Water Resources People and Issues
Q: I would assume that some of the Midwestern congressmen would have been
in Morns Cooke's camp.
A: Yes. It was and is a very attractive idea. He was not unduly encumbered by
scientific evidence as to what the effects would be. Cooke didn't really care
very much about the upstream-downstream controversy. It was all right to
have people like Leopold and Maddock write a book on the flood control
controversy, but I don't think that Morris ever worried about their findings.
I'm not sure he ever read the findings. I worked with him in later years.
Q: Are you suggesting that Cooke thought that building reservoirs far upstream
was simply more attractive politically?
A: No. He wasn't seeking votes. He was basically convinced it was a good
thing just as he was basically convinced that low-cost electricity was a good
thing for the welfare of the nation. And he would brook very little argument
about the possibility that it might be desirable to cost power at what would be
the economically marginal rate rather than at a promotion rate. Cooke was
not trying to get political influence for himself. He didn`t want elective
office. He was a missionary who primarily was interested in low-cost power
and who became intrigued with the notion of small dams.
Q: You worked for BOB . . . ?
A: For two years.
Q: For two years, about '39 to '40?
A: No, '40 to '42.
Q: And you were mainly reviewing these reports that came in subsequent to the
executive order of `39?
A: Or any legislation that was proposed. The Bureau of the Budget had several
It had an Estimates Division that handled the big budget
preparation. It had an Administrative Management Division. It had a
Legislative Division under Fred Bailey, who was an astute and wise assistant