« PreviousContinue »
in that way did not state what section they were going to give me, but I was applying for section 2. So this man wrote me and said, “ Your case has been approved for a two-years' course at the Maryland State College." And he didn't state in there what section it was going to be, but I was applying for section 2, and I came back to see him, and he told me to take out for a four-years' course, because I was entitled to it under the law-this member of the boardand he advised me in going back to the doctor—what poisoned my mind against the board was that he said, “You will have to be very careful in going to this doctor or he will give you a raw deal." In other words, he made me believe that the doctor would not give me a fair examination when I went to him.
The CHAIRMAN. Was it a member of the board, you say?
Mr. ROBINSON. Yes, sir; a member of the board, and the doctor examined me and he told me—I knew nothing of the examination, but the man told me to appeal that case for four years, and I, upon his recommendation, did so. It came down to the Washington office and they disapproved any training other than section 3, and I am a man with dependents and I could not accept it.
I still kept looking after the case, advised by this man to keep on fighting, and I came down to the central office, and I saw Mr. Lamkin, I think it was, who treated me very nicely, very courteously, and he referred me to a member in his office—some member of the board in his office—I can't recall his name, but I was trying to show him my disability and he paid no attention, and he told me it was cheaper for the Government to pay me $6.50 a month than it was to pay me $80 for training.
The CHAIRMAN. What did he mean by that? Mr. ROBINSON. Well, he considered it on a business basis, the way I took it—that it was cheaper. The Government was giving me then $6.50 compensation—no, I beg pardon, $4.50 compensationand he looked at it, as I understood him, considered it as a business transaction, that it was cheaper, not as a question of vocational education, for the Government to pay that.
The CHAIRMAN. What was your disability ? Mr. Robinson. I am suffering from chronic neurasthenia and bone induction. The ear bones in my ears are impaired, as the medical examination showed. This ear is practically gone [right] and this one is affected somewhat [left].
The CHAIRMAN. What per cent of disability have you? Mr. ROBINSON. I am getting 25 per cent now, but I appealed the case again, and then Mr. Magee writes me a letter where he says-I have his letter—this was taken up through the office and he said before I could receive such training I must prove that the disability upon which I based my claim was in line of duty, and the A. G. O.'s office shows that I was discharged with no disability. So after he had charged me with that I sent him the award of my compensation, and also wrote to the A. G. O. and asked him to furnish the Federal Board for Vocational Training with the cause of my rejection from the Army, or the disability from the Army, and I received later a letter from Adjt. Gen. Harris that he had furnished the board with this necessary information, and this was furnished to the board, to the best of my knowledge, in December. I received a letter a few
days ago from Mr. Magee stating that he has not received the information, and I asked I could not go to the office personally and get my disability because it is against the rulings of the War Department, I guess, to give a man his own medical record—but I showed him where it had been sent and asked him to send a representative there and get this information, but my award of compensation, to my knowledge, is the evidence of my disability. That seems to be the case.
The CHAIRMAN. Who is Mr. Magee? Mr. ROBINSON. He is the district vocational officer. The CHAIRMAN. Where? Mr. ROBINSON. In Baltimore. The CHAIRMAN. Has any member of the committee any questions? Mr. DONOVAN. I will ask just one, if I may. You just referred to the fact that one young man in the department told you that you would not get a fair deal from some doctor
Mr. ROBINSON (interposing). I can't hear you. Mr. DONOVAN. As I recall, you testified that some young man had told you that when you went to the doctor's to submit yourself for examination, he did not think that you would get a fair deal, and that poisoned your mind. I think you stated that a member of the board said that. You meant, did you not, somebody in the employ of the board in Baltimore, or was it actually a member of the Vocational Board here in Washington ?
Mr. ROBINSON. It was a member of the Vocational Board in Baltimore who told me that he believed the boys were getting a rotten deal, and to be very careful with that doctor. In other words, he told me to put on a disability that I had not.
Mr. DONOVAN. My point was that it was not one of the central office board men that told you that, but a man in Baltimore?
Mr. ROBINSON. In Baltimore; yes sir. And the question is that I am asking section 2 training. Now, my disability has been marked by the Vocational Board in Washington No. 4, as a major permanent, and also major permanent by the District-major temporary, I think my record shows by the Baltimore office, and also the Public Health Service examiner inserted in his report that “this man is unable to follow the vocation for which he was trained.” But still the Baltimore office, I understand, now claims that I am not vocationally handicapped. The first case said it was not in line of duty, and I have established that. Now then they say it is not a vocational handicap.
The CHAIRMAN. What are you doing now?.
The CHAIRMAN. But you could get section 3, could you?
The CHAIRMAN. You could not take section 3 because it does not have any allowance?
Mr. ROBINSON. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Robinson, you apply to the clerk and get your voucher.
Mr. REED. Just one question. I am very anxious to know—would you just as soon disclose the name of that doctor who it was claimed would give you a raw deal?
Mr. ROBINSON. Well, I would not like to create that disturbance, because this man in the board was one
Mr. REED (interposing). I don't mean the man on the board, but I mean the name of the doctor.
Mr. ROBINSON. I don't know his name, but I would rather have gone to an Army officer and taken an examination, because he was hard boiled.
Mr. REED. What I am after is to try and get the name of the doctor.
Mr. Robinson. The examining doctor over in Baltimore?
Mr. ROBINSON. No, sir; I don't. I suppose the records would show his name.
Mr. REED. What was the date of this examination? I want to try and locate this doctor.
Mr. ROBINSON. I think it might have been in July.
Mr. Reed. Were there any other examining doctors there, so far as you know, at that time?
Mr. ROBINSON. No, sir; there were not. He was the only doctor. And I told him about being advised by this man, and he wanted to know who it was, and I told him no; I was too much of a soldier to give a man away that was trying to do something for me.
Mr. BURROUGHS. What were you trained for?
Mr. BURROUGHs. That was your business before you went into the service?
Mr. ROBINSON. Yes, sir; all my life.
Mr. ROBINSON. No, sir; in the State of Delaware. I was supervisor of a high school, and I taught mathematics and some Latin.
Mr. BURROUGHS. What sort of work, what sort of a trade was it you wanted to be trained for?
Mr. ROBINSON. Well, I asked for civil engineering, but I am willing to do anything that will overcome this handicap. Anything at all that they can show me that I can be as efficient as I was before the war I am willing to accept.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will stand adjourned until 10 o'clock to-morrow morning.
(Whereupon, at 5.50 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned until 10.30 o'clock a, m., Thursday, April 1, 1920.)
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, Thursday, April 1, 1920. The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. Simeon D. Fess (chairman) presiding. The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
STATEMENT OF MR. J. W. LYSONS, REPRESENTING THE ELKS'
WAR RELIEF COMMISSION.
The witness was duly sworn by the chairman. The CHAIRMAN. Give your name and address to the stenographer. Mr. LYSONS. J. W. Lysons. My home is in Seattle. My present address is the Elks' Club, New York City.
The CHAIRMAN. You may detail in your own way your experience with vocational rehabilitation.
Mr. Lysons. I am here at the request of your committee as a representative of the National Elks' War Relief Commission, which has a sort of cooperative or partnership arrangement with the Federal Board for Vocational Education. 'I should like to state briefly the connection between the commission and the Federal board and the reasons and the purposes, or the purposes and objects, of the commission in going into this vocational work.
The CHAIRMAN. We would like to have you state it.
Mr. Lysons. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, as you probably know, is purely and exclusively an American organization. Its membership is limited to white male citizens of the United States and its subordinate lodges are limited to the United States or its possessions, with 1,370 subordinate lodges in 1,370 cities. The National Elks' War Relief Commission was created at the grand lodge session of the Elks in Boston in July, 1917. Previously a delegation of grand lodge officers and members had made an official visit to the President, tendering the entire resources of the order to the President in helping to win the war, and the next official action by the order was that taken at the Boston session of the grand lodge when a fund of $1,000,000, in the form of assessments upon the membership of the order, was levied and the Elks' War Relief Commission was created to collect that fund and disburse it.
That commission was made up of some of the leading members of the order. Mr. John K. Tener, a former Member of Congress and ex-governor of Pennsylvania, was made chairman of the commission. Mr. Joseph T. Fanning, of Índiana, who has been for a number of years prominent in business and financial circles in New York City, was made secretary. The other members were the late Judge Jerome