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Mr. BLANTON. Do you think a man with a weak heart could fill that position as well as a man with a good, strong normal heart?
Mr. WRIGHT. No. Any man with common sense would know that a man that is physically capable in every way of carrying on business in any shape is a better man than one disabled, in any line.
Mr. BLANTON. Then you do admit, as far as the wireless service is concerned, that a man with a normal heart is a better qualified man than one with a weak heart? Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
Mr. BLANTON. It is simply a question with you whether or not the doctors representing this service, have made a proper diagnosis of your case. They say you have a weak heart and you say you have not. It is merely a question of a difference of opinion, is it not?
Mr. WRIGHT. My heart is not weakened in any extent.
Mr. BLANTON. The doctor who examined you said you had a weak. heart?
Mr. Wright. It was not a doctor that had anything to do with it. It was the adviser. They are not doctors.
Mr. BLANTON. The board advised you you are not good for that service because you have a weak heart?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
Mr. BLANTON. They are supposed to base the question of whether you had it or not, on expert testimony and proper diagnosis; is that not true? Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir.
Mr. BLANTON. Who, in your judgment, is best equipped and qualified to know your condition with regard to heart action; you yourself or an expert? Mr. Wrigut. An expert doctor? Mr. BLANTON. An expert doctor. Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir. Mr. BLANTON. I have nothing further.
Mr. Wright. I wish to state one thing, that I was never examined by the board, but that they have my disability; they went over the rating on the paper from my discharge and then they did not give me a diagnosis at all.
The CHAIRMAN. You have had some experience with the Red Cross? Mr. W'RIGHT. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Would you give me the name? Mr. WRIGHT. Mrs. Biggs. The CHAIRMAN. Do you know the first name? Mr. WRIGHT. I could not tell her first name. The CHAIRMAN. What is the address? Mr. WRIGHT. 253 or 353 Fourth Avenue; it is Twenty-sixth Street, between Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Streets on Fourth Avenue. It is the home service.
The CHAIRMAN. What was the maximum salary that you drew before you went into the service? What did you make ? Mr. WRIGHT. An average of about $35 a week.
The Chairman. Your permanent disability gives you $100 from the War Risk Insurance ?
Mr. Wright. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. We are very much obliged indeed for your testimony.
Mr. BLANTON. Then, so far as earning capacity and compensation is concerned, you are now receiving, with that $100 from the War Risk Insurance and your $57, the sum of $157 as monthly revenue, which, as a matter of fact, is more than you ever received in your life?
Mr. WRIGHT. No; I have made more than that.
Mr. BLAXTON. You said you averaged about $35 a week, which would make $140 a month.
Mr. WRIGHT. That was four or five years ago. It is a little bit different than that to-day.
The CHAIRMAN. If you will apply to the clerk for a voucher your expenses will be arranged for.
Mr. VESTAL. Did I understand you to answer Mr. Blanton that you did not think there was anything wrong with your heart?
Mr. WRIGHT. No; I never said there was anything wrong with my heart. As I told you, I had 100 per cent disability from heart disease. I consider myself disabled at the present time. I never mentioned the fact. I introduced that to the board and they said the way the compensation went that I was just as good as a man that was physically all right.
Mr. VESTAL. I understood you to answer Mr. Blanton that the doctors said that you had a bad heart, but you thought your heart was all right?
Mr. WRIGHT. No.
Mr. VESTAL. When you were talking to the Vocational Board about your training, did they tell you at that time that a man in your condition with a weak heart had no business in a garage ?
Mr. WRIGHT. No, sir. They never gave me any excuse at all about the garage or anything else outside of wireless.
Mr. VESTAL. Do you know of any institution that teaches the kind of work that you want?
Mr. WRIGHT. I think the automobile firms do. The adviser said that I could go right into these big automobile shops.
Mr. VESTAL. You think you are capable with the condition of your heart of going into an automobile shop so as to be manager of a garage as an executive? Mr. WRIGHT. Not to do manual labor, no.
Mr. VESTAL. How would you expect to learn to be an executive unless you went through and learned the business and the different stages of the business?
Mr. WRIGHT. By looking on I think I could, and being instructed, the same as they do in the big rubber shops.
Mr. VESTAL. In other words, you were looking for a position and not a job? That is the truth about it?
Mr. WRIGHT. Yes, sir. But the secretary position I did not want.
The CHAIRMAN. You may be excused, Mr. Wright. We will hear the next witness.
STATEMENT OF MR. DANIEL R. EDWARDS.
(The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.) The CHAIRMAN. Give the stenographer your name and address, please.
Mr. EDWARDS. Daniel R. Edwards, 408 West One hundred and fifteenth Street, New York City.
The CHAIRMÁN. Mr. Edwards, in your own way you may proceed to tell what you have to say about your experience with the Federal board.
Mr. EDWARDS. January 10, 1919, I happened to be going to New York City on the Ellis Island ferry, before I got my discharge. There I was taken out of the gang that I happened to be with–I was on a pass--and asked to be introduced to a man by a Red Cross man. This man happened to be Mr. U. Grant Smith, of 280 Broadway, representing the Federal Board for Vocational Education. He asked me had I heard anything about the Federal board and I told him that I had, and that I wanted to hear more about it and was very glad to meet him. He asked me a few questions in regard to when I enlisted and what my occupation was, my disability, and when I thought I would be discharged. I told Mr. Smith that I had been a student up until I enlisted in the Regular Army, and that I went right to war April 6, the date of the war. The CHAIRMAN. Where were you in school? Mr. EDWARDS. At Waco, Tex.; Bayler's University. The CHAIRMAN. What course were you in?
Mr. EDWARDS. I was merely taking up college work—the physical end. Mr. Smith asked me what did I think I would be able to do? I told him that I had a great interest in the Army in writing—that was my end in life-that I had a great pleasure out of writing, and nothing else, such as fiction and special-article work. I told him that I would prefer some course—a good English course—that I would be able to obtain a knowledge of narration and fiction and other parts of the English language, and Mr. Smith then asked me where did I live. I told him in Texas. Then he asked me where did I prefer to go to school. I told him Texas--that I would like to go back home-not that I had any relations down there closer than cousins and uncles, but that I wanted to go to Texas because I was known there and had been there all my life, practically, since I came from Oakland, when a small boy; and Mr. Smith asked me did I realize that the schools in Texas were not as efficient and did not have the way of teaching a man that they did in New York City. He said, “You can go in here and can really get good advantages in New York City."
The CHAIRMAX. Who is this Mr. Smith?
Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. U. Grant Smith was then the board's welfare agent up there, and is now here at Washington. Mr. Lamkin can tell you whether he is or not. He was then at 280 Broadway. I beg your pardon: he was on the ferry, but he represented 280 Broadway. Mr. Smith, by asking me this of course, I talked considerable with him, and he told me that, being with so many friends in Texas, I would naturally be taken off of my work more or less by visitors and by visiting others, being so close, and if I were up here I would get right in and get right out. I told him I wanted to get right in just as soon as possible and to do my best to get on top; that I wasn't at all unsure but what I could make good—that I had always been one of the first at everything. “Well,” he says, “ we will be one of the first to show you that you will get right treatment here. We will give you every advantage possible, and if you want to we would be glad to sign you up here.” Then I told him, “Mr. Smith, I am going to be discharged pretty soon. I am going to Washington on the 13th of this month ”-that was then the 10th or 12th—and I am going to be discharged pretty soon. I will have some finals at my last pay day, but I will need these finals for transportation to Texas and for money to buy my civilian clothes with, and other necessities that I will need going into civilian life; also to bear my expenses."
The CHAIRMAN. Were you a private?
Mr. EDWARDS. Well, machine gunner, first class, is equal to hospital sergeant, first class-not a sergeant, though. I never wore chevrons in my life.
The CHAIRMAN. Excuse me; I am not up in those things.
Mr. EDWARDS. They draw $97.60, as high as an enlisted man can draw.
Mr. Smith told me then-he says, “ Well, if that is the case, if you will spend all your money, we can fix you up. We will even lend you money to buy your clothes with.” But that was out; we didn't say anything about that; I didn't expect that. I asked him would he send me transportation pay, or part of the transportation pay, if I went to Texas and spent a month or two with my friends and relations that I had there, when I got ready to come back to training. He said, “ Gladly. Just come down to the office and fix up your papers, and when you get discharged come by and we will see about it. Tell them at Walter Reed when you are discharged that you want to go in training in New York City under the advice of this board, and everything will be all right. You come back here, sign your papers, and when you get through with your vacation notify us by letter, and we will immediately send you transportation pay to Texas." That so
That sounded good. He was real courteous about it.
At that time there were very few boys in training, and I did with him and make up my papers, all except signing them. I gave them all my records and everything, but I couldn't sign it until after I was discharged.
I went to Walter Reed and was discharged February 13, 1919. From there I went to New York City, to 280 Broadway, and signed my papers and shook hands with these gentleman and told them good-by, that I was going to Texas. They were all glad to see me going and wished me a good time while there, and said, "Don't forget to write us when you get ready to go into training.
I was in Texas for about a month, as long as I intended to stay. I told them I wouldn't be longer than a month. I thought that would cure me. Then I wrote him a letter stating the facts that I was through with my vacation and was ready to enter training.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Edwards, I understand that what was done with you is the general rule of the board to allow the soldiers to go
home for a time to see their people before the soldier enters training. They did that with you?
Mir. EDWARDS. Yes.
Mr. EDWARDS. It was this way with me, and I wrote them a letter stating the fact that I was ready to enter training. However, I didn't receive an answer.
The CHAIRMAN. About what date was this? Mr. EDWARDS. This letter was, I judge, about March 15, 1919. I didn't receive any answer at all for about 10 days, and I sent a telegram stating the same facts, that they had promised me training and I was worried over the fact that I did not know where I was at, and hoped that they didn't mark me “A. W. 0. L." I really thought it would be run as the Army would, and they would mark me A. W. O. L. for being gone longer than a month.
I didn't receive any answer from this, and I thought they were busy and the best thing for me to do was to come to New York City. Well, after scouting around and borrowing money from my cousin, Mr. W. W. Dinan, Bruceville, Tex., I proceeded to New York City to take up my training and get my records cleared up. I didn't want to be marked A. W. 0. L.—not that I hadn't been that way in the Army, but I wanted to start a new life and didn't want to do that with the Federal Board.
I arrived and went down to see Mr. Smith, the only man I knew. He was too busy to see me that day, and I went back the next day. He was still too busy to see me the next day and had another man to see me; I stated my case to this man. He asked me what I wanted and I told him. He got my case, and said, “Why, you have been transferred to Texas, I see. Your case has been transferred to Dallas. You should take up training—you are to go in training down there March 25. We have transferred your case to Dallas." I says, “ That is awful nice of you, but how am I to get back to Texas?” And with a little mule driver's expression I told him that I was in New York City.
Well, he didn't know what to say, and I asked him “How about this transportation that I had been promised ?” “You promised me transportation," and he says, “ You are trying to kid me now. I know this business. I am here to see that you boys are treated right, and also that the board is treated right. Now you were not promised any transportation, were you?” I said, “I certainly was.” “Well,” he says, “ he had no official right' to promise you transportation from Texas up here.” Then he also told me again that I was to go to Texas and take up training there. I said, “I can not go to Texas to take up training because I don't feel like borrowing money again,” and I kept insisting that he should know I was in New York City and not in Texas, and that I had been told against my own will to come to New York City in preference to Texas by another representative of that board, but the gentleman kept saying
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). You say a representative of the board! Is that Mr. Smith ?
Mr. EDWARDS. I was told by Mr. Smith, a representative of the board, to come to New York.
Mr. DONOVAN. In the first instance?