Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

May 29, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 1275, entitled "An act for the erection of a public building at Columbus, Ga., and appropriating money therefor."

The city of Columbus, Ga., is undoubtedly a thriving, growing city. The only present necessity for a public building there is for the accommodation of its post-office. It is stated in the report of the House committee that the gross revenues of the office for the year ending June 30, 1887, were $16,700. The postmaster, in a letter upon the subject, makes the following statement:

I estimate the gross receipts at $17,500 for the fiscal year ending March 31, which will be an increase of nearly 7 per cent over last year's receipts.

There are nine persons employed in the post-office at present, including the postmaster. The present quarters are leased by the Government at an annual rent of $900. The postmaster represents that his accommodations are not adequate or convenient, and that instead of a space of 1,900 square feet, which he now has, he should be provided with 2,500 square feet.

The population of the city in 1880 was 10,123. It is claimed that it is now about 20,000.

In my opinion the facts presented do not exhibit the necessity of the expenditure of $100,000 to afford the increased room for the post-office which may be desirable. I believe a private person would erect a building abundantly sufficient for all our postal needs in that city for many years to come for one-third of that sum.

Business prudence and good judgment seem to dictate that the erection of the proposed building should be delayed until its necessity is more manifest, and so that it can be better determined what expenditure for such a purpose will be justified by the continued growth of the city and the needs of the Government.


Grover Cleveland, Veto Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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