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Withdrawals include $8,547,795 of the $12,750,000 authorized for new construction. Balance includes $4,212,205 of the $12,750,000 for new construction,

* Withdrawals include $4,202,205 which is the balance of the $12,750,000 authorized for new construction.


General HAISLIP. As recently as 1940, a report of a subcommittee of the Committee on Military Affairs of the Senate contained the following statement:

Your committee is of the opinion that the whole legislative idea of the National Soldiers' Home was so well and so carefully worked out by our ancestors specifically in the acts of 1851 and 1883, that it is believed that even in the light of present-day changes throughout the world it would be difficult indeed to improve upon the statutory provisions made for the comfort, care, and protection of the members.


The United States Soldiers' Home, while listed in the Congressional Directory as an independent establishment of the Government, is, in reality, a congressional trust and makes a report of its activities annually to the Congress. Included in this report is a report by the Inspector General of the Army, who, by law, is required to make an annual inspection of the home and report the results to the Congress.

It is pertinent to quote an extract from his last inspection report, dated October 1, 1953:

The mission of the United States Soldiers' Home (USSH) of providing care for certain old, invalid, or disabled soldiers and airmen was being performed in a manner which resulted in remarkable contentment and satisfaction among the members. All facilities and administrative procedures were pointed to the safety, comfort, and well-being of the individual.


The permanent fund on November 30, 1953, amounted to $49,014,344.82. The fund has been greatly augmented during the past decade because of the great increases in the strengths and

activities of the Regular Army and Regular Air Force over our peacetime experience.

Of the three principal sources of income already mentioned, the interest payments on the fund and the contributions by enlisted men have held fairly constant for a number of years.

However, the third source, the finest and forfeitures imposed on soldiers and airmen of the Regular forces by sentence of courtsmartial, has increased at an accelerated rate because of the many difficult personal problems arising from the continued worldwide deployment of our Armed Forces, and especially because of the combat in Korea.

Prior to the buildup in Korea, the annual income from fines and forfeitures averaged somewhere around $5 million. In fiscal year 1952 it grew to $7,500,000, and in fiscal year 1953 reached the amazing and distressing total of over $9 million.

Now that conditions of service are improving and with combat halted, I am confident that fines and forfeitures will drop back to between $5 million and $6 million, or a figure comparable to the annual total prior to the buildup in Korea.


Senator THYE. General, if you do not mind another question at that point, what impact will this increase in the strength of the Army and Air Force have on the future demands on the facilities of the home? I notice you refer to this increase and then you anticipated a decrease in fines and foreitures. I just wondered what the future seemed to hold in store for us.

General HAISLIP. I cover that in the next paragraph.
Senator THYE. Fine; thank you.

General HAISLIP. It should be noted that the increase of the fund beyond immediate requirements is building a healthy reserve to meet increased future demands resulting from the greater number of soldiers and airmen who will become eligible for admission to the home because of World War II and Korea. It is quite possible that during the next 10 years, the number of members in the home and applicants may rise to a total 3 or 4 times the size of the present membership or around 4,500 to 6,000 men. With the exception of the new domiciliary building and the new 210-bed addition to the hospital, the present plant is largely obsolete and must be replaced. Then too, the Congress may decide to build an airman's home in the not too distant future. Thus, it is easy to see that the reserve provides a painless method of satisfying these requirements without asking the Congress for funds from the general reserves of the Treasury and this augmented fund gives assurance that the home can continue to be conducted without cost to the taxpayer for years to come.

In this connection, it might be well to mention that Congress in 1908 did away with the monthly deductions as it appeared that remaining sources would provide adequate funds for the support of the home. This proved to be a mistake, as the annual income after World War I began to decline steadily until, in 1935, it reached a point where the Congress felt it necessary to restore the monthly deductions in order to again build up the fund.

The act of February 13, 1936, reestablished the monthly deduction to a maximum of 25 cents per month, but provided that within that limit, the exact amount would be fixed by the Secretary of the Army. Since January 1, 1943, the amount has been fixed at 10 cents per month.

The purpose of again bringing the above information to the attention of this committee is the fact that, notwithstanding the findings of the Senate committee and the further findings of the Hoover Commission which recommended that the Soldiers' Home be left alone, the membership of the home has been seriously disturbed and much concerned during recent years by periodic agitation for changes in the financial and operational structure of the United States Soldiers' Home.

So far as I am able to learn, no one has ever suggested that proposed changes would effect economies in operation, would increase efficiency or would improve the morale and welfare of the members of the home.

Does that cover your inquiry, sir, as to the increase?

Senator THYE. Yes, it does, but it does not answer as to what we may anticipate or expect as a problem in the future. That was the question I had in mind, whether you thought the fund might be such in the future that we would be able to overcome the problems under the present normal function of the home.

General HAISLIP. I am confident that for a considerable number of years we will be able to operate on our fund, taking the balance we have now plus the build up in the future as long as we maintain large Regular forces and be able to satisfy our obligations without having to ask for funds in addition to those in the permanent fund.

In other words, if peace comes and our Armed Forces are greatly decreased, perhaps our requirements per year may exceed our income, but with this healthy reserve we can survive for a good many years without having to ask help from the Congress either to take care of the membership or to expand the home.

Senator THYE. Do you anticipate that you will have a load requirement or a request for admittance that will exceed your facilities at any time in the future due to the large military force during World War II? They will probably be coming to the home in 10 more years.

General Haislip. Yes, sir; about 20 years after the war we begin to feel the serious impact of that war.

Senator THYE. That is what I thought and we are now approaching the first 10 years.


General HAISLIP. Yes, sir; that is right. But we feel that it is very difficult to really predict actually what is going to happen, but we do feel there is a possibility and several independent studies have accepted an eventual possible buildup of perhaps between 5,000 and 6,000 in the membership.

We certainly can't take care of those now. We have plans, however, to build, as the need requires, facilities to build up to that capacity.

Senator THYE. When did you last increase the Home facilities?

General HAISLIP. We are just now in the process of completing a new domiciliary building and a new 210-bed-nursing unit as an addition to the hospital which will give us our first increase in facilities for many years.

Those were the first new units of the new Soldiers' Home.

Senator THYE. The question is, will you have any reserve capacity in that or is that just to meet your present demands?

General HAISLIP. We will have a certain reserve capacity. We will also retain two of the very old buildings that we will vacate when we move into the new buildings as a reserve to pick up men who are entitled to come and who should come in pending the completion of our additional building program.

Senator THYE. You mean, in other words, you do not have the applicants now, and you can vacate those buildings, and if your load increases as the years go by, you could reactivate one of the older buildings ?

General HAISLIP. That is right.

Senator THYE. Will you have quite a maintenance cost involved there while you have those buildings closed !

General HAISLIP. No, sir; it will be very small. We will put them on a standby status and eventually they should come down. They have all been condemned as old, obsolete, and impossible of modernization.

We would like to take them down now, but I feel we ought to hold them because of the long time that it takes for the budget procedure to provide the money, plus the long time required to construct buildings.

We started our new building in the summer of 1951 and it is not finished yet; we ought to have some leeway for taking up the slack by putting the overflow in the old buildings, as undesirable as that might be, while we are getting the new ones finished.


Senator THYE. As I see it, you are today building because the old structure has been condemned and you plan to move into the new building and then you propose to move back when you get another backlog and reactivate those old buildings. That is the reason why I asked the question, do you anticipate any increase in your needs in the future because we should try to protect ourselves.

I think I can visualize your problem when you have to move back in the old buildings that have been condemned and you are leaving now, and if you have to go back in and reactivate them you have a far greater problem.

General HAISLIP. That is correct. Under a directive from the Under Secretary of the Army we further developed our master plan for the home and we have now a plan which we think is a very remarkably efficient method of building the new home. It was developed by expert planners.

The plan tells us what our ultimate objective is in the way of buildings and use of our ground and provides for us guidance in which we can progress in an orderly manner as our requirements increase.

Senator THYE. That is the reason that led me to ask the question, because if you are vacating those buildings that are condemned now and in the event you maintain those buildings, there will have to be certain repairs and expenses involved and when you reactivate them you have a tremendous overhead expenditure in cleaning it up, reestablishing it, plus all other expenses involved, and then you must proceed with your new plan in order to erect suitable quarters so that you can use them.

That is why I inquired whether you can project yourself into the future and see just what you must do and how you will plan, and what your plans are to meet the load demand placed upon you as the years unfold themselves.

General HAISLIP. That is exactly what our master plan sets forth.

Senator THYE. But yet you say you intend to keep the old buildings as a standby even though they have been condemned, even though you do have the overhead expense involved, knowing that you may have to reactivate 3 or 4 years from now.

Am I bringing you into too distant a time, in 3 or 4 years, or do you have to keep them partly occupied from year to year?

General HAISLIP. We will get some valuable experience after we open our new building, Senator.


Senator THYE. When do you expect to have all the occupants out of your old buildings and have them absolutely closed down?

General HAISLIP. We expect to get in our new building by March 1, 1954.

Senator THYE. And then you expect that the old ones are going to be absolutely locked up, so to speak, and the windows closed?

General HaiSLIP. Yes, sir; everything will be closed up.
Senator THYE. How long do you expect that old unit to sit there?

General HAISLIP. Our next step in the new home is to build a modern service area to service this new home. We have our property stored in some 30 different make-shift areas. We have not a modern warehouse nor modern maintenance shops. Our garage is a fire trap.

Senator THYE. Are these old buildings right on the old grounds! General HAISLIP. Yes, sir; we are building on the same ground.

Senator Thys. So that your old buildings that are going to be closed up are going to be how far away from your new unit?

General HAISLIP. The new domiciliary building is only 150 to 200 feet from the Scott Building, which is one of our large and principal barracks.

In other words, we are building a new home really superimposed on the old one and we cannot begin to destroy until we have rebuilt, because we have to keep the home running.

As I say, we will use the old buildings, as expedients because I don't want to start building until we can demonstrate to Congress that we must expand.

In other words, we don't want to overbuild, and we don't want to build anything that we might not need.

Senator THYE. I want to get it completely clear in my own mind and also for the record, that you put up a new building, you intend to Tacate these old buildings that have been condemned, but when you vacate those old buildings you do not have plans today to raze those buildings?

General HAISLIP. Yes, sir; we do. Not on a calendar proposition, but as soon as we build another domiciliary building, then we tear down the old.

Senator THYE. But you are building and hoping by March to have the new units ready to receive the occupants of the condemned buildings now!

General HAISLIP. Yes, sir.

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