Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill To Amend the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act.
I HAVE TODAY approved H. R. 8750, a bill "To amend the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act." This new law broadens the program now being carried out by the Secretary of Agriculture in cooperation with local organizations sponsoring land and water conservation projects. The general purposes of the new law are useful and in keeping with the concern which this Administration has continually expressed as to the need for a partnership between the Federal Government and the local people in conserving two of our most valuable resources--soil and water.
I regret that in one respect the new law is a step backwards. Under its terms the Federal Government will be required to assume the full cost of building structural works which provide flood reduction benefits. The Department of Agriculture and other Executive agencies opposed this provision when the bill was under consideration by the Congress. I agree that their opposition was well rounded. It is unfortunate that the Congress has chosen to write into the law an incentive to local people to shift to the Federal Government a burden in which they should be willing to invest their own money in a joint enterprise with the Federal Government. Fortunately, the immediate effects of this provision will not be great. I am convinced of the soundness of the partnership philosophy and of public acceptance of the principle of cost sharing on public works projects. I believe that, upon consideration of legislation which will be proposed to carry out the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Water Resources Policy, the Congress will agree and will change this feature of the law. I shall so recommend when the Congress is again in session.
Note: As enacted, H. R. 8750 is Public Law 1018, 84th Congress (70 Stat. 1088).
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill To Amend the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233020