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COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
SIXTY-SIXTH CONGRESS, SECOND SESSION.
SIMEON D. FESS, Ohio, Chairman. HORACE M. TOWNER, Iowa.
WILLIAM J. SEARS, Florida. EDMUND PLATT, New York.
WILLIAM B. BANKHEAD, Alabama. FREDERICK W. DALLINGER, Massachusetts. CHARLES H. BRAND, Georgia. ALBERT H. VESTAL, Indiana.
THOMAS L. BLANTON, Texas. SHERMAN E. BURROUGHS, New Hampshire. JEROME F. DONOVAN, New York, EDWARD J. KING, Illinois.
WILLIAM L. NELSON, Missouri. DANIEL A. REED, New York. JOHN M. ROBSION, Kentucky.
E. B. VOSBURGH, Clerk. 11
TO AMEND THE ACT FOR THE PROMOTION OF VOCATIONAL EDU
CATION IN RESPECT TO THE BOARD CREATED THEREBY.
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION,
Tuesday, March 2, 1920. The committee met at 10.40 o'clock a. m., Hon. Simeon D. Fess (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. If there is no objection, we will proceed now with Judge Green's bill, H. R. 11724.
Mr. GREEN. Mr. Chairman, I have not the time this morning and I can not possibly spare the time to present anything further at length, and I doubt whether I could say very much in addition to what I have already said on the subject. Only one thought has come to me further than what I have already presented on the subject, though I have perhaps not presented the matter as fully or as well as it might have been presented. The thought that came to me is that if the committee should conclude to consider the bill with favor in any way that it ought to provide for the appointment of this additional member of the board for only two years. Of course, that would necessitate the entire redrafting of the bill and putting it in different form. I doubt whether it would be necessary to have this member on the board longer than two years, but there could be a further provision if the work were found to be such that it would be necessary. There is a gentleman who has come here this morning who is perhaps more interested in some other bills that the committee has before it than this one, and he might desire to be heard briefly.
The CHAIRMAN. If you will name the gentleman we will hear from him.
Mr. GREEN. There is a gentleman here from the American Legion, Mr. Raege. The gentleman's full name is Mr. H. H. Raege.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be very glad to hear from Mr. Raege.
STATEMENT OF MR. H. H. RAEGE, OF THE LEGISLATIVE COM
MITTEE, AMERICAN LEGION.
Mr. RAEGE, Gentlemen, I represent the legislative committee of the American Legion. Mr. Thomas W. Miller, of Delaware, is the chairman. The first constitutional convention of the American Legion did not pass a specific resolution to have an ex-soldier placed upon this Federal Board for Vocational Education. At a hearing here some time ago I made the statement that I thought it would be a good thing to do. Of course, I made that statement personally, 162602-20
TO AMEND ACT FOR PROMOTION OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION.
and I still think that it would be a good thing to do because the board would then have the soldier's point of view. I really think that it would aid the men, and I am sure they would appreciate the honor and distinction of having an ex-soldier on the board, principally for the good that he could do the men. Are there any questions, Mr. Chairman, that you or any of the gentlemen would like to ask of me?
The CHAIRMAN. Has any member of the committee any question to ask Mr. Raege?
Mr. VESTAL. What do you think, Mr. Raege, of the proposition of having an ex-service man appointed on this board for a period of only two years?
Mr. GREEN. I might say, if the chairman of the committee will permit, that I made the suggestion a short time ago that possibly the term of service of this man might be limited for the reason that this work could not be expected to continue permanently, and that, I think, prompts the question that has just now been propounded to Mr. Raege.
Mr. RAEGE. Why, I should think that as it will be several years before this training is finished for all of the men it would probably do some good to have him on the board for more than two years.
Mr. GREEN. I think it should be five years.
Mr. RAEGE. Yes. There are men who will really be more entitled to the training than some of the men who are now getting it, and in their cases they would be seriously handicapped if the term were less than five years, I think, as some of them will not be out of the hospital for more than a year. These men will certainly want training and I should think they ought to be represented on the board.
Mr. GREEN. Mr. Raege, will you give us some idea of the qualifications the representative of the soldiers should have, and whether he should be taken from the rank of major general or private.
Mr. RAEGE. Well, there is absolutely no rank in the American Legion. A private has the same standing in the American Legion as an officer.
Mr. Donovan. No; we understand there is no rank, but what would you say should be the qualifications of a representative of the soldiers on this board, or have you not given that any thought?
Mr. RAEGE. Yes; I have thought about it off and on, but I really have not made up my own mind as to that, or been able to find the man that I thought would be feasible to handle the work. I don't think I could mention any man offhand.
Mr. DONOVAN. How would you think this selection, the recommendation to the appointing power, could come about?
Mr. RAEGE. Well, I should like to feel, Mr. Chairman, that the men would have an opportunity to express their sentiments as to what man they would like to have placed on the board.
Mr. Donovan. Do you not think they would have that privilege with the appointing power now!
Mr. RAEGE. I think they would. I think that any administration would really expect the legion to appoint the man.
The CHAIRMAN. We are very much obliged to you, Mr. Raege. If the committee will recall, Mr. Green made a rather extended
statement on the 27th of January and it was thought wise then that others might come before the board. There is a representative of the board here now, Mr. Uel W. Lamkin.
Mr. GREEN. If the committee will pardon me, I have another meeting which I will have to attend. "I don't know whether anything further is to come before the committee on this particular subject or not.
(Mr. Green was thereupon excused.)
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen of the committee, we have with us now the director of the Federal Vocational Education and Rehabilitation Board, Mr. Uel W. Lamkin.
STATEMENT OF MR. UEL W. LAMKIN, DIRECTOR FEDERAL VOCA
TIONAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATION BOARD.
Mr. LAMKIN. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, when
you sent me an invitation to come here before the committee, I replied that I thought it was not within the province of the board to say of whom the board should be composed. Speaking for myself, I see no reason why Congress should not put an extra man on the board until the rehabilitation of disabled soldiers is put over. That is something for you to determine. I would make this suggestion, however, for the benefit of the vocational education fund that the man's salary should be paid out of the vocational rehabilitation money and not out of the funds of the vocational education division of the Federal Board for Vocational Education.
The CHAIRMAN. That fund is limited to $200,000?
Mr. LAMKIN. That fund is limited to $200,000; yes, sir. Of course, every time you put a man on his salary comes out of that and reduces that fund, which I think is very much cramped. I come to the committee this morning to answer any questions you may wish to ask.
Mr. BLANTON. In that connection I would like to ask a question. It was decided here about two weeks ago or more that in New York, I believe it was, for every $6
that was spent in rehabilitating soldiers there was the sum of $113, I think it was, that was spent for overhead expenses-clerical hire. Do you know anything about that!
Mr. LAMKIN. I think I can answer that question, Mr. Blanton. I am perfectly willing to give you all the light on that I possibly can. I think the statement that Mr. Raege made was that during the month of December for every $6 that was paid for tuition for disabled men there was the sum of $113 spent for salaries by the board.
Mr. BLANTON. That is what I was referring to. Mr. LAMKIN. That is possibly true. The reason for that is obvious. Bills submitted for tuition in December and paid during that month were for preceding months, and may or may not have been an average month. The salaries go on from day to day and are paid regularly at the middle and the last of the month. That statement, $6 for tuition, does not include maintenance; it does not include books and supplies; it does not include transportation and medical care, subsistence, or anything of that kind that is spent for the soldier. During the month of December the overhead was about 16 per cent of the expenditures.
TO AMEND ACT FOR PROMOTION OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION.
Mr. PLATT. That only applied for the month of December; that statement is applicable to the month of December only!
Mr. LAMKIN. For the month of December; yes, sir. Just now, Mr. Chairman, we are decreasing the overhead, and it is running around about. 16 per cent.
Mr. BLANTON. I would like to ask whether you have a surplus of employees that you could get along without and not in anyway cripple your service.
Mr. Lamkin. We are reducing the number of employees. I think the gentleman was right in saying that so far as clerks were concerned the number was too large in New York. Many were put on prior to the 1st of July. A large number were put on at very low salaries, for instance, $50 and $60 a month, a part of them filing and a part of them copying. A $50 or $60 a month clerk in New York is not very economical.
Mr. Donovan. Not in New York, especially.
Mr. BLANTON. In that connection, I don't want you to feel that I am directing any criticism at all to your department, but for your information I will state that this morning I was talking with quite a prominent Government head and he told me that he actually believed that 40 per cent of our employees here in Washington could be sent home, upon an investigation that he had made, and not cripple the service in any way whatever. This is not directed to your department especially.
Mr. LAMKIN. I understand that. I know that is not true in connection with our department. If you will allow me to make this statement in connection with that, Mr. Chairman. I have seen the Director of the Bureau of War Rick Insurance, and we have arrangements practically completed; in fact, we have started this morning to have the cards printed, whereby all the information which they have is to be available for us, and all the information we have is to be available for them, and all the information which the Public Health Bureau has is to be available for both of us, and we will start immediately by cutting 50 clerks in one bunch out of our force over here. Now, the next statement that I would like to make is this: That during the month of December, for instance, or during the last three months of the last fiscal year, we have had a large number of employees appearing as persons employed by the board. We had a large number of temporary employees. When I came here the 15th of September, I think we had something like 400 of our force who were temporary employees, and as the Civil Service Commission certified permanent employees to us these temporary employees were to be replaced. We would have to keep a temporary employee a week or two to teach the new one his or her work, so in making a report I feel that I ought to tell every person's name who drew a dollar from our board during the three months, and if Miss A was employed for two weeks, and Miss B was employed for two weeks, the records will show two employees for that month, while really we had but one.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions?
Mr. BLANTON. If you had too many clerks, and some of those too many clerks were temporary employees whose places were filled by permanent employees, I don't see where the situation was remedied very materially.