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bill-only have a desire to see the best legislation possible put over-if it goes in and the chairman will be kind enough to notify me, should you try to incorporate this provision, I should like to be heard then and will not take up further time to-day.

Senator McLEAN. We will be glad to notify you. If you desire to be heard, Mr. White, the committee will be glad to hear you now.



Mr. White. I have prepared a short statement. I did not know how much time I might be given. I think, gentlemen, I can make a consecutive statement of what I have to say in about 10 minutes. This is a very moderate statement, and contains some of my opinions, and they are given as such. I will make my consecutive statement and I want then to occupy a very few minutes in answer to one or two statements made hy my colleague, the House leader, Mr. Mondell.

I will say, first, there is nothing sought to be accomplished by the inclusion of this land-settlement provision as it passed the House or the Smith-MeNary bill, which I have examined very carefully in the limited time I have had at my disposal since the bill came under my notice, which can not in my opinion, be accomplished much more successfully through the provision known as the farm or home-aid provision, Title VII, of the bonus bill as it passed the House; and in my judgment as a business man at approximately one-fifth of the expense to the Government and with incomparably greater advantage to the service man.

I desire to call the attention of this committee to a very brief and fundamentally sound statement in the report of the House committee on this bill found at the bottom of the first page of its report:

“In the ordinary transaction of borrowing, the security is in existence and is put up when the money passes from the lender to the borrower, while under the proposed law the money to be advanced is to create the security for its return.”

Mr. Smith. What bill do you refer to?
Mr. White. I refer to the Smith-McNary bill.

So that it is fair and appropriate to designate this provision the great $350,000,000 governmental adventure into the domain of business experiment.

Who has submitted to this or any other committee of either branch of the Congress a per capita estimate of the cost to the Government, either in the case of this provision or the land-settlement title which passed the House without opportunity for amendment?

I am a farmer and stockman and have been all my life, with occasionally a little side adventure into politics, and I feel competent, in a modest degree, to discuss the practicability of this proposition.

Would you think $62.50 per acre a high estimate to set as the cost of development of land as provided for in the proposed section? That would be exactly $5,000 for the reclamation of an 80-acre unit, or $10,000 for the reclamation of a 160-acre unit. Those are not random figures. They are far below the actual cost of land already placed under irrigation through the Reclamation Service. he question of the election to be made as to what particular one of the many provisions offered in the bonus bill shall be selected by service men is extremely speculative and problematic, to say the least. But if 1,000,000, or 25 per cent, of the service men should elect to choose the provisions of this proposed section, the Government would spend $5,000,000,000 to develop one million 80-acre farm units; or $10,000,000,000 to develop one million 160-acre farm units; that would provide for approximately one-fourth of the service men. Or if they shall choose half-and-half, so that the Government should reclaim 1,000,000 farm units at $7,500 each, the Government would then be involved to the extent of $7,500,000,000. Do you smile at this, gentlemen? Do you know what they will elect to do? Do you pretend to know? I am frank to say I do not know, and I do not pretend to know. But I do know that there is no stronger urge in the human mind than to secure power and wealth, and I do know, and every observant man knows, that every normal boy associates in his thought the possession of wealth, power, and financial independence with the ownership of property. And more than any other class of property, property in land.

It is borne in upon his thoughts by the sight of his eyes and by every environment of his life; and I say to you that this plan here proposed to be inserted in this bill is as dazzling as it is impossible and chimerical.' It is the latest dream, and to the practical business mind, as preposterous as the myth of Midas.

Do not misunderstand me gentlemen; I am for a soldier bonus and I am for it now. I do not believe its payment, if judiciously undertaken, will disturb the financial situation in the country.

I am unqualifiedly in favor of reclamation, and I have consistently supported the legislation proposed in the past three years for its development and extension. The Government has been and continues to be very generous in its provision for its maintenance and extension. It is a wise and beneficent public policy. A revolving fund of approximately one hundred and thirty millions of dollars is now available for its promotion and further development. Much has been accomplished already and under its orderly development there is great promise for the future. It has no warmer friend nor proponent than myself. I am for it solely on the ground that I believe it is a wise national policy to pursue, for not a dollar of all the millions which have been expended and which will be expended in the future has ever been or ever will be expended in the district I have the honor to represent.

But nothwithstanding all that I have said in favor of the reclamation it is yet true that in the severe readjustment of the past two years, which seems to have fallen with greater weight upon agriculture than upon any other industry, that no section of agriculture has felt so keenly the effect of the low prices of agricultural products resulting from this readjustment, as the irrigation farmers themselves. And legislation has been enacted for their temporary relief from the payment of charges for operation and maintenance. This is indeed most regretable; but is at the same time the strongest sort of an argument against the Government's proposed adventure upon this stupendous experiment, which has not. so far as I know, anywhere in the world to-day or at any time in the past a successful precedent for its justification. I am speaking: Mr. Chairman, of the plan proposed; I am not speaking of the irrigation already established and in successful operation.

Would it not be better, I ask you seriously, gentlemen; would it not be wiser and safer for both the service man and the Government to say to the service man through an act of legislation, "Make your own selection, exercise your own judgment in the locality where you may desire to make your investment, where you are familiar with the conditions, where you may have the advice of your father and mother, your friends who are interested in your welfare, of your banker, whom you may subsequently look to for financial assistance, and also where there are established markets, transportation facilities, educational institutions, and all the concomitants of civilization?"

Mr. MONDELL. Will you allow me a question?
Mr. White. I shall be very glad to.
Mr. MONDELL. Would that plan cost less money than the other plan?

Mr. White. Much less, as stated. I shall be very glad to elaborate, when I finish my statement.

These, gentlemen, I claim, are the important considerations which must be weighed if the service man himself is to succeed and if the government is to be made safe in its investment. Do not for his own sake send him to an untraversed desert to be ranked up in communities, for I say to you this is a bitter prank to play upon the brave service man to whom this Government is now proposing to do justice. The result of this provision can not be good, but will finally discredit its authors and bitterly disappoint its designated beneficiaries.

Mr. MONDELL. Will you allow me just one other question?
Mr. White. I should be very glad to.

Mr. MONDELL. I did not quite understand whether your criticism applied equally to either plan or to both; that is, the plan contained in the House bill, or to the SmithMc Vary bill which you referred to.

Mr. White. If I understand my colleague, the gentleman from Wyoming, it makes little difference, as far as I am concerned, and the application is made for the reason that my colleague stated, if I understand him correctly, that he had no personal pride, that he was not so strongly and especially in favor of the land-settlement bill or of any especial bill, except that he was in favor of a policy of reclamation. So that I am willing that the committee shall understand my statement as applying to both propositions: That contained in the House bill as it passed the House, or the Smith-MeNary bill as it is now introduced and is before the House.

Mr. (hairman, I want to call the attention of the subcommittee to this fact: The bonus bill as it passed the House was not considered under the 5-minute rule. I want to state this opinion as a Member of the House, that the membership of the House did not support the bonus bill because the reclamation feature was written into it, but they supported it with the reclamation feature in it because there was no opportunity under the rule to get it out.

I want to call this committee's attention to another fact in the history of this legiglation, which I think, in view of the statement of my colleague, should not be overlooked, that in the consideration of this bill before the Public Lands Committee,

occupying a period, as I remember, of something like six weeks of almost consecutive hearings, the sentiment was not unanimous for the original reclamation or soldiers' settlement bill under consideration-I forget the number-known as the Lane-Mondell bill; and that instead of there being a unanimous report there was a majority report and a minority view was signed by four members of the committee; and while I am not anxious especially that that should appear in the record, if it is the purpose to print the majority report, and I may be allowed the courtesy, Mr. Chairman, I should like to see the minority report printed, or excerpts therefrom, which I shall be very glad to furnish the committee.

As a matter of membership in the House and of personal opinion, I do not believe, Mr. Chairman, nor have I ever believed for one moment that the original Lane-Mondell bill providing, as I remember, for a $500.000.000 authorization-I am referring now to the bill to which Mr Mondell referred-ever stood a ghost of a show of passing the House under the five-minute rule, or of passing the House as an independent measure; nor do I believe, Mr. Chairman, that the land settlement feature of the bonus bill ever stood a ghost of a show of passing the House could there have been an opportunity to have amended by striking it out.

Mr. MONDELL. What do you think about the Smith-McNary bill; do you think that would pass the House?

Mr. WHITE. I do not, sir. I do not hesitate to answer in the negative; I do not think it would come within, metaphorically speaking, a thousand miles of passing the House.

Mr. Smith. Upon what do you base your conclusion, Mr. White? It has not yet been considered by the House.

Mr. WHITE. I do not care to make an excursion in to the discussion of that bill, technically; I feel I am prepared in a modest way to do it, but I do not think it is pertinent at this time. I was asked my opinion: It is based upon what I believe to be a fairly intimate knowledge of the sentiment of the House.

Mr. Chairman, I desire to call your subcommittee's attention to another statement of my colleague, that this reclamation bill includes others than the soldier. But. Mr. Chairman, it should not. In the condition of our finances I think there could be nothing more ill-advised than to go into this auxiliary proposition of reclamation involving an initial expense of $350,000,000, providing as it does, if the units as designated in the bill should be set at 160 for 125,000 only of the more than 4,000,000 service men in the United States to be benefitted thereby, and it is the only provision of the bonus bill, Mr. Chairman, that would let in anybody else except the soldier.

Mr. MONDELL. One of the criticisms that have been made of the soldier settlement provision in the bonus bill, Mr. White, by some who favored other plans of reclamation, is that that provision is too wholly and exclusively a soldier provision. Of course it is, and practically without exception its benefits would go to the ex-service men; there are very few cases where it would not.

Mr. White. Mr. Chairman, let me say, as a partial answer to the gentleman-
Mr. MONDELL. (interposing). I am speaking now of the provisions in the bonus bill.

Mr. White. Let me see, Mr. Chairman: It is not incumbent on the Republican Party in order to fulfill its pledge in the national platform or the Democratic Party, so far as I know, to approve and enact this legislation. Why, Mr. Chairman, it would require the greatest stretch of imagination to believe for a moment that those republicans over at Chicago, swelting in that awful heat, or those Democrats away out there in San Francisco imbibing that fine atmosphere laden with the sea breezes, ever thought of anything as chimerical, as impossible, as the provisions of the Smith-McNary bill or the land settlement bill as it passed the House.

Nr. Chairman, it was well said by my colleague, the gentleman from Wyoming, that the day of the free land, of the public land, when you could turn over the sod and develop a farm, is past. It has been reiterated many times in reports from year to year in the last 15 years, that the public domain is gone.

It is a fact, gentlemen, that there are 100,000,000 acres of land lying out there, and it has lain there since the morning stars sang together, and no man has occupied it. I do not know what God made it for. It is a habitation for bats and owls, and I do not know whether it is worth a dollar a cubic mile, much of it. The Kinkeaders have been before Congress, to which I call your attention, asking for extension, and they have been granted graciously in every instance, and I voted for them gladly and will do so again. But when the Republican platform and the Democratic platform declared for the doctrine of reclamation, undoubtedly, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of this committee, they were thinking of that policy of reclamation which has been gradually developed through all the years, and through the generosity of this Government has assigned to its fund the proceeds from the sale of public lands, of the royalties upon oil, and all that; and very properly so.

Mr. Chairman, a closing word: I have occupied too much time of the committee; I did not expect to speak except to make my consecutive statement. But this is an excursion of this Government into the domain of the private individual, into what is his proper sphere and function; and I ask you, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of this subcommittee, has there anything come to your notice within the past five years that has led you to believe that this Government can do anything that the private citizen can do, as cheaply and efficiently and as successfully as private enterprise can do it?

Mr. Chairman, insert this provision into this bill and you will have your projects that the gentleman talks about and says there are opportunities to organize them in almost every State of the Union, and you will have them improved with labor at Federation of Labor prices, the most expensive labor; and Government labor; and you will have men to supervise the development of these projects at enormous expense and you can not tell where this stupendous, this irridescent dream will end. It marks the beginning, so far as I can see it, from the viewpoint of a businessman, of the most chimerical, impossible, impractical, expensive scheme which has ever been proposed to the American Congress.

I thank the committee.
Senator CURTIS (presiding). Mr. Smith, do you want to be heard?
Mr. Smith. I do not care to be heard just now,
Senator Curtis. Mr. Sinnot, do you wish to be heard?
Mr. Sinnot. No; thank you.
(Thereupon, at 4.45 o'clock p. m. the subcommittee stood adjourned.)


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