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(The statements referred to follow :)

STATEMENT OF SENATOR HIRAM L. FONG OF HAWAII

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to submit my statement to the committee on S. 2201, a measure introduced by Senator Bartlett, of Alaska. May I say at the outset that enactment of this bill would be of great benefit to veterans in the State of Hawaii.

At the present time, there is no veterans' hospital in the State of Hawaii. Our veterans do not enjoy the benefit of being able to be treated at veterans' hospitals for non-service-connected disability.

The problem becomes more evident when the insular nature of the Hawaiian Islands is taken into consideration. Hawaii is located over 2,000 miles from the west coast of the mainland United States.

A further hardship to some of our people arises from the fact that each of our four counties are separated by ocean. The only passenger transportation available is by air, which is somewhat costly. There are no railroads or highways between the several islands.

Without the authority in the Administrator of the Veteran's Administration to contract with private hospitals for the care of war veterans with non-serviceconnected disability, Hawaii's war veterans would be put to great hardship financially and many of them would be denied hospital care.

Although the enactment of this bill into law would create an exception in the case of Hawaii and Alaska, the exception would provide equal treatment for our war veterans with their counterparts in the rest of the 48 States. They would be able to avail themselves of medical care.

Prior to statehood, there existed good reasons for making an exception to hospital care for veterans with non-service-connected disabilities in Hawaii. These reasons included the great distance to the mainland United States and the difficulty in transferring patients to the mainland. These difficulties have not been obviated, even though Hawaii has become a State. The same reasons exist today as they did prior to statehood.

I should like to reemphasize the transportation problems that Hawaii's war veterans face. It would indeed be a hardship to deny them local hospital care. I therefore urge every consideration by this committee of S. 2201 and hope that it will be given favorable action.

STATEMENT OF SENATOR LONG OF HAWAII

I fully support the enactment of S. 2201. This measure is of particular interest and importance to veterans in Hawaii. Until this past year, when Hawaii became a State, the Veterans' Administration was authorized to contract with territorial and private hospitals to provide hospital care for war veterans with non-service-connected disabilities.

This provision was vital for the well-being of Hawaii's many veterans. The only Federal hospital in Hawaii is Tripler Army Hospital. It has first-rate facilities, but is not readily accessible to the veterans who live on the islands of my State away from Oahu-the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai and Niihau. Families of servicemen living on these islands feel a sense of separation from their husbands, fathers, and sons who are hospitalized in Honolulu which does not help their morale or that of the sick veteran. Under the previous arrangement, the separation was prevented by having local hospitals care for the veterans under contract with the Veterans' Administration. Furthermore, Tripler Army Hospital lacks special facilities to treat persons afflicted with mental disease, to give long-term institutional care for tuberculosis cases and for persons suffering from Hansen's disease. The State does operate or subsidize such hospitals-the State (mental) Hospital; Leahi Hospital for TB cases, and Kalaupapa and Hale Mohalu hospitals for Hansen's disease sufferers-but under the present law the Veterans' Administration cannot make their services available to veterans. The State can of course pay for their hospitalization, but this is not the purpose of the existing authorization in respect to the treatment of sick veterans.

Removing the former authority of the Veterans' Administration to contract with non Federal hospitals has not necessarily reduced Federal costs. I note that the Veterans' Administration must reimburse the Defense Department

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$21 per day for each veteran being treated at Tripler Army Hospital. Under the contract arrangements formerly authorized under section 601 of title 38 of the U.S. Code, the cost to the Veterans' Administration per day for each patient was $13.80. The attached table shows the extent to which this provision was used in the past fiscal year.

I think that the public welfare was better served under the previous arrange ment which permitted contracting with non-Federal hospitals to treat veterans with non-service-connected disabilities. I hope that this bill will be enacted to restore this authority for the Veterans' Administration.

Hospital care provided for veterans in territorial and private facilities under Veterans' Administration contracts (fiscal year 1959)

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Senator GOLDWATER. Mr. Chairman, are we going to have testimony on this bill by the Veterans' Administration?

Senator YARBOROUGH. Yes.

Do you plan to testify on all three bills for the Veterans' Administration, Mr. Bland?

Mr. BLAND. Yes, sir.

Senator YARBOROUGH. We will defer that, then, and hear the composite testimony all at one time. We will hear the special testimony on each bill in the order in which the bills were announced.

S. 299, a bill introduced by Senator Johnson of Texas, for the relief of Dalworth C. Ebner. I believe the first witness is Mr. Harry McPherson, representing Senator Johnson.

STATEMENT OF HARRY MCPHERSON, REPRESENTING SENATOR LYNDON JOHNSON, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS

Mr. MCPHERSON. Mr. Chairman and Senator Goldwater, I am Harry McPherson, representing Senator Lyndon Johnson. I have a brief statement to make in support of S, 299 for the relief of Dalworth C. Ebner, of Austin, Tex...

S. 299 provides that notwithstanding certain regulations of the Veterans' Administration, Dalworth Ebner shall be eligible to receive veterans' rehabilitation training as provided by chapter 31 of title 38 of the United States Code. Ebner's eligibility for this training would be for a period equal to that for which he would have been eligible if the Veterans' Administration, had not terminated this training in March 1954, because of unauthorized adjustments made by him in his program.

In order to receive the benefits of S. 299, Ebner would be required to commence his training within 1 year of its enactment.

While there is some dispute about certain of the facts in this case, there appears to be no dispute about the basic fact of Ebner's attempt to receive training under the rehabilitation program. Ebner was eligible for this training because of service-connected disability. He is now rated as 50 percent disabled because of psychoneurosis. He enrolled in the University of Texas in midsummer 1953, in the field of engineering. So far as the equities of the matter are concerned, it is important to note here that Ebner's aptitude tests and discussions with university officials revealed excellent promise in mathematics and natural sciences.

In securing assistance under the rehabilitation prograin, Ebnar discussed his needs and program requirements with the veterans' representative at the university and with the VA. The VA told him that he must attempt to earn a degree in engineering and that only 3 years remained until the delimiting date of the program. It was then called the "Public Law 16" program.

I would like to quote here from Mr. Ebner himself:

A statement was required of me to the effect that if, by the delimiting date I had not acquired the degree, I would nevertheless consider myself to be rehabilitated insofar as educational benefits were concerned, and would complete my education at my own expense. Under these terms of agreement, I enrolled in the University of Texas in midsummer of 1953.

Controversy developed immediately because I was bolstering my GI subsistence allowance by working part time—

I might say that at this time Mr. Ebner was supporting, including himself, seven persons: his four children, his mother, and his wife as well as himself

but the VA relented when it was shown that I had no reserves, and was responsible for the support of seven individuals * * *

By diligently applying myself, I managed in the first 6 months to get ahead of schedule; and was quite pleased by the recognition of my efforts by one VA official ***

The VA schedule had for the next semester called for a workload which could not be matched exactly. I could either register for one semester-hour less, or for two semester-hours more. Being ahead of schedule, I anticipated relief by the 1 hour, but such was not the case. In compliance with the VA ultimatum, "You are cautioned not to enroll for less (than a certain number of hours)" I attempted the heavier load, a minimum of 30 hours per week in the class

room

***

The load rapidly became more than I could tolerate, and I took my problem to the dean.

That was Dean L. L. Click of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Texas.

He deferred decision pending a conference with VA officials, and told me when to return to his office. Upon my return he advised me that the VA was adamant; but that he, the dean, knew that Public Law 16 required only that I meet minimum requirements of the college. It was his decision that, since I was behind in six courses, I should drop two and salvage four. The remaining load was still within minimum requirements (of the university). On March 11, 1954, I complied with the dean's decision. On March 12, 1954, the VA advised me that my training was terminated, effective immediately.

I would like to submit, Mr. Chairman, for the record here, a telegram I received approximately a year ago from Dean Click of the university, now dean emeritus.

Senator YARBOROUGH. The telegram will be received, filed, and printed with the record.

(The telegram referred to follows:)

AUSTIN, TEX., August 7, 1958.

HARRY MCPHERSON,
Democratic Policy Committee,
Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.:

In March 1953 Mr. Dalworth C. Ebner was unjustly dropped from veterans training in the University of Texas because of a slight technicality with respect to scholastic load even though he was in good standing with the university. L. L. CLICK, Dean Emeritus. Senator YARBOROUGH. I have a question there. Is that date 1953 or 1954?

Mr. MCPHERSON. The year in which he was dropped was 1954. Senator YARBOROUGH. Does the telegram read 1953?

Mr. MCPHERSON. No, sir; the telegram is dated 1958.

Senator YARBOROUGH. No; I mean the date you read in the body of the telegram.

Mr. MCPHERSON. The telegram reads 1953, which is in error; yes. Senator YARBOROUGH. It is in error?

Mr. MCPHERSON. Yes.

Senator YARBOROUGH. It referred to that problem in 1954, however? Is that the time the telegram really referred to?

Mr. MCPHERSON. That is correct, sir.
Senator YARBOROUGH. All right.

Mr. MCPHERSON. I read further from Mr. Ebner's statement:

The VA contended that Public Law 16 required that I must be in a position at all times to show that I would have my degree by the delimiting date of Public Law 16. I challenged this contention as being inconsistent with the statement required of me at the beginning of my training, and because Public Law 16 specified only that the veteran attain an employment objective.

In response to my challenge, the VA invited me to meet with two of their representatives on the university campus on March 21, 1954. Because I had previously received erroneous information in such conferences, I took a disinterested party with me.

This was Mr. Delmar W. Sears, personnel officer of the Austin post office. At this time, Dalworth Ebner was working as a substitute letter carrier in the Austin post office, part time.

We were told in this conference that I must earn a degree; and that since the current semester was lost, that would be impossible. Therefore, I could not be granted further training. Later that same day, one of these VA representatives phoned me and stated that a degree was not mandatory. Since this was in direct opposition to what we had previously been told, I contacted the disinterested party. [That is, Mr. Sears.] He obtained this same information firsthand from the same source, and gave me his affidavit concerning this duplicity of information.

In Mr. Sears' statement, which I will also offer for the record, Mr. Sears states that he called the veterans' adviser, and having first been informed with Ebner that Ebner would have to obtain a degree by the delimiting date, he was next informed that if Mr. Ebner could outline a proposed schedule of classes which would make him employable upon the completion of these classes, and get this schedule approved by the university professors and by the counseling division of the VA in Waco, he could continue his schooling under Public Law 16, despite the fact that he would not have a sufficient number of hours by July 1956, which was then the delimiting date of the program, to receive a degree.

Armed with this affidavit, I again applied to the VA for reinstatement to pursue an "employment objective" less than a degree but in the engineering field, and showed how I would eventually earn the degree at my own expense. I was led to understand that the VA was now so firmly committed against me that I could not hope for reenrollment at the University of Texas or at any other school where my objective would be in the engineering field.

In a desperate effort for rehabilitation, I requested training in a small accounting school. The VA readily accepted the application, and in June of 1954 I was enrolled in this school where no degree was possible. Though the work was obnoxious to me, I made conscientious efforts to fulfill my agreement. Then to my consternation, where I had been removed from the University of Texas by the VA for "unauthorized adjustments," here the VA made adjustments at their whims by the simple expedient of a note saying, "Mr. Ebner, please make these changes in your training program." The "program" was of dubious value at best.

Soon thereafter, the Post Office eliminated part-time jobs, and I was forced by my responsibilities to return to full-time employment. The alternative was to resign from the Post Office Department. The physical exertion of carrying mail caused such rapid deterioration of my condition that on March 22, 1955, I appealed to the Appeal Board for reinstatement to training at the University of Texas. ***, and my appeal was denied.

Mr. Chairman, we do not contend that the Veterans' Administration has been pointedly unfair in dealing with Mr. Ebner. We do contend, however, that the history of this matter shows that the veteran did the best he could under the circumstances to remain in school, to achieve the rehabilitation goal he had set for himself with the help

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