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(b) Section 1905 of title 38, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: "g 1905. Applications

"The benefits of this chapter shall be made available to any veteran who meets the eligibility requirements of this chapter and who makes application for such benefits in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Administrator.”

EFFECTIVE DATES

SEC. 7. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the amendments made by sections 2(a) and 3 of this Act shall become effective on July 1. 1967. The amendments made by sections 2(b), 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this Act shall become effective upon enactment.

(b) (1) The amendments made by this Act relating to the payment of burial benefits in the case of veterans of the Vietnam conflict shall become effective on the date of enactment of this Act.

(2) In any case where the burial allowance authorized by section 902 of title 38, United States Code, is payable solely by virtue of the enactment of this Act, the two-year period for filing applications, referred to in section 904 of such title 38, shall not end, with respect to an individual whose death occurred prior to the enactment of this Act, before the expiration of the two-year period which begins on the date of enactment of this Act, or, in any case involving the correction of a discharge after the date of enactment of this Act, before the expiration of two years from the date of such correction.

[H.R. 5634, 90th Cong., first sess.) A BILL To amend title_ 38 of the United States Code so as to extend to persons who

served in the Armed Forces of the United States on or after August 5, 1964, the date of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the same range of veterans' benefits heretofore provided veterans of other wars

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the “Vietnam Conflict Servicemen's Benefits Act of 1967”.

BASIC DEFINITIONS

SEC. 2. (a) Paragraph (11) of section 101 of ttile 38, United States Code, is amended by inserting "the Vietnam conflict,” immediately after "the Korean conflict,”.

(b) Such action is further amended by adding at the end thereof the following new paragraph :

“ (29) The term “Vietnam conflict' means the period beginning August 5, 1964, and ending on such date as shall thereafter be determined by Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of the Congress.”

PENSION

SEC. 3. (a) Subsection (a) of section 521 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking out “or the Korean conflict” and inserting in lieu thereof “the Korean conflict, or the Vietnam conflict." (b) Such section is further amended by

(1) striking out “or the Korean conflict” in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (g), and inserting in lieu thereof “the Korean conflict, or the Vietnam conflict”, and

(2) striking out “or the Korean conflict” in paragraph (3) of such subsection (g), and inserting in lieu thereof, “, the Korean conflict, or the Viet

nam conflict”. (c) The catchline of section 521 of title 38, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: "g 521. Veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, or the

Vietnam conflict” (d) Subsection (a) of section 541 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking out “or the Korean conflict” and inserting in lieu thereof "the Korean conflict, or the Vietnam conflict”.

(e) Paragraph (1) of subsection (e) of such section is amended by inserting immediately after "Korean conflict veteran” the following:

“, or (D) before the expiration of ten years following termination of the Vietnam conflict in the case of a widow of a Vietnam conflict veteran". (f) The catchline of section 541 of title 38, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: “8 541. Widows of World War I, World War II, Korean conflict, or Vietnam

conflict veterans” (g) Subsection (a) of section 542 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking out “or the Korean conflict” and inserting in lieu thereof “the Korean conflict, or the Vietnam conflict”.

(h) The catchline of section 542 of title 38, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: “8 542. Children of World War I, World War II, Korean conflict, or Vietnam

conflict veterans” (i) The table of section at the beginning of chapter 15 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking out *521. Veterans of World War I, World War II, or the Korean conflict." and substituting in lieu thereof 4521. Veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, or the Vietnam

conflict." ; by striking out the subheading

“World War I, World War II, and the Korean conflict” and substituting in lieu thereof

“World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam conflict"; and by striking out 541. Widows of World War I, World War II, or Korean conflict veterans." and substituting in lieu thereof "541. Widows of World War I, World War II, Korean conflict, or Vietnam conflict

veterans." ; and by striking out "542, Children of World War I, World War II, or Korean conflict veterans." and substituting in lieu thereof "542. Children of World War I, World War II, Korean conflict, or Vietnam conflict

veterans." (j) Chapter 15 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking out the subheading “WORLD WAR I, WORLD WAR II, AND THE KOREAN CONFLICT" immediately preceding section 541 of such title, and substituting in lieu thereof “WORLD WAR I, WORLD WAR II, THE KOREAN CONFLICT, AND THE VIETNAM CONFLICT.”

PRESUMPTION OF PSYCHOSIS FOR PURPOSES OF HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL CARE; PRE

SCRIPTION DRUGS AND MEDICINES FOR VETERANS IN NEED OF REGULAB AID AND ATTENDANCE

SEC. 4. (a) Section 602 of title 38, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: “8 602. Presumption relating to psychosis

“For the purposes of this chapter, any veteran of World War II, the Korean .conflict, or the Vietnam conflict who developed an active psychosis (1) within two years after his discharge or release from the active military, naval, or air service, and (2) before July 26, 1949, in the case of a veteran of World War II, or February 1, 1957, in the case of a veteran of the Korean conflict, or before the expiration of two years following termination of the Vietnam conflict in the case of a Vietnam conflict veteran, shall be deemed to have incurred such disability in the active military, naval, or air service.”

(b) Subsection (h) of section 612 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking out "or the Korean conflict” and inserting in lieu thereof "the Korean conflict or the Vietnam conflict”.

BURIAL FLAGS FOR INSERVICE DEATHS

SEC. 5. Section 901 of title 38, United States Code, is amended by adding a new subsection “(d)” at the end thereof to read as follows:

“(d) In the case of any person who died while in the active military, naval, or air service after May 27, 1941, and prior to the end of the Korean conflict, or who died, or dies, during the Vietnam conflict, the Administrator shall furnish a flag to the next of kin, or to such other person as the Administrator deems most appropriate, if such next of kin or other person is not otherwise entitled to receive a flag under this section, or under section 1482(a) of title 10, United States Code."

AUTOMOBILES FOR DISABLED VETERANS

SEC. 6. (a) Section 1901 (a) of title 38, United States Code, is amended by striking out “World War II or the Korean conflict” and inserting in lieu thereof "World War II, the Korean conflict, or the Vietnam conflict."

(b) Section 1905 of title 38, United States Code, is amended to read as follows: "$1905. Applications

"The benefits of this chapter shall be made available to any veteran who meets the eligibility requirements of this chapter and who makes application for such benefits in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Administrator."

EFFECTIVE DATES

SEC 7. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the amendments made by sections 2(a) and 3 of this Act shall become effective on July 1, 1967. The amendments made by sections 2(b), 4, 5, 6, and 7 of this Act shall become effective upon enactment.

(b) (1) The amendments made by this Act relating to the payment of burial benefits in the case of veterans of the Vietnam conflict shall become effective on the date of enactment of this Act.

(2) In any case where the burial allowance authorized by section 902 of title 38, United States Code, is payable solely by virtue of the enactment of this Act, the two-year period for filing applications, referred to in section 904 of such title 38, shall not end, with respect to an individual whose death occurred prior to the enactment of this Act, before the expiration of the two-year period which begins on the date of enactment of this Act, or, in any case involving the correction of a discharge after the date of enactment of this Act, before the expiration of two years from the date of such correction.

Mr. DORN. The veterans' organizations have been advised of these hearings and invited to appear, and later we will have the opportunity to hear from the Veterans' Administration.

Our first witness this morning is a very dear friend, the secretary of the Democratic steering committee, with whom I have been very pleasantly associated over the years.

We are delighted and pleased to have Mr. Matsunaga, our distinguished and able colleague.

Very pleased to have you.

STATEMENT OF HON. SPARK M. MATSUNAGA, A REPRESENTATIVE

IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF HAWAII

Mr. MATSUNAGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

Certainly it is a pleasure to appear before this subcommittee, which has done so much in providing for the welfare of the veterans and their dependents.

Mr. Chiarman, with your kind permission, I would like to submit only a statement in support of H.R. 2068, a bill which was introduced by the distinguished chairman of this subcommittee.

Mr. Dorn. Naturally, there would be no objection.

Mr. MATSUNAGA. And a companion measure, H.R. 4887, which 1 introduced.

Mr. DORN. Good.

Mr. MATSUNAGA. And if I may be permitted to do so, Mr. Chairman, I would like to speak praticularly, this morning, in support of H.R. 3784, which I introduced on January 25, 1967.

You have the statement before you, and I would like, with your kind permission, to expedite the matter and read it, if I may.

The bill would increase the amount of pension paid to widows of Spanish-American War veterans. It would not affect the pension paid to the veterans themselves, their children, or remaining survivors, other than widows.

Only section 536 of the veterans' benefits legislation would be altered.

I propose by H.R. 3784 to increase the monthly pension paid a widow who was married to the Spanish-American War veteran at the time of the war, from $75 to $95. If marriage was contracted after the war, the pension would be increased from $65 to $85.

For eligibility, as the law provides now, the widow must have been married to the veteran for at least 5 years, or a child must have been born of the marriage. Also, the veteran must have served during the war for at least 90 days.

For clarification, I should add that pensions now paid to SpanishAmerican War Veterans' widows are distinguished from pensions paid widows of veterans of all the more recent wars by the fact that no income limitation is imposed.

That is, the widows of veterans of the Spanish-American War, like those of veterans of the Mexican War, the Civil War, and the Indian wars, received the pensions regardless of whatever may be the amount of their income from other sources.

In his message to us of January 31, President Johnson asked for an increase in the pensions of 1.4 million veterans, widows, and dependents. The purpose is for meeting the increasing cost of living.

The President also stated that a study of the entire veterans pension system will be conducted, and that further recommendations will be based thereon. Already proposals have been introduced which would increase various categories or veterans' pensions.

Amid this general prospect of pension increases, I think that we should take the utmost care to see that Spanish-American War veterans' widows are not forgotten, and that their pensions are included among those that are increased to meet the demands of the rising cost of living

Because of their age, surely they are the most dependent on pension income, have fewer additional sources of income than younger classes of pensioners, and therefore stand to suffer most than rising living costs.

We must remember, too, that this measure would affect a class of pensioners who have reached their twilight years. The statistics sadden us, but they cannot be denied.

In 1951, there were over 79,000 such widows receiving pensions. In 1961, there were 73,469. The number during those 10 years had thus decreased by almost 7,000. Today there are only 55,443 of these pensioners left, showing a highly accelerated rate of decrease of 18,000 in the last 5 years.

75-96867—12

Clearly, therefore, the increase of payments to this particular class of pensioners will entail only a nominal increase in our annual expenditures.

The Bureau of the Budget has estimated an additional $12.5 million in the first year, and a gradual decline to $9.4 million in the fifth year after enactment of this bill.

The recent extension of GI educational benefits was a great thing, and I supported its passage. I believe that the benefit to our Nation derived from the resulting increased skill of its manpower resources will be equally as great as that derived from the original GI bill.

However, regardless of the astounding success of various legislation concerning veterans' benefits, it cannot be denied that the most fundamental of all veterans' legislation is just that type which H.R. 3784 sets forth.

The original and historic concern of veterans' legislation has been to keep veterans and their kin from want and degradation. As stated in the report to the President by the Commission on Veterans' Pensions of 1956 :

Pensions for Revolutionary War veterans were to keep them from being reduced to indigence and even to real distress in their old age. Throughout the years this has been the lasting motivation. We have been unwilling, as a Nation, ever to see the citizen-soldier (or his widow] who had rendered honorable service in wartime reduced to the dishonorable status of a pauper.

Let us, then, in performance of our duty to review veterans' legislation, focus our first attention, now as always, on those who depend most on their pension for a living.

Thank you very much.
Mr. Dorn. Thank you, Mr. Matsunaga.

I might say to the subcommittee that the Chairman personally appreciates the fine attendance this morning, and this is in spite of a very strenuous schedule.

There were nine major meetings, the day before yesterday, by one of the committees.

I don't see how the members hold up.

Mr. MATSUNAGA. I would like to think, Mr. Chairman, that I am the drawing card, but I believe I will have to credit it to the Chairman.

Mr. Dorn. Thank you.
Mr. KORNEGAY?

Mr. KORNEGAY. Let me say that I think both of you gentlemen are, Mr. Chairman. Certainly you know you get the full cooperation of this subcommittee.

I have another meeting going on right now, but from my viewpoint, it is not as important as the one we have under consideration here this morning, which has to do with veterans and their widows and dependents.

I want to congratulate our colleague for a very fine statement, one of the best I have heard presented here, for your emphasis on the need of the widows.

Among the cases that come to us as individual Congressmen, among those that pull at your heart strings the most are those who reach their

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