IMPORTANT Gifford Pinchot SIGNED Letter 1916, SHIELDS BILL / GRAND CANYON For Sale
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IMPORTANT Gifford Pinchot SIGNED Letter 1916, SHIELDS BILL / GRAND CANYON:
- CONSERVATIONIST Gifford Pinchot SIGNED Letter 1916 -- Commentary on the SHIELDS BILL / Water Power Interests -- Refers to the GRAND CANYON as a Great Natural Wonder -
IMPORTANT letter SIGNED by the early CONSERVATIONIST Gifford Pinchot - with SUPERB commentary regarding Pinchot’s strident opposition to the “Shields Bill” (a sellout of the nation’s waterpower interests to Americas corporations), as well as a fine reference to the GRAND CANYON, “the greatest natural wonder on this continent “.
Letter is typed-written (TLS), two separate pages, on Pinchot’s personal “Milford Pike Co. PA” stationary. It is dated April 10th 1916 and is addressed to Mr. R. F. Wormwood, editor of “The Journal” – offerdeford, Maine.
LETTER reads in full: “The iniquitous Shields bill, giving away the waterpowers on our navigable streams, about which I wrote you on February 15, has been driven through the Senate, but it has not passed the House. There is still a good chance not only to stop this raid on public property, but to pass a fair and honest waterpower bill in its place. Everything I said about the Shields bill in my letter to you was confirmed in the debate. According to its own supporters, this bill turns over to the power interests waterpower equivalent to twice the mechanical power of every kind now used in the United States, or enough to meet the needs of two hundred million people. This it does in perpetuity, although pretending to limit the grant to fifty years. Small wonder there is pressure to get it through. On March 21 a substitute for the Shields bill was reported to the House of Representatives. Unlike the Shields bill, this House bill makes no perpetual grant of public waterpower, but wisely and in fact sets a limit of fifty years. Nevertheless, it is not yet a good bill. For example, it gives away the public waterpowers without compensation. There is no reason why the waterpower corporations should not pay for what they get. The rest of us do. The House bill should be amended accordingly. If the House corrects its own bill and then passes it, the good bill from the House and the bad bill from the Senate will go to conference, and the difference will be adjusted by the conferees. The managers of the waterpower campaign believe that a majority of the conferees will be friendly to them, and will report a bill in their interest. They will then try to rush the conference bill through, probably in the confused and crowded final hours of the session. Such a plan has often served the special interests in the past, and it is dangerous now. During the debate on the Shields bill, this course was openly advised. There was under discussion an amendment giving preference to the applicant for a public waterpower who offers the best terms to the public. One of the supporters of the Shields bill, Senator Nelson of Minnesota, after referring to the amendment as “bad and vicious”, went on to say: “It is something that we can eliminate in conference… We might let it go in and then dispose of it in conference”. (Congressional Record, March 8, 1916, page 4285). We can beat this plan only by letting the people understand the facts. This the power interests have set out to prevent by confusing the public mind with interested and personal attacks. I am asking for your help once more to get the House to pass a good bill, and then to stand by it, no matter what the conferees may do. If the House stands firm, the people will win this fight. But the House needs to know that the people are behind it. Let me call your attention again to the Ferris bill, a good bill dealing with waterpower on public lands and National Forests, which has twice passed the House. An undesirable substitute, the Myers bill, now before the Senate, gives the public waterpowers away in perpetuity. Under it, the power interests could occupy and exploit the Grand Canyon, itself, the greatest natural wonder on this continent. The waterpower interests want everything or nothing. In the last eight years they have killed eight waterpower development bills that were fair both to the corporations and to the public. What the people need is waterpower development on equitable terms without further delay. They can have what they want by letting the House know it. Sincerely yours, Gifford Pinchot (signed)”.GIFFORD PINCHOT (1865 – 1946) was one of America’s most important, early conservationists. He was Chief of the U.S. Forest Service from 1898 to 1910. In 1912, he helped found the Bull Moose Party which supported Theodore Roosevelt’s run for the Presidency. Pinchot also served two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania (1923 - 1927 and 1931 - 1935). CONDITION: letter measures around 7 x 9 inches in size and is in EXCELLENT, original condition with a bold signature. Other than some mailing folds (envelope NOT included) and a small stain along the right edge of page one, there are NO other issues to note (see scans). Gifford Pinchot’s signature / autograph is guaranteed authentic. Winning buyer to pay $10 for shipping, postage & INSURANCE. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.