Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice of Philippine Islands
299 U.S. 410 (1937)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice of Philippine Islands, 299 U.S. 410 (1937)

Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice of Philippine Islands

No. 214

Argued December 18, 1936

Decided January 4, 1937

299 U.S. 410

Syllabus

1. An appropriation bill is one the primary and specific aim of which is to make appropriations of money from the public treasury. P. 299 U. S. 413.

2. The bill which became Act 4051, Laws of the Philippines (Retirement Gratuity Law), provided for the payment of retirement gratuities to officers and employees of the Insular Government who were retired as a result of the reorganization or reduction in personnel thereof. The provisions of the bill dealt largely with matters relating to the right to, and the amount of, the gratuity. Section 10 provided for an appropriation of funds from the public treasury for carrying out the purposes of the Act. Section 7 made eligible for the gratuity justices of the peace who, under the provisions of another Act, were required to relinquish office in 1933. Held, the Governor General was without authority to veto § 7 of the bill under § 19 of the Organic Act, which permits a veto of part of a bill only in the case of an "item of an appropriation bill." P. 299 U. S. 414.

3. This conclusion is not affected by a clause in the Gratuity Law declaring that, if any of its provisions be disapproved by the Governor General or be held invalid, other provisions shall not be affected thereby. P. 299 U. S. 415.

4. The title of an Act may be resorted to as an aid to its meaning in cases of doubt. P. 299 U. S. 416.

Reversed.

Certiorari to review a judgment of the Supreme Court of the the Philippines which affirmed a decision of the trial court dismissing upon demurrer a petition for a writ of mandamus.

Page 299 U. S. 411

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