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COMMITTEE ON WATER POWER.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

THETUS W. SIMS, Tennessee, Chairman.

SCOTT FERRIS, Oklahoma.

JOHN J. ESCH, Wisconsin. ASBURY F. LEVER, South Carolina. IRVINE L. LENROOT, Wisconsin. FRANK E. DOREMUS, Michigan.

GILBERT N. HAUGEN, Iowa. EDWARD T. TAYLOR, Colorado.

EDWARD L. HAMILTON, Michigan. GORDON LEE, Georgia.

WILLIAM L. LA FOLLOTTE, Washington. DAN V. STEPHENS, Nebraska.

JAMES C. MCLAUGHLIN, Michigan. JOHN E. RAKER, California.

RICHARD WAYNE PARKER, New Jersey. EZEKIEL S. CANDLER, Mississippi.

SYDNEY ANDERSON, Minnesota. CARL HAYDEN, Arizona.

Willis J. DAVIS, ('lerk.

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WATER POWER.

COMMITTEE ON WATER POWER,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Monday, March 18, 1918. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. Thetus W. Sims (chairman) presiding:

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. Gentlemen, I can not know, without having been informed, as to just how many persons desire to be heard or the time that is expected to be used by the different persons desiring to be heard. We would like to conclude the hearings within one week; that is, this week, from the 18th to the 23d. I would not say we will not give any more time, but we would like very much, if possible, to get through this week, and if not, as soon thereafter as possible.

It is hardly worth while to undertake to start the hearings earlier than 10.30 a. m. We can then proceed for an hour and a half and perhaps two hours, if the House is considering something that does not require our presence on the floor. Then we will usually take a recess until 2 o'clock. While neither this committee nor the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce has permission to sit during the sessions of the House, yet when the House is engaged on something like general debate or something that does not require our presence on the floor, we can go ahead in the afternoons, say, from 2 until 5, which will give four hours and a half or possibly five hours a day to the hearings, if nothing intervenes, but of course something may intervene. That would mean 30 hours for the week if we use that much time each day.

I do not know just how much time the Government oflicials, who will be heard first on this proposed substitute bill, desire; neither do I know how many hours are desired by those who want to make suggestions regarding the legislation, for or against; and I would be glad if you gentlemen who are here for the purpose of being heard, especially those who are in agreement as to their viewpoint, will let me know as early is you can how much time you will want to consume and whom you will want to be heard, and how much time you will want for each witness, and we will see if we can not in that way get through this week. Of course, I do not mean for you to let me know this minute, but during the day or at the close of the session this afternoon. I do this in order that we may try to systematize the hearings and get through in a reasonable time, because the bill will require a good deal of time for consideration in the committee. The subject of water-power legislation has been thoroughly ventilated several times before different committees of Congress as well as in the public prints, and we think a rather exhaustive hearing on the subject can be had within the week. Therefore, I hope you gentlemen will

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aid the committee all you can trying to shape the hearings in such a way as to have a complete hearing and yet not one of the endlesschain variety, one hearing bringing on another.

It was expected that the three Secretaries who are mentioned in the proposed substitute bill as the commission and who prepared the substitute would be heard first. Secretary Baker is in Europe, Secretary Houston is out of the city; and while we expected Secretary Lane to open the hearings this morning. I have received word that he is unable to be here this morning, but will be here some time during the week. In his absence Mr. Merrill, of the Department of Agriculture, whom I understand has assisted in preparing the proposed substitute, is present, and in the absence of the Secretaries he will be heard first. Mr. Merrill has given the matter considerable attention, and no doubt will be an interesting witness, and perhaps the members of the committee will wish to ask him questions, and therefore there will be no attempt to limit Mr. Merrill this morning or to-day. When I spoke about a limitation I had reference to other witnesses than Mr. Merrill. So Mr. Merrill, if you are now ready, you may proceed.

Mr. B. J. REYXOLDS. Mr. Chairman, may I make a request before the hearing starts? I asked the chairman the other day if the committee would extend an invitation to Sir Adam Beck, of the hydroelectric commission of Canada. Our people have asked him personally; but as he does not belong to our Nation, he feels he should have an invitation from the committee. The reason I ask it is this: He has made a wonderful success of the hydroelectric commission in Canada, and probably a word or two from him would be very advantageous to us, as we are working along the same line that they have made a very great success of.

The CHAIRMAN. The question of whether he will be invited by action of the committee or not is something that will have to be taken up in executive session of the committee.

Mr. HAMILTON. I presume there would be no objection to hearing him.

The CHAIRMAN. It is not a question of hearing him, but a question of giving him an official invitation by the committee.

Mr. REYNOLDS. As he is a Canadian, that is the reason, I presume, why he stands a little on his dignity.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Acworth came here from Canada and from England and did not stand upon his dignity in appearing before the joint committee. I think it is something that ought to be taken up by the committee in executive session, as to giving him an official invitation from the committee, as others are seeking such invitations also.

Mr. Merrill, you may proceed with your statement, and we will take that matter up in executive session.

STATEMENT OF MR. 0. C. MERRILL, OF THE FOREST SERVICE,

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

Mr. MERRILL. Mr. Chairman, I would like to make a brief general statement before I take up the bill in detail, and in order to conserve your time as much as possible I have prepared a short written statement to precede the general discussion of the bill and to outline

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