Law and Politics: Occasional Papers of Felix Frankfurter, 1913-1938

By Felix Frankfurter; Archibald MacLeish et al. | Go to book overview

Mr. Hoover on Power Control

This selection appeared as a signed article in the New Republic for October 17, 1928.

THUS far in the campaign, Mr. Hoover has maintained complete silence on a problem second to none in importance to the future well-being of the country--how to safeguard the public interest in the development of our electric power resources. Here is a subject within the field of Mr. Hoover's special interest and experience.

Perhaps before the close of the campaign he will choose to educate the public mind upon this problem. The more is this to be wished, since Mr. Hoover's past record on this issue reveals a significant shift of attitude. To this record, then, until he discloses his present mind, attention is invited.

In October, 1923, before the Superpower Conference, Mr. Hoover took this position:

I am not here to advocate federal super-regulation of interstate movement of power. I believe that power development and distribution would find its greatest solution in co-ordinated state regulation, perhaps with assistance and co-operation of the federal government, rather than in any super-structure of authority such as has been found necessary in transportation unless, of course, necessities of the case cannot be attained otherwise. . . .

These views he elaborated in 1924 in his address before the National Electric Light Association:

But today through longer transmission and interconnection the state boundaries in power distribution are disappearing. Moreover, the control of much of our water resources lies in the federal government, and

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