Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

June 19, 1886

To the Senate:

I return without approval Senate bill No. 763, entitled "An act for the erection of a public building at Sioux City, Iowa."

The report of the committee of the House of Representatives to whom this bill was referred States that by the census of 1880 the population of Sioux City was nearly 8,000, and that by other enumerations since made its population would seem to exceed 23,000. It is further stated in the report that for the accommodation of this population the city contains 393 brick and 2,984 frame buildings.

It seems to me that in the consideration of the merits of this bill the necessities of the Government should control the question, and that it should be decided as a business proposition, depending upon the needs of a Government building at the point proposed in order to do the Government work.

This greatly reduces the value of statistics showing population, extent of business, prospective growth, and matters of that kind, which, though exceedingly interesting, do not always demonstrate the necessity of the expenditure of a large sum of money for a public building.

I find upon examination that United States courts are sometimes held at Sioux City, but that they have been thus far held in the county courthouse without serious inconvenience and without any expense to the Government. There are actually no other Federal officers there for whom the Government in any view should provide accommodations except the postmaster. The post-office is now located in a building rented by the Government until the 1st day of January, 1889, at the rate of $2,200 per annum.

By the last report of the Supervising Architect it appears that on October 1, 1885, there were 80 new public buildings in course of construction, and that the amount expended thereon during the preceding year was nearly $2,500,000, while large appropriations are asked to be expended on these buildings during the current year.

In my judgment the number of public buildings should not at this time be increased unless a greater public necessity exists therefor than is apparent in this case.


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

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