could, of course, be expected to be
lowered following the closing date of
Asked by Mr. Lucas if the figures
he had quoted were a scaling-down
of the pension plan presented in the
last Congress, and which he now described as dead, Mr. Daniel replied
that this bill would contain just about
the Mime provisions as were contained
in the bill presented last year, and
that there was reason to hope that it
might go through the next Congress.
"We vvill use every effort to promote
this legislation," he stated, explaining
that this was a mandate of the
"Cost of living" Increase
"Well, if it does fail, Mr. Daniel,"
Inquired Mr. Lucas, "would you be
willing to sit down with some group —
say. the House Veterans' Committee
— anel work out a general revision of
existing legislation so that disabled
veterans get benefits, for instance, in
line with the increased cost of living?"
"Actually, that's what this amounts
to, Mr. Lucas. It is a cost eif living
increase," replied Mr. Daniel. "To
answer your question, though, I
couldn't comment on that because I
Would have no power to act beyond
my present administration. The American Legion takes the position that the
overwhelming majority of men who
entered upon military service .suffered
in some way. Most hael not only physical, but economic disabilities. Our
equalization law is designed to compensate those men in some small way
for the loss that they suffered, ancl is
in keeping with our long-standing traditions of fairness anel equity."
"Commander Daniel," inserted Mr.
Prina, "leaving the domestic front, I
believe the Legion advocated at its
recent convention that all steps should
be taken tn assure the passage of vessels of all nations through the Sue/
Canal. Now, does that resolution, or
the advocacy of that resolution, extend
to the use of armed convoys, or to
"Let me first say that the event that
led up to the- controversy over the
Suez Canal, in my judgment, was a
step in the right direction taken by inn-
State Department when the) refused
aid in the building of tbe Aswan
Dam," explained Mr. Daniel. "Very
frankly, I would not like to answer
that question because of the negotiations that are now going on in an
attempt to settle tin- controversy. 1
would, however, say this: that our
convention did go on record as proposing that we use every step or effort
available to us to keep the ships of all
nations moving through that international waterway. I don't think that I
have- enough facts at my disposal to
say more than that."
"Generally speaking, though," pursued Mr. Prina, "do you think that the
U. S. has been aggressive enough in
handling President Nasser, who has
shown signs of being quite a 'one man
show' in that section of the world?"
"I certainly think, as I said before,
that the steps that have been taken
have been in the right direction," reiterated Mr. Daniel. "I realize that we
have in Mr. Nasser a probable miniature of Hitler, ancl it seems to me that
we are going to have to apply whatever pressure is necessary to stop him
in his tracks now before we have a
repetition of World War II."
Should Nasser Control Suez?
Mr. Prina asked whether Mr. Daniel
would advocate that President Nasser
be allowed tei set the tolls, to direct
traffic ancl pilots, and so forth, or
whether he felt that the international
body ought to insist on this jurisdiction.
Mr. Daniel, however, did not feel
qualified to comment upon these
points, again pointing to his lack of
know ledge of current negotiations.
Mr. Lucas, changing the subject
under discussion, mentioned that Senator Ellender of Louisiana, a prominent member of the United States
Senate, had recently denounced three
of our allies, — South Viet Nam,
Nationalist China, ancl South Korea —
as bloodsuckers, alter a visit to Europe
where, as Mr. Lucas put it "he had
some very kind things to say about
Mr. Khrushchev and Company."
"I notice," Mr. Lucas added, "that
he is being picketed in Seoul. Would
von care to comment on that?"
"I certainly do not care to question
the motives eif Senator Ellender," replied Mr. Daniel. "We- in the American Legion have always looked upon
the nations that he has condemned as
friendly allies of the I'.S.A. Based on
what I know, ancl what we have been
told in our briefings. I believe that
they are friends of the Unite-el States."
Mr. Lucas then asked if Mr. Daniel
would outline the position of the
American Legion with regard to foreign military and economic aid programs.
Coincidentally, Mr. Daniel was prepared to comment upon this subject
by quoting the very newsman by
whom he was being questioned. Mr.
Daniel pointed out that Mr. Lucas
had just returned from the Far East
when this statement was made, which
specifically referred to India.
"You said, sir, in that statement," he
pointed out, "that we had spent 'X'
number of dollars in an attempt to
stabilize the economy of India, and
we found the strange spectacle of
Nehru and Mennon flying all over the
world — I believe you said 'perhaps
at our expense' — preaching a strange
type of neutrality, one that recognized
all the virtues of communism and none
of its faults, and all the faults of capitalism and none of its virtues.
"Your statement," Mr. Daniel commented, "strikes me very forcefully,
and also ties in with the position of
the American Legion. 1 may say to
you, sir, that we were strong advocates of the Marshal] Plan. Many of
our members had just returned from
the war-torn areas of the world, and
they recognized a great need for the
rehabilitation of those countries. We
were led to believe at that time that
this program would cost approximately $17 billion, and would be
extended far beyond that, and that we
have spent now in excess of $60 billion
in these programs.
The Tito-talitarian Affair
"Another specific example I'd like to
bring out, in line with your statement
regarding India, is the case of Burma,"
he continued. "There we spent $31
million in an attempt to democratize
that country. And what happened?
The day we spent the last dollar of
that money, they asked the United
Nations to brand us as aggressors in
Korea. However, the most blatant example, of course, is that of Yugoslavia.
Here we ate spending $35 billion a
year in our defense program in an
attempt to stop communism in Soviet
Russia. At the Ssime time, we spend a
billion dollars, in addition to providing other sinews of war (including 380
jet planes, I believe), promoting the
same type of government in Yugoslavia. Well now, to me that just
doesn't make sense, because in my
opinion a Communist is a Communist, whether he lives in Belgrade, in
Moscow, or whether he lives in Danville, Virginia, or Washington, D. C."
Mr. Prina pointed out that the Eisenhower Administration takes the
Pacts Forum News, December. 1956