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A compilation of the messages and papers of the presidents, ...

United States. President, James Daniel Richardson,

United States. Congress. Joint Committee on ...


EXECUTIVE MANSION, To the House of Representatives:

Washington, April 10, 1874. I have the honor to herewith return to you without my approval House bill No. 1224, entitled "An act for the relief of William H. Denniston, late an acting second lieutenant, Seventieth New York Volunteers," for the reasons set forth in the accompanying letter of the Secretary of War.



Washington, D. C., April 8, 1874 SIR: I have the honor to return House bill No. 1224, " for the relief of William L. Denniston, late an acting second lieutenant, Seventieth New York Volunteers," witi the remark that the name of William H. Denniston, as an officer or private, is not borne on any rolls of the Seventieth New York Volunteers on file in the Department. Of this fact the Committee on Military Affairs of the House of Representatives was informed by letter from the Adjutant-General's Office dated December 19, 1873

No vacancy existed in Company D (the company claimed) of this regiment for a second lieutenant during the period claimed, Second Lieutenant J. B. Zeigler having filled that position to May 6, 1862, and Second Lieutenant James Stevenson from that date to June 25, 1862. On regimental return for July, 1862, Edward Shields is reported promoted second lieutenant June 15, 1862.

There is no evidence in the Department that he actually served as a second liestenant for the time covered by the bill herewith, and it is therefore respectfully recommended that the bill be returned to the House of Representatives without approval.

When the records of the War Department, prepared under laws and regulations having in view the establishment and preservation of data necessary to the protec tion of the public interests as well as that of the claimants, fail to show service, it is 2 subject of importance to legalize a claim wiserein the military department of the Government has not seen the order under which the alleged service may bave been claimed. A precedent of the kind is bey

iury to the public interes and will tend to other special acts of certified at the date, under the Articles mand will be validated, and large ag claims of which can not their

ly, your obedir


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assent to a measure which has received the sanction of a majority of the legislators chosen by the people to make laws for their guidance, and I have studiously sought to find sufficient arguments to justify such assent, but unsuccessfully.

Practically it is a question whether the measure under discussion would give an additional dollar to the irredeemable paper currency of the country or not, and whether by requiring three-fourths of the reserve to be retained by the banks and prohibiting interest to be received on the balance it might not prove a contraction,

But the fact can not be concealed that theoretically the bill increases the paper circulation $100,000,000, less only the amount of reserves restrained from circulation by the provision of the second section. The measure has been supported on the theory that it would give increased circulation. It is a fair inference, therefore, that if in practice the measure should fail to create the abundance of circulation expected of it the friends of the measure, particularly those out of Congress, would clamor for such inflation as would give the expected relief.

The theory, in my belief, is a departure from true principles of finance, national interest, national obligations to creditors, Congressional promises, party pledges (on the part of both political parties), and of personal views and promises made by me in every annual message sent to Congress and in each inaugural address.

In my annual message to Congress in December, 1869, the following passages appear:

Among the evils growing out of the rebellion, and not yet referred to, is that of an irredeemable currency. It is an evil which I hope will receive your most earnest attention. It is a duty, and one of the highest duties, of Government to secure to the citizen a medium of exchange of fixed, unvarying value. This implies a return to a specie basis, and no substitute for it can be devised. It should be commenced now and reached at the earliest practicable moment consistent with a fair regard to the interests of the debtor class. Immediate resumption, if practicable, would not be desirable. It would compel the debtor class to pay, beyond their contracts, the pre

on gold at the date of their purchase, and would bring bankruptcy and ruin inds. Fluctuation, however, in the paper value of the measure of all values

detrimental to the interests of trade. It makes the man of business an y gambler, for in all sales where future payment is to be made both parties as to what will be the value of the currency to be paid and received. I ecommend to you, then, such legislation as will insure a gradual return vyments and put an immediate stop to fluctuations in the value of cur.


e to the views then expressed.
December 4, 1865, the House of Representatives passed a

vote of 144 yeas to 6 nays, concurring "in the views of
the Treasury in relation to the necessity of a contraction
vith a view to as early a resumption of specie payments
erests of the country will permit," and pledging "coop-
is end as speedily as possible.”

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