Letter Creating a Committee for the Study of the Resources of the Great Plains Area.
My dear Mr. Cooke:
I am writing to ask you to serve as chairman of a special committee whose duty it will be to make a report to me not later than January 1st on a long-term program for the efficient utilization of the resources of the Great Plains area. I am anxious that we leave no stone unturned in exploring and reporting on all the possibilities of this region, as one in which reasonable standards of living can be maintained by the largest possible population. We should face the fact that the climatic conditions make special safeguards absolutely necessary. I would like your report to include such recommendations for legislation as you may deem necessary. The report now called for is an amplification of the recommendations presented to me at Bismarck.
In the letter appointing the earlier committee I said:
"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."
You are advised that I am appointing another committee to report on the crop insurance feature of this general problem. After consulting with the heads of their several Departments I have designated the following to serve with you on this committee: Prof. Harlan H. Barrows, member Water Resources Committee, National Resources Committee, Chicago, Illinois; Dr. H. H. Bennett, Chief, Soil Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.; Dr. L. C. Gray, Chief, Division of Land Economics, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.; Col. F. C. Harrington, Assistant Administrator, Works Progress Administration, Washington, D.C.; Col. Richard C. Moore, Division Engineer, Missouri River Division, Corps of Engineers, United States Army, Kansas City, Missouri; Mr. John C. Page, Acting Director, Bureau of Reclamation, Washington, D.C.; and Dr. Harlow S.· Person of the Rural Electrification Administration, Washington, D.C.
Hon. Morris L. Cooke,
Rural Electrification Administration,
Similar letters were sent to the officials appointed by the President to serve on the Committee to report on the long-term program "for the utilization of the resources of the Great Plains area."
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter Creating a Committee for the Study of the Resources of the Great Plains Area. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/209111