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Laredo Bridge System, Laredo, Tex.; Mr. A. M. Gault, manager-secretarytreasurer.
City of Eagle Pass International Toll Bridge, Eagle Pass, Tex.; Mr. Hollis Fitch, chairman of board of trustees; Mr. Ed P. Rodriguez, manager.
Del Rio International Toll Bridge, Del Rio, Tex.; Mr. H. W. (Pete) Monzingo, manager.
MEMBERSHIP LIST AS OF JAM Alii SI, I960
The Rio Grande Gateway Bridge Co., Brownsville, Tex.; Mr. H. W. Hickford,
manager. The B. & P. Bridge Co., Progreso, Tex.; Mr. W. C. Cain, vice president. The Valley Bridge Co., Hidalgo, Tex.; Mr. Otis K. Smith, representative, Mission,
Tex.; Mr. V. F. Neuhaus. Laredo Bridge System, Laredo, Tex.; Mr. A. M. Gault, manager, secretarytreasurer. City of Eagle Pass International Toll Bridge, Eagle Pass, Tex.; Mr. Ed. P.
Rodriguez, manager. Del Rio International Toll Bridge, Del Rio, Tex.; Mr. H. W. (Pete) Monzingo,
manager. El Paso City Lines, El Paso, Tex.; Mr. T. O. Prior, manager, Post Office Box 1889,
El Paso ; Mr. W. A. Williams. Starr County Bridge Co., Roma, Tex.; Mr. Elmer E. Reichert, Post Office Box
1928, McAllen, Tex. Presidio Bridge Co., Presidio, Tex.; Mr. Frank Dupuy, president, El Paso. Valley Bridge Co. of Reynosa, Hidalgo, Tex.; Mr. Otis K. Smith, Mrs. Avelina
G. Herrera. Puente Internacional de Nuevo Progreso, in care of B. & P. Bridge Co.; Mr.
W. C. Cain, vice president. Cia. del Puente de Piedras Negras; Mr. M. S. Olivares, manager, Apartado
No. 24, Piedras Negras, Coahuila; Post Office Box 236, Eagle Pass, Tex.
Mr. Fisher. The next witness is State Senator Dorsey Hardeman. Mr. Selden. Senator Hardeman, we are very happy to have you here, and you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF HON. DORSEY B. HARDEMAN, STATE SENATOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, SAN ANGELO, TEX.
Mr. Hardeman. I am happy to be here.
My name is Dorsey B. Hardeman. I am a lawyer, and my home is in San Angelo, Texas—also the home of your able colleague, Mr. Fisher.
I am a member of the Texas State Senate, representing the 25th senatorial district of Texas, which includes Val Verde County, the recommended site of the proposed Diablo Dam, as it is familiarly known in our area, now officially designated Amistad, meaning, of course, "friendship."
I am indeed grateful for the opportunity afforded to present this statement in behalf of the ultimate construction of the dam, and specifically in support of H.R. 8080 by Mr. Fisher, appropriately referred to your committee. I hope I shall not unduly trespass upon your time in so doing.
I might say it is particularly gratifying to find my good friend, Mr. Burleson, who has rendered, and is continuing to render, such able and distinguished service to his district, State, and country, sitting as a member of this fine committee.
I shall forego any discussion of the technical or engineering features involved, for very obvious reasons and, no doubt, to the general relief of the committee and others concerned.
Historically, the proposed dam is a result of the treaty of February 3, 1944, as has been mentioned, negotiated between the United States and the Republic of Mexico to provide, genrally, for the control and the greater utilization of the waters of the Rio Grande, through the joint construction, operation and maintenance by the United States and Mexico of a series of storage dams between the lower reaches of the stream and Fort Quitman, some several hundred miles upstream, of which one—Falcon—has some years since been completed.
I might interject here, that the southern portion of the senatorial district represented by me is bounded by some 500 miles of the meanderings of the river which emphasizes the interest I have in the matter.
Diablo, or Amistad, Dam is the second proposed in the series, as a result of some 5 or more years of intensive study and exploration by the International Boundary and Water Commission under the able direction of Colonel Hewitt, Chief of the United States Section, and Engineer Herrera Jordan, representing the Mexican Government.
Interest in this project has been stimulated by its international characteristics and aspects and, more recntly, by conferences thereon, as reported in the press, between President Eisenhower and President Lopez Mateos of Mexico, as well as between President Lopez Mateos and the distinguished Majority Leader of the United States Senate, the senior Senator from Texas, Hon. Lyndon B. Johnson, on one or more occasions.
Along with a large number of citizens of the area, several of whom are present here today, thus indicating our interest, I have been closely associated with the entire development of this proposed project. This interest is based on two primary reasons, namely, the control of destructive storm and flood waters and the corresponding economic benefits, such as conservation, hydropower, wildlife, and recreational development, inuring to the area involved on both sides of the river, as well as providing literal compliance with the terms of the treaty of 1944.
Consequently, in conformity with the suggestion or recommendation of the International Boundary and Water Commission, I prepared and introduced in the Senate of Texas, and along with State Senator Kazen of Laredo, also present today, secured the enactment of Senate bill 126 in 1957, by the Legislature of the State of Texas, authorizing and empowering the State Board of Water Engineers of Texas to police the release of the U.S. share of the stored storm and flood waters destined to downstream diverters, legally entitled thereto, and to prohibit the unlawful and unauthorized diversion thereof and prescribing penalties therefor.
This legislation, apparently, met the approval of the various interested agencies and parties, including the International Boundary and Water Commission, His Excellency the Honorable Price Daniel, Governor of Texas, and the Board of Water Engineers of that State, thereby facilitating the progress of the respective features of the project. i
The feasibility of the proposed international storage dam, so ably presented and graphically illustrated by Mr. Friedkin, the principal engineer-supervisor for the U.S. Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission, was unanimously approved by the appropriate authority of the State of Texas, pursuant to the laws thereof, following an extensive public hearing in Austin, Tex., on September 18, 1958, on which occasion the advocates and opponents presented their respective views.
Reverting to the urgency of the enactment of pending legislation and the construction of the dam, it may be suggested that it would be a compliance with the international agreement legally as well as morally. Also, completion would provide immediate relief from potential havoc-wreaking and devastating recurring floods on the some 200,000 square mile watershed, resulting in the saving of human life, which is my primary concern, as well as of domestic livestock, wild game, and property generally, both real and personal.
The terrible toll of human life from past floods, particularly the more recent one of 1954, which wrought such great destruction on the Mexican side, is justification, sufficient to me, for the construction of the dam.
I am not unmindful of the responsibility that is yours to numerous
Ehases of the matter which, necessarily, includes adequate and sound nancing in a project of this magnitude.
Again, only generally, with your further gracious indulgence, and briefly as I may, I submit that the development of hydropower, conservation, and recreational facilities as sources of tangible- benefits, while the regulation and control of rampaging storm and floodwaters, resulting in minimizing, if not completely eliminating the loss of human life and property in the wake thereof, emphasize the potential or intangible benefits, and provide economic justification for the enactment of the pending bill and the early construction of the dam.
The cost-benefit ratio or formula is set forth in the report of the International Boundary and Water Commission, as I understand, which has been filed with the State Department and the Bureau of the Budget and is, of course, available to this committee.
Mr. Chairman, this is a most interesting experience to me and concludes my remarks. I want to thank you and the other gentlemen of the committee for your consideration as well as for the continuing presence and interest of Mr. Kilgore and Mr. Fisher whose untiring efforts in this behalf have been a source of encouragement in this undertaking.
Mr. Selden. Thank you very much, Senator, for your remarks.
Are there any questions?
Mr. Fisher. Mr. Chairman, since I introduced the group a moment ago, Mr. Phil Ricks of Del Rio, a prominent retail furniture dealer down there, and also in a similar business, or his firm is, in Eagle Pass, has come in.
Phil, will you stand up? He is on the dam subcommittee with Mr. Pettit and the others.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes the witnesses.
May I read two brief telegrams and then I will yield to the committee.
Here is a telegram from Gov. Price Daniel addressed to me.
I have long supported Diablo Dam project as an important contribution to water conservation and flood control. As demonstrated by devastating floods in recent years, this project is an absolute necessity for adequate flood protection, on the Rio Grande. When this project was under consideration for approval by the State Board of Water Engineers, I worked with the board to incorporate legal measures to protect the interests of all parties who would benefit from the waters of the Rio Grande. Since it will be impossible for me to testify in person I would appreciate your inclusion of this statement in the record.
I also have a brief telegram, Mr. Chairman, from former Vice President John Garner and other prominent citizens of Uvalde which is nearby. Incidentally, Mr. Garner has been talking to me for years about this project and I don't think it has a more enthusiastic supporter or booster in all of southwest Texas, and I ask that this be made a part of the record.
Mr. Selden. Without objection both telegrams will be made a part of the record at this point.
(The telegram is as follows:)
Hon. O. C. Fisher,
We, the undersigned citizens of Uvalde, Tex., heartily approve construction of Diablo Dam, and urge your support of the authorization bill (H.R. 8080).
Mayor, Uvalde, Tex. John N. Garner, Former Vice President of the United States. Harry Hornby, Publisher, Uvalde Leader News, Jack Woodley,
Uvalde County Judge.
C. Sumner Hunter,
Mr. Fisher. I believe that is all, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Selden. Congressman Kilgore, we would like for you to introduce all representatives from your district who are at the hearing.
Mr. Kilgore. Mr. Chairman, if it meets with the desire of the committee I would like to introduce those who will accompany the witness who is about to testify, and then with the next witness, introduce those from that area who will accompany.
Mr. Selden. That is perfectly agreeable.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOE M. KILGORE, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
Mr. Kilgore. The next witness is Mr. Jeremiah Rhodes of Eagle Pass, who will be presented in a minute.
Along with him from P]agle Pass, is a delegation of some 9 or 10 people.
County Judge R. E. Bibb, of Maverick County.
Mr. Earnest L. Smith, representing the Retail Merchants Association of Eagle Pass.
Mr. W. E. Pingenot, a county commissioner of Maverick County.
Mr. Harold L. Hausman, who is chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Eagle Pass.
Mr. Gerald D. Becker, who is City Attorney.
Mr. R. E. Beard, who is here representing the city water board of the city of Eagle Pass.
Mr. Hollis Fitch, who is here representing the international bridge at Eagle Pass.
Mr. David Hume, who is a very prominent attorney and a member of the board of directors of the Texas Bar Association, here representing the city.
Their spokesman, Mr. Chairman, will be Mr. Jeremiah Rhodes, who will speak for several agencies and who specifically is the attorney for the Maverick County Irrigation District and is also designated as their spokesman by the city and by the county.
Mr. Selden. Congressman Kilgore, we are very pleased to have these representatives from Eagle Pass and we will be very happy to hear from you, Mr. Rhodes.
STATEMENT OF JEREMIAH INGELS RHODES, EAGLE PASS, TEX., ON BEHALE OF THE CITY OF EAGLE PASS, TEX., THE COUNTY OF MAVERICK, TEX., THE MAVERICK COUNTY WATER CONTROL AND IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 1, AND THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE CITY OF EAGLE PASS, TEX.
Mr. Rhodes. By way of introduction, my name is Jeremiah I. Rhodes. I am attorney for the Water District and I am named in this as spokesman because I do not act as attorney for these other organizations.
I have named in the statement that has been handed to you there, the city of Eagle Pass, Tex., which includes, as well as the city itself, the city's international toll bridge, which is city owned, and the city waterworks, which is also city owned and which is represented here by some of these gentlemen that Congressman Kilgore has introduced.
Also, the county of Maverick, the Chamber of Commerce of Eagle Pass, and the Maverick County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1, which incidentally is the only organization diverting and furnishing irrigation waters to anyone in the county.
I gave a considerable amount of thought in coming up here as to just what contribution, if any, I could make to the hearing. Of course I wouldn't be here unless I was either for or against the legislation, and I would like to state here categorically that we are definitely for the legislation and the building of the dam. Of course that position, I suppose, could be equally well covered by a telegram.
I thought if there was any contribution I could make to the committee it would be to describe briefly the country that is involved here, the nature of the problems locally, which are certainly well set out in Colonel Hewitt's report, but from the angle of a professional engineer, rather than just some citizen who happens to be living down there.
Looking at the map of Texas up there, if you start in the easterly portion of the State around Houston and Texarkana, the State has a rather high rainfall belt in that area.
Moving west, the rainfall drops off until you come to El Paso, Tex., which is virtually a desert area.