conservation District; also member of executive committee, State Association of Soil Conservation District Supervisors.

We represent the State association today.

We wish to express appreciation for the opportunity of appearing before this committee.

The purpose of our being here is to express our opinion on the recommendation of the subcommittee of the Hoover Commission in regard to their recommendation of turning over to the United States engineers the construction of all dams in connection with small watershed protection and flood prevention act under Public Law 566 of the 83d Congress, known as the Hope-Aiken Act.

We are speaking as representatives of the Alabama Association of Soil Conservation Districts. We feel that the Hoover subcommittee recommendation is unwise in that the Soil Conservation Service in assisting soil conservation districts is responsible for assisting with land treatment measures. These measures are closely tied in with water detention structures or dams.

These dams are limited in size and the Soil Conservation Service is familiar with designing and construction of this type of structure. United States Army Engineers are engaged in the design and building of large structures such as hydroelectric and navigation dams on larger streams and have little experience in dealing with farm problems.

In small watersheds such as are involved in watershed protection and flood prevention work, the building of dams is a small part of the watershed and flood prevention program. Any dam built without regard to proper land use and land treatment measures might well become useless.

We feel that a local organization such as the soil conservation districts is better qualified to deal with the farmers in problems of land use and watershed protection work on small watersheds.

Mr. JONES. Thank you very much, Mr. Lile.
Are there any questions, Mr. Lipscomb?

Mr. LIPSCOMB. Just as a matter of interest, Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask a question, and I do not know whether Mr. Lile wants to answer it or not. I am interested in one of these recommendations and I do not know why no one has talked about it. I take it you

have a farm.

Mr. LILE. Yes, sir. I own a farm.

Mr. LIPSCOMB. This recommendation No. 4 made by the Hoover Commission states that the Congress should amend present acreage limitations so as to meet local conditions in the manner prescribed in here. That is amending the provision for 160-acre limitations. Do you have any feeling on that at all?

Mr. LILE. I am not familiar with that.
Mr. LIPSCOMB. All right. Thank you.

Mr. JONES. I might say to Mr. Lipscomb, we do not know anything about the 160-acre limitation because it is in the reclamation law, and it does not apply to this area. We have no contact with the Bureau of Reclamation with respect to its policy or to its laws.

Thank you again, John.

Mr. LILE. If the statement does not make clear what we are trying to tell you, I can tell you verbally better, probably.

Mr. JONES. You have already stated it.

Mr. LILE. We do not doubt that the Army engineers can build those dams and they can build any dam. In fact, I think any engineer could build those dams, but we feel that those small water-retaining structures are closely tied in with proper land use, and if they are not, they will be useless. We feel soil conservation engineers are familiar with those land use programs, and we think they should continue and have that job of building those dams, rather than the Army engineers, who are interested in large dams. I do not think the Army engineers would even want this job, to be fair with you. It does not make sense to me as a farmer.

Mr. Jones. Thank you very much, John.

For the record, I have a telegram directed to me from the Honorable Carl Elliott, Member of Congress from Jasper, Ala., regretting that he is unable to be with us today. The telegram reads as follows: Hon. ROBERT E. JONES, Jr.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN JONES: I regret very much that recent events here have made it impossible for me to attend your hearings on either yesterday or tomorrow. I want the record of your hearings to show that I am unalterably opposed to those Hoover recommendations which seek to subject to a toll or fee the use of our navigable streams which belong to all the people.

I am likewise opposed to those recommendations which seek to stop the United States from building steam plants to more adequately serve the TVA

I take the firm position that TVA should have the right to immediately begin construction of additional steam plants at Colbert, at Fulton, and wherever else they may be needed to provide the people of TVA area with the best possible electric service. The yardstick character of TVA should not be destroyed. It will be destroyed if the Hoover Recommendation No. 10 should be put into effect. The development of our streams is moving snail's pace. The atomic age demands

area.

« PředchozíPokračovat »