Why the President said No!

I return without my approval House bill No. 10203, entitled "An act to enable the Commis­sioner of Agriculture to make a special distribution of seeds in the drought-stricken counties of Texas, and making an appropria­tion [of $10,000] therefore."

It is represented that a long-continued and extensive drought has existed in certain portions of the State of Texas, resulting in a failure of crops and consequent distress and destitution.

Though there has been some dif­ference in statements concerning the extent of the people’s needs in the localities thus affected, there seems to be no doubt that there has existed a condition calling for re­lief; and I am willing to believe that, notwithstanding the aid al­ready furnished, a donation of seed grain to the farmers located in this region, to enable them to put in new crops, would serve to avert a continuance or return of an unfortunate blight.

And yet I feel obliged to with­hold my approval of the plan, as proposed by this bill, to indulge a benevolent and charitable senti­ment through the appropriation of public funds for that purpose.

I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Govern­ment ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the Gov­ernment the Government should not support the people. [Emphasis added.]

The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national char­acter, while it prevents the indul­gence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.