Franklin D. Roosevelt

White House Statement Explaining Veto of the Postal Substitutes' Bill.

May 01, 1934

In disapproving H. R. 7483 entitled "An Act to Provide Minimum Pay for Postal Substitutes," the President wants it made perfectly clear that the disapproval is based not so much on the consideration of the additional expense involved should the bill become a law as on the broad consideration of public policy and the management of the postal service, the largest of the governmental functions.

Last year postal revenues had fallen of[ to such an extent and the volume of business transacted had reached such a low ebb, that the Postmaster General found it necessary in the interest of the taxpayers to curtail expenditures in every way possible. The reduced volume so affected the situation that it was obviously in the public interest to reduce deliveries in cities, to curtail some transportation services and to furlough regular employees for the reason that such employees could not be fully occupied. It necessarily followed that the thousands of substitute or emergency employees were not needed for actual duty. Therefore, allowances for the employment of substitutes were drastically curtailed.

However, within the past few weeks, as has been publicly announced by the Postmaster General, the revenues of the postal service have shown a marked increase and the volume of business has improved to such an extent that the Post Office Department has found it proper to restore much of the service that was curtailed, to eliminate the furloughs of regular employees and again to make it possible for such employees to enjoy their annual vacations with pay during the remainder of this fiscal year. The service increases and the restoration of the vacations have resulted in additional expenditures of approximately $6,000,000 over and above what had been previously authorized for the months of April, May and June. Allowances have been granted which will enable postmasters throughout the country to expend in excess of $3,500,000 additional for the employment of substitutes. There is no doubt that substitute employees in all of the larger cities, and indeed, in practically all of the first class offices, will be employed for more than a hundred hours a month as a result of the service restorations. This provides definite relief for this group of employees and there is every indication that their employment, as above indicated, will be continued.

This bill contains so many provisions that would hamper the administration of the postal service in determining its personnel needs, that as a matter of public policy and in the interest of good business management of the postal service of the United States, the President is impelled to disapprove the bill as presented.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, White House Statement Explaining Veto of the Postal Substitutes' Bill. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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