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Mr. BLANTON. Would it be satisfactory to you to have this committee get this information for you direct ?
Mr. Husted. It does not make any difference to me how the information comes, but I want the information to come authoritatively, and I want it to come specifically in answer to every question in that resolution.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Lamkin, do you want to be heard this morning? Mr. UEL W. LAMKIN. It makes no difference to me, Mr. Chairman. I can answer any questions now as well as at any other time.
Mr. Donovan. He knows of two men that have seen these orders, one man was the author of the story, the other man a friend of a Washington correspondent. Both newspaper men really are the basic men in the investigation. Newspaper men usually do not make statements unless they have the facts upon which to predicate them. We should really have their testimony, and we should have a copy of this "hard-boiled” order, a physical copy of it, if possible, and that should be presented by these men.
The CHAIRMAN. I agree with that, but I want to know now whether we shall hear further from Mr. Lamkin.
Mr. PLATT. We should like to have Mr. Lamkin finish his answer to the question that was asked of him.
The CHAIRMAN. If there is no objection we will hear from Mr. Lamkin now.
Mr. UEL W. LAMKIN. I do not know what further to say to you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BLANTON. He answered satisfactorily the question that I asked him.
Mr. Vestal. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that this is taking the matter up in the wrong way. I think that this committee ought to have before it, and I am going to insist that it does have before it, this man from New York and this other man from the Washington Herald. I want them to come before this committee and produce that order so that we can see who signed it; and then we can allow Mr. Lamkin to make his statement at that time.
Mr. PLATT. Mr. Lamkin does not deny that it went out?
(The committee thereupon went into executive session, and thereafter adjourned.)
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION,
Washington, D. C., March 12, 1920. The committee this day met, Hon. Simeon D. Fess (chairman) presiding
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. At our last meeting there was presented before the committee a resolution, House Resolution 478, known as the Husted resolution, calling for certain information directing the Director of the Federal Board for Vocational Training to transmit certain facts to the House of Representatives, and after listening to a presentation of the matter by the author of the resolution, the committee instead of acting upon the resolution considered whether this resolution should be acted upon or whether an investigation should be ordered going beyond the scope of this resolution. This resolution is based upon an article written by Mr. Littledale, which is one of several printed in the New York Evening Post.
The committee took up the question of whether there should be an investigation or not. We had an executive session to talk over the matter. It was decided that in view of the fact that the resolution for an investigation is before the Rules Committee, upon which there was one hearing, and then further hearing had not been called, but since the publication of these articles in the Evening Post there was little doubt left that the Rules Committee would order an investigation, and this committee decided that if an investigation is to be ordered it would be better for the Committee on Education to do it rather than the Rules Committee.
Mr. BRAND. If one was to be had, we were to have it, but we never decided that we would have one here, according to my recollection.
The CHAIRMAN. I spoke as a member of the Rules Committee, giving my judgment that there will be an investigation by the Rules Committee, if we do not make it.
Mr. SEARS. Does the chairman of this committee, as a member of the Rules Committee, state that upon the publication of any charges by any paper, by any person, that the Rules Committee of this House will immediately proceed to investigate?
The Chairman. No. It would simply investigate the necessity for it.
Mr. SEARs. This would not govern future investigations ?
Mr. BLANTON. If we proceed with the investigation, would that stop any action by the Rules Committee?
The CHAIRMAN. Not legally.
Mr. BLANTON. I understand that they could go ahead and hold another investigation,
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think there yould be an investigation by the Rules Committee. Let me state this, as the chairman of the committee, in view of the fact that there may not be another one, that there seems to be some misunderstanding, that if this committee would prefer not to go into this investigation, after you have heard the statement that the investigation is really lodged upon these charges in the New York Evening Post, if you would prefer to delay and allow the Rules Committee to do it, I will permit the committee to act upon that if it wants to.
The question was who should make this investigation, since the resolution was before the Rules Committee.
Mr. BRAND. I thought our motive was to locate the man who made these "hard boiled” charges. We all wanted to see him here in the flesh and blood.
Mr. DaLLINGER. Ile has made other general charges besides this against the board. That is not the only thing before us.
Mr. Donovan. What is the particular point we are discussing ?
The CHAIRMAN. The committee now is ready to take up the general charges made by Mr. Littledale in several articles in the New York Evening Post.
Mr. DONOVAN. That is what I understand.
The CHAIRMAN. That is as far as we are going to get to-day, although there are others to be heard, if the committee should want to hear them. If we now proceed with the investigation, I would be glad for the committee to hear both those for and against. But this is the situation: Since this investigation was ordered the Rules Committee have brought in a rule setting the time at 11 o'clock for the meeting of the House each day on the military bill. This committee is not authorized to sit through the sessions of Congress, and if any Member would object, we would have to adjourn. Is there any objection to hearing Mr. Littledale on the charges?
Mr. VESTAL. I want to see this investigation and this examination start here and go clear through this board, and if it takes two weeks to do it, this committee ought to do it.
Mr. BRAND. I agree with you on that.
Mr. DALLINGER. I would like to ask if these charges have been formulated. Are they a matter of record? They should be a matter of record in some way, so we will know what we are talking about.
Mr. King. There ought to be a chance given to some member of the board to deny these charges. There are no pleadings on record.
Mr. SEARS. I shall object to hearing the board until they know what they are charged with.
Mr. King. They have not even had a chance to plead not guilty or stand mute or anything else.
STATEMENT OF MR. C. F. MCINTOSH, MEMBER OF FEDERAL
BOARD FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION, REPRESENTATIVE OF AGRICULTURAL INTERESTS ON BOARD.
Mr. MCINTOSH. When we asked this committee to take up this investigation we sent a written request over, in the face of this newspaper attack, for the committee to investigate our work, upon our motion.
Mr. Donovan. That is, you sent a written request; or, in other words, you have invited the committee to investigate the board to pass on the allegations of this newspaper?
Mr. MCINTOSH. Exactly so.
Mr. BLANTON. That does not conform to the statement of the chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. We acted. Our action was not taken upon that request.
Mr. MCINTOSH. Then we had a formal statement before your committee, to the chairman and to Congress at large, dated August 24, I believe, courting an investigation, courting that sort of a hearing, and asking for it at any time the circumstances seemed to warrant. Now, what I wanted to ask is, in view of the fact that we have asked you to investigate our work, if we could make just a brief statement of a moment or two.
Mr. BLANTON. I should think you would prefer to hear what are the charges against you first.
Mr. King. I move that Mr. McIntosh be permitted to proceed for five minutes.
The CHAIRMAN. If there is no objection, Mr. McIntosh can proceed for five minutes.
Mr. MCINTOSH. I am a member of the Federal Board for Vocati nal Education, representing the particular field of agriculture.
This board was created by Congress to handle the vocational work under the Smith-Hughes law. That was the vocational work that pertains to the development of vocational education throughout the Union by cooperation with the States. While the war was in progress and was about to come to a close it seemed that something would have to be done with the handicapped and disabled soldiers. Congress passed this measure to rehabilitate the soldier through the Federal board.
At that time the original law read that the Federal board should take up and train and rehabilitate and put back into civil life such soldiers as were awarded compensation by the War Risk Bureau. We could not proceed ahead of the awards of compensation. We came up and asked for relief last summer, and on the 11th day of July we were divorced, by what is known as the divorce law, which separated us from the War Risk Bureau, being passed and signed, and it gave us relief.
We could not dive into our work until this relief came. We effected our organization in the meantime and had it ready to get at the work. Now, I wanted to state that this bureau, this Federal Board of Vocational Education, is not perfect by any means. There would be a good many individual spots that could be criticized, and we are criticizing them and trying to iron out these weak places and strengthen them.
In a general way, since we were released and given a free hand last July, we are proud of the record that we have made. The only serious charge that could be made, and it is not serious, I think, is the uniform liberality in the decisions of pivotal cases toward the soldiers.
We have been set up as an administrative body.. We owe a duty 'to Congress in the administration of the law. We owe a duty to the soldier, on the other hand, to rehabilitate him and give him the benefit of the law. I think we are safely agreed on the proposition that the soldier shall have every bit, 100 per cent, of the guaranties written down in the law, and on questionable propositions we give the soldier the benefit of the doubt at all times and under all circumstances.
Now, what is the situation? Since we got under headway, as I said last July, we have approved for training. That is the board's work. It is done with respect to the man. All he needs to do is to accept it and say, "I will accept the training.” We have approved 55,000 cases for Section II training. The board's duty in that regard is discharged and yet the charges are made that we have not done anything. Fifty-five thousand cases have been pronounced on for Section II training. When I got this particular report, more than 27,000 men were actually in training in the schools, had accepted and were in training; 48,000 cases besides these I have enumerated have been decided, having been put away as ineligible. This, with the 22,000 Section III cases awarded, makes a total of 125,000 cases that have been disposed of. Twenty-two thousand cases have been given Section III training under the law, making a total, as I say, of 125,000 cases, and yet the newspaper reports charge us with doing nothing.
Gentlemen, the statement I want to bring to you is this: Outside of some petty charges, outside of some small defects everywhere throughout our organization, this board is proud of its record. This board believes that it has achieved a work that has not been eclipsed by any board that ever was established under the Government of the United States. We believe that. We believe that we ought to have the commendation of the public, of the soldiers, of Congress. Here is the situation: We are sworn to carry out and administer this law. Newspapers everywhere—not newspapers everywhere, but some newspapers—would break us loose from that mooring, and if you gentlemen as a committee and if Congress, wish us to be untied and broken loose and not regard this as an administrative proposition to administer the law, then I do not know where we will sail and I do not know what the expense will be. I would have no way of arriving at the figures, but, under the law, as we see it, we are going to administer that law until you gentlemen say “no." That is what we are going to do. We are going to recognize, on the one hand, our obligation to Congress and, on the other hand, our full obligation and joyful obligation and responsibility to the soldiers.
The CHAIRMAN. Your time has more than expired. I was just going to say this, that either from these charges or other sources, newspapers all over the country are editorially commenting upon the work of the board to the extent that there is no doubt but what an investigation is forthcoming.
Mr. MCINTOSH. I want to inject this further statement, that the Dominion of Canada
The CHAIRMAN. Is there any objection!
Mr. BRAND. I think it is going backward. I think the charges ought to be set forth before the defendants.
Mr. BANKHEAD. What charges does the chairman refer to ?
Mr. BANKHEAD. Specifically enumerating defects in the administrative functions of the board ?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. I have one. Each member of the committee has this. The gentleman who made the charges is here.
Mr. BANKHEAD. I object to any further proceeding on the lines suggested by Mr. Brand until the members of the committee are furnished with the charges supposed to be made; it will be impossible for us to act in a judicial frame of mind on these charges, and I assume that that is an attitude we ought to occupy in the investigation.
Mr. BLANTON. I understood the other day that this committee was going to give this newspaper reporter a chance personally to bring his charges before this committee.
The CHAIRMAN. He is here.
Mr. BLANTON. And then if this committee, after hearing these charges, if it deemed same sufficient would incorporate the charges in the form of a resolution containing specifications. Then upon such specifications there would be a hearing and the board would be furnished with these specifications so that they would know exactly what they were expected to answer. This is a mere newspaper charge, as it now stands.
Mr. KING. Until the specifications are made, why should we proceed?