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March 1, 1935, Pages 1, 5

War Appropriations Increase
Military Training
In Schools

House Votes $343,603 Increase
      For ROTC, CMTC After
            Five Day Debate


Supreme Court Decision Makes
      Training of Youth Correct,
            Rep. McCormack Holds

            In spite of the vigorous efforts by the opposition, the War department appropriations bill passed the House of Representatives with extensive provisions for endowment of military training institutions.

      The appropriations bill, calling for one of the largest annual expenditures for strictly military purposes in America's peace-time history, was passed by the Lower House on February 22. The bill, was adopted by the House after five days of debate, appropriated $375,734,449 for the department for the fiscal year 1936. according to the New York Times of February 23. Of this amount, $315,699,495 are to he used strictly for military purposes according to the Appropriations Committee.

            Others supported Representative Marcantonio of New York, who proposed to strike from the bill an appropriation of $3,45.3,600 for grants to colleges for military training. It was proposed that no aid be made available to institutions where such training was compulsory.

      The amendment was voted down by a vote of 119 to 31 after two hours of debate that followed a stirring address by Mr. Marcantonio. The issue, he told the House was "whether the liberties of youth are to be abolished." The amendment was described as "an attempt to prevent goose-stepping" in institutions of higher learning.

            Representative Knute Hill of Washington came to the aid of the New Yorker and won applause from the floor and gallery by his assertion that compulsory military training in schools and colleges was an intolerable interference with religious scruples.

            It simply put the world on notice that we're preparing for war," the Times quotes him as saying. "When a man goes out without a fishing pole under his arm, we know he's not going to church, even if it happens to be Sunday morning."

            If compulsory military training is such good discipline for our young men, why don't they give it to the young girls?" Several members sprang to their feet to answer him, but he refused to yield.

      Representative O'Malley of Wisconsin demanded that Congress protest against inducing compulsory military training by employing government financial aid as "bait."

            Representatives Ramspeck of Georgia and McCormack of Massachusetts attacked the proposed amendment, the former asserting that the availability of Federal aid did not compel any school to adopt compulsory military training.

      Mr. McCormack pointed out that the justice of compulsory military training had .already been established by the Supreme Court and that there was no room for the theoretical when the practical question of equipping the young for defense of their country was involved.

            Mr. Ramspeck later offered an amendment to increase from $1,000,000 to $2,600,000 the appropriation for Citizens: Military Training Camps. The proposal, however, was defeated by a vole of 68 to 22.

            The bill proposed an expenditure of $4,401.204, for citizens' military training, including ROTC, schools and colleges and CMTC. This is $343,603 more than was :appropriated this year.


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May 20, 2004