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the Governor of Alaska
ERNEST GRUENING, Governor.
FOREWORD AND RECOMMENDATIONS THE year ending June 30, 1945, marked the transfer of military
activities from all Alaska to the westward half of the Aleutian Islands. The decommissioning of numerous posts on the Alaska mainland and the reduction of personnel in others together with the cessation of military construction resulted in a sharp drop in economic activity. Nevertheless, manpower shortages and housing shortages grew more acute.
The Territorial Legislature--enlarged by recent amendment of the Organic Act from 24 to 40, with 4 senators from each Judicial Division instead of 2 as previously, and the House with proportional representation of 8, 7, 5, and 4 from the First, Third, Fourth and Second Judicial Divisions, respectively, instead of as previously four from each-met in its seventeenth biennial assembly. It passed a considerable body of constructive legislation some of which had been sought for years.
It created an Alaska Development Board to meet postwar problems following the precedent established in the Forty-eight States and Hawaii.
It replaced the inadequate part-time Commissionership of Health with a full-time Commissioner of Health responsible to a board of five appointed by the Governor and by increasing the appropriation for tuberculosis care.
It recognized the increasing importance of agriculture in Alaska by establishing a Department of Agriculture.
It prepared to meet the acute housing shortage and to take advantage of Federal legislation by establishing a Housing Authority.
It met the economic problem of various groups of Territorial residents by increasing the maximum old-age allowances from $45 to $60 monthly and by raising the salaries of Territorial employees 15 percent, thus approaching, if not quite attaining, the Federal employees' 25 percent differential.
It strengthened various aspects of social security in the Territory by adopting a retirement act for the Territorial school teachers and through amendment of the Unemployment Compensation Act by extending the coverage to every employee in the establishment, previously available only to workshops in which eight or more were employed.
It eliminated one growing obstacle to progress by passing a land registration bill designed to remove the dead hand of vanished ownership from those who had patented lands or mining claims, left the Territory and could not be reached.
It took epoch-making steps to diminish interracial friction and to place the Territory abreast of contemporary thought and in harmony with democratic principles-speeded by America's part in World War II-by outlawing discrimination based on race in public establishments, and likewise abolishing discriminations between whites and “natives” long existing and sanctioned by government practice and procedure in the Territory's juvenile code and in the law relating to dependent children.
It provided for a survey of the southern branch of the University, a prospective expansion of educational facilities much needed in anticipation of the returning servicemen and others.
It responded to the rising sentiment for greater Territorial autonomy and self-government by adopting a memorial requesting Congress to grant statehood, and by providing a referendum on statehood for the next general election.
While not all the constructive measures proposed were passed and the revenue measures adopted were inadequate, the results of this Legislative Session were, on the whole, extremely gratifying, indicating an increased sense of awareness of the Territory's needs and its important destiny in the American Union.
These needs are great because of the Territory's large area, its inadequate communications, its relatively sparse and widely scattered population, when viewed in the light of the great migration to Alaska after the war, which may confidently be anticipated.
This prospective influx is of two kinds. It consists, first, of a great number of Americans, chiefly from the armed services, who hope to carve out a new livelihood along America's last frontier. Their desire has arisen largely from the presence in Alaska during the war of several hundred thousand men of the armed forces to whom the glimpses of the Territory have been sufficiently alluring for them to wish to return to the greater spaciousness and freedom which it affords. Likewise considerable publicity concerning Alaska, some of which, unfortunately, has greatly exaggerated its immediato opportunities, has stimulated a widespread interest.
Second, a large number of Americans will want to travel to Alaska for their vacations. The number of those desiring to follow this impulse may be confidently estimated in the millions.
Unfortunately Alaska is unprepared for both groups. For the first and more important category, since they aspire to be permanent residents, it is clear that at present roads, utilities of all kinds, housing, and economic opportunities are inadequate to absorb any considerable number. Potential opportunities are there but they need development.
For adequate housing, for highway construction, for the improvement of its health facilities, for the classification of lands, for the development of agriculture, chiefly through adequate research, and in countless other ways, Alaska needs Federal assistance which it has never enjoyed in sufficient measure. Alaska can probably do more than it has done in raising additional revenue for self-development. But the task of caring for a prospective citizenry larger than the existing population is clearly beyond the reach of Alaska with its relatively small number of people and undeveloped resources and it manifestly requires Federal financial aid. The development of Alaska-our farthest North and West continental area and of great strategic importance to make it available for successful settlement by our returning non-Alaskan soldiers, sailors and marines, Wacs, Waves and Spars—the opening up of an area one-fifth as large as the Fortyeight States, is, in my judgment, a Federal responsibility and should have the prompt, generous, and intelligently directed support of both the Legislative and Executive branches of the Federal Government. The prospective visit to Alaska during the summer of 1945 of several Congressional Committees should be a happy augury of the awakening of this interest on the part of the National Administration.
As for the second group of Americans, the numerous tourists who wish to spend their vacations in Alaska, it may be stated that they will find there sensational scenic beauty and wildlife abundance unmatched in the Western Hemisphere. However, accommodations to take care of even an infinitesimally small fraction of those who desire to come are lacking. They need to be developed jointly by Federal appropriations and private capital. The Federal Government has for years set aside vast areas as National Parks and Monuments in Alaska, withdrawing them thereby from other use, and as yet has made no appropriations for their development as in the case of National Parks and Monuments in the Forty-eight States. . Federal support is further warranted since the Alaska economy hitherto has been based on only two industries-gold mining and salmon fisheriesand the tourist industry is clearly indicated as the single most important potential economic development in Alaska. If the Federal Government does its part, private capital, both from outside Alaska, and, within their means, from Alaskans, may be expected to do its
share in developing the Alaska tourist business. Such development, besides building up Alaska, will keep millions of American dollars in the United States instead of their being expended abroad. Highway construction through Federal funds, of which Alaska has never had its fair share, essential also in this connection, is an excellent concomitant to every form of Alaska development.
(Matanuska Valley Project) The Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation, with headquarters in Palmer, has general administration over 140 farms with a total of approximately 12,000 acres, of which 7,500 are under cultivation.
The Alaska Rural Rehabilitation Corporation aids in the development of Agriculture in the Matanuska Valley by the use of its land clearing equipment, by maintaining emergency supplies of seed, feed and fertilizer, and by extending production loans to responsible farmers at a low rate of interest.
During the 1944 crop year 4,255,775 pounds of potatoes were marketed, 6,523 crates of head lettuce, 26,268 pounds of carrots, 3,367 bunches of carrots, 17,114 pounds rutabagas, 17,0182 pounds radishes, 5,466 bunches of radishes, 62,298 pounds celery, 158,243 pounds of cabbage, 103 cases of peas. One million five hundred thousand pounds of grade A milk was produced and 300,000 pounds of grade B milk, 50,000 gallons of ice cream, 3,350 pounds of dressed poultry, 21,207 dozen eggs, 209,673 pounds of pork, 6,173 pounds of veal, 67,940 pounds of beef, 842 pounds of mutton and 208% pounds of lamb.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE The Seventeenth Territorial Legislature created the Territorial Department of Agriculture. The agency is under the supervision of a Commissioner, who at the present time has offices in Fairbanks. His duties include the direction, administration, and supervision of experimental work not in conflict with existing Federal or Territorial agencies for the purpose of promoting and developing the agricultural industry within the Territory, including such fields as horticulture, dairying, cattle raising, fur farming, etc., the preparation and dissemination of information pertaining to the agricultural industry; the regulation of the entry and the transportation within the Territory of plants, seeds, vegetables, animals, etc., in order to prevent spread of pests and diseases; the study of the marketing of agricultural products within the Territory including transportation with special emphasis upon local production.
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ALASKA
The office of the Attorney General furnishes legal advice to all Territorial offices and agencies, as well as to officers of various municipalities and United States Commissioners in matters of public interest. In addition, this office renders assistance in the collection of delinquent Territorial taxes, prepares and files all claims of the Territory collectible against the estates of decedents and assists in framing proposed legislation for the Territorial Legislature. The Attorney General has been busy giving interpretations to numerous acts passed by the last legislature, some of which reflect faulty draftsmanship. The Attorney General is engaged in a study of the Alaska laws on the basis of which revisory legislation may be adopted at the next session of the Legislature. Such revisory legislation would be preliminary to the proposed recompilation of the Alaska Code.
AUDITOR OF ALASKA
During the fiscal year 30,819 warrants were written representing
payment of the following amounts: Percent
Public welfare------------------------- $1,471, 379. 01 50
Total.------------- ------------- 2, 992, 420.46 100
There are 183 regular employees working for the Territory; in addition there are about 30 part-time workers.
Forty-seven new corporations, 32 domestic and 15 foreign, are newly qualified to do business in the Territory. These include 15 nonprofit, 5 mercantile, 5 mining, 5 airways, 5 fisheries, 4 finance and investment, 3 cooperative, 2 transportation and 1 each of clubs, construction and
A total of 103 companies were engaged in selling insurance employing 81 resident agents, 6 nonresident agents, 1 resident broker, and 3 nonresident brokers. Receipts from fees and taxes during the year totalled $78,148.47.
REGISTRAR OF VITAL STATISTICS
During the year ended June 30, 1945, 4,467 certificates of birth, death, marriage, and adoption were filed, as compared with 5,153 during the previous year. 673715–46–2