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ization and they are in accord with the views expressed by Mr. Sheppard and others who have testified.
I also have another good friend of long standing from my old native hometown of Junction, Tex., the manager of the Kimble County Electric Cooperative, Chester Kirk. He is here by authority of the directors of his organization, representing the users in that area.
And may I also, Mr. Chairman, offer for the record a letter which I have from Mr. Carroll Land, manager of the Concho Valley Electric Cooperative in San Angelo, Tex., in which he expresses his interest in the flood control features of the project and its contribution to the development of southwest Texas, and also he is in accord with the views expressed by Mr. Sheppard in his testimony.
Mr. Selden. Without objection that letter will be made a part of the record.
(The document referred to is as follows:)
Febbuaby 5,1960. Hon. O. O. Fisheb, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
Deab Sib: Because we are vitally interested in the development of this area and its natural resources and its potential industrial and economic growth, we have been working closely with our Texas Electric Cooperative research and engineering committees on the Diablo Dam project .
We know you share our feeling about the future of our area and we appreciate your present and past support of all such worthwhile projects.
We hope you will endorse our thinking that an electric generating plant at the Diablo Dam site is another feasible project. Sincerely,
Carroll Land, Manager.
Mr. Burleson. Since Mr. Fisher is introducing his constituents, I have one I would like to present, Mr. John Amnions from west Texas. Mr. Ammons is manager of BEA at Roby, Tex. He is here to show his interest in this matter which I know is appreciated.
Mr. Selden. Are there any other representatives of electric co-ops here today? Will you identify yourself, please?
Mr. Wagner. C. M. Wagner, manager of the Neuces Electric Cooperative. I understand John Young, my Congressman, is not here, but he is also interested.
Mr. Selden. He is a very able Member of the Congress, and he is well represented by you here today.
If there are no further questions, the committee stands adjourned until 10:30 tomorrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 3 p.m. the committee was adjourned, to reconvene at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, February 10,1960.)
AMISTAD DAM AND RESERVOIR
Wednesday, February 10, 1960
House Of Representatives,
Washington, D.O. The subcommittee met pursuant to adjournment in room G-3, U.S. Capitol, at 10:40 a.m.? Hon. Armistead I. Selden, Jr. (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Also present were Hon. O. C. Fisher, a Representative in Congress from the State of Texas, and Hon. Joe M. Kilgore, a Representative in Congress from the State of Texas.
Mr. Selden. The subcommittee will come to order, please. We have with us today a number of witnesses from the executive branch. There are present representatives from the Federal Power Commission, the Department of State, the Bureau of the Budget and the Department of the Interior.
This morning I am going to call first Mr. Melville Osborne, who is the officer in charge of Mexican Affairs at the Department of State. Will you come up, Mr. Osborne, and have a seat here?
STATEMENT OF MELVILLE E. OSBORNE, OFFICER IN CHARGE OF MEXICAN AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Mr. Osborne. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, in the treaty of 1944 the Government of the United States and Mexico agreed, with respect to the Rio Grande—
to construct jointly, through their respective Sections of the [International Boundary and Water] Commission * * * The dams required for the conservation, storage, and regulation of the greatest quantity of the annual flow of the river in a way to ensure the continuance of existing uses and the development of the greatest number of feasible projects, within the limits imposed by the water allotments specified—
in the treaty. The treaty contemplated at least three major dams. One of these was to be located below Laredo, Tex., and was to be completed within 8 years from the effective date of the treaty. That was Falcon Dam, which President Eisenhower and President Ruiz Cortines, of Mexico, dedicated on October 19, 1953. A second was to be located between Laredo and Eagle Pass. The third was to be located on the Rio Grande above the mouth of the Pecos River. The International Boundary and Water Commission has found, however, that the most favorable site for a second major storage dam is below the mouth of the Pecos. The detailed studies of the Commission are outlined in the feasibility report of the U.S. Section of the Com
mission, which the Department transmitted to the Congress on June 17, 1959, and which constitutes the major part of Senate Document No. 65 of the present Congress.
It was agreed when President Lopez Mateos, of Mexico, visited Washington in October 1959 to call this second international structure Amistad Dam, "amistad" meaning friendship.
I have spoken of the precise location of the dam because this explains why authorizing legislation is required. The Senate understandings, which are in effect a part of the treaty of 1944, limit the authorizing effect of the treaty, so far as the major storage and flood control dams on the Rio Grande are concerned, to the three sites first mentioned, and require the prior approval of the Congress for construction of a major storage dam in any other site. Amistad Dam would be located at another site, and hence the prior approval of the Congress is necessary. The proposed legislation represents that prior approval. Thus, the Governments, the two Governments intended in the treaty of 1944 to authorize the construction of this dam, and but for this requirement regarding precise location, the treaty would have done so. Once the prior approval of the Congress is expressed, the dam can be constructed under the treaty as though it were expressly authorized by the treaty like Falcon Dam.
The need for Amistad Dam is urgent. It is needed to protect lives and safeguard property in the United States and to conserve the optimum feasible quantities of the waters of the Rio Grande for the United States and Mexico. This was vividly demonstrated in the flood of September 1958. At that time it became necessary to make releases at Falcon Dam far exceeding the capacity of the downstream channel of the river. The total value of flood damages in the United States and of losses of waters to this country in 1958, both of which the Amistad project would have prevented, amounted to approximately $47,600,000, a figure almost equal to the U.S. share of the total cost of the Amistad project.
The dam is urgently needed also to fulfill our obligations to Mexico. The treaty of 1944 obligates the United States to join with Mexico in the construction of the dam. Although the treaty does not speak of timing, the circumstances of recent floods create a sense of urgent obligation. In the flood of 1954 untold numbers of Mexican citizens lost their lives, and greater numbers lost their homes. In the 1958 floods Mexican citizens, like their American neighbors, experienced extensive property damages. The United States ought not to be in the position, in the event of another disastrous flood that will surely come, of having delayed a project that might save many Mexican as well as American lives and homes.
With these considerations in mind, the Presidents of the United States and Mexico met in Acapulco, Mexico, on February 20, 1959. "Convinced," as they announced—
that it would benefit both countries further to harness the waters of the river which is their common boundary the two Presidents were in agreement as to the desirability of constructing the [so-called] Diablo Dam on the Rio Grande at a site'which has been agreed upon by the International Boundary and Water Commission and they hope to conclude an agreement for the construction of the dam as rapidly as possible.
The conclusion of this agreement awaits the enactment of such a bill as that the committee is now considering. The President accordingly urged the Congress, in his budget message on January 18, 1960, to enact such legislation promptly.
In order that each Government, and in the case of the United States particularly the Congress and its committees, might have some firm concept of what the other Government was prepared to accept in the way of a joint endeavor, the Commission concluded minute No. 207. By this minute, the Commission agreed that the second major international storage dam, if built, should be built at the location and have the general characteristics described in the minute. The committee can, therefore, by reference to this minute, observe that the Government of Mexico would probably be willing to conclude an agreement to participate in a joint international project of the nature envisaged and described in the feasibility report of the U.S. Section of the Commission.
The Department of State submitted this feasibility report to all interested agencies of the Federal Government, as well as to the Governor of Texas. Their comments, copies of which have been furnished the Congress and are printed in Senate Document No. 65, were all favorable to the project.
The Bureau of the Budget recommended that legislation to authorize the dam require appropriate repayment by local interests of irrigation and water supply costs if the project is operated for these purposes. This is a matter for the determination of the Congress, a matter in which the Department of State is not directly concerned. It is noted, however, that the Congress did not impose such a requirement in the case of Falcon Dam. The Department hopes if such a requirement is considered, the Congress will find a way to accomplish its purpose without delaying construction of the dam.
The Department of State recommends enactment of H.R. 8080 with those modifications that have been suggested to the committee. The Department's letter of September 11,1959,1 mentioned these modifications and explained the reasons for them. U.S. Commissioner Hewitt, who is present, is best qualified to testify in detail concerning them. I will discuss at this time only one of the modifications recommended by the Department. H.R. 80*80 would require that the dam be operated so that the amount of water now available for use by existing lawful users of the United States below Falcon Dam shall not be impaired or diminished. The Department has no quarrel with the objective of this provision.
Inasmuch, however, as the U.S. Commissioner will supervise operation of the dam for the United States, the bill implies that he must control releases in such a manner that the objective will be accomplished. The bill so interpreted would be inconsistent with the practice of the Commissioner and the position of the Department, adopted in conformity with understanding (c) of the treaty of 1944, that he not directly or indirectly alter or control the distribution of water in the United States. The Department believes that the U.S. Commissioner should be restricted to international functions to the extent practical, and that he should not be made responsible expressly or by implication for control of the distribution of U.S. waters in Texas. The U.S. Commissioner concurs in this position. The Department has accordingly recommended a substitute for the first sentence of section 3 which will achieve the objective, it is believed, and at the same time avoid imposing a strictly domestic function upon the U.S. Commissioner. The proposed substitution does so by placing the responsibility for this control on the State of Texas, which presently controls the distribution of the U.S. share of the waters of the Rio Grande below Fort Quitman, Tex.
a See app. IV• p. 269. ''
I also want to take advantage of this statement to make a slight modification in the substitute language proposed by the Department for insertion in section 3. It has been noted that the language as proposed by the Department would leave no leeway for the U.S. Commissioner in responding to requests for water from the State of Texas. There might be occasions when the U.S. Commissioner as a practical matter would be unable to comply. To correct this fault, the Department recommends that after the words in part (a) of the substitute "shall be made," the words "pursuant to order by" be deleted, and the following words inserted: "whenever practicable, consistent with the requisitions of." This alteration does not change the intent of the amendment as originally presented, but is merely perfecting language.
It would seem desirable too, for the purpose of perfecting the language of section 2 of the bill, to replace the phrase "in accordance with" in the first paragraph with the phrase "consistent with." An agreement with Mexico providing for the independent development of power by each country might be reached which would be consistent with article 7 of the treaty of 1944, but which might be regarded as not altogether in accordance with it. Those who drafted the article seem to have contemplated joint international development of power, if the International Commission should so recommend. This modification, it is believed, would render the bill entirely consistent within itself, as well as remove any possibility of misunderstanding of the intent of the Congress.
The Bureau of the Budget requested the Department to bring other suggestions for modification to the committee's attention. The Department complied by furnishing the committee a copy of the Bureau of the Budget's letter to the Department of September 2, 1959.2
Permit me to close with the observation that it is somewhat unusual for the Department of State, as for this committee, I believe, to be involved in the construction of dams. The occasion arises, of course, from the international character of the project. The Department would not want the committee to conclude that the Department of State is entering into the construction business. The Department of State merely exercises foreign policy supervision over the U.S. section of the Commission, which is an integral part of the international body. The Commission, consisting of two very able engineers representing the United States and Mexico and having many capable technical advisers, will in accordance with the treaty of 1944 supervise construction of the dam. This arrangement was originally an experiment in international organization designed to satisfy a peculiar need in our relations with Mexico. So outstanding has been its success, particularly in the construction of Falcon Dam, that it can no longer
'See app. IV, p. 271.