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The CHAIRMAN. No.
The CHAIRMAN. It is; due notice will be given, and the chairman trusts that all members will be present.
Mr. Hoog. I will be there, and I would like to have it made soon.
Mr. BRADLEY. Mr. Chairman, I hesitate to say anything, being an outsider
The CHAIRMAN. You need not, sir.
Mr. BRADLEY. But being slightly interested in matters pertaining to pensions, and not at all particular as to whether I please the Grand Army or not, I would like to ask one or two questions.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Mr. BRADLEY. Is this a Grand Army bill? Was it prepared by the Grand Army?
Mr. Brown. It is in line with Grand Army thought, but the Grand Army did not prepare the bill.
Mr. BRADLEY. Did the committee representing the Grand Army of the United States recommend this bill?
Mr. Brown. It does now recommend it; it does now.
Mr. BRADLEY. Did it recommend it as a service-pension bill or an age pension ?
Mr. BROWN. An age pension is the better term; but it is a service pension.
Mr. BRADLEY. And yet it makes no distinction between periods of service.
Mr. Brown. I know; we care not by what name it shall be called.
Mr. BRADLEY. I know that the Grand Army never has cared for that particularly, because they have never been able to agree on recommending a service pension based on service.
Mr. BROWN. No.
Mr. BRADLEY. And therefore they have always—of course, they have not been here often on the question of a service-pension bill, but when they have been here they have invariably recommended ninety days' service and stopped there.
Mr. Brown. Well, we have“ ninety days " there.
Mr. BRADLEY. I understand; but you have not any consideration of a longer term.
Mr. Brown. No.
Mr. BRADLEY. Is it purely because, as a Grand Army, you can not agree on anything else?
Mr. Brown. No, sir; because we have agreed on this. We have never sought to agree upon
that. Mr. BRADLEY. But was it not originally felt by the Grand Army that the man who served four years or three years was entitled to more consideration in a service-pension bill than the man who served ninety days? And in referring to ninety days I do not refer to the men who were disabled within the period of ninety days.
Mr. BROWN. I understand that.
way. I am looking at the Grand Army of the Republic on this question, and that is all.
Mr. KETCHAM. May I speak?
Mr. KETCHAM. So far as I am personally concerned, with my two years of service, it seems to me idle, it seems to me ridiculous, that a man like Comrade Ware, who served five years and a half—it seems to me personally as not logical that the men that served in my regiment for over two years before I was privileged to enjoy it, and whose sufferings taught me how I should not suffer what they had suffered, should not have a larger pension than I, if I should ever call for one, and I hope I never will. But it has been the consensus of opinion of the Grand Army of the Republic in San Francisco and in Denver that the eleventh-hour man should stand the same as the man who dug and toiled and fought for twelve hours. So I bow to the superior judgment and wisdom of the whole, and I am here because I believe that the judgment of the vast number of patriotic men that come together in national encampments and have looked upon this question from every corner and every side and weighed every feature of it is worth more than my individual judgment.
Mr. BRADLEY. Well, that depends.
Mr. KETCHAM. And I am here to say everything that I can for the judgment of the various encampments of the Grand Army, regardless of the fact that if it had been left for me to decide I might have decided another way.
Mr. BRADLEY. If the judgment of the many arises from the majority of ninety-day men, I would not bow to it.
Mr. KETCHAM. If you ever attended a national encampment—and I do not care where it is—you would find that it was not the ninetyday men that talked. The ninety-day men are not there. It is the four-year men that are there, and it is the four-year men that decide, and † bow to and follow the four-year men and their judgment.
Mr. Brown. The ninety-day men are not in the Grand Army, as a rule.
Mr. BRADLEY. Of course the point that has held back this servicepension bill heretofore in Congress is exactly this that I am referring to.
Mr. Brown. You are exactly right, sir.
Mr. BRADLEY. It seems to men who were not in the service that the man who began, we will say, at Bull Run or on the peninsula at Yorktown and went through three or four years, say four years, of arduous service, and remained until Appomattox, is entitled, under the word " service,” to a far greater consideration than the man who was mustered in in March or April, 1865—yes; I may say March, April, or even May, 1865—and mustered out in August or September, 1865.
Mr. Brown. The only declaration the Grand Army of the Republic has ever made
Mr. BRADLEY. Now, I am giving you the civilian view.
Mr. Brown. You have the idea of a great many soldiers. It would be idle to say that we are perfectly agreed, because we are not so happy a family as that. There are men who claim
Mr. BRADLEY. The old soldiers of the civil war have been born Mr. Brown. Yes; I know, I know. But the Grand Army of the Republic has never legislated upon any one bill except the $12 bill.
Mr. BRADLEY. Did you not present it in the last Congress?
Mr. Brown. It was not presented by the Grand Army. It might have been done by some Grand Army men. But the Grand Army, at San Francisco, reaffirmed at Denver, and again reaffirmed at Minneapolis this year, was in favor of a $12 service-pension bill. The McCumber bill carries it on to the age of 70, and then puts on $3, and at the age of 75 it puts on $5 more.
Mr. BRADLEY. This is merely an increase of order 78?
Mr. BRADLEY. As to amounts to be paid, and leaves out beyond the
Mr. BRADLEY. Yes. Now, there is one point I wish to touch upon. Mr. Chairman, this bill will not help the men of long service; and they are, in the main, the men who come here—the men who had the good fortune to go through battle after battle, campaign after campaign, and the bullets missed them. It is strange how many there were.
Mr. CHANEY. That is the case.
Mr. Bradley. Those men, going home in fairly good physical condition after two or three or four years' service, are almost the last men to think of pensions. It is almost true that the short-term men are the first men to think of pensions.
Mr. BROWN. It is absolutely true.
Mr. BRADLEY. And for those men I have the greatest respect; I always take off my hat for them, and feel that I ought almost to wipe their shoes--men who served three and four years in the Army, and went home and went into business and into occupations, and think not of a pension until the infirmities of age or disability from disease, blindness, paralysis, locomotor ataxia, chronic rheumatism, or something of that kind tells them that they are unable to care for themselves. Then they take a different view of it; and the limit is $12. Of course it is too late for them to go under the general law. Even if they had incurred their disability in the service they could not prove it. So they come here, and there are thousands of them that come here at every Congress, and can not be attended to. In this Congress I will guarantee that there have been nearly 14,000 pension bills introduced—and Members do not introduce pension bills for every case for which they would like to introduce bills-and probably 2,000 or 3,000 will go through in the Congress. This matter of the men of long service who to-day are helpless from paralysis or locomotor ataxia or other troubles is a very serious consideration.
Mr. Brown. I grant you that, sir.
Mr. BROWN. I do not know that it is more serious than this. I am constrained to believe that this will reach one very worthy class of men. I know it will. It lifts the six-dollar man to twelve—a very decided increase. And, gentlemen of this committee, if, in your wisdom, in the Sixtieth Congress it ought to be extended surely you have our cooperation and our thanks. But we are not here to say that we will ever be back again. We have no authority to say that. But I say for myself personally that I enlisted for the war; I think I will be back. [Laughter.]
Now, if these gentlemen have any questions
Mr. CHANEY. If you will agree to have the Grand Army come back here and help us on that other proposition, I will be for your bill.
Mr. BROWN. I will not be the commander in chief next year, but I am almost willing to make that pledge. The most cruelly hurt man of the war that I know anything about was on Maryland Heights for seven days. The most cruelly hurt man of the war belonged to the Fifteenth Ohio, and he has not turned over in bed for twenty-five years without assistance, owing to rheumatism. So short service has its punishment as well as long service,
Mr. CHANEY. Yes; but let me give you a case. I have an old soldier in my district who is now 66 years of age. He is drawing a pension of $12 a month. He is absolutely paralyzed. He has not a dollar in the world except the pension of $12 that comes to him. There is not anything in the world left for him and his old wife except to go “over the hill to the poorhouse."
Mr. Brown. But Mr. Chaney is in Congress, and on the Invalid Pensions Committee.
Mr. CHANEY. I can take care of him, and I will do it.
Mr. BRADLEY. You know there are 40,000 roads, all coming into Washington.
Mr. BROWN. Yes, sir.
Mr. BRADLEY. And on them are people traveling to find the Member of Congress, and nine out of every ten people want to put their hands into the Treasury for one object or another; and even though Mr. Chaney is on the Invalid Pensions Committee he can not do all that he would like to do.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Bradley, this bill, in my judgment, does not in any way affect legislation on the lines sufgested by Mr. Chaney and you. On the other hand, I think any addition on the line you suggest to this legislation would inure to the disadvantage of this legislation.
Mr. Dickson. And it would result in no advantage to the proposed legislation. It would rather tend to defeat them both.
The CHAIRMAN. That is right. The passage of this bill in its present form will inure to the securing of legislation on the lines that you desire.
Mr. KETCHAM. And it will render assistance to the very man you are talking about. Not, perhaps, as much as you think he ought to have, but it will render him that much. Twelve dollars a month, $15 a month, $20 a month will keep the wolf from the keyhole. It will drive him beyond the gates. It will put him on the other side of the road. They may hear the howls and they may have the fear, but the old soldier will have that much anyhow, and if this bill does not pass he will not have that.
Mr. Hogo. Mr. Chairman, I move that you be instructed to immediately favorably report this bill. [Laughter.]
The CHAIRMAN. Well, gentlemen of the committee, I think I speak the minds of all the members of the committee in thanking the committee of the Grand Army of the Republic for their visit here to us and the information that they have given to both of these committees, as well as to outside Members of Congress, and I think I can say to them that their matter will be given prompt, fair, and full consideration.
Mr. Hogy. Put another “f” in there and say “ favorable." Mr. Brown. We are very grateful, Mr. Chairman, and I would like to ask, in the presence of this committee, that the chairman do me the honor to wire me the decision of the committee at Zanesville as early as it is made.
The CHAIRMAN. All right; we will.
Mr. Brown. I will be very much obliged to you if you will do that, and that night I will grow 12 inches if it is favorable. [Laughter.] If it is not, I will come back to Washington.
Mr. BRADLEY. And all the ninety-day men will grow 3 feet.
Your committee are of opinion that a grateful and prosperous nation is abundantly able to grant the well-deserved recognition extended by the proposed legislation, and the passage of the bill is therefore respectfully recommended.