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(The following communications were received for the record :)
NEW YORK, N. Y., June 16, 1954. Hon. JAMES G. FULTON,
House of Representatives: We understand H. R. 7711 providing for study effects malnutrition suffered by ex-prisoners-of-war and civilian internees scheduled for hearing today. Regret we are unable send one of our group to testify. We urge approval and hope other internee and veterans' groups will be able to appear.
RALPH L. REYNOLDS, Secretary for American Internees Association, Inc.
MENLO PARK, CALIF. Hon. ARTHUR YOUNGER, House of Representatives,
Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. YOUNGER: As a Democrat who voted Republican for the first time I have been watching your voting since your election, as well as taking note of whether or not you kept your word as given in preelection neighborhood talks. It is because of this honesty that I am writing you. I know that if you feel you can do nothing you will tell me so. On the other hand, if you tell me that you will write or speak in my behalf I know that you will keep that promise.
My husband and I were in Manila when war broke out in 1941, as he was employed by Pan American World Airways. We were, of course, interned by the Japanese for 37 months. During that time my husband helped smuggle in money to the camp. He built a radio receiver and transmitter, although never using the latter since it could be traced too easily to be used except in case of last resort. He was taken from camp and questioned by the Japanese on one occasion. He had a bad case of beriberi the last 5 months of internment, and was unable to walk a part of that time.
Upon our return to the United States my husband had 4 months' leave before returning to work at Pan American Airways. As communications manager for Pan American Airways, his work took him on many trips to his territory which was all of the Pacific Alaskan division. While on such a trip to Australia he died of a heart attack at age of 41.
My doctor, Logan Gray, wrote letters to the United States Government, War Claims Division, for me as he had had one other patient who died under similar circumstances, which Dr. Gray attributed to beriberi heart. I also had letters from former Bataan Army nurses, as well as fellow Pan American internees. All these letters were filed with the Bureau of Employees Compensation, as claim WC 2032. The answer from the Bureau was quite curt and impersonal, of necessity I suppose. The decision was that internment had nothing to do with causing my husband's death.
Knowing that you are busy with problems concerning great numbers of people, I should appreciate it if you could find time to read the file under WC 2032 in the Bureau records.
I understand there is pending legislation concerning the following amendments to the War Claims Act. I should appreciate your thinking of the large number of internees here on the peninsula when the following are before the House for consideration. All of these have been approved by the War Claims Commission, according to the information given to former internees.
1. Pay claims in full for disability and death. For all American internees.
2. Pay former minor American civilian internees difference between $25 and $60 per month for former internment.
3. Allow benefits to all American civilian internees who are presently ineligible for such benefits because they fall within the purview of the Missing Persons Act.
4. Extend the disability and medical benefits beyond the now limit of $7,000.
5. As the law 303 states in itself, that food and clothing was supposed to be supplied to Americans in the Philippines by such religious organizations, we internees have a very legitimate cause to ask for $1.50 per day as awarded the veterans, for inhumane treatment, and as stated in articles of the Geneva Convention, failure to provide adequate food; if they pay such organizations for such
WAR CLAIMS ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1954
relief, which we failed to receive, then we should be paid for such relief as we failed to get from them.
With best wishes for your continued success, and my apologies for a letter of such length, I am Very sincerely yours,
AGNES J. AXE. P. S. My husband and I never received one cent for personal property losses in the Philippines.
(Whereupon, at 12:40 p. m., the committee recessed until the call of the chairman.)