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    Franklin D. Roosevelt Typed Letter Signed. Two pages, 8" x 10.5", on White House letterhead, Washington, March 7, 1944. Marked "Private & Confidential," FDR is writing to Congressman Patrick H. Drewry regarding what Roosevelt saw as the unfairness of the Green-Lucas Bill, a bill which would establish a Federal War Ballot Commission to send and receive federal ballots to members of the military fighting overseas. He begins by assuring Drewry that "...I am doing everything in my power to reestablish a harmony of action, as well as of purpose, between the Congress and the Executive - especially among us Democrats. As you say, there is no unyielding conflict on this matter except among a very small number of people who would rather nail my hide on to the barn door than win the war... I pay no attention to some of the things that are said of me or my family on the floor of both houses... I would give a great deal personally to return to Hyde Park and Georgia just as soon as the Lord will let me."

    He continues: "...having leaned over backward to be constitutional all my life, I find myself confronted with the provision that when formal legislation is sent to me for approval or disapproval, I have to use my own conscience and, if I veto it, I am required to send it back to the House of origin with my reasons...I think you know that I have sent more bills back to the Congress without my approval than any other President...And the percentage of vetoes overridden is extremely low."

    Being an election year, Roosevelt soon gets to his reason for writing, the soldiers' vote: "...the Soldier's Vote Legislation, as it stands today, denies the vote to the overwhelming majority of the ten million men in our armed forces. Frankly, I do not think that that is good in a democracy. It will come to me soon and if I veto it I am not going to be rough or impolite toward anybody. I will not say that the Democratic Party had missed a great chance to pin the blame on the Republican Party...I think I had a way out - but I fear it is too late now!" In the end, Roosevelt let the bill become law without his signature.

    Binding holes along the left edge. Rust stain from paper clip at upper left. Smoothed folds with few spots of foxing. With a carbon copy of the letter to Roosevelt from Congressman Drewry, dated February 29, 1944, urging unity "...among Democrats in and out of Congress."


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    11th Thursday
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