Page images

from Conversion by the Federal Government have been completely overlooked Or given too little consideration. Even if the presumed saving could be realized—and I have serious doubts about that—the mischief which would be done by conversion would far outweigh 111 the national interest any economy which might result. There comes a time, I believe, when we should, in effect, stand back and ask ourselves just what is it that We are attempting to defend by our defense efforts. If it is not a sound economy with successful operating industries, gainfully employed workers, the families of these breadwinners living in Security and the generation of all the beneficial side effects for the economy which such activities produce What is it we seek to defend? Without the coal mines the Matanuska Valley will become an economically blighted area, a little Appalachia in the heart of the 49th State where not decay and retrogression but growth and hope should be and have in general been the Watchwords. Conversion to natural gas by the military would result immediately in the unemployment of about 125 men who mine and handle coal which goes to Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Base. These men are in most cases longtime residents of Alaska. They have families. It is not overstating the case to say that there is nothing in the area of the mines to provide the kind of economic activity which would permit these men and their dependents to continue to live there. Thus, making the appropriation sought by the Defense Department for conversion would destroy an industry and wreck the economy of an important section of Alaska. It is my belief that conversion in the Anchorage area would, in the natural course of events, be followed by similar conversion north of the range at the Fairbanks area bases so that it would be only a matter of time until Alaska's coal mining industry would be wiped out entirely. In short, the cost of conversion, $1,560,000, would not only be a waste of the taxpayers' dollars but would lay the foundation for a continuing annually greater cost of operation of these military bases which these same taxpayers would be compelled to pay in perpetuity. What we are dealing with here, Mr. Chairman, is not a few columns of figures only. What we are dealing with is the destiny of human beings. In addition to the direct effects which I have been discussing there would be many incidental and related results, all of them destructive and unfortunate. The Alaska Railroad owned by the Federal Government, now moves the coal from the mines at Palmer, Eska, and Jonesville to the bases. This transportation activity makes possible a quality and frequency of service and a level of rates on commodities other than coal which the people of Alaska, although they often grumble about it, have managed to tolerate. Removal of the coal transportation activity will hurt the railroad and hurt the people of Alaska who depend on its rates and services. An alternative, which I hardly think the Bureau of the Budget or the Congress would look upon with great favor, would be subsidizing the operation of this Government-owned railroad to make up for the losses of traffic. This would indeed be robbing Peter to pay Paul. . The computations on which the supposed saving to the Federal Government is based relate to a price of gas delivered to the Defense Department of 29 cents per thousand cubic feet. No other purchaser, wholesale or retail, has ever been able to enjoy a gas price that reasonable in Alaska up to this time. There is reason to believe that a realistic price would be about 10 cents higher, or 39 cents per thousand cubic feet. At such a price, which I am fearful the gas supplier would have to move to in years ahead in order to remain solvent, there would be no saving at all to Uncle Sam from conversion. In fact, the fuel cost would be higher than the cost of coal has been in the past 2 years. In addition, of course, we would have gone to all the expense and trouble of converting. Let us consider what the situation would be after conversion to natural gas at these bases. It is pretty well conceded that petroleum fuels are not competitive in that area. With the coal mines out of business, their plants dismantled and their employees dispersed natural gas would be the fuel in the area. Not only the defense bases but the private consumers would be wholly dependent on it alone. All would have to pay whatever price were demanded. It should be understood by the committee that there is no free play of competition in this matter. The pipeline company which has quoted a gas price to the Defense Department is the only supplier in a position or likely to be in

a position in the foreseeable future to deal with the Government. With coal out of the picture this natural gas monopoly will rule the situation. I think we should take a very hard and long look at the dangers in this situation before nailing the coffin shut on the coal mining industry, which we Would be doing by converting to natural gas.

Senator ByRD. All right, gentlemen, thank you very much.

The committee is adjourned.

General SHULER. Thank you, sir.

(Whereupon, at 6:20 p.m., the committee recessed, to reconvene at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, June 14, 1965.)


MONDAY, JUNE 14, 1965


Washington, D.0.

The Committee on Armed Services and the Subcommittee on Military Construction of the Committee on Appropriations met jointly, pursuant to call, at 2:45 p.m., in room 212, Old Senate Office Building. Present: Senators Symington (presiding), Inouye, and Saltonstall. Also present: Gordon A. Nease, professional staff member; Charles Kirbow, chief clerk; and Herbert Atkinson, assistant chief clerk. Senator SYMINGTON. The committee will come to order. This afternoon we will conclude the hearings on the military construction authorization bill for fiscal year 1966. The hearing is called for the purpose of hearing witnesses in regard to miscellaneous items relating to the bill. Prior to beginning testimony, I should like to state that I have received statements from Hon. Joseph S. Clark, Senator from Pennsylvania; Hon. Joseph M. Montoya, Senator from New Mexico; Hon. Frank E. Moss, Senator from Utah; Hon. Hugh Scott, Senator from Pennsylvania; Hon. Silvio O. Conte, Representative from Massachusetts; Hon. Gale Schisler, Representative from Illinois; Hon. John R. Schmidhauser, Representative from Iowa; Mr. Fred A. Gosnell, Jr., president of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Their statements will be inserted in the appropriate place in the testimony. As most of you have been previously advised, you may submit a statement in as much detail as you wish for the record, but you will be expected to hold your oral remarks to a brief résumé of your overall statement. We have with us some Members of the Congress and since their time is extremely limited due to the pressure of their other official responsibilities, I shall call upon them first. Our first witness will be Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts who wishes to be heard in connection with certain construction proposals for the Rock Island Arsenal as a result of the proposed closing of the Springfield, Mass., Armory. We are happy to have you with us, Senator Kennedy, and you may proceed at will.

[ocr errors]



Senator KENNEDY. Mr. Chairman, I am delighted to have a chance to appear before your committee on behalf of my senior colleague Senator Saltonstall and Congressman Boland, who are well familiar with the matter which I intend to talk briefly to this committee about today. • I am appearing before the committee today to point out one item in the military construction budget which I feel is a serious mistake— the Army's request for $3,510,000 for construction of new facilities at Rock Island, Ill. . . . " I find no fault with the work now being done at the Rock Island Arsenal. It makes a significant contribution to the mission of the Army. But the request to which I refer is not in support of the arsenal's present mission. Its purpose is to prepare Rock Island to receive the small arms research and development work now being done at the Springfield Armory, in Springfield, Mass. For background, let me say that Secretary of Defense McNamara, on November 19, 1964, announced the closing of the Springfield Armory, by April 1968, and the transfer of the research and development mission at Springfield Armory to the Rock Island Arsenal. The closing of the Springfield Armory, and the transfer of the residual research and development function to Rock Island is now the subject of an intensive restudy and review by the Department of the Army, undertaken at the request of Secretary McNamara. I do not think that this committee should consider the $31% million money request for research and development facilities at Rock Island until the Army has completed its review, and Secretary McNamara has rendered a final decision with respect to the Springfield Armory. The Army has engaged the management consultant firm of Booz, Allen & Hamilton to make a complete analysis of the presentation made to Secretary McNamara by the Springfield Armory Technical Committee and the Massachusets congressional delegation, for retention of mission responsibilities at the Springfield Armory. - Representatives of this management consultant firm visited the armory on May 13, 1965, and inspected it thoroughly. The technical committee has made specific detailed proposals for various alternative plans which provide for items like production planning, pilot production, make-or-buy demonstrations, weapons rebuilding, research and engineering projects, and technical data packages. . . . . . . .

Among other things, the committee showed that the Army grossly underestimated the cost of the transfer, instead of $8 million, it is $73 million. The small annual operating economies the Army anticipates by doing this work in Rock Island instead of Springfield will take over 40 years to add up to the loss the Army will incur by making the transfer. - - - --- . . . . . .

The Secretary of Defense visited Springfield Armory on March 18, and said at that time he was “both pleased and impressed” by his tour. He was “especially impressed by the men”; he said: “I

« PreviousContinue »