Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

June 22, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 2215, entitled "An act granting a pension to Charles Glamann."

This beneficiary served in an Illinois regiment from September, 1864, to July, 1865, and his record shows no injury or sickness except an attack of remittent fever.

He filed a claim for pension in 1880, alleging that he was struck accidentally with a half brick by a comrade and injured in his left arm.

There is no doubt that whatever disability he thus incurred was the result of a personal altercation between himself and the man who threw the brick.

The extent to which the power to grant pensions by special act has been made to cover all sorts of claims is illustrated by the fact that, in the light of many pensions that have been allowed, this case, though presenting an absurd claim, does not appear to be much out of the way. The effect of precedent as an inducement to increase and expand claims and causes for pensions is also shown by the allegation in the report of the House committee, as follows:

Your committee and Congress have, however, frequently relaxed the rule, and granted pension for injuries and disabilities incurred in such circumstances.

I believe that if the veterans of the war knew all that was going on in the way of granting pensions by private bills they would be more disgusted than any class of our citizens.


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

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