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EXECUTIVE MANSION, To the Congress:
Washington, May 9, 1894. I transmit herewith a communication from the Secretary of State, in regard to recent dispatches from the United States minister at Honolulu, received since my message of April 21, 1894, and also a dispatch from the minister dated April 14, 1894.
Washington, May 29, 1894. To the Congress:
I herewith transmit, having regard to my message of May 9, 1894, a communication from the Secretary of State, covering a dispatch from the United States minister at Honolulu.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, To the Senate:
Washington, June 20, 1894. I transmit herewith, in response to the resolution of the Senate of December 20, 1893, a report from the Acting Secretary of State, covering the desired copies of correspondence in the matter of the claim of Antonio Maximo Mora against Spain.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, To the Congress:
Washington, June 23, 1894. I herewith transmit a communication covering dispatches from the United States minister at Honolulu.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, June 25, 1894. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
The shocking intelligence has been received that the President of the French Republic met his death yesterday at the hands of an assassin. This terrible event which has overtaken a sister Republic can not fail to deeply arouse the sympathies of the American nation, while the violent termination of a career promising so much in aid of liberty and advancing civilization should be mourned as an affliction to mankind.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, June 29, 1894. To the Senate of the United States:
Answering a resolution of your honorable body dated the 13th instant, I transmit herewith a report * of the Secretary of State, with an accompanying document, which contain all the information in my possession touching the matters embraced in said resolution.
* Relating to the probable retaliatory action of foreign governments for the proposed impositior by the United States of a duty on sugar,
Washington, July 9, 1894. To the Senate:
I transmit herewith, in further response to the Senate resolution of April 6, 1894, a report from the Secretary of State, accompanied by copies of certain correspondence relating to Samoan affairs.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, July 19, 1894. To the Senate of the United States:
In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 18th instant, the House of Representatives concurring, I return herewith the bill (S. 1105) entitled "An act for the relief of Albert Redstone."
Washington, July 24, 1894. To the Congress:
I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of State, covering a dispatch from the United States minister at Honolulu.
Washington, D. C., July 27, 1894. To the Senate and House of Representatives:
I transmit herewith the seventh special report of the Commissioner of Labor. This report relates to what is generally known as the slums of cities, and has been prepared in accordance with a joint resolution approved July 20, 1892.
Washington, July 30, 1894. To the Congress:
I herewith transmit a communication from the Secretary of State, covering two dispatches from the United States minister at Honolulu.
GROVER CLEVELAND MP-VOL VIII-34
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 17, 1894. To the House of Representatives:
I return without my approval House bill No. 71, entitled “An act for the relief of purchasers of timber and stone lands under the act of June 3, 1878.”
This bill permits the proofs and affidavits which under present statutes parties desiring to acquire certain public lands are required to make before the registers and receivers of the land offices within which such lands are located to be made before any commissioner of the United States circuit court or before the judge or clerk of any court of records of the county or parish in which the lands are situated.
A similar bill was passed by the Fifty-second Congress and was disapproved by the Commissioner of the General Land Office and the Secretary of the Interior. The successors of these officers oppose the present bill on the ground that in its operation it would open the door to fraud and to a perversion of the intentions of the Government in relation to the public lands.
It is difficult, with the most scrupulous care, to guard the alienation o our public lands from fraud and illegal practices. It is perfectly plain, however, that the prospect of accomplishing this result is better under present laws, which require the necessary proofs to be made before land officers who are appointed for that purpose and who are under the control of the General Land Office and amenable to its regulations, than it would be by substituting other officers over whom the Land Office has no control.
Certain rules and orders of the Land Office are now in force which regulate the taking of the necessary proofs and permit oral examinations by registers and receivers. These regulations are of the utmost importance if our land laws are to be justly and honestly administered.
I fully concur in the objections made to this bill by the officers having charge of the public lands in the last Administration and by their successors who are now charged with that responsibility. I am convinced that such a relaxation of our existing land laws as is contemplated by the bill under consideration would not be in the interest of good administration.
EXECUTIVE MANSION, January 20, 1894. To the House of Representatives:
I hereby return without my approval House bill No. 3289, entitled "An act to authorize the New York and New Jersey Bridge Companies
to construct and maintain a bridge across the Hudson River between New York City and the State of New Jersey.”
This bill authorizes the construction of a bridge over the North River between the States of New York and New Jersey, the terminus of which in the city of New York shall not be below Sixty-sixth street. It contemplates the construction of a bridge upon piers placed in the river. No mention is made of a single span crossing the entire river, nor is there anything in the bill indicating that it was within the intention of the Congress that there should be a bridge built without piers. I am by no means certain that the Secretary of War, who is invested by the terms of the bill with considerable discretion so far as the plans for the structure are concerned, would have the right to exact of the promoters of this enterprise the erection of a bridge spanning the entire river.
Much objection has been made to the location of any piers in the river for the reason that they would seriously interfere with the commerce which seeks the port of New York through that channel. It is certainly very questionable whether piers should be permitted at all in the North River at the point designated for the location of this bridge. It seems absolutely certain that within a few years a great volume of shipping will extend to that location, which would be seriously embarrassed by such obstruction.
I appreciate fully the importance of securing some means by which railroad traffic can cross this river, and no one can fail to realize the serious inconvenience to travel caused by lack of facilities of that character. At the same time, it is a plain dictate of wisdom and expediency that the commerce of the river be not unnecessarily interfered with by bridges or in any other manner.
Engineers whose judgment upon the matter can not be questioned, including the engineer of the company proposing to build this bridge, have expressed the opinion that the entire river can be spanned ly and effectively by a suspension bridge, or a construction not needing the use of piers.
The company to which the permission to bridge the river is granted in the bill under consideration was created by virtue of an act of the legis. lature of the State of New York which became a law, by reason of the failure of the governor to either approve or veto the same, on the 30th day of April, 1890. It may be safely assumed that the members of the legislature which passed this law knew what was necessary for the protection of the commerce of the city of New York and had informed themselves concerning the plan of a bridge that should be built in view of all the interests concerned.
By paragraph 24 of the law creating this company it is provided that "the said bridge shall be constructed with a single span over the entire river between towers or piers located between the span and the existing pier-head lines in either State," and that "no pier or tower or other
obstruction of a permanent character shall be placed or built in the river between said towers or piers under this act.”
In view of such professional judgment, and considering the interests which would be interfered with by the location of piers in the river, and having due regard to the judgment of the legislature of the State of New York, it seems to me that a plan necessitating the use of piers in the bed of the river should be avoided. The question of increased expense of construction or the compromise of conflicting interests should not outweigh the other important considerations involved.
I notice the bill provides that the companies availing themselves of its privileges shall receive no greater pay for transporting the mails across the bridge than is allowed per mile to railroads using the same. If this is intended, as the language seems to import, to authorize this bridge company to charge the United States Government a toll for the carriage of its mails across the bridge equal to the amount which may be paid per mile by the Government for carrying the mails by railroads crossing the bridge, it seems to me it should not be allowed. The expense to the Government for carrying the mails over the structure should beyond any doubt be limited to the compensation paid the railroads for transportation.
An exceedingly important objection to the bill remains to be considered. In 1890 the North River Bridge Company was incorporated by an act of Congress for the purpose of constructing a bridge across the North River, the New York terminus of which was located at'or near Twenty-third street in the city of New York. The proposition to construct the bridge at that point was a subject very carefully and thoroughly examined at that time and during the agitation of the project for a number of years prior to the passage of the act. As a result of such examination and much discussion, Congress granted permission to this company to construct a bridge having a single span and suspended from towers on each side of the river, and in the act especially prohibited the placing of any piers in the river, either of a temporary or of a permanent character, in connection with said bridge. This plan to bridge the river without piers was at that time considered feasible by the engineers of the company, and it accepted the terms of the act. Before this permission was finally granted a number of bills were introduced in the Congress covering the same subject, which were referred to Government engineers. Reports were made by these officers in every case insisting upon a construction with a single span and without piers in the bed of the river.
The eighth subdivision of the bill herewith returned provides that any company heretofore created for the purpose of bridging the river may avail itself of the provisions of the act, and makes such company subject to all its provisions. This, of course, has reference to the North River Bridge Company and releases that company from the prohibition of the act under which it was permitted to span the river and permits it to