Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

April 21, 1896

To the Senate :

I herewith return without my approval Senate bill No. 894, entitled "An act granting a pension to Nancy G. Allabach."

This bill provides for the payment of a pension of $30 a month to the beneficiary named as the widow of Peter H. Allabach.

This soldier served for nine months in the Army during the War of the Rebellion, having also served in the war with Mexico.

He was mustered out of his last service on the 23d day of May, 1863, and died on the 11th of February, 1892.

During his life he made no application for pension on account of disabilities. It is not now claimed that he was in the least disabled as an incident of his military service, nor is it alleged that his death, which occurred nearly twenty-nine years after his discharge from the Army, was in any degree related to such service.

His widow was pensioner after his death under the statute allowing pensions to widows of soldiers of the Mexican War without reference to the cause of the death of their husbands. Her case is also, indirectly, one of those provided for by the general act passed in 1890, commonly called the dependent-pension law.

It is proposed, however, by the special act under consideration to give this widow a pension of $30 a month without the least suggestion of the death or disability of her husband having been caused by his military service, and solely, as far as is discoverable, upon the ground that she is poor and needs the money.

This condition is precisely covered by existing general laws; and if a precedent is to be established by the special legislation proposed, I do not see how the same relief as is contained in this bill can be denied to the many thousand widows who in a similar situation are now on the pension rolls under general laws.


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

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