The Bonus After the 1932 Elections

September 27, 1932

Report Outline
American Legion Demand for Immediate Bonus Payment
Adjusted Service Certificate Law of 1924
The Bonus Struggle in Congress, 1931–1932
The Soldiers' Bonus in the 1932 Campaign
Disbursements for Veterans Since Close of the War
Special Focus

American Legion Demand for Immediate Bonus Payment

Lines for Renewal of the bonus battle were formed in mid-September, 1932, when the American Legion in national convention at Portland, Oregon, reversed the stand it had taken in 1931 and adopted, by the overwhelming vote of 1,167 to 109, a resolution demanding immediate payment of the 1945 matured value of veterans' adjusted service certificates. In a statement issued at the White House the day before the Legion acted, President Hoover reiterated his opposition to the proposal and declared that in his judgment its enactment would be “a deadly blow at the welfare of the nation.” Governor Roosevelt made no comment. His position with respect to present bonus demands remains undisclosed, although he said last April that he did not “see how, as a matter of practical sense, a government running behind $2,000,000,000 annually can consider the anticipation of bonus payments until it has a balanced budget, not only on paper but with a surplus of cash in the treasury.”

The Patman (D., Texas) bill for immediate payment of the full amount of veterans' adjusted service certificates was passed by the House of Representatives, June 15, 1932, by a vote of 211 to 176, but was defeated in the Senate two days later by a vote of 62 to 18. The Congress which will be called upon to consider this question again next winter will be the same Congress which acted upon it last June, since members elected this November will not take their seats until December, 1933, unless called in special session after March 4.

Sponsors of the Patman bill presented it not only as a relief measure for veterans but as a means of stimulating economic recovery. Payment of the bonus, amounting to about $2,400,000,000, was to be made by issuance of new currency in that amount. It was contended that this large addition to the volume of outstanding currency would raise the general price level and lead to a widespread buying movement. Opponents of the plan branded it as economically unsound and expressed fears that its inflationary features would produce lack of confidence in the dollar, increase hoarding, start wholesale gold withdrawals, and drive the country off the gold standard.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S. Military
Oct. 04, 2019  Veterans' Struggles
Sep. 23, 2011  Military Suicides
Sep. 05, 2008  Rise in Counterinsurgency
Aug. 31, 2007  Wounded Veterans
Nov. 19, 2004  Treatment of Veterans
Jun. 25, 2004  Privatizing the Military
May 30, 2003  Reforming the Corps
Apr. 26, 1996  New Military Culture
Jun. 08, 1990  Downsizing America's Armed Forces
Jul. 20, 1966  American Forces in Europe
Jan. 15, 1964  American Troops Abroad
May 21, 1958  Military Reorganization
Feb. 28, 1952  Benefits for Korean Veterans
May 12, 1948  Militarization
Nov. 06, 1946  Veterans' Bonus
Jul. 17, 1946  War Veterans in Civil Life
Nov. 27, 1941  Government Aid to Ex-Service Men
Sep. 27, 1932  The Bonus After the 1932 Elections
Oct. 06, 1930  Veteran-Aid Policies of the United States
Jan. 07, 1924  Congress and the Bonus
Economic Crises
Veterans' Services