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I recommend enactment of this bill.
Subsection 0 of section 4 of the act of December 5, 1924, commonly known as the Fact Finders' Act, provides, in effect, that the cost and expenses after June 30, 1925, of the main office at Washington, D. C., of the Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of the Interior and the cost and expense of general investigations authorized by the Secretary of the Interior shall be charged to the reclamation fund but shall not be charged as a part of the construction or operation and maintenance cost payable by the water users under the projects.
The activities of the Bureau of Reclamation have expanded very considerably. In the year 1924, for instance, the Federal investment in reclamation projects amounted to $152,566,385. In 1943, that investment was five times as great. It then amounted to $870,105,474. Annual construction expenditures in 1924 were slightly over eight and a half million dollars. In 1940, they were over ninety millions of dollars.
In 1943, notwithstanding war restrictions on construction, they amounted to more than fifty-three millions of dollars. Increases, since the year 1924, in other aspects affecting reclamation run from 50 to 1 to 94 to 1. These increases have come to the attention of the Congress. In the light of those increased activities the Congress determined that it would be impracticable to attempt administration from Washington of all particulars of the reclamation programs. It enacted, and, on December 19, 1941, the President approved "An act to facilitate and simplify the administration of the Federal reclamation laws and the act of August 11, 1939, as amended” (55 Stat. 842). This enactment authorized appropriate delegations of authority from the Secretary of the Interior to the Commissioner of Reclamation and to others. The Congress intended that, where practicable, decisions should be made in the field. That intention of the Congress has been put into effect by a general reorganization of the Bureau of Reclamation.
This reorganization has included the decentralization of part of the Washington office to various regions. Regional offices have been established at Boise, Idaho; Sacramento, Calif.; Boulder City, Nev.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Amarillo, Tex.; Billings, Mont.; and Denver, Colo. The location of these offices may be changed from time to time and additional regional and subregional offices may be established. Also, a number of the functions of the Washington office are now carried on to a large extent in branches of the Commissioner's Office located in Denver, Colo.
As I have indicated in the preceding paragraph, some of the functions to be carried on in these regional offices, many of the functions now carried on in Denver, and many of the functions now performed in the offices of the various district counsel, are in fact, functions of the Washington office. To the extent that functions of the Washington office are carried on in regional offices, in Denver, and in the offices of the district counsel, these regional offices, the branch offices in Denver, and the offices of district counsel are, in fact, a part of the Washington office of the Commissioner.
I am satisfied that no part of the costs of the necessary administration performed by or for the Washington office of the Commissioner of Reclamation should be reimbursable by the water users under the project. If the present streamlining of the Bureau of Reclamation, whereby many of these Washington office functions are performed in the field, should lead to assessment of the cost of those functions on water users then the result would be both inconsistent with the policy of Congress and inequitable. The bill which you have introduced is designed to obviate such an unjust result. I am satisfied also that the costs of area-wide, State-wide, and basin-wide general investigations authorized by the Secretary, such, for instance, as the investigations in the Missouri River Basin leading up to the report which constitutes Senate Document 191, Seventy-eighth Congress, second session, ought no longer to be wholly reimbursable. The bill which you have introduced is designed, as I construe it, to permit the assessment of the costs of such investigations to nonreimbursable items.
On the other hand, this proposed and thoroughly equitable provision ought not to lead to the nonassessment of charges properly allocable to construction or operation and maintenance of projects, as the case may be. For instance, in the Denver branch offices there is carried on design and other work directly related to the construction of particular projects. These costs should, of course, be assessed as a part of the construction cost of the projects to which they relate. In the other nonproject offices, there are carried on certain functions which are properly described as field functions relating to the construction or the operation and
maintenance of particular projects. The actual costs pertinent to these functions
I am informed by the Director of the Bureau of the Budget that the enactment
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with clause 2a of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, there is herewith printed in parallel columns the text of provisions of existing law which would be amended by the various provisons of this bill:
EXISTING LAW (43 STAT. 704) That the cost and expense after June That the cost and expense after June 30, 1925, of the main office at Washing- 30, 1945, of the office of the Commiston, District of Columbia, of the Bureau sioner in the District of Columbia, and, of Reclamation in the Department of except for such cost and expense as are the Interior, and the cost and expense incurred on behalf of specific projects, of general investigations heretofore and of general investigations and of nonhereafter authorized by the Secretary, project offices outside the District of shall be charged to the general reclama- Columbia, shall be charged to the reclation fund and shall not be charged as a mation fund and shall not be charged part of the construction or operation and as a part of the reimbursable construcmaintenance cost payable by the water tion or operation and maintenance costs users under the projects.
AUTHORIZING AN EXCHANGE OF LANDS BETWEEN THE CITY OF
FEBRUARY 16, 1945.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
state of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. May, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the
[To accompany S. 217)
the bill do pass.
The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (S. 217) to authorize an exchange of lands between the city of Eastport, Maine, and the United States, and the conveyance of a roadway easement to the city of Eastport, Maine, having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that
The purpose of the proposed legislation is to authorize the Secretary of War to exchange certain Government-owned land for lands of the city of Eastport, Maine, and to grant an easement for road purposes to the city of Eastport, Maine, in order to facilitate the establishment of the naval construction training center on Moose Island, Washington County, Maine.
The Navy Department is presently engaged in the establishment of & naval construction training center on Moose Island, Washington County, Maine. The major portion of the land being utilized for this purpose is under the jurisdiction of the War Department, having been originally acquired at the direction of the President, pursuant to the provisions of Public Resolution No. 11, dated April 8, 1935, for use in connection with the Passamaquoddy tidal power project. Permission to use and occupy this land was granted to the Navy Department by formal instrument dated December 30, 1943, executed by direction of the Under Secretary of War.
In order to complete the establishment of the training center, it is necessary that fee simple title be obtained by the United States Government to four tracts of land adjacent to the lands covered by the permit. These parcels are presently owned by the city of Eastport, Maine.
H. Repts., 79–1, vol. 1
It is also necessary for naval purposes that portion of the public road be closed and reestablished at another location. The land to be used for the relocated roadway is now owned in part by the Government and is under the jurisdiction of the War Department. Therefore, in order to consummate the relocation, it is essential that a permanent easement for roadway purposes be conveyed across this Government-owned land to the city of Eastport, the cognizant highway authority. All of the lands involved are described in detail in the bill.
The Civil Aeronautics Authority desires, in the interest of the national defense, to enlarge and improve the existing airport of the city of Eastport, Maine, in order to provide adequate emergency airfield facilities in this locality. The Navy Department is interested in this matter, and it is understood that the War Department regards this airport project as essential. In order to properly develop the airport, the title to three Government-owned tracts should be transferred to the city of Eastport by the War Department.
Preliminary negotiations have recently been undertaken with representatives of the city of Eastport with a view to arranging an exchange of the aforementioned lands which would operate to the benefit of both the United States and the city. The city has indicated its willingness to convey to the United States title to its aforementioned parcels of land in exchange for the conveyance by the Government to the city of three Government-owned tracts. The exchange can be made for a nominal consideration and would result in a saving of money to the Government, as well as effecting the expeditious consummation of the programs of the Civil Aeronautics Authority and the Navy Department in this area. Furthermore, it is understood that the Government-owned tracts involved, because of their distant location, do not enhance the value of the present holdings, whereas the proposed exchange of lands would result in a consolidation of the Government's property.
A careful study of the public resolution authorizing the establishment of the Passamaquoddy tidal power project indicates that the President may direct the disposal of any lands acquired for the project if such disposal would benefit its operation and functions. Since the original project is no longer in operation, it is believed that congressional authority for the proposed exchange and the granting of the road easement is necessary.
In the event that the proposed bill is approved by the Congress, and the exchange is consummated, the Navy Department will utilize the four parcels of land now owned by the city of Eastport under a permit from the War Department.
The bill was introduced at the request of the Navy Department with the approval of the War Department and the Civil Aeronautics Authority and has been cleared by the Bureau of the Budget.
The following letter from the Secretary of the Navy addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives sets forth the views and