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The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Tennessee has expired. AJ1 time has expired.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Btbns].
The question was taken; and on a division (demanded by Mr. Connolly of Pennsylvania) there were—ayes 50, noes 79.
So the amendment was rejected.
Mr. REECE rose.
The CHAIRMAN. For what purpose does the gentleman from Tennessee rise?
Mr. REECE. Mr. Chairman, I rise for the purpose of offering an amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Tennessee offers an amendment, which the Clerk will report.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. Rekce: At the end of section 4, on page 12, Insert: 'Provided, That f 2,000.000 of the enid capital stock shall be mnde available during the calendar year 1929 for the construction of Cove Creek Dam, as hereafter provided, when so appropriated."
Mr. CIIINDBLOM. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order, first, that (he amendment is not germane to the section; and second, that it is in effect an appropriation.
Mr. LAGUARDIA. Mr. Chairman, I would like to be heard on the point of order.
Blr. CHINDBLOM. Mr. Chairman, on the question of germanenoss, this is not the section that deals wlt.li the powers of the corporation. This section deals only with the amount of the capitalization and the matter of Its acquisition. It does not deal at all with the purposes for which the capital stock is used. There is another section which deals with that.
Mr. LxGUARDIA rose.
The CHAIRMAN. For what purpose does the gentleman from New York rise?
Mr. Laguarpia. Mr. Chairman. I rise in opposition to the point of order. Section 4 Is the section which authorizes the capital stock and it provides how it shall be made available. The amendment offered by the gentleman from Tennessee simply provides that of the $1(1.000,000 a part thereof, to wit, $2.000.000. shall be used for u specific purpose, as provided in the hill. It Is not an appropriation, as the gentleman from Illinois suggests, for the simple reason that it is limited. Tha capital stock provided here is for what? For the purposes of the corporation, and surely it is germane, where the total capital stock is provided for, to take a part of it for a specific purpose as provided in the bill.
Mr. CHINDBLOM. Mr. Chairman, in response. I beg to suggest that section 4 does not state any purpose as to how the $10.000,000 is to be used. It simply provides for the acquisition and for the amount of the capital.
Mr. L.vGl'ARDIA. What does the gentleman believe it is for if not for the purposes of the corporation?
Mr. CHINDBLOM. Section 4 does not .state the objects of the corporation.
The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman from Tennessee desire to be heard on the point of order?
Mr. IlEECE. No; not on the point of order.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair is of the opinion that the point of order is well taken. The section to which it is offered, section 4. pertains only to capital stock. The amendment provides that $2.000.000 of the capital stock shall be made available during a certain period for a particular purpose. The Chair is of the opinion the amendment is not germane to the section to which it Is offered and therefore sustains the point of order.
Mr. McMILLAN, Mr. COLLINS, and Mr. LINTHICUM rose.
Mr. McMILLAN. Mr. Chairman. I offer an amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from South Carolina offers an amendment, which the Clerk will report.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. Mcmillan: Page 14, line 19, after the word "sell." strike out the word "fertilizers " and Insert in lieu thereof the words " fixed nitrogen."
Mr. McMILLAN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, as you know, I have only five minutes in which to discuss tliis amendment, and if you will bear with me for these few minutes I will call to your attention what I conceive to be an amendment that carries out the original provisions of the Muscle Shoals act of 1910, and that Is to amend the bill to provide for the manufacture of nitrates.
It is assumed and agreed by everybody here that we want to make some disi>osition of this problem. I am one of those who lias that opinion; but let us not come in here with some halfbaked scheme to-day with the Idea of putting the Government into competition with private business and legitimate Industry.
My contention Is that with respect to this proposition we should confine it to the manufacture of nitrates. This is a product that the Military Affairs Committee of this House and Congress itself has said is needed in time of war, and in time of pence we can manufacture these nitrates for the benefit of the farmers of this country.
You have heard stated on this floor that we import nitrates from foreign countries, and under my amendment we will save at least $10.000,000 for the agricultural interests of our country.
My amendment simply provides that we confine this to the manufacture of nitrates and nitrogenous fertilizers and cut out this great big scheme of launching the Government into private business under a policy which I think the rank and file of the' people of tills country are against.
My friends, this amendment is offered in all seriousness, and I appeal to the membership of this House that on this occasion you go ahead and comply with the original act of 1S)16 and manufacture nitrates at this time for I he benefit of the country in war times and in peace times for the benefit of the agricultural interests of our country.
Mr. WRIGHT. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. McMILLAN. I am sorry I can not yield, as I have only two more minutes.
My friends, I appeal to you In behalf of my amendment. There is not a man on this floor who can foresee or foretell when this country will have an emergency and confronted with war. We may wake up any morning and find a war threatening our country. If this is true—listen to me—if this is true and you have run out the fertilizer industry of this country by such legislation as is here proposed, what are your farmers going to do on that morning when the Government, under section 12 of this bill, has the right, as it ought to have, to come In and take over the operation of Muscle Shoals—for what purpose? For the purpose of the manufacture of munitions of war. I ask you, then, what is going to become of the agricultural interests, with the private fertilizer industries gone? I say to you, my friends. It is true you may have explosives for our soldiers to shoot, but I appeal to you—and, I think, very logically so— that while you will have explosives you will be lacking fertilizer to raise the bread that our soldiers should consume.
I tell you. my friends, this matter of going into competition with private business is a very big and broad problem to which, as one Monitor of this House, I am very much opposed.
I believe that confining this activity to the manufacture of nitrates and relieving the fanners of $10,000,000 to $1::.000,000 of royalties paid to foreign countries annually will serve the purpose and we will enact some legislation here that the people of the country will heartily approve. [Applause.]
I wunt it distinctly understood that this amendment is offered purely for the purpose of securing legislation that will become a law and at the same time give the farmer some relief with reference to fertilizers. I can understand why those gentlemen located near Muscle Shoals should oppose this amendment, localise they will be certain to get their fertilizers, and then they will probably be able to get them cheaper than we can in South Carolina, but what is the use of trying to pass a bill that lias rm chance in the world to become a law and allow this Muscle Shoals problem to remain, as my colleague [Mr. Fui.mer] has heretofore said, a political football to be kicked around from year to year. If my amendment is passed tho Government should be able to make all of the nitrates needed by the farmers of this country, and they should be able to get nitrnte of soda for at least $25 per ton. If so, this will mean something to agriculture that is worth while, and this is what I want to see done.
Another reason I am offering this amendment is. as I have already indicated, which is to the effect that unless we can get something of this kind it is generally understood that the President will veto the bill, which lie has already indicated he would do under the existing provisions of the bill, and I sincerely trust that those who are really interested in securing choaiH-r and better fertilizers for the farmers of this country will support my amendment, because it. will certainly give us I-iiwiimt nitrates and nitrogenous fertilizers, and this is what I am working for. [Applause.]
Mr. QUIN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
I want every man in this committee to understand what this amendment means. It is an amendment proposed by the fertilizer factories of the United States in order to keep Muscle Shoals from being operated for the benefit of agriculture. [Applause.] That is exactly what it means.
The fertilizer factories of this country would be happy to have only nitrates manufactured at Muscle Shoals. Why is all this howl made here when, with 8.000,000 tons of fertilizer used on the farms of the United States, this Congress, which is supposed to be the honest representative of the great mass of the people, is endeavoring to put u Government plant into operation capable of making only 2,000,000 tons of finished fertilizer?
This amendment is intended to kill the project. Every man who votes for this amendment thiit has been offered here is slapping the farmers of the United States in the face and kicking them in the ribs [laughter and applause], and the gentleman who offered the amendment knows it. He has offered at the behest of the fertilizer factories. Are you representing men who are engaged in making fertilizer or are you representing the people of the United States who must buy fertilizer, sow it on the ground, work in the rain and sun 13 months in the year to make food and raiment to sustain and clothe the American people? I Laughter and applause.) This is the man for whose benefit this legislation is brought here, and when you vote for such amendments as the gentleman from South Carolina has offered here, you are killing the bill.
Mr. SCHAFER. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. QUIN. This is a fertilizer hill. This is, in a measure, a strict interpretation of section 124 of the national defense act, which meant not what the gentleman from South Carolina said, hut meant for the plant to be operated for the purpose of making fertilizers in times of peace.
Mr. SCHAFER. Is the gentleman in favor of the Government entering into all types of business in this country like they are doing in Soviet Russia?
Mr. QUIN. I am in favor of the Government operating the plant that it owns. It built this plant, and the United States Congress voted to pay for it, and stated what we should do with it in time of peace, and that was to make fertilizer, and that is what I am voting for here. The Government ought to use it to do something for the people, and I am shocked that my good friend from Wisconsin, representing a splendid progressive citizenship, would vote against this bill. Every laboring man and every farmer in the United States will rise up and call this Congress blessed if it passes this measure. It would be a great progressive help to the farmer that would in my judgment be a consummation devoutly to be wished by the farmer and the great mass of people in this Republic. [Applause.]
Mr. WRIGHT. The gentleman from South Carolina said that the Congress authorized the manufacture of nitrates only when it authorized the construction of this plant. I call the gentleman's attention to the fact that the purpose there stated was for the production of nitrates or other products needed for munitions of war and useful in the manufacture of fertilizers and other useful products.
Air. QUIN. I was on the committee and I know it was for (he manufacture of fertilizer in tune of peace. That is what this bill is for and I hope the House will stand by the committee. [Applause.]
Tlie CHAIRMAN. All time on this amendment has expired, and the question is on the amendment of the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Mcmillan].
The question was taken; and on a division (demanded by Mr. Mcmillan) there were 112 ayes and 75 noes.
Mr. WRIGHT and Mr. McMILLAN demanded tellers.
Tellers were ordered, and the Chair appointed Mr. Mobin and Mr. Mcmillan as tellers.
The committee again divided; and the tellers reported that there were 141 ayes and 89 noes.
S» the amendment was agreed to.
Mr. McMILLAN. Mr. Chairman, I have other amendments in order to make the hill consistent.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment by Mr. Mcmillan: Page 10. line 18, after the word •' manufacture," strike out "mixing, selling, or distribution of commercial fertilizer" and Insert in lieu thereof the words "selling or distribution of fixed nitrogen."
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment.
Mr. McMILLAN. Mr. Chairman, I offer another amendment.
Page 11, line 4, after the words "of producing," strike out "fertilizer" and insert the words "fixed nitrogen."
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. McMILLAN. Mr. Chairman, I am offering these amendments to make the bill consistent with my first amendment which was adopted. I offer the further amendment.
The Clerk read as follows:
I'age 11, line 0, after the word "said," strike out "fertilizers" nnd insert In Hen thereof "products."
Mr. JAMES. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, the adoption of these amendments, of course, means that there will be no fertilizer for the farmer. You are going to manufacture nitrogen that you can not sell. You are not going to give the farmers anything. Under the Snell bill, unless he materially amends it, and under the bill before the committee, you are going to turn this nitrogen plant over to Doctor Cottrell, and here is what he says about this proposition:
Mr. Wrioht. You would not think that it was practicable to go there, with the plant as it Is now, nnd undertake to put out 40,000 tons of nitrogen in the form of nitrate of ammonia, would you?
Doctor Cotthki.l. Xo, sir.
Mr. Wright. You think that would be a losing proposition?
Doctor Cottrell. We would simply have it accumulating ou our hands. That Is what it would amount to.
Mr. WniuHT. Thr-re would be no snle for it in that form?
Doctor C'OTTRELL. No, sir; not immediately for agricultural purposes.
Mr. Wbioht. Very well.
So, gentlemen, by voting this amendment into the bill you give the farmer no fertilizer.
Mr. HILL of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike out the last word.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair has announced that a motion to strike out the last word is not in order, because it is an amendment in the third degree.
Mr. McMILLAN. Mr. Chairman, how much time is there left for debate under the original agreement?
The CHAIRMAN. Less than a half hour. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from South Carolina.
The question was taken, and the amendment was agreed to.
Mr. McMILLAN. Mr. Chairman, I offer another amendment, which I send to the desk.
The Clerk roiid as follows:
Amendment by Mr. McMn.LAN: I'age 12, line 4, after the words "production of," strike out "fertilizer" and insert "fixed nitrogen."
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment offered by the gentleman from South Carolina.
Mr. HILL of Alabama. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment. We may just as well know what we iire doinjr by the adoption of these various amendments. As the gentleman from Michigan [Mr. James] has well told the committee, if we proceed to adopt these amendments there will be no fertilizers for the farmers of this country manufactured at. Muscle Shoals. In my judgment there will be little for the farmers at Muscle Shonls if these amendments are adopted. If we deny fertilizers to the farmers at Muscle Shoals, we reverse a policy that has been the policy of the Congress of the United States since 1016. If gentlemen will read the debates held on this floor at the time that the construction of the plants at Muscle Shoals was authorized, they will find that at that time it was the declared intent of the Congress that those plants should manufacture and turn out finished fertilizers for the farmers. As far back as 1910 Mr. A. G. Glasgow, the nitrate director of the War Department, sought to get private parties to take over the plants at Muscle Shoals to manufacture finished fertilizers for the farmers. For weeks, days, months—yes; literally years—the Military Affairs Committee of this House and the Committee on Agriculture of the Senate have labored, have toiled in an effort to get some one to go to Muscle Shoals there to make finished fertilizers for the farmers. This House has three times said that these plants were to be used to manufacture finished fertilizers for the farmers. This House by a substantial majority passed the McKenzie bill, which provided for the acceptance of the offer of Henry Ford, under which offer Mr. Ford was to turn out finished fertilizers for the fanners. A little later in 1925 this House passed the Snell resolution providing for the Muscle Shoals inquiry commission, and in that resolution the House again stated that It was the intent of the House that the plants at Muscle Shoals should be used for manufacturing finished fertilizers for the fanners. For a third time the House made that same declaration in 192C when it passed the joint resolution providing for the joint committee of the two Houses of Congress to negotiate for bids for the lease of the plants at Muscle Shoals.
Likewise on three different occasions the Senate of the United States has declared its intent that the plants at Muscle Shoals should be used for turning out finished fertilizers for the farmers. And now, after all these years, after these three declarations by the House and these three declarations by the Senate, are we to reverse that policy, are we to go back upon the original dedication of these plants to the turning out of finished fertilizers? Let us not deceive ourselves.
Mr. LINTHICUM. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. 1111,1. of Alabama. I can not yield. I have only five minutes.
Let us not deceive ourselves. Those who come from the great farming districts, and who declare that they want to do something for the farmer, are now refusing to give him relief when they vote to take finished fertilizers out of this bill. I was surprised to see this amendment coming from iny good friend from South Carolina [Mr. Mcmillan], because I know that In one year's time the farmers of the State of South Carolina have expended $50,000,000 for the purchase of their fertilizers.
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Alabama has expired.
The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from South Carolina.
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. McMILLAN. Mr. Chairman, I offer the following amendment, which I send to the desk.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment by Mr. Mcmillan: Page 17. line 3, nftcr the words "distribute the," strike out "fertilizers" and insert "nitrogen products."
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
Mr. ALMON. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the nmenrlment. If this amendment is adopted, it takes the very heart out of the bill.
Every Muscle Shoals bill which has been before Congress and pas.sed either House of Congress has provided for the manufacture of fertilizer. That means a complete fertilizer. Now, this amendment of the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Mcmillan] proposes to strike out the word "fertilizer" and insert in lieu thereof "fixed nitrogen." .We have promised the farmers all along that fertilizer would be made at Muscle Shoals when the plant was put into operation. Now. when this and other amendments offered by the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Mcmillan] provided for in this bill will be limited to the production of fixed nitrogen I believe that we should keep faith with the farmers and provide in this hill for the milking by the Government of a complete concentrated fertilizer at Muscle Shoals. We have been insisting and demanding all along that this be done, but now it seems that the fertilizer lobby has induced a sufficient number of Congressmen to vote to limit the production of the Government to fixed nitrogen and not allow the making of a complete fertilizer, as is provided in the Morin bill as reported by the Committee on Military Affairs. Those who are opiHJsing the making of a complete fertilizer by the Government on the ground that it would be Government operation in competition with private capital and industries engaged in the manufacture of fertilizer in this country are mistaken. It means that the Government is going into its own business, the operation of its own plant for the benefit of its own people and in competition with foreign capital, the Chilean nitrate monopoly, with headquarters in London. [Applause.]
We have met in this historic House this afternoon to vote on and decide one of the most important issues which has been before Congress in many years. We are acting in the capacity of a jury to decide an issue made up between the strong and the weak. On one side is the great foreign monopoly, the Chilean corporation, the power monopoly, and the Fertilizer Trust. On the other side are those engaged in agriculture, the tillers of the soil, who earn their bread by the sweat of the brow. We have heard much talk recently about the Government going into business in competition with private industry. It has been overworked. This bill does not mean the Government going into competition with private industry; it simply means that the Government is going to carry on its own business for the benefit of its own people. If it means cornpetition with any interest, it is with foreign interest, and not only foreign interest but a great foreign trust and monopoly, one which has bled the tillers of the soil for more than 40 years to the extent of at least $11.000.000 Ik.t year. [Applause.]
Our soil is being depleted and must be replenished with nitrogen. It is said by those who should know that there are 21,000.000 tons of nitrogen over every square mile. All other countries except ours have been, and are, operating great airnitrogen plants for taking this essential plant fond known as nitrogen from the air and fixing it into a solid substance to be used by the farmers as a fertilizer.
The fertilizer mixers do not produce nitrates, but buy it ami the most of it is Chilean nitrate, and, as I have said heretofore, this forces the American farmer to pay tribute to a foreign country to the amount of $11.000.000 per year. So the
Morin bill means competition not only with foreign capital but a great foreign monopoly which not only controls the price of Chilean nitrate but nitrate in all other forms.
The Congress in 1010, realizing its neglect of agriculture by providing for such plants, authorized and appropriated the money with which to construct such a plant; and it was thought then that it would be in operation in a very short time, but the selfish monopolistic interests of the power and fertilizer combinations have up to this hour defeated the will of the people; and we have continued to permit this great fertilizer octopus to furnish the American fanner with this high-priced inferior grade of fertilizer for which he pays tribute to a foreign Government to the extent of at least $ll,()t;0.000 ]>er annum, and freight rates over more than 6.000 miles for a so-called fertilizer containing 85 per cent dirt and 15 per cent nitrogen. After eight years of continuous labor and effort on the part of our committee to which this subject was assigned they h:ive brought to us by an almost unanimous report a bill carrying out the law of 1916. and one that will protect the farmers against the further imposition of this unreasonable and unjust fertilizer system. The committee has heard the evidence, had it reduced to writing containing several volumes of printed matter. The committee has also filed its report and has advised us as to what they thought should be done. So the issue has been made up and the evidence introduced, and it becomes our duty to render within the next few minutes a verdict involving the best interest and welfare of those who till the soil and feed and clothe the Nation. May we be given the wisdom and the courage to decide this issue between the strong and the weak in such a way and such a manner as to do justice to all. Ours is the greatest country on the globe. Our people have demonstrated that we are the greatest Nation of people in existence. Our form of Government is unequalled by any other in the galaxy of nations.
May we lie able to resist the arguments of the lobby representing the pernicious trusts and monopolies and hear the npin-al of the men and women on the farms crying out for farm relief, and who are not able to come here nor send a lobby. [Applause.] Some of the representatives they sent here to protect their interests have joined the ranks of the lobby opposing their best interest. They must look to us and to us alone to protect their interest.
Shall we produce our own nitrates by taking it from the air at the Government's air-nitrogen plant at Muscle Shoals or continue to buy it in the form of Chilean nitrate? As I have said heretofore, the war air-nitrogen plants in Germany are being operated for fertilizer purposes and the German fanners no longer pay tribute to the Chilean nitrate monopoly, but on the other hand Germany has become a large exporter of fertilizer and some of it is being imported into this country. Shall we continue to pay tribute to this foreign monopoly or shall our Government operate its plant at Muscle Shoals and «;ive the farmers many, many millions of dollars? That is the issue to be settled at this time.
I shall be greatly disappointed if this bill is amended in such a way that the Government corporation provided tor in the Morin hill will not be authorized to make a complete highly concentrated fertilizer. This is what I hove stood for all nlonx, so I appeal to you to vote down this and all other amendments which will prohibit the Government from making a complete high-grade fertilizer that can be sold to the farmers at a vety much lower price than they are now paying. However, if it is changed I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I have done the best that I could to secure for the farmer-- of the country the very best and cheapest fertilizer possible. Some members of the House seem to have changed their views in regard to the bill since the arrival of the fertilizer lobby, but I shall stand firm in the interest of the farmers I have the honor to represent. I would not be disloyal and unfaithful t.» the people who have honored and trusted me for all the gold and silver and ranches of Albert Fall. [Applause.]
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Alabama has expired. All time has expired. The question is on agreeing to the amendment offered by the gentleman from South Carolina.
The amendment was agreed to.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair desires to stnte that in view of the fact that the gentleman from South Carolina has sent up quite a number of perfecting amendments, he thinks it would be better not to offer those now until the hour of debute has been concluded.
Mr. McMILLAN. Then, in order to save time. I will ask unanimous consent that all these amendments may be considered en bloc.
Mr. COLLINS. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Mississippi offers an amendment, which the Clerk will report.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. Collins: Page 22. linn 2, after tlie word "by." strike ont "a reputable Brm of certified public accountants" ami Insert iu lieu thereof the words "the General Arc-minting Office"; on page 23, line 4, after the word "violated," insert "after the amount of danuiKes has been fixed by the L'uited States Court of Claims In proceedings instituted and conducted for that purpose under rules presoril>ed by the eourt."
The CHAIRMAN. The latter amendment is merely read for the information of the committee. The gentleman from Mississippi is recognized in explanation of his amendment.
Mr. COLLINS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the first amendment is offered so that the General Accounting Office shall make annual audits of this Governmentowned corporation instead of the reputable firms of certified accountants.
Mr. ARENTZ. Mr. Chairman, a parliamentary inquiry.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will slate it.
Mr. ARENTZ. A few moments ago the Chair said the whole debate was over, and that the hour had passed, and that all debate on this amendment and other amendments had closed.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair desires to inform the gentleman that we are running under the rules of the House and under the rule and order of the committee, limiting the debate to one hour. The debate a moment ago was exhausted on the particular amendment.
Mr. ARENTZ. Who specified that time?
The CHAIRMAN. That was provided by the rule of the House.
Mr. ARENTZ. Did you divide the time between the two sides, or how? For in several instances the Chair declared at an end all debate on certain sections and all amendments thereto.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair limits the time allowed to each Member to five minutes. The debate has closed on the particular amendment. The gentleman from Mississippi IMr. Collins] will proceed.
Mr. COLLINS. Mr. Chairman, the amendment merely strikes out the words "a reputable firm of certified public accountants," and authorizes the annual auditing to be done by the General Accounting Office of the United States Government This bill creates a Government corporation, and the General Accounting Office, another Government agency, ought to do the auditing. The expense of auditing will be less and the work better done. All of us know of the splendid work that is done by the General Accounting Olfice, and its usefulness can well be utilized iu this case.
That is the first amendment.
Mr. JOHNSON of Texas. We can not hear the gentleman.
Mr. COLLINS. I will state it again. The first amendment permits the auditing of this Government-owned corporation to be done by the General Accounting Office rather than by a firm of certified public accountants. It is a governmental corporation, and some governmental agency ought to do the auditing; and the General Accounting Office has been set up for this purpose and similar purposes.
The next amendment deals with the question of damages that may arise when the plants to be operated are taken over by the Government in the case of war or national emergency. Section 12 permits the Government under these circumstances to take over the property of this corporation or any part of it for the use of the Government, and provides for the payment of damages that mny be suffered by any party whose contract for the purchase of electric power or fertilizers or fertilizer ingredients is thereby violated.
There will necessarily be damages on account of the taking over. Under the terms of the act as it now stands there is no agency set up to determine the amount of these damages. The amendment that I offer authorizes the Court of Claims to fix the amount of the damages under rules to be prescribed by the court.
Mr. Chairman, I am in favor of this legislation. I think it is an excellent bill. It will have my support even if these amendments fail. I think, however, the amendments are men torious, and if adopted will contribute to economic management. [Applause.]
Tlie CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Missis sippi bas expired.
Mr. LxGUARDIA. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from New York is recognized.
Mr. Laguardia. Mr. Chairman, this is an opportunity 1 lave long sought. While I do not doubt the absolute good faith of the gentleman from Mississippi [Mr. Collins] who has iust offered the amendment, I want to say that amendments lave been offered to-day not because gentlemen wanted to help the bill, but because it was sought to destroy this bill. [Applause.]
It seems to me that when the American Congress is confronted with an unholy alliance between the Power Trust and the Fertilizer Trust, the American pecple have not a look-in or a chiince. [Applause. I
The arrogance and brazen attitude of the lobbyists have been talked about in the cloakrooms and in the lobby; and just at the time the Federal Trade Commission has been exposing the indecent conduct <;f the I'ower Trust we find the House in the humiliating position of bowing and accepting their dictates. [Applause. |
I want to say, gentlemen, that the conduct of the lobby of the Power Trust and the conduct of the lobby of the Fertilizer Trust is living proof that the world's oldest profession is not limited to any one sex. [Applause.]
Why, gentlemen, when the Senate bill came over here, and the intent was t<; utilize this great plant and make power, we had the Power Trust opix^sing it; when it was sought to use one of tie finest plants in the world to make fertilizer, then we found the Fertilizer Trust against it. Now we have a combination of the two. We have constantly heard a complaint against the high cost of fertilizer, yet we find Members who pretend to have the welfare of the farmers at heart bowing in humble submission and voting for amendments which destroy the purpose of the bill.
Gentlemen, for six years efforts have been made to get this great plant into the hands of private operators. Some of you gentlemen may talk about Government operation, but only yesterday you had a bill here which provided fur the operation of the inland waterways barge line, and what was stated on the floor? The gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Denison] stated frankly that the purpose was to let the Government operate as long as it was a losing proposition, and then, when the operation was on a profit-paying basis, it is to be given over to private operation. It requires no imagination to know just what will be said when that time comes. It will be argued that the Government lost money; that it is unable to operate; and after it is turned over to private operation it will thereafter always be used as an example against Government operation. It will be entirely forgotten that it took the Government to Initiate the plan, develop it to the point of profitable operation, and then to be grabbed and gobbled by a private corporation to enjoy the profits. Yes; when that time comes I dare say that every one of the so-called conservatives will be ready with their made-to-order speeches against Government operation. I can not understand how these greedy, exploiting corporations can always manage to find enough "me-too" men to vote for their bills.
It was the same with the railroads. At the time this country was confronted with an emergency that required the greatest efficiency in the operation of the railroads tlie companies came cringing to Washington admitting that they were not able to perform the task. Tlie Government took the railroads over and demonstrated the waste and loss of private operation. It took the Government to show how terminals could be used in common, how duplicate freight lines could be eliminated, and no matter what may be said the Government operated the railroads efficiently during a period of crisis when the operation was under every'possible disadvantage.
I believe, and I do not hesitate to say so, in Government or State operation of water power for generating electricity. I believe that this gift of God to the people of the country belongs to all of the people and should be utilized for their benefit and not monopolized by any corporation for the purpose of exploiting the masses of consumers. As between the cost of Government operation and the cost to the people of excessive, exorbitant rates impostd by public utilities corporations the people of the country will save hundreds of millions of dollars under Government operation.
There is ho]x> iu this bill. There is still hope that we will be able to defeat its going into the hands of any private concern. Oh, there are many hanging around like hungry wolves hoping that this bill will be defeated, so that they will have another chance to grab Mu.scle Shoals. There is still hope that we will be able to save this priceless plant for the American people. There is hope that we may make it a model to establish what should be the reasonable and fair price for power and the reasonable and fair price for fertilizer. Under the McMillan amendment, which I am sure can not survive after the bill gets through conference, the farmer will derive no benefit, but the Fertilizer Trust will be able to get cheaper nitrates to increase their present exorbitant profits. It will not be long before the fanner realizes that. For that reason I aia sure tlmt such an arrangement will never be permitted to remain in the bill. But, gentlemen, let us pass the bill to-day and get it into conference. From the conference I am sure after the American people realize what is going on public opinion will be so crystallized that there will come a bill protecting the interest of the American people and carrying out their wishes and not the wishes of the power and fertilizer lobby that have been infesting Washington during the present session of Congress.
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from New York has expired. The question is on the first amendment offered by the gentleman from Mississippi [Mr. ComifS].
The amendment wns agreed to.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is now on the second amendment offered by the gentleman from Mississippi, which, without objection, the Clerk will again report.
There was no objection.
The Clerk again read the amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Mississippi.
The amendment was agreed to.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Trtinesspe I Mr. Rkece], a member of the committee.
Mr. KKECB. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Tennessee offers an amendment, which the Clerk will report.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. Reece: After section 17, on page 20, add a new section, 17-a, to read as follows:
"When the capital stoek herein provided In appropriated the board of directors of the said corporation shall make available not to exceed $2,000,000 with which to begin the construction of the Cove Creek Dam during the calendar year 1929."
Mr. REECE. Mr. Chairman, the purpose of my amendment is to unlock the development of water power in the Tennessee Valley. The engineers estimate that the Tennessee Valley is capable of producing more than 2,000,000 horsepower of hydroelectric energy.
There is at this time a demand for this hydroelectric power by reason of the industrial development which is going on in enst Tennessee. Private enterprise is ready to develop it. and has applications pending before the Federal Water Power Commission for permits to do so. The commission, however, has refused to grunt permits for the construction of any dams until the policy relating to Cove Creek has been settled. The Cove Creek Dam, as you have been told, is to be used as a giant reservoir to impound the water for the purpose of regulating the flow of the Tennessee and the Clinch Rivers. Under the provisions of this bill the Government is being authorized to construct Cove Creek Dam, but it provides no time in which the construction of it shall begin, in consequence of which the development of water power may continue to be held in abeyance.
The iiuu'iidiuent which I have submitted authorizes, when the capital stock of the Muscle Shoals Corporation has been appropriated, that not to exceed $2,000,000 shall be made immediately available with which to begin the construction of Cove Creek Dam, as provided in section 17 of the bill. If the bill is adopted and becomes a law, the Government has said it is going to construct the dam, but no appropriation may be made available for that purpose for a period of years; consequently we will continue to he held up iii the development of our water power in the Tennessee Valley, which is the greatest asset we have in our State.
We do not care whether the Government constructs the Cove Creek Dam or not. We would prefer that private enterprise construct the dam, but if the Government is going to step in and say it is going to construct it, then I say some provision ought to be made for its early construction, so that other dams on the Tennessee River shall likewise be made available for construction by private enterprise. Applications are pending from private capital for the construction of all of these dams, but the Federal Water Power Commission will not grant permits for the construction of them, as I have said, until the policy relating to the Cove Creek Dam has been decided.
Mr. OLIVER of Alabama. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. REECE. Yes.
Mr. OLIVER of Alabama. I think the gentleman recognizes the fact that the construction of the Cove Creek Dam will expedite navigation on the Tennessee.
Mr. REECE. Certainly. It will expedite navigation on the Tennessee and likewise take care of flood control on the Tennessee.
I have discussed this amendment with various members of the committee, and it is my understanding they have no objection to it, and I certainly hope it may meet the approbation of the members of the committee.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Reece].
The amendment was agreed to.
Mr. SNELL. Mr. Chairman, I am presenting some perfecting amendments to my substitute, and I desire to have them read and then I ask to be recognized on the amendments.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the Clerk will report the amendments.
The Clerk read as follows:
Amendment offered by Mr. S.nei/l to his substitute: Page G, line H, after the word "production," strike out the words "including a reasonable rate" and Insert in lieu thereof the word "exclusive."
Mr. BANKHEAD. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman from New York yield for a parliamentary inquiry?
Mr. SNELL. Certainly.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state his parliamentary inquiry.
Mr. BANKHEAD. There was so much confusion in the Hall that some of us could not hear the proposal of the gentleman from New York. I wish the gentleman would restate it.
Mr. SNELL. I asked to have the amendments which I have presented read, and then I desire to discuss them all at one time.
Mr. BANKHEAD. Amendments to the gentleman's substitute?
Mr. SNELL. Yes; they are perfecting amendments to my substitute.
Mr. BANKHEAD. I reserve a point of order against that at this stage of the proceedings, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman will state his point of order.
Mr. BANKHEAD. I do not think, until we have concluded the consideration of the committee substitute, it is in order to offer amendments to the gentleman's substitute or to discuss Uiem.
The CHAIRMAN. There is pending now, and has been since a week ago, the substitute that was offered by the gentleman from New York, and the gentleman Is now offering certain amendments and has requested to have the amendments read at this time for the information of the committee.
Mr. SNELL. Then I desire to be recognized in support of them. There is nothing out of order or unusual about that.
Mr. BAN'KHEAD. A parliamentary inquiry. Mr. Chairman. Will this time be taken*out of the one hour originally allotted?
The CHAIRMAN. The time which the gentleman consumes will be taken out, but not the time used in propounding the parliamentary inquiry.
Mr. BANKHEAD. I mean the time the gentleman proposes to use in debating his amendment. Will that be taken out of the one hour fixed by the committee?
The CHAIRMAN. It will be.
Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Chairman, may I inquire how much time remains of the one hour?
The CHAIRMAN. About 12 minutes. The Clerk will continue reading the amendments.
The Clerk read as follows:
Page 7, lines 3 and 11, after the word "Agriculture," insert "or other designated agent."
Page 2, line 22, after the word "except," strike out "for a continuous output of 15,000 kilowatts" iiud insert "such amounts of either primary or secondary power as may be required from time to time under sections 0 and 10 herein."
Page 0, line 2, after the wor<l "Agriculture," insert "or other designated agent."
Also, page 5, line 17, after the word "Agriculture," insert '* or other designated agent."
Page 0, line 5, after the word "Agriculture," insert "or other designated agent."
Page 6, line !t, after the word "Agriculture," insert "or other designated agent."
Mr. SNELL. Mr. Chairman, whatever time I have taken in discussion of this bill has been taken in an honest attempt to present some constructive plan for the use and disposition of the property that we own now at Muscle Shoals.
Some reference has been made to the substitute which I hnve offered. I say here now on my reputation as a Member of Congress that whatever there is in the substitute that is good belongs to me; whatever there is in the substitute that is bad, or if it is all bad, belongs to me. I did not present my sub