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One is that is the continuation of education, not interrupting a college career in midstream is an important national consideration, because in terms of producing a flow of educated people into our society, so that is one reason on that side.
The other reason that has been advanced is that the officer procurement needs of the military cannot be met without a student deferment policy.
Now, I think there are answers to both of those, Senator, but that is the answer to your question.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. On the continuation of education, Mr. Gorham earlier today pointed out that their studies indicated that those who interrupted their college education generally resumed it later, after the interruption.
Then Secretary Wirtz testified yesterday that the manpower needs of our country, and the civilian economy, called forth no compelling reasons to continue college deferments.
Now, if you accept the conclusions of these two responsible men, what additional reasons can you see for continuation of a college deferment during a time of a limited war?
Mr. MARSHALL. Well, Senator, I personally don't see any. I think that there is not any, and therefore, to continue those deferments is unfair.
To make any distinctions among young men, particularly in time of war for purposes of the draft is unjustified unless there is some national reason that is very important to the national security or other identifiable national needs, and in this case my own conclusion and the conclusion of the majority of the Commission of which I was Chairman, was that those needs could not be identified and did not. exist.
But the two that you mentioned are the ones that have been advanced.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Could you give us the basis of the minority views on your Commission? The reasons?
Mr. MARSHALL. Yes, I think so, Senator.
They thought that the major inequity was not just this question of choice of when you serve but the pyramiding of deferments and they believed that that inequity could be eliminated by the elimination of graduate school deferments and by also forbidding, just forbidding any additional deferments to be granted after a deferment for college. That was one reason.
The other reason was that they thought that eliminating college deferment policies would create at least serious problem for the military in finding officers.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Now, if I understand your conclusions correctly, some 72 percent of college students actually end up having served in the Armed Forces. Only a slightly higher percentage of those who graduate from high school actually end up in the service. The thrust of your position and your argument is that it is not just a question of whether they are going to serve in the Armed Forces, but when they are going to serve.
Mr. MARSHALL. That is correct, sir.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. And you do not support the position which, as a matter of fact, was taken earlier today by Mr.
Gorham, that so long as young men are going to serve, the fact of postponing their obligation for four years does not matter. The war in Vietnam might get worse or it might get better. You feel, as I understand it, that any postponement, any delay, of service does work an inequity among the young people?
Mr. MARSHALL. Yes, Senator; they are given a choice. The nonstudents are not given that choice. I do not think that you could explain that to nonstudents in terms of what may happen 3 years from now or something like that.
I don't think that distinction is understood or could be explained to the people that do not have the chance of making that choice.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Those boys who, for the most part, are the working boys. Those who are involved in apprenticeship programs, those who are involved in night schools, those who are involved in job training programs which are not granted the student deferments; is that correct?
Mr. MARSHALL. That is right, Senator. Also, if I may add this, wholly apart from the fact that there is a war, it seems to me that you are permitting the students to plan their time and not permitting nonstudents to plan their time.
Well, the fact is that nonstudents may have just as many problems in being drafted at the age of 19 as a student does. He may be in some apprentice courses, learning his job, he is learning a trade, and there is no provision made for that kind of a thing.
A student is sort of an arbitrary classification; it takes in lots of people that are good students and bad students but you know it is sort of a catchall, but the problems of planning and learning are just as great, I think, for 19-year-olds who are starting on a career of work.
Also, Senator, there is one other point that I would like to make on this, that when there is a manpower pinch as there is now for military service, the student deferments tend to get picked at and the society in general and the Selective Service System starts to have to make choices among students-Who is a good student? Who is not a good student? Where does he stand in his class?
That is the reason for the class-ranking controversy in the colleges now and that is the reason for the use of a national intelligence test.
Now, those mechanisms for choosing among students, it seemed to me also to be undesirable from the point of view of even students and they are certainly undesirable from the point of view of the administration of the universities.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Now, just on two points.
One, with regard to the apprentice student or the boy who is receiving on-the-job training, the Secretary of Labor, as a matter of fact, testified that in many instances the boy who is receiving this kind of training, whose career is interrupted, is more dramatically affected as far as obtaining that skill than a boy who might be receiving a liberal arts education.
Would you agree with that observation?
Mr. MARSHALL. Yes, Secretary Wirtz would know much more about that, but it sounds correct to me, Senator.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Now, with regards to the effect on students, it has been my understanding that in many instances young
people would choose to go to college A rather than college B because in college A they might end up in the bottom half of their class and college B they might be in the top half of their class.
Or, to take another example, we used to have a course called Chinese 10 nicknamed rice paddies. Rather than taking physics, many boys would take rice paddies so that they can get a B rather than a C. Then it puts an enormous strain on the teachers. A teacher would know that if he gives a boy a B, rather than a C, the boy who gets a C might be going to South Vietnam, while the boy who gets a B might be remaining in college.
Were these some of the things that came across?
I think that every college or university administrator and almost unanimously the members of the faculty of the colleges and universities object to that. They object to the fact that there has to be a national test to tell whether the student who is in the upper half of the class at college A is sort of the same kind of a student as the fellow in the same position in college B, as you mentioned.
And they don't like to give grades that affect the possible position of a student with respect to the draft, and so forth.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. If it should be the determination of Congress that student deferments should be retained for college students, would you think that equity would demand that we apply deferments as well for working boys who are going through job training programs, and apprenticeship training programs, night schools, business schools, these other opportunities that are available to young people who might not be so gifted intellectually or financially?
Mr. MARSHALL. I think that would be fair, Senator; I think it would raise a good deal of administrative difficulty, so I think it would be better to not continue the student deferement and not raise the problem.
The Commission did recommend that the Defense Department and the Selective Service System study immediately the feasibility of a plan by which everybody would be given the same choice for planning purposes of picking a period between the ages of 19 and 23 during which he would do his service, and that choice would be given to students and it would be given to nonstudents and if that were feasible it would be fair, it would treat everyone the same way, and it would answer this need for giving young men a chance to plan their lives and their careers.
The Commission did not feel that it could conclude that it would he feasible at this time, although it also did not feel that it could conclude that it was not feasible at this time. But that was one of the recommendations of the Commission.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Do you think the fact that the Defense Department is studying this would be sufficient reason for us in the Congress, while considering the question of student deferments, not to act on the questions of student deferments?
Mr. MARSHALL. No, Senator; I don't think that is the reason. I think it could possibly be a reason if the Congress acts on this question, of course; it doesn't have to, it could continue the law without acting on this question, but if it acts on this question I think it would be a reason to provide for some flexibility for the future if that kind of a system proved to be feasible.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Could I ask you how that would work? As I understand it, a boy selected under the random selection system would be able to defer his obligation from 19 years of age until he was 22.
Mr. MARSHALL. That is right, sir.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Well, would you permit that in a limited-war situation?
Mr. MARSHALL. Well, you see that is why we concluded that we really didn't know enough about it, about the administrative difficulties that it would create, and I frankly can't say how it would work. We were concerned that at this time, if that were put into effect right now, that everybody would choose not to serve right now. But over a period of time it may be that that kind of a system could be worked out administratively.
I think the Defense Department is very creative and I think General Hershey is very creative and it may be that they would be able to work it out.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Would this lend itself better to a peacetime situation than a limited war?
Mr. MARSHALL. Very much, Senator.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. We have had a good deal of questioning from some of the members of the committee as to why a lottery system devised many years ago, and utilized during the Civil War and during the First World War, has been recommended by your Commission. Why is it that we have not been able to devise a system in the mid-1960's which does not depend upon the spin of the wheel or selection out of a fishbowl, which has been labeled by some as a giant crap game or roulette?
Would you tell us why you think a random selection system is the most equitable system? You might go into some of the other considerations that were pondered by the Commission and indicate which ones were dismissed and which were not.
Mr. MARSHALL. Well, Senator, I have to start with the decision to call youngest first. If you do not make that decision you don't get into this problem.
So the reason the Commission got into this problem was not because it was in favor of blind chance or the turn of the wheel or a lottery or something like that, we got into the problem because we thought it was fairest, wisest, and in the best interest of the country and the young men to call the youngest first.
Now, once you have decided that then you get into some arithmetic which I think leads you inevitably into a random selection system of
The arithmetic is that there are men a year or a year and a half from now are going to be-about two million or so-who become 19 each year. Some of those will be disqualified for educational reasons or for medical reasons. That will eliminate 570,000 or something like that.
Then some of those will volunteer, enlist in the various programs, mostly because of the induction, the possibility of the draft, but some of them will do that.
You will end up, just to take a typical year, with I suppose somewhere around 700,000 young men who are eligible for the draft, who
are not physically disqualified, who do not have any deferments, and who are not enlisted in any Active Forces or in any Reserve program that qualifies for deferment.
Out of that 700,000 in that year you will have to somehow or other choose 100,000 or 200,000 or 300,000. Now those are the facts and the random selection system seemed to us to be the only system which would be fair and impartial in making that choice of some out of many who are equally eligible, equally qualified, and equally vulnerable to the draft.
You cannot say that everybody with dark hair or dark skin or from Massachusetts should go, you know. You can't, I think, leave it up to local draft boards. You cannot have 4,000 draft boards picking one man, two men out of seven, and saying, this boy is a nice boy so we won't take him, and this boy drives too fast or is rude to his parents so we will take him. I don't think the society now can make that kind of choice, no matter how dedicated or how wise the members of the local draft boards are.
So, for that reason we came to the conclusion there was no alternative and that it was a matter of arithmetic and the arithmetic was that the country needed less men in the Armed Forces each year than are available.
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. That is the finest explanation of the reasons for the random selection system that I have heard. I have some other areas of inquiry.
Senator KENNEDY of New York. I will defer to Senator Randolph when he comes back but perhaps I can ask you a couple of questions. Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. Just a couple of questions. Senator KENNEDY of New York. I have been very interested in the chairman's questions. I would like to have the rest
Senator KENNEDY of Massachusetts. We work by seniority in the Senate.
Senator KENNEDY of New York. What has been the result, Mr. Marshall, of the student deferment system up to the present time as far as inequities that have been caused for some people in the country?
Mr. MARSHALL. I think it has led to a good deal of anxiety and cynicism among those that are qualified for the student deferment and I have been on some campuses, we talked to a number of students, I have talked to a number of students, and a lot of faculty members and university administrators.
I think they all feel that as far as the results on the campuses are concerned that this becomes a major preoccupation of students, how long we continue? What will happen? How can I get into another school to continue this student deferment? And the class rankings and the national test and how well you are doing in class, all of those things, add artificial, and I think unwise, pressures on the students that are operating under student deferment.
Senator KENNEDY of New York. What about amongst nonstudents and those who are actually called into the draft because they are not in a university? Could you talk about that for a minute?
Mr. MARSHALL. Senator, of course, I told the chairman before, it seems to me that you cannot explain to somebody that does not have the opportunity or the means or the will or the intelligence to go to college, whatever the reason is.