WASHINGTON (Jan. 2)
There is less racial and religious prejudice in Alaska than in any section of the United States and the citizens of the Far North will gladly welcome refugees to increase the population “so long as they have the same rights to become citizens as any other immigrants and are economically able to sustain themselves.”
This is the statement of Anthony J. Dimond, Alaska’s voteless representative in Congress, as he returned from a flying tour of his immense territory today.
“We want more people–but we don’t want Alaska to become a dumping ground,” he said. “I talked to hundreds of our citizens who are worried about only one section of the proposed bill to open up Alaska to refugees and that is the section which would prevent them from having all the rights and privileges of other American citizens.”
Pointing out that most of the present residents of Alaska came there from other places–many from northern European countries–Dimond said there was no prejudice against aliens. “We take a man for what he is and not for what his fore-fathers were or where they came from,” he said.
Americans must not underestimate the difficulties of Alaska for colonization Dimond cautioned, adding that immigrants must receive complete support for one year and partial support for two years more.
“But if we could make use of our tremendous timberland for pulp mills,” he said, “we could take care of many thousands immediately. The European war may cause a situation by which Alaskan pulp mills could compete with the mills of the Scandinavian countries in supplying pulp for this hemisphere.”