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circles for a liberalization of the educational aid and training section of the act to provide wider opportunities for veterans regardless of age at the time of entry into the service, and as a result of these demands and pressure Public Law 346, was amended and liberalized until it provided educational aid and training for all World War II veterans who could meet the minimum service requirements with a discharge other than dishonorable, including those who already held. one or more degrees from colleges or universities.
We are all familiar with the history of the administration of Public Law 346, as amended, and we know that millions of veterans, young and not so young, have taken advantage of the educational aid and training provisions with varying results. There is some evidence gathered by the Veterans Administration, the Congress, and veterans' organizations, notably through the Teague committee of the House of Representatives, to the effect that there was considerable abuse and chiseling in connection with this program, largely in training schools, but in some instances in colleges and universities. It is generally agreed, however, that notwithstanding some waste and abuse the net result of the educational aid and training program was and will continue to be of great value not only to the individual veterans but to the economy of the Nation as a whole.
Senator Ives. Before you go further, Mr. Downer, I would like to ask a question, if I may, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Hill. Surely.
Senator Ives. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, I take it, were not consulted in the drafting of S. 1940 ?
Mr. DoWNER. That is right.
Senator IVES. I just wanted to make it clear that S. 1940 was formulated, drafted, without the consultation of either the American Legion or the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Mr. DoWNER. That is correct, Senator.
Mr. DOWNER. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, in the last two national encampments, went on record strongly favoring and urging the same benefits for veterans of the Korean campaign and the present national emergency as was extended to veterans of World War II. The Congress has already granted certain of those benefits; namely, vocational training for the physically handicapped, medical, hospital and domiciliary care, burial benefits, as well as compensation and pension.
In the last national encampment of the Veterans of Foreign Wars held in New York City, August 26–31, 1951, the delegates, without controversy or dissension, adopted resolution No. 75, which reads as follows:
RESOLUTION No. 75
EQUAL BENEFITS FOR KOREAN VETERANS Whereas, by enactment of Public Law 28 of the Eighty-second Congress, the Government of the United States saw fit to extend all benefits to veterans of the Korean conflict, who saw service after June 27, 1950, that are presently enjoyed by World War II veterans, pertaining to medical, hospital, and domiciliary care, burial benefits, as well as compensation and pension for such veterans and their dependents; and
Whereas Public Law 28 of the Eighty-second Congress does not extend any of the benefits of Public Law 346, popularly known as the GI bill, to any of the Korean veterans; and
Whereas such veterans are undergoing all of the hardships and rigors of extreme combat conditions; and
Whereas the Veterans of Foreign Wars has always made it a policy to attempt to see that all veterans are given equal rights and benefits: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Fifty-second Annual Encampment of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, That our national legislative service seek legislation extending all benefits of Public Law 346 to the veterans who were in active service on or after June 27, 1950, and who were honorably discharged therefrom; and be it further
Resolved, That the Veterans' Administration shall be responsible for the administration of this law and directly responsible for the approval of all training facilities.
Approved by the Fifty-second National Encampment, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, held in New York City, August 26–31, 1951.
The bill, S. 1940, presently pending before this committee, if enacted into law, would add another benefit for Korean veterans which was granted to veterans of World War II. S. 1940, however, is less liberal in some of its provisions than was the education and training provisions under Public Law 346. In effect, it more closely follows the original Public Law 346 before said law had been liberalized through amendments.
The period of educational aid or training granted under S. 1940 would be limited to the identical period of time served on or after June 27, 1950, and prior to whatever shall become the limiting date of the act, while Public Law 346 granted a period of 1 year for the first 90 days of service plus an additional period equaling the total amount of active service within the prescribed date limitations.
In addition, under S. 1940 the serviceman must not have passed his twenty-third birthday at the time of entry on active duty if it is to be assumed that his education or training had been interrupted. The bill further provides that those eligible persons whose education or training was not interrupted by reason of entrance into the military service shall not be entitled to more than 12 months of education and training
It is assumed that the restrictions and limitations for education and training imposed in S. 1940 are based upon the experience under Public Law 346 and the belief that the Government is not obligated beyond these limitations. I am personally inclined to agree with this assumption, but I am also certain there will be an insistent demand and pressure not only from veterans but from universities, colleges, and training schools to liberalize and increase the period of educational aid and training.
If history is any criterion it is inevitable the Congress will eventually yield to these pressures, largely outside of veteran circles, to grant a minimum of 1 year's educational aid or training plus a period of time 'equal to the total period of active duty up to a maximum of 4 years. It is also predicted that there will be insistent demands to eliminate the age 23 limitation of presumptive interruption and throw the benefit wide open regardless of age.
It is further noted that paragraph 6, subsection (a) beginning on page 10 of S. 1940, provides an allowance for subsistence, supplies, and equipment of $80 per month if without a dependent or dependents, or $110 per month if one dependent, or $125 per month if more than one dependent. While these subsistence allowances represent a $5 monthly increase in the three categories over what is presently pay, able under Public Law 346 it should be pointed out that the present payments under Public Law 346 were established in 1948 and the cost of living has sharply increased since that time.
It should be further noted that under Public Law 346 a special allowance, not a part of the subsistence allowances, was made for books, supplies, and laboratory fees. While it is understood that the subsistence allowance is not presumed or intended to serve as normal income but rather as supplemental aid, nevertheless, it is extremely doubtful that under existing living costs very many veterans, especially those with families, could take advantage of the educational aid and training under the subsistence maximums payable.
It is, therefore, strongly recommended that the subsistence allowances be increased to not less than $90 per month where there are no dependents, $125 per month where there is one dependent, and $150 per month where there is more than one dependent, especially if the allowance is to provide for books and other essential supplies necessary to successfully undertake a course of education or training. These recommended rates should also apply to Public Law 346.
It is further recommended that beginning on page 12, line 18, the rate of allowances, plus income from productive labor, be increased to $3,000 for a veteran without a dependent, or $3,500 for a veteran with one dependent, or $4,000 for a veteran with two or more dependents.
With the exception of the foregoing suggestions and recommendations the Veterans of Foreign Wars is in general agreement with the provisions of S. 1940. It is believed that a sincere attempt has been made in this bill to eliminate the causes of many of the abuses and much of the waste which resulted from the provisions of Public Law 346, as amended.
It seems inevitable, however, that notwithstanding the care which is initially exercised in the drafting of legislation, experience in administration will reveal some flaws or weaknesses which will need correcting. Rarely, if ever, is a perfect bill enacted covering such a wide range of administration involved in this bill. The important thing is to recognize the obligation as early as possible with implementing legislation on the statute books and by a process of trial and change eventually accord the most equitable and reasonable benefits for all concerned.
It is hoped your committee will early report this bill, with such amendments as are deemed advisable, and that favorable action will be taken by the Senate before the expected recess between the first and second sessions. If experience in administration reveals inequities and difficulties it is certain that the Veterans of Foreign Wars will recommend the necessary changes and/or amendments thereto.
Senator HILL. Any questions, Senator Aiken?
Senator HILL. Mr. Downer, we certainly want to thank you for this helpful statement which you have brought here this morning.
Mr. DoWNER. Thank you.
Senator HILL. The committee will stand in recess until 10 a. m. tomorrow morning, at which time it will meet in this room.
(Whereupon, at 12:10 p. m., the hearing was recessed to reconvene at 10 a. m., Wednesday, September 19, 1951.)
CERTAIN EDUCATIONAL AND TRAINING BENEFITS TO
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 1951
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The committee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to recess, in the Old Supreme Court Room, The Capitol, Hon. James E. Murray (chairman of the committee) presiding.
Present: Senators Murray and Aiken.
Present also : Bill Coburn, chief clerk; Ray Rodgers, assistant committee clerk; William G. Reidy and Melvin W. Sneed, professional staff members.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
Mr. Joseph A. Clorety, Jr., national director of veterans affairs, American Veterans Committee, will be the first witness this morning. STATEMENT OF JOSEPH A. CLORETY, JR., NATIONAL DIRECTOR OF
VETERANS AFFAIRS OF THE AMERICAN VETERANS COMMITTEE
Mr. CLORETY. I would like to present my statement in full for the record and simply emphasize a few of the major points on order to conserve your time and that of the other witnesses.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be very agreeable.
Mr. CLORETY. The American Veterans Committee (AVC) sincerely appreciates the opportunity to present our views on s. 1940, and to congratulate this committee for undertaking hearings on the first major legislation to reach this stage in congressional proceedings on behalf of veterans of the Korean conflict.
The American Veterans Committee approach to this legislation can best be put in its proper framework, however, by reading a basic
a principle adopted unanimously by the fifth national convention of the organization last June.
By way of introduction and orientation in the_AVC philosophy which underlies the testimony I am presenting, I wish to include two short excerpts from the veterans affairs platform adopted by the Fifth National Convention of AVC held in New York City in June 1951. The first excerpt is taken from the preamble to the platform, setting forth basic principles :
We believe that it is the veteran's basic need and right that he be properly restored to the economic and social status which he would normally have achieved