Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Veto of Bill for the Relief of Our Lady of the Lake Church, Mandeville, Louisiana

June 11, 1960

[Released June 13, 1960. Dated June 11, 1960]

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith, without my approval, H.R. 5150, "for the relief of Our Lady of the Lake Church."

The bill would direct a refund to Our Lady of the Lake Church, Mandeville, Louisiana, of $1,284.17 in customs duties assessed on organ boarding imported from Germany. In support of the refund, it is asserted that the organ boarding was denied free entry despite its hand-carved panels which constitute original sculptures of the type granted duty-free status under applicable law.

The entry free of duty of certain sculptures is permitted, but an express provision of the applicable law excludes "any articles of utility." The Bureau of Customs has determined that the organ boarding in question is an article of utility within the meaning of the statute, and therefore does not meet the requirements for free entry.

The record contains no reason for granting special legislative relief in this case other than the belief that the law has been misinterpreted. Special legislation is not needed, however, in cases where the law may have been misinterpreted. General law provides procedures by which importers may challenge, administratively and in the courts, the Bureau of Customs' interpretations of the laws relating to importation. The Church did not avail itself of these procedures.

The bill would, therefore, discriminate in favor of a single importer who did not take advantage of the available remedies. Such a result would be unfair to other importers and would create an unwise and unsound precedent.

In view of the foregoing, I am constrained to withhold my approval of H.R. 5150.


Note: The veto message was released in Washington.

[APP Note: In the Public Papers of the Presidents series, this document is dated June 13, 1960, the date it was released. The American Presidency Project dates this document as June 11, 1960, the date the bill was vetoed.]

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Veto of Bill for the Relief of Our Lady of the Lake Church, Mandeville, Louisiana Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234644

Simple Search of Our Archives