WASHINGTON, May 17, 1933 (UP) - President Roosevelt's program for development of the Tennessee valley, centering around the great government-owned power plants at Muscle Shoals, was given final congressional approval today by the House.
The chamber, without substantial opposition, adopted a conference report compromising House and Senate differences.
Its action, following close on Senate approval, sends the measure to the White House for President Roosevelt's signature, now all that is needed to launch the first American experiment in large-scale economic planning.
Under the terms of the revised bill, a government commission is created, known as the "Tennessee Valley Authority," which will have complete charge of a tremendous development program for the entire region.
The authority will have power to operate the Shoals; sell the electric energy to states, municipalities and individuals; construct and own transmission lines which eventually will carry the cheap government power into many states; foster the economic development of the valley; build dams, flood control and navigation works; conduct afforestation operations.
This program would be financed by an initial $50,000,000 bond issue. Eventually, it is contemplated that possibly hundreds of millions more may be expended as the far-reaching plan gets fully under way.
The Shoals, with its nitrogen plants built for wartime use, will also be turned to the production of cheap fertilizer, under lease to some private firm. Immediate improvement plans are provided in the bill. In addition, two more dams are expected to be built within a short time to add to the already huge power resources at the command of the federal commission. Provision is made for construction of Cove Creek dam, and the so-called "Dam Number Two."
Around these power resources the administration visualizes the development of a great farming and industrial community, self-supporting and giving employment to hundreds of thousands.
Cheap power, plentiful labor and cheap water transportation are expected to attract industry. The same advantages, plus plentiful and cheap fertilizer, are expected to be of substantial assistance to agriculture.
The administration has made known that the Tennessee program, if successful, may be duplicated in other underdeveloped regions rich in natural resources. The Columbia River valley of the Northwest has been mentioned as the second area for development.