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The reduction of $48,000 has been effected in the following manner: The sum of $12,000 for rentals has been eliminated and a proviso inserted requiring that space for the offices shall be furnished rent free by local interests. The number of offices provided for remains at 54, but the number of employees at one-half of them has been reduced from three to two by eliminating 27 of the assistant managers. The average period of full maintenance has been reduced from six to five and a half months and this is believed to be ample considering the magnitude of the task of assembling, personnel and opening 54 offices in the short space of time to remain after this measure shall have become a law. The elimination of one-half of the assistant managers at $1,800 each will permit the department to establish onehalf of the offices on a 2-man basis and the other half on a 3-man basis. Of the 96 offices now in operation approximately two-thirds are on a 2-man basis, and the committee believes that with the larger and more important centers already covered by the 96 offices that it is not necessary for the newer and lesser important offices to be upon the full personnel basis.
These reductions bring the amount down to $120,000 which is recommended in the accompanying resolution and in order that funds may be made available expeditiously the committee urges that the appropriation be passed before the holiday recess.
EXTEND HOSPITAL AND HOME FACILITIES TO VET
ERANS OF CONFEDERATE ARMY AND NAVY
DECEMBER 17, 1931.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
state of the Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Hill of Alabama, from the Committee on Military Affairs sub
mitted the following
(To ac ompany H. R. 4577)
The Committee on Military Affairs to which was referred the bill H. R. 4577 to extend hospital and home facilities to veterans of the Confederate Army and Navy having considered the same report favorably thereon with recommendations that it do pass.
This bill is exactly the same as was favorably reported by the committee at the last session of Congress, but which reached the calendar too late for consideration by the House. The following letter from Capt. Edwin S. Bettelheim, jr., chairman of the national legislative committee of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, explains the bill as follows:
VETERANS OF FOREIGN Wars,
Washington, D. C., February 9, 1931 Hon. W. FRANK James, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. My Dear MR. JAMES: In behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars I wish to express our appreciation for the hearing afforded to me before one of your subcommittees on H. R. 16162, a bill to extend hospitalization and home facilities to Confederate veterans.
Our organization believes that it would be a most gracious gesture and really the right thing to do in giving these old Confederate veterans hospitalization. They fought for a cause which they steadfastly believe was right, and to-day they are honored and respected citizens of this country. They gave their sons and grandsons to serve with honor in the Spanish-American and the World Wars, and while these younger relatives of theirs are entitled to all the benefits which the generous Government has seen fit to bestow upon those who served, these aged citizens and veterans are left to shift for themselves. In passing, it might be pertinent to mention that we have not consulted or conferred with any organization associated with Confederate veterans, but have merely adopted our resolutions and placed the matter in our legislative program purely as an idea coming from this organization made up of veterans who have
served in our numerous wars, campaigns, and expeditions, and purely from the standpoint of right and justice.
Another fact that might be of interest to the Congress in its deliberations on this matter is that the Veterans of Foreign Wars is predominantly made up of men from the North and from the West. This matter is held in so high a regard by our organization that it became one of the special points that our commander in chief, Paul C. Wolman, presented to the President on his annual visit to the White House.
We have serious doubts that very many Confederate veterans will avail themselves of this privilege. With the assistants of the actuaries in the Veterans' Bureau we have come to the conclusion that approximately 210 is the highest figure who will seek hospitalization, and in a few years this will dwindle down to one or two, but irrespective of this we feel that the action contemplated in this bill will permit these men who are citizens of our country to pass their declining days with grateful hearts. We trust that the legislation will succeed. Yours very truly,
Edwin. S. BETTEI HEIM,
Chairman. The following letter from Maj. Watson B. Miller, chairman of the national rehabilitation committee of the American Legion, gives the views on the bill of Major Miller as chairman of this committee:
THE AMERICAN LEGION,
Washington, D. C., February 9, 1931. Hon. W. FRANK JAMES, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. JAMES: Please let me say that I am very much interested in the matter of extending Federal hospital and home facilities to the officers, soldiers, sailors, or marines who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States during the Civil War.
The American Legion nationally has not considered the foregoing matter, but I am inclined to think and believe that it would like to see Mr. Hill's bill (H. R. 16162) enacted into law. Undoubtedly, there are not very many of these old soldiers to take advantage of such facilities, if same are made available to them. Then, too, it would only be a matter of a short time before the last surviving Confederate veterans will have passed on. I certainly would like to see the Government facilities herein mentioned be made available to these veterans at any time they may be in need of same during the remainder of their lives. Sincerely,
Watson B. MILLER, Chairman. The following letter from Gen. Frank T. Hines gives the views of the Veterans' Administration on the bill:
FEBRUARY 5, 1931. Hon. W. FRANK JAMES, Chairman Committee on Military Affairs,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. My Dear Mr. James: Receipt is acknowledged of your letter of December 26, 1930, requesting a report in duplicate on H. R. 14263, Seventy-first Congress,
A bill to extend hospital and home facilities to vetei ans of the Confederate Aimy and Navy," and your letter of January 24, 1931, requesting a report in duplicate on H. R. 16162, Seventy-first Congress, which is identical with H. R. 14266.
These proposed measures would provide that officers, soldiers, sailors, or marines who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States shall be admitted to the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and to hospitals under the jurisdiction of the Veterans' Administration on the same terms and conditions as honorably discharged officers, soldiers, sailors, or marines who served in the military or naval forces of the United States during the War between the States.
It was impossible to obtain accurate records of the number of Confederate veterans who are alive and who might be expected to accept care in soldiers' homes or veterans' hospitals. However, by using the best figures that could be obtained as to the comparative strength of the Union and Confederate forces at
the end of the Civil War, it is estimated that approximately 330 Confederate veterans would require domiciliary care and 210 would require hospitalization.
While the report of the Bureau of National Homes indicates that there are 776 unoccupied beds in barracks and 495 in hospitals, it is the opinion of this office that these beds are required for the veterans who are at present eligible for care in soldiers' homes, and that it would be necessary to construct additional facilities to care for Confederate veterans who would be eligible under the proposed bill. To build a soldiers' home of 750 beds would cost approximately $3,000,000, and the cost of maintenance of such a home for the 330 veterans who might require domiciliary care, and for the 210 who might require hospital treatment, would cost annually approximately $310,000. The members of the committee are aware that at present there are not sufficient beds in Veterans' Bureau hospitals to accommodate all veterans who apply for treatment under section 202 (10) of the World War veterans' act, as amended.
Many of the Confederate veterans who would be eligible for care under this bill are at the present time cared for at the expense of the individual States in State soldiers' homes, and it is impossible to estimate, with any degree of accuracy, the number who would apply for care in the National Home.
I can not help but be sympathetic toward these old soldiers in their declining years, but the policy involved in these proposed measures is one of such national policy that only the Congress can best decide its merits. Administratively there would be no difficulty in carrying out the provisions of such measure, except the availability of the additional beds which would be needed. A copy of this letter is enclosed for your use. Very truly yours,
FRANK T. HINES, Administrator.
The fi Fures set out in the communications above should be reduced by approximately 20 per cent in view of the fact that approximately this percentage of Confederate veterans has died since the figures were compiled.
The committee feels that the bill is a gracious gesture and that if it be enacted into law it will be an act on the part of the Congress, made up of the representatives of the people, signifyirig to all the world that all differences and dissensions of the war of 1861–1865 are forgotten and that the people of the United States stand united forever under the Stars and Stripes.
The different Southern States have their own homes and hospitals for Confederate veterans, and although the Veterans' Administration estimates that 330 Confederate veterans might require domiciliary care and 210 Confederate veterans might require hospitalization it is the thought of the committee, based upon the evidence before the committee, that practically all of these veterans are now being cared for in the State homes and hospitals and that they would not need or desire care under the provisions of the bill. As the evidence before the committee showed, if a veteran entered the Confederate Army in 1865, the closing year of the war, and was at that time only 18 years of age he would to-day be 84 years of age. It is very evident that there are only a very few Confederate veterans left and the day is not far distant when there will be none of them left. It is inevi. table that the time will come when the people of the United States will look upon the war of 1861-1865 just as the people of England look upon the War of the Roses, that they will feel a sense of pride in contemplating the valor and heroism of the soldiers of that war irrespective of which side they fought on and that they will cherish the sacrifices and the bravery of all the veterans of that war as a common heritage. This bill will speed that day and be a gracious act on the part of the Congress.