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Senator Dill. Did you have anything to do with the granting of permits for municipal plants at Tacoma and Seattle, up in the forest area of Washington?
Mr. BONNER. No, sir. My district was restricted to the State of California.
Senator WHEELER. How long was Russell with the Interstate Commerce Commission?
Mr. BONNER. About four years, I think.
Senator WHEELER. When he came to the commission he had the recommendation, did he not, of Mr. Lewis, the chairman of the Interstate Commerce Commission?
Mr. BONNER. I think I have seen such letters in the files.
Senator WHEELER. He likewise had the recommendations of all of the members of the Supreme Court of Montana; I think all of them.
Mr. BONNER. For this position?
Senator WHEELER. No; for the position he held with the Interstate. Commerce Commission.
Mr. BONNER. I think I have seen letters he filed, but whether they indorsed him for the attorney's position he took several years ago with the Interstate Commerce Commission or not I do not recall.
Senator WHEELER. That is what I say.
Mr. BONNER. I do not think there was anything filed from the Montana people in regard to his position with the Federal Power Commission, except I believe there was one from Congressman Leavitt.
There is one other point, Mr. Chairman, and that is the testimony introduced here indicating that the Federal Power Commission had devoted only five and one-half hours a year to their formal meetings, and there was some implication carried with it that that was the extent of the service of the commissioners in handling this Federal Power Commission work.
The CHAIRMAN. I think it was later developed by query that the commissioners took work home and took work to their offices. I think perhaps Senator Wheeler brought that out.
Mr. BONNER. I should certainly like to correct that if there is any implication of that kind. This commission has been giving a lot of time to the work.
Senator WHEELER. There was not any questioning of that kind, or at least I did not gather the impression that the Federal Power Commission had only given five and one-half hours a year to this work. It was only in reference to the actual holding of official meetings. There was no question but what the commission had devoted some time besides that to these matters.
Mr. BONNER. We had one trip not long ago where the commission was out 48 hours, all three commissioners.
Senator WHEELER. There was no question about that.
Mr. BONNER. I want to say, too, that there has been the idea created that they allow the executive secretary full control of the Federal Power Commission's work. That is not true at all. I want to assure you that the commissioners are fully aware of what is going on all the time; in fact, I have been in almost daily contact with the acting chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Who is that?
The CHAIRMAN. Who is the chairman of the Federal Power Commission now?
Mr. BONNER. There has been no chairman designated since Secretary Good died. Under the law the President designates the chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. You are only speaking from your own experience.. You do not speak for Mr. Merrill's time?
Mr. BONNER. No; I do not know about any previous period.
Senator Dill. The commission has been more active in the last month or two than it was previously, has it not?
Mr. BONNER. Well, I would not say that, Senator.
Senator WHEELER. They have never had any public hearings on any subject, except the Flathead power project, have they?
Mr. BONNER. This present commission, do you mean?
Senator WHEELER. My recollection is that no Federal Power Commission had ever held a public hearing except on the Flathead matter.
Mr. BONNER. Well, they have had hearings, but they did not extend for such a lengthy period.
Senator WHEELER. You have held public hearings?
Mr. BONNER. I was called back here four years ago on one hearing. That is all I know personally about. .
Senator WHEELER. All that I know is what somebody has told me. Mr. BONNER. Oh, they have held hearings.
Senator WHEELER. I was told that they had never held an open public hearing.
Mr. BONNER. Oh, yes; they have.
Mr. BONNER. I should also like to have this point cleared up, that the present staff of the commission is relatively new. We had a complete turnover there the 1st of July. I came in new. Major Edgerton, who was the chief engineer, left and was succeeded by Colonel Tyler, who is a very eminent engineer of the Corps of Engineers of the Army, having directed Muscle Shoals and other large projects, but he has not had time to become thoroughly familiar with the business of the Federal Power Commission as yet. Also, the chief counsel left us shortly after July 1, and we had another chief counsel, who only remained a couple of months, and now that position is vacant. So we have been handicapped to some extent by that situation.
Senator WHEELER. Don't you feel that the commission ought to have its own engineers and its own accountants?
Mr. BONNER. As a headquarters staff; yes, sir.
Senator WHEELER. But you think the rest of the work could be turned over to the War Department or to the Agricultural Department or to the Interior Department?
Mr. BONNER. Well, it is not turned over. It is really a part of their own administrative duties. The Federal Power Commission is just heading that work up and coordinating a part of their duties.
Senator WHEELER. Candidly I can not see any use of creating a new Federal Power Commission if you are going to simply turn it over to these other departments; if the only purpose is going to be to create three new commissioners and you are going to leave the 'work as it is at the present time other than that.
Mr. BONNER. Well, the purpose would be simply to relieve the secretaries who are now giving considerable time to the work.
Senator DILL. It would also relieve the President of being responsible. Here now the Cabinet officers are very close to the President, and are very careful as to the power sites. If you create independent positions they are responsible to nobody, not to Congress or anybody else. So there is a question of whether it is wise to make such a change if the executive secretary has his own men to do this work. What I am wondering is, whether if we appoint an independent commission we will not have such independent commission doing things in defiance of the people, who can not be reached by people anywhere, just the same as other commissioners are.
Mr. BONNER. Personally I think it would be very desirable to have the commissioners tied in with some definite responsibility to the respective departments.
Senator Dill. But that is not enough.
Mr. BONNER. And possibly to give them a position of assistant secretary in the departments.
Senator WHEELER. There was one statement that you have not covered, and that was with reference to the part of the exhibit that was deleted, that was put in before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the House of Representatives.
The CHAIRMAN. Wasn't that done before your time, Mr. Bonner? Mr.BONNER. Ido not recall what you have in mind, Senator Wheeler.
Senator WHEELER. There was testimony given by Mr. King or somebody else that a ecrtain record was put in before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the House of Representatives and then that portion of it were deleted.
The CHAIRMAN. May I draw Senator Wheeler's attention to the fact that counsel to the committee brought that up and he says it was during Mr: Merrill's time.
Senator WHEELER. All right. Then I understand that in the annual report of 1927 there were certain portions of that report that were deleted. Do you know why that was, Mr. Bonner, or was that before your time?
Mr. BONNER. Yes, sir; I do not know anything about it.
Mr. BONNER. In respect to this matter that has just been referred to, about the relation of this work to the several departments, I think it would be very important, in order that this committee might be fully informed, that they call representatives of the departments. I suggest that you call Mr. Norcross, Chief Engineer of the Forest Service, and General Brown, the Chief of Engineers of the War Department, and the chief hydraulic engineer of the Geological Survey. They can tell you how closely these activities are tied in with their regular administrative work. I think it would be very helpful to the committee if you had that information. I think it would be helpful also if you would call Major Edgerton, who was the chief engineer of the commission for the last five years.
I want to give you next, Mr. Chairman, these reports that you have called for.
(Thereupon the witness handed to the chairman of the committee a 15-page tabulated statement, which is as follows:)
Applications pending and authorizations outstanding under Federal water power act
Feb. 29, 1929
Washington Irrigation & Development Washington.
Crown Willamette Paper Co. 44 Cooper, Hugh L-
Alaska-Endicott Mining & Milling Co. Alaska.
Wisconsin. 111 Southern California Edison Co.. Arizona, Nevada,
June 25, 1924
Aug. 7, 1924
Clark Fork Columbia River
600,000 Aug. 26, 1927 50,000
1, 1921 Apr. 18, 1922
Mar. 3, 1921
Oct. 26, 1921 Feb. 12, 1923
400,000 Jan. 12, 1921
3, 750 Jan. 17, 1921
115 Stineman, W. H. H., and Quick, District of Columbia, Potomac River Alfred M.
Maryland, Virginia. 116 Southern Sierra Power Co., The. California.
Owens River 117 ..do..
(Transmission line) 120 Southern California Edison Co.
San Joaquin River... 121 Girand, James B.
Colorado River 126 Love, John R., and von Brecht, G. A.. Idaho.
Salmon River 135 Portland Electric Power Co.
Clackamas River and Oak Grove
Creek. 137 Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
North Fork Mokelumne River 144 Idaho Power Co.
North Fork Feather River
St. Lawrence River
Big Horn River
St. Lawrence River 155 Southern Sierras Power Co., The California.
Snow Creek and tributaries. 158 Utah Power & Light Co.
Green River .do
do.. 166 Suburban Power Co., The.
West and north forks, King River.
San Luis Rey River. 177 Oklawaha Reclamation Farms.
South Fork American River 185 Southern Sierras Power Co., The
High Creek et al.
Yuba River and tributaries 190 Uintah Power & Light Co..
Pole Creek and Uintah River
South Fork Clearwater River
Beaver Falls Creek.
South and Middle Forks Tuo
lumne River. El Nido Mining Co.
Colorado River 231 Do.
Pole Canyon Spring238 Los Angeles, city of..
Arizona, Nevada. Colorado River 245 Wagner Assets Realization Corporation. California
(Transmission line). 250 | Northern States Power Co.
Jan. 26, 1924 June 25, 1924
Jan. 31, 1921
Mar. 21, 1921
Mar. 17, 1922
122, 000 Mar. 8, 1921 Sept. 14, 1921
Nov. 9, 1922 Aug. 20, 1923
Apr. 17, 1923
Oct. 23, 1923
Mar. 9, 1922
20,000 | Sept. 20, 1921
Sept. 6, 1921
June 26, 1922