AUGUST 28, 1945
NEW YORK, Monday—Ever since General Omar Bradley took over the Veterans' Administration, I have wanted to wish him well. I gather from the little which I see that he is not only taking over the Veterans' Administration, in itself a tremendous job, but that he is also to administer the GI Bill of Rights. The provisions of this bill require much thinking through and additional experience in actual administration. Some revision on the part of Congress may be necessary when the administrator has had an opportunity to observe how its provisions actually meet the needs of the discharged servicemen.
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From countless men overseas, I have heard great praise not only of General Bradley's ability as an administrator, but of his real understanding and sympathy for the men and their problems. This will be a great advantage to him, because the best tonic any man, well or ill, can have is the knowledge that the people to whom he has to look for help in his return to civilian life are deeply concerned and sympathetically attuned to his particular problems.
One of the first difficulties facing the new head of the Veterans' Administration is the fact that much clerical work has to be done with inadequate personnel. The war has naturally brought a great increase in records and work that has to be done in connection with them. General Hines was a very able business administrator, but Congress was probably not aware of the difficulties which the Veterans' Bureau of necessity would face shortly after the war began. Any administrator of a government bureau who is asking Congress for an increased appropriation is apt to have some trouble in remaining popular with the committee before which he has to appear.
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Congressional committees are made up of gentlemen who are acutely conscious of their particular problems. Congressman "A" does not want the widow "B," who is his constituent, to wait a year after her husband died on Anzio Beach before she gets a pension. Nevertheless, it is very hard for any of us as individuals, whether we are Congressmen or not, to think of the particular problems which touch us as being multiplied 130,000,000 times. So we tend to be appalled when some administrator tells us that his job, to be well done, will cost almost 100 percent more than it required last year or the year before. That is probably what will happen in the case of the Veterans' Bureau.