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as a civilian had he not entered the service, without regard to his race, color, creed, or political belief.
The achievement of economic security for veterans through sound economic planning as citizens rather than through special grant or favor as veterans is basic AVC philosophy. This convention believes that an additional basic principle requires affirmation:
We accept a brief for the new veteran—the men and women serving in the Armed Forces during the Korean action. We have no quarrel with the concept of a large-scale police action to protect the people of South Korea from aggression and other violations of the U. N. Charter. We assert, nevertheless, that to the men and women of the Armed Forces this is war with all its attendant suffering, hardship, and peril. During their services, they merit the magnificent support the American people gave us in World War II. After the honorable completion of this service, they merit full recognition as veterans who wore their country's uniform in time of war.
The second quotation applies specifically to the legislation before you:
We affirm that use of Federal funds to speed full adjustment of the veteran to civilian life not only constitutes simple justice, but represents a worth-while investment in increasing the productivity and enhancing the culture of our Nation. Therefore we support:
(a) Extension of the GI bill of rights, or parallel benefits, to the new veteran.
This language speaks for itself, but in the light of the months of almost complete inactivity regarding veterans' benefits for those who have served since June 27, 1950, when the thousands of armed services personnel in Korea most urgently needed support from us at home, I should like to emphasize that the AVC believes that the new veteran deserves the same reassurance accorded World War II veterans that he will be aided in restoration to the economic and social status he would have achieved had he not entered the service of his country.
AVC's call for extension of the GI bill of rights, or parallel benefits, to the new veteran meant exactly what it said. The convention recognized that a straight extension of the GI bill of rights might not be wise in terms of difficulties in administration experienced with the GI bill, and technical problems of wording the legislation. The convention did believe, and AVC today maintains, that the benefits accorded the new veteran should be substantially equal to those contained in the GI bill of rights.
In this respect I was very happy to know that Senator Murray is undertaking to obtain consideration of this bill before the adjournment of the present sessionbecause of the importance of assuring the veterans of the Korean war the same rights, privileges, and benefits the Nation has already conferred upon those who served in the Armed Forces of our country in World War II. That, in a nutshell, is the AVC position.
a Obviously, the present bill falls far short of this objective. No provision is made for unemployment compensation, home, farm, or business loans. We believe that this bill should be amended to provide unemployment compensation for a maximum of 52 weeks at the rate of $24 a week, as incorporated in legislation recently introduced by Senator Blair Moody. We believe the legislation should also be amended to include provision for home, farm, or business loans on the same basis that these loans are now available to veterans of World War II.
Rather than submit detailed proposals, the American Veterans Committee believes that Senator Moody's bill constitutes an up-to-date, sound legislative embodiment of our position with respect to readjust
ment allowances and that the progressive modifying amendments which the Congress has made in the provisions for home, farm, or business loans are such that these benefits could now be applied to the new veteran with justice to him and in a manner that will promote the national welfare.
If we did not deem it so urgent that the new veteran receive concrete, tangible evidence of the American people's support, we should reconmend to this committee that it seriously consider a proposal put forward by our national convention. The convention declared itself in favor of early appointment of a Presidential commission, including appropriate members to make a comprehensive study of veterans' benefits.
We recognize that as we move steadily toward an era in which virtually every able-bodied man and hundreds of thousands of women will be veterans, our entire program of veterans' benefits should be reexamined with a view to producing an integrated program which will assure proper care to those veterans whose service resulted in disability and to the survivors of those whose service resulted in death, and readjustment to civilian life of all veterans as they emerge from the Armed Forces.
Under the present circumstances, we believe that such a commission should be appointed in the near future, but that action be taken to extend GI bill of rights benefits to those individuals serving in the Armed Forces until such time as the commission reports or the Korean conflict is brought to an end.
In terms of the bill itself, the educational and training benefits provided by this bill, AVC has several questions about the bill which we believe the committee should study very carefully in its consideration of the bill.
These are outlined in some detail in my prepared testimony. I do want to mention two or three of the most important objections that AVC has to this bill. We do not believe that the presumption of interruption in training should be limited to those who had not attained their twenty-third birthday at the time that they entered the Armed Forces.
We believe that the requirement that training be initiated within 2 years and completed within 7 years after termination of the basic service period will in effect deprive many veterans, particularly those who wish to go to professional schools, those who belong to the minority groups, of the opportunity to take advantage of this educational benefit.
We take vigorous exception to the provision that would limit total tuition per school
year to $300 unless the veteran waives subsistence. To our mind this represents an effort to exclude veterans from taking advantage of this opportunity
We believe that the same underlying philosophy is responsible for increasing from 30 to 36 hours the minimum number of hours which will be deemed full-time attendance at technical or trade schools. In the original GI bill, as you will recall, Mr. Chairman, the number of hours was 25.
This made it possible for married veterans and other veterans who had dependents to attend a technical or trade school and still work. Under Public Law 610 this was increased to 30 hours, and the re
sult was that many veterans had to drop out of school and lost the advantage of this training.
The increase to 36 hours is going to mean that veterans who do have to work part time simply will not be able to take advantage of the training. We hope that the committee will amend the bill in that respect.
The AVC review of S. 1940, which we regard as only one segment of the bill of rights that we wish to see extended to the new veteran, has yielded several objections to the provisions of this bill and a few questions that we urge this committee to study carefully during its consideration of this legislation. For your convenience they are summarized below by paragraph within the proposed part X, as set forth in section 2 of 5. 1940, and are further identified by page number.
Paragraph 1 (pp. 2 and 3): This paragraph defines the “basic service period” and establishes eligibility for educational and training benefits. AVC has two objections and one question.
AVC objects to limiting to those less than 23 years of age the presumption that the veteran's education was interrupted. We take this position on two counts in addition to our basic fight with handing the new veteran a watered-down version of rights accorded veterans of World War II.
First, the educational discipline for years has been extending the period of time required for formal education for many, if not most, professions. Generally, the trend has been toward extending the number of years of education. Therefore, 23 represents an age at which education is not completed for thousands of potential doctors, dentists, lawyers, scientists, and other professions vital to our national welfare.
Secondly, we believe this provision represents an uncalled-for discrimination against older men called into service. Would you like to explain to the man 23, 24, 25 or 26 why the Congress deems him a graybeard entitled to only 12 months' additional education, however long he may have served, while granting up to 18 months to the man 21 or 22 who served alongside him?
Our second basic objection is to the requirement that training be initiated within 2 years and completed within 7 years of termination of the basic service period. The unsoundness of such arbitrary standards has recently been demonstrated by the VA Administrator's action limiting benefits to World War II veterans and the subsequent flood of amendments which were required to take care of cases in which his original order was manifestly unfair to large numbers of veterans.
The limitations proposed in this bill would do the same thing, except that the Congress would be beseiged with requests for amendments. Such requests would be inevitable because such telescoping of benefits will tax so heavily the facilities of schools that tens of thousands of veterans will be unable to initiate their education before the deadline.
This is true of two large groups—those seeking to enter professional schools and minority groups which suffer from legal or illegal bars, quotas, and other devices for preventing their matriculation in too many of our educational institutions.
We further believe the committee should look into the question of whether time spent in a civilian institution should be deducted
if the education thus obtained could not be applied to the veteran's educational objective. It is far from inconceivable that the servicedirected education or training will be completely nonapplicable to the veteran's own educational goals. Those seeking graduate degrees or matriculating in professional schools will find their education during service either not applicable or not accepted by the school of their choice after separation from the service.
Paragraph 2 (pp. 3 and 4): This paragraph contains the actual limitation to 12 months' educational benefits for men over 23. For the reasons indicated above, AVC objects to this limitation. In addition to this objection we have one question which pertains to the last sentence of the paragraph. It is not clear what the other institutional courses” are, so that the suggested 9 weeks for completion of the course
" cannot be properly evaluated by AVC.
In any case, we suggest, where a major part of the course has been completed prior to the expiration of benefits, that the eligibility period be extended to the completion of the course.
Paragraph 3 (pp. 4, 5, 6, and 7): The bars against avocational or recreational courses appear sound in principle. The principal question lies in whether this bill lays down workable criteria for the Administrator's guidance in determining what constitutes “complete justification that such course will contribute to bona fide use in the veteran's present or contemplated business or occupation” and, more particularly, for his guidance in making a finding that any other course is avocational or recreational in character.
Paragraph 5 (pp. 8, 9, and 10): AVC takes vigorous exception to the provision limiting total tuition per school year to $300, unless the veteran waives subsistence, in which case the total allowance is $600, and the limitation that the veteran shall pay half his tuition. Our reasons are as follows:
1. Were the services of Korean veterans only half as valuable as those of World War II veterans ?
2. Would this not effectually bar the doors to education to married veterans and those whose families cannot provide assistance ?
3. Education institutions are in the fixed-income group hard hit by inflation. We believe that this bill could be made to serve as a legitimate form of subsidy to universities and schools, adding to the social gains represented by educating veterans.
Paragraph 6 (pp. 10, 11, and 12): AVC believes that the subsistence rates proposed in this bill, which represent only $5 per month more than the rates established by Public Law 411, passed by the Eightieth Congress, are entirely too low in the light of current living costs. They fail to jibe with the underlying philosophy, apparent in other parts of the bill that part-time students should be discouraged from undertaking educational courses.
Inadequate subsistence compels students without other financial resources to work part time. AVC proposes that the committee write into this legislation a formula for establishing subsistence allowances, taking the rates set in Public Law 411 and adjusting these by movements of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumers' Price Index since February 1948, and making provisions for subsequent quarterly or semiannual adjustments in the future, based upon movements of the Consumers' Price Index.
Our second basic objection to this paragraph of the bill is that the formula proposed for reducing subsistence for institutional, on-thefarm training, apprentice training, or other on-the-job training is not readily comprehensible. We agree with the objective of reducing subsistence as the trainee's income from productive work increases, but we believe that the committee can devise a formula which will be easier to administer and more readily understood by the veteran.
Our third and perhaps most strenuous objection to this program is the increase from 30 hours to 36 hours as the minimum number of hours which will be deemed full-time attendance at technical or trade schools. The increase incorporated in Public Law 610, raising the number of hours from 25 to 30, was bad enough in terms of its effect on veterans studying in such schools. Many of these veterans were forced to work part time in order to continue their training. By considerable sacrifice they were able to do so when 25 hours was regarded as full-time attendance.
The increase to 30 hours forced large numbers of these veterans to drop their efforts to increase their skills. We can only interpret the proposed increase to 36 hours as a deliberate effort to drive these veterans out of the trade and technical schools. Veterans who have felt it most necessary to work part time while attending trade and technical schools are the married veterans and those other veterans with dependents who manifestly stand in the greatest need of the benefits to be obtained by continued attendance in these schools.
I am sorry that the AVC position should be in such strenuous criticism of this bill, but we feel in fairness to the committee, to our own organization, and particularly to the new veteran, that we should come to you with a very frank and candid appraisal of the bill.
I appreciate the opportunity afforded me this morning to represent the AVC here.
The CHAIRMAN. We are glad to have your recommendations, and you may be sure that the committee will give very careful consideration to the matter.
Mr. COBURN. Mr. Clorety, Senator Ives has asked this question before, and therefore I am carrying on in that line. Was your organization consulted in the drafting of S. 1940!
Mr. CLORETY. We were not.
The CHAIRMAN. The next witness will be Mr. Russell F. Robinson, executive secretary of the State approval agency, Indianapolis, Ind., and Norman D. Jones, assistant director of the office of veterans affairs, Topeka, Kans.
STATEMENTS OF RUSSELL F. ROBINSON, LEGISLATIVE CHAIRMAN;
AND NORMAN D. JONES, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF STATE APPROVAL AGENCIES
Mr. JoNEs. I am Norman D. Jones, assistant director of the office of veterans affairs, Topeka, Kans., and also president of the National Association of State Approval Agencies.
As you may know, State approval agencies are those agencies of State government which inspect, approve or disapprove, and super