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Mr. BARTLETT. Not a word was said. You are right, Mr. Dawson.
Mr. Dawson, And I don't believe they realize the rights of Seward are being affected in any way. I don't know whom it should go to. Perhaps at least to the press down there and certainly to the CEA.
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. McFARLAND. Mr. Chairman, I notice that Mr. Hardinge also has a statement on river and harbor improvements. Were you going to say something about that?
Mr. HARDINGE. Yes.
Mrs. Prost. It is my painful duty to be timekeeper, and I am sorry to announce that the time Mr. Hardinge has just expired. However, so you think you might be able to cover some of it in a minute or two?
(Discussion off the record.)
Mrs. Prost. I find our people witnesses have depleted in number, so you may proceed.
Mr. HARDINGE. On the river and harbors, it is principally a repetition of what Reverend Malin said. I didn't know he was going to speak on that.
I do think, since the Government is in the process of building a new courthouse and post-office building for the city of Seward, that it would be awfully nice if we could include the customs and immigration office accommodations in the courthouse. We have great possibilities here.
I should also like to see some kind of arrangements with the Army engineers such as we have stateside—I have just come from stateside whereby we could get something on these tidelands down below and have some facilities there that are just wasted now. In other words, it is just the matter of a mud flat where, if we could have an Army engineer project something like they do on the Florida coast or east coast of some bulkheading and backfill, it would increase the harbor facilities of the city of Seward and help considerably. And it would not be too expensive a project the way it is laid. We have deep water. If it could be made, in that way we could build up the economy, you see, of the city of Seward.
We already have a project with APW that, I will be frank with you gentlemen, I haven't gone into too far yet, but it has been kicking around with APW, that is, a paving project, for about 2 years according to the files. APW tells me there is no men for road work.
Mr. Dawson. I would say they made a very strong case down in Anchorage for an Anchorage harbor. If they go ahead with that, put the harbor in Anchorage, you would likely have a lot of space on your hands here, would you not!
Mr. HARDINGE. No; we don't have the space now. The city has but one outlet; the railroad controls everything along the waterfront.
Mr. Dawson. I appreciate that. But I say, if a harbor is constructed at Anchorage and the boats go up to Anchorage and unload and they don't unload here only during times when you have an icefree harbor and they don't have, your business is going to fall off to the point where you might have some extra space here.
Mr. HARDINGE. It is quite possible. It is quite possible.
Mr. Dawson. As a matter of fact, the superintendent of the railroad said that the prospects looked mighty dismal if that went through. So I don't know how you folks down at Seward feel about it. With the Haines oil pipeline going in from Haines up to Fairbanks, cutting off that source of supply, and the Gubik gas line coming in from up the other direction, an Anchorage harbor coming in, you are going to find that the amount of material unloaded from Seward and Whittier is going to be diminished considerably. At least that is my opinion.
Dr. DEISHER. I suppose we should have brought up this matter at Anchorage if interested in it. The Anchorage people have been trying to get a port in there for many years. They have tried everything tiey could think of, including statements that di In't make a great deal of sense. Some studies were slanted very def. nitely.
Engineering studies that we have read about--and I am not an engineer-have indicated that the idea of putting a port in there is not feasible because there are 5 months out of the year when it is impossible to use it, and the tides are so bad that when a ship goes up to Anchorage they have to go out into the open water and stand there for several hours just pumping out the tubing in the ship which cools the engines to get the mud of Cook Inlet out of their engines. I think before anything is done about this Anchorage harbor the ship captains, the men who use the harbor facilities, should be contacted about it, because they don't like the idea at all. It is hard to get into and so on, and I don't feel that anything they have in the way of a harbor, that they will get in the near future in the way of a harbor will interfere with our economy.
Mr. Dawson. We had testimony from the district engineer of the Army engineers. I asked him that very question, if these high tides wouldn't interfere and the anchoring of ships out there in the mud wouldn't be to their disadvantage, and he said it didn't seem to make much difference, if I remember his testimony.
Dr. DEISHER. There isn't one person in the Territory with any degree of background I have heard say that.
Reverend Malin. However, I would suggest that you check the Army engineers and see if there isn't a difference of opinion existing there. I mean in Washington.
Mr. Dawson. We certainly intend to do that before we get through.
Mr. HARDINGE. I would certainly be tickled to death to let my old friends, the Army engineers, decide it. I know we have a natural harbor here with 60 fathoms of water. We have no trouble with mud, not in 60 fathoms of water,
Mr. Dawson. That is all, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BARTLETT. What is your view about the proposed seatrain operation? Or would you prefer some other witness answer that?
Mr. HARDINGE. Mr. Bartlett, I would rather someone else that had gone into it further answer that, because I have not gone into the seatrain. I don't see how when you got wind there that blows a deck off the trestle at Whittier they are going to pull boxcars.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
(The statement submitted by Mr. Hardinge on river and harbor improvements follows:)
CITY OF SEWARD,
Seward, Alaska, September 23, 1955. To: Congressional committee, Seward, Alaska, September 24, 1955. Re River and Harbor Improvements.
GENTLEMEN: The city of Seward could be a great asset to the Territory of Alaska and the United States with but small expenditures for improvement, since there is exceptionally deep water to within a few feet of the beach, and since the Federal project for a new courthouse and post office building has been approved, it is urgently requested that you consider and recommend that space be made available in this building for a customs and immigration office in order that Seward may be declared an open port.
With the monopoly that now exists, merchandise can be consigned to Moose Pass at a lower rate than if they were received here, even though they must pass through here, this is a ridiculous situation.
Also, I assure you that the people of Seward will do everything in their power to assist with the construction of a municipal dock or docks if the authorities in Washington would make available to them water frontage. Again, we have another unhealthy situation as the city is completely shut off from the waterfront by Federal land and tideland, at the very least they could turn over to the city at a reasonable figure the present so-called Army dock which was abandoned by the Army and will be abandoned and left to rot as soon as the railroad's new dock is complete or torn down, in order that Alaska Steamship Co. will not have competition.
Also, small boat harbors are supposed to be maintained from gasoline funds, of which Seward certainly pays its share, but our harbor is so dilapidated it is pitiful. There is only one float of logs, and that is in a sinking condition. We have been promised a new float for 3 years, still nothing has happened. Now the Army engineers have a project approved for extending the breakwater, but we will not then have anything for boats to tie up to.
These are the things that aggravate the city of Seward and justly so, as they are things over which they have no direct control or any control at all. They are a progressive people and are doing everything within their power to improve. They have voted oerwhelmingly for such things as the new high school just being completed, adequate electrical power, a new general hospital, and every other improvement put up to them.
I assure you gentlemen that any consideration shown us will be appreciated, and any specific information on any project or any subject pertaining to the city of Seward will be forthcoming immediately. Very truly yours,
H. HARDINGE, City Manager.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Nelson. Would you please give your name and business connection?
STATEMENT OF PAUL W. NELSON, ADMINISTRATOR, SEWARD
SANATORIUM, SEWARD, ALASKA Mr. NELSON. Paul Nelson, Administrator of the Seward Sanatorium. Mr. BARTLETT. Do you have a prepared statement! Mr. NELSON. I have.
Mrs. PFOST. Since there are several people who are not appearing this afternoon Mr. Nelson will have approximately 15 minutes.
Mr. NELSON. My statement is condensed to come within the time limits.
Mr. Dawson. Does your testimony relate to the mental health bill? Mr. NELSON. In some respects.
Mr. Dawson. We have gone into that very thoroughly.
Honorable chairman and members of the committee and friends, this is to request that Alaska hospitals be given the support of the Federal Government in taking care of Alaska patients whenever it is possible so that Alaska can develop its own health facilities and not have to continue to be dependent upon the States.
Arguments that State Alaska cannot develop their own facilities without excessive expense to the Government are not true. Seward Sanatorium which was established 9 years ago to help meet a need for more beds to hospitalize patients with tuberculosis now has a program superior to most tuberculosis treatment centers in the States and better than any treatment program in the States for treating native patients. Starting from a very meager beginning, they now have a medical social department that is nearer the patients problems than is possible to develop outside. Our medical social worker, through personal contact with the patients, the patients' friends, the patients' families, and the environment of the patients' homes, is far more prepared to understand the medical social problems of the patient than a social worker that has only a reading knowledge of these situations. With the same understanding, the Seward Sanatorium has developed a rehabilitation program for the native people that cannot be matched outside. Yes; I'm sure the hospitals outside have heard of vocational rehabilitation for the native peoples, but how long is it going to be before they realize that nine-tenths of their potential clients need an opportunity for educational rehabilitation before they ever start on vocational rehabilitation, and most of them need social rehabilitation before they are prepared to compete with the outsiders that come to their villages for temporary assignments to take the most lucrative jobs in the village. Most of these jobs in the village can be handled by the natives themselves on a less temporary basis. The rehabilitation program at the Seward Sanatorium is preparing Alaskans for these jobs.
It is significant to point out that this program of tuberculosis care for Alaskan patients has been developed in Alaska at less cost to the Government than tuberculosis-care programs outside that have not been adapted to the Alaskan situation. The costs of care at Firland Sanatorium in Seattle have consistently been higher than they have at Seward since the day the Seward Sanatorium started operation in 1946.
It is also significant that in the matter of the 9 years the Seward Sanatorium has been operating, it has developed its quality of care to the point that it is the first hospital in Alaska to become accredited by the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation. Seward Sanatorium is also the only hospital in the Territory where medical students are in training. Students are assigned here for 6-month tours of training under an affiliation arrangement with the University of Chicago clinics, an internationally known medical training center. Very few tuberculosis sanatoriums in the States offer this type of program.
Another significant point is that the Seward Sanatorium is a private, nonprofit hospital, which means that all revenues are put back into the business and no individual benefits personally from profits.
Although it has been said that it is not necessarily wrong for the Government to purchase hospital care from a hospital operating for profit, it must be viewed with suspicion. To illustrate, I would like to point out that it would be a simple matter to take away some of the services we offer the patients and thus realize a considerable profit. This might be an incentive in a institution operating for the profit, of some individual; it is not an incentive in an institution operating not for profit, but for the service they can give to their patients. Hospitals operating for profit are frowned upon by the American Hospital Association.
I point these things out to emphasize that when challenged and given an opportunity, good health programs can be developed in Ålaska; that Alaska needs more and better health facilities and Alaska needs the support of the Federal Government whenever possible to help develop their
own program of health care. One more thing of importance. The United States Public Health Service has contracted 400 beds to use for the case of tuberculosis patients in Washington State. This is for the purpose of meeting an immediate need for additional beds which are not available in Alaska--yet, as late as March 1955 after many patients had already been sent outside, Seward Sanatorium was considering closing 1 ward because we had 35 empty beds and there were no funds available to utilize them. It is hoped that as the number of patients needing hospitalization for tuberculosis tapers off that hospital beds in Alaska will not be left vacant while hospital beds outside are being utilized to take care of Alaskan patients.
Hospitals are the fifth largest industry in the country. Alaska needs it own.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mrs. Pfost, do you have any questions to ask of Mr. Nelson?
Mrs. Prost. I just have an observation I would like to make. This is certainly a very fine statement, Mr. Nelson, and I want to compliment you upon it.
You probably know already that the members who are here on this committee certainly favor doing something about your mental-health problem in Alaska. The bill, as you know, has passed the committee and it is being held in the Rules Committee. We hope it will receive favorable action on the floor of the House early next session. I am sure you will find us all doing everything we can to assist in passage of the bill.
Mr. NELSON. I am glad to hear that. I have read newspaper reports on arguments for continuing the services outside, and I think we do need to develop a program of our own, and I believe we have the ability up here.
Mr. Dawson. Who operates the sanatorium?
Mr. NELSON. The women's division of the board of missions, Methodist Church.
Mr. Dawson. All the funds that go into that come from that source? Mr. Nelson. We operate on a per diem basis and they make up the difference.
Mr. Dawson. Do you have any vacancies now!
Mr. NELSON. We have a few, probably 10. We are not concerned about the vacancies now, but we do know the trend in care has been