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ILLUSTRATIONS IN VOLUME THIRTEEN
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The Senate Office Building
(Sketch of his Ohio home on tissue)
Signing Peace Protocol
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interest of all the people can hardly justify questionable expenditures for public work by pleading the opinions of engineers or others as to the practicability of such work, it appears that some of the projects for which appropriations are proposed in this bill have been entered upon without the approval or against the objections of the examining engineers.
I learn from official sources that there are appropriations contained in the bill to pay for work which private parties have actually agreed with the Government to do in consideration of their occupancy of public property.
Whatever items of doubtful propriety may have escaped observation or may have been tolerated in previous Executive approvals of similar bills, I am convinced that the bill now under consideration opens the way to insidious and increasing abuses and is in itself so extravagant as to be especially unsuited to these times of depressed business and resulting disappointment in Government revenue. This consideration is emphasized by the prospect that the public Treasury will be confronted with other appropriations made at the present session of Congress amounting to more than $500,000,000.
Individual economy and careful expenditure are sterling virtues which lead to thrift and comfort. Economy and the exaction of clear justification for the appropriation of public moneys by the servants of the people are not only virtues, but solemn obligations.
To the extent that the appropriations contained in this bill are instigated by private interests and promote local or individual projects their allowance can not fail to stimulate a vicious paternalism and encourage a sentiment among our people, already too prevalent, that their attachment to our Government may properly rest upon the hope and expectation of direct and especial favors and that the extent to which they are realized may furnish an estimate of the value of governmental care.
I believe no greater danger confronts us as a nation than the unhappy decadence among our people of genuine and trustworthy love and affection for our Government as the embodiment of the highest and best aspirations of humanity, and not as the giver of gifts, and because its mission is the enforcement of exact justice and equality, and not the allowance of unfair favoritism.
I hope I may be permitted to suggest, at a time when the issue of Gov. ernment bonds to maintain the credit and financial standing of the country is a subject of criticism, that the contracts provided for in this bill would create obligations of the United States amounting to $62,000,000 no less binding than its bonds for that sum.
To the Senate:
EXECUTIVE MANSION, May 29, 1896. I herewith return without approval Senate bill No. 147, entitled "An act granting a pension to Elvira Bachelder."
This bill provides for a pension to the beneficiary as dependent mother of “J. K. P. Bachelder, late a private in Company D, Seventh New Hamp shire Volunteer Infantry.”
On the merits of the case I am satisfied this mother deserves a pension. I withhold my approval of the bill intended to grant her this relief solely because I am advised that the law would be inoperative for the reason that the deceased soldier never served in the Seventh New Hampshire Infantry, and should have been described in the bill as a member of Company D, First New Hampshire Heavy Artillery.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, May 29, 1896. To the House of Representatives:
I herewith return without approval House bill No. 900, entitled “An act to provide for the payment of the claim of William H. Mahoney."
This bill directs the Secretary of the Treasury to receive and pay to W. H. Mahoney, without the indorsement of N. A. Rogers, a certain bond issued by the United States in 1861 for the sum of $500, such payment to be made upon the giving by said Mahoney of a bond to bold harmless the United States against repayment of said bond.
The bond mentioned is one of a large issue which was authorized under an act passed March 2, 1861, and known as Oregon war-debt bonds. They were made payable in 1881.
In 1864 an act was passed directing the Secretary of the Treasury to issue or cause to be issued to E. F. and Samuel A. Ward duplicates of nineteen of these bonds, particularly described by their numbers and otherwise. Among others are mentioned “Nos. 1352 to 1359, inclusive." This of course includes the bond numbered 1358, which is directed to be paid in the bill under consideration. Nothing can now be discovered to indicate the occasion for ihe issuance of these duplicates, but from the fact that a bond of indemnity was required it is inferred that they were issued because of the loss or destruction of the original bonds.
Pursuant to this act a duplicate of the bond in question, among others, was issued and made payable to the order of Thomas Pritchard, attorney, who was the payee in the original bond.
In 1881 this duplicate was paid by the Treasury Department and is now in possession of the Government. The indorsement of the payee, “Thomas Pritchard, attorney," appears thereon and all other proper indorsements to show title in the party to whom the payment was made.
The Government has therefore once paid the amount of this bond to the party apparently entitled to it. If the beneficiary named in this bill has a better right to the money, the Government, not being in default, should be protected against double payment. I suppose to sustain a