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1 Includes 130 claims suspended from pending file awaiting further information.
Hospitals in use: United States Veterans, 47; other Government, 50; civil, 180.
Disbursements for all purposes
$10, 677,878. 39
1, 694, 940. 49 16, 894, 794. 94
2, 940, 050. 44
772, 185. 22
$644, 984, 470. 10 1, 185, 157, 075. 33
103, 183, 030.27 1, 522, 008, 457. 25
300, 838, 903. 30 282, 082, 413.88
35, 076, 318. 69 364, 547, 179. 18 38, 298, 144. 63
19, 383. 65 354, 931, 738.68 79, 478, 195. 71 36, 932. 763. 62
112, 611 54
3, 396, 370.09
11, 469. 75
37, 988, 116. 60
4, 947, 650, 685. 83
I Does not include investments and loans.
Mr. GOODWIN. General, has there any estimate been made by the committee that has had the matter in charge as to the savings to the Government that might be effected by this consolidation?
Mr. HINES. Not in specific amounts, Congressman. The feeling of that committee is that there would be certain administrative savings. There would undoubtedly in the long run be savings in construction by avoiding any duplication in any given area. But the committee did not get to the point of going into those details.
I have stated to the committee I felt confident, and I know of no reason at this time to change the view, that in the administrative cost of the combined agencies that we look for a saving of at least a million and a half dollars in a year, and a possible ultimate saving in construction of at least $10,000,000. I would not attempt to go further into the future than that, and neither would I want to say that that estimate is ironclad; and if anybody has any better judgment on it I would like to have them present it to the committee. But I think it is self-evident that with the consolidation of these agencies as against three independent ones there is bound to be savings, if it is gone at in a businesslike way.
Mr. SWING. General, in the report of the commission to the President, I think it was, that you read awhile ago, was there a tentative offer of the commission to frame legislation?' Was a tentative bill drafted ?
Mr. HINES. I think one was drafted, as I recall—no, the President did not indicate to the committee that he wanted us to draft a bill. We have not drafted one. We have one in our report, but it has not been submitted by the President to the Congress.
Mr. SWING. You have one in the report?
Mr. SWING. May I have it understood by the committee that the proposed draft of the bill may be included in the record ?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; I think so. But I was just going to say that this report you hand in, was that in the hands of the President?
Mr. HINES. Oh, no. And I would say it would be in better keeping if the chairman of the commission, Doctor Wilbur, when he appears before the committee were asked to release that, because I am only a member of that committee, and under no circumstances should it be given as coming from the President, because the President, as I have said, has not indicatedMr. SWING. I only wanted it as coming from you, General. You are the witness testifying.
Mr. HINES. So far as I can see there would be no objection to that coming from me. Personally, I should like to ask Secretary Wilbur about it, because he is chairman of that commission, and I am sure he would give it to you.
Mr. COLTON. General, you have indicated that if the committee considered this bill, you had an amendment or two to suggest ?
Mr. HInes. The bureau in rendering the report on this bill suggested one change.
Mr. Colton. Will that amendment be in your testimony!
The CHAIRMAN. It simply relates to making more definite and certain the time when the Pension Bureau and the national home board shall cease to function.
Mr. Swing. Mr. Chairman, I do not want to be put off in this thing and left suspended between heaven and earth. Do I understand that the general will put in his testimony, at the conclusion of it, this proposed bill, or not?
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think it should come in through the general. I think it should come in through Secretary Wilbur who is chairman of the interdepartmental committee, when he appears before this committee.
Mr. SWING. I defer to my chairman, of course. But you have a witness on the stand and the witness has the draft. He was a member of the commission. We have asked him for such assistance as he can give us. If he wants to confer with Secretary Wilbur, that is for him to decide. But if this committee asks him for it I am sure that the general has plenty of authority in response to the recognized committee of Congress to put it in. He does not have to ask anybody.
Mr. Hines. I think I can clear this up. I will ask the secretary if he has any objections to my putting it in; and so far as I can see, I know of no objections.
The CHAIRMAN. We will now adjourn to meet to-morrow morning at 10.30.
(Thereupon, at 11.55 o'clock a. m., the committee adjourned to meet to-morrow, Thursday, January 9, 1930, at 10.30 o'clock a. m.)
BILL DRAWN IN SUBCOMMITTEE SUBMITTED BY GENERAL HINES
A BILL To authorize the President to consolidate and coordinate governmental activities
affecting war veterans, pensioners, and civilian employees Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is hereby authorized by Executive order to transfer to, consolidate, and coordinate in the (here name the establishment) any hospitals or administrative bureaus, offices, agencies, or officers now existing by law for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of laws affecting war veterans and pensioners, including the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, the Battle Mountain Sanitarium Reserve, the Bureau of Pensions, and the Veterans' Bureau, together with any part or all of the personnel thereof, the whole or any part of the records, supplies, property, and equipment belonging thereto; and in each and every such case the powers and duties now conferred by law upon the several agencies or pertaining to the duties of the officers thereof in respect to the administration of the activities so transferred shall be thereby vested in the (here name the establishment and the chief officer thereof).
SEC. 2. In case of transfer of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, as authorized in the preceding section, its Board of Managers shall be abolished and all of its powers and duties shall thereupon vest in the (here name the establishment and the chief officer thereof).
SEC. 3. That the President is further hereby authorized by Executive order to establish in the Department of the Interior a Federal employees' bureau and to transfer thereto the records, supplies, equipment, and personnel belonging to the retirement division of the Bureau of Pensions and the Federal Employees' Compensation Commission. Upon such transfer being completed, the Federal Employees' Compensation Commission shall cease to exist, and all its powers and duties shall thereupon vest in a commission the head of the bureau so established, subject to the supervision of the Secretary of the Interior, and the said commissioner shall have like authority in the administration of the civil
service retirement act of May 22, 1920 (41 Stat. 614), and acts amendatory ibereof, as is now vested in the Commissioner of Pensions.
SEC. 4. That for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this act the President is hereby authorized to make proper transfer of all moneys appropriated to make proper transfer of all moneys appropriated for the benefit of the respective governmental agencies, the duties and powers of which may be transferred under this authority: Provided, That any moneys heretofore or hereafter appropriated for the use of any executive or administrative department or governmental agency transferred under the authority of this act shall be expended only for the puposes for which they were appropriated.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Thursday, January 9, 1930. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. William Williamson (chairman) presiding:
The CHAIRMAN. Colonel Taylor, vice chairman of the legislative committee of the American Legion, is here this morning. The members of the committee will remember he testified on a similar bill last year and covered the matter quite fully at that time. However, as there have been some changes in the bill and we have a number of new members, it seems desirable to have him testify again with reference to the present measure.
Give your name and official connection with the organization you epresent and proceed in your own way, Colonel Taylor. STATEMENT OF COL. JOHN THOMAS TAYLOR, VICE CHAIRMAN
NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN LEGION
SUMMARY OF COLONEL TAYLOR'S STATEMENT
The national convention of the American Legion at Louisville passed a resolution directing the national legislative committee to endeavor to procure legislation tending to effect the amalgamation of the Pension Bureau, Veterans' Bureau, and National Soldiers' Homes. The consolidation should place all functions dealing with veterans under a head responsible to the President alone.
Although economy may result, efficiency in the hospitalization and domiciliary care of veterans is the guiding motive of the American Legion. Already the majority of inmates in soldiers' homes are World War veterans, and the proposed consolidation will come in the natural course of events. It should be done now.
It is believed that a consolidation under the Veterans' Bureau would result in a great deal better service to the veterans of the World War, although the method of effecting the reorganization makes no difference whatever. The lower operating expense of the Soldiers' Home is accountable to the fact that most of the inmates are there for domiciliary care. Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, when we appeared last session on the similar legislation, I asked permission at that time to insert in the record the various resolutions that have been adopted by the American Legion on this very subject, beginning with the year 1923, and they are in the hearing of last year. During the recent convention at Louisville the same subject came