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Mr. SHORT. Yes, and right at that point, I hate to impugn the motives of anyone in any branch of our armed services, but it seems to me that if not encouraged, certainly it was condoned, and the ones in authority allowed these boys to get out just a month before having served their full 24 months in order that they could grab them and bring them back in. It was a rank injustice.
Mr. BLANDFORD. Well
Mr. SHORT. It is not only an embarrasing position, but it is ridiculous and very unfair.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Mr. Chairman, at this particular point I agree with what the gentleman from Missouri has said to some degree, but it does not apply to all.
Mr. SHORT. That is right.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Some have been granted a discharge based on an application of hardship.
Mr. BLANDFORD. That is the point.
Mr. BLANDFORD. What worries me to some extent is that we are in an early discharge operation right now, as you all know. The Army is going to let people out after 21 months. Now, I don't believe the Army has any intention of drafting those people at all.
Mr. RIVERS. They haven't anything to do with it.
Mr. BLANDFORD. But the President did say, for the reasons Mr. Van Zandt has stated, that he wanted local board reclassification for those people that had less than 6 months' service. Those are people who had a situation such as this: Let's say there was a death in the family and the family became dependent upon that member. So he applied for a hardship discharge. It was approved by the Red Cross, . They investigated it. They went to the local board and the local board said, "Yes, let him out.” A month or 2 months later there is a settlement of an estate, we will say, and the mother inherits some money or there is a changed circumstance. The mother gets a job or one of the youngsters gets a job or something, or the children get a little bit older and take jobs. Now, the circumstances have changed. “Those people who served less than 6 months," so the President said, "reclassify them, and if you want to reinduct them, reinduct them." There is nothing wrong with that, even though it is a double reinduction. But it is a situation that had to be faced.
Now, if the President could say 6 months, the President could say 12 months or 18 months or 22 months or 23 months.
This law would say that if a person had over 6 months of service, you couldn't touch him again, except upon a declaration of war or national emergency declared by the Congress. Now, in addition to that, if you will recall
, I told you that you had this group of people who did not get 12 months of service in prior to June 24, 1948. They might have had 12 months in July of 1948, but they didn't have 12 months on June 24, 1948, and some of those people were discharged with as much as 33 months of service and and have sine been reinducted.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, the effect of the amendment would be that anyone who had served as long a period of time as 6 months after September 1, 1940, is not eligible for reconsideration by the draft boards?
Mr. BLANDFORD. Yes, sir, except in time of war or national emergency declared by the Congress.
Mr. RIVERS. May I inquire right there? Is this the first time we have taken care of the Public Health?
Mr. BLANDFORD. Well, the Public Health Service is a little different situation. Since July of 1952 they have not been members of the Armed Forces, and there has been no way by which a person in the Public Health Service could be retained on active duty with the Public Health if he decided he wanted to leave.
Now, the Public Health Service came up here and said, “Well, now, if you pass this lawwe left the Public Health Service out entirely because we recognized they were no longer members of the Armed Forces. We didn't want at the same time to impose something different on them. So we left it out. Then the Public Health Service came up and said, "Now, look, this is in effect what the situation is: We want to be able to keep our people in the Public Health Service, because if you put a provision in there that they can get out after 6 months, they will all walk out”-not all, but a lot of them will walk out because there will be no way of getting them, except under the special registration of doctors and then they would have had prior service and they would be in priority 4, and you would have yourself in a rather peculiar situation.
So they asked that we protect the Public Health Service member but require 24 months of service.
Mr. SHORT. And the others only 6 months?
Mr. BLANDFORD. This is not inconsistent because you are dealing normally with doctors and there are not the hardship discharge cases and things of that nature that you normally run into with enlisted personnel.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, I think the members of the committee thoroughly understand the purpose of the amendment.
Mr. VAN ZANDT. Mr. Chairman, will you have the amendment read again, please?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; read the amendment again. It simply means that a man who served as much as 6 months from September 1, 1940, cannot be drafted again. That is all it means.
Mr. BLANDFORD (reading):
Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, except section 4 (i) and paragraph (5) of this subsectionwhich is the special registration of doctors in the doctors draft lawno person who has served on active duty after September 16, 1940, for a period of 6 months or more in the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Marine Corps, or the Coast Guard, or for a period of 24 months or more in the Public Health Service, shall be liable for induction for training and service under this title except after a declaration of war or national emergency made by the Congress subsequent to the date of enactment of this title.
Mr. COLE. Mr. Chairman, could I ask him a question?
Mr. COLE. Would that not make it possible for a man who had served, we will say, 7 months and who applied for a discharge on the ground of hardship and who was discharged, to be exempt from further liability, even though the economics of the hardship may be removed?
Mr. BLANDFORD. It would.
Mr. COLE. What is the justification for that?
Mr. BLANDFORD. The justification, Mr. Cole, for that is that that individual has already served 6 months. There has to be a cutoff date on everything, of course. He has served 6 months. Obviously, the hardship was not of his doing. I mean, he had no control over it. He had been in there 6 months. The situation arose in the seventh month. It is a long enough period away from the time he entered the service so it is something over which he had absolutely no control. And the chairman felt that in fairness, we should not reinduct that individual.
Mr. BLANDFORD. We could make it 12 months or we could put a provision, except in cases of hardship: But when you start doing that, that is when the administration becomes difficult. And General Hershey said this will certainly help to remove
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. COLE. The argument is, then, even though the discharge was at his request, the circumstances on which the request was based was not of his own making.
The CHAIRMAN. Tbat is right.
Mr. BLANDFORD. That is right. Now, it is true for the man having 5 months, I will admit that, but that is a little less period of time. There doesn't seem to be quite as much equity in that man's case. We had to come up with a cutoff date of some kind, and we just decided on 6 months.
Mr. ARENDS. Let me ask you a question. This is not applicable to doctors and dentists?
Mr. BLANDFORD. Not this provision.
Mr. ARENDS. The reason I brought that up is I had a doctor close to home that served 16 months and he got out and they called him back for 2 years. I don't know how he got out at 16 months, but . they called him back.
Mr. BLANDFORD. Mr. Chairman, General Murphy, Colonel Norrell, and Mr. Buddeke are here from the Department of Defense. They want an opportunity, I think want an opportunity, to present their position. Is that correct? They would like to present their position now.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, come around.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, General Murphy, what is the attitude of the Department in reference to this amendment? Are you opposed to it or for it?
General MURPHY. Mr. Chairman, I brought with me today, in the absence of Mr. Burgess, who is appearing before the Appropriations Committee, Mr. Buddeke and Colonel Norrell, who are much more familiar with the effect-
The CHAIRMAN. All right, let's hear those that are familiar with it and familiar with the Department's views on it. Let's hear what you have to say about it.
Mr. BUDDEKE. The name is Buddeke, Richard A,
Mr. BUDDEKE. Speaking first with respect to the proposed amendment to section 6 (b) (3)--that is, the amendment which Mr. Blandford has just been discussing-we believe that the amendment in its present form presents two problems: In the first place, we would like to discuss with the committee and perhaps suggest some amendments or points of clarification in the amendment itself.
We assume that this is intended to be retroactive only. Would that be correct? That is to say, to take care of veterans heretofore discharged or honorably released?
Mr. BLANDFORD. That is correct. Well, it is service since September 16, 1940, for a period of 6 or more months, which would mean that anybody previously discharged or anybody that you discharge in the future with 6 months or more of service would have this protection.
Mr. BATES. Why open this up all the time? Mr. BLANDFORD. It would not be retroactive to the man that has already been inducted.
Mr. BUDDEKE. It is our feeling that the amendment-we have no objection to the amendment should it cover only those individuals who have heretofore been discharged.
Mr. BATEs. Well, of course not. They are already out of the service and they have done two hitches. Why should you be particularly concerned about them?
Mr. CUNNINGHAM. It would be very unfair.
Mr. BUDDEKE. Well, certainly, from our standpoint, we wanted to be sure that we were talking about the same thing. We construed the word "has” to be "has heretofore," rather than "shall have been discharged."
Mr. SHORT. Heretofore or hereafter is the intent, isn't it, Mr. Counsel?
Mr. BLANDFORD. It applies, Mr. Short, to people with previous service or anybody in the future who is discharged with 6 months or more of service.
The CHAIRMAN. That is right. Mr. BLANDFORD. I think it is clear. Mr. Short. It covers the whole field. Mr. HÉBERT. Why don't you clarify it by saying "has" or "hereafter"?
Mr. BRAY. Yes.
Mr. BLANDFORD. I am afraid if you start to clarify it too much, to a great extent, you will then open up the question of whether anybody now serving on active duty, who previously had 6 months of service, would then be entitled to a discharge.
Mr. KILDAY. Isn't that what he is interested in?
Mr. BLANDFORD. This amendment did not intend to open up the doors to let people out. We recognized that those people have been
inducted twice. We did it, knowing full well what we were doing, and I am sure the Congress did know when they set up the status of veterans, because we were in a manpower situation at that time. Now the situation has eased and, like all draft laws, you can start to become a little more liberal.
Mr. KILDAY. Mr. Chairman, let me see if we understand the position of the Department. Is it that you do not now want to have the obligation of going over your rools to determine whether you have a man with more than 6 months' previous service, so that you would have to release him? In other words, you want that decided by the draft board? Mr. BUDDEKE. Yes, sir; that is it, certainly. Mr. SHORT. You don't want to wreck your present setup. Mr. BUDDEKE. That is correct. Mr. SHORT. That is it.
Mr. BUDDEKE. Additionally, there is another facet to this: As the committee knows, the manpower program of the Department was submitted to the Congress in two pieces. One was this very important bill to extend the draft law, and the Dependents Assistance Act.
Additionally, our manpower program, as such, has been recommended and introduced by Mr. Brooks in the form of H. R. 2967.
Now, the two bills, taken together, represent the recommendations of the Department with respect to presently needed legislation directed to the military manpower pattern, as such.
Our second bill, 2967, contains a revision of this very provision of the draft law, and it is a very vital section of the manpower program, which we submitted with the concurrence of the President. So we are officially on record with the committee as recommending a different and more comprehensive treatment, revision, of this particular section of the law.
We feel that this particular section is somewhat inconsistent with that pattern which we have already submitted to you.
The suggestion that we would have to make is that the Department has not had the opportunity to present to the committee the full pattern and reasoning and support which we are prepared to offer for the general amendments to the Draft Act, the Armed Forces Reserve Act, and the National Defense Act, as part of our manpower program.
Therefore, the suggestion that we would have to make here is, while we are adamantly in opposition to this amendment, as written, so long as it is retrospective, we think that the better place to discuss that would be when the Department is prepared to justify before the committee its complete rivision of these sections of the Universal Military Training and Service Act.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, why not conform your views in your Reserve bill to the views of this amendment? We have already discussed this amendment. We have had witnesses testify on this amendment. I think the committee clearly understands the objective of the amendment. And it is so apparently fair and the proper thing to have been done and should have been done before, why not write it in now and then when you take up your bill before the subcommittee dealing with reserves, adjust your provision of the bill to what we have already done?