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After the battle of Bud-Dajo, which took place April 5, 6, and 7, 1906, nearly 4 years after the closing of the undeclared war against tthe Filipino Insular Government which came to an untimely end due to the political pressure brought to bear against the President. In this battle, 21 American soldiers were killed, 67 wounded, of which many died thereafter, and 1,000 savage Moros met their Allah. This was not peacetime but real war and, incidentally, the major battle taking place between the American forces and the Filipinos between February 4, 1899, and December 31, 1913. Neither the President nor the Congress ever declared a state of war between the Filipino Insular Government nor the United States on February 4, 1899, when the so-termed Philippine Insurrection commenced.
Twenty-one reasons why the present Pulajane and Moro war bills in the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs should be approved. These "forgotten" combat veterans were killed by Moros in the Bud-Dajo battle of April 5, 6, and 7, 1906. Sixty-seven others were severely wounded, many of which died later. There were hundreds of other volunteer regulars who lost their lives during the Pulajane and Moro wars on Samar, Leyte, Mindanao, including the Moro Province, between July 4, 1902, and December 31, 1913. Congressman Rankin's H. R. 5932 covers this period of so-called undeclared wars.
Mr. BOYKIN. We will now hear from Mr. Elliott of Alabama.
STATEMENT OF HON. CARL ELLIOTT, REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ALABAMA
Mr. ELLIOTT. Mr. Chairman and colleagues, I have long been interested in legislation to extend the Spanish-American War service pension laws to the veterans who served in the Moro Province and in the islands of Leyte and Samar after July 4, 1902, and prior to 1914. To accomplish this purpose I have introduced House Joint Resolution 183, and I also introduced a similar measure in the 83d Congress. I am hopeful, therefore, that the Committee on Veterans' Affairs will take immediate action to provide for these old men before it is forever too late.
As my resolution recites, these men actually fought on for nearly 12 years after a premature ending date for the Philippine Insurrection. They took part in upwards of 150 engagements and there were around 5,000 casualties. Yet, after nearly 41 years they have received no official recognition for this outstanding service. Some 15 of them "have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Adoption of my resolution would be in harmony with the traditional national policy to adequately provide for those who have fought our wars, whether or not there was a formal declaration of war. So the adoption of my resolution could not possibly create a precedent. On the other hand, the precedents are in favor of these men. We have long since pensioned the veterans of the Indian hostilities, between 1817 and 1899, whether or not the service was in a period of officially recognized war. The veterans of the "peacetime police action" usually referred to as the Boxer Rebellion were all included in the SpanishAmerican War Service Pension Act, and in recent years we have extended war veteran benefits to those who took part in the "peacetime police action" in Korea. Then why shouldn't these old men be provided for?
In the 83d Congress your committee found that there were but about 500 of these old men living, that the annual cost would not exceed $1 million, that the average age for the group was then 78 years, and that the death rate for this age group was very rapid. None of these worthy old men are physically able to follow gainful employment. They are not entitled to Government hospitalization or domiciliary care. And, moreover, they are not eligible for a burial allowance or so much as a flag for their casket. I would urge the committee, therefore, to make every effort to bring about the enactment of this legislation with all possible speed.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BOYKIN. Thank you for your very fine statement.
Now we will hear from Mr. Horace Seeley-Brown of Connecticut.
STATEMENT OF HON. HORACE SEELEY-BROWN, JR., A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Mr. SEELEY-BROWN. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate very much the invitation to appear before your subcommittee in conjunction with your consideration of House Joint Resolution 190, which I introduced on February 2, 1955.
The joint resolution would place individuals who served in the temporary forces of the United States Navy during the Spanish-American War in the same status as those individuals who served in the Army for equal periods of time during that war and who were given furloughs or leaves upon being mustered out of the service. This resolution is designed to extend the benefits of Army General Order 130, which had the effect of extending the period of active duty of Army personnel, by granting certain mustering-out leaves of absence and furloughs, to veterans of the naval service.
At the present time no agency of the naval establishment is legally empowered to extend the enlistments of these members of the temporary forces of the Navy. General Orders Numbered 130 of the War Department, which was in effect from August 29, 1898, until January 13, 1899, granted to members of the Army in the war with Spain certain mustering-out leaves of absence and furlough which have been recognized by the Congress as constituting pensionable service. The effect of such General Orders has been to make available to Army veterans of the war with Spain certain pension rights which are not available to Navy veterans with comparable service.
In order to correct this inequity, at the request of individuals who served in the temporary forces of the Navy, I introduced House Joint Resolution 190, which would increase the period of active service by 30 days for each month's extra pay which they received under the provisions of the act of March 3, 1899 (30 Stat. 1214, 1228) which granted members of the temporary forces of the Navy benefits comparable to those granted members of the Army under such General Orders numbered 130.
In my opinion, there should be no discrimination with respect to the computation of periods of service for pension purposes, and I therefore respectfully urge your favorable consideration of the joint resolution presently pending.
Thank you very much.
Mr. BOYKIN. We will next hear the distinguished gentleman from New York, Mr. Rooney.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN J. ROONEY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Mr. ROONEY. Chairman Boykin and the distinguished members of the Subcommittee on Spanish-American War veterans of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, I am interested in securing the enactment of H. R. 2867, and House Joint Resolution 151, which is the subject of a hearing before you this morning.
Bill H. R. 2867, providing for an increase in the monthly rates of pension payable to widows and former widows of deceased veterans of the Spanish-American War, including the Boxer Rebellion and the Philippine Insurrection, is, in my opinion, a most meritorious piece of legislation in view of the high cost of living which has resulted in a hardship to the beneficiaries of the existing legislation.
House Joint Resolution 151 has been strongly endorsed by the United Spanish War Veterans of Brooklyn, New York, Inc. I have been informed by Mr. G. A. Dillinger, chairman of the legislative committee, that if this resolution is enacted into law, it would at last certify a group of claimants for their legal pensions which they have been deprived of for many years.