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that during their period of hospitalization their dependents are in sheer need of the necessities of life.

The D. A. V. joins most heartily with the expressed desires of the chairman and other members of this committee for legislation looking toward making permanent compensation ratings, permanent, not only in theory but in fact. To merely recite the trials and tribulations of the present fluctuations does little good. This subject alone occupied probably more time of discussion in our national convention legislative committee last summer than any other three or four items combined. Resolutions were discussed and drawn and redrawn, with the net result that the legislative chairman was instructed to urge before this session, a system of permanent ratings that will remain undisturbed unless a veteran desires to reopen the case; provided, however, there shall be no reduction of compensation as a result of the establishment of such a system.

Due to the fact that there still remains unexpended a considerable part of the largest hospital construction appropriation since the armistice-$21,000,000—it is our understanding that this committee is not considering additional appropriations for building at this time. However, should consideration be given to additional hospital construction, we again urge that the sites of these hospitals be chosen according to the density of the military population, rather than locating the institutions according to State, county, city, or congressional district lines. Furthermore, we urge a policy of improving and extending existing facilities, except in extraordinary cases where the density of the military population would justify new projects.

At the close of the war, there had been meager preparation for the reception of our returning disabled. When the condition became actually scandalous, Congress decided suddenly to commence building hospitals. Due to the rush, there was no deliberate long-distance planning, with the result that these hospitals were located, for the most part, in the places having the greatest influence. For instance, in one session there was a hospital located in one State and, with the change of administration, another hospital in another State, and in each case, it is now conceded that the choice of sites was most unfortunate. Since the institution of the Federal Board of Hospitalization, acting in an advisory capacity to the President, this situation has been immeasurably improved, so we urge a perpetuation of the present policy of having located the hospitals according to need rather than any artificial boundaries.

Mrs. ROGERS. You have been getting a good many letters about a diagnostic center at Boston?

Captain KIRBY. Yes.
Mrs. ROGERS. I know you get a great many letters about that.
Captain Kirby. Boston is very strong for a diagnostic center.
Mrs. ROGERS. We have a great need for one there, Mr. Chairman.

Captain Kirby. There is another need for one in the extreme South, around New Orleans.

Mr. CONNERY. Would you call that the Massachusetts density of military population?

Captain Kirby. Not only that, but a density of disabled military population.

Mrs. Rogers. Mr. Chairman, do you think it would be a good plan for our committee to take over the location of the hospitals, take it back as we had it before?

Captain KIRBY. We have a home at Hampton, Va., and another one at Johnson City, Tenn.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes; and the truth of the business is that, when we had this other plan, I thought they did a fairly good job of locating these hospitals.

Captain Kirby. Well, you must remember, Mr. Chairman, before this committee came into existence, these hospitals were handled by the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds.

The CHAIRMAN. The Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee, was it not?

Captain KIRBY. No. Mr. Clarke of Florida, was chairman of the committee, and they put the Lake City Hospital in Florida. Then there came a change in the political administration, and Mr. Langley, of Kentucky, was made chairman, and he got the Outwood, Kentucky, Hospital, and while both of them may be very good, I doubt if the present Board of Hospitalization

The CHAIRMAN. Did not this committee create the Outwood Hospital?

Captain Kirby. It was in Mr. Langley's Kentucky district that the hospital went.

Mrs. ROGERS. We had quite a row about it.

The CHAIRMAN. We certainly did. I can tell you exactly what happened.

Captain KIRBY. You know, it is at Dawson Springs

The CHAIRMAN. The representatives of the American Legion and possibly other organizations came before the committee, and they were hearing them without any stenographer, and I made a point of order that we ought not to let these men be led up a blind alley, that we ought to at least inform them what we were doing when we were even making a record; and if we were going to let them stand there and talk themselves out without making a record, maybe they would not want to talk. So we sent out and got a stenographer and took the testimony down and finally got this hospital in the State of Kentucky. I know that happened as to the last one, because I was on the committee at that time.

Captain KIRBY. That is Lexington, Ky.
The CHAIRMAN. Maybe it was.

Captain KIRBY. Dawson Springs was the original name of Outwood. I think I can reasonably guarantee that if we had the time at our national convention, we could bring a resolution before this committee and prove to the satisfaction of at least some that there ought to be a hospital in every State and possibly every city represented at the convention. It was for that reason that an effort was made to put this into a national, nonpartisan committee, composed of the heads * of the Veterans' Administration, the Army and Navy, and the Public Health Service, which is an advisory committee to the President, although he pretty consistently acts otherwise.

Mrs. Rogers. Do you feel it has worked out well?

Captain Kirby. I feel there is an immeasurable improvement over the early stages in this period, when your committee had more to say about it, than when you had a Federal board advising the President.

The CHAIRMAN. This board also seems inclined to take all of these hospitais to the big cities, the regional centers, and I think that is a serious mistake.

Captain Kirby. One of the very serious considerations in the location of a hospital is transportation. Now, the present idea of the Veterans' Administration is to combine these regional offices with the hospitals.

The CHAIRMAN. It costs a great deal more to purchase the land or to build or maintain a hospital in a big city than it does in a small town; and so far as a man going there is concerned, the railroad fare would be approximately the same, except possibly there would be more men from the city. But you will also be hedged in, invariably, where the veterans will not have the freedom that they would have in a smaller place.

Captain KIRBY. Well, of course, under the present policy, they are consolidating the hospitals with the administrative forces. There are today 82 field facilities of the Veterans' Administration.

Six are combined facilities with homes and hospitals while 29 are combined facilities having regional offices.

The CHAIRMAN. It is much easier to move the administrative forces than it is the hospital.

Captain Kirby. I am speaking of the convenience of that location to the veteran. Now, take, for instance, in western New York, we had a regional office at Buffalo, and they moved it out and built a hospital at Batavia, about 30 or 40 miles out of Buffalo, and moved the administrative forces there and, of course, the Buffalo veteran will follow.

Mr. CONNERY. If you did not have a diagnostic center here in Washington, as handy as it is to Johns Hopkins and Georgetown, you could not get these specialists to come over here and give their services free.

Captain Kirby. You are absolutely correct. To place a diagnostic center in an isolated place would be utterly impossible. You have to have the very best medical skill, and that does not go for the average hospital.

The CHAIRMAN. All for the average soldiers' home, but these veterans' hospitals are all going to become soldiers' homes; and this same condition that would apply to the diagnostic centers would not apply to a soldiers' home. And these soldiers' homes, they need them outside of the city; and in this one here, they went outside of the city and bought land when it was cheap, and probably out in the country at that time, they have a large area there for those men to stir around in, and where they can be kept away from other people and other people can be kept away from them, and where they are perfectly safe and not disturbed by traffic.

Mr. ATKINSON. I wish they had followed that course in the creation of the original hospital in Tennessee, when they moved it about 30 or 40 miles away from the Veterans' Administration, their regional office there in Nashville. I do not know why, of course.

Captain Kirby. They have just taken it out of Pittsburgh and put it in Aspinwall. They are taking it away from Cincinnati and put it in Dayton; and they did the same thing at Los Angeles, when they took it out of Los Angeles and put it in Sawtelle.

Mrs. Rogers. You cannot get outside physicians, when you take them out of the big cities. Ï feel it ought to be near a diagnostic center in Boston. Undoubtedly, I can get a diagnostic center in Bedford.

Mr. CONNERY. Yes, for the better care of the men, getting more doctors. I can understand the chairman's idea of a soldiers' home, where the men would have the ordinary care. For instance, you cannot get the doctors at Cushing to go out 20 miles.

Captain Kirby. My observation has been pretty close as to Mount Alto clinic, and I say you would have a hard time improving that clinic. They have the best doctors that you can get from Hopkins and Georgetown and the city of Washington. In other words, consultants of a type that the average type of veteran could not begin to pay for.

The CHAIRMAN. Mount Alto would not be suitable for a soldiers' home.

Captain KIRBY. Obviously not.
Mrs. Rogers. That would interfere with the care of the sick, too.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes; these men in soldiers' homes are not supposed to be, all of them, seriously ill; that is, to the extent of needing operations, and so on. What they need is a quiet atmosphere and room to move around in, without being disturbed, and some place where they will not be disturbed by others, and where there is no danger of being run over by traffic, or anything like that.

Captain KIRBY. Yes; and with something to occupy their minds. Where do you propose this woman's soldiers' home?

The CHAIRMAN. Well, I do not know.

Captain KIRBY. While it has been our privilege over the years to collaborate in the closest and friendliest spirit with the members of this committee, we feel that the effectiveness of the committee would be far greater should authority be obtained to have subcommittees of this committee visit the facilities during the recess and return with proposals that may even improve conditions now existing. This plan was followed about 10 years ago and the members of this committee returned to Washington better equipped than ever before to discuss the matters foremost in the minds of these men who spent endless hours in hospitals in sincerely attempting to rehabilitate themselves physically. In other words, Congress should be asked to appropriate sufficient money to permit the members of this committee to inspect the hospitals in their own and adjacent States. Even the visits will act as a stimulus to the men to whom the Nation owes such an everlasting debt of gratitude, and when Congress convenes next year Congress may take any remedial action deemed necessary.

In closing, it is desired to invite to the attention of this committee the present unrest among a class of men who have properly been described as some of our worst battle casualties. Reference is made to the so-called double-amputation cases, meaning those who lost two legs, or two arms, or two eyes, or one arm and one eye, or one leg and one eye, or one leg and one arm. Through regulations the old Veterans' Bureau declared these men entitled to the right of undisturbed insurance benefits. In the Madison L. Miller case, decided some time ago by the United States Supreme Court, it was ruled that the Veterans' Bureau had no authority for such a regulation, as the test for insurance payments should rest on whether the man is employed. No doubt some of the members of this committee have seen some of these cases and, because of their knowledge, may feel that none of these men are capable of any duty. Nevertheless, included in the group are some who, in spite of their harrowing disa

bilities, are striving to work at some trade or profession. In the light of this condition, we feel that this Congress would be utterly derelict in its duty to fail to recognize the supreme courage of these severely disabled veterans in endeavoring to keep themselves occupied. The best recognition and the fair recognition would be to amend the law in such a way that any veteran in this group shall be paid full insurance regardless of what they may do in the way of any limited occupation.

The CHAIRMAN. Captain Kirby, the best thing to do is to write that regulation into the law.

Captain KIRBY. Write into the law a regulation such as was killed by the Miller case.

The CHAIRMAN. Is that in the bill you present?
Captain KIRBY. No; but we have it in another bill.

The CHAIRMAN. Captain Kirby, the lady from Massachusetts wants to ask a question.

Mrs. Rogers. Captain Kirby, some of the nurses feel that they would like to have a higher rate of compensation, in order that they might be hospitalized, because there are not enough beds for them, you know. At the present time, the Veterans' Administration has been very slow

Captain KIRBY. You mean hospitalized in other than Government hospitals?

Mrs. Rogers. Yes; so they may have their compensation-get compensation and get certain allowances for care in some private hospitals.

Captain Kirby. There are cases of nurses really needing treatment.

Mrs. Rogers. Yes; really needing treatment. I know of one pathetic case, and in that case the woman's compensation was cut very unjustly, she was not hospitalized in a contract hospital, as she should have been. But, of course, she is entitled to that by law, whether it is service connected, or not.

Captain KIRBY. I think General Hines has ample authority to do that.

Mrs. ROGERS. Yes; I know he has.

Captain Kirby. That is an administrative rather than a legislative proposition. Mrs. Rogers. That this is a very unjust case.

The CHAIRMAN. Captain Kirby, you are the last witness for your organization. We are going to thank you for this very enlightening statement and your courteous answers to all of these questions. I think your statement has been of a great deal of assistance to the committee.

Now, let me say to the membership of the committee, I am not going to hold a hearing tomorrow

Captain Kirby. May I say, Mr. Chairman, I will be available at any time. The CHAIRMAN. We may recall any of you later.

. Captain Kirby. I appreciate this opportunity.

The ChairMAN. We want to arrive at some conclusions as to what we want to report out and what we can get passed.

(Here followed discussion off the record as to adjournment.

The CHAIRMAN. If there is no objection, we are going to stand adjourned until 10:30 Wednesday morning.

(Thereupon a recess was taken in the hearing until 10:30 a. m., Wednesday, Mar. 3.)

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