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Veto of Bill Providing for Exchanges of Property Within Glacier National Park.

June 29, 1946

[ Released June 29, 1946. Dated June 28, 1946 ]

To the United States Senate:

I return herewith without my approval the bill (S. 1273) to provide for the acquisition by exchange of non-Federal property within the Glacier National Park.

The bill authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to accept title to any non-Federal property within the boundaries of the Glacier National Park when the acquisition by exchange of such property would in his judgment be in the best interest of the United States. In exchange for the nonfederal property so to be acquired the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to convey to the grantors of such property, or to their nominees, any federally owned property within the Glacier National Park which is of approximate equal value to the property being acquired.

I am in accord with the general purposes and objectives of the measure. Section 2 of the bill, however, provides that title to all lands, interests in lands, buildings or other property acquired pursuant to the act shall be satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior. This provision is highly objectionable and represents a material change in existing law involving an unwarranted deviation from the long-established and manifestly sound practice under which the Attorney General is charged with the duty of examining the validity of titles to lands acquired by the government. This duty has for more than a century been vested in the Attorney General with respect to the vast majority of acquisitions and I perceive no reason to change this general practice which has proven so satisfactory through the years.

An advantage of this long standing policy has been that the agency of the government acquiring the land has the independent checking of the tide by a disinterested agency. Moreover, there can be no question that the maintenance in the different departments of the government of large staffs of attorneys for the purpose of examining title to land will result in duplication, additional expense, as well as less efficient administration. It is to avoid duplication of this character that the Congress passed and I approved the Reorganization Act of 1945.

For these reasons, I am constrained to withhold my approval from the bill.

HARRY S. TRUMAN

Harry S. Truman, Veto of Bill Providing for Exchanges of Property Within Glacier National Park. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232116

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