OCR Interpretation


Arizona sentinel Yuma southwest. [volume] (Yuma, Ariz.) 1915-1916, June 10, 1915, Image 2

Image and text provided by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; Phoenix, AZ

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn95060877/1915-06-10/ed-1/seq-2/

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that we were up against a game of out haying any definite water right-
"head I win, tails you lose.1' This I inclose a copy of the rental contract
new construction turns the contract for your Inspection and call your at-
from its, original mutual conception tentlon to clause 6, where the "United
Into something entirely different, and States reserves the right to terminate
bo great was the effect of this new this contract at any time upon giving
construction that loans were Tefused thirty days' notice." We are expect-
' and called, and that our titles had an
absolutely unlimited mortgage on them
according to the amount that the eng
gineering trust in the government em
ploy could induce the Secretary or
Congress to appropriate for them to
expend, and. all without consultation
with us or our consent, nor were we
asked to consent and we were politely
told that the amount they desired to
spend was none of our 'business, and
we were denied access to the books
and wore treated with utter contempt.
,sJ: Ranking creoTt has eve"rv since been
rvpraccaily withdrawn from', us and de
velopment pr.xne lanns pracucauy nua
coased as a matter .or" financial neces-
ed to clear our land from the mesqulte
timber, level the land and put Into
crops relying on a thlrtydays' tenure
of water. Is It reasonable, to ask
a man to make such an expenditure
relying on such a tenure of water?
Of course we well know the reasons
for that clause, which are, that when
the day of accounting comeB we are
expected to give a more specific mort-
they compelled the settlers to agree
to the real cost Instead of the original
estimate, which in all. cases was too
low and in some cases' Wa3 only. 50
per cent of the real cost."
The foregoing are the, views of the
actual settlers who, endeavoring to
produce from the soil, or, who would
desire to do so If they were not shut
out by the above circumstances. But
there are those who will not listen
to these views that are right here
close at hand, and who are bankers
and merchants and so-called Commer
cial Clubs, who will tell" you a different
story. The more money put "Into the
. slty. At the supper table with Sec
retary of the Interior Fisher at'Tuma,;
our project; engineer stated -that the
Service ha'd nqw glyenmanyof the
lands access to irrigating water for
which they had. been clamoring for
yoars and now the owners did not
seen., to want "it and would not.puty
their landa.4n cultivation aridjanlylast
wek we iad a. letter froni bur 'Senator
' Mark "A... Smith, -.chairman "of senate
"committee on Irrigation, stating tha
the departmer- s gluing very
'.lwj .uiat. we -were n6t putting our
lands under" cultivation to" utilize the
ing our lands for speculative purposes.
' Under the circumstances of an un
Known ana uuiimuea mortgage, 1 uq
"riot know that I -desire "to" jdeny the
cuarge. 1 womu uk vj seu tmi myseu
but cannot do. so, for the reason that
suckers are not around trying to pur
chase such- uncertainties. I think
there are as many American hard
working citizens who have been at
tracted by the glitter of government
irrigation that have invested their alL
and lost it all during these years of-
waiting on certainty When each 'year
the uncertainty became greater and
greater and greater than have become
tramps, as there are now living ou
the, project.
Iu the report of the Water Users'
'Conference of May 8 1913, Senator
Walsh of Montana used a good por
tion of the day in addressing himself
to the Secretary on the Interpretation
of the law regarding the "estimated
cost," which accords with our views
entirely. He stated that under Mr.
Newell's construction that any man!
who cultivated his lands did so at his
peril. Nor during the entire confer
ence did any man even attempt to an
swer Senator Walsh. Under the exist
ing circumstances agricultural pros
perity on a government project is next
to an Impossibility, especially in the
sparsely settled communities of the
far west, with very limited markets
and very limited methods of transpor
tation. On a ranch a short distanct
from mine, there are three years of
cutting of alfalfa that lies rotting In
the Btack and cannot be sold for the
coBt of production and the owner can
not finance the purchase of stock to
-eat it because he is denied, on ac
count of the government Hen, access
to the usual money markets of the
world.
Again, until completion users of
water have to rent their water with-
gage, called, a "Water Right Applies f tht arf
f? TO, jr?-2Ut? its expenditure makes good ,busl-
wvu, tjj. it niii no uimk agicc HJ&yaj J U Jui. iti u -m
increased appropriation for the pro
ject ls;hailed vwlth delight in our local
press who are supported by the ad-
Trertjjsing-'merchants, and the people
of the towns rare always favorable to
vfprtber appropriations, though well
knowing but caring less, that It must
all be dug up again by the producer
the man the. law was Intended to help.
We -farmers and'. committees and men
who argue like Senator Walsh does,
'are' dubbed kickers agitators, social
JstSj etc., etc so great Is .their greed
for greater and greater government
expenditures. The views of different
men depend on whose ox is being
gored.- We Insist that no one has -any
right. .'in' this controversy. -except the
settlers on1 the lands and the govern
ment, and if the question Is only to
be discussed In town and city banquets
with officials of the Reclamation Ser
vice, and. to which no producer is- ever
invited,. then such discussion is among
people who -are not vitally Interested :
the' total cost, and ifOur lands are' in
cultivation and we demur the.water
rgritai contract wilh-be terminaied by
notlcend water sfiut off " until we
come through. Did you ever,, seea
more effective 'club 'against a helpless
Individual likejthe average man who i$
i endeavoring.' to .establish a home for
himself and his family? Is this the
"square deal"?- Woujdrfiuch. a-thing
be tolerated "in Russia or In darkest
Africa, and is not the great faith we
haxein-dur ownt government, our very
greatest weakness?.
- .xsow. as to 'the v Extension' Act: To
the man up the tree It Is-mbs't chari
tahie'bu't In; effect, It 1b a Trojan
j horse filled with armed men to com-
.-peliUB to- acquiesce in. the new"-c'ori-struction
of estimated cost"! Again
.thepropOsed"re-valuatipn;vboards," oh
.one-of- whiclu'we are, entitled to 'have
;onerep7e"sehtative to two of the gov
ernment's representatives,. .. and ... is
therefore by ho. means a board of- ar
bitration; "and if we appoint a man on
such 'board' we will naturally be bound
by the findiri;gsv That is nothing but
another Trojan horse. This project,
on due reflection has declined botn
propositions so far.
I will invite your attention to .Con
gressman Borland's remarks in the
Congressional Record of February 17,
193 5, page 4030. Mr. Borland is the
chairman of the house committee on
appropriations.
"Mr. Borland. Mr. Chairman I
move to strike out the last word. Ij
want to say a word in regard to the1
question of the increased cost, because
that is one" of the features of the Rec
lamation Extension law.
"It was claimed originally as to
most of these projects that an advance
estimate had been given to the set-
been given to the scalers as to how
tiers as to how much the project was
going to cost per acre, and that they
had capitalized the water users' as
sociations upon -that basis, and that
was what they were bound for. A
controversy of considerable sis ex
isted between the settlers and the de
partment on this very question. The
department solved that problem In
this way: The settlers in many cases
wanted additional time on their pay
ments, or they wanted an enlarge
ment of their original projects, and
when they came to the department to
ask either an extension of time or re
lief from a default, or an extension,
or new work, or any other favor, the
department said to them: 'Gentlemen,
either you must agree to the increased
cost over and above what you claim
was the limit fixed by the department
when the work was begun or we will
not do what you ask. In that way
ment. With highest regard, I remain.
Very truly yours,
EARL B. SMITH.
Chairman of the Executive Committee
of the National Federatlon,of Water
Users' Associations.
ADDENDA
Congressman Harden in Congress,
February 12, 1915: (page 4023.)
"Mr. Chairman, of course I do not
ask for a cent to be spent on the Yuma
project that Is not necessary because
It must all ultimately oome out of
the pockets of the farmers there."
Secretary Lane hatf now been In of
fice, for over two years since all these
matters have- been brought to his at
tention in a 17-day conference, and
It is time that he came to some con
clusion as to what is the matter. Of
course, he inherited NewelUsm when
he became the Secretary of the Inter
ior. Congressman Borland's, remarks
quoted In. this letter let the cat out
of the bag when he. explained on th
floor of the house how the secretary-is
holding up the settlers to agree to a
different bargain when they ask for
extension of time on payments due
that they could not possibly pay un
der the circumstances brought around
-not by thelr' acts, but by the policy of
the, Reclamation Service. A wobbling
policy still prevails.
Of all the, nonse appee'is in
the Official organ of the Reclamation
Service when - dealing with so grave
a proposition as is involved in this
discussion, and1 upon which depends
the success or failure of thousands
of settlers, the following article taken
and are attending to "other people's frm' the May issue (1914) Page 168
business besides their own.
It is impossible in this communi
cation to touch on all that should bo
said as to what developed at the
Washington -inference in even the
Yuma project. I will' endeavor to
have sent to you the pleadings in 'the
case of the Bell Fourche Water Users"
Association against the officials of the
service, and where the association got
a temporary injunction in the state
court, affirmed in the U. S. district
court and again confirmed in the U.
S. court of appeals. Those pleadings
tells the human side of these big
questions.
We have studied the question for
years; we have consulted the highest
engineering talent in this country and
obtained the best legal advice obtain
able, and have concluded that every
thing is extravagant that Mr. Newell
is remarkably incompetent as engineer
director and business man; that he
has gone ahead regardless of law and
his own contracts. He even denied
that he wrote the letter to the Yuma
County Water Users' Association giv
ing the details of the estimate ana
that he knows nothing about it.
Under Newell's interpretations the
law is nonsense. Suppose they go on
for ten years more and run tne co&i
up to twenty or thirty millions, can
the land stand it, and are not the ob
jects of the law defeated by its administrators?
But this Is enough for tjhis communi
cation. I am willing to aid you in any
Investigation with documentary evi
dence that you may call for, for you
should know the factB more than any
other man outside the present goverh-
I think this is the worst that has ever
appeared, and shows the weakness of
tile position maintained by the deport
ment. I quote the article in full as
follows :
"VARIETIES OF ESTIMATES"
"In connection with the question
more or less frequently raised regard
ing the 'etsimated' cost of a project,
it is interesting to note the following
classification of estimates suggested
by Allen Hazen, consulting civil eng
gineer of New York City:
"1. Preliminary estimates being es
timates in advance of the preparation
of detailed plans and specifications
for the purpose of discussing a pro
ject for deciding as to its adoption,
and for making the necessary financial
arrangements for carrying It out.
"2. Detailed estimates, being esti
mates based upon detailed plans for
the execution of the work, and usually
made shortly before bids are asked
for the particular work covered, or in
advance of undertaking to carry it out
by day labor.
"3. Final estimates, being made to
tho contractor at contract prices for
the actual work done. The term 'final
estimates' may also properly be ap
plied to a statement of the cost of a
completed work based upon actual ex
penditures made in carrying it out.
"It has been suggested that the term
'estimates' as used in the Reclamation
Act, obviously refers to the final esti
mates as defined above, while the so
called estimates of the engineers and
others, made in the early stages of
consideration of a project, were just
as obviously preliminary estimates as
above noted."
The above' constitutes the only dis-

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