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life to propose and advocate such a development. There are few if any differences between my views on the Murray Bill and those of the author.
My principal objection went to the question of administration. Whether the administration should be in the hands of a single administrator or of a board is not so much a matter of principle as it is of practicality. I cannot concur in the disposition that some people have to set up so-called independent boards that can go their own way in criss-cross fashion without any effective control by a principal executive who has the power to see to it that there shall be no waste or overlapping or unnecessary expenditure of money. It is airily suggested that the President, the most overburdened executive in the world, can undertake this additional little chore.
I do not believe that such a burden should be laid upon him. In the end there will be a number of these separate administrations, some of which will overlap as to functions and as to areas to be administered. Unless we are careful these could result in bad administration and worse feeling. As our Government is constituted today, it seems to me that these administrations should clear to the President through the Secretary of the Interior. This Department has had more experience than any other in this type of administration. To clear through the Secretary of the Interior, I do not suggest any lack of proper local autonomy. The history of this Department, especially during the past 12 years, has amply demonstrated our belief in local autonomy to the fullest possible extent consistent with proper coordination and sound administration. Unsupervised and too diffuse local autonomy might mean a series of political grab-bags that would discredit the whole theory of river valley authorities. I do not happen to believe in administration by a debating society and I doubt the efficacy of a shibboleth when it is expected to roll up its sleeves and go to work, day after day, to do a varied and intricate job for the people.
The Congress eventually will decide how these coordinated facilities shall be administered. Meanwhile we are so planning that they can be operated as single developments when a suitable policy has been formulated. Several bureaus and offices are cooperating in these plans so that the preservation of fish and wildlife, the creation of recreational facilities, and the other aims of thoroughgoing conservation will not be overlooked, but the Bureau of Reclamation is planning and building the principal facilities, and is coordinating the program.
The Bureau of Reclamation This Bureau has presented to the Congress a postwar development inventory of 415 irrigation and multiple-purpose projects in the 17 States that are west of the one-hundredth meridian or are bisected by it. More than 100 of them are in operation, or have been authorized, or are under construction, and preliminary studies of others have been completed. Among the projects that have been authorized are 29 of those in the Bureau's program for basin-wide development of the Missouri River Valley.
These projects, calling for the construction of dams, irrigation systems, power plants and reservoirs for flood control and other purposes, would create employment for thousands of returning veterans and others, would open new lands to settlement, encourage the development of new business and industry, provide protection against drought and flood, increase Western purchasing power, and would, in many other ways, contribute to the National welfare.
Here, briefly summarized, is what the developments that are proposed by the Bureau of Reclamation would do:
1. Provide almost 200,000 new irrigated farms for settlement by veterans and others. (Construction of proposed projects would bring nearly 11 million acres of new land under irrigation and provide supplemental water to another 11 million acres which now have inadequate water.)
2. Provide jobs at the peak of employment for more than 400,000 workers at construction sites and for thousands of others working in factories, mills, mines, and in transportation throughout the country to supply the necessary materials and equipment.
3. Provide huge blocks of low-cost power for the development of natural resources, of new industry, and of business.
4. Create opportunities for farm workers, tradesmen and professional people in the new and expanded rural and urban communities that would result from such developments.
5. Greatly increase the purchasing power of the West for the products of other sections of the country.
6. Diversify and bring into greater balance the economy of these Western States in caring for an increased population.
Many other benefits would accrue from this program, not only to the persons who would be directly affected by the developments that it provides for, but to the whole Nation as well.
The first of the coordinated programs for regional development, that for the Missouri Basin-was approved by the Congress during the present fiscal year, and the Bureau is now completing studies and reports on 14 other major river basins in the 17 Western States. These studies also embrace tributary basins and many scores of individual projects.
It is from these studies and from 43 years of experience in developing the land and water resources of the West that the postwar program of the Bureau has emerged. The construction of the projects in the inventory will be dependent upon the action of the Congress in
appropriating the necessary funds. Based on 1940 price levels, the estimated cost of constructing all of these projects would be approximately 5 billion dollars, but the major portion of such costs would be returned to the Federal Treasury from payments for irrigation water, proceeds from the sale of power generated at the projects, and otherwise. There would be, in addition, many indirect benefits that could not be evaluated in dollars and cents. The benefits to be derived would return many times over the cost of such a development program.
An understanding of the impact that such a program would have upon the Nation's peacetime economy can be gained from a review of what the projects that are in operation did during the war to help the United States to establish an unparalleled record of production.
Farmers on more than four million acres of land that is irrigated by Bureau facilities produced food, forage and fibre crops valued at more than $411,000,000 in 1944, setting an all-time record. As the result of the urgency of its war-food program, the Bureau, since 1941, has increased the irrigated acreage served by its projects by 759,000 acres. Of this total increase, 125,000 acres were brought under irrigation during the past fiscal year.
The Bureau's production of electric power has been equally spectacular. At the outbreak of the war we faced a critical shortage of power with which to meet the huge demands of rapidly increasing war production. We actually had a third less power available than the Axis countries had, and that deficiency threatened to retard seriously the production of munitions and equipment that were desperately needed by our armed forces. • How the Nation overcame that power deficiency is one of the stirring chapters in the history of the war. Our production of electric energy was stepped up to unprecedented levels, and the major contributors to that greatly increased output were the hydroelectric plants of the Bureau of Reclamation in the West—the plants at Grand Coulee, Boulder Dam, and elsewhere.
In 1941, Bureau plants had an installed capacity of 828,000 kilowatts. By June 1945, that capacity had been increased to 2,439,300 kilowatts. In speaking of the Bureau of Reclamation it should be borne in mind that the Tennessee Valley Authority, which is a separate agency, is not included. The power output of Bureau plants has quadrupled since the attack on Pearl Harbor. That output this year totaled nearly 14 billion kilowatt-hours, making the Bureau the largest single power-producing agency in the world. The bulk of its output went to war plants-aircraft factories, shipyards, chemical and metallurgical plants, ordnance works, steel, aluminum and magnesium plants, and also to cities, Army airfields and other military installations. It was also used to pump water for irrigation, and to electrify rural homes. From the Grand Coulee-Bonneville system
alone came the power for processing one-third of the Nation's aluminum output for airplane production. Grand Coulee Dam also furnished the huge blocks of power needed for the construction and operation of the Federal government's “mystery war plant” near Hanford, Wash., one of the producers of the atomic bomb.
In these ways the projects of the Bureau of Reclamation contributed to the winning of the war. Now we must help to adjust the Nation to the conditions of peace. Our service men and women are coming back to seek jobs, to look for places to start farming, to practice trades, to establish themselves in business. We must help to keep our great industrial plant at full production, and to maintain the national income at a high level. To accomplish that, and to provide increased opportunities for our people we must apply the lessons learned during the war and bring to full development the natural resources which the Nation still possesses.
The program proposed by the Bureau of Reclamation for developing on a basin-wide scale the great river valleys of the West has that as its objective. Its operating projects have already pointed the way in showing what can be done through coordinated effort and intelligent planning. Similar projects will provide a solid economic foundation on which to build a stronger America, and afford the opportunities for richer, happier living for thousands of people in the years to come.
We cannot end a discussion of the world's largest producer of hydroelectric power without noting that in the harnessing of atomic energy we have a new challenger of the place of electricity. But when we have acknowledged its arrival, that is about all that we can do. We know that atomic energy has been used for the benefit of mankind, although not on a commercial scale. We do not know whether it could be used economically in industry. We presume that it will be used in industry, but we do not know even approximately how long it would take to develop it for such use. In a word, we do not know enough about it to justify an exhaustive discussion of the effect which atomic energy may have upon hydroelectricity.
The Division of Power
With the postwar period on the horizon the activities and responsibilities of the Division of Power have increased commensurate with the many complex problems inherent in the operations and the marketing of power from the largest aggregate of hydroelectric capacity in the world. As of June 30, 1945, the total installed capacity of the plants involved, was 3,107,300 kilowatts with a total generation during this fiscal year of 18 billion kilowatthours, more than five times the 3,672,995,000 kilowatt-hours produced by all of the power plants under the jurisdiction of the
Department in 1940. Again these figures do not include the production of TVA, a separate authority.
The Flood Control and the River and Harbor Acts placed additional responsibilities upon the Division. They directed the Secretary of the Interior to dispose of the power that is generated at the dams constructed by the Corps of Engineers. The ultimate installed capacity of these authorized projects will be more than 7,200,000 kilowatts. · In preparing for the transition to a peacetime economy, while meeting the needs of war, studies have been undertaken in order that the power that is under the jurisdiction of this Department may be disposed of in accordance with the policy that the Congress has forged during the past four decades—that is, in such a manner as to encourage the most widespread use at the lowest possible rates to consumers, consistent with sound business principles, and with a preference to public bodies and cooperatives. Consideration is also being given to the problem of the integration, with our Federal power projects, of fuel-operated generating plants that were built to serve some of our large military establishments and war plants.
The Division has reviewed or has participated in the determination of the allocation of costs of dams such as Grand Coulee, in the establishment of rate schedules, and in the negotiation of various contracts for the sale of power by the Bonneville Power Administration, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Southwestern Power Administration. It assisted the Solicitor's Office in the negotiations for the disposal of the Hetch Hetchy power by the city of San Francisco in accordance with the terms of the Raker Act. It cooperated in the studies and negotiations of the Bureau of Reclamation for the proposed acquisition of the power facilities of the Salt River Water Users' Association in Arizona and of the Minidoka and Burley power facilities in Idaho in an effort to bring about unified operating systems and to make possible lower rates. It also assisted the Puerto Rico Water Resources Authority and the territorial government of the Virgin Islands in connection with their power problem.
The Bonneville Power Administration America's best insurance against the threat of possible economic chaos is its supply of human and natural resources, and the ability to convert both into national wealth under a system of free enterprise. The Pacific Northwest, with its inexhaustible supply of hydroelectric power and its still untapped reserves of some natural resources, will be expected to contribute much toward a balanced economy. In view of this, and recognizing also that difficulties would be caused by cutbacks in war industries, by reconversion, and by the dislocation of industries after the war, the Bonneville Power Administration, early