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The above-mentioned figure does not include any value for land which caved into the river, and this was several hundred acres. The land and property in levee districts of this parish are assessed at approximately $11,000,000 and has a rate of 5 mills. This amount paid annually by local citizens is entirely inadequate to meet the needs in this matter, and were it not for the help given by the Federal Government, the situation would be hopeless. The Corps of Engineers have a plan, and are making certain recommendations in this interim report, which in their judgment is the best possible solution for the control of this river, considered as the whole valley one drainage unit.
The Bossier Levee Board, in cooperation with the Department of Public Works of the State of Louisiana, expects to spend more than $100,000 for drainage purposes in this parish within the next 2 years. This work, together with the plan of the Corps of Engineers, should free this parish from the annual heavy loss incurred by reason of flood, and I hereby respectfully request and urge you to accept this interim report and enact it into law.
The CHAIRMAN. What is your connection with the levee board, and what official position, if any, do you hold, either in the city or in the parish of Bossier, or the city of Shreveport? You look like a politician, and you have a good name. · What official positions have you held ?
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I will admit the name is pretty good, I think.
I am a member and president of the Bossier Levee Board. I have the responsibility of operating two small banks in that area, the Bank of Denison, one of the oldest and one of the best in Louisiana, I think.
The CHAIRMAN. We are kin to one another. Go on.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I am also president of the Bossier State Bank, which is not as old, about a $7,000,000 bank, and has a fast growth, which I am very proud of.
I have been president of the Bossier board for 6 or 7 years, and I know the finances. I know the finances and figure the taxes. I keep up with that matter.
Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Larcade.
Mr. LARCADE. Mr. Chairman, you were quite correct when you said this man looks like a politician. He is. I served in the senate of the State of Louisiana with Mr. Whittington from 1928 to 1932.
The CHAIRMAN. About the same time I was a State senator around my way.
Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Chairman, we have here Mr. Edgar W. Fullilove, representing the Bossier levee district, and a planter in his own right. He wants to appear here speaking for the planters and farmers in his own area.
The CHAIRMAN. We would be glad to have your statement. Mr. BROOKS. The Fullilove family, Mr. Chairman, are perhaps the largest cotton growers there.
STATEMENT OF EDGAR W. FULLILOVE, COTTON PLANTER, CHALK
LEVEL PLANTATION, BOSSIER PARISH, LA., BOSSIER. LEVEE COMMISSION Mr. FULLILOVE. Mr. Chairman, I have enjoyed all I have heard here this morning, and have agreed with every bit. We have heard from the Nation; we have heard from the State; we have heard from the parish; the levee board; and the districts.
I would like to draw you a picture of one plantation.
I come from one of the best cotton and pecan plantations in the United States. This plantation is made up of the best type of soil God ever allowed to be compounded. I always have complimented
This platy to Curtispan such a sprea 1,600
my grandfather for recognizing its quality and settling on land that would produce so well and so consistently. I love it.
Chalk Level Plantation is located in Bossier Parish on the Red River just south of Shreveport. It was the last steamboat landing before Shreveport coming upstream. Its name was taken from the level line of whitewashed Negro cabins on the river front, that could easily be seen by those on board these steamboats.
This plantation at one time extended from the south limits of Bossier City to Curtis and embodied enough land to utilize a halfdozen cotton gins. Upon such a spread I was born in 1898.
The present Upper Chalk Level had 1,600 acres of tillable soil when I was born. Since my childhood I have seen a complete section of land tumble into the muddy maw of Red River, and it is still unsatisfied with the destruction of our property.
I live in a house, a magnificent remnant of the original, which now is on its third foundation, which is 5,500 feet from where it was built. It is behind the levee, which is the fourteenth attempt to control floodwaters. This is only one instance of bank erosion.
There are very few. men who live on the banks of Red River who have not had this same experience. If this is allowed to continue on our plantation, this erosion will eventually ruin the largest and finest pecan grove in the world, an investment beyond my ability to value.
Gen. Max C. Tyler, of the United States Engineer Corps, has often asked me the value of pecan acreage, to enable him to estimate rightof-way for the many levees he must construct. I have hesitated to answer, because it would be fantastic; besides, nobody wants to sell pecan groves. ' A man just keeps his pecans.
Gentlemen, if you will go with me to lower Louisiana and imagine a vast area flooded, with distress everywhere—what would you say? The thought would naturally enter your minds that something should be done about it. You would say that there was too much water allowed to descend on that area. The only answer, gentlemen, is a control system to prevent such a traffic jam of raindrops in their mad rush to the Gulf of Mexico.
We need reservoirs of such capacity and so geographically located as to stop this destruction of life and property. We will need the cooperation of all the best minds to effect this end.
We heartily endorse our United States Engineers as a source of the highly technical and professional advice and coordination between the various departments to avoid mistakes.
All the landowners in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma, along the Red River, join me in this plea for controlling floodwaters and bank erosion.
Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Chairman, the next witness on this list handed to me is Mr. L. R. Matthias. He is secretary of the Red River Valley Improvement Association, and the Red River Valley Improvement Association is organized to represent the people of four States: Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Mr. Matthias really knows the work of that association.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you have a prepared statement?
STATEMENT OF L. R. MATTHIAS, SECRETARY OF THE RED RIVER
VALLEY IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION Mr. MATTHIAS. The association has members in the States of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. We are primarily representing civic, State, industrial, and agricultural interests, and our work is to aid not only Louisiana, but Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas as well.
In an attempt to join our people together, we secured the aid of the State engineering groups of the United States, and we, I am glad to report, are in complete agreement on the flood-control plan as presented by the corps; that is, in general.
I think that the fact that the plan was formulated and returned back to the Flood Control Committee here within 1 year from the time that the disaster occurred is worth mentioning, so is the fact that $16,000,000 went out of the valley last year, including four lives, is worth the immediate consideration of this committee.
We cannot, as an association in the valley, express our appreciation to bur Congressmen and to Senator Overton, and to the corps for the manner in which they got this information up here for consideration.
We hope you will give us the needed relief that is due this great valley, and we, as an association, stand ready to aid in our small way.
Mr. ALLEN. Mr. Matthias, you have a number of members of the Red River Valley Association all up and down the valley of these United States.
Mr. MATTHIAS. Yes, sir.
Mr. ALLEN. In other words, you are not speaking for those alone; you are speaking for all of these States.
Mr. MATTHIAS. That is right.
Mr. BROOKS. And all the States are in agreement on this program; are they not?
Mr. MATTHIAS. The States are all in agreement, in general, to the plan.
Mr. Brooks. And the governor of each State has approved it? Mr. MATTHIAS. That is right. Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Chairman, the next witness on the list is Mr. Fred Webb, Jr., of Shreveport, La
I would like to say for the record, Mr. Chairman, that the last time I saw Mr. Webb he was down near his plantation below Shreveport, and had been up 3 nights straight, all night long, fighting the waves and the water of the Red River trying to save the levee there.
He is president of the jury of Caddo Parish, and had charge locally of the work of fighting that flood down in 1945 in his area. Mr. ALLEN. Do you have a statement, Mr. Webb?
STATEMENT OF FRED WEBB, JR., SHREVEPORT, LA. Mr. WEBB. I have no statement; no prepared statement, Mr. Chairman, for the reason that all the political bodies of Caddo Parish join hands in helping compile the data that has been presented to this committee and to the Army engineers in cooperation with the Public Works Department, and the Red River Valley Association.
But there are some points I would like to bring out.
The first is, that personal part which Mr. Brooks has so nicely stated here that I played in the flood. If you would permit, I would like to have it taken out of the record. Personally I do not want any honor or anything else for the work I do publicly.
Mr. ALLEN. We would like that to stay in the record, Mr. Webb. We appreciate the sacrifice you made.
Mr. BROOKS. It shows he is familiar, Mr. Chairman, with the problem.
Mr. WEBB. But I would like to make this observation here, that for the last 25 years the taxpayers of Caddo Parish, I say literally, have spent more than a million and a quarter dollars in bapk-protection work, and they have spent many, many millions of dollars in building of levees to prevent floods.
I guess Caddo Parish is one of the oldest that has been in bankprotection work. I do not feel that that money was thrown away; however, we have only one small bin that is left today with any of that work left on it because we did not have the funds left to carry on and protect this work after it was installed.
I feel that this job is entirely too big for any local government or any State government. That is the reason I personally have worked for more than 15 years to see just exactly the thing that has come to being in a minor way, just recently, with your board of engineers starting and declaring an emergency over there, and your first appropriation of a half million dollars in and around Shreveport for bankprotection work.
That is a start, but we are appealing to this committee to approve this over-all picture to carry on and give us a complete job.
Mr. ALLEN. Thank you, Mr. Webb. Mr. WEBB. I personally want to thank the Corps of Engineers for stepping in and declaring an emergency on my personal bin, you might say, because it affected me personally. They started some bank-protection work there.
Mr. BROOKS. Mr. Webb, all of our people want this very badly, do they not?
Nr. WEBB. There is no dissension among the people in Caddo Parish. They have all worked for many, many years. If that were not so, Mr. Brooks, they would not have spent these many, many millions of dollars of taxpayers' money in the past.
Mr. BROOKS. Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairman, the last witness on this list is Commissioner Lane Mitchell, of the city of Shreveport.
He appeared before this committee this morning briefly in reference to the Bayou Pierre project.
Mr. ALLEN. We would be glad to have your statement on this, Mr. Commissioner.
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STATEMENT OF H. L. MITCHELL, COMMISSIONER, CITY OF
SHREVEPORT, LA. Mr. MITCHELL. I cannot add much to what has been said other than a statement that the large section of the industrial area of the city of Shreveport lies within this flooded area, and the people of Shreveport are most wholeheartedly behind this project and approve it in alī.
I thank you for this privilege.
It has been suggested that these photographs might be filed with the committee. They are Senator Overton's photographs. · Mr. ALLEN. That is for Senator Overton to decide.
Senator OVERTON. I am grateful for the Red River Valley Improvement Association for supplying me with these photographs. They speak eloquently of the need of an authorization for execution of this project. I would like to lend it to the committee with the understanding that when the committee is through, they will send it back to the Senate Commerce Committee.
Mr. ALLEN. Very well. We will leave them here with the committee, and the clerk will take good care of them and see that they get back to Senator Overton in due time.
My colleague from Louisiana, a very valuable member of this committee, Mr. Larcade, has been very cooperative, and he has not taken any time on this. We would be very glad to have any statement which he wishes to make at this time.
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STATEMENT OF HON. HENRY D. LARCADE, JR., A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF LOUISIANA Mr. LARCADE. Mr. Chairman, I have been interested enough in the Red River for many years because as you know this water has to come down to us, on my section of the State of Louisiana.
I would like to direct your attention to the hearings of the Flood Control Committee held in 1943, volume 1, at which time I inserted in the record from page 190 to page 229 a discussion of a comprehensive flood-control plan evolved by the Louisiana Flood Control Commission some 10 years ago, and from which the Louisiana State Department of Public Works, and engineers have taken the most emergent part of that program and have been urging its enactment with modifications and further improvements and suggestions which they have made.
Therefore, I will not go into any long discussion of this project except to say that in 1945, when this last terrible flood visited the Red River Valley, at the request of our colleagues, Mr. Allen and Mr. Brooks and Congressman. McKenzie, the Corps of Engineers were prevailed upon to send General Robbins down there to make an inspection of the terrific damage, and the terrible devastation resulting from that flood; and as I said, on account of my great interest, I was invited to go on this trip and I went along, together with Congressmen Harris, of Arkansas and Congressman Colmer, of Mississippi, and Congressman McKenzie, of Louisiana, and in addition to General Robbins on this inspection tour, there was also Mr. Darling, a civilian engineer of the Corps of Engineers.
On this trip we had a complete opportunity to see first-hand the terrific damage that resulted from this flood, flying all the way from Fulton, Ark., south of Shreveport, and Melville, La., in my district.
I think that there is no question but that this project should be