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community is doing pioneering work each encourages the other and no one is better circumstanced than another; all have a common interest in the development of the area and of the community as a whole.

The projects of development in order to be successful should include an area or acreage sufficient for a considerable community, a community which might gather around a center already established, or established a new center, a community large enough to enable those who participating in the development to have the benefit of cooperative effort so far as they might desire to engage in such effort.

In the arid West we have such communities under the Reclamation Service, and they have been in the main very successful. The same sort of communities could be developed anywhere in the Union. There is not a State in the Union outside of. possibly, two or three peculiarly fortunate States like Kansas, Illinois, and Iowa, where there are not very considerable areas producing little or nothing, which could, through cooperative effort, be transformed into thriving communities and the lands made fertile and productive.

If the committee had time, I could refer to localities of that sort within 100 to 150 miles of the capital. I visited several of them within 100 to 150 miles of this city last summer and the summer before, where, for one reason or another, areas have either never been well developed, or for reasons that were rather obscure and a little difficult to figure out, they have been partially abandoned, and where very prosperous and splendid communities could be built up.

It was the purpose of this soldier settlement bill to do a constructive thing for the country and for the soldier. The bill in question was reported by the Committee on the Public Lands of the House of Representatves on August 1, 1919, and remained on the calendar of the House during the remainder of that Congress. I was very anxious to have it brought up, but at that time the argument was made that we might want to do other things for the soldier and that this might be made a part of the general plan on behalf of the soldier and that, therefore, it would not be wise to consider the matter as a separate proposition.

The report on the soldier settlement bill was made by Mr. Sinnott, of Oregon. That report goes into the matter so intelligently, outlines the situation to be met, the conditions to be overcome so clearly, the benetits which it is hoped would accrue so convincingly, that I shall ask permission to place a portion of that report in the record. I shall not take the time of the committee to read it at this time. (The extracts from the report referred to are here printed as follows:)


The committee has given the most patient and thorough consideration to the matter of framing a comprehensive constructive program in the interest of our returning soldiers.

Broadly, the problem is how to absorb them into our national life on terms that shall be satisfactory to them and profitable to the Nation. Specifically, the problem as presented in all of the bills referred to the committee is how to furnish them with immediate employment and to open the way to self-sustaining homes on the land, and how to furnish them with the necessary capital.

There are two considerations to be borne in mind in dealing with the question. The first is the welfare of the soldier himself. It is incumbent upon Congress to see that no man who offered his life to protect the Nation in time of war shall come to want in time of peace. Every soldier who needs employment upon being discharged from the Army should have employment; and, so far as possible, employment at some congenial task. Moreover, it will be desirable in many instances to provide the soldier with a permanent occupation, and this should be of such a nature as to lead in the direction of genuine economic independence. The second consideration to be observed is, of course, the welfare of the Nation.

The American stock is of the colonizing breed. Not only the descendants of our earliest settlers but even our latest immigrants belong to the element which does not rest content with existing conditions, but constantly seeks to better them by reaching out to new opportunities in new lands. Our great patrimony of free public lands has been the safety valve of the Republic in the past. Lord Macaulay predicted that when this was gone—“then will come the real test of your institutions." If there was any measure of truth in the prediction, the present moment carries a challenge to the genius of American statesmanship, for the free public lands suitable for agriculture without irrigation are practically gone. Nevertheless, if the past is any guide for the present and the future, this is a challenge which must be accepted in order that the Nation shall remain sound and wholesome, and that man's conquest over the resources of nature shall go on in this and in coming generations.

In this connection it is worth while to recall how the veterans of the Revolution made their way through the almost trackless forests of the Alleghenies and planted the seeds of the great civilization we now behold both north and south of the Ohio River. It is well to recall how the veterans of the Civil War completed the occupation and development of the great region watered by the Mississippi and its tributaries, carrying their homes and farms to the extreme limit of the district where crops are assured by natural rainfall, and to the very threshold of the arid region.

There is another lesson which it is very important for us to learn from the past. The number of veterans who actually availed themselves of land opportunities at the close of former wars was small as compared with the total number engaged. Even so, the invitation to go on with the development of natural resources was effective not only in meeting the needs of the discharged soldier, but in steadying the whole fabric of industry and society at the most critical periods in our history.

As has already been said, the problem of how best to provide for the welfare of the returning soldier is not our problem alone, but equally that of all other countries. It is interesting to observe that the other great English-speaking countries-England, Canada, and Australia--are turning to the land as a means of meeting the need of the hour. England has a density of population equal to that of any American State. Its last acre of free public land disappeared centuries ago. And yet England is finding room upon her crowded soil to make more homes and farms for her soldier boys, and she is backing them in the new adventure with her money and credit. ('anada and Australia have adopted most generous policies in this regard, as fully set forth in the report of the Secretary of the Interior on II. R. 487.

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In view of the foregoing considerations, the committee has decided that it is unquestionably the duty of Congress to enact legislation with the least possible delay which shall make provision for the welfare of returning soldiers, sailors, and marines; and that such legislation should be based on these principles:

First. The continuation of our historic policy of opening the way to work and homes on the land for the veterans of our wars.

Second. In the absence of any considerable area of public land suitable to the purpose, the acquisition of lands now in private ownership followed by such improvement as may be necessary, either by clearing, fertilizing, draining, or irrigating, in order to render them fit for the best forms of agriculture.

Third. The employment of soldiers wherever practicable in all departments of the work to be done on the basis of current wages to the end (a) that opportunities for remunerative work may be supplied to those who need or desire it, and (b) that the soldiers may have opportunity to accumulate the amount of money that will be required as first payment upon property subsequently allotted to them.

Fourth. The advance of limited sums of money to be used by the settlers in the construction of permanent improvements, such as houses, barns, and fences, and of other limited sums for the purchase of necessary live stock and equipment, always with a reasonable margin of security for the Government.

Fifth. The subdivision of lands into lots, farm-workers' tracts and farms and the disposal of such property upon such terms as shall, in a period of not more than 40 years, reimburse the Government for its entire outlay, with interest at 4 per cent per annum.

Sixth. The provision of reasonable safeguards against speculation in farm allotments, to the end that permanent homes shall be made in good faith.

Seventh. The colonization of soldier settlers in groups of sufficient size to enable them to take advantage of every opportunity for economy and efficiency in the purchase of supplies and sale of products and for organized social life: also to permit them to receive the full benefit of community-created values.

Eighth. The absolute solvency of the entire enterprise, alike from the standpoint of the Government and the soldier settler, and the authorization of a total expenditure of not more than $500,000,000, but with actual appropriations made from time to time as particular projects shall be submitted to Congress by the Secretary of the Interior.


The present bill has been perfected after consultation with many elements of citi. zenship, representing many different parts of the United States. Soldiers, statesmen, sociologists, men of large affairs, practical farmers, gardeners, live-stock men, expé rienced adıninistrators of the immensely successful Mormon colonization work in Utah-all have been consulted in the hope of evolving a measure that should be founded on sound economic principles, yet made sutficiently elastic to fit the widely varying conditions which must be dealt with in different parts of the country.

The original idea was to develop projects in every State where feasible opportunities were found, and the latest reports are to the effect that such projects will be found in every State. The ideal project would be one which should offer a sufficient area to make possible complete community development and thus to aiford the cooperation, assistance, encouragement, and stimulus to be found in a well-organized community: The bill, however, fixes no minimum unit either for the farm or the project. It will be entirely feasible, under the wide discretion granted to the Secretary of the Interior, acting in cooperation with State authorities, to develop a small number of contiguous farms. In this connection it is well worth while to quote the testimony of Arthur P. Davis, the Director of the United States Reclamation Service:

**We know of an attractive tract in Pennsylvania, and quite a number in the State of New York: In Greene ('ounty, N. Y., there is a tract that I had better describe as being typical of others that can probably be found in other parts of the Vortheast, where the settlement is supposed to be rather dense.

"Not far from Albany, in the Hudson Valley, is an area of eighteen to twenty thousand acres, already in farms and with farm buildings. The farms are usually from 154 to 400 acres, and most of them are under cultivation, but the majority are farmed by tenants. The great majority of the farms in the group I speak of are listed for sale, and I should say that the majority of the farms that are offered for sale could, at the time I looked, last December, be purchased at less than the present value of the improvements.”

Serretary Lane has also directed attention to opportunities in the northeastern States, as follows:

“We have the land; we have it in every part of this country, in the North as well as in the South. One of the richest parts of the United States is Aroostook County, Me. Maine has been deserted in part in her farming regions because the boys have had a lust for the western country that I love, and I can not blame them for that; but they have left good farms there. In Massachusetts it may surprise you to know', perhaps, that we have one little section of country around Cape Cod where there is some of the richest land in the United States, and it has been proved so in the last two or three years; and in the body of the State they have very considerable quantities of land that needs to be cared for a little bit-put-over land that has been deserted, that needs to be brought into shape-that will make good farm land. The same thing is true in New York."

It should be said that it is not proposed, as some critics have averred, to divert men from their own States and ask them to settle in “district swamps and deserts.'' The idea is to find opportunities of emplovment and homemaking in their own States and, so far as practicable, in their own districts, unless they prefer to go elsewhere. Since there will be an average fund of something more than $10,000,000 available for each State, it will be entirely possible to have many small projects in a given State, provided favorable opportunities are found. It will be possible also to create industrial settlements near centers of population where groups of soldiers engaged as wage earners may desire to make homes on very small farms and perpetuate the beneficient scheme of war gardens. In a word, the soldier-settlement fund is designed to assist soldiers in getting homes under the best conditions, as these shall develop in practical administration.

Attention should be called to the safeguards which will surround the expenditure of the large appropriation authorized in this bill. The first actual appropriation asked for will be very small, only sufficient to enable the Secretary of the Interior to negotiate with various State commissions and enter into preliminary contracts for the acquisition of the needed lands. Each particular project and contract will then be submitted to the Committee on Appropriations and, if approved, presented for the action of Congress. Under this system the danger of serious blunders in the selection of projects would be very small indeed. Four different agencies will be brought into action before a dollar is expended in actual development, viz: First, the Secretary of the Interior, with his well-equipped organization for investigation, acting in cooperation with the farm loan board of the district; second, the governors and their State commissions, who will doubtless cooperate with important civic bodies in their various States; third, the Committee on Ippropriations, which must consider and pass upon each contract and project; fourth, both Houses of Congress, who must actually vote the appropriation before the money can be expended.

The project having been developed to a point where the lands, by restoration, clearing, drainage, or irrigation, or a combination of these, were in fit condition for utilization for farming, the area would be divided into farms of suitable size to support a family, and the price fixed on the farms, which in the aggregate will pay the cost of the project, the price of each farm to represent, as near as it is possible, its value compared with the total cost and the value of the other farms.

The soldier who has worked upon the project will be given the preference in the selection of farms, and a payment of 5 per cent of the value fixed is to be paid at the time the farm is allotted. Assuming the average value of $5,000 or $6,000 per farm, this would require an initial payment of $250 to $300, a sum which the soldier could save in anticipation of the projects during the period of the development of the project, which would be from one to three years.

After the farms have been allotted, assistance is to be given the soldier in the making of his improvements, the maximum loan provided for this purpose being $1,500, and not in excess of three-fourths of the cost or value of improvements. The soldier's contribution to improvements could, and undoubtedly in the majority of cases would, be in the form of labor. During or in connection with the making of his improvements the soldier could by his personal efforts and work easily contribute his 25 per cent of the total cost.

Provision is also made for loans to the soldier settler for the purchase of necessary live stock and equipment, the maximum of such loans being $1,200, or 75 per cent of the total cost of necessary live stock and 60 per cent of the cost of equipment. Here again the soldier's obligations under this class of loan could if necessary be met by his in lividual efforts. In fact, while it is assumed that in many cases the soldier would have some savings which he could utilize in getting a start, it is believed that a man starting at the beginning of one of these projects without any capital could, through industry and frugality, earn and save enough to meet his initial and other payments as they become due.


The late President Theodore Roosevelt advocated the soldier settlement policy. as proposed by Secretary Lane, in the last article which he wrote for the press. President Wilson has urged it upon Congress in two messages. The governors of 27 States have appointed commissions to cooperate with the Secretary of the Interior, and all of these commissions have expressed their earnest interest in legislation of this character.

One of the strongest indorsements of the bill in its present shape has come from the officers of the Eastern States Agricultural Industrial Exposition, which has its headquarters at Springfield, Mass., but represents 10 Northeastern States—the six States of New England and New York. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. This organization represents some of the strongest business interests in the country, who have inaugurated great plans looking to the systematic renewal and restoration of a prosperous agriculture throughout the northeastern part of the United States. They have discovered the very intimate relationship between industrial and agricultural prosperity and find that the existing condition under which, in the State of Massachusetts, for example, 92.8 of their entire population lives in cities, a very serious menace to their weliare. They are seeking, through the instrumentality of a permanent exposition at Springfield, to demonstrate that farming can be made a paying business and that it is possible to create more attractive conditions of rural life. These gentlemen have discovered that their work exactly parallels the policy embodied in the soldier settlement plan and have come to believe that the soldier will do as great a work for his country at home as he did abroad, while at the same time achieving an independence for himself. Hence they are urging the support of the measure by all the members from their 10 States.


The most vital question that can be asked in regard to this policy is this: Does the soldier want it? The answer is: He does. The American Legion has officially indorsed the bill after a careful consideration of its provisions. Up to the present writing 112,088 soldiers have made formal application for opportunities of employment and home getting under the terms of this bill. The number, which is increasing every day, ranges all the way from 6,752 in Illinois to 80 in Delaware.

The most impressive evidence in respect to the soldiers is contained in letters from commanding officers with the American Expeditionary Forces in Germany. Maj. Gen. Mark L. Hersey, for example, in command of the Fourth Division, American Expeditionary Forces, was requested, among others, by Secretary Lane, to ascertain ' the feeling of his men. He states that he went into the matter with a view to deter

mining in actual figures the number of men in this division that would not only be interested in farming, but interested with sufficient definiteness to take up the work should the plan be put into effect.” He reports in detail upon each regiment, the net result being as follows:

**Present strength, officers and enlisted men, 23,363.
“Number interested in soldier settlement plan, 4,595.”
General Hersey expresses his own opinion as follows:

"The men who are returning to America from the European battle fields have given to their country the best they have. They have paid their debt to America; not in full, perhaps, but in full up to the present time. It is up to the United States to take care of them; to exercise over them a proper degree of paternalism; to make them feel that what they have given up in order to come to the war will be made good by the Government. These men are coming with a higher respect for American institutions and for constituted authority than they ever had before. They are thoroughly good citizens who need only the ties that bind them to the land, that give them a sense of proprietorship in the soil, that impel each man to establish his own home and to rear his own family. All these your proposed plan should furnish. I am heartily in favor of it. I hope you may push it to a successful conclusion. Several of the division staff officers have received letters similar to the one that was sent to me. I might say that this letter voices their sentiments as well as my own.”

Mr. MONDELL. Some time after this soldier settlement bill was reported in the Sixtysixth Congress there was a very insistent demand in the House of Representatives for the passage of an adjusted compensation art, and a great many bills were introduced I think as many as 60 --proposing bonuses or compensation for the soldiers of the World War in one way or another. Finally, in order to secure action, these bills were referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House called on the legislative committee of the American Legion for such suggestions as it cared to make touching the proposition of soldiers' bonus or adjusted compensation. After a number of meetings between the representatives of the legion and members of the Ways and Means (ommittee, the legion presented to the Ways and Means Committee their recommendations in the form of a bill which they referred to as the “fourfold plan.”

The first feature of the bill thus presented by the American Legion to the Congress was the soldier settlement plan to which I have just referred. You understand that this was a proposal made by the legislative committee of the legion after a meeting of the legion. at which this committee was appointed and at which meeting the general view of the legion with regard to adjusted compensation was expressed. Not only was this soldier settlement plan a part of the fourfold plan of the American Legion, but it was the first feature of the fourfold plan; in other words, it was the first proposition ever presented officially to the Congress by an organized body of soldiers of the World War asking for legislation in their behali.

After the presentation of this fourfold plan many legion ex-soldiers were heard, and among them members of the lezislative committee of the legion, representatives of other organizations of veterans, and ex-soldiers appearing as individuals. Everyone oỉ those so appearing asked to have a soldier settlement plan made a part of the aid and assistance which it was proposed to render to the soldiers. In addition to that, representatives of the American Federation of Labor and representatives of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States appeared before the committee urging the reclamation plan. At that first hearing there was more urging of the reclamation plan than of any one oi the features of the fouriold plan save the cash bonus. In addition to that many who were opposed to the cash bonus and, in fact, to several of the other ieatures of the bonus bill, iavored this development feature.

Naturally, there was no question about the measure being made a part of the bonus bill, and the bill was reported to and passed the House by a large majority, carrying as one of its features the soldier settlement plan as it had been reported by the committee on the Public Lands, with some modifications which did not materially affect its scope, plan, or purpose:

That bill was not considered in the Senate. Early in the present Congress the Committee on Ways and Means took up the question of adjusted compensation or bonus. Most of you gentlemen are familiar with the difficulties tha were encountered in arriving at a satisfactory agreement or compromise touching that legislation. Conditions in the country had changed quite materially between the passage of the original bonus bill in the Sixty-sixth Congress and the agitation of the bonus measure in the Sixty-seventh Congress. People were not as flush as they had been, things were getting back to normal, the weight of taxes was being felt to a greater extent, profits and incomes had dwindled somewhat, and whereas there was no very exten

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