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The present Hoover Commission now has a purpose of saying what the policy of this Government should be and what it should have. I do not believe this Nation wants to follow the pattern of Mr. Hoover. We tried this plan before, and with disastrous results for the economic well-being of the people of this Nation.
The press reports even President Eisenhower has been shying away from some of Mr. Hoover's policy recommendations. He is a member of the party of the President and the President is confronted with embarrassing difficulties. The President must know that this Nation cannot follow Mr. Hoover's policy and progress, enjoying any sustained period of prosperity.
Mr. Hoover's Commission is packed as shown in water-resource hearings in Washington and elsewhere a few years ago. The present Commission is biased, prejudiced, and with closed views. It is firmly antipublic power and proprivate power, with a majority of its membership foes of TVA.
2. It has been the apparent intent of the present Hoover Commission to go all out to kill TVA, sell it, milk it, kill the yardstick, raise its rates, reduce its book value, cripple and impede its operations. Its further purpose has been to create a favorable climate where private power interests can move in and take over rich natural assets that belong to all people of this Nation. This is evidenced by repeated opposition to appropriations for TVA and crippling efforts toward its self-financing, with ever-hopeful results that rates will go up to consumerg and permit private utilities to reap high profits.
3. May I enter this appeal for funds for lower Cumberland Dam and comple tion of other river developments? I would advise this subcommittee that the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers are almost controlled. The TVA and Corps of Engineers have made marvelous progress and both agencies are to be commended for their splendid work. As a youth I watched the annual floods with their tremendous life and property losses. This is now checked and has also brought an advance in navigation, but the job is not complete. There is an exacting need for inauguration of construction of the lower Cumberland Dam and its connecting canal, for which others have testified.
I took a recent view of the site and a visit to the area in the company of a House subcommittee and a distinguished group of citizens of Tennessee. This citizen group has more recently, too, appeared before the Bureau of the Budget, where an appeal was made. It is apparent that policies of the Hoover Commission are taking effect. The modest $2 million request for commencement of this vital and important link in the chain of river development was turned down by the Bureau-an agency now known to be greatly influenced, if not dominated, by private power friends such as Mr. Wenzell, Mr. Adams, and others.
Mr. JONES. What project was he discussing with the Bureau of the Budget? What was the name?
Mr. BROWN. The lower Cumberland River project, I presume. [Reading:]
This development program has been long delayed and is long overdue. The lower Cumberland River Dam should be built and this progressive step taken, While we are not inclined to look backward to the harmful delay which has already occurred, but rather to look forward, I must say that the funds—$200,000 to be exact—which have been allocated for planning this potentially great project, should now be supplemented with funds for the start of construction. We want this project to get underway. The Nation needs it; not only the State of Tennessee.
I can only say to the committee if the philosophy demonstrated in the report of the Hoover Commission is permitted to prevail, then the future development of this great project as well as others like it in our country is highly doubtful.
The recommendations which have been made by the present Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government raise great doubt that its members have uppermost in their minds the welfare of all the people, as opposed to the welfare of the Nation's private power utilities.
We may choose our words carefully, but the facts still speak for themselves. However much the attempt is made to disguise it, the facts demonstrate that the recommendations of the Hoover Commission with regard to TVA are still another step in the deeply laid scheme to sell out TVA and turn its valuable resources, which so well have served our Nation, over to the private utilities. What is embodied in the Hoover Commission's recommendations are part of the "grab” scheme to favor private utilities. It is part of the long-term scheme to
virtually confiscate a great public property-snatch it from its present owners, the people of the United States, and present it to the utilities interests.
4. May I commend this subcommittee for the work it is doing to awaken the public to the power policy proposals of the present Hoover Commission.
The present Commission is pointing in the wrong direction for the good of the people and the welfare of our country in my humble yet well-considered judgment.
Its direction is against flood control and conservation; against an abundance of power to meet the needs of the nation.
I sincerely hope this subcommittee will be successful in checking this trend and reversing the present Hoover Commission recommendations in regard to navigation, food control, power and conservation—in the public interest; in the interest of progress and the general well-being of the people of this Nation.
I appreciate deeply this opportunity to speak for the people of the district which I have the honor to represent—the Fourth Congressional District of Tennessee—and I should add my State and my Nation.
We are all united in a deep desire that the Nation's integrity be maintained and that our Nation not permit itself to be delivered lock, stock, and barrel, into the clutches of the utilities combines, who have never given up trying to milk the public.
We look to this subcommittee in its leadership in getting to the true facts behind the potentially harmful recommendations of the present Hoover Commission with regard to water and power resources in our Nation. Thank you.
Mr. JoNEs. Thank you very much, Mr. Brown. Are there any questions?
Mr. JONES. Would you give Joe our best wishes and express to him our regret at his inability to be here today in person?
Mr. Brown. Thank you very much.
Mr. JONES. Our next witness was to be the Honorable Jim Nance McCord, Tennessee Commissioner of Conservation, former Governor of Tennessee. I understand he will be here later.
Dr. George Whitlatch, director of the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial Commission.
STATEMENT OF WALTER C. LONG, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, TEN
NESSEE INDUSTRIAL AND AGRICULTURAL COMMISSION
Mr. Long. Mr. Whitlatch is out of the State at the present time. My name is Walter C. Long. I am assistant director of the commission.
Mr. JONES. We are very glad to hear from you, Mr. Long.
Mr. Long. Dr. Whitlatch asked me to submit to the subcommittee this published report, which was published during the past year, on water supply in Tennessee. He is the writer of this article and wanted to submit this for the record, and thought that would be the best testimony we could furnish. It expresses his views on the complete project.
Mr. Jones. Since it is not in the form of a formal statement, the reporter will note by reference the article which Mr. Long has submitted to us. It will be used by the committee, I am sure, in its consideration of this matter, when it is called upon to make its deliberation on the final report.
Since the document is in printed form and not in the form of a statement, the proper notation will be made in the record to reference this material.
Mr. Long. Yes, sir.
(The document referred to was submitted for the files of the subcommittee.)
Mr. Jones. Is there anything you would like to say, Mr. Long?
Mr. LIPSCOMB. Mr. Long, are you connected with the State of Tennessee!
Mr. Long. Yes, sir.
Mr. LIPSCOMB. Do they have a water resources board, or anything similar to that?
Mr. Long. I am sure when Commissioner McCord appears—there is a State water policy commission recently established of which he is the chairman-and I am sure he will give you all of the information
Mr. LIPSCOMB. Thank you.
Mr. Jones. The Honorable Ben West, mayor of the city of Nashville.
This is Mr. Herbert Bingham, executive secretary of the Tennessee Municipal League. Is that correct?
STATEMENT OF HERBERT BINGHAM, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,
TENNESSEE MUNICIPAL LEAGUE, APPEARING ON BEHALF OF HON. BEN WEST, MAYOR, CITY OF NASHVILLE, TENN.
Mr. BINGHAM. Yes, sir. I am appearing for Mayor West. Mayor West is unable to be here today. He is out of State unexpectedly.
Mr. JONES. I believe everybody left town when they got notice we were coming.
Mr. BINGHAM. That is right; and substitutes cannot ever serve so well.
Mayor West is very anxious to have his testimony presented here today, which testimony has been prepared and authorized for release by him. He wants me also to express to the members of the subcommittee his deep appreciation for the work you are doing, and the thorough canvass of the feelings of the grassroots all over the country, and all of the arduous work involved in that which you are doing. I think it is a great service to our country.
With your permission, I would like to present the testimony of Mayor West.
Mr. Jones. You go right ahead, Mr. Bingham.
Mr. BINGHAM. Mayor West is appearing before you not only as mayor of Nashville, Tenn., but he is also president of the Tennessee Municipal League and, therefore, represents more than 250 towns and cities in Tennessee. [Reading:]
The recommendations of the Hoover Commission on Water Resources and Power constitute a master plan for withdrawal of the Federal Government from effective participation in the development of the water resources of this country. The overall effect of these recommendations is first to deny and then abandon the great national need for adequate conservation and development of water resources.
The economic welfare and progress of Nashville and other communities on the Cumberland River is increasingly dependent upon the multipurpose dams of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The present plan of the corps calls for erection of 15 dams on the mainstem and tributaries of this river system at a total cost of some $627 million. Rapid and satisfactory progress in Cumberland River development was being made under the corps plan until 3 years ago. Three upstream dams have been completed, and two more placed under construction. In 1953, the present administration inaugurated a disastrous blockade on further appropriations to multipurpose dams. We must proceed to build the remaining 10 dams at a cost of some $400 million, starting with the great multipurpose structure on the lower Cumberland.
I am convinced that adoption of the Hoover Commission recommendations will bring to a halt future development of our river and will cut off the enormous benefits of both local and national significance flowing from the harnessing of the Cumberland.
Mr. JONES. What is the name of that project, Mr. Bingham You referred to it, and other witnesses referred to it, as the lower Cumberland project. What is the name of the dam ?
Mr. BINGHAM. As I understand it, the name given to the dam in the plans of the Corps of Engineers is the lower Cumberland Dam. I am sure some member of the Corps of Engineers will testify.
Colonel PERSON. That is correct.
Mr. BINGHAM. That is a multipurpose dam on the lower Cumberland near the mouth of the river.
The mayor goes on to say:
I share with the responsible leadership of the entire Cumberland River Valley, a vigorous dissent from the Budget Bureau's decision to deny appropriations to start lower Cumberland.
Frankly, I am firmly convinced that Federal responsibilities and participation in water conservation and development should be intensified and increased, not reduced. Therefore, I oppose the following recommendations of the Commission:
(1) Centralization of control over the activities of the numerous Federal agencies in the water-resource field by creating a central water board, by control of their electric rates by the Federal Power Commission, etc.
(2) Imposition of toll charges for use of the navigable waterways.
(3) Elimination of the present preference clause whereby cooperative and public agencies have first claim to federally produced power.
(4) Centralization of budgetary control by requiring all water-resource agencies, including even those of a corporate nature such as the TVA, to secure expenditure authority through the appropriation process in the Congress, even when agency revenues and bond issues are involved which do not obligate the Federal taxpayer or the Treasury in any manner.
(5) That the Federal Power Commission fix rates on all power sold by Federal agencies at an excessive and artificially high level involving multiple charges for amortization, depreciation, excessive interest, and taxes.
(6) That Federal agencies cease all construction of steam plants, a blow aimed at TVA.
(7) That private utilities or local agencies be forced into excessive and unjustified participation in the power and other aspects of Federal projects.
The significance of the Commission proposals cannot be gained by looking at the individual items. The general overall effect is to transfer responsibility for resource development to private utilities and State and local governments. A further overall result is to heap multiple and unjustified expenses and charges upon these projects in order that they cannot be economically successful if already in operation, or justified for future construction due to such heavy operating costs and the low estimates of benefits required under the Commission formula.
It is significant that the Commission disclaimed all Federal responsibility and all interest in so-called domestic water supplies which are increasingly becoming the most critical category of water development. The Commission only interests itself in the traditional uses of water for power, navigation, flood control, and irrigation in arid regions. It completely ignores the need to incorporate in the
Federal structures and projects features to increase supply and regulate flow of water for home, commercial, and industrial purposes, including industrial cooling processes such as required in steam-power generation. It overlooks the problem of minimum flow to aid sewage disposal. It fails to deal with use of reservoirs and other facilities for recreational purposes.
Mr. Jones. Let me interrupt you at this point, Mr. Bingham.
Mr. Jones. On page 29 of volume 1 of the Hoover Commission Recommendations on Water Resources and Power it refers to the domestic water supply in the first item on page 29, and it has this
That domestic water must take precedence over any other use requires no affirmation. The provision of water supplies for domestic and industrial use has remained from the beginning of the Republic a responsibility of individuals, the local communities, and the States. The Federal Government's interest arises where these supplies relate to Federal activities, more particularly as they at times draw from Federal reservoirs or where proposed reservoirs should aid in such water supplies. As there is little direct Federal development of domestic water, it does not come within the purview of this report.
The report is dedicated to the study of the whole water-resources problem. Then it sets out that water supply is a primary consideration, and yet it does not go into the question as to whether or not industrial and domestic water supply can be fitted into any Federal program.
Do you not think that is a strange course to follow? It pronounces the subject to be of primary importance and then disavows any responsibility to study the problem.
Mr. BINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, I think not only Aristotle but the average American citizen would have his intelligence insulted by the logic in that statement, the passage you quoted from the Commission's report. Mayor
West comments at length a little later here on the deficiencies of the Commission's treatment on the subject of the domestic water supply. I will cover it now, if you want to, or do it in the course
of the testimony. As I say, Mr. Chairman, a little later in this testimony the mayor treats in some detail the fact that the Commission ignored the problem of water supply for many purposes. [Reading:]
The Hoover Commission report represents not only abdication of Federal Government responsibilities for an essentially national program, it is a carefully planned giveaway of massive proportions, seeking to transfer profitable resource development to private utilities to exploit for maximum private profit. The ultimate effect of this effort to squeeze maximum private profit from the Nation's resources will unquestionably be the creation of damaging and irreparable water shortages. The Commission has evidently viewed the problem as one of private versus public power, and in an effort to favor private power promotes drastic reduction of the role of public enterprise in the resource field.
This narrow view obscures the real problem confronting America of conserving and utilizing its fixed water supplies for ever-increasing needs. And, if the Commission report is adopted, the outcome in the next 50 years will be the creation of economic ceilings due to water shortage in much of America.
Nashville is extremely fortunate to be located on the Cumberland, one of the great waterways of America. My city and other communities have an enormous dependency on water resources for their development. In most areas of the country and in most communities there is even now a shortage of water for many purposes. Two years ago the cities and industries on such a river as the broad Ohio were threatened with critical water shortages because low dams held little water. Even though Tennessee is blessed by nature with two of the chief rivers of the country—the Cumberland and the Tennessee much of our own State, particularly in middle Tennessee and the Cumberland Plateau