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Letter from E. E. Bennett (Los Angeles) to W. R. Rouse, April 26, 1954







The Department of the Interior was demanding three million gallons of water a day in return for approval to operate a pipeline from Lake Mead to Basic Management Inc.

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Box 25 Folder 80-11 Vol. 5 of 7 LVL&W Co. Sale of Water Production of UPRR Co.


hln001204. Union Pacific Railroad Collection, 1828-1995. MS-00397. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Los Angeles - April 26, 1954 80-11 Mr. W. R. Rouse: (cc - Mr. R. F. Shields Mr. S. P. Leverich) In connection with the proposed operations of the Las Vegas Valley Water District which, as you Know, is purchasing the water department facilities of the Las Vegas land and Water Company and proposed to bring in water from lake Mead: Mr. Hamilton of the O'Melveny firm prepared and transmitted to Senator McCarran two bills to be introduced in Congress for the purpose of having the Federal Government grant certain rights of may for the existing pipe line from lake Mead to Henderson, and for a proposed new pipe line from a connection with the Hen- derson pipe line to Las Vegas, Nevada. I enclose a copy of a letter from the O'Melveny firm to Mr. Campbell, Presi- dent of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, dated February 24th, which explains, I think, the necessity for this legislation. In connection with this letter, I note that he states in the last sentence of the last paragraph on page 3: Although we have no definite information on the matter, it is our understanding that neither the Colorado River Commission nor the BMI application has been granted by the Secretary of the Interior. On that point, I have a copy of a letter dated March 18, 1954, from Mr. Moore, Manager of Basic Manage- ment, Inc. (BMI) to Senator McCarran, in which he recites the attempts of Basic Management, Inc. to secure an easement for the existing pipe line, and in which he states that the Department of Interior granted a right of way subject to certain stipulations and conditions: Since one of the stipulations provided that Basic Management, Incorporated relinquish three million gallons of water per day, or approximately one-tenth of the capacity of the system to the Bureau of Reclamation, we could not accept the right of way subject to these stipulations. Since that time Basic Management Incorporated has made no attempt to remove these stipulations.' Mr. W. R. Rouse -2- April 26,1954 In acknowledging the draft of the bills sent to him by the District, Senator McCarran wrote to Harry E. Miller, Secretary of the District, under date of April 14th, copy of which letter I enclose. You will note the Senator indicates that these bills would be referred to the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee of the Senate. In checking the Congressional Directory, I note that among the members of that Committee are several Senators from states traversed by the Union Pacific, namely: Hugh Butler of Nebraska, Eugene D. Millikin of Colorado, Guy Cordon of Oregon, George W. Malone of Nevada, Arthur V. Watkins of Utah, Henry C. Dworshak of Idaho, Thomas H. Kuchel of California, Frank A. Barrett of Wyoming, James E. Murray of Montana, and Henry M. Jackson of Washington. As you know, last fall an election was held and the people of the District voted $8,750,000 worth of bonds to purchase the Water Company and to bring the later in from lake Mead and make certain improvements. Notices inviting bids were sent out to various bond houses, and the bids will be opened April 28th. Mr. Hamilton, who has been handling these matters for the water District, advises me that he has had several inquiries from potential buyers with respect to the status of these rights of way which are needed to assure the continued maintenance of these pipe lines, as more fully indicated in Mr. Hamilton's letter of February 24th. Mr. Hamilton is quite fearful that some of the bids may be conditioned upon the passage of this legislation, and in view of our desire to dispose of the water Company, we are of course very anxious to not only have this legislation passed, but to have it handled expeditiously. It will, of course, have to clear the Senate Committee and then the Senate, and the House Committee and then the House; and if it should be kicked around, there is a grave possibility that Congress might recess in July without taxing final action on the bills, which might result in delaying the sale of the bonds and delay the sale of the Water Company to the Water District Under the circumstances, I would very much appre- ciate if you would take up the matter with Senator Butler, explaining briefly of course our interest in the bills, and our interest in the growth of las Vegas and surrounding territory; and ask Messrs. Shields and Leverich, and pos- sibly Messrs. Knowles and Loomis, to write to such of the Mr. W. R. Rouse 3 April 26,1954 Senators on the Committee as they might consistently do, asking not only for support of the bills but asking that their passage be expedited as much as possible. I will write Senator Kuchel and will arrange to have someone handle with Senator Malone of Nevada. You will note that Senator McCarran, in his letter attached, indicates there might be trouble with the bills, although Mr. Hamilton in his letter of February 24th advises that the bills to a large extent follow the form and text of earlier bills enacted by Congress relative to the City of Los Angeles and the Metropolitan water District. If letters are written to any of the Senators on the Committee and replies received, I would like to be advised the nature of the replies so we can get some idea of the opposition, if any. If we get through the Senate we may have to take the matter up with the House Committee, but possibly after we know more about the reception given the tills in the Senate, we will know whether such action is necessary. I enclose a copy of the two Senate Bills in question, namely S--33C3 covering the existing pipe line from Lake Mead to Henderson, and S-3302 covering the proposed line from lake Mead to las Vegas. I am enclosing two extra copies of this letter and attachments for your convenience. If Mr. Blanchard sent you copies of these Bills with his letter of April 22nd (Pile 171-6-1), I would appreciate if you would return the enclosed copies to me. E. E. Bennett