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Col. FORBES. I think there may be some doctors who are serving on part time who agree to make so many examinations at such a rate.
Mr. GALLIVAN. You stated that in these regional offices the number of employees now ranges from 500 to 1,000.
Col. FORBES. Yes, sir. With the decentralization they will run higher.
Mr. GALLIVAN. Is that number greater or less than under the old order of things ?
Col. FORBES. It will be a little less after decentralization is completed, I should say.
Mr. GALLIVAN. Have you discharged anybody in the regional offices?
Col. FORBES. A great many; yes, sir.
PERCENTAGE OF EMPLOYEES TAKEN FROM CIVIL SERVICE LISTS.
Mr. Gallivan. What percentage of the employees in the regional offices came from the civil-service lists?
Col. FORBES. I would say 90 per cent.
Mr. GALLIVAN. In the cases where these men and women have been discharged, have any successors been appointed to them, so far as you know?
Col. FORBES. Yes, sir; there have been.
Col. FORBES. Well, there were many reasons, if you want to go into that history.
Mr. GALLIVAN. The object was not to reduce the personnel ?
Col. FORBES. In many instances it was to reduce the personnel. We have discharged some as surplus, and we have discharged some for cause.
Mr. GALLIVAN. What I mean is this: Have you reduced the number of employees in the regional offices, or have you filled the places of those who were removed.?
Col. FORBES. We did not fill those particular places, but there were others that we did fill, where we discharged employees for cause.
Mr. GALLIVAN. That is all I wanted to know. You have not filled any places that were filled by employees that you considered superfluous ?
Col. FORBES. I would not want to state positively that that is the condition all over the country, because the district managers may appoint people without the approval of the personnel officer here, but it is not the policy of the bureau to discharge employees without cause. Where we do discharge them as being surplus, or becau e there is no further work for them to do, the places are not filled, and there are many in that category.
UNEXPENDED BALANCE OF REHABILITATION APPROPRIATION.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you be kind enough to give us the unexpended balance of the $65,000,000 appropriation which is available for use, and at the same time give us the monthly expenditures, say, from the 1st of July until now?
Col. FORBES. July, $9,824,148.64; August, $10,329,016; September, $11,554,539.11; October, $12,736,631.21; total, $44,444,334.96; balance, $20,055,665.04. ESTABLISHMENT OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS AT CAMPS.
(See pp. 337, 340, 344.) Mr. KELLEY. When you get those camps in operation, will the bureau pay the traveling expenses of the boys from their homes?
Col. FORBES. Yes, sir. Mr. KELLEY. And back again? Col. FORBES. Yes, sir. Mr. KELLEY. And their subsistence on the way? Col. FORBES. Yes, sir. Mr. KELLEY. How much do you estimate for next year for that purpose ? . Col. FORBES. In explanation of that, I will say that a man going to, say, Camp Sherman or Camp Grant, will be from within the district or near by that district.
Mr. KELLEY. Can you state approximately, not by specific towns or places, but in general, where those camps will be located ?
Col. FORBES. We have not decided.
Col. FORBES. Yes, sir; one on the Pacific coast, one in the Middle West, one in New England, and one in the South. In fact, there may be two in the Middle West. The number is not to exceed six all told.
Mr. KELLEY. You feel quite strongly about that ?.
Col. FORBES. I am awfully interested in that, and my interest is not anything personal, but it is because of these men. If I did not believe thoroughly in it, I would not suggest it. I believe that it is the salvation of those men where we can take care of them mentally, morally, physically and spiritually, and God knows they need the spiritual, moral, and physical support of this Government. It would be a loss of energy and money to continue with undesirable placement training.
Mr. KELLEY. What percentage of this number of 93,000 would fall within the class of those not well enough educated to go into established schools?
Col. FORBES. I would say 30 per cent. There will be between 20,000 and 25,000 who should have better care and closer observation.
Mr. Chairman, I think very well of the committee's criticisms and suggestions, and I believe that complete data should be furnished on this entire situation. We will do everything possible to give you the information you are seeking.
AVERAGE COST OF TRAINING EACH MAN.
Mr. BYRNS. Reverting to the question of the vocational training again, I think it would be illuminating and possibly useful if you could tell the committee what is the average cost of training or what is the cost of training each man.
Col. FORBES. Yes, sir; and it will astound you.
Mr. Byrns. You might show the percentage devoted to the allowance, the per entage to tuition, the percentage to equipment and supplies, and, if possible, the percentage devoted to administrative cost.
Col. FORBES. Yes, sir; we will do that. It will astound you. It costs more per man than in a university. These figures are lower than actual costs last year. Administration expense:
per trainee. Salaries......
$7.09 Travel.......... Subsistence...... Supplies.....
1. 20 Rent............. Communication... Miscellaneous..
. 22 Freight and express
.10 Total administration expense.......
.......... 10. 68
The CHAIRMAN. I call your attention to the language on page 18 of the bill, in the ninth line, after the word “board."
Col. FORBES. It reads “necessary medical service.”
The CHAIRMAN. “Necessary medical service and treatment to trainees hereafter required in cases where such service or treatment is not provided by the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, and not more than $35,000 may be used for such service and treatment heretofore furnished.” Do you think that that language is necessary in this bill? That is provided for in the 1922 act, but I do not think it is necessary to carry it here.
Col. FORBES. I do not believe it is.
Mr. ROUTSONG. It was inserted because of the fact that there was a deficiency in the amount for medical service incurred by the Federal board prior to the time it was taken over by the Veterans' Bureau. They incurred some bills payable out of this appropriation, and that amount has been exhausted.
The CHAIRMAN. It was more than $35,000.
Mr. RouTSONG. Yes, sir; that language was inserted to cover that particular deficiency,
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think you need it.
Mr. ROUTSONG. If those bills could be paid out of the medical and hospital appropriation, it would not be necessary. I would say leave it in, because it was inserted in order to cover certain bills that are unpaid and for which there were no funds.
Col. FORBES. That being the case, there is nothing to do but ask that it remain.
The CHAIRMAN. The current act provides for $60,000.
Mr. ROUTSONG. Yes, sir; and it is estimated that the deficiencies will amount to $35,000.
The CHAIRMAX. It was more than $35,000. Mr. ROUTSONG. Yes, sir; that language was inserted to cover that particular deficiency.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think you need it. Mr. ROUTSONG. If those bills could be paid out of the medical and hospital appropriation, it would not be necessary. I would say leave it in, because it was inserted in order to cover certain bills that are unpaid and for which there were no funds.
Col. FORBES. That being the case, there is nothing to do but ask that it remain.
The CHAIRMAN. The current act provides for $60,000. Mr. ROUTSONG. Yes, sir; and it is estimated that the deficiencies · will amount to $35,000.
The CHAIRMAN. That is what that $35,000 is for?
The CHAIRMAN. After the figures $77,257,000 appear the words and figures “ of which sum not exceeding $500,000”—
Col. FORBES (interposing). That is the revolving fund.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think there is any necessity for carrying that language, because that is the revolving fund; it is law, and it runs down to the bottom of the fifth line on the nineteenth page, ending with the word “commission.”
Col. FORBES. We are quite a bit more careful about making allotments from this revolving fund. In the past, men have gotten five and six loans from the revolving fund in one month. There is approximately $200,000 left in that revolving fund.
The CHAIRMAN. We ought not to put it in now, because it adds $500,000 more to the fund.
Col. FORBES. That revolving fund should be exactly what it is intended to be.
Mr. ROUTSONG. The intention was not to ask for any additional money, but it was simply to quote the old appropriation.
The CHAIRMAN. But if we put this language in the bill we just add $500,000 more to your revolving fund. Mr. ROUTSONG. That was not the intention. The CHAIRMAN. And it makes you careless in its administration. Col. FORBES. There is no question about that.
The CHAIRMAN. Whereas if we restrict you the fund will be judiciously administered.
Mr. ROUTSONG. As I say, it was not intended to ask for additional money but simply to quote the old act, because it was thought necessary to do that.
The CHAIRMAN. Then there is another thing. On page 19 you also carry language which should not be in the bill, language referring to the amount which may be expended for rent. You see, you are asking for a deficiency appropriation, and you already have a limitation on the amount you can pay for rent; that limitation is carried in the original act and it is $5,000. You see, we are preparing a deficieney bill and making new appropriations, so that every time you repeat these figures it means a new appropriation.
Col. FORBES. I am just wondering whether that language does mean that you are adding $500,000.
The CHAIRMAN. It does, absolutely, because whatever is contained in this bill will be in addition to what we have done in the past.
Col. FORBES. I see. We have $200,000 left in that fund and, of course, with our increased trainees I am wondering whether this revolving fund of $500,000 will meet all the demands upon it, so that the revolving fund would be exhausted before we could again make it operative.
The CHAIRMAN. You will come here in December for the next annual bill and you can submit that to us at that time. I do not think it should be carried in this bill.
Col. FORBES. If we should exhaust this fund we would have to cease making any loans.
The CHAIRMAN. I think you will have to use some discretion about collecting the loans you have already made.
Col. FORBES. I agree with you.
Mr. GALLIVAN. As a matter of fact, when you put that language in the thought that occurs to you now did not occur to you then.
Col. FORBES. No. Of course, when the $500,000 was asked we only had 40,000 trainees. Mr. ROUTSONG. Less than that.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think we ought to put it in a deficiency bill and, any way, you have no deficiency.
Col. FORBES. Of course, if this should appear as a deficiency and an additional amount were granted to the bureau, we would have a revolving fund of $1,000,000. I think you are correct in that.
The CHAIRMAN. And we do not want you to have that much.
Col. FORBES. $500,000 is all you are permitting us to use as a revolving fund, and we will have to make it go as far as we can, despite the number of people who apply for relief.
The CHAIRMAN. It is easy to let people have money if you have it loose in your pocket.
Mr. ROUTSONG. I might say, in regard to salaries and expenses for the central office and for the district offices, that when you come to consider the 1923 appropriations you will find that the director has asked for a separate appropriation to cover all administrative expenses, so that you will know your administrative cost, and it will come out of one pocket instead of three, as at present.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to deal with that when we get to it.