Page images

children looked at him and said, “Dr. Ruttledge, you mean to tell me you remember my daddy." He looked at them and said, “Any boy that ever made me break’a record that I have said I would never do, I would never forget.

He is one of the great men I have known, one of the truly great Americans, and if you see him, will you give him my regards.

Mr. GERALD. We would love for you to come down, and Mr. Saylor, to South Carolina. You made one trip, and I did not have the pleasure of seeing you.

Mr. Dorn. I might say, Mr. Saylor, that the colonel, here has a real oldtime plantation, and is known for his hospitality.

I might say that of course we are proud of the service of Mr. Saylor. There is no one more interested in the welfare of the veteran.

And I will speak in your hometown before a business group on the 15th.

Mr. WALKER. One of the things is that York, Pa., does lay claim to being the first Capital of the United States. The history books repeat that, and the chamber of commerce is asking everybody to repeat it.

Mr. SAYLOR. The Red Rose City, some miles east, argues that they were, but we will not get into an intercity debate.

Mr. DORN. Before you leave the witness stand, Mr. Commander: Madam President of the Auxiliary, do you have a word?

Mrs. CARLBERG. I don't, but I do thank you, and it has been very interesting

Mr. DORN. Thank you, ma'am. It has been wounderful to have you along, too.

And I want to thank you again, Commander, and thank you, Colonel Gerald.

Mr. GERALD. We of the Veterans of World War I have always felt, although some of us could not show it, probably, that you and the members of your committee, and the subcommittee chairman, have always been our last citadel of hope. We have never come to you and gone away with empty hands.

Mr. DÖRN. On behalf of the members of this committee, I can say we are going to get this bill out. I don't think there is any question about it.

I believe it will pass the House and the other body, and I believe this time it will be signed.

I do not know, in the modern history of the Congress, a more dedicated man, who has served with distinction in both Houses of Congress than Senator Claude Pepper of Florida.

I am honored that you would come by and say a word in behalf of these people who served many years ago, these people who served their country with such dedication.



Mr. PEPPER. I thank you for your very generous and characteristically eloquent words.

In paraphrasing the slogan Buick used top put out—they used to say, "When better cars are built, Buick will build them”—I will say that when greater eloquence is uttered, William Jennings Bryan Dorn will utter it.

I thank you and your committee for the kindness of permitting me to come by for a word.

In general, I think we all endorse the program presented by the great veterans organizations, the Legion, the DAV, the VFW, and the other splendid patriotic veterans organizations of this country.

There are just two or three things that I would like to mention in detail.

One is that I hope we are going to be able to incorporate the principle of the acceleration of disability payments and pensions on account of the increasing cost of living, in other words, tying in the benefits to the cost of living index, so that the purchasing power of what we provide, by way of disability benefits or compensation benefits or pension rights, will be maintained at a stable level, because, after all, what we are tryingto do is to enable the disabled' veteran' to be able to compensate, in a way, for his disability.

And if prices rise and rise, that simply means his standard of living has got to fall and fall, unless there is an adjustment of one to the other.

I know with your characteristic wisdom and your deep dedication to the interests of the veterans, this committee will give very sympathetic consideration to the incorporation of that principle, as I think it should be incorporated into the social security program, and to all other programs which are designed to enable people to have a dependable enjoyment of some of the minimal satisfactions, at least of American life.

That is one thing.

The other thing is the problem of whether or not, under the GI bills, we are giving an adequate sum of money to the veterans who are attending schools and colleges.

I know that the cost of going to college has got to be a very demanding requirement. It costs $2,000 or $3,000 now, to go to college.

Åny of you parents who happend to have boys and girls in college of course are very painfully aware of how expensive it is today.

Now, I am not quite sure whether the present benefits include_I think the President has made a recommendation for an increase, and I think that is a wise recommendation. I am not at all sure that it is enough, yet, and I think we ought to try to examine what it is we are trying to achieve.

Are we trying to enable the veteran to go to college? If so, is this enough money to enable him to go to college ?

Or do we mean, in substance, at least by necessary implications, to write into the bill: “We are going to give you this much help, but you have to have some funds of your own, or be able to borrow some, and work on the side, in order to supplement your income up to the point where you can meet the cost of going to college ?"

So I think we might as well face it fairly. If we want him to go to college—and I think we do—you know it is difficult to work on the side. Some of us have had that experience, and I don't know whether there are as many jobs as some of us were able to get when we were going to college.

But I think it is very questionable as to whether we ought to assume that this kind of help is sufficiently available to veterans in whom we are making the finest investment of our capital that we could possibly

find, because I don't know anything that the Congress has ever done which has returned a greater yield upon the investment made than the GI bill which helps men and women who have been service people to get their training--their college education.

For example, at one of the great universities in my area, which is not a State institution—the tuition is $700 for one semester. I think it is $1,400 a year.

I don't know whether the GI bill pays the tuition. I don't think it does. I think the amount that we provide is all he gets, which means he has got to go to a State school, and then suppose there is not room enough in the State school ?

Now, it is very difficult to get in the State schools, you know, on account of the lack of facilities they have. There are the junior colleges, but what about when he wants to go on to the senior college !

So I would very earnestly recommend that this able committee put the situation squarely to the Congress. I know it would be somewhat shocking to propose a major increase in these benefits, but I believe the Congress would face up to it if our evaluations of the problem were extended to them. Now, this is the way the situation is, and if we want these boys and girls to get a college education, we have got to assume that they have got to be able to supplement what we are giving them in some way or other, and is that a proper assumption, and is that a proper requirement for them?

Those are two things, and the other one is, of course, that we can hardly ever do enough for these men, particularly, those who sustained disability in their country's service.

I know the amount is heavy when the composite of all of it has to be borne by the taxpayer.

On the other hand, think about the veteran who has a hundred percent disability, or 50 or 75 percent disability. The man's whole opportunity in life to make a larger income, to enjoy more of the good things of life, has largely been sacrificed upon the altar of his country's service.

And we are condeming him. In other words, we are saying to him: "Due to the patriotic service that you rendered your country, the horizon of your possibiility has been lowered to this level of $200 a month or $250 a month. That is where you are. That is the place you condemned yourself to by your patriotic service of your country.

I realize when we talk about raising these amounts, and seeing these big figures, they are frightening, but on the other hand, how frightening would'the alternative have been if we had not had gallant men and women like those who were fighting the battles of our country in all the torturous experiences of the past ?

So I just want to commend this fine committee for the dedicated attention it has given to the problems of the veteran, and assure you of my support in any way I can give it.

Mr. Dorn. May I say, before you go, how grateful we are that you could come. We feel that you are a friend of the committee and of the veteran, and we are always glad to have you here before this committee.

Mr. PEPPER. One of the proudest of my experiences was that of being able to serve as chairman of the only Veterans' Committee the

[ocr errors]

Senate had for a few years chairman of the Subcommittee of the Senate Education and Labor Committee, which handled veterans' affairs. I am just sorry I could not do more.

Mr. Dorn. Let the record show that you appeared with the distinguished National Commander of the Veterans of World War I, and Mr. Gerald.

Mr. SAYLOR. I want to pay tribute to our colleague.

Whether you folks in the audience know it or not, the man who has just testified so eloquently and spoken on behalf of the veteran is the only Member of the House of Representatives who has served in both the House and the Senate.

He has had a very illustrious record in both Houses. He is a true Congressman.

I can only say to you, Mr. Pepper, that I wish you had been a member of the subcommittee this last year, when you were trying to get that peacetime GI bill up to what it was in World War II.

If I had had your vote and your eloquence, I would have made it. Mr. PEPPER. Well, you had it.

Mr. SAYLOR. And this is one of the things that disturbs me, because even the recommendations we have now gotten from the Presidentonly wants to bring it up to $130 for a single veteran going to school full time.

As you have so dramatically pointed out, the cost of education is going up.

I am one of those who has had children in school for the last 10 or 11 years, and in every year, in every institution, we have an increase in tuition.

Mr. PEPPER. Now, the Governor of my State is recommending that tuition be increased in the State institutions. I see they are doing that. The Governor of California recommended the same thing. Maybe they are doing it in other States.

So you don't escape the tuition by going to a State institution, and what about institutions like Harvard, and other leading institutions of the country?

A veteran has a right to go to the best. If they are better than the others, he has a right to go to any.

And the tuition runs up. When I was at Harvard, for the law school, the tuition was $400 a year. I think somebody told me it is $3,000 a year, now, or something like that.

Well, what is the GI going to do? How can he earn the education which is necessary in our civilization?

Mr. SAYLOR. He just cannot go on what Uncle Sam is giving him, and if he does not have the money, or if he is not able to borrow the money, there are a number of schools that he cannot get into.

As you pointed out, the record of the men who came back in World War II, and who went to school, was better than the record of the boys who did not go to the service, because they knew why they were in school. There was no fooling. They were there to get everything out of it that they possibly could.

I am delighted to tell you that this is the same report I am getting out of the institutions in my district, where the peacetime GI's are


now back in school. They are the best students in school, because they are the hardest working.

Mr. PEPPER. They learn.

I have a nephew who finally joined the Air Force. His mother is a schoolteacher, and, of course, a college graduate, and she and I were brokenhearted when he indicated very little interest in going to college. After going to junior college 1 year, he went into the Air Force.

Well, it was but little while until the Air Force had made a man out of that mixed up, confused boy.

He called himself a sort of a maverick. He was wondering whether there was a God, and he just got all mixed up about life.

In a little while, he began to find himself, and now he is getting out of the Air Force in July,

and the first thing that boy is doing is getting in college, just as soon as he can.

He will go back now with new understanding of what it means to have a college education. He is grateful to get it.

What I am trying to say is : One alternative will be that if we don't feel like we can appropriate enough money to let a veteran go to school or college, or any reasonable institution, then at least let's lend him the rest of it, and let him pay it back over his lifetime, if he is willing to undertake that responsibility.

But be sure he gets the education. That is the important thing, from the viewpoint of the country.

And it might be that we could set up a loan fund, and enable him to get the required education, and then let him bear part of the responsibility by paying it back over his lifetime. It would be, of course, a good investment for him, as well as for the country.

But we ought to face up to the problem of not just leaving it to chance or to some fortunate circumstance to permit this boy or girl to be able to get the money from other sources. Thank you again.

Mr. MEADOWS. On the subject of your interest, our subcommittee brings hearings on this question next week, March 8.

Mr. PEPPER. March 8. Very good.
Thank you again, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Dorn. Thank you, Commander Walker.

Mr. DORN. We will now hear from the United Spanish War Veterans.

I might say it is a particular and a very special pleasure for me to present, this morning, our beloved colleague, distinguished and able, and the only Spanish-American War veteran serving in the Congress of the United States today. I think it is a great honor.

I might say one of the great highlights of my career was to stand with him and dedicate the Memorial Monument on Memorial Avenue, the first monument to the Spanish-American War veterans in Washington.

I might say it is a great honor for me to present to the gathering here our colleague, Congressman O'Hara, from Illinois.

We call him "Governor,” because he has had an illustrious and great career. He has served his people throughout his lifetime.

So we are happy to have you, and I wish you would present the gentleman with you.

« PreviousContinue »