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The CHAIRMAN. The thing I am interested in finding out about is this: What definite information can you convey to the committee as to the result of any systematic effort you may have made to curtail unjustifiable expenditures, to what extent are you succeeding and how much has definitely been saved by the plan you put into operation, and if not much, on account of the short time you have been operating, what is the prospect ?
Col. FORBES. Closing the schools of the mushroom type, reviewing contracts carefully by consultation under the terms of the Sweet bill, regular inspections of schools and regular follow up of men in training, making deductions in vocational pay where there is obvious overpayment, and taking men off of the pay roll who have been carried after they have been rehabilitated.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think you get what I am asking you; you do not seem to catch what I am trying to get at at all. What I want to know is whether you have any systematic plan in force that will enable you from day to day or from month to month to make a concrete statement of the number of men eliminated that are unjustly causing this expenditure and the amount that is involved in the saving, so that you can make a statement to us in a definite, clear, and concise form from month to month or day to day!
Col. FORBES. It is very difficult, Mr. Chairman, to make a statement that would cover a saving from day to day or month to month, other than to say this, that the Federal board brought a deficit to us of $97,000,000, and we are asking for $77,000,000, which is a very good saving, I should say.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean to say they had a deficit when they came under your control?
Col. FORBES. They estimated. that under their administration, they would incur a deficit of $97,000,000 this year.
The CHAIRMAN. What did that deficit consist of? Was it an actual obligation of bills due and to be paid ? . Col. FORBES. It was for all of their obligations.
The CHAIRMAN. What do they consist of and in what way were they made?
Col. Forbes. They consisted of lease payments, instruction, purchases, and for equipment and maintenance pay due to the increased population taking vocational training.
The CHAIRMAN. If there was a deficit, there must have been an obligation, and if there was an obligation, how do you avoid the payment of it by reducing it from $97,000,000 to $77,000,000 ?
Col. FORBES. That was for the balance of the fiscal year.
Mr. Routsong. Col. Forbes is discussing now the estimated requirements as calculated by the Federal board as against his estimate of requirements for the same services for this year.
The CHAIRMAN. He did not say that.
Mr. ROUTSONG. The deficit, of course, is a potential deficit or a deficiency.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a different proposition.
Mr. BYRNS. Col. Forbes, I understood you to say a while ago that there had been a loss of $200,000,000 due to carelessness, I believe you said, with reference to vocational training?
Col. FORBES. I think there has been squandered a great deal of money that would sum up very handsomely.
Mr. BYRNs. I have just been figuring the appropriations, and including the appropriation for 1922, there has never been over $219,000,000 appropriated.
Col. Forbes. At the outset of this work they were very reckless in their expenditures. I did not state definitely that there was $200,000,000 squandered. I said casually that there was a large amount of money squandered.
Mr. Byrns. The total appropriations up to date, including the appropriation for this pending fiscal year which will expire June 30, amount to $219,000,000.
Col. Forbes. To illustrate my point, when I say $200,000,000, and I will agree that it is a goodly sum, we find that 6,000 men only have been supposedly rehabilitated, and I want to state
The CHAIRMAN (interposing). And they are off the pay roll now?
Col. FORBES. They are off the pay roll, and I want to state that I do not believe that 20 per cent of the entire 6,000 are engaged in the work they were trained for. So I say that money was squandered. If a man is not following the capacity he was trained for at Government expense
Mr. Sisson (interposing). That would be true of all the boys that would go to school."
Col. FORBES. Then the men should not have been assigned for that training.
Mr. Byrns. Colonel, a part of this loss to which you have just referred might result from economic conditions, might it not; in other words, we have had a great depression in all the industries of the country with a large number of men out of employment.
Col. Forbes. That is true both as to applicants for compensation and applicants for vocational training: Yes; the industrial unrest has a great deal to do with our increasing claims.
Mr. Byens. But I was speaking particularly of this loss. I have been unable to understand how there could be anything like that amount of loss in view of the fact that the appropriations up until July 1 last were only $148,000,000 for vocational training, and we are now just beginning on the expenditure of the $65,000,000 which was appropriated.
Col. FORBES. Suppose I am $50,000,000 off there, of course it would require an analysis of this whole situation to give you the exact amount that I consider is a loss.
Mr. Byrns. That in itself would mean that all the money that has been expended prior to July 1 has been lost?
Col. FORBES. 'Well, I will tell you frankly what I believe about it. I believe the most of it has been lost.
Mr. Byrys. I just wanted to understand exactly your position with reference to what has been done in the past.
Col. FORBES. I think that regarding our men who are in universities and who are taking courses in accredited schools, the money has been well spent there.
AVERAGE LENGTH OF TIME FOR TRAINING.
Mr. GALLIVAN. Colonel, as yet you have not answered the chairman's question. He tried to get you to make a statement as to the average length of time this vocational training is given. Col. FORBES. You had not put that question to me yet, had you,
, Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAX. Yes; I asked you how long it was possible for a man to stay in training, and you answered that by saying four years.
Mr. GALLIVAN. Then we tried to get the average. Of course that would be the maximum. What is the average ?
Col. FORBES. Twenty-two months.
NUMBER OF MEN REHABILITATED FROM TOTAL ENTERED IN TRAINING.
Mr. GALLIVAN. Now, you said there were 100,000 men approximately who are getting training, and that there are 400,000 men eligible, and you said that the peak would be reached in June next of approximately 100,000 or 97,000 ?
Col. FORBES. My statement was not regarding vocational training but the peak of our hospitalization.
Mr. GALLIVAN. No; I am speaking about vocational training. You figured 97,000 for next June.
Col. FORBES. That will not be the peak by any means.
Mr. GALLIVAN. What I want to know is, what will become of the 400,000 men who are eligible?
Col. FORBES. They are going to get their training. They will get their training
Mr. KELLEY. It might help, if you would state to the committee, with an average of 97,000 men in training, how many will pass through during the course of the year?
Mr. GALLIVAN. Yes; exactly.
Mr. Routsong. That very question is what the Colonel has in the back of his head as regards this wasted money; that is, out of a total of 128,000 who have entered training only 6,000 have been turned out as rehabilitated.
Mr. KELLEY. What has become of the rest of them?
Col. FORBES. Approximately 3,000 have discontinued, 3,000 are deceased, 99,000 still in training, and 17,000 have found they can not pursue their studies and are put on a compensation status or sent to a hospital.
Mr. KELLEY. Of course, there are not so very many of those because you only have 35,000 in the hospitals.
Col. FORBES. But they are on a compensation status where there are no hospitals, and receive their compensation.
CLASSIFICATION OF ELIGIBLES FOR ASSIGNMENT.
Mr. ROUTSONG. I can give you an analysis of how we classify the total eligible for assignment of 254,000 as of the middle of October, if you would like to have it, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. We would like to have that.
Mr. ROUTSONG. This is as of October 15: In training, 99,000; training discontinued, 3,000; training interrupted—and Col. Forbes mentioned those who go back to a compensation status or hospitalization-17.000.
Mr. GALLIVAN. They do not go back to the hospitals ?
Mr. ROUTSONG. Not all of them, but this figure includes those. Deceased, 3,000; completed training, 6,000; in process of induction, 53,000; training deferred, 46,000; training declined, 27,000. The following figures show the situation in detail by districts as of October 15.
Mr. Sisson. What do you mean by training declined--that the training is offered to the boys and they declined to accept it?
Mr. ROUTSONG. They did not accept training,
The CHAIRMAN. In reference to training deferred, I understood there were 400,000 cases deferred, and you now say only 46,000.
Mr. ROUTSONG. Where training has been deferred it has been at the request of the man.
Col. FORBES. At a recent conference of all the districts managers, we asked the vocational officers who came from the board to state the number of men applying for training, and they stated to us the number, as stated here, 440,000.
The CHAIRMAN. How do they ascertain that?
Mr. GALLIVAN. Is not the training of the 400,000 men deferred, as the chairman suggested?
The CHAIRMAN. If they are eligible it is deferred, and if it has been determined they are eligible, that must have been determined by some process.
Col. FORBES. Any man receiving compensation is eligible for training
The CHAIRMAN. But if he has not made application for it, of course, it would not be deferred.
Col. FORBES. His would be a potential case,
The CHAIRMAN. But suppose he does not ask for it, are you in position to compel him to take it whether he asks for it or not?
Col. FORBES. No; and we do not attempt to do that.
ANALYSIS OF TOTAL NUMBER OF MEN REGISTERED FOR TRAINING.
Mr. ROUTSONG. I can give you an analysis, if you like, of this total of 440,000 who have been registered for vocational training, and that is the number you have in mind.
The CHAIRMAN. Being registered is one thing and qualifying is quite another. They are two different propositions.
Mr. KELLEY. In one case they are qualified and desire it both. Col. FORBES. And they may be qualified and not desire it.
Mr. KELLEY. That means those who are qualified and who desire it also. 1* Mr. ROUTSONG. This is an analysis of the 440,000 who have been registered by the Vocational Board and since the formation of the Veterans' Bureau up to October 15.
Mr. Sisson. Tell me just what does that registration mean?
Mr. Routsong. Registration for training means the act of making an application for training in writing, whether by informal letter or by filling out forms provided by the bureau. Ì will tell you just what are included in that number. Declared eligible, 285,000 which includes 254,000 assigned to suboffices, and unassigned to suboffices, 31,000; declared ineligible, 128,000; and pending eligibility (that is, it has not been decided), 27,000.