Franklin D. Roosevelt photo

Announcement of the Appointment of the Great Plains Drought Area Committee.

July 22, 1936

The President has appointed the following as members of the Great Plains Drought Area Committee:

Morris L. Cooke, Chairman, Rural Electrification Administration, Washington, D.C.

John C. Page, Bureau of Reclamation, Washington, D.C.

Col. Richard C. Moore, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, Kansas City, Missouri.

Frederick H. Fowler, National Resources Committee, Washington, D. C.

Hon. Rexford Tugwell, Resettlement Administration, Washington, D. C.

Hon. Harry L. Hopkins, Works Progress Administration, Washington, D.C.

In letters addressed to the members of this Committee, the President said:

I am writing to ask you to serve as a member of a Great Plains Drought Area Committee to carry on a study looking toward the most efficient utilization of the natural resources of the Great Plains area, and especially toward practicable measures for remedying the conditions which have brought widespread losses and distress to so many inhabitants of the Missouri, Platte and Arkansas valleys, the Panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas, and contiguous areas.

We have supposed that the modes of settlement and of development which have been prevalent represented the ordinary course of civilization. But perhaps in this area of relatively little rain, practices brought from the more humid part of the country are not most suitable under the prevailing natural conditions. At any rate, circumstances make it obvious that relief activities are not sufficient and that a competent study and recommendations are desirable.

I should like to have the committee make an early study of the conditions there, so that I may have the benefit of its views with respect to them, at a meeting which I shall arrange to hold with the Committee at some point within this area some time in August.

Chairman Cooke has advised the President of the receipt of a letter signed by W. R. Ronald, Chairman of the Central Northwest Regional Planning Commission, which convened in St. Paul, Minnesota, on July 8th. This Commission decided, at the St. Paul meeting, to hold a conference at Aberdeen, South Dakota, on August 7th for the purpose of formulating a program for the States of North and South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Chairman Cooke has called a meeting of the Great Plains Drought Area Committee for tomorrow, when this letter will be acknowledged. Mr. Ronald will be requested to postpone the meeting of State officials scheduled for August 7th in order that members of the Great Plains Drought Area Committee can meet with them in the drought area about August 20th.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Announcement of the Appointment of the Great Plains Drought Area Committee. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208971

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