[Dated October 13, 1976. Released October 14, 1976]
I AM withholding my approval from H.R. 4654, a bill "For the relief of Day's Sportswear, Incorporated."
H.R. 4654 appears to relate to the same claim as presented in B. A. McKenzie and Co., Inc. v. United States, United States Customs Court #74-6-01520. Another known similar claim on behalf of another importer is pending in the case of George S. Bush and Co., Inc. v. United States, United States Customs Court #73-9-02693.
The United States Government is presently defending these two cases and the United States Customs Court is expected to rule. Briefly, the litigation involves the applicability of certain customs duties.
I believe that the courts should be permitted to rule in these cases in due course. I am also concerned that my approval of H.R. 4654 could inappropriately predispose the court's ruling. Further, H.R. 4654 would constitute preferred treatment of one importer against others having similar claims against the Government.
Finally, I believe that private relief legislation is appropriate only after all other avenues of available administrative and legal recourse have been pursued. For these reasons, I am withholding my approval from H.R. 4654.
GERALD R. FORD
The White House,
October 13, 1976.