Citizens First?

Talk of an increased educational allotment under the G.I. Bill at a meeting of the AVC Harvard Chapter Wednesday night brings the student veteran flush up against the first moral crisis of his renewed career as a civilian. In the forefront of the drive to retain rent ceilings and OPA, the veteran in college or on-the-job training now shows signs of wanting to ride the gravy train along with the NAM, the farmers and certain merchants of Harvard Square. If the AVC eventually decides to campaign formally for a hike in the monthly check, such a move will give its proud boast, "Citizens first, veterans second," that unmistakable hollow ring.

What such a clamor on the part of the veteran for more money would mean in terms of feeding the inflation bonfire was demonstrated on the floor of the Senate last week. Senator David I. Walsh, his eye on the November election, proposed a raise in the allotment from 65 dollars to 90, and from 90 to 115 dollars. On the basis of the 1,700,000 veterans now in college or on-the-job training, such a boost would cost the Federal Government an extra half a billion dollars annually.

The ways to avoid inflation are numerous, but none of them include putting more money into circulation. Senator Walsh's proposal, or any increase in government subsidies for veteran students, would be just that. If the college veteran would preach the lesson of self-sacrifice to others, he must be prepared to practise it himself.