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The entire dependence of these 50,000 Navajos is not on livestock. Approximately 25 to 30 percent of their total livelihood is derived from their dry farming, flood water and irrigation farming. The lot which this irrigated land plays in their support may be judged by the fact that about 134 percent of the total Navajo land surface which is under farming operations, both flood water and irrigation, supplies over 30 percent of their total income. So that the only hope that lies ahead of the Navajos for self-support, continued self-support is through the development of additional irrigated land, and the only source of water for such irrigated land is the San Juan River.
There is under consideration, and has been under consideration for some time, the feasibility and possibility of providing storage on the San Juan River to supply some 50,000 to 60,000 or 70,000 acres with irrigation water for the benefit of both the Navajo Indians and of the white residents in San Juan County and other people in the San Juan basin.
Senator CHAVEZ. May I interrupt you there?
Senator CHAVEZ. We have several good, first-class white communities in that valley, have we not?
Mr. WOEHLKE. Oh, yes. Senator CHAVEZ. Hard-working people? Mr. WOEHLKE. Very hard-working. Senator CHAVEZ. Were not they more or less the overflow of the white settlers that came from Utah into the upper waters of the San Juan?
Mr. WOEHLKE. Yes.
Senator CHAVEZ. Where they built nice homes and tried to eke out an existence with the shortage of water, water that has not been developed to its full extent?
Mr. WOEHLKE. In that isolated region the settlers that came in there from Utah in the early days have built up a series of communities that are models of their kind. There, again, any expansion of those communities is at the present time impossible, because the low water flow of the San Juan is completely appropriated; and if some of the present projects under contemplation go through, there will be a distinct shortage in this low water flow covering a period of about 2 months during the growing season. So that even for the preservation of the communities that have been established there for a good many years, the additional storage is vitally necessary.
Senator King. And the only source of supply is the San Juan River?
Mr. WOEHLKE. The only source of supply is the San Juan River. As Mr. McClure and Governor Hannett stated a while ago, the cost of storage and of distribution to the areas of land which are feasible and economically adapted to cultivation, in that area the land is very expensive so that some sort of additional nonreimbursable contribution is vitally needed for that whole project.
Senator CHAVEZ. Is there any other source of water, other than the San Juan River, under the compact ?
Mr. WOEHLKE. There is none whatsoever.
Senator Chavez. So if we expect to derive any benefits whatsoever under the compact, we will have to avail ourselves of legislation such as this that is now pending, provided it is adequately protected and defined ?
Mr. WOEHLKE. That is correct,
Senator King. Are there any Federal lands in the vicinity of the territory which you are describing which might be given to the Navajos as a quid pro quo for the land we have taken from them?
Mr. WOEHLKE. There are such lands; yes.
Senator CHAVEZ. We have some very fine possibilities for irrigation of land of their own.
Senator King. I was wondering if there were not some lands which were suitable for grazing of sheep or cattle which the Government owned, the title to which had not passed to private ownership, so that the Government, if it were so inclined, would transfer some of the Government lands to the Navajo Indians.
Mr. WOEHLKE. It could be done by act of Congress.
Senator King. What I am trying to get at is whether there is any land not occupied, belonging to the Government, which might be utilized by the Navajo Indians for grazing purposes.
Mr. WOEHLKE. Senator, all the area in there is being used now, and in most instances it is being overused.
Senator HATCH. May I ask a question right there?
Senator HATCH. Mr. Woehlke, even if whatever lands might be available around there were included in the boundary, it would not solve this problem of the Navajo Indians ?
Mr. WOEHLKE. No.
Senator HATCH. Irrigation is about the only way in which to solve that problem?
Mr. WOEHLKE. Yes.
Senator CHAVEZ. They can do more with 10 or 12 acres of irrigated land than they can with 640 acres of grazing land.
Senator McCARRAN. I would like to ask the witness whether or not this Navajo project-I style it the Navajo project for brevity-is a self-liquidating project in contemplation?
Mr. WOEHLKE. It could not be a self-liquidating project.
Senator McCARRAN. That is what I thought. So it is not economically a commendable project excepting as it is humanely commendable, is that true?
Mr. WOEHLKE. It would be economically commendable, Senator, because unless the additional irrigated area is supplied to the Navajos, they will, sooner or later, become public charges.
Senator CHAVEZ. Absolutely dependent, with the probability of rationing
Senator McCARRAN. I am asking him this question in view of the history of reclamation. Reclamation has always gone forward on the principle that any contemplated project was self-liquidating, was economically feasible. So I am just looking at what you are describing in the light of reclamation in the past.
I take it that it would not measure up to that standard ?
Senator King. They would have to have a specific grant.
Senator CHAVEZ. We are fair in New Mexico; we want the Navajos to get full benefit of whatever rights we might have under the compact of the different States from the waters of the San Juan.
Mr. WOEHLKE. As I see the situation, throughout that Navajo country the battle for range is so exaggerated, the demand for range on the part of all interests, white, Spanish-Americans, and Indians, is so terrific that practically throughout that area heavy overgrazing has resulted.
Senator McCARRAN. Are not you under the Taylor Grazing Act? Mr. WOEHLKE. Not the Navajo Reservation. Senator CHAVEZ. Not the reservation proper. That is their own. Mr. WOEHLKE. The adjacent territory in which both Navajos and whites operate, and where the Spanish-Americans run their flocks is under the Taylor Grazing Act.
Senator MÖCARRAN. The Indians are allocated certain commensurate rights, are they not, under the Taylor Grazing Act, those who graze cattle, livestock?
Mr. WOEHLKE. They are just beginning along that line, but nevertheless, with that allocation, the total demand on the range on the part of all parties is so great and the stocking in the past has been so exaggerated that a reduction rather than an expansion of the livestock business is essential.
Senator McCARRAN. Of course, that is true in all of the western States. Under the Taylor Grazing Act administration there has been a very decided reduction in the use of the range.
Mr. WOEHLKE. In this particular area, the overstocking and overgrazing has been more than the average, so that any expansion through grazing land, if you take into consideration the established rights of white and other operators, is absolutely impossible.
Senator McCARRAN. Let me see if I understand you there: The way I understand it is that these Navajos are an agrarian Indian; is that right?
Mr. WOEHLKE. They are principally stock raisers.
Senator McCARRAN. They have no rights on the open public domain now?
Mr. WOEHLKE. Yes; they have.
Senator McCARRAN. What I am getting at is this: If you increase the base, then you must increase the commensurate rights on the open public domain so as to comply with the base. Do I make myself clear!
Mr. WOEHLKE. Yes.
Senator McCARRAN. Then, if you increase the commensurate rights on the open public domain and it is already overstocked, how are you going to improve the situation?
Mr. WOEHLKE. That is exactly what I am saying, Senator; you cannot improve the situation.
Senator McCARRAN. That is what I am trying to get at. Why do you want to increase the base? Why would it be economically feasible to increase the base; that is, the inclosed land, so to speak! That
Senator McCarran. Now, let me ask you one question there. The
is what I term the base, the lands that will support the livestock during the winter, the nongrazing season that is recognized, as I understand it, in the Taylor Grazing Act as the base lands. If you are going to increase the base, which you propose to do by this reclamation project, what are you going to do with your livestock interests?
Mr. WOEHLKE. On the contrary, what we are endeavoring to do through the irrigation project is to decrease the dependence of the Navajo on that.
Senator McCARRAN. On the open public domain?
Mr. WOEHLKE. Yes; under any conditions, to substitute irrigated farming for their dependence on livestock, their excessive dependence on livestock
. project that you have described to the committee, has that been approved by the Reclamation officials?
Mr. WOEHLKE. No; it has not been, because it has not been considered by them as yet.
Senator MoCARRAN. I understood you were speaking of the same conditions that Mr. McClure spoke of, and I understood him to say it had been approved, and that lines were run, surveys were made.
Senator CHAVEZ. I think he referred to the Debler report, which included the project you speak of.
Mr. WOEHLKE. The San Juan storage project.
Mr. WOEHLKE. Yes; but the investigations of that project have by no means been completed.
Senator McCARRAN. I have no more questions.
Senator Hatch. The Indian people already have some irrigated lands; is that right?
Mr. WOEHLKE. Yes.
Senator Hatch. I think you said that dry land and irrigation together was about 25 percent of their present source of income.
Mr. WOEHLKE. The present source of income, and the total percentage of surface acreage represented by the irrigated and dry farm land, was about 134.
Senator Hatch. There is no question in your mind but that if the water could be made available the Indians themselves could be diverted from their old type of occupation, that of stock raising, to irrigated farming and be successful at it?
Mr. WOEHLKE. They would have to be. In fact, the distribution of the acreage which now, for instance, is irrigated under the arid lands project was based on the desire to take people out of the livestock business and put them on a farming basis.
Senator ASHURST. Are there any more questions, Senator King? Senator King. No more questions. Senator McCARRAN. Mr. Chairman. Senator ASHURST. Yes, Senator McCarran. Senator McCARRAN. At this point, and on the behest of Senator Pittman, of Nevada, by colleague, and myself, I desire to have in
serted in the record a wire of the date of May 28, from Gov. E. P. Carville, of the State of Nevada, approving H. R. 9877 as it is now in the House, and which will also be S. 4039.
Senator ASHURST. That will be printed in the record, there being no objection. (The telegram referred to is as follows:)
CARSON CITY, NEV., May 28, 1940. Hon. P. A. MCCARRAN, United States Senator, Senate Office Building,
Washington, D. C.: Re Boulder Dam bill H. R. 9877 have conferred with attorney general and Colorado River Commissioners Caton and Clark. Commissioner Smith ill and cannot be reached. Bill present form has approval attorney general, Caton, and myself. Clark opposes measure because of elimination "in lieu of taxes,” stating this would deprive Clark County of opportunity presenting basis for portion of money for that county. Attorney general says “In my opinion the bill as amended eliminating ‘in lieu of taxes,' is entirely constitutional and legal and the whole bill is more satisfactory than as originally drawn." Caton says, “I am in favor of bill as amended and hope it will go through.” I approve bill in its present amended form and consider Nevada amply protected.
E. P. CARVILLE, Governor. Senator McCARRAN. Mr. Chairman. Senator ASHURST. Senator McCarran.
Senator MoCARRAN. I draw the committee's attention to section 15 of H. R. 9877. It is not in the Senate bill before this committee, but is before the Committee on Rules, as I understand it, in the House at the present time.
Senator ASHURST. Yes, Senator.
Senator McCARRAN. With that in mind, may I say to the committee that this amendment, section 15 of the House bill, has been the subject of very careful and really extensive study by those of us who are interested in the labor angle of this, by the Interior Department, and by, I think, every interested group, and out of that study we have agreed on, and I am now submitting to the committee, and asking to be incorporated in the record a provision to take the place of section 15 of the House bill. Please understand it is not in the bill before the Senate.
Senator Ashurst. The secretary will read the amendment proposed by Senator McCarran.
Senator McCARRAN. To take the place of section 15.
Senator ASHURST. Your amendment will become section 15 of the Senate bill, is that right?
Senator McCARRAN. Yes; I guess that is right. The CLERK (reading): All laborers and mechanics employed in the construction of any part of the project, or in the operation, maintenance, or replacement of any part of the Boulder Dam shall be paid not less than the prevailing rate of wages or compensation for work of a similar nature prevailing in the locality of the project. In the event any dispute arises as to what are the prevailing rates, the determination thereof shall be made by the Secretary of the Interior, and his decision, subject to the concurrence of the Secretary of Labor, shall be final.
Senator McCARRAN. Now, let me say, Mr. Chairman, by way of repetition, for which I apologize, that this matter has been worked out meticulously, and has, I am advised, the concurrence of the Secretary of the Interior, and is pursuant to law as the law now exists. In other words, the Government being the employer, if controversies arise as to the rate of pay the matter would be submitted to the