Water Rcsources People and Issues
TVA (having previously filled the post I had left vacant at Chicago) and had
worked on drafting a lot of the material. I served as a reviewer for some of
the materials. I was not an author, a primary author. But I thought they
Q: Clearly, you thought they were desirable because they offered some necessary
guidance to the agencies. But there were some restrictions put on agency
activities and agency planning, particularly by BOB Circular A-47. I wonder
what were your opinions of them? For instance, as I recall, the planning
guidance limited agencies to developing 50-year flood projects rather than
100-year flood projects.
A: No, I didn't approve of that. There were lots of the details of it I didn't
approve of. I thought the nature of the effort was commendable. This always
happens when an agency undertakes to formulate rules and procedures. They
tend to adopt a more conservative kind of criteria. When in doubt, they
compromise in an unimaginative fashion. SO I wouldn't say that I approved
of all aspects. What I did approve was the effort to formulate criteria.
Q: What do you think would have happened if Truman had been allowed to serve
another term, or hadn't been kept to two terms, and he had been elected
President in '52 rather than Eisenhower? Do you think that A-47 would have
been repealed? Do you notice that A-47, as I recall, was promulgated in the
late months of the Truman presidency?
A: That's right. And it came in the wake of the President's Water Resources
Policy Commission. We recommended this kind of action, which the Bureau
of the Budget picked up.
Q: But I wonder whether Truman would have gone along with it if he'd been
A: I don't know. I had observed one aspect of agency response to this kind of
an effort that came out again from the drainage basin problems and programs
report to which I referred earlier. And that is that once such an effort is
made by a central executive agency to coordinate the activities, the agencies
go through a certain period of tension and mutual irritation. Then they
gradually work out accommodations to reduce stress and delays or circumvent