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The great problem of the next two months is to get Congress to understand what we are trying to do and win them over. The committee that has been meeting with me this morning thought it would be an excellent idea to add to the committee on legislation a man who has been in Congress and who has a very wide acquaintance among Congressmen, especially Congressmen from the arid States, and so I have been delegated to submit to this conference the idea of appointing Hon. Walter F. Lineberger a member at large. [Applause.]
a This action was taken by the conference. Mr. LINEBERGER. Thank you very much, gentlemen.
Mr. Fass. Is there any limit to the number of the members of the publicity committee?
GENERAL RESPONSE. No limit.
Mr. SMITH. The chairman from each State may act as ex officio member. There is no objection to each chairman getting his publicity through as many agencies as he desires.
Mr. MacRAE. I think that does not fully answer Mr. Fass's question. Mr. Coker's ruling yesterday was that the chairmen of the different committees from the States were to be associated with the publicity committees.
Mr. Fass. I appointed my committee, but I didn't want to appoint myself.
Mr. SMITH. In Tennessee we have three or four industrial editors who will write carefully and understandingly. I hope to enlist them.
The next feature of the program is the report of the committee on development. Is there such a report ready?
Doctor MEAD. The committee on development was not formed. The committee on publicity was substituted for it.
If I might offer a word or two there. This conference, I think, has taken the action that it was called together to consider, and that is, how the money is to be raised to begin real constructive development. The next thing is this program of development, to talk over this afternoon how you are going to put that across. If I might make the suggestion, to open the way for broader discussion, I am delighted with the unanimity of opinion expressed here and I am only too desirous to do everything I can to carry it out.
In the last few months we have had to realize that carrying on this program without hitting a serious snag was attended with a good deal of difficulty. There were meetings of economic societies and agricultural societies who resolved against what they thought we were trying to do. There was also this thing, that the activities of the bureau would be misinterpreted, that we would lay ourselves open to the accusation that we were seeking to expand our own activities and influence. I think the fact that the recommendation made in my paper was rejected unanimously for something different does not weaken your cause at all. The fact that I had sufficient faith in this movement, belief in its importance, and felt that it would appeal to the patriotic sentiment of this country, so that you could raise this money without help from Congress, is not going to hurt you any in going to Congress. We are in a much better position for having been overruled.
What is important is the passage of a bill that provides the money and designates the authority for management. That bill ought to be prepared and introduced in Congress as soon as Congress reassembles after the holidays, because there will have to be hearings and a place found for it on the calendar. The sooner these preliminaries are disposed of the better the chance of favorable action, so that before we adjourn we want to make arrangements for the preparation of that bill and for the selection of the gentlemen who are to introduce it in the two Houses of Congress.
Another matter I refer to with some hesitation, but I think it is proper. Last year after the conference held here there was introduced in both Houses of Congress a bill appropriating $50,000 for carrying on these investigations. It had a favorable report from the House committee. It passed the House and certainly would have passed the Senate if the deficiency bill had not failed. That deficiency bill came up again this year, and the view of the committee was that since it did not pass last year, since there is a regular appropriation bill on the calendar this year, there would be no need for including that item, and it was thrown out to be incorporated in the regular appropriation bill; but the situation is this: There was included in the Budget a regular appropriation to be included in the regular bill, but when it came before the Budget they said, “ There is $50,000 in the deficiency; it will pass before this comes up.” The result is we haven't anything; we are out entirely. That matter has to be attended to. That is a matter you might mention to your southern Congressmen and Senators while you are here. [Applause.]
Mr. FOLSE. Mr. Chairman, with regard to the procedure for publicity, I had in mind doing this and would like to have the views of the conference on it. To take these addresses as they come in and select the ones of particular individuals that would be most impressive to bankers and outstanding men throughout the State. I thought of calling on 15 or 20 of them, with the aid of my committee, and taking one or two of the statements, and asking those men to look them over carefully and to write the Senators from Mississippi, also the Congressmen from that district. I think by doing that, by the time we come back in January it will be possible to get men from home who know about this, and to get Congressmen and Senators interested. That will help us more than the general publicity we are going to get; because people who read the papers think this is a good thing and then stop right there, and I believe we can get good expressions from bankers, merchants, and other business men of the State.
I am very glad that you mentioned the ladies. We have been unable to do anything worth while in the State without their aid, and there are several women in the State that are as sound thinkers as men, and I think perhaps I can get two or three of them interested maybe more. I believe we will have two or three of them here when we get back. The idea is good.
Mr. Fass. Mr. Chairman, if I remember right, Doctor Mead stated that he would have a complete record of this meeting. Why not have copies sent to the various chairmen, as many copies as we can afford, and they can send them out to these people interested in reclamation?
Doctor Mead. We can prepare a typewritten report, but I am not quite certain what we can do about a publication. We have no definite authority on this. We might be able to incorporate it in the Era and distribute copies of it.
Mr. FOLSE. You can get Senator Ransdell to introduce it as a public document and have it printed in that way.
Doctor MEAD. I think my secretary can tell us something about this.
Miss SCHNURR. We are limited in the number of copies of the New Reclamation Era' we could give out, as water users pay for the publication of it.
Mr. PATTERSON. We can not have child's play about this. The only thing to do is to have it printed so we can use it, and use it to the full extent. We can not fall down in reaping the benefits from this convention. Now, it seems to me we ought to make some arrangements for the publication of these addresses and of the proceedings of this convention. If there is no fund in this department to take care of the publication, each State ought to assume its share, maybe $100, and go ahead and have printed as many copies as we need. Georgia will be glad to take care of its share.
Doctor MEAD. Our sole organ is the Era. That is published as an organ for people who are in the Reclamation Bureau, and the cost is borne largely by the projects. If we were to greatly increase that number and charge it to them they would have a just grievance.
Mr. LINEBERGER. We ought to have this printed as a public document. There are ample precedents for that. Mr. Crisp, of Georgia,
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and any number of outstanding Members of the House from the various States are interested in this matter, and I am sure a motion would be unanimously adopted. Then it will be available in segregate form for distribution under the frank. If that could not be done, it could be printed in the Congressional Record; but it is mixed in there with a lot of other things, and it is more desirable to have it printed as a public document. I do not think you will have any difficulty in doing it. There are many precedents for it. You will have no difficulty about it.
Doctor MÈAD. That would be the best means of getting publicity and wide distribution.
Mr. SMITH. Then, if there is no objection, I will ask the ex-Congressman from the legislative committee at large, who has the privileges of the floor, to have that done. Without objection, that will be done.
Mr. SMITH. Any further discussion?
Mr. COKER. I would like to suggest that various State chairmen see to it that several of their most prominent newspaper men from their States are brought here on the 24th and added to their committees. It is very important to get those men here so they can go back home and push along this publicity campaign. The chief editors of all the principal newspapers in all the States represented ought to be on those committees.
Mr. P.J. Brown of Albany, Ga. Mr. Chairman, I want to suggest that of these papers we have heard there are some that are real gems, and I believe that the publicity committee's attention should be called to the fact that some of them are worth being published in our farm publications as articles delivered here, not just for the purpose of this convention, but for general discussion. This would afford a field where many of the ideas presented here could be gotten over to the general public.
Mr. Fass. It is a good idea to have the most important newspapers represented on the committees. I divided my State into seven districts, and I saw to it that the editor of each paper was made a member of the committee. That is a good way to get publicity, and I think everyone should follow the same line.
The appointment of an executive committee was suggested to stay on and confer with Senators and Representatives.
Mr. SMITH. It has been moved and seconded that the legislative committee be authorized to appoint a subcommittee for such arrangements. Those favoring the motion make it known.
(General response in favor.)
Mr. MacRAE. Mr. J. M. Patterson as chairman, and Mr. David Coker, of North Carolina, and Rutledge Smith, of Tennessee, to stay over.
Mr. Fass. I would move that Doctor Branson be added to the committee.
Mr. SMITH. Moved and seconded Doctor Branson be added to the committee. Those in favor of the motion make it known by saying "Aye.”
(General response in favor.)
Doctor Branson is elected. Any further discussion? Mr. MacRae, do you wish to call any further attention to the meeting on the 24th?
Mr. MacRae. Notices will be sent out to every chairman and it will be up to them to marshall such forces from their States as they think will be influential to meet on January 24, probably at the Washington Hotel at 7 p. m. A quick dinner will be served and then it will be up to the committees from each State to handle the program. All Senators and Congressmen will be given official invitations.
Last year I think 90 per cent of the delegations from the South were present at that dinner, even on short notice, and this time we would like to have 99 per cent. A few were sick and could not come. We will have to get at this and make it a great success.
Mr. Fass. I want to ask for information. Have you a limit as to how many you want there?
Mr. MACRAE. The idea was 20.
Mr. MacRAE. That would be about right. We will have about a hundred Senators and Representatives and we want to invite officials from the Department of the Interior and their wives and we want a few other ladies, and it would make about 200 people. That is as large a crowd as we can probably take care of and serve quickly. Twenty would be ample from each State. Mississippi has absolutely pledged 20; Florida has pledged 20; Georgia will answer to 20, I think; North Carolina will stand for 20.
Mr. Fass. South Carolina is not pledging any amount, but will match Mississippi.
Mr. MacRae. Last time we had 118 present.
Mr. SMITH. At this hour there is open discussion of problems relating to southern reclamation.
I talked with Doctor Mead yesterday morning and I said to him the plan for our work I had in mind was of the people, for the people, and by the people. This is the country I live in, the country I love, the Government I vote for; I am wearing the uniform of my