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container cargo for the operation, I believe in southeast Alaska that Alaska Steamship Co. only can use 50 percent of its cargo space for containers due to their union contract.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you, Mr. Croul.
Mr. TAYLOR. Could you give us just a brief background of what happened a year and a half ago when the Alaska Steamship Co.'s last ship was taken off this Seattle-Alaska run?
Mr. CROUL. Well, briefly, it meant a substantial reduction of the tourist business. I might say this: That Alaska Steamship, when they did reduce their passenger service or eliminated it completely, did add an additional freighter tonnage, and they are providing a good service now.
Mr. BARTLETT. Do you have any further witnesses or other subjects of your own?
Mr. CROUL. Another subject I would just like to touch on. I have a written statement on electric power that Walter Hickel, who is the chairman of our power committee, wanted to give. Most of this has been touched on, so I am not going to bore you with any more of it. But I would like to emphasize two points in it.
The Anchorage chamber feels that there is a very definite need in the Anchorage area at the present time for a power pool, and we hope the city and Chugach can get together and work the thing out. We feel it would be very beneficial to the electric consumers here.
Mr. BARTLETT. That is what Walter says here?
And second, we would like to see this committee lend whatever influence it can to get the Department of Mines—Bureau of Mines-the Department of the Interior, to make further coal studies, with an idea in mind that the coal could be used in thermal power, to let us know and to give us some indication of what coal resources we have for thermal and also supply us with information as to the economics of thermal power.
Mr. BARTLETT. What work has been done along that line to date?
Mr. CROUL. Very little. We have had a number of experts up here sent in by the Bureau of Mines, but usually they tell us what we can't do with our resources, and we would like to have some experts up here to tell us what we can do, at least with this coal resource as pertaining to the use of it in thermal power generation.
Mr. BARTLETT. You would have the committee join with you in your recommendation to the Department of the Interior that this be done?
Mr. CROUL. Yes, sir.
Mr. BARTLETT. We will consider that when recommendations are made.
Mr. CROUL. Very briefly, to back up some of the testimony that Dick Fischer made, we feel that there is a very definite need at the present time to get some type of highway program for Alaska. Perhaps a formula can be developed by your committee that would include the maintenance cost of our highways in this formula, and it would be set up on a matching-fund basis where the amount of money that we put in would give us in return some type of Federal funds that we could use for our new highway construction. It seems we are reaching the end of building military roads, and we would like to have the opportunity here of building highways on our own for economic development purposes.
We realize, of course, the statehood bill is very generous in its provision, and we are all for it as far as the highway and other factors are concerned there.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Croul, one unfortunate-I think that is the right word-aspect of this is that whereas the beneficial provisions relating to highways that were included in the statehood bill before this committee, a bill to include Alaska within the Federal aid system generally, whatever its provisions might be, will be before another committee and one, which naturally will be best advised on account of this trip, if nothing else, will have to again be merely in an advisory capacity I am distressed by that fact but it is one.
Mr. CROUL. That completes the testimony that I would have to give, and I am wondering if Mr. Asplund—I see he has arrived back in the meeting here. I would like to call on him at this time. He is chairman of our trade development committee and wants to briefly discuss this problem of the ICC hearing.
Mr. BARTLETT. Would you identify yourself?
STATEMENT OF JOHN M. ASPLUND, CHAIRMAN, ANCHORAGE
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TRADE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
Mr. ASPLUND. Mr. Chairman, my name is John M. Asplund. I am vice president of the chamber of commerce and chairman of the trade development committee.
I would like to feel that Alaskan people are considered do-it-yourself people. However, there are times that come up where we do need help, and I feel this transcontinental rail freight rate discrimination is important and should be called to the committee's attention.
I will read this report to you so we can cover as much as possible in as short as possible time.
A very serious problem facing Alaska today is the problem of high discriminatory freight rates pertaining to carload shipments originating in the Midwest to the Eastern United States and destined for Alaska. Tariff No. 29-S Transcontinental Freight Bureau names export rates from Midwestern, Southern and Eastern States, Pacific coast gateways destined for Hawaii, countries west of the 170th meridian and to the west coast of Mexico, Central and South America, these rates are from 20 to 50 percent lower than the rates on the same traffic when destined to Pacific coast ports for transshipment to Alaska. Ocean rates from Pacific coast ports to Alaska are from 50 to 150 percent higher than to many countries included in the export rate zone and benefiting by the lower land hauls to the coast.
Therefore, traffic to Alaska pays not only a great deal more but in addition does not share in lower export rates from the interior to the Pacific coast ports. We understand that the justification for the stateside railroads giving export rates across the continent is to compete with the ocean haul from the eastern and southern coast to Hawaii and other countries named via the Panama Canal Zone. We do not contend that these rates are not justifiable but do contend that these rates are not justifiable but do contend that we should be given equal consideration and that Alaska should be named as an additional point in tariff No. 29, to which export rates apply and
also that the present application of the domestic rates to the Alaska traffic is discriminatory.
Early this summer the General Services Administration filed a complaint against the Great Northern Railroad and 65 other carriers before the Interstate Commerce Commission charging discrimination in the matter of transcontinental freight rates of Alaska shipments on the basis of carload lots from points east of the Rocky Mountains.
When the news was received in the Territory that there might be a possibility of a hearing on this matter, many of the business people and the chamber of commerce urged that hearings be held in the Territory so that the people most affected, the Alaskan shippers, would have an opportunity to be heard. A prehearing conference was set in Chicago in August and intervention papers were filed not only by the Alaska Chamber of Commerce but also the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce in addition to the General Services Administration. Following the prehearing conference which was conducted by the chairman of the ICC, Mr. Mitchell, the announcement was made by him that he would not hold hearings in the Territory due to the fact that there was not enough interest by Alaskan shippers. He has since been contacted by several organizations and urged to reconsider this decision.
We would like to request the help and assistance of this committee in urging the chairman of the ICC to hold hearings on this matter in Anchorage and in other parts of Alaska at the earliest possible date.
I wish to thank you for the opportunity of being here.
Now we have some rates here which could bring out the qualify some of these statements I have made about higher rates. But 1 know you are pressed for time.
Mr. BARTLETT. Why don't you mention one or two and file a statement for the record ?
Mr. ASPLUND. All right. Canned goods, for instance, Chicago to Seattle, 40,000-pound minimum, carload, the domestic rate is 169; the export 118. We are on the domestic rate.
So you can see quite a spread there.
Cigarettes, Raleigh, N. C., to Seattle, 44,000-pound minimum, domestic 240; export is 288. That is the only one, we have for the
Automobiles, Detroit to Seattle, 10,000-pound minimum, domestic 751; export 550. Quite a difference.
Plumbers' goods, 40,000-pound minimum, Chicago to Seattle, domestic 230; export 168.
Structural beams, 60,000-pound minimum, Pittsburgh to Seattle, domestic is 167; export is 106.
We have many more we can file, and I will be happy to file this report with the committee.
Mr. BARTLETT. That will be useful.
Mr. Dawson. Your problems are very similar to ours in Utah. We have had the same difficulty, and we have been fighting these rates for a long time and they probably sound just identical to yours. My only suggestion would be, however, that the thing for you to do is to get you a good rate man to help you up here to fight your battles, It would do no good for this committee to recommend to the ICC that some modification be made, because that would be just like us
interfering with the court telling the court what they should do, because that is what, in effect, they are. They are more or less a judicial body fixing these rates, all based on expert testimony in these hearings. That is my reason for suggesting that you get a good rate man to see that you are properly represented at the hearings and persist in your request that the hearings be held up here, too. They can do that. They do do it in other places, and it should be done.
That is all I have to say.
Mr. ASPLUND. We would like to have the hearings held here and wherever possible we are trying to get in our request for intervention in the hearings.
Mr. BARTLETT. My understanding is that is the only thing you would like the committee to recommend.
Mr. ASPLUND. That is right, for the hearings here.
Mr. BARTLETT. And not to fortunately, in this case, we have the skilled services of the General Services Administration, Mr. Dawson, which has intervened because of the fact that the United States Government in all its shipments to Alaska is required to pay this excess domestic rate, and if the General Services Administration, which has had a group of experts working on this for at least 2 years, is successful in its intervention before the Interstate Commerce Commission, it is estimated that the annual saving to the Federal Government by way of shipments will be, I think, in the millions of dollars. Is that not true, Mr. Asplund, that the Interstate Commerce Commission has agreed to hold a hearing in Seattle?
Mr. ASPLUND. That is correct.
Mr. BARTLETT. And has absolutely denied the privilege of a hearing in Alaska where the problem really is?
Mr. ASPLUND. That is our latest information. They said there is a lack of information on part of shippers. I can assure there is very definite interest on all shippers in the Territory.
Mr. BARTLETT. You say the chamber of commerce previously requested that there be hearings in Alaska?
Mr. ASPLUND. That is right.
Mr. BARTLETT. And the chamber itself naturally represents many shippers?
Mr. ASPLUND. That is correct.
Mr. BARTLETT. I would like to express the hope, Mr. Dawson, that the committee will see fit to suggest to the ICC that a hearing be held here so the local people can present their case. Not too many can go clear down to Seattle.
Mr. DAWSOX. I would certainly be in favor of that. And another thing. Let them come up on the usual per diem and pay their own expenses up bere and find out how much things cost up here. I think that would be the best argument that could be made.
Mr. ASPLUND. Fine.
Mr. BARTLETT. Is it not true the Territorial government for several years now has been urging the railroads to apply the export rate voluntarily, but they have been adamant and have consistently refused to do so and that continued refusal brought about the intervention on the part of the General Services Administration?
Mr. ASPLUND. That is correct. Mr. BARTLETT. My recollection is that this was initiated by the Alaska Development Board when George Sundborg was manager way back in 1946 or 1947.
Mr. ASPLUND. We are attempting to follow this thing through all the way and would certainly appreciate the opportunity of being heard in Anchorage or Alaska.
Mr. BARTLETT. You should be.
Mr. TAYLOR. Yes; I would like to call attention to the resolutions adopted at the Alaska Chamber of Commerce convention, Juneau, Alaska, April 14 to 16, 1955. I note resolution No. 8 concerned this very topic upon which Mr. Asplund was just speaking. I notice that the resolution did not state that it would be desirable to have a hearing here in Anchorage. I wonder if there was any reason for not having a place designated for the hearings.
Mr. BARTLETT. What did it say about that? Did it mention any hearings at all? I think I can give the answer to that, if
you cannot. Mr. CROUL. I think at the time that resolution was drafted
was hope that they would conduct hearings in several points of the Territory and they did not want to spell out any one particular city or community.
Mr. BARTLETT. Either that or formal papers had not been filed on the ICC, and this was a vague experession of hope rather than an active case as it now is.
Mr. TAYLOR. I think it is well to note this represents the entire Territory of Alaska, not only the city of Anchorage.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Asplund.
Mr. BARTLETT. Mr. Plummer, would you be so good as to identify yourself for the sake of the record?
STATEMENT OF RAY PLUMMER, ATTORNEY AT LAW, ANCHORAGE,
Mr. PLUMMER. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee:
My name is Ray Plummer. I am an attorney at law and engaged in the private practice of law in Anchorage since 1949. Prior to that time I was assistant United States attorney and United States attorney here in Anchorage.
I have a prepared statement that I would like to submit, and I just have one or two comments to make on it.
The subjects which I have touched on are the commissioners through out the Territory of Alaska and in particular in the more populated towns, and the necessity or the need for an additional judge here in the third division, and the court facilities here at Anchorage.
I think my prepared statement is rather complete, with one or two exceptions.
I assume that members of the committee are familiar with the county form of government in the States where you have your probate judge, justice of the peace, a county clerk or Recorder, coroner, a juvenile court, and a department of vital statistics. In Alaska alí those functions are covered by the United States commissioner. You have a person who serves in 7 or 8 capacities and in my opinion draws a salary or compensation of about half of that that he should receive and far below the salaries which are paid for other responsible positions here in the Territory.