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they would care to, and if they were bound for the Orient they would have the only stop in the United States here at Anchorage, and they would leave here with a feeling of good will toward the United States that simply isn't possible under present circumstances.
Mr. MILTON. That is absolutely correct.
You see this in the airports; in Le Bourget, France, you mentioned Shannon, and in the airports of Copenhagen. I could rattle them off, where I have been through, and they have these wonderful facilities, stores, areas where people could have better facilities to relax and learn something about the country.
Senator BARTLETT. I assure you that I have personal knowledge of Copenhagen.
I noticed that Mr. Norman Brown, publisher of the Anchorage News, is in the room. Three years ago we landed there from Anchorage. It is a magnificent terminal. You are given an opportunity to see a lot of things and to buy what you choose, and the Danes make a little money in connection with that. As far as we were concerned, the group which went to Anchorage on the inaugural flight, we were able to have our fourth breakfast of the day at the Copenhagen Airport.
Thank you, Mr. Milton, very much.
Mr. MILTON. Thank you.
Senator BARTLETT. Is there anyone else in the hearing room desirous of testifying on this bill?
The record made here ought to be most useful when the committee takes up its active consideration in Washington next winter.
Come forward, please. Please identify yourself for the record and give your mailing address.
STATEMENT OF RICHARD ALBERS, PRESIDENT, GREATER ANCHORAGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
Mr. ALBERS. I am Richard Albers, president of the Greater Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.
Senator BARTLETT. Good. We wouldn't want the chamber of commerce to be unrepresented with respect to this legislation.
Mr. ALBERS. My mailing address is Box 1679.
The chamber of commerce has supported the reception center wholeheartedly. We have a committee formed at the present time to work just for its completion. We are perhaps a little sorry that we weren't the ones to have thought of the solution to a problem which has existed for some time at the airport in the handling of the many foreign passengers who use this as a stopover place.
However, there is one section of the bill that we are not familiar with and we would like to reserve an official opinion on that until a later date and perhaps inject it at that time into the testimony, and that is the portion regarding the free port idea. It is not that we are either for or against it. We just don't know what effect it would have on the community, and we don't understand the ramifications thereof.
Senator Gruening is going to speak in front of the chamber at our Monday noon luncheon, and I am going to request that he give us a little information on that portion.
I think that would conclude any remarks I would have on it.
Your only question about this bill relates to that foreign trade zone? Mr. ALBERS. We don't understand it, Senator, exactly how it would work and what effect it would have on our local community in regard to perhaps competition with local merchants and so on and so forth.
Senator BARTLETT. I think that is a wise reservation. Most of us need further education on the subject of the implications of that kind of an arrangement. I know that I wouldn't pretend for a moment to be thoroughly familiar with it. In fact I have a memorandum in front of me at the moment suggesting that to arrive at this desired objective some other mechanism may have to be employed.
I also want to discover more on this situation.
We thank you, Mr. Albers, for having presented on behalf of the Greater Anchorage Chamber of Commerce a general endorsement of the bill.
Are there any other witnesses on this bill?
Will you come forward, please.
STATEMENT OF GEORGE MOHR, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
Mr. MOHR. I am George Mohr, Anchorage.
Senator BARTLETT. And your mailing address?
Mr. George Byer, in his presentation, mentioned the endorsement by the Rotarians. Their idea of the International Reception Center has been discussed widely ever since it was first conceived by the former mayor; and a similar presentation as heard here was given at the Rotary meeting in Anchorage.
To illustrate the good will which can be created by the creation of a reception center I would like to recite an incident. As you are familiar, Rotarians make it their business to establish international relations and create good will and contact with Rotarians from other countries. It became known here in May of this year that a group of Rotarians were passing through Anchorage on their way to Tokyo for the international convention. The Rotary here sent as many people as they could muster on short notice out to talk to them on their layover in Anchorage.
Again this was the only contact with the United States which this group had. Although the language difficulties intervened to some extent, contact was quickly established and flags were changed.
These people proceeded to Tokyo after 2 hours. The interesting thing to this is the sequel. I don't know how many there were, but about 20. Twelve of them made it their business to write after they went home and expressed in beautiful Italian language their appreciation and the enjoyment they had that somebody was there to say "Hello," to explain something about the United States, especially about Alaska, about which they were very curious, to make them welcome, and to while away their time while they had to wait for further refueling of the airplane.
I would like to add that in this area, the International Reception Center, the Rotary Club heartily endorses the project.
Senator BARTLETT. Thank you very much. We are glad to have your testimony on that.
Are there any more witnesses on this bill?
STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE SHARROCK, MAYOR, ANCHORAGE,
Mr. Mayor? You don't have to give your mailing address. Mr. SHARROCK. I am George Sharrock, mayor of Anchorage. I would like to add my own personal support to this International Reception Center bill. I think that the merits of the reception center certainly warrant the support of all the people of Anchorage. I think that it has the support of the people of Anchorage. I also think that it has the support of all of Alaska, from what I have heard.
I was in Ketchikan only a week ago and I know that it was talked about down there, and people did express their approval.
Senator BARTLETT. Mr. Mayor, I detect prejudice on your part in support of this bill. I must say that I share that. I think that it would be appropriate, however, for me to say here that not everyone concerned is certain to have the same lively enthusiasm as is being expressed here today, because inevitably during legislative consideration of this bill we are going to hear, among other things, that this has never been done by the Federal Government elsewhere, that there is no good reason or any reason at all why the Federal Government ought to make a fairly substantial investment of this kind in creating a reception center way up in Anchorage, Alaska, and spending the money to construct the building and spending the money to operate it annually, and that in any case this isn't the appropriate time because the Federal Government is incurring deficits and taxes are heavy, and Federal spending is terrific, and this is money that could easily be saved.
I recite those words only to indicate a belief that a very impressive case must be made affirmatively if we are going to get the action that all of you who have testified for the bill desire.
Mr. SHARROCK. Senator Bartlett, I certainly sympathize with the attitude of trying to reduce expenditures. However, I do think that we are in a unique position here in this part of the United States.
As a matter of fact the only part, as former Mayor Byer has pointed out, where we have a unique opportunity to present the picture of the United States to people of the world, the people who pass through this part of it. And they are growing in numbers every month, it
So I think that since we do have now a U.S. Travel Office under the Department of Commerce, that the operation of such an International Reception Center could very well come under the budget of the Department of Commerce.
I realize that the capital expenditure would be something again. But it seems to me that the operation of this would be right along the type of activity that the new Travel Office would be trying to accomplish at other points in the world, too.
Senator BARTLETT. Thank you, Mayor Sharrock.
Please come forward.
STATEMENT OF LEONARD L. LARSON, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
Mr. LARSON. I am the immediate past vice president of the Alaska Junior Chamber of Commerce. I would like to encourage the establishment of the International Reception Center as an interested citizen, and to point out that the Anchorage Junior Chamber of Commerce nearly 2 years ago endorsed Mayor Byer's proposal and urged improvement of the airport facilities.
În several occasions JC's from Anchorage and JC's from Alaska have met and entertained JC's as they were passing from the Orient to Europe, and from Europe to the Orient. It certainly has been an opportunity for these JC's of the world to meet with us, and with the International Reception Center it would give them an opportunity not only to meet Americans but to see the American way of life. For this reason I think it would be a very worthwhile project.
Considering the other programs the United States has in spending money in foreign countries to introduce the United States, it certainly would stand to reason that we could have a similar expenditure for these purposes in our own country.
Senator BARTLETT. Thank you, Mr. Larson.
What is your impression of the average citizen of another country going through here and not having an opportunity to leave the airport terminal or to see much while he is there, but having had a glimpse of Alaska in one way or another as he came from Europe or from the Orient, and seeing Anchorage in the daylight, or the lights at night, as the case might be. What do you find his impression is? Is he astonished by the size? What kind of a comment is he likely to make?
Mr. LARSON. Over the last several years I have probably met with 20 or 30 or 40 or more people passing through. If it is daylight, or such that they could see, they were impressed with the beauty of Alaska; and the city of Anchorage as they came in.
They of course, as most people from foreign countries, are familiar with America through films and various things they read. However, those things, pictures are made in such a way and books are written in such a way as to tell other stories. They very seldom have an opportunity to see it as we would like to have them see it, stories and pictures, history.
I think that this is a unique opportunity for us to sell America. We certainly need to do a job of salesmanship.
Senator BARTLETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Larson.
Senator BARTLETT. The chairman notes the presence in the hearing room of State Senator Al Owen, who ought to be in Tokyo, but who isn't, and who testified before the committee at Kodiak. We welcome him here.
If there is any other member of the State legislature in the room, I should like to recognize him at this time.
Senator BARTLETT. Since there is not, we will call Colonel Marston.
STATEMENT OF COL. MUKTUCK MARSTON, TURNAGAIN BY THE SEA, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
Mr. MARSTON. I am Muktuck Marston, 3104 Knik Avenue, Turnagain By the Sea.
Senator BARTLETT. Before you say a word, I want you to tell the committee of your Alaska background.
Mr. MARSTON. I came here 20 years ago with the military. I saw a great land. I organized the Eskimos into the great scout battalions we have today. If I knew a better place, I would go, but I don't. I am happy with Alaska.
I have been a member of the Red Carpet Committee ever since it was organized. I have met hundreds of very imporant people from all over the world-Japanese, Frenchmen, Norwegians, Scandinavians at this international airport. We couldn't even talk, but we shook hands with them and they smiled. They could see, they know merchandise. I am all for this International Reception Center. And the reason I am here is a remark that Senator Bob Bartlett just made. They didn't know whether the Federal Government should take hold of this thing.
That is the greatest opportunity to win friends and influence people. If the Russian Government had an opportunity like this, they would lay down propaganda to sell Russia to the whole world.
I think it is time we got on the aggressive forward march and told the world what we have.
We are spending millions of dollars of Federal money, and I am not sure we are winning friends and influencing people, but with $22 million we could influence the people of the world as to what America has to offer.
That is what I would like to say at this time.
Senator BARTLETT. And you did say it, and you said it eloquently, as always. Yours is a very useful statement, Colonel Marston. However, I must add that I figured that you would come up here and urge that the reception center be placed at Kivalina or Point Hope.
Mr. MARSTON. There is a place there for it. The great Eskimo people, I met them 20 years ago when they were just Eskimos, fishing and hunting. We organized the ATG, as Bob knows, and the scouts. And today those same Eskimos, though they were only fishermen and hunters 20 years ago, are flying our planes, driving our cars, and building our homes. That is what we did with the ATG, and influencing a whole race of people. They are now one of us. They belong to us, they are part of us, and we could do that same thing with many people from all over the world. We could influence them and sell them the great United States of America and Anchorage, Alaska.
Senator BARTLETT. Sir, if we get in trouble with this bill in Washington, and we sent out an SOS for you, can you come down? Mr. MARSTON. I certainly will, Senator Bartlett.
Senator BARTLETT. I hope the SOS doesn't need to be sent, but if the requirement comes, we are going to ask for you to come. Mr. MARSTON. Thank you.
Senator BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Mr. MARSTON. I will say elot neg solie, meaning to an Eskimo, "sometime again."