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have occurred. He feels that, to be safe, he must make a large allowance — factor of safety over the greatest known flood. At the same time, he knows that such floods occur only at very rare intervals, and this further question is forced upon him for decision: is it wise to provide for those extreme visitations which may occur only once in a generation or so? Would it not be better to stop with provision for high floods, accepting the very rare deluges with such emergency measures as may be practicable at the time, and then foot the bill of damages? This is, in fact, the general policy of railroads, which are perhaps the greatest sufferers from floods; and it would be easy to demonstrate, on the basis of financial profit and loss, that the same course would apply to many of the great flood problems of the country.
There are, however, considerations other than mere profit and loss, which assume an importance in some problems that justifies a policy of absolute protection.
A serious hindrance to effective measures of flood-control arises from the quick recovery of the public mind from the shock of disaster. This is a universal experience. Iroquois theatre tragedies, Cleveland school holocausts, stir the public mind to frenzy and lead to the most strenuous measures of protection. But the lesson is quickly forgotten, and severity of regulation correspondingly relaxes.
So in the case of floods. Situations like that in the lower Mississippi, where flood disasters occur every few years, furnish their own impelling force for remedial measures. Other situations, like those in the State of Ohio in the terrible flood of March, 1913, do not arise often, and it requires a forceful, self-denying, and determined public spirit to carry through truly comprehensive measures. VOL. 121-NO. 6
Perhaps the most urgent need of the flood problem to-day is a broad-gauge, enlightened, and energetic public policy in regard to it. There is no occasion for further delay in formulating such a policy, and this fact seems to have found recognition in Congress in the recent creation of a new committee in the House of Representatives for the exclusive consideration of the subject of flood-control. While the powers of this committee do not at present extend to the bringing in of appropriation bills, they certainly do permit the formulation for submission to Congress of a definite national policy; and in the expectation that it will live up to its opportunities, we shall examine some of the features which such a policy should embrace.
In the first place, it should extend to all streams, and not be limited to navigable streams. Such technical limitation has been the chief barrier hitherto to any comprehensive flood legislation. It has always seemed to the writer a most illogical barrier. The constitutional authority of Congress to act in these matters is not in terms restricted to navigable rivers, nor indeed to rivers at all. It is difficult to understand why Congress may appropriate money to remove a river-bar or other obstruction to navigation, and may not appropriate money to control floods on streams where such floods interrupt interstate commerce, delay the mails, and otherwise interfere with the general welfare. In spite of the fact that Congress has thus far religiously clung to the theory that it can appropriate no money affecting stream-control unless it be in aid of navigation, the grounds upon which this policy rests must be challenged, and we believe that the creation of this new committee is premonitory evidence of its early abandonment.
In the second place, we may observe that there should be close coördination between flood-prevention or protection and other purposes of stream-control, in order that there may be no serious conflict of purpose or undue waste in the cost of development. This is perhaps the most difficult feature of the flood-problem-more difficult than the physical problem in itself. At the outset arises the perplexing question, how to deal with private development upon our streams. We ought not, on the one hand, to prevent or seriously discourage private capital in the development of power; on the other hand, we must not permit such development to become an obstacle to adequate flood-control. A particular feature of private development which might, and generally would, so interfere, is the construction of storage reservoirs. The sites occupied may be the only ones suitable to flood-control, and development for industrial use only might permanently bar the other purpose. It would seem that all such development should first receive the approval of some public body, both as a guaranty of safety and as a means of control.
It is right here that public aid might well be given. Suppose that a reservoir of certain capacity at a particular site will answer all the purposes of industrial development, while one of greater capacity will serve also the purpose of flood-control. If, in addition to the cost justly chargeable to private development, the public could add enough to secure the larger work, manifestly two important ends would be gained. Some such policy would seem to be exceedingly desirable, because waterpower, domestic supply, and irrigation are destined to undergo wide development; and it seldom happens that the particular industrial use concerned requires a dam great enough, or perhaps of the right type, to serve with highest
efficiency the purposes of flood-control.
In the third place, there will be situations, as in the Great Miami Valley, where reservoirs will be built for floodcontrol only, without any possible return from future use of the stored water. What will be an equitable system of apportioning the cost in such a case? Flood-control clearly benefits two distinct interests-public and private. A great flood destroys means of communication, obstructs interstate commerce, delays the mails, may affect navigation adversely, while its effects may extend to other states than that in which the stream lies. The Federal government certainly has a material interest at stake in all such occurrences. Likewise cities on river-banks subject to the direct onslaught of floods, are interested vitally in their public capacity. But great as these interests are, private interests affected generally far exceed them, and it is right that they should be called upon to bear the burden of works of protection. The problem is to devise a system which shall apportion the cost of flood-control in each particular case equitably, on the basis of the interests involved, and shall have the power to compel unwilling interests to contribute their proper share. Local communities, and even private interests, may prefer to handle their own problems at their own expense, as in the present case of the Miami Conservancy District. There can be, of course, no objection to this, provided the work satisfies the necessary conditions of effectiveness and safety. But isolated examples of this kind do not affect in any way the duty of public coöperation and aid wherever it is needed.
A strong consideration in favor of a national policy for handling this question is the necessity of eliminating conflicts of jurisdiction. Public agencies of various sorts,
such as towns, coun
ties, and assessment districts, exist, or are called into being, for particular purposes; but only two- the general government and the states - have the attributes of sovereignty. As between state and nation, if the streams of a state were confined to its own territory, instead, as is generally the case, of crossing the boundaries into other states, there would be some argument for state as against Federal control. But as matters stand, state control can never be made sufficiently comprehensive, and it is far better that the jurisdiction should rest in that authority which embraces the streams from their sources to their outlets. Even with this jurisdiction, international boundaries may interfere; and they do, in fact, sometimes give rise to grave complications, as in the case of the Colorado River, where a situation of such gravity exists that nothing short of a cession of a small tract of territory will ever solve the problem satisfactorily.
Finally, it is strongly urged by many that some one in authority, such as a national Board of Public Works, should have control of all the uses to which our streams may be put. The idea appeals to the mind as logical and plausible, but closer analysis fails to justify it as in any sense necessary. Irrigation work, for example, can very well be carried on by the Reclamation Service as it is now constituted, and works in aid of navigation by the Corps of Engineers. The functions of these two organizations might properly be expanded to include flood-control, so far as it relates to their particular work; and a Department of Flood-Control might be created, to deal with those features of the problem lying outside the two fields just mentioned. We do not advance this suggestion as an argument against the central board idea, except to counsel caution in adopting a system which may prove unworkable
by its very ponderosity. There is no reason why separate management of matters which are really quite distinct cannot be accomplished, not only without serious conflict of authority, but rather with intelligent coöperation wherever their respective spheres come into contact.
There is no reason either why such a system may not be just as effectual and economical, while there is even less liability to abuses of the 'pork' variety. 'Pork' is a state of mind, and we shall never get rid of it by any change in departmental methods, but only by a change in the mental attitude of the people.
Let those who imagine that relief in this matter is in sight in the proposed new scheme of centralized control now before Congress consider the following estimate for the next ten years, taken from Senator Newlands's speech cited above. According to the programme there outlined, the sum of $600,000,000 is to be expended in ten annual installments of $60,000,000 each for streamcontrol work of all sorts, 'apportioning this vast sum fairly [sic] between the different watersheds of the country,' on the following basis of annual expenditure:
ested and scrupulous body of engineers, but by the hogshead, without any engineering scrutiny, yet 'apportioned fairly,' and absolutely guaranteed from the outset. The great American public should think twice before it takes a plunge like this which, so far as the pork' evil is concerned, may prove a veritable jumping out of the fryingpan into the fire.
Limit of space in this paper precludes consideration of special cases, with one exception that of our greatest flood-problem, perhaps the greatest in the world: the problem of the lower Mississippi. Controversy has raged about it for at least two generations. Great floods have come along and have broken through the levees, carrying destruction to the neighboring bottoms, and the public has forthwith united in pronouncing the levee system a failure. Solutions of the problem have been proposed, ranging from the most visionary schemes to those which have real merit; but the outcome of it all is that 'levees only' is practically accepted by the engineering profession as the true solution. Not only is this the case, but there have been collected sufficient data upon which to base a complete scheme of control.
There is no reason, from an engineering point of view, why the problem should not be taken up forthwith and carried to completion in the course of a few years. And there is every reason why such a course is imperative. The situation on some portions of the river is in what we may call a critical stage
one in which the work so far done actually aggravates the evil that it is intended to eliminate. This is because, on the one hand, the partial protection so far achieved has induced increased occupancy of the bottom lands, so that there is more property to destroy; and, on the other, because the levees have raised the flood-surface of the river, as levees always do, so that, when a break does occur, it produces more destructive currents than when the overflow was spread in a thin sheet all along the bank. It is of the highest importance to bridge this gap between partial and complete protection with the utmost possible dispatch.
The difficult and uncertain feature of this problem, as it appears to the writer, relates entirely to the method of financing it. This should not be done with Federal funds alone. There must be some proper division of cost between the Federal government and local beneficiaries. The proportion will doubtless vary on different portions of the river, and there will be necessary adjustments with existing levee districts. The direct benefits to the valley taken as a whole certainly justify local aid of fifty per cent.
How this coöperation is to be brought about so as to be dependable and effective is the real problem. It will require most careful consideration, and, beyond doubt, a great deal of time. But a plan once settled upon, there would seem to be no excuse for not hastening it to completion within the next few years. The interests at stake have now be come so vast, and their growth so rapid, that efficient and positive measures are imperative.
AN ENGLISH WOMAN'S MESSAGE
BY MRS. A. BURNETT-SMITH
I WISH that I could give to my American friends a noble message and one adequate to the appeal of the time; but I fear that I must ask forbearance and sympathy, because the thunder of the guns is in my ears and heart. Away over there, on the blood-red fields of France and Flanders, those dearer to me than life itself are fighting for liberty, with their backs to the wall; and there is only one thing that I am certain of, and that is that I never shall see all of them again.
I could fill far more space than is allotted to me with wonderful stories of the men who are fighting there. I know them so well. I have been with them by camp-fires at home and abroad, in their tents, in their billets, behind the lines, and on the lines of communication. I have spoken to them in all kinds of places, and I could tell you many things that would fill up your hearts; but that is not my task to-day. I have been sent over from my own country, to try to bring before the people of this greater country a picture of what the war has done for us and what life is like over there, where there is no peace, very little sleep, very little light, no freedom from fear, and very little food.
I want you, Americans, to think of these things one by one, and to take them with you in your hearts, and to ask yourselves if you are sufficiently grateful for these simple everyday blessings. I want to tell you that you
ought to cherish them like the angels' visits, because you never know how precious and how necessary they are until they have gone away.
Of course, when war comes to a peace-loving people, without warning or preparation, it must of necessity disorganize to an appalling degree the whole fabric of civilian life. When you take seven or eight millions of men out of the ordinary vocations which they have pursued, there must be much confusion and chaos. We went through all that in the autumn of 1914, and it was then that our women had to step into the breach and show what they could do to serve their country. It is not enough to put great armies into the field. They have to be equipped, not only with fighting implements, but with their uniforms, and boots, and all the things that the fighting man requires.
Munitions of course were the most important part. So little prepared were we, notwithstanding the lies that our enemies have spread, that at the outbreak of the war we had only three munition factories. Now we have five thousand, and they are all more or less manned by women. In every great industry, no matter how great the call from the fighting front, there must always, of course, be left a certain percentage of men, because there is skilled labor that women cannot do without years of preparation, and also there are certain kinds which are too heavy for their physical powers.
We have a million and a half women