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Power Trust, Politics Kill
Hells Canyon Legislation Administration Musters Almost Solid Party Vote In Opposition To High Dam . . . The full and comprehensive de velopment of natural resources be longing to all of the people, including as yet unborn generations of Ameri cans, was dealt a devastating blow last Thursday by a combination of forces representing selfish political and economic interests and cultural backwardness. By a vote of 51 to 41, the Senate of the United States killed the bill for federal construction of a high dam in the Hells Canyon reach of the Snake River, one of the finest undeveloped water power sites in the nation. Eight Democrats plus every Republican who voted, with the ex ception of Senators Wiley (Wis.) and Langer (N. D.)* lined up on the side of private development at Hells Can yon in spite of the acknowledged superiority of the high dam. ADMINISTRATION FINALLY CAME ALIVE One of the most striking aspects of this historic battle was the manner in which the Administration suddenly came to life, casting aside its previous ly passive role and exerting intense pressure upon members of the party to vote against the bill. THE NEW YORK TIMES of July 18, reporting that one Republican senator had re ceived as many as six phone calls from the White House and the De partment of the Interior within a mat ter of days, asserted "The pressure, in the opinion of many senators, is as great as that applied on any issue in the last 3 years." The sudden surge of leadership re sponsibility moved Senator Neuberg, er to say: "I call attention of the people of thig country to the relative value» emphasized by a national adminis tration which will sit supinely by, or issue belated statements of mild concern, while a bill to aid the school children of America goes down to defeat with Republican votes, but which is intensely active and aggressive in its efforts to sur render a magnificent national re source to a private utility com pany." The Administration's concern with 1* Hells Canyon can be par tially accounted for by its great im portance as an issue in the electoral battles in the northwest this year. Obviously, the passage of the bill would have been a feather in the caps of Democratic senatorial candi dates such as Morse of Oregon and Magnuson of Washington who have the fate o fought hard to prevent this choice site from being given away to private utilities. Had they succeeded, how ever, the star of Republican Senator Herman Welker, who has been the "loudest" proponent of private de velopment and who is now pressing for re-election in Idaho, might have shone less brightly in the eyes of the influential Idaho Power Oo. PRESSURES ATTRIBUTED TO PRIVATE POWER LOBBY According to another and perhaps complementary interpretation, the executive pressure was primarily a Capital City Cooks, Waiters Okeh Strike By a 101-1 vote members of Hotel & Restaurant Workers Local 612 Sat urday voted to Strike most Helena eating establishments within the next few days unless a satisfactory new contract with employers is immedi ately forthcoming, Lewis Teddy, busi ness agent of 612, announced at the Helena Trades & Labor Assembly Monday night meeting. Local 612 members consider em ployer proposed wage increases rang ing from 10 cents to 40 cents pe r day as totally unacceptable. Also, other provisions of the employers' offer concerning hiring and firing of cooks, waiters and bartenders, were turned down by the union. In reporting the strike vote action taken by the local, Teddy said that eight eating establishments and the (Continued on page two) reflection of the Administration's sensitivity to the desires of the pri vate power interests. The latter mar shalled their forces throughout the entire country and waged an all-out, full-scale war on behalf of partial development of Hells Canyon by the Idaho Power Co. "You don't hear much about it," Drew Pearson noted in his Wash ington Merry-Go-Round column a few days before the bill was de feated, "but tent and carefully greased lobbies in the nation's capital is now but tonholing senators to defeat Hells Canyon. They are making none of the mistakes of the natural-gas lobby which stubbed its toe when it tried, in effect, to bribe Senator Case of South Dakota." On the same day on which the vote occurred Pearson wrote, "practically every big utility in the United States teamed up with the Idaho Power Co. to defeat federal development at Hells Canyon. When senators who live in the Midwest or the South have gone home recently, they've found repre sentatives of local power companies waiting to buttonhole them at the air. port or railroad station, whether the time was 5 a. m. or 11 p. m." With regard to the vote of the 8 of the most po one southern Democrats, how much of their opposition can be explained by private utility pressures and promises and how much by their desire to con struct a reservoir of support for their stand on civil rights legislation is a matter of speculation. According to one rumor, W r elker based his appeal to southern Democrats on the grounds that those who opposed federal de velopment at Hells Canyon were also those who could be depended upon to vote against civil rights. COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOP MENT IS THE REAL ISSUE One point made Crystal clear throughout the entire debate was that the abstract private versus public power Controversy was not a genuine issue in this instance. The Adminis tration and its supporters have been quite willing to spend miltions of dol lars for public power projects such as the Upper Colorado where substan tial profits for private utilities are unlikely. On the other hand, the pro ponents of federal development in the case of Hells Canyon indicated again and again that they were not opposed to private development as (Continued on Page Four) Kev, Dan McCorkle Passes Away . . Grand Old Fighter For the Less Fortunate Goes To His Reward CONRAD—Rev. Daniel McCorkle, 76, a Presbyterian minister in Mon tana and Wyoming for more than forty years, and a one-time member of Montana Welfare Commission dur ing the Ford Administration, passed away early Saturday morning in Kan sas City, Mo. Rev. McCorkle had gone to Kansas City just this week, arriving the noon before his death to visit a younger brother. Prior to his retirement in 1945, Rev. McCorkle had been the Pres byterian minister at Conrad for 15 years. Before that he was the minister at Bearcreek for 10 years during which time he also taught in the Bear creek schools. His educational background includ ed a BA degree from Missouri Valley College, Marshall, Mo., in 1908; a de gree in Divinity from Union Theologi cal Seminary division of Columbia University in 1912, and a masters degree in Sociology under Prof. Gid dings at Columbia in 1914. After finishing college Rev. Mc Corkle took a parish at Sunrise, Wyo ming in 1914. That year, following the Ludlow massacre of miners in Colorado he was subpoened to Wash ington, D. C. to testify as a friend of United Mine Workers before the federal Industrial Relations Commit tee inquiry into the mass killing of workers and their families during the bitter strike of workers against Colo rado Coal & Iron, a subsidiary of the Rockefeller interests. OF MONTANA hetetwa TP*" ; 111 ;m : . <&■ -• -.A' ■v r ( 11 / si W i jMTj w t''| irii , a : : Ml 11 sfr r r I 'rrrmi qjl — ** MONTANA'S ONLY STATEWIDE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER ■St y/i > .1—No. 34 $3.00 Per Year HELENA, MONTANA, JULY 27, 1956 Vo P* tr O P .*S m ■ i W: if Ûç"' !$* scho - S s * V hi tr i|| H. v ; ' A Î4 *■ £ ■ WK. Bi :P :; W 4 % £ V 4 i 0 & •> : , — m L.. ?■ \ El 4 ; ■ "m S. ! S I H m sm —Voice Phot© Picture-left: In front of the nearly completed Apprenticeship House are all but six of the apprentices who worked on the project. All are carpenter apprentices except the two designated following their name. Kneeling, left to right: Ray Dinndorf, Clayton Roope, electrician; 2nd row: Jerry Boone, painter; Ronald Bossell, Philip Ogle, John Ekman, George Kokoruda, Bill Eby, Ralph Van Daele; in doorway: Jess Tobal, Leo Miller. Absent from the picture, Charles Temple, Carroll Eby, Robert Kokoruda, Archie Brenneman, Bob Roddy and Ray Amundson. Picture right: Side view of the Apprenticeship House taken to show the bay win dow, are apprentices who took part in the apprenticeship program at the Helena Trades School this past win ter and built the house as their project. (For more details, see page four). MSU Conference Has Dramatic Debate On Preference Clause The Preference Clause in the federal power program of the United States was vigorously debated at Montana State University, July 20 and 21, between advocates of public power and advocates of the private monopoly system of power distribution, with authorities and high rank ing men in their field dramatically defending their points of view. The day and a half conference, with Dr. A. W. Stone, University Law School, ably and im partially moderating, drew approximately 80 participants primarily from Rural Electric and Montana Power Company fields, and some power people from the Pacific Northwest and Wash ington, D. C. The preference clause, over which the debate took place, gives prefer ence and priority to power from fed erally owned dams to public bodies and co-operatives. Private interests are seeking its removal from the fed eral laws. Gus Norwood, executive secretary, Northwest Public Power Association, the first speaker described the pref erence clause as the "keystone Also in 1914 he was married to Panayiota Alexandrakis, a native of Greece who was brought to Massachu setts as a very small girl by her par ents. During the early 1930's Rev. Mc Corkle was active in polities and won the Socialist Party of Montana's nom ination for state superintendent of public instruction at the convention in Billings in 1932. Before, during and since his six years on the Montana Welfare Com mission, Rev. McCorkle took a great interest in improving facilities an care of inmates at the state institu tions at Warm Springs, Boulder and Miles City. He was largely instru mental in securing the establishment of a Governor's Committee on Mental Health by the then Gov. John W. Bonner, several years ago. Almost a decade ago he organized Montana Walfare Association, a group com posed primarily of people in the "tri angle area" of the state, for the pur pose of better acquainting the public with problems surrounding various state custodial institutions, problems of the aging, education, etc. Rev. McCorkle was born March 29, 1880 in Nelson, Missouri. Besides his widow he is survived by two sons, Antonio of Great Falls, and Hugh of Cleveland, O., and four grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted in the Conrad Presbyterian Church, yes terady, with interment in a Conrad cemetery. the bridge of laws that prevent "in discriminate disposal of the public domain". He said, "These Federal hydroelectric laws . . . comprise an arch which bridges the chasm be tween the people on the one side and on the other side the vast resources of the public domain. These laws are a public bridge, free of tolls, enabling the people to go across and enjoy the benefits of the water and land resources. These resources are a part of the commonwealth. They belong to the people." He said the ultimate goal of Congress is to market electric ity at wholesale so as to encourage the widespread use of power at the lowest possible cost consistent with sound business principles, and that the preference clause is thus a means toward the various goals set by Con gress. Because power distribution has be come of necessity a monopoly the interests of the consumer become paramount, and as "regulation"' of the power monopoly became ineffec tive, said Norwood, the consumer be came "the forgotten man". He quot ed President Theodore Roosevelt who said it was important that the nation al government develop the water re sources of the nation "to protect the people against the upgrowth of mo nopoly and to insure to them a fair share in the benefits which will fol low the development of this great as set which belongs to the people and should be controlled by them." The Northwest Public Power sec retary said, "The utilities fought the creation of state commissions, but once established, determined to 'regulate the regulators'-and they did," in pointing out that regula tion was not the answer to low cost power. He said the preference clause has now been on the books long enough to permit a look at the record of per formance and accomplishment, and cited the state of Washington where use of power increased six times and internal revenue collections increased 24 times, and the record shows, he added, ". . . that in a 14-year period northwest homes increased power use 4 times while rates were cut in half". "These are some of the economic indicators that the coming of the Columbia River Tower System did not have a depressing effect on the Northwest", he said, "but on the con trary lifted the region to a higher economic level and a higher standard of living." "At the end of 1956 it is expected that over 300,000 residential consum ers of the Pacific Northwest will be buying electricity from consumer owned electric systems at less than he one cent per hour", added, because of the federal pro gram which includes the preference clause, "the consumer is no longer the forgotten man". He concluded, "The test of a good preference clause is whether it facili tates the flow of benefits of the pub (Continued on Page Three) Phone Co-op Leader Raps RTÂ Loan Policies WASHINGTON, D. C.— (CNS) — Richard A. Dell, co-ordinator for the National Telephone Co-operative As sociation, charged here that leek of progress of the REA program of loans to telephone co-operatives is "shock ing". "Unless something is done shortly to move REA's telephone personnel, the rural telephone co-operative pro gram will die completely, warned in RURAL ELECTRIFICA TION magazine. Dell In the first 6 months of this year, the magazine said, REA made only 5 new phone loans to co-ops, 42 to commercial companies-"including the largest loan ever made to a telephone borrower. This $6.8 million loan, Dell said, was to the Texas Telephone and. Tele graph Co. of Houston, Texas, "a com mercial holding company which ac quired several small telephone com panies and obtained REA financing without any equity in a profit ven ture." He questioned whether T. T. and T. is a bonafide rural phone com pany. ' '