dent in the development of intra state rivers for any purposes other than navigation by the Federal Government in the entire Southwest. Stop. With the recent trend and activity of the Federal Government in aiding states and public prove to be of great importance to our entire state.” Little did the Congressman from Brenham fully imagine how very revolutionary this act would prove to be. 0 N NOVEMBER 13, 1934, Governor Miriam “Ma” Ferguson signed the bill to permit the creation of the Colorado River Authority. In the end, it was a bargain struck between contending parties one that would permit the Dallas representatives to get the Centennial exposition in return for their support of the Colorado River Authority bill that produced agreement. Among others on hand to witness the event was Walter Long, to whom the Governor gave the pen. With the enabling act now in place, the final ends had to be secured in Washington. Buchanan had been concerned because of the delay in getting the act finalized. Now he had to fret even more. The original $4,500,000 set aside by the President for Buchanan Dam in the meantime had been spent, and it appeared there would be no federal funds at all. Irony of ironies, in view of the fact that it was at federal insistence that a Colorado River Authority had been created in the first instance. The pressure on Buchanan increased. An effort was orchestrated from Austin to convince the Congressman of the need to acquire federal funds. Letters poured in to him from A. C. Bull, President of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, from Capital National Bank, from the law firm of Oatman and Oatman in Llano, as well as from various citizens in Burnet. The telegram from Ray Lee, managing editor of the Austin American, reflected the sentiments of many people. “As you know,” he stated, “our newspapers fought for the Colorado Valley Authority Legislation on premise project would afford great direct work relief for unemployed this winter now is the time this work is needed and we hope sincerely you will be able to persuade all parties to bring this promise into fact.” The opposition was not dead yet. TP & L continued to try to scuttle the plans. Sarah T. Hughes, who had refused to endorse the enabling act, had pleaded with Ickes not to fund the project. Buchanan, in a letter to Ickes, sought to defuse her criticism, particularly concerning accusations about Morrison’s potential gains. Though 22 DECEMBER 14, 1984 himself a fiscal conservative, Buchanan also sought to persuade Ickes of the victory this battle promised for the federal government: I hope Mr. Secretary that I am not being too insistent but my heart and soul is in this project and I am determined if within my power, to see this project prosecuted to a successful conclusion, not only for the benefit to the unemployed, to prevent floods and provide cheap electrical energy to the people but to demonstrate to the Utility Companies that they cannot defeat the President, the people and the PWA in carrying out the Administration’s policy that natural resources shall be used in the public interest and not for the aggrandizement of private interests. Ickes continued to be suspicious. He had his general counsel, Henry Hunt, prepare reports on the financial status of Buchanan Dam. He also sought an independent and impartial outside assessment of the legality of the Colorado River Authority. Ickes wanted the federal government to take over the waterways and rivers throughout the land, but he also insisted that any such actions be defended on constitutional grounds. Ickes finally satisfied himself on all counts of the propriety of the project, and, on April 11, 1935, he announced that the Colorado River Authority would likely be the recipient of anywhere from $17,000,000 to $20,000,000 of federal funds. After final approval by the President, and by other PWA officials, Ickes announced on May 16th that the PWA would provide $20,000,000 in funds to complete the dams on the Colorado. After so many years, and after so many people had devoted such extensive effort to getting dams built, one can imagine the excitement this announcement brought to Austin, and to the rest of central Texas. The Austin “I hope Mr. Secretary that I am not being too insistent but my heart and soul is in this project . . .” American proclaimed the great event in a lead story published on May 17th. The article spoke at length of how these monies would assure construction of the dams, and how such dams would solve the age-old problems of floods and of power up and down the Colorado. Fish hatcheries, land reclamation, and hydroelectric power were to be the principal benefits of the construction of the dams, the article said. And, besides all this, the Buchanan Dam would create a large lake, suitable for recreational purposes but to be used primarily to control the flow of water, to increase it when the rice fields downstream required, or to hold it back during times of heavy rains. At last, it seemed to everyone, the river would be tamed. THE CREATION of the Colorado River Authority and the provision of funds to the Authority by the PWA are products of two important historic acts the one to create the dams to control the Colorado; the other to permit the federal government to finance this control. Both acts were decisive in saving, indeed, in building this part of the United States, and to the development of our community on the Colorado. We cannot and should not deny their importance in this regard. But the provision of funds to build the dam generated a new kind of motivation, one that many people will claim simply is part of human nature. Many poor men, previously unemployed and living by the skin of their teeth, ravaged by the hardships of the depression and the unavailability of work, now could look forward to jobs. But some people saw in the federal funds, and the dams, and the Authority, something more. They saw a way to secure great personal gain, to help lift themselves above the crowds. And some of these people make their appearance in this saga quite early. One such person, it appears, was C. G. Malott. Mr. Malott was the President of the Colorado River Company, the last of the many private firms to be involved with the Buchanan Dam. Control of the Colorado River Company was in the hands of Ralph Morrison, Mr. Malott’s father-in-law. Once the Authority had been created, Mr. Malott believed that he should take over as its general manager. Why he should have thought himself to be entitled to do so is uncertain, in light of the fact that the State had created a public agency to operate the dams. Sarah Hughes’ concern that Morrison might get repayment on his check to FDR seemed to be wellfounded. Alvin Wirtz was willing to endorse Malott’s appointment, not, it seems, because he wanted Malott and Morrison to have control of the Authority, but rather because he believed that Malott possessed a good deal of relevant experience and knowledge, particularly with the Buchanan site. In a letter on August 17, 1935, to Congressman Buchanan, Wirtz takes responsibility for insisting on Malott’s appointment, not “as a personal favor to Malott, [but]
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