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suggestion also fails to appreciate the magnitude of the problem. If such channels were to be cut, they would have to be leveed in exactly the same way as the river which they were intended to relieve. To produce any serious diminution in the height of a river that was passing down 2,300,000,000 cubic feet of water per second, it would be necessary to divert from 400,000 to 600,000 feet per second; which means that an artificial river would have to be excavated and leveed whose flow would be from two to three times as great as the whole flow of the Niagara River.
The proposition to straighten out the river by cutting through the bends is impracticable for the reason that while the more rapid flow would relieve the flood in the districts thus affected, this relief would be obtained at the expense of the districts lower down the river. The swifter current of the flood water, due to the shorter course, would necessitate a corresponding increase in the height of the levees in the lower sections of the valley.
As to the important question of financing the work, the simplest and most effective plan, of course, would be to do with regard to the Mississippi as we have done at Panama-make it a national problem and provide the whole cost from the National Treasury. Hitherto the Government has put up so much money; so much has been contributed by the local levee boards; and in one case, at least, the State has made appropriations. It is not surprising to learn that Col. Townsend designates such conditions as amounting to practically "an absence of system.” Says he: “We have just simply been waiting, each one doing the best he could—the levee boards have been doing their work, and the district engineers have been doing whatever they could with their funds, and it has been a happy-golucky method of business."
We believe that the most satisfactory way of financing the project would be for Congress to treat the improvement of America's greatest river as a national undertaking, make the necessary appropriations, abolish the system of individual boards, and place the execution of the work under the one-man control of the Army. Next to this the best plan would be one of joint Federal and State appropriations, in proportions to be determined by the local advantages secured; with the physical design and execution of the work intrusted to the Corps of Engineers of the Army, working under the absolute control of an Army officer of proved executive ability.
In another year the Panama Canal will be completed. Why not move Col. Goethals with his admirable staff and perfectly working system from the Isthmus of Panama to the Mississippi Valley?
THE CONSTITUTION, THE COURT,
AND THE PEOPLE
ARTICLE IN THE
RALPH W. BRECKENRIDGE
Of the Omaha Bar
PRESENTED BY MR. SUTHERLAND
FEBRUARY 21, 1913.-Ordered to be printed
THE CONSTITUTION, THE COURT, AND THE PEOPLE.'
By RALPH W BRECKENRIDGE, of the Omaha bar.
The institution known as the American Republic marks the extreme limit of the progress of mankind. The distribution, under our written Constitution, of the functions of government, is the crowning achievement of social order.
The rights of man have never been given full recognition elsewhere or hitherto. Individual initiative, enterprise and energy, have had their fruitage here. Our achievements and our standards of life, social and political, have turned the eyes of the oppressed and downtrodden of all lands toward America; and the struggling millions of Asia are stretching out eager hands toward us as the exponents of a civilization which has established the largest individual liberty, the right to hold the freest political and religious opinions, and brought about the highest average of human comfort ever known.
The material prosperity of the United States is the marvel of all the people of the earth. We have run cables under the sea; we have installed the wireless telegraph on land and sea; we are uniting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by the Panama Canal; we have subjugated all the elements; we have harnessed steam, electricity, fire, water, and air; the lost arts have been recovered, and in spite of the fact that our flag is conspicuously missing from the wide paths of commerce on the high seas, this nation is the foremost nation of the globe; we occupy that proud position because the fathers of the Republic and their successors have established between the two great oceans and the Lakes and the Gulf a government of all the people, by all the people, and for all the people, and not a government of one class over another, or of a majority that tramples on the minority. But no peoples have prospered, no governments have lasted, without the influence of law and lawyers. The forgotten nations, the buried civilizations, are those whose power and influence came through piracy and the conquests of war. India and Egypt are full of monuments of a departed greatness that knew no systems of law which gave justice to individuals. History records the decay and final defeat of every nation which has not possessed a system of law administered as a part of the government itself; of those Phænicia, Babylon, Carthage, Greece, and Rome are familiar examples, and Turkey and Spain are modern instances. Moorfield Storey truly says that the Corpus Juris of Justinian is the most enduring monument of imperial Rome, and that Napoleon's most valuable legacy to the world is the code which bears his name.?
1 An address delivered at the annual meeting of the California State Bar Association at Fresno, November 22, 1912. * Reform of Legal Procedure, p. 10.