« ForrigeFortsett »
Sturrock, J. E., general manager, Texas Water Conservation Association,
Austin, Tex.: Letter, dated April 16, 1958, to Senator Anderson, con-
Taylor, Paul S., 1163 Euclid Avenue, Berkeley 8, Calif.:
Letter to, dated May 8, 1958, containing a memorandum on S.
April 27, 1958, to Senator Anderson.-
Triggs, Matt, assistant legislative director, American Farm Bureau Federa-
tion: Letter, dated May 1, 1958, to Senator Anderson -
Wolf, Milton G. and Frieda, 1284 East 22d Street, Brooklyn, N. Y.: Letter
dated April 22, 1958, to Senator Anderson..
Acreage Limitation-Reclamation Law, memorandum of the chairman of
the Subcommittee on Irrigation and Reclamation to members of the
following p. 271
Bill defining the term “any one owner”, submitted by Senator Douglas.-- 34
and the establishment of the size of farm units on the Seedskadee reclaina-
the Secretary re Senator Douglas' August 20, 1957, letter concerning
ACREAGE LIMITATION (RECLAMATION LAW) REVIEW
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 30, 1958
UNITED STATES SENATE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON IRRIGATION AND RECLAMATION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:15 a. m., in room 224, Senate Office Building, Senator Clinton P. Anderson (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators Anderson, O'Mahoney, and Watkins. Also present: Senator Barrett and Representative Thomsen. Senator ANDERSON. I apologize to the people here for being a few minutes late. I regret that Senator O'Mahoney has not been able to be here. He is detained in the Judiciary Committee on an important vote, and as soon as that is completed, he will be here as well.
The hearing today has fourfold implications--all related to the acreage limitation provision of the Federal reclamation law.
From time to time, there have been hearings on specific bills affecting the acreage limitation provisions, but many years have elapsed since this committee undertook a review of the overall subject.
First, a committee print entitled "Acreage Limitations" issued April 25, 1958, is available from the committee. Those interested will find much factual information furnished by the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture that relates to the subject. The purpose of the hearing is set forth in a news release I issued on April 8.
Specifically, there are three bills bearing on the overall subject that have been referred by the Senate to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. These are:
1. S. 1425, to amend the Small Projects Act to conform to the excess land provisions of the reclamation law, sponsored by Senators Douglas, Morse, and Neuberger.
2. S. 2541, to permit the Secretary of the Interior to fix the size of farm units in some circumstances at more than 160 acres, sponsored by Senator Barrett.
3. S. 3448, to remove the excess land provisions from the Seedskadee reclamation project, also sponsored by Senator Barrett.
The three bills will be printed at this point of the record. (S. 1425, S. 2541, and S. 3448 follows:)
[S. 1425, 85th Cong., 1st sess. ] A BILL To amend the Small Reclamation Projects Act of 1956 in order to provide that
projects contracted for under such Act, which furnish irrigation service, shall be subject to certain excess land requirements of the Federal reclamation laws
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatires of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 5 of the Small Reclama
tion Projects Act of 1956 is amended by striking out "and" at the end of clause (e); by striking out the period at the end of clause (f) and inserting in lieu thereof a semicolon and the word "and"; and by inserting after such clause (f) the following:
"(g) provisions conforming to the excess land requirements set forth in the third sentence of section 46 of the Act of May 25, 1926 (44 Stat. 619), if the project furnishes irrigation service."
(S. 2541, 85th Cong., 1st sess. ] A BILL To permit the Secretary of the Interior to fix the size of farm units on Federal
reclamation projects at more than one hundred and sixty irrigable acres in certain circumstances, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That whenever, after investigation requested by the governor of an affected State to determine the economic adequacy of the land limitation provisions of the Federal Reclamation laws, the Secretary of the Interior determines that more than one hundred and sixty irrigable acres on a project subject to the Federal Reclamation laws (Act of June 17, 1902, 32 Stat. 388, and Acts amendatory thereof or supplementary thereto) is necessary for the support of an average-sized family at a suitably profitable level on that project or any part of it compatible with the maintenance of irrigated agriculture as a component of a sound and stable society, and for the success of the project, he is authorized, upon terms and conditions satisfactory to him, to waive the limit of one hundred and sixty irrigable acres which now appears in the third sentence of section 46 of the Act of May 25, 1926 (44 Stat. 636, 649; 43 U. S. C., sec. 423e) and the limits of one hundred and sixty irrigable acres and three hundred and twenty acres in all which appear in section 8 of the Act of August 13, 1953 (67 Stat. 566, 568; 43 U. S. C., sec. 451h), and to substitute therefor such greater acreage or acreages as in his judgment is called for in order to accomplish the purpose aforesaid. In making his determination under this section, the Secretary shall give consideration to the elevation and climate of the project lands, their topography and soils, the crops to which they are best adapted, and long-range estimates of their earning capacity and he may, in the light of these factors, fix varying maximum sizes for the farm units on the project.
SEC. 2. Nothing contained in this Act shall alter the force or effect of any contract heretofore entered into under the Federal reclamation laws, as amended and supplemented, or forbid, where such contract exists, the continued delivery of water to land held by owners who are entitled to receive the same consistently with the third sentence of section 46 of the aforesaid Act of May 25, 1926, as amended, and section 8 of the Act of August 13, 1953. Nothing contained in this Act shall affect or be applicable to any project which has been exempt by Act of Congress from the excess land provisions of the Federal reclamation laws and nothing contained in section 1 of this Act shall affect or be applicable to any project with respect to which excess land provisions have been prescribed by Act of Congress which are different from the general excess land provisions of the Federal reclamation laws.
SEC. 3. Section 46 of the Act of May 25, 1926, is hereby amended by adding the following "Provided further, That the aforesaid recordable contracts shall not be required when such contract or contracts with irrigation districts provide for the payment to the United States of interest on that proportion of the construction charges attributable to lands within such district or districts held in excess of the land limitation provisions of the reclamation law. This proviso shall be applicable only when the works of such project or division of a project deliver a supplemental supply of water for irrigation or when water is delivered for the irrigation of lands which have been subjected to cultivation for the production of agricultural crops for more than ten years prior to the authorization of such project or division of a project. Such interest shall be at the rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, by estimating the average annual yield to maturity, on the basis of daily closing market bid quotations or prices during the month of May preceding the fiscal year in which loan is made, on all outstanding marketable obligations of the United States having a maturity date of fifteen or more years from the first day of such month of May, and by adjusting such estimated average annual yield to the nearest one-eighth of 1 per centum at the beginning of the fiscal year preceding the date on which the contract is executed.”
[S. 3448, 85th Cong., 2d sess.) A BILL To permit the Secretary of the Interior to fix the size of farm units on the
Seedskadee reclamation project at more than one hundred and sixty irrigable acres in certain circumstances
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That whenever, after investigation requested by the Governor of Wyoming to determine the economic adequacy of the land limitation provisions of the Federal reclamation laws as applied to the Seedskadee reclamation project authorized by the first section of the Act of April 11, 1956 (Public Law 485, Eighty-fourth Congress), the Secretary of the Interior determines that farm units of more than one hundred and sixty irrigable acres on such project are necessary for the support of an average-sized family at a suitably profitable level compatible with the maintenance of irrigated agriculture as a component of a sound and stable society, and for the success of such project, he is authorized, upon terms and conditions satisfactory to him, to waive with respect to such project the limit of one hundred and sixty irrigable acres which now appears in the third sentence of section 46 of the Act of May 25, 1926 (44 Stat, 636, 649; 43 U. S. C. 423e) and the limits of one hundred and sixty irrigable acres and three hundred and twenty acres in all which appear in section 8 of the Act of August 13, 1953 (67 Stat. 566, 568; 43 U. S. C. 451h), and to substitute therefor such greater acreage or acreages as in his judgment are called for in order to accomplish the purpose aforesaid. In making his determination under this section, the Secretary shall give consideration to the elevation and climate of the project lands, their topography and soils, the crops to which they are best adapted, and long-range estimates of their earning capacity and he may, in the light of these factors, fix varying maximum sizes for the farm units on the project.
Senator ANDERSON. The sponsors of the bills will be heard first.
Then, if spokesmen for the executive departments desire to elaborate on information furnished, they will be given an opportunity to do so.
We hope to have the official comments of the Department of the Interior on the three bills before the hearing is concluded today.
What we term as "outside” witnesses will be heard in an order that so far as practicable will be most convenient to them.
I point out that the Senate will be in session this afternoon and we will hear as many witnesses as possible this morning, and resume at 2 o'clock. It will be helpful if witnesses will summarize their views and submit their complete statements which will be printed in full in the record of the hearing.
We have received a number of letters and telegrams on the subject of acreage limitation which we are glad to incorporate in the printed record.
I may later put in the record a little memorandum with reference to the Supreme Court hearings on the California case, which is a very interesting case. I know no nonlawyer should attempt to state the issues involved, but he can speak much more freely than lawyers can, but probably less correctly.
The State of California feels that the 160-acre limitation is improper and contradictory to State laws, which gives them the right to water.
The Supreme Court, if it followed the lower court rulings, might decide that the 160-acre limitation would get the State in the position where the Secretary of the Interior could not furnish water to California projects.
In view of the State of California's program-I will not say intent, but program which involves expenditure of some $11 billion, that would be a most interesting development. If you had the project and no water, it would not be of too great value.
The first witnesses will be the distinguished Senators who are sponsors of the pending bills. The first will be Senator Douglas.
I will say that I have discussed on the floor with Senator Douglas, once or twice, the exemptions we have put into bills and said that this subject ought to be explored in the regular committee session called for that purpose.
This is the hour, and, therefore, I fervently hope that the hearing will not be concluded until we have properly and carefully explored this whole question to see if the 160-acre limitation is the best yardstick to be used.
I am not trying now to prejudice Senator Douglas' testimony. I hope that along with the information which he will present you will bear in mind that 160 acres in the northern part of the United States, in Wyoming or Colorado or even in the high counties of New Mexico, is quite different from 160 acres at Mesa, Ariz., or in the Salinas Valley of California. It may be that some day we are going to have to get to a definition that is more precise than just mere limitation of 160 acres.
But that, again, can lead into all sorts of difficulties.
I appreciate the fact that Senator Douglas is here, and I am happy to here from him at this time.
STATEMENT OF HON. PAUL H. DOUGLAS, A UNITED STATES
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
Senator Douglas. Mr. Chairman, we have furnished copies of my statement to the clerk of the committee. I take it that the statement therefore will be before all members. I shall read it, but I shall, from time to time, add further statements to it.
First, Mr. Chairman, I want to thank this committee for its consideration in letting me come before you western experts to discuss this matter of acreage restriction with you and for your courtesy in listening to me.
Perhaps I owe you valued colleagues a word of explanation as to what is on my mind, anyway, as a Senator from the State of Illinois and a former alderman from the fifth ward of Chicago, who keeps persistently messing in on your considerations of basic reclamation
Senator ANDERSON. I think I had better interpose there and say, Senator Douglas, that we value your intercession, and we are not worried about what you now know or will learn with reference to 160-acre limitation. I well remember your trepidation to come into the natural-gas fight. While I did not think you were an expert when you came into it, I was sure you were an expert when you got through with it.
So, we are very happy to have you here. We welcome you.
Senator Douglas. Illinois is not a reclamation State, unfortunately. And it does not seem likely that I shall personally ever become an irrigator, unless I take advantake of veterans' preference which you have written into reclamation law, and take up a claim on some project when either I can go no further in the Senate, or the people of my State reach that decision for me. In truth, I could think of worse fates than becoming a western irrigator in one of your con