Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill for the Relief of Mr. and Mrs. Derfery William Wright.

January 31, 1956

I HAVE TODAY APPROVED H. R. 1015, "For the relief of Mr. and Mrs. Derfery William Wright."

This Act provides for payment to Mr. and Mrs. Derfery William Wright, father and mother of a deceased serviceman, the amount of death compensation which the Administrator of Veterans Affairs finds would have been payable to them during the period from February 1948 to November 10, 1952, the date they began receiving death compensation, had they filed a claim on the earlier date. The amount, if any, which they will receive will depend upon whether or not, and, for what portion of the period in question, the Administrator determines that the parents were dependent within the purview of the applicable public law.

Ordinarily, I am opposed to setting aside provisions of the general law relating to veterans' benefits programs. A careful review of the facts convinces me, however, that special equities exist in this case which make it exceptional.

The record establishes that these surviving parents of a deceased serviceman made application for monthly death compensation payments early in 1948 but erroneously submitted their application to the State Veterans agency rather than to the Veterans Administration. They were subsequently advised by an officer of the State agency that the Veterans Administration had disapproved their application; whereas in fact their application was never brought to the attention of the Veterans Administration. Although they mistakenly relied upon this misrepresentation, it appears they did so in good faith and under circumstances which, to them, seemed to justify reliance. Because of the unusual circumstances of their case and the efforts made by them in 1948 to assert their claim, I agree with the Congress that they should be given the opportunity to prove the facts upon which their 1948 application was based.

Note: As enacted, H. R. 1015 is Private Law 507, 84th Congress (70 Stat. A9).

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill for the Relief of Mr. and Mrs. Derfery William Wright. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233383

Simple Search of Our Archives