EMERGENCY BULLETIN #23
21 April 1964 (Tuesday)
(Prepared by Karl Armstrong)
KETCHIKAN DEMOCRATIC ASSISTANCE
Kodiak has been selected by the Ketchikan Democratic Women's Club as
recipient of a $50,000 gift of assistance to this disaster struck community
according to a letter received by Mayor Pete Deveau from Dorothy Roady of
that organization. Mrs. Roady, wife of Ray Roady, who served with Mayor
Deveau in the First State Legislature, said the organization has set a
$50,000 goal for a fund raising drive to assist the community of Kodiak to
rebuild. The club left actual disposition of the fund up to the discretion
of Mayor Deveau who has indicated he favors using the money for a project
such as a new library-museum building for this community.
Eastpoint Sea Foods began processing shrimp Sunday and now is operating on
a 10-hour shift basis employing 24 persons, according to Manager Jim Major,
Skipper Ted Moseley's Fortress brought in 60,000 pounds which is being
processed into shrimp logs.
SUPERIOR COURT HERE
Judge Edward V. Davis of the Alaska Superior Court has been holding court
here since Monday morning. Accompanying Judge Davis is Kodiak's new
District Magistrate, Miss Mary Franke and well known former Kodiak
resident, Mrs. Annamae Vokacek who is Clerk of the Court.
"BUY A CAN OF SALMON"
In a telephone interview with the Seattle Times this morning. Mayor Pete
Deveau suggested there be a nationwide appeal to the people of the nation
for funds for the Kodiak Disaster Fund. "And for those who would like to
help the people of Kodiak Island, and of all Alaska, in this difficult
time, I would urge every patriotic American housewife to buy one can of
Alaska salmon or other Alaskan product such as halibut or crab for each
member in her household," Deveau said. Deveau stressed that "Kodiak 's
ecomony is largely dependent upon sea food production and nothing would
spur the speedy recovery of the island's sea food processing industries
more than a strong healthy demand on the market for these products."
DISASTER FUND COMMITTEE
The Kodiak Disaster Fund was established at a meeting in Council Chambers
last night which will handle all funds, not otherwise committed, for aiding
disaster victims. The meeting was attended by an eight-man advisory
committee which is to establish policies on the actual dispensing of the
disaster fund money. Actual administrators chosen to administer the fund
dispensing are Mrs. Minnie Deveau and Mrs, Calla Balard. Members of the
advisory committee are: Ray Martin, Dave Savoie, Steve Collins, Rev. Don
Bullock, Rev, Robert Childs, Father John J. Marx, Doris Simon and Father
Marcarius Targonsky. Also attending the meeting as interested parties were
Robbie Robinson of the Red Cross and Col. Max Kurtz of the Salvation Army.
Mrs. Deveau and Mrs. Ballard will be available at the Civil Defense
headquarters in the trailer parked in front of the Church of God. They
will be there from 10:00 a.m. till 12 noon and from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00
p.m. Monday through Fridays. Persons wishing to make contributions to the
disaster fund may address their contributions to: Kodiak Disaster Fund,
Kodiak City Hall or the First National Bank, Kodiak Branch.
SBA ASSISTANCE APPEAL
Mayor Pete Deveau this morning phoned U.S. Senator Ernest Gruening in
Washington to request his assistance in getting more Small Business
Administration representatives assigned to Kodiak to assist businessmen in
applying for SBA Disaster Loans.
GRUENING CONCERNED By Robert So Mien and Paul Scott
WASHINGTON-Alaska Senator Ernest Gruening fears that the full impact of his state's recent disaster is not fully understood by Senator Clinton Anderson of New Mexico. Anderson was named chairman of the Federal Reconstruction and Development Planning Commission for Alaska by President Johnson.
Gruening's concern was expressed in a lengthy letter to Anderson. The letter follows:
I think you should know that the members of the Alaska delegation who came down with Governor Egan and are his appointees to the Reconstruction and Development Planning Commission of which you are Chairman, are extremely unhappy. This is perhaps an understatement. Some of them are deeply discouraged, which is unusual for Alaskans. Some are bitter. They feel that you have not appreciated the magnitude of the disaster and the resulting problems; that the remedies you propose are wholly insufficient and inadequate; and that by excluding direct help to the private sector and indicating your opposition to any federal grants, you have, in effect, foreclosed Alaska's recovery.
If their assumptions and conclusions are correct, I will have to say that I share their view.
I find it difficult to understand why, in the face of the worst disaster that has befallen any state in the history of our nation, and hence unprecedented, we are compelled to fall back on made-do remedies with what is largely a mere amplification of some existing governmental services. Considering that the total loss will reach close to a billion dollars and that hundreds of people have been totally wiped out, I agree with Clarence Cannon, the economically-minded chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, who said of the $50 million appropriated for disaster relief that this was, as far as Alaska was concerned, "just a drop in the bucket."
I have just received a letter from the general manager of the Chugach Electric Association, which I enclose. You will note that he bought a $45,000 house in Anchorage which is a total loss, as are all his and his wife's belongings, and that he still owes $34,000 on it. As he says, his life savings went with that home. He is better off, however, than many other Alaskans because the Chugach Electric Cooperative will go on, so that he, at least, has a job and an income. But how about the many Alaskans who not only, like him, lost their home and belongings, and have a loan to the bank for almost the full amount of the purchase price of their home, but also have the same situation in their business? They've lost everything, and are still heavily indebted. Obviously, loans on top of these loans won't do. Hundreds of "little people" have also lost their homes and their jobs because the businesses in which they were employed are no more.
You may have heard my past remarks in the Senate about the double standard, which I apply to the contrast in the attitude of the federal, executive and legislative authorities as shown in the past decade and a half, toward the needs of virtually all the foreign peoples outside the Iron Curtain - including some behind it and our own domestic needs. We have to fight for every dollar that goes for our folks at home. In every case, domestic expenditures have to go through the deliberate established authorization and appropriation procedure, and properly so, but in the case of foreign aid, the Congress has given the executive bureaucracy a blank check to ladle out now well over $100 billion as it sees fit. There is almost nothing that we haven't done in public and private sectors for the people in over a hundred foreign nations.
Since the Alaska disaster, I have received scores of letters urging that the funds for Alaska rehabilitation be transferred from the foreign aid program. A typical letter appeared in the editorial page on April 7th of the Washington Daily News, recommending that $1 billion from that source be allocated to state and municipal governments, business firms and to all families who suffered economic disaster. What is wrong with that? Especially in view of the fact that there are
over $10 billion resting in the foreign aid pipeline, So, this $1 billion could be transferred without the slightest nicking of President Johnson's budget.
The contrast above referred to was illustrated in our Tuesday's Commission meeting, when Peter Deveau, Mayor of Kodiak and manager of the one remaining - though badly damaged - Kodiak cannery, said that if he could have $2000,000, he could put the cannery back into shape in time for the fishing season and employ 300 people who are now out of work.
Dead silence followed this request. Contrast this lack of affirmative response with what we have given, not loaned, foreign countries to rehabilitate their fisheries: Nationalist China, $848,000 - its first grant in 1955 closely paralleled DeveauTs request in amount, namely $204,000; Indonesia, headed by that charming Sukarno, who has just said: "To hell with your aid," $907,198; Cambodia, which likewise has told us to get the hell out, $159,000; Viet Nam, where we have recently, on McNamara's return, stepped up our military aid - already over $1 billion, by $50 million - nearly $2 million in fishery aid ($1,908,000 to be exact); India, $1,128,620; Pakistan, $1,355,670 (apparently when two nations are at swords' points we've got to help them both, as further illustrated by warring Ethiopia and Somalia, both of which get fishery grants from us); Also, Korea, to the tune of $5,351,000 to date; Laos, Liberia, Turkey, Tunisia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Iceland, Spain, Yugoslavia, Chile, El Salvador, Peru and British Guiana.
None of these countries has suffered damage to their fisheries as has Alaska. To me the contrast is shocking indeed, nauseating.
To me it is unthinkable - as it will be to millions of Americans - that we should even hesitate to seek what is so simple and obvious, namely legislation to meet an unprecedented disaster - legislation which may be unprecedented in the domestic field but has been practiced for 17 years for foreign countries. That legislation should provide precisely the same treatment we have long given and continue to give indiscriminately to the people of over a hundred foreign lands - rushing with our dollars as soon as any new nation is spawned, and sometimes even before. That legislation should, for Alaska, be a complete restoration and rehabilitation program, adding the nation's resources to the brave self-helping efforts of our fellow-Americans in Alaska.
If this is not done, if it is made impossible for the Alaskans to restore what was and rebuild the strong northern and northwestern bulwark for our continent which was in the making, and they leave and return to the "South 48" our national security will be truly jeopardized. How much more valuable would the billion dollars that we could easily take out of the glutted foreign aid pipeline be if we were to invest it in helping to secure and strengthen that uniquely strategic area, that bastion of hemisphere defense, Alaska, with its front on the Arctic, its station on the trans-polar routes and its adjacency to Soviet Siberia!
As you know, Senator Jackson, Bob Bartlett, Warren Magnuson and all the other Pacific states senators, are co-sponsoring a bill for earthquake insurance - retroactive in Alaska to cover the private and public sectors. If enacted, this would go far to remedy the situation, although not by any means the whole way. But you made clear, at your hearings, that you are opposed to it, I hope that you will modify this view in the light of an immensely tragic situation in which our Alaskan citizens find themselves, and for which no effective solution appeared indicated at the two commission hearings.
When the President proposed your name and announced his intention of
appointing you as Chairman, Bob Bartlett and I, remembering your gallant
and effective service in behalf of statehood from the time of the first
hearings which you conducted in 1950, and your guiding through of the
statehood bill on several occasions before final passage, had every
confidence that your attitude would correspond to your previous enlightened
and generous record. I hope that may still be the case.
Ernest Gruening, U.S.S.