Gilbert F. White
convergence of interests when I was vice chairman of the President's Water
Resources Policy Commission in 1950. But then there were frequent
Q: Did you have the opportunity to read Muddy Waters when it came out? Do
you recollect your reaction to it?
A: You mean as a complete document? Yes, I thought it was a very thoughtful,
useful review of the situation. It marked a new stage in political and
economic examination of water management.
Q: How about Harold Ickes' introduction to it? Do you recollect that? This is
the one where he talks about the Corps of Engineers as being above the law
or something like that.
A: Yes. I remember thinking at the time that it was unfortunate that Ickes had
come out as strongly as he had because it seemed to me that he prejudiced the
document in the eyes of lots of other people. That was typical of him. He
came out very strong for anything that he believed. It made it extremely
difficult for anybody in the Corps to take the document seriously.
Q: How about Richard Hertzler? You mentioned his name before.
A: R.A. Hertzler. I worked with him when he was in the Office of the Secretary
of the Army. I was interested in keeping in touch with those people and
letting them know what we were finding out in the studies going on in
Chicago. I found him one who was interested in the possibility of new ideas
developing in the Corps and giving support to people who were more
innovative. Gene Weber came along with a very similar posture, I would
say. I found him always ready to listen to the sort of findings we were
getting and giving critical reactions. We did involve them in a little workshop
we had out at the University of Chicago, which then led to the idea of there
being a floodplain information program.
Q: Howard Cook? Do you recollect when you first got to know him? Did you
get to know him very well?