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Mr. Doxey. That is very kind of you, but it is not my purpose to take up the time of these gentlemen from the districts, because I expect to be here all the time.
The CHAIRMAN. Then I understand that you want to file a written statement to be made a part of this record this morning?
Mr. Doxey. That will be satisfactory.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not care to appear before the committee, then ?
Mr. Doxey. No; I do not care to take up your time.
The CHAIRMAN. We will grant you the privilege of being heard, if you wish; but I understand you prefer to file a statement.
Mr. Doxey. That is correct.
STATEMENT OF HON. WALL DOXEY, OF MISSISSIPPI Mr. CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE: The thorough, patient, and considerate manner in which you have conducted the hearings on H. R. 6833 I am sure is appreciated by all interested parties.
At the beginning of these hearings it was my privilege to hear most of the testimony delivered by General Markham, Chief of Engineers, War Department. I was already familiar with his position, having discussed this subject with him personally, and was also somewhat familiar with his report filed with your committee and known as “ Flood Control Committee Document No. 1 of the Seventy-fourth Congress."
On account of my own committee work and other important business, I was not able to be present all the time during the several days' hearings you have had on this bill. My statement in regard to H. R. 6803 in the printed hearings of Friday, March 22, 1935, set forth in a general way my position with regard to flood-control legislation.
With special reference to the Yazoo River Basin in Mississippi, of which a portion of my congressional district is vitally affected, I desire to call to your attention the provisions of H. R. 6190, being a bill I introduced and which, as you know, is now before your committee, the project being included in this bill, which provides for the control of the waters of the Coldwater, Tallahatchie, Yocona, Yalobusha, and Yazoo Rivers and their tributaries in Mississippi.
My bill, H. R. 6190, is as follows:
(H. R. 6190, 74th Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL To provide for the control of the waters of the Coldwater, Tallahatchie, Yocona,
Yalobusha, and Yazoo Rivers in Mississippi, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Chief of Engineers, under the direction of the Secretary of War, is authorized and directed to prepare a comprehensive plan for the improvement of navigation and control of the waters of the Coldwater, Tallahatchie, Yocona, Yalobusha, and Yazoo Rivers and their tributaries in Mississippi. Such plan shall include channeling, straightening, and deepening the streams, soil-erosion prevention on the watersheds by reforestation of abutting land and other methods, and the establishment of reservoirs for the control and storage of water.
SEC. 2. The Chief of Engineers, under the direction of the Secretary of War, shall prosecute the works of improvement provided for in the plan, and for such purpose he is authorized, within the limits of appropriations available therefor, to enter into contracts, to purchase land, to erect dams and other structures, and do all things necessary to the accomplishment of the purposes of this act.
SEC. 3. There is authorized to be appropriated such sums, not in excess of $60,000,000, as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.
In this connection I desire to have placed in the record a letter written to me by Maj. Gen. E. M. Markham, Chief of Engineers, War Department, under date of March 5, 1935, as follows:
Washington, March 5, 1935. Hon. WALL DOXEY,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. Doxby: In connection with your verbal request for comment on bill H. R. 6190, which you introduced in the House of Representatives on February 26, 1935, a copy of which you left with me on your recent visit, I have to inform you as follows:
This Department has completed an extensive survey of the Yazoo River, Miss., which has been printed in the House Document No. 198, Seventy-third Congress, second session. Based on this report and on further studies undertaken by the Mississippi River Commission, the Chief of Engineers, in a report transmitted to the Chairman of the Committee on Flood Control, House of Representatives, on February 12, 1935, recommended the modification of the existing flood-control and navigation project on the lower Mississippi River, to include authorization for flood control of headwater overflows of the Yazoo River by the costruction of seven detention reservoirs. Two of these reservoirs would be on the Coldwater River, 1 on the Tallahatchie, 1 on the Yocona, 1 on the Skuna, and 2 on the Yalobusha. These reservoirs offer the best plan devised for the control of the Yazoo River headwaters. Their estimated cost is $48,000,000, exclusive of levee and ditch right-of-way over the cost of highway relocation to be borne by local interests. The estimate of $48,000,000 includes items of cooperation for all lands. and damages (other than roads) in connection with reservoir areas.
The Department is prepared to proceed promptly with this work, provided the Flood Control Act is amended accordingly and the necessary funds provided for this purpose. It would appear, therefore, that with the adoption of this plan the headwater flood-control problem of the Yazoo River would be amply provided for at the present time. Very truly yours,
E. M. MARKHAM,
Major General, Chief of Engineers. Of course I know the big job ahead of us all is getting the money with which to do the work. If we succeed in securing the money, we all know it will be spent under the direction and supervision of the Chief of Army Engineers, and that the work will be done according to the plans of the Army engineers. That is the President's position in case he, by Executive order, allocates from the Public Work Relief funds any money for this particular project.
In the event we succeed in passing this legislation or any similar legislation, I know it will be the intent of Congress to adopt, in the main, the recommendations of the Chief of Engineers of the War Department.
However, I want to earnestly urge this committee, in regard to this particular project, to amend the bill H. R. 6833, so as to clearly set forth that the plans of the Chief of Engineers, as set forth in committee document no. 1, be so prosecuted as to include and specify that streams and rivers in the Yazoo-Coldwater Basin be straightened, channeled, and cleaned out, and that due regard be given to reforestation and soil-erosion control in said area, as provided in my bill H. R. 6190.
A great amount of the work necessary to be done on this particular flood-control project will be done in my district. Most of the proposed reservoirs will be located in my district. The greater part of the land taken and the damage incident to the construction of the proposed reservoirs will be in the congressional district that I am privileged to represent. I do not want to hamper or retard in any way the general plan of flood control or relief that we are in such dire need of and so much deserve. Yet at the same time that some of the people in my district are being protected from devastating floods, I want those whose lands and property are damaged and taken, to suffer as little damage as possible.
I want those whose lands are taken to receive a fair and reasonable price for their property, and those damaged to be adequately paid by the Government for the losses they sustain, and I hope the work will be done and the plans so prosecuted as to cause as líttle damage as possible.
To that end, I think this bill should specify that due regard shall be given to straightening and channeling the streams, and as few reservoirs and dams constructed in this area as is possible to do the job successfully and effectively.
The people of my district who are in the backwater area, so to speak, have up to this time fought their flood battles alone. The Government has never undertaken to relieve them by prosecuting any plan of flood control. I am happy that it is now being seriously considered as a Government project. Certainly it is a worthy undertaking. The people in my district have done the very best they could to protect themselves from these recurring and disastrous floods from year to year. They are now about at their row's end. Their local funds are exhausted. They have suffered patiently and courageously. If we are to get any permanent relief, it must be at the hands and expense of the Federal Government.
I haven't any authoritative figures showing the loss and damage caused by floods in my district for the years 1934 and 1935. But we recently experienced one of the worst floods we have had in quite a number of years.
However, I have some figures that I regard as reliable with reference to one small county in my district,
showing the loss and damage from floods for the years 1932 and 1933, as well as some other information with reference to this county of Tate, that I desire to place in the record for your consideration, as follows:
STATEMENT SHOWING DEVELOPMENT OF AND RESULTING LIENS TO LANDS IN TATE
COUNTY, MISS. Total acreage-
258, 357 Acreage subject to overflow.
35,000 Acreage cleared land in county-
116, 720 Acreage timbered land in county-
862 Acreage cut-over and uncultivatible land in county
140, 775 Principal towns and their population (1930 census) : Senatobia
1, 264 Coldwater
150 Total population of county-
17, 671 Number of miles of railroad in county-
17. 78 Number of miles of improved highway in county
120 Average yield per acre of lint cotton (pounds).
173 Number of bales cotton produced by county 1928-32, inclusive: 1928.
15, 177 1929
16, 271 1930
19, 967 1931
17, 680 1932
Taxable assessed valuation of real estate, 1932.
$2, 707, 416
102, 040 478, 689 37, 864 57, 067
Outstanding De inquent
$8,100.00 10, 615.00
Interest on same. School bonds...
Interest on same. Municipal bonds.
Interest on same.. Drainage bonds...
Interest on same.
57,967. 50 209, 500.00 88, 525. 50
Drainage districts : Arkabutla, Hickahala, Strayhorn, Jim Wolfe, Tate, and Panola. Compilation of loss and damage caused by overflow of the Yazoo, Tallahatchie,
and Coldwater Rivers and their tributaries in Tate County, Miss.
Dwellings destroyed and damaged.
ious grass seed, and washing.
120 1.000 2, 500 1, 300 4,000
12, 800 6, 900
4, 900 1, 400
I have not the figures relating to the other counties affected that are located in my district, but all of the counties by constructing drainage ditches, levees, etc., have taxed themselves to the limit in an effort to protect their lives and property from the ravages of the floods that come nearly every year. If the Government does not come to their relief, I do not know what they will do.
There is in this flooded area some of the most productive farming land that can be found anywhere. The people are industrious, courageous, and high-type citizens. It is home to them. It was home to their fathers and grandfathers, and they want it to be home for their posterity, and they are now looking to this Government to help and protect them, their property, and their families by the Federal Government immediately providing the money and prosecuting the work in a proper, adequate, permanent manner.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I will say that my colleague, Mr. Doxey, and my colleagues, Mr. Ford and Mr. McGehee, are interested directly in the Yazoo flood-control project, and the other members of the Mississippi delegation are indirectly interested, but thus far we have not consumed any of our time, and, for my part, I should like to have all of these gentlemen have an opportunity, either now or later, to present any views that they may have, and I want to state for the benefit of the committee that my colleague, Mr. Doxey, represents the district in which the larger number of reservoirs would be located. They are located near what we call the foothills, but they are not located in the district that I
represent. Some of the reservoirs would be located in the district represented by my colleague, Mr. Ford, who was here the other day, Mr. Chairman, as you recall, and who at my suggestion propounded some inquiries to the witness then on the stand; and while my colleague, Mr. McGehee, does not represent any of the area in which the proposed reservoirs would be located, he does represent a substantial area in the backwater section, and I might add for the record, Mr. Chairman, that we believe that the Yazoo River project should stand on its own merits. It has been overflowed for years, but we are not asking for any protection for the people of that area without compensating to the limit, as far as the local interests are able to, anyone whose property may be taken or damaged in any other section of Mississippi or of the lower Mississippi River Valley, and if the Government engineers can devise a plan that is more sound or more economical than the reservoir system for the control of floods, I will gladly support them. It is largely an engineering plan.
We have, Mr. Chairman, from the other Mississippi Levee Board, in the Yazoo Basin, located at Greenville, Miss., the chief engineer, Mr. J. S. Allen, and the assistant engineer, Mr. W. E. Elam, and in addition to these two engineering officials of that board, who are now present, there have been in attendance upon the hearings the president of that board, Mr. T. H. Powers, of Cary, in Sharkey County, and the other members of that board, and, Mr. Chairman, if Mr. Allen desires to make a statement at this time, I will be glad to yield to him. If he prefers to submit a statement for the record, I will be glad to have him so state.
Mr. ALLEN. My board desires to submit a statement for the record later. I have no statement to make now.
The CHAIRMAN. To go into the hearings this morning?
The CHAIRMAN. You submit your statement here, so that it may become a part of the record being made now with respect to the Yazoo project.
Mr. ALLEN. At what time would I have to present that, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You prepare it and hand it to me, and I will leave it with the secretary.
Is there any other statement specting any part of the subject matter th you desire to make?
Mr. ALLEN. I think that our statement will cover our position very thoroughly.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. If there is any statement that you desire to submit respecting any matters in connection with the modifications or the extensions, in addition to the supplemental statement that you want to file, we would be very glad to have you make it. Do you desire to make any other statement? Mr. ELAM. No.
Mr. WHITTINGTON, Now, Mr. Chairman, it is understood that the president of the Mississippi Levee Board and the Commissioners from Bolivar County, Mr. Brown and Mr. Knowlton, the Commissioners from Washington County, Mr. Negus and Mr. Jones, the Commissioner from Sharkey County, Mr. Powers, and the Commissioner from Humphries County, Mr. Jones, may file their supplemental statements for the record ?
The CHAIRMAN. Is it just one statement, or separate statements?
In other words, we are setting you a good example, of saving both time and expense.
(Statements of T. H. Powers, president; J. S. Allen, chief engineer; W. E. Elam, assistant engineer; Ernest Kellner, attorney; W. H. Negus, Howard Jones, S. D. Knowlton, and Edgar Brown, members board of Mississippi Levee Commissioners, Greenville, Miss., follows:)
STATEMENT OF THE BOARD OF MISSISSIPPI LEVEE COMMISSIONERS OF THE MIS
SISSIPPI LEVEE DISTRICT, GREENVILLE, Miss., ON H. R. 6833, MODIFYING AND EXTENDING THE FLOOD CONTROL ACT OF MAY 15, 1928
This district, which was organized in 1865, comprises the counties of Bolivar, Washington, Sharkey, Issaquena, and a part of Humphreys, representing a