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I do not believe the basic issue is one of offering educational aid to wartime veterans vis-a-vis peacetime veterans. Rather, I believe it is one involving the question: Should we or should we not have a comprehensive approach and a single standard in dealing with the education of young men who serve in our Armed Forces ? This question is equally valid applied to other aspects; namely, vocational rehabilitation and guarantee and direct-loan assistance for the purchase of homes.
If one concludes that there should be a uniform or a single standard in dealing with veterans, then it follows that support should be given to enacting legislation to cover our young men who have been drafted or have voluntarily enlisted for military service.
There is another overriding consideration. While this committee cannot concern itself with the entire area of what should be done to develop a sound, comprehensive, and a needed national blueprint to achieve optimum use of manpower through education, I believe it is important to stress such a national approach. To the degree that we assure greater educational opportunities to that degree do we assure greater national advance and security. Additionally, and of paramount importance, the opening of such opportunities assures a meaningful measure of greater self-dignity and happiness to the individual who wishes to broaden his horizon. Thus, every approach to this problem is another step forward in resolving today's need to act positively in offsetting the Soviet challenge in education and to perfect our democratic concept that an enlightened people will be a free people.
It is my firm conviction that the peacetime veteran who would participate under a peacetime GI bill, if enacted, would contribute materially to and be an active citizen of his community, State, and Nation. Such results would more than repay the investment in his education.
The facts, I believe, bear this out if one is to evaluate the results of the World War II ĜI bill and the Korean GI bill. There is no reason why such favorable results would not likewise be forthcoming if we offer educational opportunities to post-Korean veterans.
In this connection I would like to make reference to a press release issued on June 22, 1954, by the Veterans Administration. Issued on the 10th anniversary of the World War II bill, this release underscored some salient facts, and I quote:
Through the GI bill, World War II veterans have become the best educated group of people in the history of the United States.
Because of their training, they have raised their income level to the point where they now are paying an extra billion dollars a year in income taxes to Uncle Sam.
At this rate GI-bill-trained veterans alone will pay off the entire $15 billion cost of the GI education and training program within the next 15 years..
During the hearings in the other body, conducted by the Subcommittee on Veterans' Affairs, a spokesman for the Veterans Administration stressed the national values which derive from the veterans' readjustment training programs. He stated the programs, in addition to assisting Korean and World War II veterans in making satisfactory adjustment to civilian life also raised the educational level and technical proficiency of the Nation by imparting greater knowledge and skill to millions of veterans. Thereby, the Nation has been placed in a better position to cope with the difficult and challenging problems facing it.
The VA spokesman also testified to the excellent record of Korean veterans and noted that:
A comparison with World War II trainees discloses that a greater proportion of the Korean trainees have taken courses in the scientific fields or other fields which require the most extensive training and knowledge.
With the facts and figures available on this subject-and not just from the aforementioned agency—there is no doubt in my mind that this worthy record will be continued by post-Korean veterans if the opportunity is afforded them.
In view of this, it is difficult for me to understand—both from the viewpoint of national policy and economic considerations—why the administration looks with disfavor on a peacetime GI bill. Proclamations which I have heard in recent days by administration spokesmen declare that we are not nor will we be second best—these proclamations mean very little if the administration's position does not, in fact, reflect its lofty pronouncements.
This committee is, of course, apprised of the Department reports and the reasoning and position contained therein. However, I do wish to make note of a certain observation made by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. In opposing such legislation, and in pointing out that the Bureau of the Budget advises that enactment of these bills would not be in accord with the program of the President, Mr. Flemming makes the observation that we believe that broad Federal programs in the field of education should be broadly conceived to serve the needs of all our young men and women and to strengthen education in the national interest.
I heartily concur in this concept. To say this is what you are for, however, and then to oppose any workable effort to progress in achieving a declared goal is merely playing with words in order to skirt the issue and to rationalize one's opposition.
Approval of a program for post-Korean veterans would be another advance in this overall objective to which Mr. Flemming has referred. No one supporting it would claim, I am sure, that it is the perfect answer to a broad national problem and challenge, but certainly it can help to minimize further the educational problems we do face.
Mr. Chairman, to the dollar-minded administration there seems to be no connection between balancing the human budget and the national budget. This disassociation cannot overtake our thinking, for if it does, then we, as a Nation, and as representatives of a culture, are headed for trouble we can ill afford.
The times demand of our Nation, through its leadership, new answers based on new and provocative world challenges. How we act on the resolution of these challenges will determine whether or not we are a first-rate or second-rate power. Words alone will not determine the outcome.
Mr. Chairman, I have every confidence that you and the members of the committee will consider the pending legislation with the seriousness you have given to other measures also affecting our national stature and interests.
Mr. Haley. Thank you very much, Mr. Roosevelt.
Mr. HALEY. And now we will hear from Hon. Lee Metcalf, Representative from Montana.
STATEMENT OF HON. LEE METCALF, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MONTANA
Mr. METCALF. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate this opportunity to appear in support of the Veterans Readjustment Act.
I favor the readjustment assistance which S. 1138 makes available to persons who entered active military duty in the Armed Forces between January 31, 1955, and July 1, 1963. This involves education or vocational training assistance, vocational rehabilitation training for veterans with service-connected disabilities, guarantee and direct loan assistance for the purchase of homes, including homes on farms, farmlands, livestock, machinery, et cetera, to be used in farming operations conducted by the veteran, and mustering-out payments.
I believe that the readjustment assistance we can give our veterans is a vital part of our national defense. As a strong supporter of education, it is my hope that S. 1138 will be brought to the floor. It is time we did something for the veterans who served in this cold war period.
I will appreciate it if the petition and other correspondence I have with me in support of this legislation can be made a part of the hearing record.
Mr. Haley. Thank you, Mr. Metcalf. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(The inaterial referred to is as follows:) We, the undersigned persons, hereby respectfully petition you to bring your best offices to bear in order to bring about the passage of the Veterans Readjustment Act (S. 1138) :
WILLIAM B. COGSWELL,
(And 60 others). SIGMA CHI FRATERNITY,
BETA RHO CHAPTER,
Bozeman, Jont., February 9, 1960. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SIR: It has been brought to my attention that act S. 1138, a revision to extend the GI bill of rights, is to be discussed before the House sometime this coming week. I wish at this time to express my desire and deep concern for the progression of this bill to becoming a law.
Having served in the U.S. Marine Corps from August 1956 to August 1958, I now find myself enrolled at Montana State College. The challenge that I have found here in school has put considerable meaning into my life. My deep-down hopes amount to more in the way of schooling than a 4-year degree. But I have a major problem, as I know many students have. And that problem is a financial
To start in at a job upon my release from the service was a very tempting idea. But this would have been throwing away one of my biggest ambitions, that of a college education. My finances upon graduation from high school were next to nil. I chose the Marines for 2 years to serve my obligation to my country, to grow mature physically and, if possible, to continue my savings program toward an education. But I realize that it was more the thought than the material gain that was to be realized from this savings program of mine. Attaining the maximum rank for 2 years, E-3, I ended the latter part of my service being paid at the rate of $99 per month. Yet I am proud to say that my savings for these 2 years amounted to nearly one-half of my pay. I must admit this was very trying at times, to say the least.
So here I am in my second year at college, already worried about completing the school year for lack of funds. But I am willing to borrow to finish the term. Where does this leave me? In a position of paying off this debt from my sum
mer's work. Then there is next fall. Am I going to have to stay out of school and work? I certainly don't want to but I have given the idea serious considera. tion.
Leaving school at this stage would be disastrous as far as I am concerned. Getting into the swing of student life, I find my grades are on a constant upswing. Last quarter I earned a B- average. I'm pointing still higher this quarter. I have been initiated into a fraternity and several extracurricular activities have gained my attention. I also hold down a part-time job. Last quarter I worked 3 afternoons a week, this quarter I worked 2 due to a heavy load in credit hours. One of the most valuable things I have learned from all this is the budgeting of time.
I don't mean to bring out a complaining attitude. This is not my purpose nor is it the way I feel. But I wonder how many other students across the United States are in the same predicament?
Presently we have the National Defense Act but this pertains only to students studying science, mathematics, or languages who are pointing to a teaching career. The stipulation amounts to paying less back for longer teaching service. But I can't agree with the selected fields of study and I know there are others who feel the same way. My personal ambition is to enter some part of the Foreign Service. Here the challenge is demanding but the need is even greater. Our world situation as it is today will verify this and the future promises exemplification of such matters. Bettering the economic conditions of friendly foreign countries is the way to world peace. I sincerely believe this.
Realizing that my comprehension of the situation and circumstances surrounding Act S. 1138 is limited. I would appreciate any correspondence or literature that can be sent to me in reference to this act. I hope to hear that you find my reasoning valid for supporting this measure. I am aware of no detrimental effects that could be brought about by Act S. 1138. Respectfully yours,
DUANE A. BoE.
U.S. Forcos, February 5, 1960. Hon. LEE METCALF, llouse of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. METCALF : I read with extreme pleasure in the Army Times of your positive vote for the enactment of the cold war GI bill. I am a resident of Columbia Falls, Mont., and would benefit greatly from this legislation. I plan to further my education after separation from the armed service in May of this year.
I speak for other servicemen from Montana, as well as myself as I express my appreciation for your support of this bill. Sincerely yours,
DUANE D. KIEL, Pfc., U.S. Army.
BUTTE, MONT. Hon. LEE METCALF, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. METCALF: We are very much interested in the early passage of S. 1138—-Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1959. This bill was referred to the House in July of 1959.
We will appreciate anything you may be able to do to insure its enactment into law. Sincerely yours,
II. E. TOWYSEND.
FEBRUARY 1, 1960. Representative LEE METCALF, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
THE HONORABLE MR. METCALF: As a fellow Montanan, qualifying veterans, and full-time student of Montana State College, I respectfully and urgently request that action be taken on Act S. 1138 pointing toward passage as soon as possible.
This bill which concerns the extension of the GI bill of rights to veterans who entered the service of the United States after January 1955 is vital to the continuance of my college career, as well as those of many other veterans here. In the interest of a better educated America, I wish to reiterate my plea requesting the passage and effectment of Act S. 1138. Most respectfully,
ROBERT D. BOYD, USMCR 1631773. Mr. Haley. Next is the Honorable Carl D. Perkins, from Kentucky.
STATEMENT OF HON. CARL D. PERKINS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF KENTUCKY
Mr. PERKINS. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I want to thank you for the opportunity to appear here today in support of the legislation before you.
Every young man who is called into the armed services is forced to interrupt his education. It is only equity to compensate these youngsters in part at least for the intangible loss caused by this interruption of their educational opportunities,
Much attention has been given by the newspapers and other news media to the weaknesses in our educational program. There is a serious shortage of technical workers and engineers in particular. This shortage is quite noticeable in a labor market where unemployment is now approaching the 5 million mark, the highest since 1938.
When a young man drops out of school for a 2-year period, and in many cases this 24 months actually covers or interrupts 3 school years, it is extremely difficult for these students to make a successful return to school even if they face no financial problems. They should be encouraged at least to the point of where the Government takes over a portion of their financial problem by providing adequate payments based on their resumption of school work. These payments should be based on their term of service in the Armed Forces and considered as supplemental payments to those students who have potential aptitudes which may be developed by additional training. It is clear that if we have almost 5 million unemployed in this period of prosperity and at the same time a scarcity of technical workers the development of these technical skills has to all men in the armed services so long as we continue to draft these youths into the service.
Mr. HALEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Perkins.
The next witnesses are from the Department of Defense, represented by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Personnel, and Reserve, Stephen S. Jackson.
Mr. Secretary, if you would care to bring some of your colleagues along with you, you may come right up.