The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, October 11, 1977-Page 5
SURGING MAIL VOLUM
Mail rate hik
WASHINGTON (AP) -,The Postal,
Service, experiencing an unexpected
rise in mail volume, is predicting a
surplus in fiscal 1979 for the first time
since the deficit-plagued agency was
formed in 1971.
As a result, officials say postal
rates will not have to be increased as
fast as previously thought.
THE FAVORABLE predictions are
in a report by Senior Assistant Post-
master General Francis Biglin to the
service's ruling board.
The report says the volume of mail
reached nearly 92 billion pieces in the
fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, an
increase of two billion over the
previous year. A fiveiyear forecast in
the report predicts volume will
continue rising to almost 100 billion
by fiscal 1981.
The changed outlook for mail
volume has a major effect on the
financial picture for the agency and
on what it must charge the public in
postal rates. With many of the
agency's costs virtually the same
regardless of volume, more mail
means more revenue for the Postal
Service and thus less need to raise
THE NEW predictions of mail
volume contrast sharply with a
series of gloomy predictions issued
Postmaster Benjamin Bailar,
speaking on March 8, 1976, in Detroit,
said, "Our mail volume for 1976,
slightly over 90 billion pieces, will
probably stand forever as our peak,
for we project that over the next five
years volume will slump to 83 or 84
billion --and never recover." The report shows a deficit of $40
Bailar has said repeatedly the million in the fiscal year that ended
outlook for volume is a major reason last month and predicts $554 million
for a bleak financial outlook for the in red ink during the new fiscal year.
mail agency. The Commission on BUT A RATE increase is expected
Postal Service, a study group created to take effect next summer, and a
by Congress, agreed in a report last surplus of $282 is expected in fiscal
April with Bailar's assessment of 1979. It would be the first surplus"
future volume. since the Postal Service was formed
BUT THE report by Biglin, the The next rate increase will not
agency's top financial officer, said affect rates for private letter-
present indications squarely contra- writers. That rate would stay at 13
dict the Postal Service's former cents per letter under a new "citizen
predictions of declining mail volume, rate" while businesses and other
"The flattening of volume in the organizations have to pay 16 cents
mid-1970s resulted from the reces- per letter.
sion," he said. "The increase of two If the rates remain in effect, there'
billion pieces in 1977 over 1976 is a would be deficits of $391 million in
very healthy condition for the Postal fiscal 1980 and $1.4 billion in fiscal
Service, its employes and its custom 1981, the report said.
ers. Biglin said the rates would have to
be raised by then to avoid such
deficits, but the increases would not
dneed to be as steep as were expected
At the end 'of 1981 we will
obviously need a first class stamp
price quite a bit less than the 22 or 23
Scents predicted a month to 18 months
ii r i ago," he said.
Name this famous Italian bowler and win a trip to America.
t his Columbus
MOSCOW (AP)-Two Soviet cosmo-
nauts headed home yesterday after
failing to link pp with an orbiting space
laboratory inla disappointing start to
Russia's third decade in space.
Soyuz-25 commander Lt. Col.
Vladimir Kovalenok and flight engineer
Valery Ryumin, both first-time space
travelers, were lofted into orbit with
some fanfare Sunday. Their flight came
20 years after the-Soviets inaugurated
the space age with the October 1957
launch of Sputnik, the first manmade
THE SOVIET news agency Tass said
the spacecraft closed to within 393 feet
of the Salyut-6 orbiting space station
yesterday. But, said Tass, "because of
some, deviations from a planned
docking regime the linkup was can-
celled." The report gave no further
Western space experts here
suggested two possible reasons for the
failure, the latest problem in the
troubje-plagued Soviet space program.
The experts said the docking
mechanism on either spacecraft might
have malfunctioned, or more likely the
cosmonauts may have overshot the
space lab, orbited Sept. 29, and not had
enough fuel for a second pass at the
THIS WAS what apparently hap-
pened in April 1975 when a Soyus cap-
sUle failed to link up with the Salyut-4
Another mission was aborted in Oc-
tober 1976 after Soyus-23 failed to make
a scheduled docking with Salyut-5, but
there was no clear indication of what
caused the Soviets to abort the mission.
The Russians succeeded last
February in linking Soyus-25 with
Salyut-5 in a 19-day mission.
WESTERN OBSERVERS say
problems in the decade-old Soyus-
Salyut program point up a basic shor-
tcoming in the Soviet rocketry. They
say the Russians do not have a booster
powerful enough to put more than a
seven-ton payload into orbit.
---is it real or
is It Memorex?
WASHINGTON (AP) - After
decorating the East Front of the Capitol
for :114 years, a marble Christopher
Columbus lies in exile 12 miles away,
unwept and unsung.
And 19 years after the controversial
statue of the famous exjlorer was re-
moved from the East Front steps, the
government still hasn't decided what to
do with it.
EX(ECUTED by Luigi P&rico, "The
Discovery" portrays Columbus holding
aloft a symbolic globe, somewhat like a
bowler poised to heave one down the
alley. A scantily clad Indian maiden,
says an official description, "cowers
with surprise and awe" at his feet.
The statue caused a furor when it was
unveiled in 1844.
"Is Columbus getting ready to play a
gaipe of ninepins?" demanded Sen.
AA h.!# WTiU V13TVA1 ani'hU ra fnr,., 11 A
roused from the earth on which she had
been reposing by the appearance of a
being so strange and wonderful, and
would fly if admiration did not hold her
As for Columbus, "The attitude of the
great navigator is grand, noble and
spirited. His form is lofty, imposing and
almost animated; his countenance
noble and~manly. ...
In 1850, Congress passed a resolution
to shift the statue to "a suitable place in
some one of the public squares."
Nothing came of it, however, and the'
statue remained. It was part of the
scene at presidential inaugurations
from John Tyler's to Dwight Eisenhow-
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