Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

June 22, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 600, entitled "An act increasing the pension of Mary Minor Hoxey."

The husband of the beneficiary named in this bill was, while on military duty, wounded in the left hand and afterwards in the thigh. He was pensioned in 1871 on account of these wounds, and in 1879 was allowed arrearages from time of his discharge. He died in December, 1881, of consumption, being at that time in the receipt of a pension at the rate of $17 per month.

In 1884 his widow was allowed a pension at the same rate, with $2 a month each for two minor children. The children have now attained the age of 16 years, but the widow still receives the pension awarded to her, which is the same as that allowed to all widows of her class.

I discover no reason of any substance why this pension should be increased, and if it should be done it would only be a manifestation of unjust favoritism.

I can not forget the thousands of poor widows with claims superior to this beneficiary, but with no interested friends to push their claims for increase of pension, who would be discriminated against if this proposed bill becomes a law.

It seems to me that there is a chance to do injustice by unfair caprice in fixing the rates of pension, as well as by refusing them altogether when they should be granted.


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

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