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Objection has been raised by some, I know, and probably it might occur to members of the committee that any statutory award for any particular disease, rather than having it considered in line with the general over-all provisions applying to disabilities, is unfair. There is that to be considered about this whole matter. But that question should have been considered, it occurs to me, when the first statute was passed applying a statutory award to veterans of World War I.

It is perhaps the case that we had gone a little too far in our desire to be equitable, and so forth, to draw that distinction now and say we can't do this for veterans of World War II who have tuberculosis. The situation to meet is one of adjusting the relationship between World War I and World War II veterans; since it was done in the first instance it should be done now in all fairness to these fellows.

Dr. Hedrick who preceded me is a physician, of course, as the members know, and much more qualified to discuss the residual effect of tuberculosis than I am. I have had some acquaintance with the residual effect of tuberculosis. I know you can't draw any general conclusion regarding what the effects are to be. I have seen some individuals who have completely recovered from very active tuberculosis and have been able to continue their work after a period of 4 or 5 years, without any apparent after effect.

I have seen others who never recovered completely to where they were anything like 50 percent restored to their former physical capacities. So I think that in order to protect some of these people, maybe half of them, maybe more than half, who have had tuberculosis and who will not be able to carry on at 30 percent of the over-all total compensation, that they received when they had active tuberculosis, we must provide them in the future with more than 30 percent disability and the compensation that goes with it. It is just a matter of fairness to me. I hope that the committee may decide that there is justification for doing something with the situation.

I may say, in closing, that I have no pride of authorship. There is nothing new about this. It is not my idea; it has been introduced by other Members of Congress. It has been discussed by the veterans' organizations, Disabled American Veterans, particularly. I would prefer, if the committee does decide to take some action on the matter, that the committee originate a bill of its own, 'a committee bill, so that the committee may work its will in that bill, rather than taking something I might have introduced and amending it to the will of the committee.

It is the desire to adjust this situation I have in mind rather than any pride of authorship in any legislation.

Mr. MATHEWS. I might say, personally, it is somewhat the ambition of the chairman of this subcommittee, if he stays here for a while, to try to equalize the benefits to all veterans of all wars insofar as the circumstances will permit. Perhaps that ambition is a little inordinate. Perhaps it is mistaken, but I don't think so. It will take time. I think that these laws have been passed from time to time, applying to that group of veterans, or this group of veterans. Now that we have settled down a little bit, I think there ought to be a general study, and I hope to make one of these compensation laws in which we can equalize these things insofar as circumstances will permit, so that all veterans of all wars would be treated alike.

Mr. Mills. I am most certain that is the attitude of the present chairman of the subcommittee and members of the committee, the chairman of the full committee, and all, as I see it. I know that you do want to be fair with veterans of World War I and World War IÍ.

Mr. MATHEWs. We want to be fair to all veterans.

Mr. Mills. That is right; you desire to have them all treated alike under the law.

Mr. MATHEWS. Under all circumstances.

Mr. Mills. One of the factors not before your committee, but which is closely related to this whole question, perhaps even more important than the matter you do have before you, is the question of what happens to the individual who develops tuberculosis following his service, when it will be impossible to ever establish service-connection. Under existing law he is just left cut. I think that fellow is to be considered along with the fellow who now has active tuberculosis when we determine what his compensation shall be for the future. It looks to me like they are both related. This fellow's problem should be considered along with this general study of TB legislation.

I thank the committee.
Mr. MATHEWS. Any questions?
Mr. PRICE. No.
Mr. VAIL. No.
Mr. Milús. Thank you very much. .
Mr. MATHEWS. Thank you.
Mr. STANDISH. Mr. Wilson is next.
Mr. MATHEWS. Mr. Wilson, H. R. 3418.


GRESS FROM THE NINTH DISTRICT, STATE OF INDIANA Mr. Wilson. My name is Earl Wilson, of Indiana.

Mr. Chairman, I wish to thank you and the committee for the privilege of appearing before you this morning on H. R. 3418.

Mr. MATHEWS. Won't you sit down!
Mr. Wilson. If you don't mind, I would prefer to stand.
Mr. MATHEWS. Make yourself comfortable; that is all.

Mr. Wilson. This bill would tend to do the very thing you have suggested, Mr. Chairman, in regard to equalizing the benefits of veterans of all wars, insofar as it pertains to one particular disability, that is, advanced pulmonary tuberculosis.

The bill provides that any person who while serving in the armed forces of the United States in time of war incurred or suffered an aggravation of a tuberculosis condition during such service, which condition progressed to an advanced stage, and has at any time been rated for compensation purposes as totally disabled by reason of tuberculosis, or a tuberculosis condition, shall be entitled, upon application to the Administrator of Veterans Affairs, to a rating of permanent and total disability, and such rating shall not be changed during the remainder of such a person's life.

My purpose, of course, is to ease the mind, lighten the burden, and lengthen the span of life of people who have suffered from advanced tuberculosis. It is my contention, and I think it is an undisputed contention, that anyone who has suffered tuberculosis in advanced stages, and who is ever compelled to resort to any kind of work that is fatiguing, and I don't know of any kind of work that is not fatiguing, is shortening his span of life. And I certainly feel that if this disease, as the bill provides, has been service-connected, or is serviceconnected and has advanced, or is in the advanced stages, has been in the advanced stages, and the person has the patience and the will to cure himself, and I contend that anyone who has suffered from tuberculosis must cure himself, for I don't think there is any other way of becoming cured from it other than curing yourself, and that is, taking an absolute rest treatment and every precaution in the world, should not be required to work at the expense of life.

I don't know that all cases are curable. But the thing that invited this piece of legislation was the experience of a friend of mine of World War I. It was his particular case that called the need for this bill to my attention. He was one of the finest young men I have ever known. He came back from France, after having been hospitalized 18 months in France with tuberculosis, and everyone in the neighborhood said, “it just looks as though there was no possibility for this man to ever recover." I think he was released to come home to his friends, since it seemed he could not be cured. Some friends constructed a little cabin out in the country for this man. They gave him the absolute rest treatment. He stayed in bed for 3 years on his own initiative, though few felt like he had a chance to live. He stayed in bed 3 years.

He finally became cured and resumed the occupation which he had followed before the World War I as a telegraph operator on the railroad. He is presently a dispatcher at Washington, Ind., on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, one of the most efficient dispatchers the B. & O. Railroad has.

He worries every day about whether or not he will be able to finish the 4 years necessary to draw retirement from the railroad. He has a family. He lost 6 years' seniority on the railroad which does not count on retirement by virtue of this service-connected tuberculosis. Therefore he has to work 6 years longer in order to be eligible, whereas folks who were not in the service, who did not have service-connected tuberculosis, can retire 6 years younger than he can.

I would like to, in summing up what little I have to say, read a letter which I received from him, after considerable correspondence on the matter. It says:

DEAR EARL: Thanks very much for yours of the 15th, enclosing Mr. Brown's letter of the 11th. It sounds just like I knew it would, but if I were in Mr. Brown's place, after the experience I have had, and he in my place, you can bet the letter would sound quite different.

Just a few more words to support the sick veteran's argument. I have at no time claimed that a sick man can't work, for I have worked, a sick man ever since returning from Europe in 1919, excepting of couse the 6 years I was in bed and convalescing.

What I do stoutly maintain is that a man who lost his most valuable possession, his health, in service of his country, should not have to rely on his work to provide the necessities of life. I like my work, and all the millions of dollars in the world can't buy my health, to get me to give up my work if I could get my health back. Working when you don't feel like being on your feet, sticking it out through sheer nerve, working when you feel good is entirely two different things. All arrested tuberculars receive $60 per month, whether badly disabled by the disease or whether merely an arrested case of it, in the early stages. But, Earl, if a man should lose his health or be forced to quit, what in the name of goodness could he do in this day and age with $60 per month?

And try like I have to stay with it until the kids are on their own, I am now in doubt if I am going to be able to hold out for another 4 years. I know that in the near future there will be some young veterans facing this same thing. And, Earl, the time I lost while actually down in bed and convalescing does not count on my years of service for railroad retirement. This is one more penalty I must pay.

I know you believe what I tell you, and so help me God it is the whole truth and lots more than I can say and prove if I had the time and pep. Whether we make anyone else agree with us or not doesn't particularly matter to me this late in life, but we sure have a good argument, and one that no one can deny.

I have several letters from him along the same line, Mr. Chairman. As I said, he is a fine, reputable young man who always pulled his own weight, and who goes to work at the scheduled time. When he gets off he goes home and goes to bed. He has to stay in bed until time to work the next day. He is hoping he will be able to retain enough strength so he can continue working 4 years and draw his retirement from the railroad in order to live.

So, Mr. Chairman, I feel very strongly about this bill. I feel that everyone in similar circumstances who served in any war should not have to sacrifice their span of life in order to have the necessities of life.

Thank you very much.

Mr. MATHEWS. Mr. Wilson, what is the meaning of the words on line 6, “to an advanced stage”?

Mr. Wilson. That means tuberculosis in all five lobes.
Mr. MATHEWS. Is that a usual medical term for that condition?

Mr. Wilson. It was so explained to me, Mr. Mathews. Of course, I am not a doctor myself. But it was explained to me that was the meaning of the term, tuberculosis in all five lobes.

Mr. MATHEWS. Thank you. Any questions?
Mr. VAIL. No questions.
Mr. MATHEWs. Mr. Price?
Mr. PRICE. No.
Mr. MATHEWS. Thank you, Mr. Wilson.

Mr. Wilson. Thank you.
lis, ,


Mr. MORRISON. "On May 13, 1947, I introduced a bill, H. R. 3437, relating to compensation of those veterans of World War I and World War II who suffer from tuberculosis. 11. H. R. 3437 provides for the entitlement of any veteran of World War I who, on the date of enactment of this act, to receive compensation or pension for disability resulting from a tuberculous disease, ,under any law or regulation of the Veterans' Administration, and

further, any person who while serving the armed forces of the United States at any time between December 6, 1941, and January 1, 1947, contracted or suffered an aggravation of a tuberculous disease of a degree compensable under law or regulation of the Veterans Administration, shall receive for life, pension at the rate of total disability incurred in service.

It is my confirmed conviction that incapacitation of patients having this disease is total disability for although many cases are arrested still the victims of this dreaded disease are restricted as to the types of positions which they are able to hold. If no provision is made for their care, they become dependent upon their family or public charges.

This group did not participate in any increases during 1944 when such increases were granted to others.

[H. R. 3437, 80th Cong., 1st sess. ] A BILL Relating to the compensation of those veterans of World War I and World War

II who suffer from tuberculosis Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled, That (1) any veteran of World War I who, on the date of enactment of this Act, is entitled under any law or regulation administered by the Veterans' Administration, to compensation or pension for disability resulting from a tuberculous disease, and (2) any person who, while serving the armed forces of the United States at any time between Deecember 6, 1941, and January 1, 1947, (a) contracted a tuberculous disease of a degree compensable under any law or regulation administered by the Veterans' Administraton, or (b) suffered to a compensable degree an aggravation of a tuberculous disease, shall receive for life compensation at a rate not less than the rate provided by law or regulation for total disability incurred in service during World War I or World War II.

Mr. MATHEWS. Who is the next witness?
Mr. STANDISH. Dr. Most.

Mr. MATHEWS. The subcommittee has had some hearings on H. R. 3650, introduced by Mr. Patterson, on tropical diseases. I understand Dr. Most is here, who is an expert on tropical diseases, and we will be glad to hear from him, if he is on H. R. 3650.



Dr. Most. I am Dr. Harry Most, M-o-s-t, associate professor of preventive medicine, New York University College of Medicine, consultant to the Secretary of War, Surgeon General, Veterans' Administration, Department of Medicine.

Mr. MATHEWS. You may proceed

Dr. Most. I understand, sir, the major question with regard to this bill is the possible injustice which may accrue to the veteran by virtue of the development, particularly, of malaria, in an interval longer than a year as specified in this bill.

Mr. MATHEWS. Not malaria so much as all tropical diseases. Dr. Most. Yes. I would like to confine my remarks to malaria, if Mr. MATHEWS. All right. Dr. Most. Since that is the major problem in tropical diseases which the veterans have at this moment.

Experience has shown that patients who have been on prolonged suppression with atabrine and other drugs may not develop first attacks of malaria until sometime following separation from the seryice. Review of a large experience of troops demonstrated that at least 66 or 75 percent in that range of men who developed their first attack-in other words, never had malaria in the service-will do so

I may.


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