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Veto of a Bill for the Relief of Joseph Marko.

February 23, 1931

To the House of Representatives:

I am returning without approval House Bill No. 3368, entitled "An Act for the relief of Joseph Marko".

This bill proposes to provide that Joseph Marko who was honorably discharged as a private, Battery E, Three hundred and tenth Field Artillery, on the 6th day of December, 1918, on account of being a neutral alien nondeclarant of Russia, shall, upon application within six months after the passage of this Act, be entitled to all the rights, privileges, and benefits of the World War Adjusted Compensation Act, notwithstanding his discharge on account of alienage.

From the report of the Secretary of War to the Committee on Military Affairs, House of Representatives, at the time this bill was pending before it, I note that Mr. Marko was honorably discharged from the service on December 6, 1918, pursuant to the telegram dated November 14, 1918, from the War Department directing that "neutral alien nondeclarants will be discharged upon their own request. For the purpose of these instructions Russia will be considered neutral."

I further note that there were thousands of men who were discharged under like conditions and that there is no special or peculiar merit in Mr. Marko's case which would single him out for relief that is not extended to all others in the same class. As long as Congress deems it wise to exclude from the benefits of the World War Adjusted Compensation Act all persons who, at any time during the war period or thereafter, were discharged from the military or naval forces on account of alienage, I do not feel that it would be just or proper for me to approve a bill selecting a particular individual for exception from that general provision.


The White House,

February 23, 1931.

Note: The House of Representatives referred the veto message to the Committee on Military Affairs on February 23, 1931, and no further action was taken.

Herbert Hoover, Veto of a Bill for the Relief of Joseph Marko. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/207344

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