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of each individual should never be overlooked. The provisions of S. 1138 give opportunity to the individual to prove his worth, through the maintenance of a high scholastic average. However, 'the loan provisions of the bill still make it possible for a young person of average talents and we have great faith in the average Americanto pursue an education also. Such a program recognizes on the one hand the value of the program to the Nation, on the other hand the value of the program to the individual. This seems to us to be just.
We, therefore, strongly urge the passage of S. 1138 or basically similar legislation as beneficial to our Nation's growth and security, as well as simple justice to the members of the Armed Forces for the great contribution they make to us all.
Mr. HALEY. Are there any questions?
Mr SLACK. Mr. Chairman, I don't necessarily address this question to the witness.
I would like to know, if this statement is correct, that under present law any young man who remains in college up to and including the age of 26, then is not subject to military service; is that correct?
Miss Condon. No, sir. I think if he goes to college, and through this method defers his military reasonsibility, he is still subject to the draft until he is 35. My point was, after he has had a college education, he is much more apt to go into officer training than he is to be footslogging around with a gun on his shoulder. He also has more of an opportunity to marry, and it is quite likely he will have some children which then will defer him because of his parenthood. He also may find, if he is fortunate enough to graduate with a good degree in engineering, that he will be engaged as a civilian in an essential industry and avoid military service. These are the reasons I was attempting to outline as to why a man who went to college and had an advantage over the one who couldn't afford to go.
Mr. SLACK. Then the young man is subject to military service up to the age of 35?
Miss CONDON. I believe so, if he goes to college and secures a deferment for that reason.
Mr. SLACK. Thank you very much.
Mr. Haley. Mr. Fino, would you like to inquire of the dean of men?
Mr. Fino. It is always a pleasure to have a woman testify before this committee, because we very seldom have the opportunity to listen to the weaker sex on this committee.
I am sure that you heard the testimony of the previous witness. Miss Condon. Yes, sir.
Mr. Fino. He said, speaking of veterans coming out of the service, that their scholastic records average higher than those of the nonveterans. Do you agree with that statement?
Miss CONDON. From my own experience, sir, I would say this was true in our quite small college in Montana. But I think there is statistical evidence on this very subject available in the Veterans Administration, and also in the division of higher education in the U.S. office. I think this has been true.
I know from my own experience that those young men who were veterans, when they went to school, as I say, had more purpose in their program. They didn't get so involved with being cheerleaders and spent a little more time with the deeper parts of the program.
Mr. FINO. In other words, they were more mature ?
Miss Condon. Yes, sir; and they were better able to profit, usually, from the experience of college.
Mr. Fino. Have you found from your experience, associated with this organization, that there are many veterans who have returned from military service and who have been trying to get into college but found that financially they were unable to do so!
Miss Condon. I have spent some time as a senior hostess at the local USO, and I have a very attractive niece who is a junior hostess there
Mr. Fino. I am sure she is, if she takes after you.
Miss CONDON. Things being as they are, I know quite a bit about the young men through my niece. Most of them are in service because they couldn't go to college, and most of them are most eager to have me impress upon you gentlemen the basic truth of what I presented to you here.
I find in them a sense of bitterness that, because they couldn't go, now they can't go, and that other fellows with whom they graduated from high school have gone on to college, and some are married and they are probably not going into the service, but if they do, they will go in as officers. This is a source of economic class distinction that is not good for the morale of the troops, to some degree. I think it is wrong.
Mr. FINO. Of course, you and I know that there is nothing compulsive behind this legislation. It is a good student who will get the full benefit of this type legislation.
Miss CONDON. It is optional.
Mr. Fino. The poor student will certainly be thrown out after the first year if he doesn't meet the standards or the requirements.
Miss ČONDON. Most of them won't find that they are able to live too high on the hog, as we would say in Montana, on $110 a month, in this day and age.
Mr. Fino. I thought we had that problem only in New York.
Mr. Haley. If you are one of the senior hostesses down there, maybe the committee ought to go down and take a look at this new USO.
Miss Condon. I am sure the USO would be delighted.
Mr. HALEY. As pretty as you are, and as young a lady as you are, being a senior hostess down there, I don't know, maybe we had better go into that.
Miss CONDON. I haven't been acting as a senior hostess much lately because I have been busy with a few other things.
Mr. Haley. Mr. Flynn?
Mr. FLYNN. For the record would you state whether NEA is a private or public organization.
Miss CONDON. Sir, it is a private organization. It is a professional association. The entire membership of the NEA is 700,000 school teachers. The group that I am representing is largely the county superintendents of schools, and it is about 2,000. There are only 3,000 of those altogether.
But I checked with the Legislative Division of the NEA, and they requested that I speak for our department and for, in general, the whole organization. These are the educators of the country. It is a private organization.
Mr. Flynn. And they have offices here in Washington?
Miss CONDON. Yes. I hope you will come and see us. We have a beautiful office here in Washington.
Mr. Fino. You might add, it is a nonprofit organization.
Miss Condon. Yes indeed. The entire program is supported by the dues of the members, which are $10 a year.
Mr. FLYNN. And you represent the rural-
Mr. Flynn. Do you have any statistics or figures on whether or not there is greater aptitude or applicability by these young boys and girls going into college from the farms of the country as compared with those going from urban areas? Miss Condon. No, sir. That sort of statistic would be probably
alid if anyone ever put it forward, because the variation in the high schools which they attend in rural areas is so great, and the opportunities for a broader program are necessarily limited in some rural areas, just by sheer numbers, as well as money, that it is hard to compare a youngster who goes to a rural high school with one who has the opportunity to go, say, to one of the highly developed technical high schools in big city. There is no basis for comparison. I think that studies have been attempted to show the variation between the native mental ability of these people, and there isn't much difference.
A great deal of their aptitude is based on environment, depending on what their experiences were before they started in college.
Mr. FLYNN. Ì was very interested in your statement that seems to recognize that the Government has a special responsibility to those who are serving in the Armed Forces, even those who are serving during peacetime because, as you point out, they are serving constantly in the shadow of personal disaster, more risky and dangerous
many of those who served in the hot war just a few years ago. You pointed out that they have been in more danger to a higher degree than the others.
You also pointed out that you have great faith in the average American, meaning the average boy and girl, even those who may not be in the upper 50 percent of the class, but who would be able to get benefit through this bill, and that it is your belief that the program has a value, not only to the student involved, but to the Nation.
I presume that you feel that the money expended by the taxpayers in this program would come back to the country as a whole?
Miss Condon. Yes. I always prefer to say we don't spend money on education; we invest it. Because in actual dollars and cents there is a higher earning capacity for the person who receives more education, and he pays more taxes, plus all the other benefits which are more important than that.
Mr. FLYNN. And the benefits to the individual would be remarkable during this period, also.
Miss CONDON. Of course. And the benefits to the Nation. I am cure that a great many of those scientists who have worked on our-maybe I shouldn't mention it-on the missile program, I think the record would show that some of them probably got their education under the GI bill, and a great many in the medical developments that have been so beneficial to us have also had the same opportunity and would not have had it otherwise.
Mr. Flynn. Do you believe that a boy who has put in his full stint of duty, so far as military service is concerned, who was desirous of attending one of the colleges of the country, should have that opportunity?
Miss CONDON. Yes, sir; I certainly do.
Mr. Flynn. Do you believe that that boy would be of greater value to his country after receiving the educational program than he would be if he reenlisted in the military service?
Miss Condon. Yes, I do; because I think that part of the Department of Defense's statement and I am not familiar with it except from what I have heard discussed here—seemed to imply that they didn't approve of expanding the GI bill educational benefits because this would lure people out of the service into college. I don't think that a soldier is too effective if the only reason he is staying in the military is because he just can't earn a living any other way, and that they are trapping him into staying in the service because they are denying him the opportunity that his older brothers and father had. It doesn't make sense.
Mr. FLYNN. It expands, does it not, the caste system to which you referred. He is cast into the military wthout financial ability to raise his own level.
Miss Condon. Yes. One of the points I made in here, and probably didn't make too clearly, was the fact that these young men terminate their military service at, say, 22 or 23, and I have read recruiting posters, like others in my educational career, and have advised people about the wisdom of going into the service at various times, and I think it is a wonderful opportunity for many people.
I am well aware that the recruiting posters sometimes distort the picture. For example, I known young men stationed here in the Washington area, who are in various branches of the service, and they are told that you can enroll at the American University or George Washington, or one of these colleges, and go to school while you are serving. This sounds good, except the boy will do this and then suddenly they will transfer him to Camp David on guard duty for 3 weeks and he misses his classes. I have heard of one youngster who was pulled out 2 days before examination and sent as an enlisted man to give officers training in a certain phase. The particular service had no interest in his personal program.
The idea that you can be in the service and go to school is not quite as valid as sometimes it is purported to be.
Mr. Flynn. And without trying to encroach on the reservoir of the military, do you feel that it would be an unreasonable requirement to expect the military, as part of their responsibility, to train annually the 45 percent of their enlistees who would leave to go to educational schools?
Miss Condon. I am not sure I understand your question, Mr. Flynn. Mr. Flynn. Do you feel that we would be placing an unreasonable burden upon the military if we told them that they should be expected to retrain the 45 percent of the 100,000 enlistees who leave annually to go into college?
Miss Condon. No, sir; I don't think this is unreasonable. I think they could perhaps better invest their money that way than some of the ways I have read in the paper they have been investing their money.
Mr. FLYNN. Thank you.
Mr. HALEY. I have no questions, except to express the most sincere commendation to the gentlelady from, I may say, Montana, but here representing NEA. I would like to say that I believe the lady is not only excellent public relations for the NEA, but I think the best public relations I have ever seen for the State of Montana. So my compliments to you. Miss CONDON. Thank you,
sir. Mr. HALEY. Are there any further questions?
Mr. Fino. I want to say to Miss Condon that I appreciate her sentiments when she said that education is a good investment. I go a little further and say it is a good and wise investment.
Does your organization believe, or feel, that a free education is something important and should be afforded to everyone who is interested in it?
Miss Condon. Yes, sir. Every American citizen is entitled to the maximum amount of education he can profit from.
Mr. Fino. The reason I asked you that question was because last year I had occasion to visit the Russian exposition in the Coliseum in New York City, and of course I wasn't too impressed with all the exhibits, but the things that fascinated me were the placards and posters all over the Coliseum which said, “In Russia, everyone receives à free education.” That sort of made me feel a little bad, that we can't say that about our American system.
Miss Condon. We would hope, sir, as I said in my testimony, that ultimately Congress in its wisdom will inaugurate a program of scholarships for all young people who have the ability and the wish to try. But until such a day happens, we still think the GI bill should be extended for at least that group of young people to whom we have a special responsibility.
Mr. Fino. I thank you.
Mr. Haley. We thank you very much. You are not only pretty, but efficient.
Mr. GEORGE. First, I would like to say that I think your niece has a very attractive aunt.
Miss Condon. Thank you. I will tell her that.
Mr. GEORGE. Don't you believe that if this bill should be enacted into law, that our economic growth would develop more rapidly?
Now, we are behind Russia in the percentage of increase in economic growth, according to experts. That is one of the great things that we ought to do something about.
Miss CONdox. Yes, indeed.
Mr. GEORGE. Don't you think this would be important in that direction?
Miss Condon. Our economic growth is, as you say, lagging percentagewise behind other parts of the world. This is, I think, unfor