February 24, 1970 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD- SENATE S2~07
Mr. YOUNG of Ohio. Mr. President.
conscription of our youth in time of
peace is an abomination. It should never
be tolerated. We should seek to have a
purely volunteer a.rmy, though an increase
in pay would probably be necessary.
Only in times of grave national
emergency and when Congress has declared
war should our youth be conscripted
into the Armed Forces. Under
our former selective service Jaw the lives
of yotmg men were disrupted due to uncertainty.
Under our present selective
service policy, a 19-year-old boy if he is
not summoned before his 20th birthday
'llill not be drafted except in time of
'II ar. The old draft law of taking the
oldest first needlessly disrupted countless
homes, maniages and careers.
The Armed Services Committees of the
Congress also have a duty to recommend
a maximum 18 months' senice for
In that connection, may I say that
e\·ery one of our European allies has conscription
for a lesser period than 2 years.
West Germany has a consc1iption for
Belgium conscripts for only 12 months.
France and Norway conscript for 12 to
15 months ; Denmark from 12 to 14
We alone have 2 years.
The United Kingdom and Canada have
r.o draft whatever.
It is high time that we do away with
this abomination except in a time of
gra,·e national emergency or in a period
when Congress has declared war.
other"'ise, we must haYe a purely volunteer
~tgainst the draft law. ~tnd 1\S one ~·ho
\'Oted against the lottery affectm~r the
19-ycar-olds, which I think in itself was
I am del1ghted that we have come to
this pass wb.ereby a Commission appointed
by the President of the United
States has made some sound and solid
I would hope most sincerely that even
though the draft does not expire until
next year, the Armed Services Committee
would start hearings on the Gates
proposals this year. The way needs to be
paved without further delay, leading to
a better situation as far as armed service
personnel are concerned than is the
case today or has been the case for a
good number of years.
It is my understanding that one of the
recommendations of the Gates Commission
:s that a means will be created
'-''hereby a stand-by will be in operation
in case of extreme emergency.
A most significant and most important
part of that proposal is that the decision
will be up to Congress, the elected repr
esentatives of the people. They will be
responsible once again for putting it in
operation and to me that means a return
to constitutional normalcy and congressional
intent. In a sense, it will be
an application related to Congress' wardeclaring
The Senator mentioned the draft. His
figures were COlTect. He also mentioned
the fact that 18-~ear-olds had been
called up over the past several deeades.
Maybe some of them are still eligible.
It would be fitting and I would hope that
the hearings now being conducted by
the Committee on the Judiciary relative
to giving the voting fra.nohise to the 18-
year-olds would beoome a part O!f the
law of this land, either through a constitutional
amendment or through attachment
to another bill which may
come to the floor of the Senate.
I think it is about time, because the
18-year-olds are considered adults; they
are subject to criminal action; are subject
to the draft; are subject to paying
taxes; are allowed to marry at that age.
However, they are not allowed to participate
in the makt.ng of a policy which
has a vital control over their lives for
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President,
the Senator yield?
Mr. YOUNG of Ohio. I yield.
will a certain period of time in the application
of the draft. Because of this and
the other factors mentioned they should
be given the right and the responsibility
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President, I to vote.
want to express my approval of what the
dis tir..guished Senator has just said and
a..lro exp::ess my wholehearted support
for tJ:e Gat-es Comm.i.ssion report on an
all - volunteer am1y.
I Ulillk that the figure set by the Gates
Comnnssion is too Wgh . Instead of being
:C 5 million, the figure ought to be around
2 mil)ion or a little less.
I think we are long overdue in giving
these young citizens the right to participate
in the exercise of the franchise.
I would hope that if they are continued
to be denied that right-incidentally.
they have that light in the State of
Georgia-that we would consider seriously
in any future draft or conscliption
legiSlation, a provision that no man
I certainly approve their suggestion wili become eligible for the draft until
and their recommendation that the pay he has the right to vote. That would
of the lower grades be increased con- mean, generally speaking, at age 21. The
~iderably and that those who become \\'a;v to face up to this question and overmembers
of an all-volunteer army be come it is to gi\'e the 18-year-olds the
subject to veterans' benefits. I think t~s r ight to vote now or as soon as possible
L~ a step in the right direction. ~~ so that they can determine in some small
I applaud the recommendations of the ·,~art the policy of this country that they
Gates Commission. I think the present *e called upon and have been called
draft law is most Inequitable and most uporl. to execute over the last several
unfair. I say that as one who voted decades.
Mr. YOUNG of O:u o :VI r. Pl'(·.,ldrnt. I
thank U1e distinguished maJority leader
very much for his remarks and commrno
him for the statement he has made today.
I am so glad that the disLiu.;uis lJ cd
majority leader and I are in con Jplt l•
Mr. GURNEY. Mr. Presiden t. \\ tll th<
senior Senator from Ohto. I woulcl lllcf'
to add one thought.
People who run for public office maL•
many promises and sometimes extr.n lgant
promises. Sometimes I think t he:1··
is no intent to live up to some of l ht'
One of the gratifying things al.Jo;11
the present incumbent in the Whtte
House, President Richard Nixon, is t h•'
fact that he has carried out ot· has tried
to carry out many of the major campaign
promises he made in 1966. 1967.
1968. One of the campaign promises tha t
I recall was that we should have a volunteer
army. So I am gratified that the
Commission has come up with this StH;gestion
and also that the President's a t titude
has received the very strong support
and, of course, the very important
support of the distinguished majonl:;
leader as well as the distinguished Senator
Mr. President. I might also make a
fw-ther remark that if the granting of
the franchise to 18-year-olds and up Js
in the mainstream of America's thinktll"
then , too, the present incumbent in the
White House, President Richard Nixm,.
also advocated this many years ago.
I would also like to say, in passing-, that
I think these attitude on lowering the
voting age, coupled with draft reiornh
already made and coupled with his attitude
on a volunteer army, cer t ainly
are factors why there is less youth unrest
in the country today and a greater
acceptability by the young people of the
present incumbent of the White House
Mr. MANSFIELD. I think It also
should be pointed out that the initial
legislation in this body for an all volunteer
army was in Record with what. the
President advocated during the campaign;
and if I remember col'l'cc t.ly, tlle
initiators of the legislation were the distinguished
Sena tor from Oregon t l\1J.
HATFIELD) and-! believe l am COITC'Ct in
saying this-the distinguished Senat.or
from Arizona tMr. GoLDWATER' joim·c
him, and also a number of Senators 0'1
t.his side, including the Senator from
Wisconsin !Hlcr for 11\s furLhet·
contribution. rnrtecJ'l.ed for ll lonM· tlme t.hP. COliC<'Pt of
1\ volun L<'CI" army as soon aH we n l'<' nbk
Lo move in that direction.
Mr. ST~::VENB. Mr. Pt"<'sldent, 1 wlsll
tu Join the distinguished majority leader
;;nd to congratulate him for holding out
hope to the 18-year-olds that we may
take the step to extend to them the voLmg
privilege. My State has the 19-yearold
law. Our 19-year-olds may vote. TI1ey
han~ bft>n respon~ible in exerc1sing t.h1s
r would like to urge that we make this
a bipartisan effort and that we do not
hold out. a' carrot to these young people
to let them believe we will finally take
this action and then not take it.
I think one of the great causes of unn::
st R.mong the young people in this
country is that they have not had an
opportunity to really have a piece of the
action. so to speak, as far as participation
in Government nationally is concemed.
I would hope we will do this.
I notice the suggestic n that the matter
might be tacked on to the civil I;ghts
legislation. I think that would be a good
place to put it; but, in any event, it
1\'ould seem to me that once we start t11e
ball rolling we must keep the ball rolling
because our young people have been disappointed
with us all too often because
we start things and then do not finish
I think the majority leader will find he
has a lot of Young Turks who will be
behind him in his efforts to extend the
voting privilege to 18-year-olds.
Mr. BYRD of West Virginia. Mr. President.
anent the suggestion that the
franchise be accorded to persons under 21
years of age, ma.y I say that my colleague
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