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is the most desirable one or the most equitable one at the present time with respect to operation of places of entertainment on the base where liquor is sold, some of the services which might be supplied from the civilian side, but where, in effect, according to the testimony they are rather self-contained units. Is there an overall Air Force policy or an overall Department of Defense policy which rather rigidly governs what activities will and will not take place under prescribed circumstances? Or is there a good deal of discretion in the command as to what facilities for the convenience and utilization of the military will be installed?
General ATKINSON. You are thinking about something entirely foreign from post exchanges, commissaries and so forth?
Mr. ABBOTT. It would start with post exchanges and commissaries and branch out to such items as operation of trailer camps, the normal dry cleaning, repair and what have you facilities that are supplied civilians in common on competitive basis outside of military reservations.
General ATKINSON. Of course, to start with, the commissaries and the post exchanges are set down. We are told exactly what we can do about that, by regulation if not by law. So we just follow the regulations on that, all of the three services, the Department of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
I didn't know we had any problem on trailer camps.
Mr. ABBOTT. It is quite possible that the problem is not of a stature which some of the witnesses who appeared would suggest that it is.
Mr. O'BRIEN. It only came up from two witnesses.
General ATKINSON. I can tell you about the Air Force. It has been a policy where necessary to take care of dependents to allow trailer camps to be established on military installations. That has been the general broad policy, and I think any military commander here under the circumstances here would have to do something about it.
Mr. O'BRIEN. I think any civilian would approve unless running a competing trailer camp.
General ATKINSON. I certainly don't like trailer camps. Every time we got into the business of running trailer camps we delayed the day we got adequate quarters, and I would rather just do without them. Sometimes you get pretty badly pushed and have to do something about them.
As to entertainment, I don't know just what establishment you are thinking about. There is some merit, however, to maintaining some type of facilities, at least, on a military base itself so that the boys can have some homelike atmosphere at least. In other words, you don't encourage them to go downtown necessarily every evening of the week. I think that those things certainly should be provided.
Mr. ABBOTT. Does the cost of living in Alaska considerably affect what you must do on your military establishments that might not perhaps be done so extensively in the 48 States?
General ATKINSON. Yes, the cost of living has something to do with it all right. Of course, the main thing as far as the cost of living is concerned, the main thing that helps us out is having onbase housing,
a well-stocked commissary, and a well-stocked and well-run post exchange. That is the best thing you can do for a soldier, airman or sailor in Alaska from a cost standpoint.
Mr. ABBOTT. There has been considerable testimony and a good deal of informal comment on "bootlegging" items off the reservation, that is, items that might be purchased at something less than the price which would be paid for in the stores at Fairbanks and at Anchorage and thus filtering it into homes in direct competition with local merchants.
General ATKINSON. I think what that stems from-I imagine so because I have heard that now for a long time, the same thing, the same charge-is that somebody comes and buys a pound of butter at the commissary and pays 30 cents for it and takes it downtown and sells it for 60 or gives it to somebody downtown, or some item out of the post exchange. Is that what they are referring to?
Mr. ABBOTT. Apparently, yes, sir.
General ATKINSON. I don't doubt at all that is going on. I am quite sure that it is. I have been in the service about 30 years and I have heard that same charge all of that period of time. I don't think it is going on to any appreciable extent whatever. I just don't believe it.
Mr. O'BRIEN. It would be individual cases to a great extent?
General ATKINSON. It would be some individual cases. I have known of several people getting court-martialed, officers in two instances, buving something from the commissary or post exchange in some quantity, maybe case lots. But just individual cases, I know of no way of stopping it completely. It is something you have to keep after all the time, and I expect a little bit of it is going on.
I have an idea some unauthorized person will get into the PX for a pack of cigarettes or a carton, something like that.
Mr. Urt. Do you make any effort to check the type of supplies that a certain person is buying, if somebody came in and bought a case of milk every day?
General ATKINSON. They have a system on that. I can't tell you just how it is run, but you can't just go in and buy a case of milk every day. There is a record kept in the commissary. They know what I buv each month.
Mr. UTT. They do check that?
Mr. O'BRIEN. If these benefits for the military personnel were meager, it would afïect your rate of reenlistment, would it not, particularly of people serving in Alaska where the cost of living is great and the distance is great?
General ATKINSON. Yes, I would say so. I would say not only affect Alaska, probably it would affect it throughout the whole service.
Mr. O'BRIEN. Some of these witnesses claim that there was a hidden cost in providing these fringe benefits, but there also would be a cost of training new men to replace those who didn't reenlist. Wouldn't you think one would more than balance off the other?
General ATKINSON. As you well know, I am sure, there isn't anything more important to the armed services now than getting some people and training them well and then keeping them. That is our big trouble—we don't keep them. And if we don't do something to
induce them to stay in, Mr. O'Brien-I don't say commissaries and PX's will do it, but certainly that helps out. Medical services and all so-called fringe benefits. If we just kicked all of the fringe benefits out, I don't think we can afford to do it.
Mr. O'BRIEN. It would be a very bad form of economy?
Mr. Utt. I think the biggest complaint was the boys who get a 25-percent cost-of-living allowance were violating those privileges more than any military personnel, and there was no complaint on military personnel except in the case in Kodiak where they claim they were buying the dry cleaning down in Seattle at the same cost it would be if it were done locally.
General ATKINSON. I don't know about that one. I could look that up and send you a statement on that.
Colonel LIBBY. You will see the commander there who is well briefed on that.
Mr. ABBOTT. Along that same line, several statements were made as to the ordering of boycotts on businesses or boycotting towns, and I believe that when the record is completed, if there appear to be gaps there, that will be time enough to make probably some pointed comments.
General ATKINSON. Where was the boycott?
Mr. ABBOTT. One individual who claims he was "boycotted." Another one involved an official Navy boycott".
Colonel LIBBY. Mr. Gillam, said that in Fairbanks.
Mr. O'BRIEN. He made very clear that the condition alleged did not exist today, it was a previous condition, he was no longer boycotted, although he was suffering some economic pain.
Mr.' ABBOTT. The statement, a little difficult to believe, that 2 noncoms, or at least 1, was said to have come in shortly after a disagreement between him and the commanding general and said they had been threatend with reduction in rank to that of private if they purchased liquor in the store. I wondered which commanding Officer took the trouble to find these two sergeants to tell them about it.
Along this line an old question which has been raised repeatedly. It is asserted that food purchased for use by or on defense establishments in Alaska is, of course, transported in many instances by Government transportation up here, presumably perishable food, rather than being purchased through wholesalers in the Northwest or wholesalers here in the Territory. What is the overall Air Force policy or the command policy with respect to purchase of perishables, your foods?
General ATKINSON. We buy all we can buy right here in Alaska. As a matter of fact, some of the things that I know of, we use an awful lot of potatoes raised in Matanuska Valley. There aren't too many perishables raised here, to come right down to it. There are a few cabbages, potatoes, carrots.
Mr. ABBOTT. How about canned goods?
General ATKINSON. I don't know where they are purchased because they are purchased by the Quartermaster Corps of the Army, and they might be purchased in Seattle or most any place.
Mr. ABBOTT. That is apparently the point not understood by several witnesses who appeared, that you people, as we understand it, are not the purchasing agent.
General ATKINSON. We have nothing to do with it.
Mr. ABBOTT. It is delivered to you, and if there is a complaint, it should be directed to the Corps which has the responsibility for purchasing?
General ATKINSON. That would have to be taken up at the Washington level.
Mr. ABBOTT. One other thing that has to do with what was assertedly Washington level was the authority which the people have to cooperate in certain joint public works or public improvement activities, on roads, for example. What is the policy with respect to making available Defense Department funds where access roads into or through nearby municipalities are involved?
General ATKINSON. Colonel Farrell, do you know the answer to that one?
Colonel FARRELL. Partially. As I understand it, on Defense Department funds, as such, appropriated by Congress for Defense Department use, it is unlawful, written into the act, for these funds to be used off the military reservation. I don't remember the number of the act. Perhaps some of you do. Early in World War II there was an act written into law to just cover the case you mentioned, whereby access was required to military establishments that would not be required had the military establishment not been built in this particular location. Therefore, it was not fair to ask the city or the county or the State to build a road in. And under this act, access roads to military installations were constructed, and I think I am correct in saying the Bureau of Public Roads is the Federal administrator of this act.
I know several cases since the war where this same act has been used. The procedure is to go through military channels, through the transportation department. The Bureau of Public Roads make the surveys and estimates and put up the money for it out of a revolving fund or some type of fund they have for this purpose and usually call on the State highway department, if it is in the States, to do the construction work.
I believe I am also correct in that this procedure has recently been used at Kodiak, which I am told by the public works officer that the road from the reservation boundary into Kodiak is to be improved by the Bureau of Public Roads under this act. We have suggested to the local people who want more access roads to military installations to help in controlling traffic in the city that this act be resorted to to acquire these roads.
Nr. ABBOTT. That is one of several questions which, we understand, when we have our typed copy that we would like to make available to your people so that they can briefly present answers.
There are two overall questions, one on the present military withdrawals in the Territory of Alaska. Do you feel that you have substantially withdrawn or presently under military withdrawal your anticipated future needs, that is, in the foreseeable future?
General ATKINSON. I think so, substantially. You never know exactly what a new weapon system requirement might be as far as attainment of land is concerned, but I don't contemplate any request for any big military withdrawals in the future.
Mr. ABBOTT. Have you had complaints from the Territory that you are holding areas, lands of which, in their view, are not being utilized by the military?
General ATKINSON. I haven't had anyone come out and write me a letter personally or talk to me personally about it, that is, any official in the Territory. I have heard indirectly, though, that some people thought we had more lands withdrawn than we needed, yes.
Mr. ABBOTT. Again, that is one of the things the people in your command would be prepared to comment on?
General ATKINSON. Yes.
Colonel FARRELL. I have some figures that might be interesting on that.
We have either had for military use--this is Army and Air Force only. That is the only one I have real estate activity with. We have had under use permit or withdrawal in Alaska 6,809,042.44 acres of land up to date. We have relinquished to the Department of the Interior 3,070,462.46 acres of that land, leaving a balance held in withdrawals or permits of 2,268,134.06 acres.
In addition to that, there is in the Department of the Interior at the present time a request for 163,107 acres for the Army, 58,289 acres for the Air Force. There has been approved by the Department of the Air Force and the Department of the Army an additional 171,133 acres for the Army and 109,407 acres for the Air Force. Those have not been sent to the Department of the Interior requesting withdrawal. That would give us a total of 2,770,070.06 acres of land.
I might qualify my statement again by saying this does not apply to the Navy, it does apply to the Air Force, Army, including the Alaska communication system and National Guard.
General ATKINSON. I have a policy I have talked over with the commanders at several meetings, and we have a directive out, we will constantly review our land requirements and see if we really need what land we have got, because the charge is always coming up that the military has more land than we need. Once in a while we find out they are right. When we do we turn it back to the Department of the Interior. Unfortunately, there is a pretty good lapse of time between the time the transaction is processed before the people up here find out about it. I mean, just because we relinquish some land doesn't mean anybody can get access next week or next month.
Colonel FARRELL. Less than 1 percent of the land we have turned back has been restored to public domain.
Mr. ABBOTT. They must first declare it surplus, isn't it, and poll all other Federal agencies?
Colonel FARRELL. After we have done that and it has been turned back to the Department of the Interior, they have been very slow in putting it back under the public domain for homesteading and other USCS.
General ATKINSON. That is one of the erroneous ideas people in Alaska get: After we relinquish the land, they still think we are holding on to it because they haven't heard about it being released.
Vr. MCFARLAND. Is it my understanding that 3 million acres is still not back in public domain?
General ATKINSON. I understand less than 1 percent has been restored to public domain. By that I mean for homesteading and for other people to buy.