Contracts for the use of water and necessary privileges for the generation and distribution of hydroelectric energy or for the sale and delivery of electrical energy shall be made with responsible applicants therefor who will pay the price fixed by the said Secretary with a view to meeting the revenue requirements herein provided for. In case of conflicting applications, if any, such conflicts shall be resolved by the said Secretary, after hearing, with due regard to the public interest, and in conformity with the policy expressed in the Federal Power Act [16
et seq.] as to conflicting applications for permits and licenses, except that preference to applicants for the use of water and appurtenant works and privileges necessary for the generation and distribution of hydroelectric energy, or for delivery at the switchboard of a hydroelectric plant, shall be given, first, to a State for the generation or purchase of electric energy for use in the State, and the States of Arizona, California, and Nevada shall be given equal opportunity as such applicants.
The rights covered by such preference shall be contracted for by such State within six months after notice by the Secretary of the Interior and to be paid for on the same terms and conditions as may be provided in other similar contracts made by said Secretary: Provided, however, That no application of a State or a political subdivision for an allocation of water for power purposes or of electrical energy shall be denied or another application in conflict therewith be granted on the ground that the bond issue of such State or political subdivision necessary to enable the applicant to utilize such water and appurtenant works and privileges necessary for the generation and distribution of hydroelectric energy or the electrical energy applied for, has not been authorized or marketed, until after a reasonable time, to be determined by the said Secretary, has been given to such applicant to have such bond issue authorized and marketed.