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COMPLETION OF DAM NO. 2, ETC., AT MUSCLE SHOALS
Mr. McNary, from the Committee of Conference, submitted the fol
lowing CONFERENCE REPORT ON THE JOINT RESOLUTION (S. J. RES. 49)
TO PROVIDE EOR THE NATIONAL DEFENSE BY THE CREATION OF A CORPORATION FOR THE OPERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT PROPERTIES AT AND NEAR MUSCLE SHOALS IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
FEBRUARY 17 (calendar day, FEBRUARY 19), 1931.-Ordered to be printed
The committee of conference on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses on the amendment of the House to the joint resolution (S. J. Res. 49) to provide for the national defense by the creation of a corporation for the operation of the Government properties at and near Muscle Shoals, in the State of Alabama, and for other purposes, having met, after full and free conference, have agreed to recommend and do recommend to their respective Houses as follows:
That the Senate recede from its disagreement to the amendment of the House to the text of the joint resolution and agree to the same, with an amendment as follows:
In lieu of the language put in by the House, insert the following:
That for the purpose of maintaining and operating the properties now owned by the United States in the vicinity of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in the interest of the national defense and for agricultural and industrial development, and to aid navigation and the control of destructive flood waters in the Tennessee River and Mississippi River Basins, there is hereby created a body corporate by the name of the "Muscle Shoals Corporation of the United States” (hereinafter referred to as the corporation). The board of directors first appointed shall be deemed the incorporators and the incorporation shall be held to have been effected from the date of the first meeting of the board. This act may be cited as the “Muscle Shoals act of 1931."
SEC. 2. (a) The board of directors of the corporation (hereinafter referred to as the board) shall be composed of three members, not more than two of whom shall be members of the same political party, to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The board shall organize by electing a chairman, vice chairman, and other officers, agents, and employees, and shall proceed to carry out the provisions of this act.
(b) The terms of office of the members first taking office after the approval of this act shall expire as designated by the President at the time of nomination, one at the end of the second year, one at the end of the fourth year, and one at the end of the sixth year, after the date of approval of this act. A successor to a member of the board shall be appointed in the same manner as the original members and shall have a term of office expiring six years from the date of the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed.
(c) Any member appointed to fill a vacancy in the board occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term.
(d) Vacancies in the board so long as there shall be two members in office shall not impair the powers of the board to execute the functions of the corporation, and two of the members in office shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the board.
(e) Each of the members of the board shall be a citizen of the United States and shall receive compensation at the rate of $50 per day for each day that he shall be actually engaged in the performance of the duties vested in the board, to be paid by the corporation as current expenses, not to exceed, however, one hundred and fifty days for the first year after the date of the approval of this act, and not to exceed one hundred days in any year thereafter. Members of the board shall be reimbursed by the corporation for actual expenses (including traveling and subsistence expenses) incurred by them while in the performance of the duties vested in the board by this act.
(f) No director shall have any financial interest in any public-utility corporation engaged in the business of distributing and selling power to the public nor in any corporation engaged in the manufacture, selling, or distribution of fixed nitrogen, or any ingredients thereof, nor shall any member have any interest in any business that may be adversely affected by the success of the Muscle Shoals project as a producer of concentrated fertilizers.
(g) The board shall direct the exercise of all the powers of the corporation.
(h) All members of the board shall be persons that profess a belief in the feasibility and wisdom, having in view the national defense and the encouragement of interstate commerce, of producing fixed nitrogen under this act of such kinds and at such prices as to induce the reasonable expectation that the farmers will buy said products, and that by reason thereof the corporation may be a selfsustaining and continuing success.
Sec. 3. (a) The chief executive officer of the corporation shall be a general manager, who shall be resonsible to the board for the efficient conduct of the business of the corporation. The board shall appoint the general manager, and shall select a man for such appointment who has demonstrated his capacity as a business executive. The general manager shall be appointed to hold office for ten years, but he may be removed by the board for cause, and his term of office shall end upon repeal of this act, or by amendment thereof expressly providing for the termination of his office. Should the office of general manager become vacant for any reason, the board shall appoint his successor as herein provided.
(b) The general manager shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the board, two assistant managers who shall be responsible to him, and through him, to the board. One of the assistant managers shall be a man possessed of knowledge, training, and experience to render him competent and expert in the production of fixed nitrogen. The other assistant manager shall be a man trained and experienced in the field of production and distribution of hydroelectric power. The general manager may at any time, for cause, remove any assistant manager, and appoint his successor as above provided. He shall immediately thereafter make a report of such action to the board, giving in detail the reason therefor. He shall employ, with the approval of the board, all other agents, clerks, attorneys, employees, and laborers.
(c) The combined salaries of the general manager and the assistant managers shall not exceed the sum of $50,000 per annum, to be apportioned and fixed by the board.
Sec. 4. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this act, the corporation(a) Shall have succession in its corporate name. (b) May sue and be sued in its corporate name, but only for the enforcement of contracts and the defense of property.
(c) May adopt and use a corporate seal, which shall be judicially noticed. (d) May make contracts, but only as herein authorized. (e) May adopt, amend, and repeal by-laws.
May purchase or lease and hold such personal property as it deems necessary or convenient in the transaction of its business, and may dispose of any such personal property held by it.
(g) May appoint such officers, employees, attorneys, and agents as are necessary for the transaction of its business, fix their compensation, define generally their duties, require bonds of them and fix the penalties thereof, and dismiss at pleasure any such officer, employee, attorney, or agent, and provide a system of organization to fix responsibility and promote efficiency.
(h) The board shall require that the general manager and the two assistant managers, the secretary and the treasurer, the bookkeeper or bookkeepers, and such other administrative and executive officers as the board may see fit to include, shall execute and file before entering upon their several offices good and sufficient surety bonds, in such amount and with such surety as the board shall approve.
(i) Shall have all such powers as may be necessary or appropriate for the exercise of the powers herein specifically conferred upon the corporation, including the right to exercise the power of eminent domain.
Sec. 5. The board is hereby authorized and directed
(a) To operate existing plants for experimental purposes, to construct, maintain, and operate experimental plants at or near Muscle Shoals for the manufacture of fertilizer or any of the ingredients comprising fertilizer for experimental purposes;
(6) Tó contract with commercial producers for the production of such fertilizers or fertilizer materials as may be needed in the Government's program of development and introduction in excess of that produced by Government plants. Such contracts may provide either for outright purchase by the Government or only for the payment of carrying charges on special materials manufactured at the Government's request for its program;
(c) To arrange with farmers and farm organizations for large-scale practical use of the new forms of fertilizers under conditions permitting an accurate measure of the economic return they produce;
(d) To cooperate with National, State, district, or county experimental stations or demonstration farms, for the use of new forms of fertilizer or fertilizer practices during the initial or experimental period of their introduction;
(e) The board shall manufacture fixed nitrogen at Muscle Shoals by the employment of existing facilities (by modernizing existing plants), or by any other process or processes that in its judgment shall appear wise and profitable for the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen. The fixed nitrogen provided for in this act shall be in such form and in combination with such other ingredients as shall make such nitrogen immediately available and practical for use by farmers in application to soil and crops.
(1) Under the authority of this act the board may donate not exceeding 1 per centum of the total product of the plant or plants operated by it to be fairly and equitably distributed through the agency of county demonstration agents, agricultural colleges, or otherwise as the board may direct for experimentation, education, and introduction of the use of such products in cooperation with practical farmers so as to obtain information as to the value, effect, and best methods of use of same.
(g) The board is authorized to make alterations, modifications, or improvements in existing plants and facilities.
(h) To establish, maintain, and operate laboratories and experimental plants, and to undertake experiments for the purpose of enabling the corporation to furnish nitrogen products for military and agricultural purposes in the most economical manner and at the highest standard of efficiency.
(i) The board shall have power to request the assistance and advice of any officer, agent, or employee of any executive department or of any independent office of the United States, to enable the corporation the better to carry out its powers successfully, and the President shall, in his opinion the public interest, service, and economy so require, direct that such assistance, advice, and service be rendered to the corporation, and any individual that may be by the President directed to render such assistance, advice, and service shall be thereafter subject to the orders, rules, and regulations of the board and of the general manager.
() Upon the requisition of the Secretary of War or the Secretary of the Navy to manufacture for and sell at cost to the United States explosives or their nitrogenous content.
(k) Upon the requisition of the Secretary of War the corporation shall allot and deliver without charge to the War Department so much power as shall be necessary in the judgment of said department for use in operation of all locks, lifts, or other facilities in aid of navigation.
(1) To produce, distribute, and sell electric power, as herein particularly specified.
(m) No products of the corporation shall be sold for use outside of the United States, her Territories, and possession, except to the United States Government for the use of its Army and Navy or to its allies in case of war.
Sec. 6. In order to enable the corporation to exercise the powers vested in it by this act
(a) The exclusive use, possession, and control of the United States nitrate plants numbered 1 and 2, located respectively, at Sheffield, Alabama, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama, together with all real estate and buildings connected therewith, all tools and machinery, equipment, accessories, and materials belonging thereto, and all laboratories and plants used as auxiliaries thereto; the fixednitrogen research laboratory, the Waco limestone quarry, in Alabama, and Dam Numbered 2, located at Muscle Shoals, its power house, and all hydroelectric and operating appurtenances (except the locks), and all machinery, lands, and buildings in connection therewith, and all appurtenances thereof are hereby entrusted to the corporation for the purposes of this act.
(b) The President of the United States is authorized to provide for the transfer to the corporation of the use, possession, and control of such other real or personal property of the United States as he may from time to time deem necessary and proper for the purposes of the corporation as herein stated.
Sec. 7." (a) The corporation shall maintain its principal office in the immediate vicinity of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The corporation shall be held to be an inhabitant and resident of the northern judicial district of Alabama within the meaning of the laws of the United States relating to venue of civil suits.
(b) The corporation shall at all times maintain complete and accurate books of accounts.
SEC. 8. (a) The board shall file with the President and with the Congress, in December of each year, a financial statement and a complete report as to the business of the corporation covering the preceding fiscal year. This report shall include the total number of employees and the names, salaries, and duties of those receiving compensation at the rate of more than $2,500 a year.
(b) The board shall require a careful and scrutinizing audit and accounting by the General Accounting Office during each governmental fiscal year of operation under this act, and said audit shall be open to inspection to the public at all times and copies thereof shall be filed in the principal office of the Muscle Shoals Corporation at Muscle Shoals in the State of Alabama. Once during each fiscal year the President of the United States shall have power, and it shall be his duty, upon the written request of at least two members of the board, to appoint a firm of certified public accountants of his own choice and selection which shall have free and open access to all books, accounts, plants, warehouses, offices, and all other places, and records, belonging to or under the control of or used by the corporation in connection with the business authorized by this act. And the expenses of such audit so directed by the President shall be paid by the board and charged as part of the operating expenses of the corporation.
Sec. 9. The board is hereby empowered and authorized to sell the surplus power not used in its operations and for operation of locks and other works generated at said steam plant and said dam to States, counties, municipalities, corporations, partnerships, or individuals, according to the policies hereinafter set forth, and to carry out said authority the board is authorized to enter into contracts for such sale for a term not exceeding ten years and in the sale of such current by the board it shall give preference to States, counties, or municipalities purchasing said current for distribution to citizens and customers: Provided further, That all contracts made with private companies or individuals for the sale of power, which power is to be resold for a profit, shall contain a provision authorizing the board to cancel said contract upon two years' notice in writing, if the board needs said power to supply the demands of States, counties, or municipalities.
Sec. 10. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Government to distribute the surplus power generated at Muscle Shoals equitably among the States, counties, and municipalities within transmission distance of Muscle Shoals.
Sec. 11. In order to place the board upon a fair basis for making such contracts and for receiving bids for the sale of such power it is hereby expressly authorized either from appropriations made by Congress or from funds secured from the sale of such power to construct, lease, or authorize the construction of transmission lines within transmission distance in any direction from said Dam Numbered 2 and said steam plant: Provided, That if any State, county, municipality, or other public or cooperative organization of citizens or farmers, not organized or doing business for profit, but for the purpose of supplying electricity to its own citizens or members, or any two or more of such municipalities or organizations, shall construct or agree to construct a transmission line to Muscle Shoals, the board is hereby authorized and directed to contract with such State, county, municipality, or other organization, or two or more of them, for the sale of electricity for a term not exceeding thirty years, and in any such case the board shall give to such State, county, municipality, or other organization ample time to fully comply with any local law now in existence or hereafter enacted providing for the necessary legal authority for such State, county, municipality, or other organization to contract with the board for such power: Provided further, That all contracts entered into between the corporation and any municipality or other political subdivision shall provide that the electric power shall be sold and distributed to the ultimate consumer without discrimination as between consumers of the same class, and such contract shall be void if a discriminatory rate, rebate, or other special concession is made or given to any consumer or user by the municipality or other political subdivision: And provided further, That any surplus power not so sold as above provided to States, counties, municipalities, or other said organizations, before the board shall sell the same to any person or corporation engaged in the distribution and resale of electricity for profit, it shall require said person or corporation to agree that any resale of such electric power by said person or corporation shall be sold to the ultimate consumer of such electric power at a price that shall not exceed an amount fixed as reasonable, just, and fair by the Federal Power Commission; and in case of any such sale if an amount is charged the ultimate consumer which is in excess of the price so deemed to be just, reasonable, and fair by the Federal Power Commission, the contract for such sale between the board and such distributor of electricity shall be declared null and void and the same shall be canceled by the board.
SEC. 12. Five per centum of the gross proceeds received by the board for the sale of power generated at Dam Numbered 2, or from the steam plant located in that vicinity, or from any other steam plant hereafter constructed in the State of Alabama, shall be paid to the State of Alabama; and 5 per centum of the gross proceeds from the sale of power generated at Cove Creek Dam, hereinafter provided for, shall be paid to the State of Tennessee. Upon the completion of said Cove Creek Dam the board shall ascertain how much excess power is thereby generated at Dam Numbered 2, and from the gross proceeds of the sale of such excess power 2% per centum shall be paid to the State of Alabama and 244 per centum to the State of Tennessee. In ascertaining the gross proceeds from the sale of such power upon which a percentage is paid to the States of Alabama and Tennessee the board shall not take into consideration the proceeds of any power sold to the Government of the United States, or any department of the Government of the United States used in the operation of any locks on the Tennessee River, or for any experimental purpose, or for the manufacture of fertilizer or any of the ingredients thereof, or for any other governmental purpose. The net proceeds derived by the board from the sale of power and any of the products manufactured by the corporation, after deducting the cost of operation, maintenance, depreciation, and an amount deemed by the board as necessary to withhold as operating capital, shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States at the end of each calendar year.
Sec. 13. The Secretary of War is hereby empowered and directed to complete Dam Numbered 2 at Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the steam plant at nitrate plant numbered 2, in the vicinity of Muscle Shoals, by installing in Dam Numbered 2 the additional power units according to the plans and specifications of said dam, and the additional power unit in the steam plant at nitrate plant numbered 2. Provided, That the Secretary of War shall not install the additional power unit in said steam plant until, after investigation, he shall be satisfied that the foundation of said steam plant is sufficiently stable or has been made sufficiently stable to sustain the additional weight made necessary by such installation.
SEC. 14. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Government to utilize the Muscle Shoals properties for the fixation of nitrogen for agricultural purposes in time of peace.
Sec. 15. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized, with appropriations hereafter to be made available by the Congress, to construct, either directly or by contract to the lowest responsible bidder, after due advertisement, a dam in and across Clinch River in the State of Tennessee, which has by long usage become known and designated as the Cove Creek Dam, according to the latest and most approved designs of the Chief of Engineers, including its power house and hydroelectric installations and equipment for the generation of at least two hundred thousand horsepower, in order that the waters of the said Clinch River may be impounded and stored above said dam for the purpose of increas. ing and regulating the flow of the Clinch River and the Tennessee River below, so that the maximum amount of primary power may be developed at Dam Numbered 2 and at any and all other dams below the said Cove Creek Dam.
Sec. 16. In order to enable and empower the Secretary of War to carry out the authority hereby conferred, in the most economical and efficient manner, he is hereby authorized and empowered in the exercise of the powers of national defense in aid of navigation, and in the control of the flood waters of the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers, constituting channels of interstate commerce, to exercise the right of eminent domain and to condemn all lands, easements, rights of way, and other area necessary in order to obtain a site for said Cove Creek Dam, and the flowage rights for the reservoir of water above said dam, and to negotiate and conclude contracts with States, counties, municipalities, and all State agencies and with railroads, railroad corporations, common carriers, and all public utility commissions and any other person, firm, or corporation, for the relocation of railroad tracks, highways, highway bridges, mills, ferries, electric-light plants, and any and all other properties, enterprises, and projects whose removal may be necessary in order to carry out the provisions of this act. When said Cove Creek Dam and transportation facilities and power house shall