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September 21, 1955.


This demand is neither arbitrary nor unreasonable.

Alaskans long have desired the right of the measures set forth in the preamble of the Constitution of the United States, "To assume among the powers of the other States, equal station to which they are entitled.”

To this end a constitutional convention has been called; delegates to this convention have been elected, by the people of Alaska.

These delegates will, together, plan and shape a constitution fitting and applicable to the needs of the State of Alaska, and the tremendous development that will follow as our potential is explored, not exploited.

We welcome new enterprises and industries, and the thousands of new people who will come, build their homes and live among us.

Our thriving cities are a demonstration of the caliber of the people who are working and praying for statehood.

Foreign countries receive aid, encouragement and advice without asking from official Washington, D. C., in their attempt of self-goverr.ment. We, too, would appreciate a crumb of consideration in our struggle for a right, long withheld.


I was born in Texas, 82 years ago.
I have lived in Alaska 20 years.

I have lived in the interior as a driller at different times, and in Skagway, Haines, and Palmer in construction work.

I own a home in Anchorage and other property in the vicinity of Anchorage.
Great changes hare come to Alaska; I have watched our cities grow.
Alaska has outgrown the Organic Act, and government by long range.

The 22d legislature proved that outside interests are crippling Alaska's developmert.

I was doorman in the Senate that session. We must have home rule and government. Statehood is the answer.


Ar chorage, Alaska,

STATEMENT OF IRENE E. RYAN Mr. Chairman and honorable members of the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee of the United States Congress, my name is Mrs. John E. (Irene) Ryan. I am a member of the Territorial legislature having served in the house during the last session. I am a registered engineer, a housewife, and a mother. We have made Anchorage, Alaska, our home for the past 14 years. I am pleading today for statehood for Alaska.

“Mother may I go out to swim
Yes, my darling daughter,
Hang your clothes on a hickory limb,

But don't go near the water.' This nonsense verse from childhood days points up the relationship and situation of the people of Alaska under the Federal Government. On the one hand we are urged to develop our country, on the other hand you, the Congress of the United States, retain to yourselves the tools with which we can accomplish that development. The previous cycles of interest and immigration from the States to this land have all ebbed, taking away from our storehouse of resources without leaving any development or social improvement in the Territory anywhere comparable to the total wealth that has been poured into the United States economy.

A conservation policy that locks tight the doors is not the answer. Nor is the granting of special privileges and protection to pressure groups. To compound the difficulties encountered in pioneering and building homes and industries where natural conditions of terrain and climate are difficult the Alaskan citizen is

frequently faced with either the lack of enabling laws or the necessity to beg for relief from restrictive laws, rules, regulations, and redtape. He finds his life in continual conflict with the plans of visionaries thousands of miles away or with impositions intended to discourage him which have been subtly introduced into Alaskan Legislature by established interests who do not want to lose their sinecure.

By now you are familiar with our prayers for relief and for assistance on a great many individual and specific problems. All too many of them affect the immediate needs of a country that is standing on the threshold of great economic development. More and more people are knocking at the Land Office doors and entering upon our lands. Major producing and industrial concerns are returning their attention to our oil and minerals, our forests, and power resources. In each instance will legislative action come too late? Will the citizen or industry with an honest plan for development be starved out, be forced by economic circumstance to turn back? The answer is not in the hands of Alaska but in yours. The very diverseness and extent of our needs makes the possibility of your giving them all attention remote. Would not granting statehood now be better than piecemeal legislation?

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

James Adams in his Mark of Democracy, remarks:

“So long as any portion of our national domain has remained in a Territorial or dependent status, as Alaska, Hawaii, the Philippines. Puerto Rico, and other portions yet do, we have found ourselves forced to govern much as England did in the 18tn century. We have declined, as England did, to accord complete self-government, have appointed officials, legislated for and even taxed the inhabitants without their consent, and done many if not most of the things for which so heavily blamed England,” and under a chapter on Modern Imperialis?n in his Outline of History, H. G. Wells writes:

“There has hitherto existed in the States no organization for and no tradition of what one may call nonassimiable possessions. The method of dealing with new territories was based on the idea that there cannot be in the United States system a permanently subject people—Alaska-remained politically undeveloped simply because it has an insufficient population for State organization *** It is improbable that either Puerto Rico or the Philippines will become States of the Union. They are more likely to become free states in some comprehensive alliance with both English speaking and Latin America ***. It is the older and more characteristic English tradition from which the Declaration of Independence derives. It sets aside, without discussion, the detestable idea of subject peoples.”

If the American tradition, if the concept of democracy as accepted and understood by America is not twisted and weakened, what are you, the Members of Congress going to do in the case of Alaska? Equivocation and compromise are an easy route to follow. Such piecemeal legislation will however point the direction of our destiny. Will “subject peoples” cease to be a detestable idea in the United States? Will the Declaration of Independence have the purity of concept twisted to mean only those lucky people living between the Atlantic and Pacific, between Canada and Mexico? Will Alaskans be rewarded for their contributions to your world with a permanent "colonial status,” remain a “subject people?” What are the alternatives? They are either full participation as a member State or the establishment of an independent state.

How can statehood now help Alaska?

First of all because it would give us effective participation in the making of those Federal and local laws and policies under which we must live.

Second, it would guarantee for us, under that contract the Constitution of the United States, equality of treatment and consideration with any and all of the member States.

Third, it would establish for us and let us establish a known, successful, accepted, and expected system of laws, rules, and regulations for the orderly development of Alaska.


Let me quote briefly.

"The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises—but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

“No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State.

"No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one State over those of another, nor shall vessels bound to, or from one State, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties to another.

“The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States.

“The United States shall guarantee a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion.”

Nature bestows her varied and numerous favors on a geographical basis. Communities take root and become a part of the land. Where home is, that is my country is the natural and accepted belief and from that comes the feeling of proprietory interest in the wealth produced from the land. Certainly the area and wealth of Alaska is such that it deserves the same representation in Congress as the other States.

The people to settle the land, to develop the resources will come and certainly with greater assurance if they know they will have representation as Alaskans in the making of the laws and policies to be imposed upon them. Special assistance, special laws, and special favors all are rosy but illusive solutions. I regard them with a deep and abiding distrust for the simple reason that the other side of the coin is special discrimination, special ommission, special punishment. Equality of rights, privileges, and consideration as well as burdens is to my thinking the dike that holds back exploitation and imperialism. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights is a covenant that we yearn to embrace.

There has been something said about commonwealth. When that word was first introduced in the consideration of Alaska's request for statehood I was puzzled. Now I am somewhat alarmed.

Can you define commonwealth? The dictionaries define it as follows: The people of a state, the state-a republic.

The Encyclopedia Americana defines it as follows: The state, or prosperity of a country without any reference to the form of government under which it may be at the time.

Commonwealth then is not defined in terms of rights or government. And to say one prefers commonwealth, without any further delineation of conditions is meaningless. Actually if the intent is to grant some additional but limited rights as for instance broader self-government and the election of our own governor, then a thousand questions arise. Would Congress grant the Commonwealth proprietorship of the public domain and resources, the fisheries, furs, timber, and tidelands? If not would they still be administered by the Federal Government and held in their hands under regulations and laws which we cannot change? If so, what's the gain? If a line is to be drawn-where draw it?

It has been suggested that the Federal Government forgive the Commonwealth the income tax. Would it? And if so, and as a result the products of our mines and industries successfully undercut the American market would you not impose import taxes or other restrictions to protect your own? Would we be permitted to trade direct with other nations and impose our own import and export taxes? Would we be required to sell only to American markets and buy from them and use only American shipping? Could we make our own trade treaties with other nations? How about immigration? Would the same quotas apply as for the States? Under what status would the military reservations remain?

All of these are already defined and established under the Constitution and its application if we were a member State.

As a Commonwealth would we be in the Union but not of it? A restricted semistate with 1 foot in and 1 foot out, our allegience torn asunder by discontent and disharmony at home which we would have no real power to alleviate? Or is it the intent and thought of people making such suggestions to send us on the road to an independent State?

Under the British Commonwealth of Nations are now seven sovereign states. They are sovereign in the fullest extent of the word. Each is the sole judge of the nature and extent of its association with the Commonwealth. It conducts its own internal and external affairs and is free at any time to withdraw if sentiment or expedience should so dictate. In all respects these nations are equal with Great Britain. They make their own laws, impose their own taxes, their own treaties. They need not if they do not desire, join in any military efforts or

participate in any wars. These, ladies and gentlemen, have evolved under Britain's changing concept of commonwealth. Is that the direction in which the Congress of the United States wants to point Alaska?

There is no solution to the growing need for self-determination for the citizens of Alaska except full statehood or ultimate independence. Any other restrictive forms of government will remain onerous or quickly become so to a people whose heritage is the Declaration of Independence.

The idea of an independent State of Alaska is to me alarming—I do not like the slow but inevitable severing of political, economic, and other mutual ties that such a course connotates.

We have carried here the yeast of democracy. It permeates our institutions and our people. In the face of our common heritage, the shrinking of spacetime under the impact of science the argument of con-contiguity becomes weak and meaningless. The American flag and what it stands for here-it is dear to us even though its shadow falls more harshly upon us than it does upon you.

Considering where Alaska stands today and the direction in which her people (your kith and kin) may be pushed, how can the members of Congress justify themselves in the pages of history if they do not grant her statehood now?

As an Alaskan I wish to express my deep and sincere appreciation for the interest shown by u men and women in our problems today. May you bear in mind that with the strange turnings of fortune's wheel you and any one of you may find yourselves a member of our community one day—on the outside of the bar. Take our cause to your heart as though that were true today. Thank you.


Spenard, Alaska. Senator BARTLETT,

Territory of Alaska. MY DEAR SENATOR: As an interested listener to investigations of your committee whose purpose is to assist in promoting the best interests of Alaskans. Since I have not made any previous arrangements to offer some recommendations promoting the development of food resources in Alaska utilizing the natural abundantly available raw materials of our forests and of the ocean waters of Alaska.

I have been conducting a one-man promotion campaign for over 3 years to establish a hydrolysis process utilizing acids to convert ordinary cellulose as sawdust to molasses, edible crystalline dextrose brewers' yeast. fermentation, alcohol and other desirable products from nonresinous wood. This method of converting cellulose into molasses for animal feeding has been perfected by scientists of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service Department assisted by the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wis.

The Bureau of Reclamation representative and the Matanuska Valley Electrical Association have been investigating a way to obtain governmental assistance in using silvacultural resources to feed dairy cattle inexpensively an acceptable molasses which compares equally with blackstrap mclasses and which may be produced less expensively. The literature provided by the United States Forest Service Products Laboratory indicates the practicality and economy of this manner of producing food molasses and such technical literature is provided upon request by writing to University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.

Si .ce the erection of a hydrolysis plant invelses an outlay of considerable cipital for a 50-ton day of molasses, I am hoping that additional food processes be conducted in conjunction as side processes using the ocean animals and plants to provide a supplementary food and reduce cost of food for dairy stock cattle. It is economically feasible to use seaweeds for stockfeeding, use of hay grass off islands for sugar and molasses manufacture, use of lower type animal organisms as plankton algae, for food and most recently an alkaline hydrolysis of shark, manta ray, squid, and other fish for producing proteins acceptable for food for humans and arimals. Even the utilization of mineral elements in ocean brine may be used profitably and phosphorous potassium and trace elements may provide farmers with soil-enrichment materials and for hydroponics.

I cordially also recommend that a school of oceanography be established to study the extensive coastline water areas capable of producing food. The famous Schools of Oceanography of La Jolla, Calif., and Woods Hale, Mass., may be contacted for expert supervision and bases established in such areas as Seldovia, Valdez, Nome, or elsewhere.

I have sought assistance of the Atomic Energy Mutual Development Cooperative Fund. This organization is expanding and now has over $40 million in a reserve fund for development of atomic energy.

The United Nations scientists through their atomic energy development committee and food and agriculture development committee has indicated the practicality of initiating various methods of using atomic energy reactors for development of natural resources especially the production of food.

The various national organizations can be immensely helpful in guiding industrial development and provide leadership in removing various problems to efficient operation of democratic government. The Industrial Areas Foundation has offered its services to communities in this connection-their address is 6 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill. It has been directed by Mr. Saul Alinsky, then technical consultant and prominent sociologist.

My personal effort is made to help coordinate the various groups such as raw materials, power resources, labor unemployed especially during the winter period, Government institutions and all who may assist in establishing some desirable new industries as acid and alkaline hydrolysis and other food-processing projects from abstracts generously provided by United States Department of Commerce —-of Small Business Administration for encouragement of royalty-free patented processes granted by the Government on a licensed basis.

I have concentrated my present effort to the study of conditions in the Anchorage and Matanuska Valley areas. I am hopeful that the Federal Government may assist in atomic energy development and related uses as a public works project and as a security measure for Armed Forces use. This may provide a continued employment to Alaskans and a memorable accomplishment for use to future generations as a service of their Government. Sincerely,

J. M. CZAPLINSKI. (Whereupon, at 6:22 p. m., the subcommittee recessed to reconvene at 10 a. m. on Friday, September 23, 1955.)

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