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the diseased leg was always found, but no mention is made of any other injury and no other injury seems to have been discoverable.

I can not avoid the conviction upon the facts presented that whatever disability has existed since the discharge of the beneficiary arose from causes which were present before enlistment, and that the same is not chargeable to his military service.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 16, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 4887, entitled "An act granting a pension to Charles E. Scott.”

This beneficiary entered the volunteer service nearly at the close of the War of the Rebellion and served from the 8th day of March, 1865, to July 24, in the same year, a period of four months and sixteen days.

He filec. a claim for pension in 1884, alleging that he incurred camp itch in July, 1865, which resulted in partial blindness.

Upon the proof presented, and after examination, the claim was rejected upon the ground that it did not appear that the impairment of his vision was the result of any incident of his army service.

I am entirely satisfied that this was a correct disposition of the case, and that upon the same ground the bill herewith returned should not be approved.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 17, 1889. To the Senate:

I return without approval Senate bill No. 3646, entitled "An act for the relief of William R. Wheaton and Charles H. Chamberlain, of California."

These parties were, respectively, for a number of years prior to 1879, the register and receiver of the land office at San Francisco, in the State of California.

Prior to July, 1877, they had collected and retained, apparently without question, certain fees allowed by law for reducing to writing the testimony heard by them in establishing the rights of claimants to public lands.

On the oth day of July, 1877, these officials were notified by the Acting Commissioner of the General Land Office that monthly thereafter, and dating from July 1, 1877, such fees should be reported with other fees to the General Land Office.

This notification furnished clear information that, whatever may have been the justification for their retention of these fees in the past, the parties notified must thereafter account to the Government for the same.

On the 8th day of February, 1879, the beneficiaries were peremptorily required by the Commissioner of the General Land Office to deposit in

the Treasury of the United States the sums which they had received for che services mentioned since July 1, 1877, and which, though reported, had not been paid over. Soon thereafter, and pursuant to this demand, the sum of $5,330.76, being the aggregate of such fees for the nineteen months between July 1, 1877, and February 1, 1879, was paid over to the Government.

On the 19th day of February, 1879, these officers were authorized to employ two clerks, each upon a salary of $100 per month.

The purpose of the bill now under consideration is to restore to the beneficiaries from the money paid over to the Government, as above stated, the sum of $3,800. This is proposed upon the theory that clerks were employed by the register and receiver to do the work for which the fees were received, and that these officials having paid them for their services they should be reimbursed from the fund.

It will be observed that whatever services were performed by clerks in the way of writing down testimony, and paid for by the beneficiaries, were performed and paid for after July, 1877, and after they had in effect received notice that such employment and payment would not be approved by the Government.

Upon this statement the claim covered by the pill can nardly be urged on legal grounds, whatever the Government may have allowed prior to such notice.

I am decidedly of the opinion that the relations, the duties, and the obligations of subordinates in public employment should be clearly defined and strictly limited. They should not be permitted to judge of the propriety or necessity of incurring expenses on behalf of the Government without authority, much less in disregard of orders. there are cases when in an emergency money is paid for the benefit of the public service by an official which, though not strictly authorized, ought in equity to be reimbursed.

If there is any equity existing in favor of the beneficiaries named in the bill herewith returned, it is found in the fact that during the nineteen months from the ist day of July, 1877, to the ist day of February, 1879, they paid out certain moneys for which the Government, in the receipt of the fees which they paid over, received the benefit. Manifestly such equity in this case, if it can be claimed at all in view of the facts recited, is measured by the sum actually paid by these officials to the persons, if such there were, who did the work from which the fees arose which were paid over to the Government.

In other words, if certain clerks were paid by the beneficiaries from their private funds for doing this work, there should be a distinct statement of the sum so paid, and their claim should rest upon indemnity and reimtursement alone. But no such statement appears, so far as I can see from an examination of papers presented to me by the Interior Department and from the report of the Senate committee who reported


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this bill, except as it may be gathered from the rather indirect allegations contained in a paper prepared by counsel.

No vouchers have ever been received at the General Land Office for money paid for clerical services rendered during the period for which reimbursement is sought. The verified statement of the claimants annexed to the committee's report contains only the allegation that they paid for the necessary clerical services, and the affidavits of the clerks themselves furnish no clew to the amount they received. Such an omission, in my opinion, discredits the claim made, and the allowance of the sum of $100 per month for two clerks during the period of nineteen months covered by this claim, because that was the sum authorized to be paid thereafter for clerks' services, is, it seems to me, adopting a standard entirely inapplicable to the subject.

In any event these beneficiaries should be required to establish the sum necessary for such indemnification, and the amount appropriate for their relief should be limited to that sum,


EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 18, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 9173, entitled "An act granting a pension to Mary J. Drake."

It is proposed by this bill to pension the beneficiary therein named as the widow of Newton E. Drake, who served as a soldier from August 1, 1863, to January 18, 1865.

The records do not show that he suffered from any disability during his term of service.

He filed an application for pension September 23, 1879, claiming that he contracted rheumatism about October, 1864.

He died June 7, 1881, and there does not appear to have been any evidence produced as to the cause of his death or establishing, except by the allegations of his own application, that he contracted any disease or disability in the service.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 18, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 9791, entitled "An act for the relief of Charles W. Geddes."

This bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to include the name of the beneficiary mentioned, late assistant engineer in the United States Navy, among those who served in the Mexican War, and issue to him a land warrant for his services as assistant engineer on the United States steamer General Taylor during said war.

On an application made by this beneficiary for bounty land under general laws the Secretary of the Navy reported that the vessel to which he was attached was not considered as having been engaged in the war with Mexico, and thereupon his application was rejected. Upon appeal to the Secretary of the Interior he states the settled doctrine of such cases to be that "service must have been in, not simply during a war to give title to bounty land.”

The only claim made by the beneficiary is that the vessel upon which he was employed was engaged for a time in transporting seamen from New Orleans, where they were enlisted, to Pensacola, and that he was informed and believed that they were enlisted to serve on board vessels composing the Gulf Squadron, then cooperating with the land forces in the Mexican War.

It seems to me that it is establishing a bad precedent, tending to the breaking down of all distinctions between civil and military employment and service, to hold that a man engaged on a vessel transporting recruits to a rendezvous from which they may be sent to the scene of hostilities should be allowed the same advantages which are bestowed upon those actually engaged in or more directly related to the dangers and chances of military operations.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 18, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 9252, entitled "An act granting a pension to Mrs. Catherine Barberick, of Watertown."

The beneficiary named in this bill is the mother of William Barberick, who enlisted February 19, 1862, and died of smallpox August 2, 1864, at his home while on veteran furlough.

It is not claimed that the soldier contracted the fatal disease while in the Army. On the contrary, the testimony taken upon his mother's application for pension to the Pension Bureau shows that he was taken sick after his arrival at his home on furlough, and that several of his family had died of the contagious disease to which he fell a victim before he was taken sick with it.

In these circumstances, unless there is to be a complete departure from the principle that pensions are to be granted for death or disability in some way related to the military service, this bill should not become a law.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 18, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 7877, entitled "An act to place Mary Karstetter on the pension roll.”

The beneficiary named in this bill is the widow of Jacob Karstetter, who enlisted in June, 1864, and was discharged in June, 1865, on account of a wound in his left hand received in action. He died in August, 1874, of gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach, and congestion of the liver. He was granted a pension for his gunshot wound and was in receipt of such pension at the time of his death.

I was constrained to return without approval a bill identical with the one herewith returned, and which was passed by the last Congress, and stated my objections to the same in a communication addressed to the House of Representatives, dated July 6, 1886.*

It seemed to me at that time that the soldier's death could not be held to be the result of his wound or any other cause chargeable to his military service.

Upon reexamination I am still of the same opinion, which leads me to again return the bill under consideration without approval.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 18, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 9296, entitled "An act granting a pension to Bridget Carroll.”

This bill proposes to pension the beneficiary therein named as the dependent mother of Patrick Carroll, who was enrolled as a sergeant in the Regular Army in 1881, this being, as it is stated, his second term of enlistment.

In September, 1886, being absent from his command at Fort Warren, Mass., he was drowned while sailing in a small boat with two companions.

The beneficiary is aged and in need of assistance, but there is no pretense that the soldier's death was in the least degree related to his military service.

I am sure no one could fail to be gratified by an opportunity to join in according aid to this dependent old mother of a faithful soldier, but I can not believe that such a departure as is proposed should be made from the just principles upon which pension legislation ought to be predicated.


EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 18, 1889. To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No.9175, entitled “An act granting a pension to George Wallen."

*See pp 5054-5055

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