Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation Page: 50 of 61
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RAINS DESCENDED AND THE FLOODS CAME."
AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY GOVERNOR PAT M. NEFF AT WACO, AT
A STATE-WIDE FLOOD CONTROL MASS MEETING, ADVOCATING
THE CONSERVATION OF FLOOD WATERS AND THE PRESERVATION
OF OVERFLOW LANDS.
When God's creative hand fashioned this earth and swung it into
being He dowered it with the twin factor of all wealth, land and
water. Man was then made and enjoined to go into this divinely enriched
world and "subdue it." From Eden's guarded gate he was
driven and commanded to "till the soil." In the beginning the
lands were uncultivated and the rivers ran on unmolested to the
unused seas. Laler, in keeping with the high and holy purposes of
civilization, the plowman was seen turning the fallow soil and the rivers
were made to serve as they flowed in majestic grandeur to greet the
ocean-going argosies of trade. Land and water, the interdependent factors
of the world's wealth since civilization began, have always presented
to man a complex and complicated problem.
In the days of Noah "the rains descended and the floods came"; in
Joseph's time the drouths, alternating with the floods, blistered the land
and blighted the hopes of the people. .Thus it has ever been that the
floods and the drouths have constituted the common enemy of the children
of men. The ancient Babylonians were menaced with the floodwaters
of the Euphrates until they diverted part of it into the depressions
of the Arabian desert. The early Egyptians were unable to cultivate
the rich alluvial valleys of the Nile until they constructed
dikes on both sides of it. The flood waters of the Po, the Rhine,
the Danube and other European streams have been controlled and
conserved. The New England States have harnessed their rivers
and made them whirl the wheels of commerce. Oregon and California
and Arizona and Utah and New York are working out and perfecting
flood conservation and land reclamation laws suitable to the requirements
of the respective States. What other countries and other States
have done, and what Texas ought to do in dealing with the land and
water problems, Texas can and will do.
FLOOD PREVENTION AND LAND PRESERVATION.
Flood prevention and land preservation constitutes one of the greatest
questions now before the people of Texas. Its proper solution touches
generations yet unborn. It is preeminently a movement for the public
welfare. In the study of it we must deal with conditions as they are.
The rivers of Texas are not of our making. The land and water of the
State are not located or elevated as we would wish. We find that about
twelve million acres of land in Texas subject to irrigation, is too dry;
about four million acres of land subject to overflow, is too wet. The
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Neff, Pat M. Speeches delivered by Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas, discussing certain phases of contemplated legislation, book, 1923; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5835/m1/50/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .