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in front of the levee line on the shore of the main river. It has no value; no one would deal with it on the basis of

so much
per acre.

It has no rental value. It is just land on which men might take a haphazard chance. No loans are made on it. Such lands are not regarded by the local people as having a value.

That is the situation, gentlemen, as it exists there. Possibly I could go into more detail as to the condition of these districts that would make it a matter of impossibility for them to make this contribution. They have no authority to do it. They could secure no authority to do it, because it is generally known that this project is national in its scope, and that is one of the obligations that should accompany the responsibility.

Another factor is this: We are all opposed, as a rule, to paying any more contributions for our Government concerns than possible and when there is no law providing for compensation for losses of this sort, it would be impossible to secure consideration for these people without some man objecting somewhere, no matter what the disposition of the people as a whole may be, if they possess the ability to do it, which I know they do not.

Mr. Rich. If this bill, H. R. 7349, were to pass, you would not figure that any contributions would be made to those individuals taking a chance on these islands that you speak of?

Mr. DRIVER. Not a cent on earth.

Mr. Rich. There is no thought in the minds of any member of the committee that these islands that have been in the habit of being flooded would be considered under a bill of this kind ?

Mr. DRIVER. Let me say to my friend from Pennsylvania that no lands are involved here which have not enjoyed protection from the floods of the river through the local structures existing at the time. It is only those lands involved in the set-backs made under the definitions of the act of 1928, providing for flood protection on the Mississippi River, that are involved.

Mr. Rich. Wherein the Government is assuming the responsibility and placing these set-backs, and the only land involved is the land that might be flooded during high water because of the fact of the existing of set-backs?

Mr. DRIVER. It is exclusively confined to that area.

Mr. ZIMMERMAN. You were born and raised on the Mississippi River, were you not?

Mr. DRIVER. Yes.
Mr. ZIMMERMAN. And lived there for several years?

Mr. DRIVER. I could throw a clod from the place of my birth to a levee when I was 4 years old.

Mr. ZIMMERMAN. As to the fact that you mentioned in reference to the additional cost of revetment work on the river, has it not been the policy of the Government to increase the expenditure for that purpose, and has not that become a big item along the levees!

Mr. DRIVER. As to the revetment cost, the great expense connected with it is only used for emergency purposes. They do not lay off on the river mighty revetments or banks, or segments of the river. They provide only for revetment work where the erosion is such that they are required

to do it, and not for the protection of the levee line entirely but for the protection of the channel alinement. They must confine those waters so that they can get the proper depth in the channel.

Revetment work secures the integrity of that channel for the engineers, and it is usually used for navigation purposes, although it affords a dual value.

The CHAIRMAN. Did you give the distance around the old levee? Mr. DRIVER. It is 14 miles around and 2 and a quarter miles across.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Whittington, if you desire to make a statement, we will be very glad to have you do so at this time.

Mr. WHITTINGTON. The pending bill, H. R. 7349, provides for the payment of the cost of the landowners of the setback levees, not contemplated by the Flood Control Act of May 15, 1928.

The Flood Control Act of May 15, 1928, provided that the local interests should furnish the rights-of-way for the levees along the Mississippi River. That act authorized an appropriation over a period of 10 years of $325,000,000. Eighty millions of the $325,000,000 were for revetments. The hearings disclosed that the life of the levees along the main river was approximately 20 years.

The proposed legislation is really a clarification of the Flood Control Act of 1928 and does not involve any additional authorization or appropriation. It is to compensate the districts and the landowners where the project has been or really will be constructed for less money than was contemplated under the act of 1928.

Instead of constructing new levees based upon a life of 20 years, the Corps of Engineers constructed them based upon a life of 30 years.

Instead of levying and expending the $80,000,000 provided by the act, the Corps of Engineers have set back the levees to eliminate the costs of revetment.

I am not familiar with the Willow Point case-
The CHAIRMAN. Not the Willow Point, but the Wilson Point case.

Mr. WHITTINGTON. The Wilson Point' case in Louisiana and the Willow Point case, too, because there is a Willow Point case as I recall.

But I have in mind many cases where the banks were revetted, and as I remember in cases between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in Louisiana, and in the vicinity of Greenville, Miss., the cost of the protecting levee, as enlarged to the 1928 grade and section by the construction of revetments costing from $600,000 to $1,000,000 a mile in some cases would be very much greater than the cost of setting those levees back, even including the cost of the flowage rights to the landowners.

So I repeat that the proposed legislation is in reality a clarification of the act of 1928. It will not relieve the local interests or the States of any obligations provided for by that act, but it will compensate the landowners, and in cases where local interests have provided rights-of-way and flowage rights, for the damages sustined by virtue of having provided them.

By reference to the hearing held by the Committee on Flood Control, on page 4830, parts 6 and 7 of the hearings on the Flood Control Act of 1928, you will note that the cost of all rights-of-way as given to us by the Chief of Engineers under the adopted project was $4,088,790.

There are two levee boards in the State of Mississippi between Memphis and Vicksburg, the upper levee board located at Clarksville, and the lower levee board located at Greenville.

I wanted to know what the local interests would be required to contribute under the terms of the act of May 15, 1928, so on page 4830 of the hearings I asked General Jadwin the cost to the local interests of providing rights-of-way in the upper Mississippi River district, and the answer was that his estimate was $68,796.

When the new levee line was constructed, taking in the old levee districts and extending approximately 90 miles below Memphis to the northern boundary line of Bolivar County, instead of rebuilding the existing levee line and protecting it by revetment as contemplated by the act, they set back that levee and required the local levee board to provide rights-of-way for those set-backs, with the result that the local levee board, instead of being required to obligate itself for $68,796, the amount given us by the Chief of Engineers, were required in that district alone to expend and obligate themselves for more than $900,000, or more than ten times the estimated cost as given to the committee by the Chief of Engineers.

If the Government is to reimburse that levee board and the property owners out of the authorizations already made and out of the appropriations already made, it would be more economical on the part of the Government than to have built the necessary revetments and to have protected the relocation of the levees as contemplated in the act.

In the lower Mississippi or Greenville Levee District there have been even larger relocations. There was an enormous set-back in the city of Greenville, and the mayor of Greenville, Hon. Merlin Smith, is here this morning at this hearing. That level board, according to the statement of the Chief of Engineers at the time of the hearing on this act and the modifications and amendments under consideration, stated that the cost of the relocation in that district was approximately $1,168,420.

That levee district has already expended some $450,000, or $500,000 more than the Chief of Engineers estimated, by reason of the cut-offs across these lands instead of revetting the banks.

So I submit that the act under consideration will merely effectuate the intention of the Flood Control Act of 1928, and will not require any additional authorization or appropriation, but will pay those owners down there for land required for a levee that would survive for 30 years, or for 20 years, and not only that, but by that will largely eliminate the construction of levees.

In other words, in respect to this matter the Chief of Engineers, General Jadwin, testified that the costs of the rights-of-way in the lower valley, including whatever values there were for the setbacks then contemplated to the local interests would be around $4,000,000. As disclosed by the hearings, and in the hearing on the pending bill, the chief engineer for the Mississippi River levee district and for the Yazoo-Mississippi. Delta Mississippi River district stated that was the exact amount, substantially as I have given it, that those two levee boards were required to obligate themselves for to provide for rights-of-way and flowage rights for the execution of the project. Those levee districts, with the information before the committee as

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to the levee district in Louisiana and Arkansas, have been called upon to expend, not $4,000,000, as estimated by the Chief of Engineers when Congress adopted this project, but closer to $9,000,000, as I understand, because the proposed relocation will cost in the neighborhood of $4,000,000, and the aggregate acreage would be 75,000 acres, in round numbers.

I want to say this, Mr. Chairman, that on February 15, 1932, the committee reported H. R. 4668, and the report is no. 417, and that bill, as I recall, was favorably reported to the House by the Committee on Rules.

The language of that bill, in the first section, is different from the language of the pending bill, and, personally, as I understood from you, Mr. Chairman, we can go into that a little bit later. But I am not at all convinced that the landowners will be as well protected by the language of the pending bill as by the language of the previous bill, nor am I altogether clear that the pending bill really clarifies the provisions of the act we reported 3 years ago.

That part of the section that is different

The CHAIRMAN (interposing). We can discuss that in the committee in executive session.

Mr. WHITTINGTON (continuing). Provides for compensating the owners of land between the existing levees and the low-water channel which will be behind the old lines of the adopted project and the high-water channel of the Mississippi River, by reason of set-backs, modifications, or other changes.

Personally I doubt, with all deference to the author of the bill, that the language of the pending bill is as definite as that, although it is fair to say that the chairman has undertaken to provide for that difference by eliminating clause 3. But under the bill we reported section 2 of the act was to take effect as of May 15, 1928, and become thereby a part of the original act.

In this connection I call attention to the hearings before the Flood Control Committee on February 7, 8, and 9, 1934, and to my statement begining on page 108; and I also call attention to my statement in the hearings on H. R. 4668 before the Flood Control Committee on January 26, 1932, beginning on page 143.

I have nothing further to say, Mr. Chairman, unless some member desires to ask me some questions.

Mr. WEARIN. Mr. Chairman, this bill, it seems to me, is a reasonable proposition, but living on the Missouri, as I do, I am particularly interested in a problem which is not exactly like this one.

A good many landowners along the Missouri River have been faced with the problem of having the Federal Government come in and alter the direction or flow of the current of the river in such a manner that it will cut out a considerable portion of a farm in changing the flow of the water.

As I understand the situation, there is no existing law which permits those people under those circumstances to recover for the damage to that property. It seems to me there should be some provision to take care of that, where the Federal Government itself proposes an intentional change of the current of the river so that a man loses a quarter or half section of land that he has had, after having

There are two levee boards in the State of Mississippi between Memphis and Vicksburg, the upper levee board located at Clarksville, and the lower levee board located at Greenville.

I wanted to know what the local interests would be required to contribute under the terms of the act of May 15, 1928, so on page 4830 of the hearings I asked General Jadwin the cost to the local interests of providing rights-of-way in the upper Mississippi River district, and the answer was that his estimate was $68,796.

When the new levee line was constructed, taking in the old levee districts and extending approximately 90 miles below Memphis to the northern boundary line of Bolivar County, instead of rebuilding the existing levee line and protecting it by revetment as contemplated by the act, they set back tħat levee and required the local levee board to provide rights-of-way for those set-backs, with the result that the local levee board, instead of being required to obligate itself for $68,796, the amount given us by the Chief of Engineers, were required in that district alone to expend and obligate themselves for more than $900,000, or more than ten times the estimated cost as given to the committee by the Chief of Engineers.

If the Government is to reimburse that levee board and the property owners out of the authorizations already made and out of the appropriations already made, it would be more economical on the part of the Government than to have built the necessary revetments and to have protected the relocation of the levees as contemplated in the act.

In the lower Mississippi or Greenville Levee District there have been even larger relocations. There was an enormous set-back in the city of Greenville, and the mayor of Greenville, Hon. Merlin Smith, is here this morning at this hearing. That level board, according to the statement of the Chief of Engineers at the time of the hearing on this act and the modifications and amendments under consideration, stated that the cost of the relocation in that district was approximately $1,168,420.

That levee district has already expended some $450,000, or $500,000 more than the Chief of Engineers estimated, by reason of the cut-offs across these lands instead of revetting the banks.

So I submit that the act under consideration will merely effectuate the intention of the Flood Control Act of 1928, and will not require any additional authorization or appropriation, but will pay those owners down there for land required for a levee that would survive for 30 years, or for 20 years, and not only that, but by that will largely eliminate the construction of levees.

In other words, in respect to this matter the Chief of Engineers, General Jadwin, testified that the costs of the rights-of-way in the lower valley, including whatever values there were for the setbacks then contemplated to the local interests would be around $4,000,000. As disclosed by the hearings, and in the hearing on the pending bill, the chief engineer for the Mississippi River levee district and for the Yazoo-Mississippi. Delta Mississippi River district stated that was the exact amount, substantially as I have given it, that those two levee boards were required to obligate themselves for to provide for rights-of-way and flowage rights for the execution of the project. Those levee districts, with the information before the committee as

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