Page images
PDF
EPUB

disease within 6 months or 10 years, or whatever the time limits are, those things should be presumed to be a result, let us say, of malnutrition.

I say that because I do not think you can do it by number of years or number of months. I think it is just a general physical condition that manifests itself at some future time in an extreme case of disability.

That is all I have to say on the subject. I think that if the Public Health Service is represented here they ought to say something about it.

Who is representing the Public Health Service?
(No response.)
Nr. HINSHAW. I understand we do not have their reports yet.
Mr. Gillilland, have you anything to say?

He is chairman of the War Claims Commission and has appeared before us a number of times.

STATEMENT OF WHITNEY GILLILLAND, CHAIRMAN; MRS. PEARL

CARTER PACE, VICE CHAIRMAN; ANDREW T. MCGUIRE, GENERAL COUNSEL; AND PAUL ROESLER, WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION

Mr. GILLILLAND. I do have a short statement I would like to read, Mr. Chairman, if that is permissible.

Mr. HINSHAW. Yes, indeed. Mr. GILLILAND. I would like to say I am accompanied by Mrs. Pearl Carter Pace, the Vice Chairman of the Commission, Mr. McGuire, General Counsel, and Mr. Roesler, an employee of the Commission.

Perhaps it would be better if I merely filed the statement and pick up some concluding paragraph for the record at this time.

Mr. Hinshaw. I think so. I think I would prefer that because this is all historic. The statement will be accepted as having been read.

(The statement referred to follows:)

STATEMENT OF WHITNEY GILLILLAND, CHAIRMAN, WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION

Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, the War Claims Commission appreciates this opportunity of discussing with you the bill, H. R. 7711. This measure directs the War Claims Commission, in cooperation with the Veterans' Administration and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, to make arrangements for a study of the mental and physical consequences of malnutrition and starvation suffered by prisoners of war and civilian internees during World War II and the hostilities in Korea. Similar proposals were introduced in the 81st and succeeding Congresses. One of them, H. R. 304, was passed in the House April 2, 1951. Complete hearings were held in the 81st Congress on a similar measure, but none of these forerunners to the bill now before you were otherwise acted upon.

Like its predecessors, H. R. 7711 is designed to attain two broad objectives. Its first objective would be the ascertainment by medical and scientific research of the exact physical and mental consequences of mistreatment of persons in captivity during the two war periods mentioned, and the use of such facts in the development of standards and procedures for the diagnosis and care of such victims, and for other medical purposes. Its second objective would be the development of a future policy on war claims arising from the consequences of such mistreatment, and the use by the War Claims Commission and the other cooperating agencies of the facts developed by the study, in the evaluation of such claims.

In the preparation of its report to the President pursuant to section 8 of the War Claims Act, the predecessor Commission conducted a limited survey of the consequences of malnutrition and other mistreatment of former prisoners of war and recommended to the President and the Congress legislation similar to that contained in H. R. 7711. In the course of that survey, which consisted largely of assembling statements from medical observers and others, it became obvious that a more complete scientific study would probably reveal new facts having a direct bearing on war claims policies and procedures. The medical opinions gathered by the Commission were virtually unanimous in declaring that prolonged starvation, brutalities, and other forms of physical and mental mistreatment among prisoners of war and civilian internees produced serious aftereffects that could not be successfully diagnosed or treated.

These opinions, however, merely pointed to a problem. They did not resolve it. They were insufficient to establish adequately, as a scientific fact, that prolonged inhumane treatment will produce provable disabilities that can become the basis for a compensable claim. This question needs to be answered. The Commission is informed that important strides have been made by several public and private research agencies and that such studies are continuing.

In view of the importance of the subject and in order to make certain that the questions presented will be answered, it would seem appropriate that the United States Government should assume the leadership.

The Commission believes it would be in a position to render a valuable service in assisting with administration of the activities contemplated in the bill and will certainly undertake, fully and faithfully, to carry out and perform any duties which may be assigned to it thereunder. On the other hand the other agencies designated are undoubtedly well equipped, acting in concert, to carry out the assignment without the participation of the War Claims Commission.

We consider that this is good legislation and should be enacted. In our judgment the work can be well done whether we participate or whether we don't.

Mr. GILLILLAND. The medical opinions gathered by the Commission were virtually unanimous in declaring that prolonged starvation, brutalities, and other forms of physical and mental mistreatment among prisoners of war and civilian internees, produced serious after effects that could not be successfully diagnosed or treated.

These opinions, however, merely pointed to a problem. They did not resolve it. They were insufficient to establish adequately, as a scientific fact, that prolonged inhumane treatment will produce provable disabilities that can become the basis for a compensable claim.

This question needs to be answered. The Commission is informed that important strides have been made by several public and private research agencies and that such studies are continuing;

In view of the importance of the subject and in order to make certain that the questions presented will be answered, it would seem appropriate that the United States Government should assume the leadership.

The Commission believes it would be in a position to render a valuable service in assisting with administration of the activities contemplated in the bill and will certainly undertake, fully and faithfully, to carry out and perform any duties which may be assigned to it thereunder.

On the other hand, the other agencies designated are undoubtedly well equipped, acting in concert, to carry out the assignment without the participation of the War Claims Commission.

We consider that this is good legislation and should be enacted.

In our judgment, the work can be well done whether we participate or whether we don't.

Mr. HINSHAW. That is a very good statement, Mr. Gillilland. I am sure that the committee will concur with you in the belief that the study should be made and that it should be a joint effort on the part of the several agencies which have jurisdiction immediately over these cases.

How many of them do you think there are altogether, including the military?

Mr. GILLILLAND. I do not know that I understand.
Mr. HINSHAW. The total number of POW's and internees.

You have the number of POW's who suffered malnutrition from your $1.50 per day claims?

Mr. GILLILLAND. That is correct, and of course we have the number of civilian internees, although the figure that we have, as we know the number of claims filed, would include persons who went into hiding and so forth.

I think we have allowed around 10,000 claims on those. Those would not all be POW's and civilian internees, however.

The total between the two would run into several hundred thousand. Mr. HINSHAW. You are talking about POW's, too?

Mr. GILLILLAND. Yes. It still runs into hundreds of thousands with just American citizens involved if we take all areas, that is, the European theater as well as the Asiatic, into consideration.

Mr. DALEY. Mr. Chairman, I have some figures here on military prisoners of war, if you care for them.

Mr. HINSHAW. Yes, I think they should be in the record.

Mr. DALEY. In World War II, the number of Armed Forces members captured and interned, United States forces, total 129,704; died while interned, 14,090; returned to military control, 112,146 living and 3,468 deceased.

The figure as to the living and deceased returned to military control was estimated as of June 1, 1954. The Commonwealth of the Philippines—that is the Commonwealth Army—135,000 total; died while interned, 35,000; returned to military control, living, 96,000, with 4,000 deceased.

The figures as to the Commonwealth of the Philippines are estimated.

The Commissioner probably has the figures as to the civilian internees.

Mr. GILLILLAND. The figures that are contained in the section 8 report on Army and Air Force personnel detained as prisoners of war, World War II, in the Pacific theater indicate 26,943 captured and of that group, 10,031 out of the 26,000 died during the detention.

Mr. HINSHAW. Something must have happened to those people besides a machinegun.

Mr. DALEY. Ours include the European theater as well. Mr. GILLILLAND. Your figures are a little more recent than ours. Yours were as of this year and I presume these would go back a couple of years, but to indicate the contrast, in the European theater our figures show 75,892 captured. Of that number 1,078 died during detention.

Mr. HINSHAW. The figures are very different in the European theater.

Mr. GILLILLAND. Very different. There is a table setting out those figures appearing on page 199 of the section 8 report, exhibit 5, dealing with military prisoners of war, and exhibit 6, with civilian internees. Perhaps you would like to include those tables in this record.

Mr. HINSHAW. Yes. I think that is a very good thing.
Mr. SCHENCK. Yes.
Mr. GILLILLAND. That is House Document No. 67.

Mr. HINSHAW. That will be transferred and placed in this record as well.

(The information refers to follows:)

EXHIBIT 5

U.S. Army and Air Force personnel detained as prisoners of war in World War II

[blocks in formation]

U. 8. Navy and Marine Corps personnel detained as prisoners of war in World

War II

Captured

Liberated

Died during
detention

U.S. Navy.
U. S. Marine Corps..

3, 380
2, 256

2, 457
1, 628

923
528

Total..

5, 636

4,085

1, 451
i Less than 0.5.

EXHIBIT 6

Number of American civilian internees, Dec. 9, 1941-Aug. 14, 1945

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »