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sent here during the time that legislation was pending agreed to this provision, the purpose being to enable the accomplishment of the work heretofore mentioned in the most economical way looking to the providing of irrigation facilities for the Michaud division so that those Indians within the Fort Hall Bottoms area taken for the American Falls Reservoir would have lands in lieu of those given up. Accordingly the main Fort Hall canal, being approximately 26 miles in length, was built with sufl cient capacity to serve the existing Fort Hall project and also to convey water to the Michaud lands whenever it should be made a part of the irrigation project.

The rehabilitation work accomplished under the act of May 24, 1922, made it possible to supply 10,000 acres known as the Gibson division by the construction of canals and laterals connecting with the main works. The construction of the Gibson division was authorized by the act of March 3, 1927 (44 Stat. 1398–1399), and the work has been done so that the present Fort Hall project consists of 60,000 acres, 50,000 in the Fort Hall division and 10,000 in the Gibson division.

Difficulty has been encountered in connection with the conveying of the water down the Blackfoot River from the Blackfoot Reservoir to the Indian heading in the river by reason of the sinuous nature of the channel. Complaint has been made by various water users owning lands north of the river alleging damage being done to their lands in using the channel of the Blackfoot River as a conduit for conveying water from the Blackfoot Reservoir to the Indian lands. Studies of existing conditions were pursued in accordance with the act of January 12, 1927 (44 Stat. L. 945), which, among other things, included the investigation of any damage resulting in the operation of the Blackfoot Reservoir. A report dated September 3, 1929, was prepared, based upon the studies and investigations showing the need for correction of present conditions in the channel of the Blackfoot River so as to permit proper operation of the project and avoid damage to lands along that part of the Blackfoot River used for conveying the stored waters of the Fort Hall project.

Congress authorized an appropriation for surveys and investigation of the placing of water on the Michaud division of the project by the act of March 28, 1928 (45 Stat. 377). The surveys and investigations made pursuant to this legislation were embodied in a report dated November 12, 1929, which shows an area of 30,091 acres within this division of the project as the only undeveloped division within the reservation that is economically feasible of development as a part of the irrigation system. As part of the investigations a soil survey was made by a soil technologist of the Department of Agriculture which shows that of the gross area, 35,600 acres, of this division only 1,846 acres are unproductive land. None of the unproductive land is included in the area of 30,091 acres proposed to be provided with irrigation facilities. The soils of the Michaud division are similar to those of the Tyhee district of the Fort Hall division, and are well adapted to the production of sugar beets, potatoes, alfalfa, and clover and alfalfa seed.

A study of the stream-flow and water-supply records extneding over a period from 1911 to 1928, inclusive, as well as such earlier data as were available, shows that there is normally available from sources now practically developed a water supply of 424,000 acre-feet annually. This available supply of water should be adequate to take care of the water requirements of the present developed divisions of the project and the Michaud division, making a total area of 90,000 acres of irrigable land. Provision is contained in the bill taking care of water conditions, giving the Indians priorities in and to the use of water and requiring that the owners of lands, other than Indian, within the Michaud division shall obligate themselves and pay, in addition to the proper share of the construction cost of the project assessable against their lands, at the rate of $7.50 per acre-foot for water required for irrigation of such lands. There are 21,912 acres of Indian lands within this division, the balance of the division being in other than Indian ownership. In pursuance to the report it is contemplated to allocate to the Michaud division of the project (the cost of which to date has been charged to the existing divisions of the Fort Hall project) a water supply for which the Michaud division shall reimburse the present divisions in an amount equal to the equitable proportion of the actual cost, which is estimated to amount to $362,500. With these funds, or so much thereof as may be required, necessary work on the present divisions will be done. This work will include enlargement and straightening of the Blackfoot River Channel, including payment of damages, thereby alleviating the existing situation and providing an adequate distribution system for the entire Fort Hall project. At the present time by reason of the quantity of water developed that will be used on the Michaud division at an estimated cost of $362,500, the funds already spent in enlarging the main Fort Hall canal for that division and the funds appropriated for surveys and investigations of the division, approximately $490,000 has been spent for the benefit of the Michaud division of the project.

As an additional protection the question of the economic feasibility of the Michaud division was presented to Doctor Mead, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, and he has advised in part as follows:

The opportunity of combining land and water at a reasonable cost is becoming more difficult to find and the Bureau of Reclamation is now constructing projects that are costing considerably more than $100 (per acre, not in quotation). The Michaud unit of the Fort Hall project, with an average charge of less than $100, brings it in a class that can be considered sound and feasible from an economic viewpoint.

“Furthermore, there has been an expenditure of nearly $500,000 for the benefit of the Michaud unit that can not be recovered unless this portion of the project is completed, and it also gives an opportunity to overcome a difficulty that confronts the completion and successful development of the Fort Hall unit. The important feature in this connection is to obligate the land absolutely to the repayment of the entire construction cost.

The Indians of the Fort Hall Reservation have petitioned in writing for the construction of the Michaud division of the project. A delegation of the Fort Hall Indians when here in Washington in January of this year also requested that this division be constructed and that the collection of construction costs against 20 acres of each allotment be deferred so long as the land remains in Indian ownership. The bill in this respect provides for the setting aside of a homestead of 20 acres for each Indian now owning land allotted as grazing under the Michaud division who has no irrigable agricultural allotment with an adequte water supply elsewhere within the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. This provision was for the purpose of giving those Indians a 20-acre tract of irrigable land on which they would not be required to pay construction charges during the period that they retained ownership therein. The irrigable allotments under the present Fort Hall project consist of 20 acres. A change should be made in this language so as to permit those Indians who have been allotted 20-acre irrigable allotments under the Michaud division to have such irrigable allotments that are now inadequately provided with water but which will be adequately provided with water after the work contemplated by the bill has been done, set aside as a homestead. It is, therefore, suggested that in section 4, line 18, page 4 of the bill, there be inserted after the word “grazing” the words “or agricultural”; in line 22, same section and page, there be inserted after the word “grazing” the words “or agricultural”; and in line 1, same section,, page 5, after the word “grazing” there be inserted the words “or agricultural.

It is suggested that the following amendment be also made: In section 2, line 9, page 3 of the bill, after the figures "$362,500" there should be added the following language: “or so much thereof as may be required.”

The bill with the suggested amendments, it is believed, adequately protects the United States and the Indians. It is accordingly recommended that it receive favorable consideration and action.

C. J. RHOADS, Commissioner. O




2d Session


REPORT No. 655



May 15, 1930.--Ordered to be printed

Mr. SCHALL, from the Committee on Interoceanic Canals, submitted

the following


(To accompany H. R. 4293]

The Committee on Interoceanic Canals, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 4293) to provide for a ferry and a highway near the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, having considered the same, report favorably thereon and recommend that the bill do pass without amendment.

The bill has the approval of the War Department, as will appear by the annexed communication, which is made a part of this report.


Washington, D. C., May 8, 1930. Hon. Thomas D. SCHALL, Chairman Committee on Interoceanic Canals,

United States Senate. DEAR SENATOR SCHALL: The War Department is interested in the bill H. R. 4293, to provide for a ferry and highway near the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, now pending in your committee.

May I invite your attention to the War Department letter of November 11, 1929, to the chairman of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, which letter is printed in full in House Report No. 993, accompanying H. R. 4293, in which the cogent reasons in favor of the measure are fully set forth.

The need for improved transportation facilities between the Pacific side of the Isthmus and the interior Provinces of Panama has long been recognized. Aside from the necessities of the situation, it is felt that a moral obligation rests upon the United States to facilitate the means of communication between the two halves of the Republic of Panama.

The proposed measure is strongly commended by the Governor of the Canal Zone, and it also has the unqualified approval of the State Department.

It is hoped that your committee will find it expedient to take the measure up at an early date. Sincerely yours,

F. TRUBEE Davison,

Acting Secretary of War.

The report of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce on the bill is appended to and made a part of this report

House Report No. 993, Seventy-first Congress, second session) The Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 4293) to provide for a ferry and a highway near the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, having considered the same, report thereon with a recommendation that it pass.

After the passage of the original act of Congress authorizing the acquisition of territory from the Republic of Panama and the construction of an interoceanic canal therein, a treaty was made between the United States and the Republic of Panama by which the United States acquired a strip of land across the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, 10 miles wide, being 5 miles on each side of the proposed canal. There was reserved to Panama out of this 10-mile strip the territory then comprising the city of Colon on the Atlantic side and the city of Panama, the capital of the Republic, on the Pacific side. At that time, 1904, practically the only method of transportation in the Republic of Panama was by ships and other small watercraft that traveled along the coast of the Republic on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides.

In negotiating the treaty with Panama no provision was made for allowing the inhabitants of Panama to cross the Canal Zone from one part of the Republic to the other. The canal and the Canal Zone which passed under the jurisdiction of the United States completely divided the Republic of Panama into two divisions and no arrangements were made for those on either side of the Republic to reach the other side except by boat. This was evidently an oversight, and was due, no doubt, to the fact that at that time there were no improved highways or railroads in the Republic of Panama; motor transportation had not then been. far enough developed, nor had it reached the Republic of Panama in any form. The people of Panama had always depended upon intercoastal water craft for travel and for the transportation of their products.

But in recent years the Government of the Republic of Panama has been expending large sums on internal improvements. They have built some railroads into the interior, and for several years have been constructing improved highways from various cities and villages in the interior to the capital of the Republic. But, of course, they can not construct roads over the 10-mile strip under the jurisdiction of the United States, nor have they any method of crossing the canal to reach Panama City, except by a rather antiquated barge ferry and tugboat which our Government has been furnishing and operating free just above the Pedro Miguel Locks. With the construction of improved roads into the interior of the Republic and the agricultural development that has followed such construction, travel to and from the capital has increased to such proportions that the present ferry service is wholly inadequate to take care of the traffic. Moreover, the maintenance of this barge-ferry service just above the locks is objectionable for other important reasons.

For several years negotiations have been conducted between our Government and the Government of Panama with a view to providing a crossing of the canal and the Canal Zone, but no definite arrangements have yet been made. The Government of Panama has urged very forcefully the necessity of providing this crossing for their people; and the State Department of our Government has recognized the moral obligation on the part of our Government to afford this facility to the people of Panama. The Government of Panama has urged that an improved road be constructed by our Government leading from the canal to connect up with the improved roads of the Republic, and that a bridge be built over the canal. For military and other reasons, the United States is unwilling to have a bridge constructed over the canal. In the event of war such a structure could be easily destroyed and the transit of our fleet through the canal could be indefinitely delayed. The alternative is to provide a suitable modern ferry to be installed for crossing the canal at a point where it would be least objectionable from a military point of view, and most advantageous to the people of the Republic of Panama desiring to cross the canal in order to reach their capital.

The Republic of Panama has constructed something over 250 miles of improved highways leading from the Canal Zone back into the interior where several towns are located. They have planned and will soon begin the construction of a continuation of this road farther into the interior to connect up with an agricultural section where a great deal of coffee and other agricultural products are produced.

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