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of used benefits for those veterans who served in World War II and serve also in the present emergency. We do ask a continuance of the method of computation which proved so reasonable and beneficial.
A World War 11 veteran with 24 months' service earned 36 months entitlement, 1 year of full-time training for the first 90 days plus 1 month for each month of active service. This bill would allow only 1 month of training for 1 month's active service; so, a veteran with 24 months' service would have 24 months' entitlement. A veteran of 9 months’active service would have training for 9 months under this bill, where the World War II veteran with like service had 21 months.
There would be few training programs of 1 year or less duration that would be of real value. It would open a new field for organizing schools which profess to have a short-cut to complete training. There would be no real apprenticeship training of 1 year or less, and other on-the-job training would produce very little in the way of occupa
No. 2 limits the use of more than 12 months of entitlement to persons whose education or training was interrupted by reason of entrance into service. The original Servicemen's Readjustment Act did this. Then it was deemed that education or training was interrupted if the veteran was not over 25 years of age at the time he entered service. This bill deems a veteran's education or training interrupted if he had not passed his twenty-third birthday on June 27, 1950, or the date he entered service if later.
Even as to this presumption of interruption, there is a 3-year differential indicating restrictions imposed by the bill. However, let me say that we do not go along at all with the proposal. The American Legion has the opinion that there should be no such restrictions as are proposed, but that the benefit should be allowed regardless of whether education or training was interrupted by entrance into service, and regardless of age or demonstrated need.
Mr. Chairman, I also wish to add this: That we commonly refer to this as the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944. Now, that does apply to the rest of the acts, but as to title II it is not any longer a readjustment; it is a scholarship pure and simple. There is no question of need.
The man earns so much entitlement, and he is entitled to so much training and education. I think it is a misnomer to call title II of that bill a Readjustment Act.
Senator Ives. While you are on this subject, Mr. Munson, I do not want to take too much time because we have Mr. Ketchum to hear from, but I do want to say this: That it seems to me while we are rewriting this bill or act—and that is what we are virtually purporting to do because of changed conditions which pertain—we have to take into consideration what the future holds for us as well as what we are faced with immediately.
You heard my comment awhile ago in which I said that perhaps we will be at war in one part of the world or another during the rest of our lives. Consequently, it seems to me that this is the time when we should sit down and really work out a piece of legislation that will stand up, come what may.
I am sure the American Legion, being acquainted with it and familiar with it as I have been in the past, is willing to sit down and work out a program with the Congress. I think this has to be done with these two organizations. Everybody who has an interest here has to enter into the thing. Otherwise, there will be dissatisfaction, and it will not work out properly in the end.
Does that meet more or less with your general idea on the subject?
Mr. MUNSON. We appreciate that, Senator, and we will cooperate to the very best of our ability in helping to reach that type of bill.
Senator Ives. Thank you.
Mr. Munson. The experience from enactment June 22, 1944, of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act soon revealed that limiting education or training to veterans whose education or training was interrupted by entrance into active service was neither feasible nor equitable; it was discriminatory. The Seventy-Ninth Congress remedied this fault in the basic act December 28, 1945, in Public Law 268, just 18 months after the original law was passed. The act of December 28, 1945, authorized training or education regardless of age, need, or interruption by service. Shall the same mistake be made again?
As to No. 3, where education or training would be limited to 12 months where there was no actual or presumptive interruption by service, I believe we have clearly shown we are in opposition to the proposal. I think I should say, however, that it would be reasonable, we believe, to permit, as allowed by the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, as amended, eligible veterans to obtain short, intensive postgraduate, or training courses of less than 30 weeks at their option instead of the course to which they would otherwise be entitled.
This has proved a boon to many World War II veterans who needed "refresher" courses to fit them for early reemployment in their chosen fields.
Senator AIKEN. That would be particularly important to teachers?
Mr. Munson. That is right. It is already very important to many doctors who returned from service and took short refresher courses in order to bring them up to date in their own professions, and I might add lawyers, too. Most professional people could benefit by that.
No. 4 sets up restrictive limitations on the period following separation from service in which training may be initiated, namely, 2 years, and when it must be completed, which is within 7 years after the end of the basic service period. Similar restrictions were in the basic law providing education or training for World War II veterans. Congress saw fit later to amend the basic act in this regard based upon experience.
Eventually, by amendatory legislation a World War II veteran could initiate a course of education or training not later than 4 years after discharge or July 25, 1951, whichever should be later, and the Congress provided for termination of the program 9 years after the end of the war, so that the World War II veteran has until July 25, 1956, to complete his course.
The American Legion believes that experience is valuable and that we should profit by what we have learned in the past. We advocate, therefore, that it be provided that a course of education or training for a veteran of the present emergency be initiated not later than 4 years after discharge or termination of the emergency, whichever is later, and that the benefit be terminated 9 years after the emergency is declared ended.
No. 5 would limit the Government's payment of tuition and fees to one-half of the cost up to a maximum of $300. This would make it appear that there are those who believe that veterans have made excessive use of the existing program and that such a provision will curtail the use of similar benefits by veterans now serving.
It is possible that the $500 maximum allowed in the existing program was high and encouraged higher tuition rates. However, it may well be that tuition rates would have increased because of higher operating costs. We do not believe that making the veteran pay onehalf of his tuition up to the $300 maximum is a solution. It will make it impossible for many veterans to take training.
Many institutions will find it possible to raise rates in order to take advantage of the Government's $300 maximum. Some schools have a monopoly on some phases of technical training and enrollment is not a real problem. Such a school could raise its tuition to $600, thus getting the Government maximum of $300 and forcing the veteran to match it. This is legislation favoring the privileged and eliminating the underprivileged with equal or greater ability. It is of importance to our democracy that those of ability, regardless of their economic status, receive a maximum of training.
The veteran who cannot pay for all of his training usually cannot pay for any of it. A compromise might be to pay all of the tuition and fees up to a maximum of $400. This would give every veteran
a an opportunity to seek education or training within this limit. It would set up a little competition among schools who might attempt to attract veteran students with lower tuition rates. At the same time it does permit the veteran to pay a higher rate if he wants to and can afford it.
No. 6 provides an automatic adjustment in the subsistence allowance as farm and on-the-job training courses progress. If a veteran is enrolled for 24 months of training his subsistence would be cut onesixth every 4 months. We believe this will be difficult to administer without disrupting present procedures now in operation under present apprenticeship councils. It certainly would be hard to administer in farm training courses because farm incomes will vary with the type of farming and the area in which the farm is located. You have an element of Federal control creeping in which has a tendency to demand uniformity in all areas. This we believe to be impossible.
The application of this provision will have a tendency to drive men out of on-the-job and apprentice training into private trade schools. We believe that as a result of this and the shortening of the entitlement period we will witness a growth in the number of schools offering short-cut training in highly technical trades.
No. 7 concerns the payment of less than the proportional amount of full-time subsistence allowance, supplies, and equipment when the veteran is pursuing a part-time institutional course. The full-time rates in this bill would be $80, $110, or $125, depending upon the number of dependents. Under the Servicemen's Readjustment Act, a parttime student would receive one-fourth, one-half, or three-fourths of these amounts.
Under this bill, the part-time trainee must accept the rates of $70, or $95, rates for farm and on-the-job trainees, and he would receive one-half or three-fourths of these amounts. No subsistence is provided for trainees taking less than one-half time courses. It is evident
that this is intended to discourage part-time training which again creates a hardship for veterans with one or more dependents who find it difficult to take full-time training because of their own economic circumstances.
No. 8 relates to the elimination of allowances for subsistence, supplies, and equipment to veterans attending courses on less than a onehalf time basis. Veterans with large families trying to get some training while holding meager jobs depend on the small amount of subsistence allowed for one-fourth time training. For many it will mean no training or an attempt to crowd in one-half time training at the end of a full working day. We cannot believe Congress will go along with this. To eliminate this veteran is to eliminate the fellow who is really in need of training. The American Legion is vitally concerned about this group.
The National Education Association recently published some data which points out that of all adults 25 years of age or over, 3 million have never gone to school at all, 13 percent have not completed the fourth grade; 56 percent have only an eighth grade education or less; and 75 percent have not completed high school.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, the American Legion has been concerned about that 75 percent since its origin. We all need to be concerned. Too many of us put too much emphasis upon saving democracy through the education of our youths when it is adults that need revitalizing. Veterans are adults who have learned the hard way what it costs to keep the fox holes of foreign wars out of our front yards. They have earned their right to the free education we talk so much about. Our appeal is that you give them every opportunity to rise above that 75 percent with less than a high-school education.
The American Legion does not regard these training benefits as a bonus. We want good training and will support every effort of the Government to get a dollar's worth of training for every dollar spent. However, we urge that restrictions be used where they are most needed. Give veterans of this emergency the same benefits and the same opportunities for training as were granted veterans of World War II.
Senator HILL. Mr. Munson, may I ask what is your background before you became associated with the American Legion ?
Mr. Munson. Twenty-two years as a superintendent of schools specializing in rural consolidation in Iowa, sir.
Senator HILL. The tall corn State?
Senator Hill. I knew from the way you spoke that you not only had ability but that you had the background, too.
Senator Aiken, do you have any questions?
Senator Ives. I have nothing further, but I wish to commend the presentation.
Senator Hill. I would like to commend you for an excellent presentation, Mr. Munson.
Mr. MÚNSON. Thank you, gentlemen.
Senator HILL. Next we will hear from Mr. Adin M. Downer, assistant legislative representative of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
STATEMENT OF ADIN M. DOWNER, ASSISTANT LEGISLATIVE
REPRESENTATIVE, VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS
Mr. DoWNER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Hill. We will be glad to put your full statement in the record if you see fit to summarize.
Senator Ives. May I ask, is this the Ketchum statement that you are about to read ?
Mr. DoWNER. Yes, sir. Mr. Ketchum prepared the statement, but was unable to be here.
Senator Ives. Thank you.
Mr. DoWNER. I am grateful for the opportunity and privilege to appear before your committee as the legislative spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States-an organization composed of men who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States, on foreign soil or in hostile waters during wartime—to present our viewpoint with respect to S. 1940, a bill to provide certain educational and training benefits to veterans who served in the active military, naval, or air service on or after June 27, 1950.
In August 1943 in New York City the national encampment of the Veterans of Foreign Wars unanimously adopted a resolution which called upon the Congress of the United States to enact legislation which would provide educational aid and training to those veterans of World War II whose education had been interrupted or deferred by reason of entrance into the Armed Forces. I believe that resolution was one of the first, if not the first, advocating educational aid and training at the expense of the Federal Government for men and women whose educational opportunities had been interrupted or deferred by reason of military service.
Your committee is familiar with the history of the legislation which eventually implemented the VFW resolution of 1943. You know that several bills, varying in degree and scope, to accomplish educational aid and training for veterans of World War II were introduced in the Congress and after months of careful consideration and open hearings in both branches of the Congress there emerged a bill identified as the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, which was approved by President Roosevelt and became Public Law 346.
Among several benefits provided in Public Law 346 was a section which granted educational aid and training for certain veterans of World War II whose education, up to a certain age, was assumed to have been interrupted or deferred by reason of their military service.
The original educational aid and training benefits granted under Public Law 346 were limited under the assumption that while the Government has no obligation to those service men and women whose educational program might have been interrupted or deferred, it did not appear reasonable that the same obligation existed with respect to those servicemen who had reached or passed an age beyond which it could not be reasonably assumed that military service had interfered with education.
In the months and years following the enactment of the original Public Law 346 there arose a demand inside and outside of veteran