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of what is proposed as an integral part of the Central Valley project (S. 1887, sec. 1, p. 2, lines 2, 3). The only effect is likely to be the easing of escape from Federal reclamation law by unsympathetic administrators or others responsible for interpretation of law. We are opposed to this.
(3) We believe subsection (g) on page 6 should be stricken. Why should the United States have unrestricted use of jointly used facilities only during the repayment period and until the Federal Government transfers title to the State of California? We see no reason for any such limitation, and oppose it.
(4) Subsection (h) on page 6 should be stricken. This proposes to give the State of California a freedom from "restriction" even greater than is afforded the Federal Government in subsection (g). Irrespective of this, we oppose subsection (h) as likely to give interests opposed to the excess land provision fresh opportunity to twist legal interpretations against Federal reclamation law.
(5) We see no reason why Congress should abdicate is own authority and responsibility for setting the time and conditions of any transfer of title to San Luis works, and give some Secretary of the Interior in the future such authority. Recent experience with officials willing to give public resources away should furnish sufficient warning against doing this. Subsection (i) on page 6, therefore, should be stricken.
(6) Subsection (j) on pages 6 and 7 should be stricken. This appears to be another move to permit excess landowners to have their cake and eat it too. The Reclamation Project Act of 1939 was enacted in part to give water users the benefit of lower annual water charges. Subsection (j) appears to be an effort to preserve these benefits while eliminating the excess land provision to which they are attached. We see no reason why Congress should show such special consideration.
(7) On page 7, line 25, S. 1887 refers to contracts to permit use of a drainage system "by other parties" under contracts "conforming generally" to the provisions of the Federal reclamation laws. We think the word "generally" should be stricken because it is a weasel word, designed to obscure the clarity which ought to characterize congressional legislation, and apt to facilitate evasion of the law. The beneficiaries of Federal reclamation law ought to conform to its provisions, period.
(8) On page 8, lines 4 and 5, section 4 of the bill authorizes agreements for participation "in construction and operation of drainage facilities designed to serve the general area." We believe that such participation should be under the terms of the excess land provision of reclamation law, and this should be stated in the bill. We believe the committee should inquire whether this portion of section 4 is another move on the part of excess landowners in the area to be served by the San Luis project to obtain Federal aid without compliance with Federal policy. "Flood control" has been used as a phrase to obtain substantial benefits in the past that are essentially for the promotion of irrigation without obligation to reimburse the Federal Treasury or to abide by the excess land provision. The phrase "drainage" must not be similarly employed now. We support the recommendation of the President's Water Resources Policy Commission of 1950, that "the benefits of Federal financial assistance through irrigation should go only to family-sized farms," that this principle, "together with other antispeculation and antimonopoly provisions, should be maintained and enforced" and "should be extended" to cover "Federal investment in the reclaiming of land, whether by irrigation, drainage, or other methods." We oppose this portion of section 4 as a backward step, favorable to water monopoly and speculation, destructive of broad opportunity among American citizens and injurious to the Public Treasury.
If the committee is able to discover additional loopholes in S. 1887 that we have missed upon this first examination of the bill, we trust it will close them. Subsection (k) of the bill, page 7, appears particularly worthy of commendation. It is designed to assure that despite any future transfer of title to the project work, Federal policy with respect to "preservation and propagation of fish and wildlife" will be observed, under penalty. We believe that the same regard shown for fish and wildlife should be shown for humans, and the excess land provisions preserved with equal scrupulousness.
We realize that the Congress cannot legislate in the public interest without facing certain facts in the public record of Federal reclamation aid in California. Among these are the following:
1. Excess landholders, especially those in or near the San Luis service area, have resisted application of the excess-land provision with extraordinary tenacity while accepting the financial benefits of reclamation law.
2. The Secretary of the Interior has failed to obtain repayment contracts in compliance with reclamation law on Kings and Kern Rivers, although these projects have been in operation since 1954.
3. The Controller General of the United States has called attention to these failures of excess landholders to comply with the law in his 1956 audit report to the Congress of the United States on Central Valley Basin, 1956, pages 33, 34. 4. Objections to compliance with the excess land law do not come from California voters and water users generally, but rather from holders of excess lands: the electors of irrigation districts in Central Valley have approved more than a score of water contracts containing the excess land provision, by an aggregate vote of around 10 to 1.
5. Notwithstanding acts of the California Legislature authorizing irrigation districts to enter into contracts with the United States under the provisions of reclamation law (Cal. Water Code, par. 23175-23302), a California State engineer, officials of various water districts, and the State supreme court have each opposed the excess-land provisions of Federal reclamation law. The court has recently forbidden irrigation districts in California to enter into contracts with the United States to comply with the excess-land provision, in a decision that, according to the chairman of the House Interior Committee and five other Central Valley Congressmen, is "jeopardizing further Federal reclamation projects in California and the entire West" because it "strikes at one of the basic tenets of reclamation law" (letter from Congressman Clair Engle et al. to California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, February 4, 1957). We are glad to state that the attorney general of California has appealed the adverse opinion of the California Supreme Court in the Ivanhoe case to the Supreme Court of the United States.
In face of this situation, we ask that S. 1887 be amended to require signature of repayment contracts under Federal reclamation law prior to expenditure of Federal money for construction, and also to require that the excess-land provision shall be recognized legally in California as a condition precedent to commencement of construction.
The California State Federation of Labor, in other words, favors Federal construction of San Luis project, is appreciative of the generosity of the Federal Government under reclamation law, and insists that the law of the land be applied to San Luis project without opening loopholes for evasion by subterfuge or otherwise.
We have noted with approval that Senator Paul H. Douglas of Illinois has protested against "piecemeal abandonment" of our traditional reclamation policy (Congressional Record, August 9, 1957, p. 13095); also that he and Senators Wayne Morse and Richard L. Neuberger of Oregon have introduced a bill (S. 1425) to repair some of the injury to national policy, and have asked for hearings on the bill. We hope that such hearings will be granted in due course and, in the meantime, that Congress will hold up S. 2120 and H. R. 5309 (Texas, Mercedes), S. 1996 (Kendrick, Wyoming), and S. 2541 (Barrett bill), all of which represent piecemeal threats to the excess-land law, until the issue can be thoroughly considered.
We wish to point out that efforts to confine application of the excess-land provision to "new" water, "new" land, and water originating from "a Federal reclamation project" are all damaging to national policy, and should be denied by Congress.
Our members in the area to be served by San Luis project are favorable to S. 1887, provided it is corrected by its author, Senator Knowland, or by the comImittee, to require compliance with reclamation law as it has stood. As evidence of the nature and rising intensity of the concern of members of organized labor in California, we ask that you print immediately following this statement the following documents relating to the excess-land provision generally and to S. 1887 in particular:
(a) Editorial, Valley Labor Citizen (official publication of the Fresno-Madera Labor Council, the Fresno-Madera Building Trades Council, and the TulareKings Labor Council) March 7, 1958, "I'm Walking Behind You."
(b) Editorial, same, January 10, 1958, "Dam Water."
(c) Editorial, same, March 7, 1958, "Barn Door Ajar at San Luis." (d) Statement by Congressman William A. Dawson of Utah, February 1955, analyzing the reasons why a formula permitting excess-land holders to pay interest on construction charges for irrigation, instead of complying with the standard excess-land provision controlling water monopoly and speculation,
might even encourage people "to get into big ownerships and to take on more acreage."
In conclusion, the California State Federation of Labor, believing in full development of California's water resources and in the law of the land that has governed reclamation historically, supports Federal construction of San Luis project under existing reclamation law. We respectfully request that this statement, with its accompanying documents, be printed in the hearings on S. 1887.
[Editorial from Valley Labor Citizen, March 7, 1958]
I'M WALKING BEHIND YOU
The Democratic Council of the 12th Congressional District met in Madera last Sunday where it unanimously endorsed Congressman B. F. Sisk for reelection. This was expected, and, as expected, was properly broadcasted and headlined. Sisk has an excellent record and deserves this vote of confidence.
The council also unanimously reaffirmed the Democratic Party's position in favor of enforcement of Federal reclamation laws. This was by far the more significant action.
It did manage to receive a couple of lines of print in the daily press and a few mentions over the air waves. Herewith the Labor Citizen prints the full text of the resolution:
"Whereas the Democratic Party has traditionally supported the Federal reclamation laws and insisted upon their application to all Federal reclamation projects, and
"Whereas certain groups and powerful economic interests in alliance with the present Republican administration are now seeking to prevent the complete application of these Federal reclamation laws, particularly with respect to the 160acre limitation, to certain Federal reclamation projects; and
"Whereas these efforts, if successful, will destroy the family farm, the preservation of which is vital to sound and full political and economic life in the agricultural areas of the West: Now therefore be it
"Resolved, That the Demo Council of the 12th District meeting in Madera, Calif., March 2, 1958, reaffirm this traditional position of the Democratic Party in support of Federal reclamation laws and insist upon their application to all Federal reclamation projects."
Why was this resolution passed? Why?
Because contrary to the obvious campaign of silence on this problem now being waged in the commercial press, a goodly number of people are worried. They want new water supplies for our valley, yes; but they do not want control of these supplies to fall to the large corporate "farm" interests-such as the Tulare Lake Basin barons who are now trying to steal Pine Flat Dam, Southern Pacific Railroad with 120,000 acres in the service area of the proposed San Luis project (see p. 8 on the Barn Door is Ajar) or Kern County Land Co. with 231,000 acres in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
It seems strange indeed that the Labor Citizen is the only newspaper and Democratic Council of the 12th District, the only organization interested in protecting our valley from economic and political domination by huge landowners. Very strange.
[Editorial from Valley Labor Citizen, January 10, 1958]
Once again the General Accounting Office of the Federal Government is pressuring for the execution of permanent repayment contracts for Pine Flat Dam. Actually this problem should be easily solved. The legislation authorizing Pine Flat Dam specifically provided that the water supplied by this dam would be distributed in accordance with the existing Federal reclamation law: That is, no individual could irrigate more than 160 acres of land from Pine Flat water.
One farm family therefore could get 320 acres or more irrigated depending on how many acres the farmer had to distribute among how many children. But the Pine Flat legislation is clear: Federal reclamation law must apply. Then why is it so hard to get a permanent contract?
Because the big landowners in the Kings River district do not want the Federal reclamation law to apply, and they are pulling every available string to
nullify the purposes of the law. They want to make a lump-sum payment for Pine Flat and thereby obtain full and unrestricted control of the river water. Such a lump-sum contract could only serve to multiply the already existing power of large "farmers" in this area and can only lead to a restriction on liberal, democratic thought and action in the valley.
There are those who argue that the 160-acre limitation law is unrealistic in present-day America. This may be true. But a no-limitation law is even more unrealistic in addition to being undemocratic and leading directly to tightly controlled water monopolies. And water monopoly in the West will make democratic institutions little more than a sham.
If our choice rests between the allegedly unrealistic 160-acre limitation and an obviously unrealistic and undemocratic water monopoly, our course is clear. Small and large landowners alike should be required to sign the equitable contract provided by law.
[Editorial from Valley Labor Citizen, March 7, 1958]
BARN DOOR AJAR AT SAN LUIS
According to reports from Washington, D. C., a Senate Interior subcommittee will hold hearings March 17 and 18 on a bill to authorize construction of the San Luis irrigation project on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.
I urge upon the Senators every caution because the measure as presently drawn leaves the barn door of reclamation law ajar-ajar so some large landowners, such as Southern Pacific with 120,000 giveaway acres, can slip in and rustle away a good chunk of the water rights and a perpetual source of economic and political power.
To tighten up this legislation I would suggest the Senators consider the following changes:
(1) Beginning on line 9, page 2, the bill now reads, "In constructing, operating, and maintaining the San Luis unit, the Secretary (of Interior) shall be governed by the Federal reclamation laws except so far as the provisions thereof are inconsistent with this act."
I would suggest a period after the word "laws" and deletion of the remainder of that sentence. Such an amendment would require the San Luis project to be consistent with reclamation law instead of amending the reclamation law to suit the purposes of the large landowners in the San Luis area.
(2) Section 3e of the present bill provides that once the Federal costs allocated for irrigation are repaid, title to the San Luis project shall be given to the State at the request of the State which would henceforth "assume the obligation and responsibility of providing water service to users of the San Luis service area."
What does this mean? It means that after repayment of irrigation charges only, Federal reclamation law would be tossed in the permanent out basket in favor of State laws which are just about as loose as the women on San Francisco's old Barbary Coast.
It also means the wheels have been greased for the lump-sum prepayment gimmick which would allow rich irrigators to buy their way around Federal regulations against land speculation and water monopoly. They would be allowed to pay off the charges allocated for the irrigation works and, henceforth into perpetuity, would run San Luis at their pleasure.
Right now large landowners in the Kings River area are slipping this lump-sum crowbar into the backdoor of the reclamation law barn in an all-out conspiracy to capture "exclusive and perpetual" (their own words) control of Pine Flat Dam. I would suggest deleting all of section 3e in the present San Luis bill. Also 31, which opens a second-story window of the barn by permitting the Secretary of the Interior to turn over San Luis to the State any time "under such conditions (this means any conditions, of course), as shall be agreed upon by the Secretary and the State."
(3) Section 4 now provides that the Secretary of the Interior may permit other parties to use the drainage system of San Luis by "conforming generally to provisions of Federal reclamation laws * * *." Why not drop the word "generally"? Perhaps many other doors and windows have been left ajar in the writing of the present San Luis bill.
Those of us interested in the protection and expansion of liberal democratic institutions in our State can only hope that those great Democratic Senators, Paul Douglas, Wayne Morse, and Richard Neuberger, can muster sufficient power to
latch all the windows and doors in the reclamation law barn before a single cubic yard of concrete is poured at San Luis.
For, if even the tiniest crack is left, railroad lawyers will devise a legal battering ram, silencer attached, which will quietly slip Southern Pacific's 120,000 acres into the barn. Thereby the Southern Pacific will take a big step toward regaining its long lost political and economic dictatorship of our State.
STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN WILLIAM A. DAWSON, of Utah, BEFORE THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION, FEBRUARY 1955
Mr. Chairman, my purpose in having this time was to comment on the suggestions made by our chairman in regard to the general overall philosophy on the 160-acre limitation. I feel, as he does, that we are going to have a difficult time getting this measure through if you break down the 160-acre limitation. And to say that these large landowners are going to pay interest on their excess and, therefore, it is going to result in breaking up the large ownerships just is not true. For this reason: That there are plenty of other benefits in this bill which they have not been receiving up to this point that they would get even though paying the interest.
For instance, they get the advantage of the nonreimbursable items, which may be considerable but which are not repaid back at all.
Furthermore, up until this point they are not getting in on any cheap Government money. By "cheap," I mean if they pay interest, they are still only going to pay 2 percent or something in that neighborhood, which is very reasonable money. That could even be encouragement for people to get into big ownerships and to take on more acreage, because the other benefits are so great that it could encourage them.
It is my view, if you start meddling with the 160-acre limitation that you are very likely to lose your whole bill.
LETTER FROM VALLEY LABOR CITIZEN
VALLEY LABOR CITIZEN, Fresno, Calif., March 13, 1958.
Senator CLINTON P. ANDERSON,
Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON: I respectfully request that the editorial, Barn Door Ajar At San Luis, on page 8 of the March 7, 1958, issue of the Valley Labor Citizen; the resolution quoted in the I'm Walking Behind You article on page 2 of the March 7 issue, and the story, Citizen-Cited San Luis Loopholes Will Be Plugged, on page 1 of the March 14 issue be read into the record of next week's hearings before your committee on the proposed San Luis project.
You can be assured that organized labor wholeheartedly supports projects to bring much-needed irrigation water to the San Joaquin Valley, but this support cannot be stretched to include measures so loosely written as the present San Luis bill.
GEORGE BALLIS, Editor.
(The articles Barn Door Ajar at San Luis, and I'm Walking Behind You were previously submitted.)
[From the Valley Labor Citizen, Fresno, Calif., Friday, March 14, 1958]
On returning from the AFL-CIO building trades department legislative conference in Washington last week, Business Manager Loyd Myers, of FresnoMadera Building Trades Council, reported that Members of Congress are "well aware of objections the Labor Citizen has raised to the proposed San Luis bill." He said he has been assured that all interested parties are willing to accept amendments to the bill which would meet the objections raised and bring the operation of this project into strict conformance with Federal reclamation restrictions against land speculation and water monopoly.