Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012, June 02, 1949, Page 6, Image 6

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    Columbia Valley Administration
/Itt ZcOtHMUf?. ..
No one in the Pacific Northwest is opposed to more electric
power, irrigation, better flood control. 1\ very one is conscious of
the urgency for getting these things cptickly. We haven’t for
gotten about last winter’s power shortage and the certainty that
il will return again this winter and for several winters to come.
We haveh’t forgotten either about last summer’s Columbia River
flood and the possibility of its returning again this year.
It is also generally understood in the Pacific Northwest that
the Federal Government is the only fiscal agency big enough to
get these jobs done.
The question being debated
throughout the region now is
liow shall the Federal Govern
ment carry out these jobs.
At the moment there are over
20 Federal agencies concerned
with various phases of resource
development in the region.
Probably the largest of these
are the three agencies who
share responsibility for build
ing dams and transmitting pow
er. Under such a system of di
vided authority, it is not sur
prising that the Federal Gov
ernment's dam-building pro
gram is far behind schedule.
Grand Coulee dam is one year
behind in installation of srenera
tors, Hungry Horse is three years behind, McNary is two years
behind. Chief Joseph is four years behind. Detroit is three years
behind. Ice Harbor is four years behind. “At the rate we are go
ing now,” a Congressman has commented, "it will be 1958—9
years—before we catch up with the Northwest power shortage.”
Meantine, the Federal C.overmnent, with similar responsibili
ties in the Tennessee \ alley, has almost completed its job there.
The Tennessee Valley is now protected against floods. Prac
tically 100 per cent of the power potential of the river has been
The reason for this difference is obvious. The Federal Gov
ernment had a better mechanism for getting the job done in the
Tennessee than it now has in the Columbia.
For this reason, President Truman has recommended “that
the Congress enact legislation to provide a means for welding
together the many Federal activities concerned with the region's
resources into a balanced, continuously prograin.”
The President’s recommendations have been embodied in
bills to create a Columbia Valley Administration which have
been introduced in both the House and Senate by members of
the Northwest delegation and others.
The CVA bills, if enacted, would accomplish two major ob
jectives contributing to speeding up the region’s development.
One, it would provide for a comprehensive plan covering all
Federal resources activities in the region and it would provide a
single agency.with responsibility to the people for coordinated
and deesiive action. Two, it would transfer the administration of
this great Federal program from Washington, D. C., to a head
quarters in the heart of the region, where it will be more respon
sive to the needs and desires of the people affected bv the work
done, and where local participation in the planning and the oper
ation of the job will be encouraged.
In a real sense, then, the CYA proposal is a
reorganization measure along the lines of the
Hoover Commission Reports. It gives the Fed
eral Government a new and more effective in
strument for carrying out its responsibilities. It
does not give the Federal Government any new
authority or function beyond that which is now
exercised by the existing agencies. Under the
CVA, as now, the President and Congress
would retain the right of approval before any
new projects or activities could be initiated by
the Columbia Valley Administration.
The proposed CYA bill won hi not change
the existing policies of the Federal Government
as carried out by existing agencies. It would not
change the existing reclamation policies as now
carried out by existing agencies. It would not
change the construction of projects by private
contractors as now carried out by existing agen
cies. While it would absorb the Pacific North
west operations of the Bureau of Reclamation
and of the eh il works functions of the Corps of
. (Please turn ta paje seven)
Editor's Note
Hearings are currently being
held before Congress on the pro
posed Columbia Valley adminis
The issue is one of tremendous
importance to the people of the
Pacific Northwest with an un
employment ratio twice the na
tional average, shortage of elec
tricity, and the rapid population
increases. The issues and prob
lems presented deserve careful
Both Mr. Davidson and Mr.
Ellsworth are eminently qualified
to write upon this controversial
subject. Both are residents of
Oregon and are well known pub
lic leaders. Both of these articles
have been written exclusively for
the Emerald.
The cuts of Davidson and Ells
worth were furnished by the
Kegister-Guard, the cut of Grand
Coulee dam was furnished by the
Bonneville Power administra
Arrangementsfor the page were
made by Walter Dodd, Emerald
feature editor.
Harris Ellsworth is a Republi
can member of congress from
this the fourth Oregon congres
sional district. Ellsworth gradu
ated from the University, class
of 1922. He is a former editor of
the Roseburg News Review, and
past president of the Oregon
Newspaper Publishers associa
tion. Ellsworth served in the
state senate, representing Doug
las county in 1941, and w'as first
elected to Congress in 1942. He
was reelected in 1944, 1946, and
C. Girard (Jebbie) Davidson is
assistant secretary of the inte
rior. He maltes his home in Port
land. He is a graduate of Tulane
and Yale law school. Davidson
was attorney for the TVA from
1934-37, was general counsel for
the Bonneville Power adminis
tration 1943-46, and in 1946 was
named assistant secretary of the
interior department. Davidson is
a leader in the fight for the adop
tion of the Columbia Valley ad
... (iixjid Central Gantsiol ?
The proposal to turn the sovereign states of the Pacific North
west into a rigidly controlled unit, first called “Columbia \ al- ^
ley Authority” but for the psychological purposes now referred
to as a "Columbia Valley Administration,” has been before Cong- ^
ress in one form or another for many years. In 1945 the C\ A bill
was introduced in substantially the same form as the present ^
bills. The plan did not originate in Congress but was the dream
child of a group of TVA “graduates” most of whom work in the ■
U. S. Department of Interior. Until this year when the CVA pro
moterspersuaded the President
to make it a part of his program,
CVA has not been taken ser
iously by Congress. Having
been given the presidential nod,
however, the CVA pressure
crowd has started the propa
ganda mills grinding and there
is considerable possibility that
the bill might be passed.
The proponents have appar
ently not seriously attempted to
make a logical showing of need
for the enactment of CYA leg
islation. Rather they rely upon
selling the uninformed upon the
idea—and certainly most peo
ple have but scanty information
on such a technical subject—■
by claiming certain benefits to
be obtained only under a LVA. these are things mos^t people
want to see accomplished, hence it is reasonable to guess, that
these bogus claims may win much popular support for a C\ A!
unless they are refuted.
Stop these disastrous floods, say the CVA people. The U. S.
Army Engineer Corps is the only agency or group of men in the
whole world able to qualify as expert in the field of flood control.
They have just completed, in co-operation with all of the other
Federal agencies, a complete flood control plan and report on the
Columbia and its tributaries. A C\ A would not do that and
should not attempt to do it. •
Pass the CVA bill and end out power shortage! This claim
actually makes no sense. Before the war and after the first Grand
Coulee generators were in service there was a surplus of power.
When McNary Dam, on which $40,000,000 will be spent during
the coming 12 months, is completed and Foster Creek or Chief
Joseph dam is in service we may again have more power than is
needed. A CVA could not speed up this construction. Meanwhile
Columbia area farms are 90c/c more electrified than TVA farms
and the rate for Columbia power is considerably less than the
power rate in the TVA.
Crack down the greedy “Power Trust”, say the CVA propa
gandists. That was done years ago. Federal power in the Colum
bia area is an accomplished fact. There is no Public Power vs.
Private Power fight involved in the CVA controversy.
The real heart of the argument for a CVA is the magic but
vague statement that “We must co-ordinate the numerous feder
al activities in the area.” It is contended that lack of coordination
is holding back the proper development of the Columbia Valley.
This argument is rather completely knocked out by the facts.
The best factual evidence on the point is the recently published
comprehensive “308 Report”, representing the combined efforts
Grand Coulee Dam
One Year Behind . .
ot some iy lederal agencies, i his planning' job
provides for a multi-billion dollar1 development
of all phases of river improvement in the Colum
bia area including flood control, reclamation,
navigation and power production. It is now be
fore Congress.
As for the question of development—let me
quote one paragraph from President Truman’s
speech made when he sent the CYA bill to
“The Pacific Northwest has been develop
ing very rapidly in recent years. The popula
tion has jumped 37% since 1940. The tonnage
of agricultural production (not including live
stock and livestock products) has risen about
25(r in Washington, Oregon and Idaho be
tween 1940 and 1947. Total income payments
have increased 200% since before the war in
those three states, as compared with 150% for
the country as a whole. The per capita income
is among the highest in the nation.”
I am opposed to the CYA partly because it is
(Please turn to page seven)