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this legislation. I desire to read to yon a letter I have received from one of the most active Legion meu Hi the United States. This man is a member of the national executive committee of the American Legion, and his letter is as follows:
I received your letter, also the copy of the emergency officers' retirement bill.
Last night, being meeting night of our post, I thought It advisable to take the bill and your letter to the meeting. I called upon several men who held commissions In the late war and urged them to be present. We had a very good attendance. I read the report of the majority and also the minority report of your committee. Explained to them to the best of my ability the action that had been taken on this by the National Legion Convention and why.
We unanimously approved the action of the minority. I knew that you would be interested in this and thought this action wise.
This man was an officer himself and is now a member of the national executive committee of the American Legion.
I desire to read to you a letter from a constituent of mine, an officer in the late war who was di.subled 01 per cent permanent disability. This man to-day is drawing $61, and under this legislation he would draw $150 a month for the rest of his life. Here is what he says about this retirement bill:
Dear Fbiend: I have read your letter in regard to the Fitzgerald bill. I believe the bill would be a mischievous piece of legislation.
I commend your stand upon this bill.
That is a letter from a man who would receive the benefits of this legislation for the rest of his natural life. Knowing the man personally I know of his service, and there was no better soldier, ever wore a uniform during the late war. I say, in his behalf, that I believe he is the most unselfish man I have ever known in my lifetime. [Applause.]
Now, I realize the futility of opposing this legislation. There has been for several years misleading propaganda spread throughout the Nation. I know Members of this House have committed themselves to this legislation without realizing the effect of its provisions. You feel obligated to these men to whom you gave the promise several years ago to vote for this legislation.
My colleague from Missouri read this afternoon a telegram from the commander of the Legion of the State of Missouri, and in that telegram he urged that this Member support this bill. I know that two years ago, when this matter was before the Missouri Department of the American Legion in convention, that convention refused to indorse it. I have been informed that at the last session the Missouri Department of the American Legion again refused to indorse this same legislation.
I say the commander of the American Legion of the State of Missouri, if these facts are true as stated, was not speaking for the American Legion of Missouri, but was only speaking personally when he directed that Member to support this legislation.
This bill is discriminatory not only as to the enlisted men that served in the late war—42,000 enlisted men who have a disability of 30 per cent permanent or more—it not only discriminates against these 42,000 men but it discriminates against 5,000 and some odd emergency officers themselves. There are at this time 8,466 disabled emergency officers, and this bill only provides for 3,232 of them, which leaves the other 5,234 on the same basis they are to-day, drawing a compensation as enlisted men are drawing under the present law.'
Mr. NEWTON. Does the gentleman mean those who have less than 30 per cent disability?
Mr. MILLIGAN. No; in the first place they set an arbitrary rate of 30 per cent i>ermanent disability to come within the provisions of the bill, but that leaves those who only have from 10 to 29 pt.T cent on the same basis tlmt they are to-day.
By this provision of permanent disability that leaves the man who may have 100 i>er cent temporary disability drawing the same compensation he is to-day. Eighty per cent of the men who are suffering from tuberculosis and drawing the statutory award for tuberculosis will not come within the provisions of this legislation.
A man with an arrested case of tuberculosis is to-day rated by the Veterans' Bureau from 12% to 15 per cent. A man who is in the hospital with active tuberculosis will not be included in this bill because he is rated with a temporary disability, and is thereby excluded from the 30 per cent permanent disability. That provision excludes five thousand two hundred and thirty-four and odd of the 8,466 disabled emergency officers. They have a provision in this bill that provides that where the officer to-day has no disability or any rating before the Veterans' Bureau conn's within its provisions.
Mr. CROWTHER, Was the gentleman in the recent war?
Mr. MILLIGAN. I was. I have served as a buck private and an officer. [Applause.]
There is a provision on page 1 of the bill that includes officers who to-day have no disability whatever, officers to-day who are drawing no compensation from the Government, who are recognized as having no compensable disability. Yet they are included in this bill. We find that in lines 6, 7, and 8 ou page 1 of the bill in the following language:
who during such service have Incurred physical disability in line of duty, and who have been or may hereafter within one year be rated in accordance with law lit not less than 30 per cent permanent disability by the United States Veterans' Bureau.
The words "who have been" include cases of officers who to-day have no disability but who some time since their discharge have had a rating of 30 per cent permanent disability. You include those men whom the records show have recovered. Yet you exclude the emergency officer who to-day is 100 per cent temporarily disabled.
This is a i>ension bill. It can not be argued that this is a retirement bill. Tills can only be treated as a pension bill. I do not believe that we should enter upon a program of pensioning men of this or any other war according to their rank. To do so would leave this situation: You would have a man in a town or community, say, a colonel, who has 30 per cent, disability drawing a compensation for the rest of his life of $250 a month, while the enlisted man living next door with exactly the same disability and having the same rating receiving only $30 per month.
Mr. GROSSER Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. MILLIGAN. Yes.
Mr. GROSSER. What was the gentleman's position in the Army? The gentleman says that he was an officer.
Mr. MILLIGAN. I Whs a captain.
Mr. GROSSER Of machine gun?
Mr. MILLIGAN. Of Infantry.
Mr. GROSSER. And as I understand it, the gentleman was wounded'!
Mr. MILLIGAN. That is beside the point, I have the greatest sympathy for the officer or the enlisted man who was disabled in this late war, but I can not bring myself to vote for a bill of this kind that not only discriminates against the enlisted man but also discriminates against the emergency officers themselves. It is my theory that the health of the enlisted man is just, as valuable to him as is the health of (he officer, and I believe that the enlisted man is entitled to the same standards of living as the officer. I believe that the children of the enlisted man are entitled to the same social and educational advantages as are the children of the officers under whom he served. [Applause.]
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. Mr. Chairman, I shall take only a couple of minutes, because the gentleman from Missouri [Mr. Milligan] is laboring under a couple of misapprehensions which I hope constitute the reasons why he has changed his stand on this bill. In the first place, if a man has a service disability, and he is rated temporarily 100 per cent, he can be retired if he wants to under the bill. Nothing in the bill can hurt. If he wants to be retired he certainly has his 30 per cent permanent disability to be retired with, and he may apply for retirement or not as he sees fit.
I yield seven minutes to the gentleman from Wisconsin, [Mr. Schaper].
Mr. SGHAFER. Mr. Chairman, I shall be happy, indeed, to vote for the emergency officers' retirement legislation. The only fault that I find with the pending bill Is that it does not go far enough in extending the retirement benefits. If the parliamentary situation will permit, I shall offer a motion to recommit with specific Instructions to report back immediately with amendments which will perfect the bill and extend its benefits. The one-year limitation in line 8 of page 1 should be stricken out, and the 30 i>er cent permanent disability in line 1 on page 2 changed to 10 per cent, so that all emergency officers who have or may have a permanent disability of 10 per cent or more will be entitled to the retirement benefits of the legislation.
Much has been said ou the floor of the House about the American Legion's method of bombarding Congress with letters and telegrams in favor of this legislation. I am always glad to hear from my constituents, especially when they are interested in pending or proposed legislation, but at no time will I pledge myself to a vote against every amendment which may be offered to a bill, as requested by some of the officers of the American Legion.
I do not think any such pledge would square with the fundamental principles of our democracy or with the fundamental principles of the American Legion. [Applause.]
We have heard on the floor of the House a great deal of talk about this bill discriminating In favor of one class and against another class. Our Federal laws to take care of the peace-time workers In the Government service are based on the amount of their salaries, which are based on the class of service rendered and the positions held. The service of an emergency officer compared with that of an enlisted man is similar to the service of an executive head compared with that of a clerk in his department. There is no more ground for holding that there is a discrimination against the enlisted man in this bill than there is to hold that discrimination exists against the clerks under the United States employees' compensation laws.
We listened to the fervid argument a few moments ago, in which it was attempted to show how this bill would discriminate against widows and officers of other wars. That same argument could have been used against all legislation which has been enacted for the relief of veterans, widows, orphans, and dependents, because it gave benefits to some and not to others.
You are not discriminating against any soldier because you are giving one of his buddies additional benefits.
If you look through the history of Congress you will see special pension acts granting to widows of former officers of the American Army who did not die of service disability pensions of $75 and $100 and $150 a month. Those bills passed Congress with the approval of many of the Members who now raise the cry of discrimination against this emergency officers' retirement bill. When you gave the widow of a prominent officer $75 or $100 as a pension by special act, whether or not her husband died of service disability, you could equally apply the same argument of discrimination against the widows and the children of every veteran of any war which this Nation has engaged in. [Applause.] The argument of the opponents of this bill that it will establish a precedent, discriminatory in nature, is utterly unfounded. I hope the bill will pass by an overwhelming majority.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Chairman, I yield two minutes to the gentleman from Nebraska [Mr. Simmons].
Mr. SIMMONS. Mr. Chairman, in the debate yesterday the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Conneut] made this statement, in part:
Only 7 per cent of the officers of the Regular Army were casualties iu battle. Ninety-three per cent of the officer casualties were emergency officers.
• I agree with the sentiment of his speech, which gave credit for bravery to emergency officers who were wounded in battle. They were brave men, but I think we ought to know the facts. I resent the inference that the Regular Army officers were not Just as brave as the emergency officers.
Six thousand three hundred and four Regular and 92,919 emergency Army officers served overseas; 181 Regulars and 2,034 emergency officers were killed in action. That means that 2.87 per cent of the Regulars who served in France were killed in action as against 2.09 per cent of the emergency officers.
We had in the Army 199,307 emergency officers during the war. During that time there were 11,357 Regular officers in the Army. The Regular officers numbered not quite 5Mi per cent of the total commissioned personnel of the Army.
The gentleman from Massachusetts says they received 7 per cent of the casualties in battle. From the above figures I take It the records are in favor of and not against the Regular officer. [Applause.]
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. Mr. Chairman, in reply to that I may say I think the statement of the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Conneey] is correct. The gentleman from Nebraska [Mr. Simmons] Inters that both statements are not correct. The statement of the gentleman from Massachusetts, as I understand, was that 93 per cent of our officer-battle deaths were of emergency officers and he is correct.
There is no inconsistency between the two statements.
It has been called to my attention by the gentleman from Missouri that this bill is so drawn that there is a chance that a man who has once received a rating of 30 per cent would be entitled to its benefits even though he had recovered. I wish to say that is a fallacy; it is very specious, although my good friend may have justification for placing that construction upon the language of the bill. We use your knowledge of legal phrases and common sense. If a man has been rated permanently disabled, \vhnt does that mean? It. means rated honestly, fairly, and legally as permanently disabled. If a mistake has been made and has been corrected, the Veterans' Bureau will never grant retirement because of a known mistake since corrected. If a man Is not rated now as having a 30 per cent permanent disability, although he had been once so rated erroneously, he would not get retirement, though my good
friend so misapprehends it. The change, necessarily a correction, would show that the original rating was not correct.
Mr. MILLIGAN. What is meant by the words in line 7, on page 1, "who have been "1
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. That means those who have been correctly rated, but because a mistake has been made that would not justify them in retiring a man.
Mr. MILLIGAN. Hag the gentleman gone to the Veterans' Bureau for an interpretation?
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. No; I have not, but that must be so.
Mr. MILLIGAN. I understand they do not so Interpret it.
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. If they have made a mistake and have corrected it, that mistake would not warrant them in putting u man under the provisions of this bill, and no man would be retired because of a mistake.
Mr. MILLIGAN. I will say that these officers have been Informed by those who are promulgating this legislation that they are included.
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. I am very sorry if that is so because I am sure that that is a misrepresentation.
Mr. BUHTNESS. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. ROY G. FITZUERALD. Yes.
Mr. BI'RTNESS. What about a case which at one time received a permanent rating, as an illustration, of 35 per cent and then it is cut down to 25 per cent permanent? The permanent rating as such remains, but the ]>ercentagp has been cut from a figure sufficient to come within this bill down to one that would not permit the bill to operate on such an individual. Would he not under this language be included?
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. I fear not, because that is a correction. If a mistake has been made and a correction has been made I am sure he could not be included under this bill. Under this bill, if it becomes a law, and under the language of this bill, retirement would be given only as a result of a correct or final rating of 30 per cent or more of disability.
Mr. BURTNESS. If I understand correctly, it may not necessarily be a mistake.
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. It would necessarily have to be a mistake, because a man may have a 100 per cent temporary disability, and at the same time a 30 per cent permanent disability, but the permanent degree can never change.
Mr. BURTNESS. A person may have a permanent rating and gradually a man's condition is aggravated so that the permanent rating changes, not in its permanency, but in its percentage; and it is increased from time to time. I have secured increases for a great many such individuals myself.
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. But the permanent rating should always be the same. All elements should be considered, including the progressive character of the disability and the permanent rating if correctly made should remain unchanged.
Mr. BURTNESS. Certainly; I agree with the gentleman, but the percentage may vary, depending on the circumstances.
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. Mr. Chairman, I yield five minutes to my colleague from Massachusetts [Mrs. Rogebs].
Mrs. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman and gentleman of the committee, I am not going to give you any figures or any percentages because you have been listening to figures for two meetings of the committee. I am going to talk about the veterans I have known so well since 1917.
I want to correct the impression that the enlisted men will object to the passage of this measure. I have heard that a few Members have had letters from a few men who have said they objected, but I do not believe they understood the measure. I know the unselfishness of the disabled veterans. I have worked with them steadily since 1917, first in France, then in the Walter Reed Hospital all day, day after day. from 1918 until 1922, and I have seen them all over the country since that time— and I love and respect thorn for their courage which beggars all description.
I find the attitude of the men in the hospitals toward their comrades is always the same from Maine to California. When I visit the hospitals I always go to the sickest ward first. In each wnrd the men always say, "There is a comrade who is not going to live very long, who needs help or compensation, will not you take his case first?" And perhaps those very men who send me to their sick comrade may know perfectly well that they have only a few days, and some of them only a few hours, to live. I could give you their names, but I will not take the time to do that. We want to vota upon this bill as soon as possible. However, I can prove that men are curiously gentle and tender for the welfare of others—supremely unselfish. They can not get this retirement but they do not begrudge it to the officers.
If you argue against this retirement measure why do you not argue that you should not pay officers any more (luring a war than you pny enlisted men? Surely their lives are 110 more valuable to them during the war than they are after it is over. All retirement measures in Government and elsewhere are based on position and salary at the time of retirement. The officers who went into the war were from 12 to 14 years older than the enlisted men; more of them were married, more of them h:id children, and more of them left lucrative positions and were entrenched in good business positions but many of them have never regained those positions owing to their war-time disability.
You can never compensate the men for what they have lost. You can not compensate a man who has lost his arms and his legs; a man who is Wind; a man who is fighting the battle of the mind; or who vnitrhes the world go by from a sick bed; a man who has given up the chance for a wife, children, and all that makes life dear. It is not a question of compensation. But you can give these emergency officers little bit more. You gave retirement to tin- naval officers, you gave it to the Marine Corps officers, why can yon not give it to the Army officers? The War Department has withdrawn its objection to the passage of this measure. But I can not honestly see what difference it makes who indorses it or who does not indorse it, if the measure is Just.
I think if you analyze tho fact, during the war this Government pays the officers more than it does the enlisted men. You will realize that it is perfectly sane, perfectly logical, to pay them a higher rate in retirement.
As I have said before, you can not secure this for the enlisted men. You do not retire the enlisted men of the Regular Army at any time. They are given pensions although smaller pensions just as the enlisted men after the war.
They are all equally brave. I have never seen a man, in all my experience, who was not brave, no matter how terrible his suffering was. and I have watched the men before their operations, during their operations, and I have seen them go to the great beyond. And when people are going to meet their Maker you know how they feel about things. There are no sliams then. There are no pretenses, and I know these men do not begrudge their comrades anything, and this is one of the best facts I want to leave with you. I am perfectly sure the enlisted men will not begrudge the emergency officers their retirement pay. Please do not belittle them or misjudge them by believing for one instant they resent the officers being given what they can not have. I am going to vote for this measure because I think it is just, and I believe as time goes, every one of you will believe it is just also. [Applause.]
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Chairman, I yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Keakns]. [Applause.]
Mr. KEARNS. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, there has been a great deal of discussion throughout this debate as to whether or not the World War enlisted man wants this bill passed. There seems to be a diversity of opinion on this subject. It is easy to find out. All that any Member of this House would have to do would be to go over here to Walter Reed Hospital and ask some enlisted man who has been totally disabled for life whether or not he wants some swivel-chair officer who fought in the great battle along the Potomac during the war and fell off a chair and was injured by his spurs, to have more money than he can receive for his wounds. [Laughter and applause.]
I am not belittling the services of the great officers who temporarily went abroad and fought in France, but this bill gives to the men who came down here in hordes when the war was on seeking commissions and remained in Washington the same privileges as the bill gives to officers who saw real service.
I was here during the time of the war, and my office, as well as yours, was crowded all the time with young men within the draft age who had come here for commissions. Some of them were lucky. Some of them had congressional pull and got a commission. Other men with just as strong mentality, other men who had just the same ability to command men, could not get a commission because there were not commissions sufficient to go around.
I have heard men on this floor talk about these officers having ability superior to the enlisted men. In some instances this is true, but in most instances it is not true. I know of college graduates, I know of men who left their law offices, I know of men who left industries as heads of such industries and went out as private soldiers in this war and served under these temporary officers who were lucky enough to get commissions.
In one instance I know where they served under a man who was a police officer. I have no quarrel with the police officer, but I do know that this argument that these officers gave up
good positions is no more true than It Is to say that the enlisted men gave up good positions. This was a draft army, and in most instances the private was the equal if not the superior of the temporary officer.
I have in mind now two brothers, one of them at the time the war broke out was serving as a secretary to a Member of Congress. The other brother was the superintendent of a public high school. They were reared in the same family, of the same parentage, and were graduated from the same school. The young man who had congressional pull received a commission. The young superintendent of a public school out in Ohio did not have this pull and went in as an enlisted soldier. The brother who had the pull became a captain. The one who enlisted as an enlisted man out there in no man's land one day in France, where shells went screaming and bursting by, was hopelessly crippled and to-day he is a tottering idiot almost, because his mind is entirely gone. To-day that man can draw something like $90 or $100 i>er month. The captain brother was injured in the knee by a shrapnel that rendered him 30 per cent disabled. To-day he is a lawyer making perhaps $10,000 or $15,000 or $20,000 a year, and yet this captain brother could get $150 a month, wThile his totally disabled brother would only get the insignificant sum of from $90 to $100 and without any earning capacity. Is this just? Is it American?
I do not know how you may think of this, but I never can bring myself to the conclusion that I am going to desert the policy that has been in existence practically ever since the United States has been a country and make a class distinction in time of peace between the private soldier and the soldier of rank. [ Applause. 1
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. Mr. Chairman, I will take a few minutes myself. This shows the thoughtlessness of some Members of Congress. After having been told what the policy of the United States is, whnt it has been, what the principle was during the Revolutionary War, the Black Hawk War, and the Civil War. every war down to the Spanish War, that the policy of this Nation has been for over a hundred years to pay pensions for disabilities based on rank, the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Keakxs] tells us what he thinks the policy of the United States should be and what he so erroneously thinks it has been. He speaks of two brothers—and the case is not typical, because officers on an average were 12 or 15 years older than the enlisted personnel.
Mr. KEARNS. There was only .two years' difference in the ages of these two brothers.
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. It is not a typical case, if there ever was such a case. If the gentleman has any sympathy or l«ve for a soldier in his heart, he may do something for the soldier brother who he thinks is not adequately compensated in this case. I want the soldiers who have given so much—84 men under this bill have been decorated for gallantry on the field of battle—and I want them to receive an Increase to show the country that this country, which is constantly increasing in wealth, is constantly Increasing in appreciation of the patriotism of these men who sacrificed so much. [Applause.] If the gentleman thinks the brother that he speaks of is not getting enough, I would like to help him get something for that soldier at some time and somewhere. [Applause.]
The CHAIRMAN. The Clerk will read.
The Clerk, reading the bill, read as follows:
8«c. 2. No person shall be entitled to benefits under the provisions of this net exeept he make application as hereinbefore provided anil his application is received in the United States Veterans' Bureau within 12 months after the passage of this act: Provided, That tho said director shall establish a register, and applications made hereunder shall bo entered therein as of the actual date of receipt, In the order of receipt in the Veterans' Bureau, and such register shall be conclusive as to date of receipt of any application filed under this act. The term "World War," as used iiercin, is denned as Including the period from April 0, 1917, to July 2. 1921.
Mr. McCLINTIC. Mr. Chairman, I would like to offer an amendment to section 1. I ask unanimous consent to return to section 1 for the purpose of offering an amendment.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from Oklahoma asks unanimous consent to return to section 1 for the purpose of offering an amendment. Is there objection?
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. I object.
Mr. ARENTZ. Mr. Chairman, the House could not very well hear, there was so much confusion, the reading of the bill. I think the gentleman ought to have a right to offer an amendment to section 1.
The CHAIRMAN. That matter is in the hands of the committee and the gentleman from Ohio has objected.
Mr. BURTNESS. Mr. Chairman and gentleman of the committee, I want to say with all the sincerity I possess that I ^Sret exceedingly thnt I find myself unable to support this TMU. I would like to vote for it for many reasons. First and "oremost, is the fact that I have some intimate friends, disabled emergency officers, who would receive practical benefits therefrom. I think naturally all of us would also like to vote 'b accordance with the wishes as expressed by resolutions, of tiat great organization thnt has been referred to so often on the floor, the American Legion. With many of the service men Who have spoken on the floor against the bill, I believe that the .Membership generally of the Legion knows little or nothing nbont it, and that if it did most of such membership would fjftpofie it. Almost every service man with whom I have disciisfied the bill in person is opposed thereto. More and more a it* tnbing that view almost daily.
that as it may you as well as the service men in the I represent know of my constant interest in their welI hare consistently voted and worked for every bill prolarger disability compensation, better hospital facilities, liberal construction of compensation measures, to say !M .- !i : i • •-• of voting to override the President's veto of the adjn.»=t^cl compensation measure. I would not take a great deal for some of the flue, splendid letters I have received from servic-e^ xii^n, their dependents, and families for assistance rendered in various matters. As has been so well said this measure is not in reality a retirement bill; it is now admitted by all that it is a compensation bill. So the question arises as to how it vi-ill work out in actual practice when it comes to be administered. Are its terms fair and just to the service men ttae'Eustrives? I can not for the life of me see how I would be justified in voting for a bill that would result in doing such a as the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Kearns] showed by his illustration applied to two brothers in his district In that t wo boys were reared in the same family, one through ;.. .) i i i. ;ii influence obtained a commission, and the other served as «. private.
I do not care whether there was 2 years or 12 years difference in r ].• ir ages. They had the same possibilities before them; used to the same standard of living; they came from s**»^3ie family; graduated from the same college; they both their services to their country; the private is permanently disabled, totally disabled, drawing compensation of $100 Pe-r month, unable to earn a dollar, while the captain has only 8 **O i>^r cent disability so receives $30 per month compensation, is » practicing lawyer with a large income. In spite of his v-«ly low disability, in so far as affecting earning power is r»^ed, but because he held a commission as a captain, he •minder this bill draw $150 a month for the balance of his vwi •v^-Jiile his brother, much more in need of help, would continue- ^-« draw $100 per month. I can not feel that this would * rjF» * *~ _ We have not discriminated between officers and priWp^-t _* *n pensions for veterans of the Civil War and the Spanish•unc x-i <^-«n War. Would we be justified in setting up these dis""n**-^ actions in the case of World War veterans?
<HONNERY. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield? _*t!RTNESS. I can not yield now. Let me give a few * ilnstratlons. Let us note the difference in the ratings a chemist and a bacteriologist in the Veterans' Bureau, recall the arbitrary test of 30 per cent disability is upon by the Veterans' Bureau under present compensa•ws—that rating is accepted as the guide for retirement -this bill. .~*>«mist who has his leg off at the knee is given a rating
cent, but a bacteriologist iu the same predicament, the same kind of an artificial leg, is rated at 29 per cent, the finding of the Veterans' Bureau with reference to occupations. Apparently they allow $4 more to the compensating for the fact, that possibly In his work get up from his stool or his bench a little oftener durday than the bacteriologist. To-day such a chemist 13 per month and the bacteriologist $29, but what do the
of this hill say?
V" say, in effect, that the difference of $4 a month between *)ist and the bacteriologist is not sufficient, even though **Xiffered the same disability and may have had the same _*»nd so they propose a law under which the chemist, who, *-4l say, is a major, shall then get $187.50 a mouth for the Jr^ of his life, while his bacteriologist friend, who may like*"* ave been a major, must continue to receive $29 a month. ^^Siscriininations can not be justified by anyone, and if this passed the bacteriologist will have a right to complain 111 complain.
tis take the ratings of a bookkeeper, a cashier, a lawyer. *>r, and a stationary engineer as applied to a specific dis". Let us assume that they have had to have two-thirds
of a leg amputated. Under such a condition the bookkeeper receives a rating of 25 per cent, the cashier of 29 per cent, the lawyer receives a rating of 29 per cent, the doctor receives a rating of 39 per cent, and a stationary engineer 44 per cent. This is, of course, so whether they were officers, noncoms, or privates. Assume the case of an emergency colonel in the war who happened to be a physician as compared with an emergency colonel who happened to be a bookkeeper, a cashier, or a lawyer. What is the result? The bookkeeper, the cashier, and the lawyer, whether officer or private, will continue to receive from $25 or $29 per month, while the physician colonel will under this bill receive $250 a month, or about ten times as much for the same physical disability, and a disability which under the solemn findings of the Veterans' Bureau to-day are apparently no greater to the extent of actual disability iu earning power than about $10 a month.
I submit that in all fairness we can not vote for that kind of a bill if we want to do justice not only as between the enlisted man and the officer, but as between one set of emergency officers and another set of emergency officers. Privates 100 per cent permanently disabled would draw but little more than half as much as a major only 30 per cent disabled. A first lieutenant 100 per cent disabled would draw $93.50 per month less than a lieutenant colonel 30 per cent disabled. All officers of the same rank would draw the same allowance if disabled to the extent of 30 per cent, regardless of whether one is totally helpless and the other able to carry on a successful business or profession.
I am in thorough accord with the remarks made by the chairman of the Veterans' Committee, the gentleman from South Dakota [Mr. Royal Johnson] this afternoon, himself a distinguished disabled emergency officer. Personally, I hope the bill may be so amended that we can nil support it and do justice to some of the urgent cases which will be covered by legislation of this sort. I am not going to be arbitrary in my demands of amendment before giving support, but I have retained the right as a Representative in this House to vote for each and every amendment as it comes up, and to exercise the best judgment that I have upon the occasion. I can never yield to propaganda, no matter whence it comes, which demands that I take the bill and not amend it, but vote for it just as it is. Whenever we so yield we rock the very foundations of representative government.
Mr. Johnson has a proposal which seems fair and which I assume he will explain, limiting the awards largely to those suffering from actual war casualties, or to disability incurred in line of duty providing for increases with age. Mr. Simmons has, I understand, suggested that the percentage of disability be figured on the pay received by the officer so that the person 30 per cent disabled receive 30 per cent of such pay, the man 75 per cent disabled that percentage, and so forth. Both of these propositions are worthy of serious consideration. Personally, I should be glad to see the base of $100 per month for total disability raised so that all totally or partially disabled, officer or private, may receive a larger amount proportionately under our compensation laws.
But why grant thousands of dollars per year to the New York judge drawing a salary for life of $12,000 per year? Why pay thousands per year to fairly well paid men now profitably employed in the Veterans' Bureau, some of whom are paid salaries as high as $6.200 annually? Why establish such unjust discriminations which can not help but cause great dissatisfaction? We have many fine, brave service men in this House, several seriously wounded and considerably disabled. Unless we were informed we could not tell whether they had served as privates or as officers. To-day as Congressmen they receive the same salary. Two splendid officers here having disability ratings respectively of 30 per cent and 39 per cent would, under this bill, receive retirement pay for life under this bill, but others of our colleagues who served as privates, corporals, or sergeants, though disabled as much or more, would not benefit thereby.
I repeat, let us proceed in a businesslike way to see if we can not perfect this bill so as to do more exact justice. If so, I will be glad to vote for it. If this is not done I must, under my oath and as I see the facts, vote against it, unpleasant as that duty is.
Mr. McCLINTIC. Mr. Chairman, I offer the following amendment, which I send to the desk.
The Clerk read as follows:
Page 41, utter line 18, insert a new section to be known as section 3, an follows:
"That the provision of this act shall not be put Into effect until each noncommissioned officer and enlisted man wlio participated In the World War and has been given a permanent disability rating of not less than 30 per cent based on service origin by the Veterans' Bureau, shall be granlcd compensation in an amount of not less than $7T> 11 month."
Mr. ABERNETHY. Mr. Chairman, I make the point of order.
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. Mr. Chairman, I make the point of order.
Mr. McCLINTIC. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman reserve the point of order?
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. I will reserve it for three minutes.
Mr. McCLINTIC. I do not think the gentleman has a right to limit the time.
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. Then I make the point of order.
The CHAIRMAN. Does the gentleman from Oklahoma desire to be heard upon the point of order?
Mr. McCLINTIC. I do.
Mr. BANKHEAD. Mr. Chairman, what is the point of order?
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. Mr. Chairman, my point of order is that the amendment is not germane.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair will be glad to hear the gentleman from Oklahoma on the point of order.
Mr. McCLINTIC. Mr. Chairman and Members of the House, the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Rot G. Fitzgerald], who is in charge of this legislation, in a speech to-day called the attention of the House to the fact that no discrimination should be made between officers who performed service in the last war. I am in accord with him on this point, but, for the life of me, I can not understand why a discrimination should be made against the noncommissioned officers nnd the men who really did the fighting in the World War. According to the information given this House, a private with a 30 per cent disability rating gets in the way of compensation only approximately .$25 or $30. The average that will be paid to an emergency officer amounts to approximately $100. No one will deny that the privates and the noncommissioned officers suffered the greatest hardships. Consequently I have offered this new section with the hope that this House will adopt the same so that no one can say that the officers performed a greater service than those who fought in the front-line trenches.
Now. as to the point of order—my new section is a qualifying limitation. This House could say that a certain thing should not be done in a month or a year. It could say that the act should not have full force or effect until the President of the United States performed a certain thing. This House could nay that the bill should not take effect until the Treasurer performed a certain net, or it could say that until the Veterans' Bureau took certain action the bill would not become a law. I maintain that the proj)er way to determine what is uppermost in the minds of the Congress is to vote this new section either up or down, and therefore I respectfully say to the Chair that in my opinion this new section should be held as in order, so that it could not later be said that this House was guilty of passing class legislation and by so doing stating to the public that the officers performed a greater service than the enlisted personnel.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair is ready to rule. The Chair sustains the point of order.
Mr. JOHNSON of South Dakota. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike out everything contained in this bill after the enacting clause and insert the following as an amendment, which I send to the desk.
The Clerk read as follows:
Mr. Johnson of South Dakota moves to strike out all after the enacting clause and insert:
"That any person who served as an officer of the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States other than as an officer of the Regular Army. Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States, who was separated from such service under honorable conditions, and who, during any war in which the United States has been engaged, incurred physical disability by reason of injury received or disease contracted while in the line of duty in actual service, which at the time of application for retirement under this act incapacitates him for military service, shall, upon application as hereinafter provided, be placed on a separate retired list, herehy created, to be known as the emergency officers' retired list, with the rank held by him at the time of separation from the active service, and continued thereon so long as said disability exists.
"Sec, 2. While on the emergency officers' retired list such person shall he entitled to the same privileges as are now or may hereafter b*1 provided by law or regulations for officers of the Regular Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States who have been retired for physical disability incurred in line of duty: Provided, however. That the pay of such person shall be 50 per cent of the pay of the grade in which he was serving at time of separation from the active service, computed on the basis of the pay provided by sections 1 to 31, in
clusive, title 37 of the United States Code, but in no event shall mirh person receive more than 50 per cent of the pay of a lieutenant coionel, except .that where such person has suffered the loss of any member or part of the body, or of the use thereof, as the result of a wound received in battle, or has reached the age of 70 years or more, he shall be entitled to 75 per cent of the pay of the grade in which he wa« serving at time of separation from the active service, computed on the basis of the pay provided by sections 1 to 31. inclusive, title 37 of the United States Code, but in no event shall such person receive more than 75 per cent of the pay of a lieutenant colonel.
"Sec. 3. No person shall be entitled to the benefits of this act rnilfsj an application therefor be received in the United States Veterans' Bureau within 12 months after the passage of this act. The Director of the United States Veterans' Bureau shall establish a register, and applications made hereunder shall be entered thereon as of the actual date of receipt in the United States Veterans' Bureau, and In th« order thereof, and such register shall be conclusive as to date of receipt of any application filed under this act.
"sec. 4. The Director of the United States Veterans1 Bure»u it hereby authorized to create necessary boards to determine whether an applicant under this act incurred physical disability by reason of injury received or disease contracted while in the line of duty in actual service and the extent that such disability Incapacitates such person at the time of application. The decisions of such boards shall be final when approved by the director.
"Sec. 5. Payments under this act shall be made in accordance with an award by the Director of the United States Veterans' Bureau, and such awards shall be effective as of the date of application.
"Sbc. 6. The director shall cause persons ou the emerge.ncy officers' retired list to be examined at such intervals as, in his discretion, may be deemed advisable, and those persons who shall be found to have recovered from their disabilities shall, from the dote of recovery, as determined by the director, be removed from such list and thoir right to receive retired pay under the provisions of this act shall cease.
"Skc. 7. All pay to which such persons may be entitled under the provisions of this act shall be paid out of the appropriation for military and naval compensation of the United States Veterans"' Bureau. While receiving such pay and allowances such persons shall not be paid compensation under title 38 of the United States Code, as amended.
"Sec. 8. Persona on the emergency officers' retired list shall be entitled to the benefits of hospitulization under the provisions of section 484, title 38, of the United States Code as amended.
"Sgc. 9. Where any person entitled to the benefits of this act i» incompetent or for any other reason is unable to apply, an application may be made by his duly authorized legal representative: Providvd, hoicecer, That where any person otherwise entitled to bo placed on the emergency officers' retired list, having neither wife, child, nor dependent parent, shall have been maintained by the Government of the United States for a period or periods amounting to six months in an institution or institutions and shall be deemed by the director to be insane, such person shall not be entitled to the benefits of this act.
"Sbc. 10. Any officer of the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States other than an officer of the Regular Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States who has heretofore been granted retirement under any other act shall from the date of passage of this act be no longer entitled to receive retirement pay unless he shall qualify under this act.
"Sec. 11. There is hereby established in the United States Veterans' Bureau under the direction of the director a separate service to be known as the retirement service. For the purpose of administration the Director of the United States Veterans' Bureau is authorized and directed to perform or cause to be performed any or all acts, and to make such rules and regulations, as may be necessary and proper for the purpose of carrying this act into effect. All officers and employees of the bureau shall perform such duties under this act as may be assigned them by the director. All official acts performed by such officers or employees especially designated therefor by the director shall have the same force and effect as though performed by the director In person. The appropriation for the administrative expenses of the United States Veterans' Bureau shall be available for this purpose.
"Sec. 12. Persons placed on the emergency officers' retired list shall be entitled to wear the uniform of the rank on which they were retired. They shall be subject to assignment to active duty in accordance with the provisions of sections 991 to 909, inclusive, title 10, of the United States Code, and to the rules and Articles of War, and to trial by general court-martial for any breach thereof."
Mr. ABERNETHY. Mr. Chairman, I desire to reserve a point of order on the amendment.
Mr. ROY G. FITZGERALD. Mr. Chairman, I make a point of order against this suggested amendment iu a way of substi