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There is no record of any such disability, though it appears that he was on a furlough about the date of his alleged injury. It appears that he served nearly four years after the time he fixed as the date of his injury.

No evidence was filed in support of the claim he filed, and he refused to appear for examination, though twice notified to do so.

His claim was rejected in May, 1888, no suggestion having been made of any other disability than the wound in the thumb, upon which his claim before the Bureau was based.

The report of the committee in the House of Representatives recommending the passage of this bill contains no intimation that there exists any disability contracted in the military service, but distinctly declares the pension recommended a service pension, and states that the beneficiary is blind.

As long as the policy of granting pensions for disability traceable to the incidents of army service is adhered to, the allowance of pensions by special acts based upon service only gives rise to unjust and unfair discriminations among those equally entitled, and makes precedents which will eventually result in an entire departure from the principle upon which pensions are now awarded.

GROVER CLEVELAND.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 23, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 11803, entitled “An act granting a pension to Henry V. Bass.”

This beneficiary enlisted September 9, 1862, and was mustered out August 15, 1865. The records show no disability during his service.

It is now alleged that the soldier was sitting on the ground near his tent while two comrades were wrestling near him, and that in the course of the scuffle one of the parties engaged in it was thrown or fell upon the beneficiary, injuring his right knee and ankle.

Upon these facts the claim was rejected by the Pension Bureau on the ground that the injury was not received in the line of duty.

I do not think that the Government should be held as an insurer against injuries of this kind, which are in no manner related to the performance of military service.

GROVER CLEVELAND.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 23, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I herewith return without approval House bill No. 11999, entitled "An act granting a pension to William Barnes.”

The beneficiary named in this bill served in a Kentucky regiment from August 9, 1861, to December 6, 1864.

He made claim for pension in the Pension Bureau in September, 1882, alleging that in October, 1862, he was accidentally injured by a pistol shot in the thigh while in the line of duty.

It is conceded that he was wounded by the discharge of a pistol which he was carrying while he was absent from his command with permission on a visit to his home, and that the discharge of the pistol was accidental.

The circumstances of the injury are neither given in the report of the committee to whom the claim was referred by the House of Representatives nor in the report of the case furnished to me from the Pension Bureau, but on the conceded facts the granting of a pension in this case can be predicated upon no other theory except the liability of the Government for any injury by accident to a person in the military service, whether in the line of duty or not.

I think the adoption of the principle that the Government is an insurer against accidents under any circumstances befalling those enlisted in its military service when visiting at home is an unwarrantable stretch of pension legislation.

GROVER CLEVELAND.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 25, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I herewith return without approval House bill No. 10448, entitled "An act granting a pension to Squire Walter."

The son of the beneficiary named in this bill enlisted in a West Virginia regiment on the 28th day of June, 1861.

On the 15th day of September, 1862, while bathing in the Potomac River near the Chain Bridge, with the knowledge and consent of his commanding officer, he was drowned.

It is perfectly clear that he lost his life while in the enjoyment of a privilege and when at his request military discipline was relaxed and its restraints removed for his comfort and pleasure. His death resulted from his voluntary and perfectly proper personal indulgence, and can not be in the least attributed to military service.

The father does not appear to be so needy and dependent as is often exhibited in cases of this class.

GROVER CLEVELAND.

To the Senate:

EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 25, 1889. I herewith return without approval Senate bill No. 3561, entitled “An act granting a pension to Edwin W. Warner.”

A claim for pension on behalf of the beneficiary named in this bill was filed in the Pension Bureau May 6, 1867. It has been examined and re examined and always rejected, until, on the 29th day of December, 1888, as the result of a personal and thorough investigation by the Commis, sioner, a pension was allowed and a certificate issued under which the claimant will be paid $18 a inonth hereafter and arrearages amounting to something near $2,000.

As the special act for the benefit of this claimant was passed by the Congress upon the supposition that nothing had been done for the beneficiary therein named, I deem it best, in his interest, and probably consistent with the intent of the Congress, that the bill herewith returned should not become a law.

GROVER CLEVELAND.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 26, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 12047, entitled “An act granting an increase of pension to George Colwell.”

The record shows that this beneficiary was enrolled in the military service August 10, 1862, and was mustered out June 1, 1865.

There is no record of any disability during his service.

He was pensioned at the rate of $2 a month for a dog bite just above the ankle.

In September, 1865, three months after his discharge, he strained the knee of the leg which had been bitten,

In 1887 he applied for an increase of pension, alleging increased disability. This increased disability appears plainly to be the result of the strain or injury to the knee, and in no way connected with the bite for which he was pensioned.

GROVER CLEVELAND.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 26, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I herewith return without approval House bill No. 10791, entitled "An act granting a pension to Marinda Wakefield Reed.”

This beneficiary filed an application for pension in November, 1876, alleging that her husband, William A. Reed, died in September of that year of consumption contracted in the line of military duty.

The records show that the soldier was in hospital in the year 1864 for chronic diarrhea and intermittent fever.

On the 5th day of November, 1864, he was injured in a railroad accident while on his way home to vote at the Presidential election of that year.

The beneficiary claimed in August, 1885, in support of her application for pension that those injuries resulted in consumption, from which the soldier died, and the favorable report of the House committee to which the bill herewith returned was referred seems to proceed upon the same theory.

MP-VOL VIII—3

Nothing appears which satisfactorily connects this injury, which was received in November, 1864, with death from consumption in 1876.

Another difficulty in the case is found in the fact that when the soldier was injured he was clearly not engaged in any military duty nor was his injury in any degree attributable to military service.

GROVER CLEVELAND.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 26, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill 11466, entitled “An act granting a pension to Mary A. Selbach.”

This bill does not give the name of any soldier to whom the beneficiary was related or in what capacity the pension provided for is to be paid to her, but it appears from the report of the committee accompanying the bill that she is the widow of Gustavus Selbach, a volunteer in the Ninth Regiment of Ohio Volunteers.

This soldier drew a pension from January, 1882, to January 16, 1886, when he died. He claimed disability for disease of the ears and a resulting deafness of his left ear. There appears to be no evidence in his record of any disability or medical treatment while in the service, and the medical examination upon his application for pension shows no rating for any disability other than that alleged by him and for which he was pensioned-disease of the ears and resulting deafness.

It is conceded that the soldier died January 16, 1886, of pneumonia.. The widow filed a claim for pension in May, 1887.

The testimony of physicians upon her claim covered seven years prior to his death, thus dating back to the year 1879, and they speak of the disease of the ear and of the kidneys, which, in their opinion, undermined his health, so that “he succumbed to an attack of pneumonia, which to a person of ordinary good health would not have been considered serious."

It can hardly be supposed that the trouble with his ears caused the soldier to fall a victim to pneumonia; and so far as the kidney disease tended in that direction, it is to be observed that it apparently did not make its appearance until fourteen years after the soldier's discharge.

GROVER CLEVELAND.

EXECUTIVE MANSION, February 26, 1880. To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 11586, entitled “An act for the relief of Stephen Williams."

It appears from the records that the beneficiary for whom a pension is provided in this bill served as a volunteer in an Illinois regiment from October, 1862, to October, 1864, at which date he is reported as a deserter.

He filed a claim for pension in 1881, in which he alleged that he was struck with a gunstock upon his head and injured in October, 1864.

The evidence shows that a drunken comrade struck the claimant with the stock of his gun because he would not buy whisky for him.

This, upon all the facts, does not appear to be a proper case for allowing a pension for an injury suffered in the line of military duty.

GROVER CLEVELAND.

To the Senate:

EXECUTIVE MANSION, March 2, 1889. I herewith return without approval Senate bill No. 139, entitled “An act to credit and pay to the several States and Territories and the District of Columbia all moneys collected under the direct tax levied by the act of Congress approved August 5, 1861.”

The object of this bill is quite clearly indicated in its title. Its provisions have been much discussed in both branches of Congress and have received emphatic legislative sanction. I fully appreciate the interest which it has excited and have by no means failed to recognize the per. suasive presentation made in its favor. I know, too, that the interposition of Executive disapproval in this case is likely to arouse irritation and cause complaint and earnest criticism. Since, however, my judgment will not permit me to assent to the legislation proposed, I can find no way of turning aside from what appears to be the plain course of official duty.

On the 5th day of August, 1861, a Federal statute was passed entitled An act to provide increased revenue from imports, to pay interest on the public debt, and for other purposes."

This law was passed at a time when immense sums of money were needed by the Government for the prosecution of a war for the Union, and the purpose of the law was to increase in almost every possible way the Federal revenues. · The first seven sections of the statute were devoted to advancing very largely the rates of duties on imports, and to supplement this the eighth section provided that a direct tax of $20,000,ooo should be annually laid and that certain amounts therein specified should be apportioned to the respective States. The remainder of the law, consisting of fifty sections, contained the most particular and detailed provisions for the collection of the tax through Federal machinery.

It was declared, among other things, that the tax should be assessed and laid on all lands and lots of ground, with their improvements and dwelling houses; that the annual amount of said taxes should be a lien upon all lands and real estate of the individuals assessed for the same, and that in default of payment the said taxes might be collected by distraint and sale of the goods, chattels, and effects of the delinquent persons.

This tax was laid in execution of the power conferred upon the General Government for that purpose by the Constitution. It was an exercise of the right of the Government to tax its citizens. It dealt with

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