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Mr. KIRWAN. We shall proceed to the consideration of the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries.
An increase of $25,000 in the limitation on adminstrative expenses for the Fisheries Loan Fund is requested. We will insert the item from House Document 338, the justifications, and the general statement in the record.
(The matter referred to follows:)
"BUREAU OF COMMERCIAL FISHERIES
“LIMITATION ON ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES, FISHERIES LOAN FUND
“During the current fiscal year, an additional amount of not to exceed $25,000 shall be available in the Fisheries Loan Fund for administrative expenses."
The Alaska earthquake has caused an unforeseen increase in activities in the fisheries loan program, including the making of loans for chartering fishing vessels to fishermen whose vessels were damaged or lost in the earthquake. An increase in funds for administrative expenses is needed to cover the additional cost of processing and servicing the increased volume of loans.
FISHERY LOAN FUND (LIMITATION ON ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES)
Appropriation to date.-
$277,000 Request (Increase in administrative expense limitation for 10 months from Sept. 1, 1964).
$25,000 Employment: Average number, current appropriation..
21 Number involved this estimate--
PURPOSE AND NEED FOR SUPPLEMENTAL FUND
The $25,000 is needed in the limitation on administrative expenses for this fund in order to meet the increased loan program activity due to the Alaska earthquake and tidal wave of last March. Enactment of the Commercial Fisheries Research and Development Act of 1964 (Public Law 88–309) authorizes the Secretary to make loans from available funds to commercial fishermen for chartering vessels until June 30, 1966. This will provide immediate relief pending reconstruction of the Alaskan commercial fishing fleet. The increased loan activity already realized and anticipated increases the necessary administrative functions to an extent where additional funds are required.
An increase of $25,000 is needed in the limitation on the amount of funds available for the fisheries loan program that may be expended for administration of the program, including the processing of loan applications, closing of loans, and the collection of repayments and interest. The need for an increase in the limitation is attributable to the very significant and unforeseeable increase in activity in the fisheries loan program resulting from (1) enactment of the Commercial Fisheries Research and Development Act of 1964 (Public Law 88 309), and (2) the Alaska earthquake and tidal wave that followed.
Section 9 of the Commercial Fisheries Research and Development Act of 1964 amends section 4 of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, as amended (creating the fisheries loan fund) by adding a new subsection which authorized the Secretary to make loans from available funds to commercial fishermen for the purpose of chartering fishing vessels. These loans would be available to commercial fishermen pending the construction or repair of vessels lost, destroyed, or damaged by the Alaska earthquake and tidal wave until June 30, 1966, to provide immediate relief to the Alaskan fishery. Furnishing information concerning this program; and processing, closing and servicing the loan applications received will involve additional costs for travel, communications, and other general expenses.
During the period from March 27, when the Alaska earthquake occurred, and August 4, 81 applications ($1,350,000) for loans to replace or repair lost or damaged fishing vessels were received. Since many applicants are deferring the submission of their applications until their insurance problems are settled, many more applications are anticipated. In order to process, close, and service these applications additional personnel are needed in Alaska. Additional travel funds will be required, to provide temporary assistance to that area from other regions and the central office, as well as provide for additional travel within the region in connection with closing and servicing of these loans. One additional professional employee will be required.
Loans, and all expenses connected with administering these loans, are paid from the fund and principal and interest collected are paid into the fund. During the last 3 fiscal years, interest paid into the funds has exceeded expenses paid from the fund.
STATEMENT BY DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF COMMERCIAL FISHERIES Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am here in support of a supplemental estimate for the fiscal year 1965 under our limitation on administrative expenses for the fisheries loan fund. A supplemental appropriation in the amount of $25,000 is needed for the administration of this fund because of the additional workload caused by the Good Friday Alaska earthquake and tidal wave.
The fisheries loan fund was authorized by section 4 of the Fish and Wildlife Act. Under this act the Secretary of the Interior was authorized to make loans for financing and refinancing, operations, maintenance, repair, replacement, and equipment of fishing vessels and fishing gear. Section 9 of the Commercial Fisheries Research and Development Act of 1964 amended section 4 of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 by adding a new subsection which authorized the Secretary to make loans from available funds to commercial fishermen who had vessels lost, destroyed, or damaged by the Alaskan earthquake and tidal wave pending construction or repair of these vessels. Through August 7 we have received 83 applications totaling $1,453,000 for loans for replacement and repair of vessels lost or da maged in the earthquake and tidal waves. These are in addition to our usual workload. In view of the emergency condition and the necessity for getting these fishermen back fishing, these have been and will be processed on an emergency basis.
A considerable number of cases are expected within the next couple of months as many vessel owners have been waiting to settle their insurance problems before looking for new vessels. Others have felt that they will have a better chance of making good purchases during the fall and winter when the market for vessels is usually lower than during the summer months. Processing of these additional applications as well as the closing and servicing of those already received will double the workload for the program in Alaska during the current fiscal year. The funds requested will be available for additional expenses for this purpose. Interest to be collected on these emergency loans will more than pay the additional costs involved. Incidentally, the history of this administrative expense authorization shows that the funds used for this purpose have been modest and the authorization voluntarily reduced in fiscal year 1960 from $313,000 to $250,000.
Loans and all expenses connected with the administration of loans are paid from the fund and principal and interest collected are paid back into the fund. During the last 3 fiscal years the interest paid into the fund has exceeded the expenses paid from the fund. Failure to properly service these loans will result in a much greater risk of loss because of nonpayment and consequently would result in the probability of losses greater than these costs, and as a result would be very poor economy on the part of the Government. Sufficient funds are available in the revolving fund to cover anticipated loans.
EXPANDED LOAN PROGRAM DUE TO ALASKA EARTHQUAKE
Mr. KIRWAN. This increase of $25,000 is based on the increased loan program resulting from the Alaska earthquake. Please explain what this additional workload consists of and what the $25,000 will provide for.
Mr. PETERSON. Since March 27 we have had 86 loan applications, which are over and above our normal workload, which is about 150 a year. This is a very considerable increase in the workload. Many of these cannot be closed until the vessel is completed, which will be this fall. Others will be received as the fishermen reach a stage where they can go ahead with their plans. Many of them are waiting for insurance adjustments and things of this nature.
As a result, our workload in Alaska has increased a great deal. We have to have an additional person helping up there most of the time. There are more travel and communications funds required not only for making the loans but also for servicing them afterward. By servicing I mean the followup work we do to be sure the fisherman is able to operate efficiently and to make a profit so that he can repay the loan.
Mr. KIRWAN. How has it been provided for up to now, the workload in Alaska? How was it financed ?
Mr. PETERSON. We have actually had an extra man there hoping we would be able to fund it. We are running very close on our funding. If we do not receive this, we will not be able to continue this operation without cutting our program in some form,
Mr. KIRWAN. Are there any questions?
Mrs. HANSEN. Was there quite a percentage of that fishing fleet destroyed?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes; approximately 250 vessels lost, as I recall. We have applications for 86 replacements or major repairs up to the present time.
Mrs. HANSEN. Is it not true that they must get their vessels underway as early as possible because of the long winter coming on?
Mr. PETERSON. Yes, ma'am.
FRIDAY, August 14, 1964.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
FRANK E. HARRISON, CHIEF OF DIVISION OF LEGISLATION AND
REGULATIONS HAROLD S. SMITH, CHIEF OF PROGRAM COORDINATION CARL G. WALKER, ACTING CHIEF OF BUDGET AND FINANCE DONALD E. LEE, ACTING ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, SPECIALIZED SERVICES
Total number of permanent positions.-
355 178 528 336 260
394 179 568 375 261
1 40 39
Program and financing
1965 revised estimate
Program by activities:
1. Buildings, utilities, and other facilities... 2. Acquisition of
(6) Water rights. 3. Executive Mansion and grounds. 4. Parkways. 5. Roads and trails...
28, 915 24, 400
Total program (costs, obligations). Financing: Unobligated balance brought forward.
New obligational authority (appropriation).
44, 321 -12, 247
54, 721 -12, 247