Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Veto of Bill Relating to Wage Rates for Employees of the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Naval Shipyard.

August 04, 1958

To the Senate of the United States:

I return herewith, without my approval, S. 2266, "To provide a method for regulating and fixing wage rates for employees of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Naval Shipyard."

Existing law and practice governing the setting of wage rates for Department of Defense wage board employees has provided that the Department, in each of the various labor market areas, will follow the wage pattern set by private industry. This has been a most satisfactory arrangement from the standpoint of the Government. It has been generally fair and equitable to the affected employees and has also been acceptable in the industrial community.

S. 2266 would provide for a departure from this basic pattern of determining wage rates by requiring the Secretary of the Navy to establish hourly rates of pay for all per diem employees of the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Naval Shipyard equal to the rates paid to employees of similar classification at the Boston Naval Shipyard.

Approval of S. 2266 could have broad and far-reaching implications on the entire federal wage structure, for it would serve as a precedent for combining labor market areas in proximity to one another. On the other hand, it is alleged that inequities exist with respect to the wages paid at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. I have directed the Secretary of the Navy carefully to review this entire situation and to make such adjustments in the wage rates at this Shipyard as his review indicates are warranted.

Such wages should not, however, be adjusted by legislation. To do so could ultimately lead to the deterioration of the present wage board system.

For the above reasons, I regret that I find it necessary to return the bill without my approval.


Dwight D. Eisenhower, Veto of Bill Relating to Wage Rates for Employees of the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Naval Shipyard. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233802

Simple Search of Our Archives