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Is it your belief that'it is solely the cut in appropriations which has resulted in the specific cases of inferior medical care to veterans? Connected with that question, was the survey your organization made solely to determine whether the cut in appropriations had resulted in damaging the service to veterans, or was it an overall survey of the functioning of the services !
Mr. MILLER. It was actually both, but we wanted to see primarily if there was any deterioration in service because of the cut. We found the dire results were due largely to the cut and due to the feeling of insecurity, because these people can make more money in private life.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. It works both ways. I understand private hospitals feel the Veterans' Administration hospitals are drawing their personnel away. It is your feeling that the cut in appropriations has resulted in inferior care?
Mr. MILLER. Yes. I understand private hospitals can furnish housing for doctors and nurses, which the Veterans' Administration cannot.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. But the cut was not the reason they do not furnish housing ?
Mr. MILLER, No.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Your survey was broader than simply an examination of what has happened due to the cut in appropriations?
Mr. MILLER. That is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. It seems to me Admiral Boone is a very fine medical director, and he has dedicated the balance of his life to the Veterans' Administration. I am receiving hundreds of letters from veterans in hospitals speaking of the kind of care they get. They are not criticizing the doctors' care.
Mr. MILLER. No. The doctors are doing a fine job, long hours and inadequate money. I do not say, given sufficient funds, they are not the finest in the world.
The CHAIRMAN. And they are constantly trying to take away doctors from the Veterans' Administration. I think that is being done to hurt the veterans' care in order to get them in civilian hospitals, which is a dastardly thing to do, in my opinion.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. The impression I got from Commander Miller's statement was that there may be problems other than those resulting from the cut in appropriations. All the problems he mentioned could not have resulted simply from a cut in appropriations unless it was a question of morale.
The CHAIRMAN. I think the cuts might affect the morale. I think the doctors are fine.
Mr. MILLER. They are.
The CHAIRMAN. And I do not believe Commander Miller intended to create the impression they are not.
Mr. MILLER. That is right. They are very fine. Some of the cuts have caused them to look for security elsewhere. It is a morale question in part, too.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Do you know what percentage reduction the last cut represented in total funds available for hospital services?
Mr. MILLER. Mr. Wilson, can you answer that?
Mr. Wilson. I do not know the exact percentage, but I know they appropriated a great deal for construction and the opening of new hospitals. I think the House cut was greater than when it came out of the Senate, and when it came out of conference there was still a $31 million cut. This cut kept the Veterans' Administration from getting new equipment, opening new wards, and in some instances they had to cut their home-care program by 30 percent. In 27 States we found a backlog of from 6 or 8 to 12 months on the dental care program. So the whole program, as a result of this cut in appropriations, which has followed other cuts, has directly resulted in a cut in veterans' care.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Some of the illustrations you furnished us are so drastic it almost seems as if most of the money needed to properly operate the hospitals had been taken from them. You do not have percentage figures ?
Mr. WILSON. No.
Mr. HAGEN. Have you made any comparison of mental or psychiatric hospitals of the Veterans' Administration with psychiatric State institutions ?
Mr. MILLER. I believe both are doing a good job. There were some equipment shortages in VA hospitals resulting in a reduction of shock treatments and other treatments that were valuable in research work and treatments.
Mr. HAGEN. The American Psychiatrics Society or association has certain standards as to the number of patients per institution, and I was wondering if you had made any comparison between the veterans' facilities and those standards in private State institutions!
Mr. MILLER. I was told they were making a study of the Illinois hospitals and were trying to do what they could to study and recommend approved technical assistance.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.
DIGEST OF RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY AMVETS EIGHTH ANNUAL NATIONAL
CONVENTION, GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., AUGUST 28–31, 1952 1. Resolved, That the AMVET aviation policy as approved at the seventh annual national convention, which called for a continued policy on a national level of keeping America supreme in the air, be reestablished by the eighth annual national convention convened in Grand Rapids, Mich.
2. Be it resolved, That AMVETS go on record as not only favoring supremacy in military aviation but also call upon the aviation committees of the Government to cooperate with the aviation industry to achieve and maintain leadership in civil aviation.
3. Be it resolved, That we AMVETS call upon the Government of the United States to establish programs which will educate the youth of America regarding the various fields and opportunities in aviation so that we will accumulate a vast reserve of young men and women with primary knowledge of aviation.
4. Be it resolved, That the Congress be urged to reconsider Public Law 550 of the 82d Congress and establish flight training on an equal basis with other educational training programs.
5. Resolved, That AMVETS expresses its complete opposition to the CAA to changing the phonetic alphabet, to changing from the statute mile to the nautical mile, to changing temperature readings from Fahrenheit to centigrade, and to changing altimeter readings from inches of mercury to millibars, and requests the CAA and CAB to question all of the various legitimate aviation organizations representing airlines, pilots, and fixed-base operators on the merits of recommendations for proposed changes suggested by the ICAO rather than adopt such changes without reference to the wishes of these groups, or against their wishes.
6. Be it resolved, That the Congress of the United States recognize that civil defense must be considered a permanent part of the governmental structure, constituting the fourth arm of defense of our country, bearing equal importance to the Army, Navy, and Air Force, for the express purpose of planning and coordinating civil-defense programs of the various States.
7. Be it resolved, That the Congress of the United States immediately initiate legislation to create a permanent office of Secretary of Civil Defense which shall operate as an independent civilian agency with rank equal to the offices of Secretary of Army, Navy, and Air Force.
8. Be it resolved, That the Congress of the United States immediately make available the funds necessary to carry out the program of civil defense, including the cost of training and the purchase of equipment necessary to support the civil defense program at the State and local level, with the same urgency as the military program.
9. Be it resolved, That AMVETS urge all AMVET posts to assist in recruiting blood donors in cooperation with their local Red Cross chapters.
10. Resolved, That AMVETS oppose the passage of Senate bill 1140 of the 82d Congress which is concerned with the establishment of a proposed Federal Department of Health.
11. Resolved, That VA mental hospitals be enlarged, or if necessary new ones established, in order to give necessary care and treatment to all veterans who become mentally ill.
12. Resolved, That domiciliary care centers be established and located at medical centers near large metropolitan areas and furnished with the proper appliances and conveniences for paraplegic, blind, and other complicated disability cases.
13. Resolved, That counseling service be extended to the paraplegics, blind, and other complicated disability cases with the view of obtaining job placement.
14. Resolved, That AMVETS urge the National Research Council to evaluate therapeutic methods and results of treatments of Dr. Robert E. Lincoln.
15. Be it resolved, That we continue to urge adequate appropriations for veterans' hospitalization program.
16. Be it resolved, That the Congress should pass legislation appropriating funds to the several States for aid in training of medical, dental, nursing, and technical personnel.
17. Be it resolved, That a Federal Board of Hospitalization should not be established.
18. Be it resolved, That AMVETS should closely study the forthcoming report of the Magnuson committee and take any appropriate action.
19. Be it resolved, That we strongly urge the continuation of the Deans committee on Veterans' Administration Medicine.
20. Be it resolved, That we reaffirm the necessity for the continuation of refresher courses for doctors who are acting on adjudication boards of the Veterans' Administration.
21. Resolved, That Veterans' Administration hospitals reserve a greater percentage of existing bed space exclusively for the use of service-connected cases.
22. Be it resolved, That AMVETS urge Congress to provide the necessary funds to properly staff the Veterans' Employment Service of the Department of Labor and, further, that additional personnel be added to the Veterans' Employment Service to take care of the large number of veterans now entering the labor market as well as those seeking the services of this agency.
23. Be it resolved, That, in view of the fact that 1.2 million veterans have been discharged since July 1, 1950, and another million will be released during each of the next several years, AMVETS recommend that the Congress of the United States appropriate the necessary funds so that the United States Employment Service and its affiliated State employment services can provide effective job counseling and employment placement services for veterans.
24. Be it resolved, That AMVETS recommend a program of joint veterans' group committees in each community and on the State level so that there will be a job searching and reporting committee to increase the number of job openings that can be assembled and reported to the public employment offices where veteran job applicants can get priority in referral.
25. Be it resolved, That AMVETS recommend the continuance of the observance of the National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week and urge all departments and posts to actively support this program.
26. Be it resolved, That, in view of the return of approximately 1 million veterans each year to the labor market, a substantial number of whom have statutory rights to their old jobs and other related benefits, AMVETS recommend adequate support to the Veterans' Reemployment Rights Bureau so that there may be no delay in the reinstatement of these veterans into their jobs.
27. Be it resolved, That, in view of the fact that title IV of the Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1952 was intended for the purpose of rehabilitating the unemployed returning veteran who, because of his service in the Armed Forces, may not be eligible for State unemployment insurance benefits, and, further, because of the lack of time, Congress was not able to study all of the sections of this act to insure the carrying out of the intent of Congress, AMVETS recommend that an immediate study be made by the veterans' organizations, the Bureau of Employment Security, and the State employment security agencies for the purpose of recommending to Congress the legislation necessary to effectively implement this program. In addition, AMVETS recommend that Congress immediately appropriate funds to insure that there will be no delay in the payment of benefits under the provisions of this law.
28. Be it resolved, That, because it is essential that a final ruling be made by the Supreme Court of the United States, the committee recommends that the national legislative director be authorized to join with the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Disabled American Veterans in requesting the Supreme Court of the United States to receive the case of George Huffman, indivdually and on behalf of a class v. Ford Motor Company and the CIO for its review and determination.
29. Be it resolved, That veterans' preference points on all Federal examinations be granted after the fulfillment of the minimum qualification requirements.
30. Be it resolved, That 10-point preference on Federal examinations be granted only to those veterans having established the existence of service-connected disability compensable under the regulations of the Veterans' Administration or other governmental agencies.
31. Be it resolved, That, because the administrative penalties provided by the Civil Service Commission are not sufficient to eliminate violations, the Congress of the United States be requested to enact legislation to provide a penalty for the knowing or willful violation of the Veterans' Preference Act of 1944, as amended, and the Classification Act of 1949, as amended.
32. Be it resolved, That the Congress of the United States reenact legislation restricting to veterans those positions which were formerly included under the provisions of section 3 of the Veterans' Preference Act of 1944, as amended.
33. Be it resolled, That the Application of Federal Employment (Form 57) be revised so that question 30 reads as follows:
“Since your 16th birthday, have you ever been convicted, fined, imprisoned, or placed on probation in any criminal proceedings?”
34. Be it resolved, That a vote of confidence be given to Government employees as a whole on the honesty shown in the accomplishment of their responsibilities in the exceedingly numerous varieties of work performed by them for the Nation in general and that notification of such vote of confidence be submitted to the Congress of the United States.
35. Be it resolved, That the present numerical rating system of the Civil Service Commission be maintained.
36. Be it resolved, That no reduction of retirement benefits upon optional retirement after 30 years of service by Government employees be made.
37. Be it resolved, That the Civil Service Commission be urged to study, and complete said study within a year, the advisability of reclassifying stenographic and secretarial positions with the view of establishing higher qualifications and classification grades commensurate with and in direct relationship with the responsibilities performed by the supervisors of such positions.
38. Be it resolved, That the legislative bill pertaining to the selection of supervisory personnel, as proposed by the Civil Service Commission and presented to the Congress of the United States, be supported in the proper congressional committee.
39. Be it resolved, That the Congress of the United States be strongly urged to maintain the present retirement system of Federal employees and to oppose any and all attempts to place Federal employees under the coverage of a socialsecurity program.
40. Be it resolved, That the AMVETS support the United States Civil Service Commission in any appropriate action which will provide funds for satisfactory execution of its delegated and assigned authorities and responsibilities basic to veterans' rights, benefits, and privileges.
41. Be it resolved, that the United States Civil Service Commission be granted the additional manpower necessary to complete frequent and thorough inspection of all agencies, thereby guaranteeing the rights of veterans.
42. Be it resolved, That the previous stand on the reclassification of hospital attendant positions be reaffirmed and that the United States Civil Service Commission be urged to complete a classification study within a reasonable period of time.
43. Be it resolved, That, since the use of the rider system to pass legislation circumventing the serious work of the appropriate congressional committee set up for such basic legislation is becoming more and more prevalent in the Congress, AMVETS oppose the use of the rider technique.
44. Be it resolved, That all available means be used by AMVETS to acquaint the individual members and the voter of the inherent evils of such legislative methods.
45. Be it resolved, That AMVETS oppose any and all attempts to weaken the privileges and benefits accorded to veterans by the Veterans' Preference Act of 1944 or other legislation.
46. Resolved, That the War Claims Commission be commended for its efficient work and sympathetic understanding of the problems of our comrades who are prisoners of war.
47. Resolved, That contact offices of the Veterans' Administration be maintained and expanded where the load and distance requirements necessitate.
48. Resolved, That the AMVET State departments and service officers be aware of the opportunity inherent in lessening of veterans' services by the VA and whenever possible expand their services so as to cushion the impact of this lessening of veterans' services by the VA.
49. Resolved, That the VA investigate facilities which may be present with other Federal agencies so as to take up the slack in veterans' services.
50. Resolved, That AMVETS favor amendment to Public Law 23 of the 82d Congress which will allow veterans of World War I and World War II the privilege of purchasing United States Government life insurance and national service life insurance, provided that the period in which such insurance can be applied for shall be a reasonable time following the date of enactment of legislation carrying out this provision.
51. Resolved, That AMVETS, following the enactment of legislation point 1, which is that veterans shall be allowed the privilege of reapplying for Government insurance, recommend that AMVETS national headquarters spearhead an educational program throughout the country to make veterans aware of their entitlement under insurance laws.
52. Be it resolved, That AMVETS support legislation amending existing veterans' insurance laws so as to preclude the existence of a service-connected disability as a bar to applications for reinstatement for such insurance.
53. Be it resolved, That veterans who are entitled to contract insurance following discharge under Public Law 23 be allowed a reasonable time to purchase such insurance.
54. Be it resolved, That AMVETS urge the Congress of the United States to establish a select committee of both Houses for the purpose of conducting a complete study of labor-management relations to the end that needed revisions may be made in the National Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 as a result of careful study and hearings of both sides and not of hasty and illconsidered deliberations under pressure from special interests or groups.
55. Be it resolved, That AMVETS go on record as asking the Congress of the United States and the National Labor Relations Board to enact legislation and promulgate regulations which would effectively deny certification of any union as collective bargaining representatives if any of its officers or agents are known as members of, or agents of, the Communist Party or of subversive groups, or if such officers or agents have refused to answer questions before any congressional committee as to such membership in, or action in behalf of, the Communist Party or other subversive group.
56. Be it resolved, That the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Justice be urged and requested to institute criminal suit against any person who has willfully submitted false affidavit that he is not a member of the Communist Party or other subversive group.
57. Resolved, That AMVETS urge the Congress of the United States to restore the $3 million in the budget of the United States Civil Service Commission to