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A determination as to whether dependency exists depends on whether the parents of a veteran have an income sufficient to provide for their reasonable support. This is not limited to bare necessities but includes, as well, those conveniences and comforts of living suitable to and consistent with the parents' reasonable mode of life. The regulations under which determinations as to dependency are made are given a liberal interpretation and each claim is adjudicated on the facts found taking into consideration any unusual expenses such as illness and age and their moral obligation to support other members of their family. It is accordingly believed that the present provisions afford sufficient latitude to give effect to the purpose of such legislation. The present rule might be more flexible than would be provided if an income limitation were imposed.

Mr. HOWARD. That covers our comment on the sections of the bill.
Mr. Vail. That completes the statement?
Mr. HOWARD. Yes, sir.

Mr. Donohue. You have made your statement. What is your conclusion?

Mr. REINMUTH. We believe the present income limitations are reasonable and should not be changed.

Mr. DONOHUE. Should not be increased ?
Mr. REINMUTH. Not be increased.

Mr. DONOHUE. Notwithstanding the cost of living has gone up as much as it has, you think that is reasonable!

Mr. REINMUTH. Yes, we do.
Mr. DONOHUE. Why?

Mr. REINMUTH. The statement is based upon the assumption that Congress desires to retain some limitation as to need. Well, there are very few cases. There is only a small percentage of cases where the widow is barred because of excess income. If course, if a widow with children is barred because of excess income, the children may still be entitled to pension because only their income would then be considered.

Mr. DONOHUE. The present figures were set back in 1933, I understand, the present limitations or ceilings. Don't you think conditions and circumstances have changed considerably since then?

Mr. REINMUTH. Yes, they have.

Mr. DONOHUE. Therefore, don't you think that the limitation should be changed ?

Mr. REINMUTH. Well, it is our view that the limitation is reasonable. The original act for World War I employed the requirement of exemption from payment of income tax. Subsequently the exemptions of $1,000 and $2,500 contained in the internal-revenue law were employed. They have not been changed although exemptions have been lowered.

Mr. DONOHUE. Of course, it is your view, but you have some basis for that view. What are the present limitations?

Mr. REINMUTH. $2,500 and $1,000.

Mr. DONOHUE. If the figure was set at $1,000 back in 1933, and that was considered a reasonable figure then, that in view of the increased cost of living, and the devaluation of the dollar, that $1,000 would be unreasonable now?

Mr. REINMUTH. Well, at the time it was set, it was based somewhat on a parity with the income-tax exemptions then in effect. Now our income-tax exemptions have been lowered since that time, but the income limitation remained at $1,000 and $2,500, less exemption at the present time on the income tax.

Mr. DONOHUE. At the time the $1,000 was set, they had in mind that that figure would enable a widow to get along reasonably well. Now, with the passing of 14 years, and with the change of conditions, certainly they couldn't remain of that same thought in these days, could they?

Mr. REINMUTH. Well, on that basis alone, it would not seem so, but it is a question for Congress as to the adequacy of any need clause.

Mr. DONOHUE. I have no further questions. Mr. VAIL. In the event your views as expressed are not in accord with those of the Congress and these increases are eventually granted, what is your position with respect to the establishment of an escalator provision establishing the value of the dollar!

Mr. REINMUTH. Well, our past experience with pension legislation has shown that once a benefit has been granted, such benefit is seldom thereafter reduced.

Mr. VAIL. You mean the value of the dollar never goes down?

Mr. REINMUTH. No, sir; but experience indicates that that where rates are once increased the question of reducing them is a much more difficult one.

Mr. VAIL. I see. Are there any more questions?
Mr. DONOHUE. No.
Mr. VAIL. That completes your statement?
Mr. REINMUTH. Yes, sir.

Mr. STANDISH. Inserted at this point is a statement of the Gold Star Society of American War Widows and Orphans, concerning H. R. 295, H. R. 1200, H. R. 1352, H. R. 2566, H. R. 3349, H. R. 3650.

STATEMENT OF THE GOLD STAR SOCIETY OF AMERICAN WAB WIDOWS AND ORPHANS

IN OBJECTION TO H. R. 295

Whereas we propose that the Congress of the United States of America eliminate entirely existing income limitations as concerrr pensions granted to the widows and children of veterans, we therefore strenuously object to H. R. 295, which does not meet that objective.

STATEMENT OF THE GOLD STAR SOCIETY OF AMERICAN WAR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS

IN SUPPORT OF H. R. 1200

We, the widows and orphans of men who have given their lives in the service of their country, believe that a communion of sacrifice exists between ourselves and those veterans who have suffered disability in war. We have given our lived ones; they have given a portion of their physical being.

We do therefore pledge our devotion to the purpose of their general welfare, and to the specific actions which may, from time to time, substantially support this pledge.

In the spirit of the foregoing resolution we support the passage of H. R. 1200, designed to aid the economic handicap imposed upon those veterans, who must support themselves and their families under the disadvantage imposed by an arrested tuberculous condition.

STATEMENT OF THE GOLD STAR SOCIETY OF AMERICAN WAR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS IN

SUPPORT OF H. R. 1352 (WITH RECOMMENDATIONS)

We resolve that, pensions as awarded to the widows and children of veterans of World War I, should be extended to the widows and children of veterans of World War II, under equal terms and conditions, and on an equal basis. We therefore support the passage of H. R. 1352 in its entirety except for the following recommendation :

Section 3 shall be deleted, and worded to read as follows:

“Payment of pension under the provisions of this act shall be made without consideration of any income from other sources.”

STATEMENT OF THE GOLD STAR SOCIETY OF AMERICAN WAR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS IN

OBJECTION TO H. R. 2566

Whereas we propose that the Congress of the United States of America eliminate entirely existing income limitations as concern pensions granted to the widows and children of veterans, we therefore strenuously object to H. R. 295, which does not meet that objective.

STATEMENT OF THE GOLD STAR SOCIETY OF AMERICAN WAR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS IN

SUPPORT OF H. R. 3349

We, the widows and orphans of men who have given their lives in the service of their country, believe that a communion of sacrifice exists between ourselves and those veterans who have suffered disability in war. We have given our loved ones; they have given a portion of their physical being.

We do therefore pledge our devotion to the purpose of their general welfare, and to the specific actions which may, from time to time, substantially support this pledge.

In the spirit of the foregoing resolution we support the passage of H. R. 3349, designed to aid the economic handicap imposed upon those veterans of World War I and World War II, who must support themselves and their families under the disadvantage imposed by an arrested tuberculous condition.'

STATEMENT OF THE GOLD STAR SOCIETY OF AMERICAN WAR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS

IN SUPPORT OF H. R. 3650

We, the widows and orphans of men who have given their lives in the service of their country, believe that a communion of sacrifice exists between ourselves and those veterans who have suffered disability in war. We have given our loved ones; they have given a portion of their physical being.

We do therefore pledge our devotion to the purpose of their general welfare, and to the specific actions which may, from time to time, substantially support this pledge.

We believe the conclusive presumption of service-incurrence of tropical diseases as set forth in H. R. 3650, to be the inevitable judgment of reasoned thought. But, in view of the comparative freedom in the continental United States from infectious diseases peculiar to tropical climates, we would recommend certain qualifications to establish that the veteran served in a recognized area of possible contagion.

We support the passage of H. R. 3650 in the following amended form: "A BILL To amend Veterans Regulation Numbered 1 (a), part I, as amended, to establish

a conclusive presumption of service incurrence of tropical diseases "Be it entacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That subparagraph (c) of paragraph I, part I, Veterans Regulation Numbered 1 (a), as amended, is hereby amended by substituting a colon for the period at the end thereof and adding the following: Provided further, That where a tropical disease is diagnosed within one year of separation from active service as specified therein such disease shall be conclusively presumed to have been incurred in or aggravated by such service: Provided, That such active service shall have been located in a recognized area of possible contagion."

Mr. VAIL. Are there any witnesses to be heard in connection with this legislation before the committee?

(No response.)
Nr. Vail. If not, the committee is adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 11 a. m., the committee adjourned.)

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