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Since the Veterans' Administration is charged with administering the laws relating to veterans benefits, these benefits for the most part being compensation, pensions, vocational rehabilitation, Government insurance, military and naval insurance, death benefits, adjusted compensation, emergency and other officers' retirement pay, soldiers' and sailors' civil relief, hospital and domiciliary care for veterans of all wars, unemployment and readjustment pay, education and training under the G. I. Bill, and G. I. loans, the office endeavored to ascertain the desires and needs of veterans by sending a questionnaire to each one discharged from service in World War II. At the close of the fiscal year a contact office had been authorized at Anchorage and applications have been made by the parent office in Seattle for contact offices in Ketchikan and Fairbanks.
UNITED STATES ENGINEER OFFICE
The district engineer is charged with the duty of investigating and reporting upon proposed river and harbor and flood control works in the Territory, and of constructing such works when authorized by Congress. He also carries out the duties defined by law for the protection and preservation of navigable waters, involving the removal of derelicts and wrecks, the consideration of permits for the construction of bridges, wharves, and other structures in and over navigable waters, including fixed and floating fish traps.
Flood-control projects under the jurisdiction of the district engineer are the Salmon River which provides for protection of the town of Hyder by means of a rock-faced earth dike; Lowell Creek which provides for protection of the town of Seward by means of a diversion dam and a concrete-lined horseshoe tunnel through Bear Mountain which diverts floodwaters and debris away from the townsite into Resurrection Bay; Tanana River and Chena Slough provides for protection of the town of Fairbanks by diverting Chena Slough drainage into the Tanana River by means of an earth and rock dike extending westerly from Moose Creek Butte, and for relocation of the Richardson Highway from Salcha Point to Moose Creek Butte. During the past fiscal year work was done on the Lowell Creek and Tanana River projects.
Navigation projects which have been completed or partially completed are as follows: Ketchikan Harbor, Port Alexander," Dry Pass, Wrangell Harbor," Stikine River, Wrangell Narrows," Petersburg Harbor, Juneau Harbor, Cordova Harbor, Waldez Harbor, Harbor of Refuge, Seward, St. Michael Canal, Apoon Mouth of Yukon River,
1 Modified for postwar construction by the act of March 2, 1945.
Sitka Harbor, Skagway Harbor, 1 2 Egegik River, Iliuliuk Harbor, Kodiak Harbor, Nome Harbor. The following projects have been authorized for postwar construction: Metlakatla Harbor, Craig Harbor, Meyers Chuck Harbor, Gastineau Channel, Elfin Cove and Seldovia Harbor.
WAR LABOR BOARD
The National War Labor Board during wartime was assigned the duty of controlling wage rates of all workers, except those who earned more than $5,000 per year and were not represented by a labor organization. This authority stemmed from the Economic Act passed by Congress on October 2, 1942. In addition the War Labor Board was authorized under the terms of the War Labor Disputes Act to determine labor disputes. It is the function of the Director of Wage Stabilization for Alaska to pass on applications for wage rate changes and act as disputes director, information director and liaison officer between the Wage and Hour Division, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Price Administration, War Manpower Commission and Wage Adjustment Board. Within the past year an intensive educational program regarding the functions of the War Labor Board has been conducted in Alaska, and despite severe handicaps, wage stabilization was functioning on a high level at the close of the 1945 fiscal year,
WAR MANPOWER COMMISSION
UNITED STATES EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
On December 17, 1942; the United States Employment Service was transferred by Executive order to the War Manpower Commission. This Commission regulates hiring practices and labor turn-over, and directs, if necessary, the hiring of all workers through the United States Employment Service. In October 1944 the offices which the War Manpower Commission formerly had in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and Edmonton, Alberta, were eliminated because the construction on the Alaska Highway and other projects was completed. At the same time two offices were established in the Aleutian Islands in a highly successful effort to curb the huge manpower turnover in that area. In addition to these War Manpower Commission field offices, the U. S. Employment Service has regular field offices at Ketchikan, Juneau, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kodiak, and Cordova and also maintains a part-time representative at Sitka.
1 Modified for postwar construction by the act of March 2, 1945,
* Although this is a navigation project one of its features is a dike protecting the town of Skagway from floods in Skagway River. Damages done to the dike by the floods of October 1943 and October 1944 were repaired by the district engineer during the spring of 1945.
Job placements during the year through the Employment Service numbered 31,391, an increase of 19,279 over the previous year. Of this number 1,749 were veterans. The United States Employment Service acts also as a claims-taking office for the Territorial Unemployment Compensation Commission, and during the past fiscal year took only 289 new claims.
The War Finance Committee of the Treasury Department is administered by the Governor as Territorial Chairman. The Territorial Committee for the promotion of War Savings bonds continued to function during the year, assisted by volunteer local committees in the large communities and Alaska Indian Service teachers in the more sparsely settled areas.
Sales of series E bonds (“People's bond”) alone during the last 6 months of 1944 totalled $3,407,057—a monthly average of $567,844.16. Sales for the first 6 months of 1945 totalled $3,361,366.25, maintaining approximately the same general average as for the latter half of 1944.
During the year ending June 30, 1945, the Weather Bureau maintained first order weather stations at the following locations within the Territory-Anchorage, Merrill Field Anchorage, Barrow, Bethel, Weeks Field, Fairbanks, Gambell, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kotzebue, McGrath, Nome, Northway, and Summit. " Airway observations were also available several times daily, from 32 paid Weather Bureau substations. Additional airway and synoptic observations were made available through cooperative arrangements with the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the United States Coast Guard.
Relaxation of security measures has permitted expansion of the forecast and warning service by radio. Forecasts are now being broadcast on regular schedules by commerical radio stations at Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Ketchikan.
Living quarters are now provided by the Bureau for its personnel at Barrow, Kotzebue, Nome, Gambell, Bethel, McGrath, Summit, and Northway. The Federal Public Housing Authority has completed construction of 15 living quarters units at Anchorage and 10 living quarters units at Fairbanks for Weather Bureau personnel.