Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

February 04, 1887

To the House of Representatives:

I hereby return without approval House bill No. 7698, entitled "An act granting a pension to Robert K. Bennett."

The beneficiary named in this bill enlisted in September, 1862, and it appears that very soon after that he was detailed to the cook shop. This seems to be the only military service he rendered, and on February 7, 1853, five months after enlistment, he was received into the marine hospital at New Orleans for varicocele. He was discharged from the service February 22, 1863, and the cause of discharge is stated to be "varicocele, to which he was subject four years before enlistment."

Seventeen years thereafter, and in June, 1880, this claimant filed an application for pension in the Pension Bureau, alleging that about the 10th day of February, 1863, in unloading a barrel it fell upon him, producing a hernia, shortly after which he was affected by piles.

It will be seen that he fixes this injury as occurring three days after his admission to the hospital, but he might well be honestly mistaken as to this date. If the injury, however, was such as he stated, it is difficult to see why no mention was made of it in the hospital records.

He persisted at all times, as I understand the case, until the rejection of his claim in 1883, that his disability arose from hernia and piles. The reason of this rejection is stated to be that varicocele existed prior to enlistment and that there was no evidence of the existence of piles in the service or at discharge. From a medical examination made in December, 1882, it appears that there was "no evidence or symptoms of disability resulting from piles or hernia.

Subsequent to the rejection of this claim some proof was filed tending to show that the disability was in the right leg, but it is of such a nature, in the light of the claimant's own previous allegations, that I think the Pension Bureau did entirely right in informing his attorney that the additional evidence did not change the status of the case.


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

Simple Search of Our Archives