Tuesday, June 11, 1901.
The convention met pursuant to adjournment, was called to order by the President and the proceedings were opened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Stickney, as follows:
O Thou God and Father of us all, we would acknowledge Thee in all things, we would recognize Thee in our civil and our political life as well as in our commercial, industrial, domestic and religious life. We beseech Thee to let Thy special favor be upon Thy servants who are here for the purpose of making a new constitution for the people of this State. Guide them by Thy wisdom. Let them go about their important work as in the fear of Thy great and blessed name and make them all feel that they are amenable not only to the people, but to Thee, O God. Take our hands in thine and lead us throughout life, making us and keeping us conscious of the fact that in all we think and feel and say and do, Thou God seest us. Prepare us for life and we shall be prepared for death, and we shall rise up out of the grave at last to be with Thee in Heaven forever. We ask it in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior, Amen.
The roll was called and 134 delegates responded.
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LEAVES OF ABSENCE.
For this Day--Messrs. Maxwell, Cornwall, Almon.
For one-half day--Mr. Glover.
Report of the Committee on Journal being read, it stated that the journal for the 16th day of the convention had been examined and found correct. On motion the report of the Committee was adopted.
THE PRESIDENT--The next order of business is the roll call of delegates in alphabetical order, for the introduction of resolutions, memorials, etc.
MR. WHITE--There is a very important matter before the convention this morning, which is the report of the Committee on the Executive Department, with an article to be considered. We have had a great many roll calls for resolutions, etc., and I move that the rules be now suspended and we dispense with the roll call this morning, or the order of business, so as to reach that very important business before us.
MR. BROOKS--I would ask the gentleman to withdraw the motion a moment, so that I may offer an ordinance, which I would like to have referred.
THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman withdraw?
Ordinance No. 336 by Mr. Brooks:
An ordinance to define a trust and to prohibit the same in this State.
Be it ordained that Article IV of the Constitution be amended so that it shall contain the following section:
It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass such laws as may be necessary to enforce the provisions of this section against the operation of trusts in this State as the same are hereby defined. A trust is a combination of capital, skill or acts by two or more persons, firms, partnerships, corporations, or associations of persons, or any two or more of them for either, any or all of the following purposes:
First--To create or carry out restrictions in trade and commerce.
Second--To limit or reduce the production or increase or reduce the price of merchandise of any commodity.
Third--To prevent competition in manufacturing, making, transportation, sale or purchase of merchandise, product or any commodity.
Fourth--To fix at any standard or figure, whereby its price to the public or consumer shall be in any manner controlled or established, any article or commodity of merchandise, produce or commerce, intended for sale, barter, use, or consumption in this State.
Fifth--To make or enter into or execute or carry out any contracts, obligations or agreements of any kind or description, by which they shall bind or have bound themselves not to sell, dispose of or transport any article or any commodity or any article of trade, use, merchandise, commerce or consumption below a common standard figure or fixed value, or by which they shall agree in any manner to keep the price of such article, commodity, or transportation at a fixed or graduated figure, or by which they shall in any manner establish or settle the price of any article, commodity or transportation between them, or between themselves and others, so as to directly or indirectly preclude a free and unrestricted competition among themselves, or any purchasers or consumers in the state or transportation of any such article or commodity, or by which they shall agree to pool, to combine or directly or indirectly unite any interest that they may have connected with the sale or transportation of any such article or commodity that its price might in any mariner be affected. Every such trust as is defined herein is declared to be unlawful, against public policy and void.
Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
MR. JONES (Hale)--I have an ordinance that I want to get before the Judiciary Committee, and I ask that it be read.
THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman withdraw his motion?
MR. WHITE--Yes, sir; for any resolutions that are desired to be offered. It is to save time in going over the call that I made the motion.
Ordinance No. 367, by Mr. Jones of Hale:
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama, in Convention assembled:
That Section 26 of Article VI. be amended so as to read as:
There may be elected by the qualified electors of each precinct of the counties, not exceeding two Justices of the Peace and one Constable. Such Justice may have jurisdiction in all civil cases wherein the amount in controversy does not exceed $100, except in cases of libel, slander, assault and battery and ejectment; but the jurisdiction of such Justice of the Peace shall not extend beyond the limits of the precinct for which he was elected provided, that the office of Notary Public with powers and jurisdiction
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of Justice of the Peace shall not exist after the ratification of this Constitution; provided, however, that Notaries Public may be appointed by the Governor.
The term of office of such Justice of the Peace and Notaries Public shall be prescribed by law.
Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
MR. BURNS--Will the gentleman withdraw a moment? I want to ask permission of the Convention to be allowed to offer an ordinance or amendment at some leisure moment.
MR. WHITE--I understand the gentleman is not ready to offer it now, and it will be a question of privilege when he does offer it, so I renew my motion.
The President stated the question to be upon the motion to suspend the rules and to take up the special order set for this morning. A vote being taken a division was called for.
MR. REESE--I voted to suspend the rules and I desire to change my vote, and now vote against it.
By a vote of 75 ayes and 22 noes the rules were suspended.
The Chair stated the question eras upon the motion of the gentleman from Jefferson to dispense with the regular order of business down to Unfinished Business.
The motion was carried.
MR. HARRISON--I move that the Convention resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole, or proceed as a Committee of the Whole, to consider the ordinance reported by the Committee on the Executive Department, in which the five-minute rule shall apply, as per amendment.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I dislike to oppose anything coming from the gentleman from Lee, but it seems to me that we could get along better with this matter by, at the proper time, taking this ordinance up section by section and passing upon it, and if we find at any time that there has been in the opinion of the members too much debate, why then a resolution can he offered cutting it off. Now I think it would be extremely unfortunate in the discussion of some of these measures to limit it to five minutes, and I therefore move the indefinite postponement of the resolution offered by the gentleman from Lee.
MR. deGRAFFENREID--I rise to a point of order. The motion of the gentleman from Lee, it seems to me, is out of order, and the motion, therefore, of the gentleman from Montgomery is also out of order. The rules which have been adopted by this Convention provide that a minority report shall be considered as
an amendment; that it shall be read a second time and it shall go upon the calendar. The rules also further provide that when any ordinance comes up for consideration before the Convention that it shall be considered each section separately, one by one, and each member shall be permitted 30 minutes. The gentleman limits them now by his motion to 5 minutes. In order to make that motion he would have to move for a suspension of the rules which have been adopted by this House. I therefore think, Mr. President, that his motion is out of order.
THE PRESIDENT--In the rules that have been adopted there is no provision made for a motion to go into the Committee of the Whole, but the Chair would rule that under general parliamentary law it would be in order in the absence of some rule prohibiting such motion, for any Delegate to move to go into Committee of the Whole. That part of the motion which proposes to limit the debate, the Chair would be of the opinion is out of order, but if the Convention went into Committee of the Whole probably some motion of that kind might be entertained. The question under the rule--
MR. OATES--If you will allow me, I think myself that the Delegate from Lee is out of order and makes his motion prematurely, until the Convention is fully in possession of the measure.
THE PRESIDENT--The Chair was about to state that the question under the rules at this time, would be whether or not the ordinance reported by the Committee on the Executive Department shall be ordered to a third reading. That is the question now before the Convention under the rules. The regular order of business has been dispensed with down to the point of this Committee is the special order for this morning. The question before the Convention is whether this ordinance shall be ordered to a third reading, and the gentleman from Lee moves that the Convention go into the Committee of the Whole to consider the ordinance, and the gentleman from Montgomery moves an indefinite postponement of that motion.
MR. HARRISON--I am not wedded to my motion. I made it simply because I believed that it was the most expeditious way to act. It may be premature and the Convention may prefer to have the matter read, and I am perfectly willing that a test should be made, but I think parliamentary rules and the best writers on that subject as I understand it, lay that down as the most expeditious method of considering such questions. If the gentleman desires to make an explanation, in deference to the Chairman of the Committee, perhaps my motion is premature, and I therefore withdraw it, at least for the present, with the consent of the Convention.
MR. FITTS--I move that the ordinance be ordered to a third reading.
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The motion was seconded.
MR. BROOKS--I rise merely to make an inquiry, if ordering the ordinance to a third reading would prevent the offering of amendments?
THE PRESIDENT--You could not offer amendments if it is ordered to a third reading.
MR. BROOKS--It cuts off amendments?
THE PRESIDENT--Yes, sir.
MR. FITTS--Then I withdraw that motion for the present.
THE PRESIDENT--A motion may be made to order the ordinance to a third reading as a basis for opening the discussion.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Mr. President, if I am in order, as the Chairman of the Committee, I would state at the time my friend from Tuscaloosa made his motion, I was about to make the same motion with the additional explanation that after I had stated the reasons which actuated the Committee, and briefly outlined them, for the information of the members, I would then withdraw it and move that it be then taken up section by section; but, in order to be strictly in order, and I like to be in order when we have so many parliamentarians with so much experience.--I move that the ordinance reported by the Committee on Executive Department, to create and define the Executive Department be now ordered to a third reading.
MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I rise to inquire--
THE PRESIDENT--Will the gentleman permit me to state the motion. The gentleman from Montgomery moves that the ordinance as reported by the Committee on Executive Department.
MR. HEFLIN (Chambers) -- I think, Mr. President, that any Delegate has a right to request that the report or ordinance be read. Am I correct in that, and if so, I request that it be read, and then it will be in order to be discussed by the Convention without moving to have it read a third time.
THE PRESIDENT--The Chair would suggest to the gentleman from Chambers that the report is quite lengthy and the Chairman has already announced to the Convention that it would be taken up section by section for consideration. Does the gentleman now desire that it shall be twice read, first in full and then read section by section.
MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--No, sir, That will not cut off amendments.
THE PRESIDENT--The Chairman of the Committee has announced to the Convention that he makes his motion to order this ordinance to a third reading as a basis for some general remarks which he proposes to submit to the Convention, and that he will thereupon immediately withdraw his motion and move that the ordinance be taken up section by section.
MR. OATES--I understand the motion of the Delegate from Chambers to be merely to have the report of the Committee read and not the Article.
THE PRESIDENT--The Chair understood that it related to the ordinance. The report has been printed with the ordinance.
MR. MALONE--I rise to a point of inquiry. I am not familiar with the rules and there is one section of that Article which was reported to another Committee, and that Committee has not made a report. Therefore it is acted upon as if it had adversed the ordinance. Now the inquiry I want to make is whether it will take 78 votes to pass that section or not?
THE PRESIDENT--The Chair would rule that it would not.
MR. MALONE--Notwithstanding it has been adversed by another Committee?
THE PRESIDENT--If the gentlemen composing that Committee wish to impress their views on this Convention it can be offered in the form of an amendment, when that section is reached.
MR. BROOKS--I would like to ask the Chair if I am correct in understanding that the motion made by the gentleman from Jefferson, Mr. White, was in the first instance to suspend the rules, in order that this ordinance might be taken up out of its regular order, as a special order for today, and he thereupon moved that the Convention proceed to consider the ordinance. Now, then, sir, the Convention has acted upon that and we proceed to the consideration of the ordinance. I now move that we consider it section by section, and under that I presume that every Delegate on this floor has a right to offer amendments. I cannot conceive how we can pass an ordinance to a third reading and prescribe the right of any gentleman to offer an amendment. I desire to call the attention of the Chair to Rule No. 47.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Will my friend from Mobile permit me to interrupt him one moment ?
MR. BROOKS--Yes, sir.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--As the Chairman of the Committee, I desire briefly to present the views of the Committee on the general amendments to the Constitution. If I had attempted
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that, after the Article was taken up section by section, some young man, learned in parliamentary law, or who had served in Congress, would have made the point of order that the Chairman was not speaking to the question before the House. Therefore, I stated in order to escape these darts of parliamentary law, that the Chairman of the Committee would move to order the bill to a third reading, and when he had made his remarks he would then withdraw the motion, and move to pass upon the ordinance section by section. It is certainly not the desire or the wish of the Committee in any way to interfere with amendments or the freedom of debate.
MR. BROOKS--I understand that Mr. President, but I wish to read this Rule 47.
Rule 47.--When any ordinance is introduced it shall be read at length and be referred by the President without a vote being taken, unless otherwise ordered by a two-thirds vote of the Convention, to the appropriate committee. No ordinance shall be reported back from any committee until after the lapse of one entire legislative day. When any committee shall have reported to this Convention any article or section of the proposed Constitution, said article or section shall again be read at length and 300 copies thereof printed for the use of Delegates; and such article or section shall lie on the table at least one day and until in regular order it shall be taken up for consideration by the Convention.
Now, this Ordinance has laid over under that rule for one regular day, and it is now here for consideration, in any manner that the Convention may see fit to adopt, by sections for instance, or otherwise; but I do not see how you can preclude members of the convention at any stage from introducing amendments. As the gentleman from Montgomery is perfectly willing, he says, to take this up section by section. I will withdraw my motion for the present in order that he can make his general remarks.
THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman from Montgomery has the floor, as the Chairman of the Committee on Executive Department, and he made the motion that this Convention order this Ordinance to a third reading, and has announced to the Convention that, upon the conclusion of his remarks, he would withdraw that motion and move that the ordinance be taken up section by section, when it will be open for amendment. The gentleman from Montgomery has the floor.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Mr. President, the Committee on Executive Department have maturely considered not only the numerous ordinances which have been referred to the Committee, but have heard, in some instances, volunteers; and as the result of their labors have presented a complete article on the executive Department.
The first change proposed by the Committee is the creation of the office of Lieutenant Governor. I shall not enlarge upon the reasons which make the creation of such an officer desirable. There is a Lieutenant Governor in nearly all of the older States. In event of any calamity requiring the intervention of an officer other than the Governor to administer the powers of the office, the new officer would certainly have more moral influence and the people would be better satisfied, if he is one whom the people, in contra-distinction to any small body of men, have selected to discharge those important duties.
MR. COBB--Cannot the gentleman take a better position, turn around and let us hear, speak louder.
MR. JONES--I will take louder, but I suspect that the fault is as much in the gentleman's ears as in my voice.
MR. PRESIDENT--The gentleman from Montgomery will proceed with his remarks.
MR. JONES--I submit it would be entirely out of order for a member who is addressing this convention, to turn his back upon the Chair in order that at some time in the debate his back will not be to some member who is seated behind him.
The next change reported by the Committee is a change in the name of the office of the Commissioner of Agriculture. That, as we all know, is a statutory office. It is now made a constitutional office, and in recognition of the fact that Alabama is no longer merely an agricultural State, and that the legislature may hereafter devolve duties upon the Commissioner concerning industry and labor, it was thought proper to take a name more suited to the duties which might hereafter be imposed upon that office.
The next change of importance is the lengthening of the terms of the executive officers from two to four years. I shall not make any argument, at this time at least, in favor of that change.
The next change is, that these officers shall be ineligible to succeed themselves. The reasons for and against such a change will readily occur to members, and I will not now take up their time in dwelling upon them.
The next important change is a provision, in substance, requiring the Governor to pledge himself to the people, and declaring that he does pledge himself to the people by the acceptance of the office of Governor, not to accept an appointment or election to the Senate of the United States during the term for which he shall have been elected, and within one year thereafter. At this this, the Committee rests the justification for that change upon the public history of the State, and the recent experience of the people.
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There is one other change connected with the office, and that is that a specific sum is named in the Constitution itself for the salary of the Governor. There were two reasons why the Committee thought it wise to make this specific provision in the Constitution, instead of leaving it to the action of the General Assembly. The article contains the usual provision that the salary of the Governor shall not be increased nor diminished during his term. We all know that the Legislature meets about the 14th day of November or thereabouts, and the Governor is inaugurated on the 1st day of December. That leaves only sixteen days in which to act upon a matter of that importance; and if there is the slightest opposition to it, although there may be an overwhelming majority of both houses in favor of it, it is practically impossible to increase the Governors salary before his term begins, and therefore practically it is prevented under the Constitution.
There was another reason. The reported article in a large measure disfranchises the Governor from other public employment of any sort, for a period of five years commencing with the date of his inauguration. That may be, and perhaps is, wise; but when we put such limitations upon men, the State of Alabama should certainly provide such compensation for the office that many of the best men in the State shall not be excluded from aspiring to the office. It is the people's office. He is our Governor. No matter what the people may think of the incumbent, I am satisfied that go where you will among the masses of the people, there will never be any objection to providing for fitting remuneration for the man, who more than anyone other typifies their dignity, their power and their majesty. These were the reasons, in short, Mr. President, that induced the Committee to make that recommendation.
There are some other minor changes in the Constitution to which I shall refer very briefly. Under the present Constitution, which copies the Constitution of the United States and many other States, the province of the Speaker of the House of Representatives when he counts the vote ire joint convention, is a matter of some doubt. We all remember the extravagant claims that were made on either side as to the power to declare the result in the unfortunate contest that grew up in the Hayes and Tilden Presidential election. So it is provided, as we think it was manifestly the intention of the framers of the Constitution, that the Speaker's duty in counting and declaring the result should be ministerial purely and subject to the control of the joint convention.
There are other provisions relating to the veto power. They provide, in substance, that when the General Assembly passes a bill, and the Governor returns it, if the two houses see fit they may concur in his desires, amend the bill and send it back. At the same time, the provisions are so guarded as in no way to curtail
the power of the two houses, if they deem it proper not even to consider the Governor's recommendation, but to proceed to consider and determine whether they will pass the bill over the veto.
There is another section which the Committee considered with great care, and that is the ascertainment of disability, which under the Constitution causes a succession in the power of the office of Governor. Governors, unfortunately, are subject to all the ills that flesh it heir to. We might have the case of an executive of unsound mind, declaring that he was of sound mind, exercising the powers of this great office, and no constitutional machinery or legal machinery provided, by which he could be legally declared incompetent and put out of office. So tremendous are the consequences in a change of executive power in all governments, that legislators and statesmen have hesitated to frame the details by which disability shall be ascertained and enforced in all cases; but it is the common practice in some countries, where the king or monarch becomes insane, for the Privy Council sometimes calling in the heir, to consult about it, and finally referred it to the government like parliament which is omnipotent, and thereupon parliament declares a regency. The Committee can conceive of no safer body, no more august body, no body less liable to temptation to use the power for political gain or any other improper motive, than the Supreme Court of Alabama. The further safeguard was provided, in case of the unsoundness of mind of the Governor, that the Supreme Court should not take cognizance of it, unless that question was brought before that body by some officer not next in the succession. We have provided in this article not only for the case of the death of the Lieutenant Governor. President of the Senate and Speaker of the House, but we have added to the offices who shall succeed to the Governorship, the Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer and State Auditor.
Another important change recommended by the Committee is a Board of Pardons. The Committee thought it wise to restrict the Governor only in the matter of felonies. The ordinance creates a Board, which meets on the call of the Governor, hears petitions in public, and advises him in writing. There the Committee thought that the power of the Board should end, and that the final responsibility, no matter what the advice of the Committee, should rest upon the Chief Magistrate himself. Under the plan proposed, the Executive will be largely relieved of the distressing importunities and personal solicitations which he must otherwise undergo, and he will have the advice and assistance of sworn officers of the law, chosen by the people. There is not one time in a thousand when the governor, in a grave case, would exercise the power of pardon or commutation, when a body of State officers called at the request, after hearing in open session, declare it
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was not to the interest of the State of Alabama or consistent with justice that a pardon or commutation should be granted. It is a divine power, a kingly power, the power of the whole people--and for that reason the Committee thought the final responsibility should remain with the Governor himself.
The next provision of importance is the provision for a Board of Conciliation to settle disputes between employer and employee. It is very carefully guarded, because it provides that it shall be discretionary in any case whether the Board shall intervene or not. The Board is composed of the chief officers of State, with provision that the Governor in each case may appoint two additional members of it, who shall be citizens of the United States. This provision was made to enable each of the parties, if they desired to arbitrate, to be represented by one officer on that Board of really their own selection. It is provided that the award or finding of this Board shall be advisory merely, unless the parties stipulate in advance that they will abide the award, in which event it may be enforced by appropriate proceedings in the courts. We can all recall some instances in this State where the power of such a Board, and its moral influence, might have saved serious strikes and serious harm to the community. I will only add that in numbers of States there are statutory provisions providing for such Boards, not only in the State, but in every county in the State; and in some instances the courts themselves are armed with powers in this regard. It has been asked by a good many, why not make the award compulsory? Mr. President, it is utterly impracticable. Suppose there is a dispute between an employer and 500 of his employees who work for wages How are you going to enforce it if you decide against the wage-earner, except by putting him in jail? That would not do. And then, on the other hand, if the Board were to determine the value of the property of the employer, and the value of the use of his skill in the business and say that he should conduct his business of such terms as that, and have power to force him to do it, the man would become really a State-tenant of his own property. These were the reasons why the Committee made the Board's finding advisory merely. I may state in that connection that confining the Board to that sphere seems to be in accordance with the best thought of the highest officers of the American Federation of Labor on the one hand, and many persons who are denominated capitalists on the other. Now, there is only one other change--no two changes--to which I desire to allude--
MR. WEATHERLY--Before the gentleman passes from that would the gentleman permit a question?
THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman from Montgomery, permit a question.
MR. WEATHERLY--Did your Committee have the statute of any State on which this provision were founded or after which it was copied.
MR. JONES--It is not copied from any particular law or any particular provision, but the most elaborate system of legislation on that subject in American the gentleman will find in the laws of the State of Pennsylvania, and there are also like provisions in the Statutes of New York.
Now, there are only two other provisions to which I shall refer. One is an addition to the Article on Sheriffs. That provides if a prisoner is taken from jail, or the custody of the Sheriff or his Deputy, owing to his cowardice, neglect or other grave fault, and put to death, that the Sheriff may be impeached before the Supreme Court of Alabama, and that the Governor may, in his discretion, suspend him pending trial. The Committee believed that it was the duty of this Convention to put sentiments in the organic law that would teach us for all time, not only those of us who are now living, but those who are to come after us, that when a man is in the hands of the law the law alone should deal with him, and if officers placed in charge of the lives of prisoners, who are rendered helpless at the behests of the law, fail to live up to the standards of duty which ought to actuate every man who is another's keeper, that the people using this great power of impeachment which was meant to reach offenders who were so high that they could not be properly dealt with in the smaller courts or other tribunals, to bring them before the bar of justice and arraign them. The Committee believes and hopes that the manifest reasons which actuated them in reporting that part of the article will find a hearty approval on the floor of this Convention, and I will therefore pass on to the other and last material change.
There is a section which provides that in event there is a surplus at any time in the Treasury, not needed for the immediate wants of government, that the Governor and Treasurer, or the Governor and Auditor, may lend it out on call, or for such time as they deem advisable, on collateral of State or United States bonds, after giving one week's published notice, and shall then loan it to the highest bidder. That is the original report of the Committee with the amendment offered yesterday as to the best bidder. I will say in behalf of the Committee only one word as to that. If you once admit the proposition that the money in the Treasury ought ever, under any circumstances, leave it, except in payment of the debts of the State, then this provision is wise, safe and in all respects commendable. It seemed to us, therefore, Mr. President that the only legitimate and fair objection which could be urged to the section. would be that it was improper, under any circumstances, for the public moneys to leave the vaults of the
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State. We all know that the State, very much like a farmer, makes crops by the year. It raises its taxes by the year, and it must have on hand at one time in the year sufficient money to pay all of its expenses. This results in a large surplus at times. Now, what is to be done with that money? Any prudent trustee, if he had a million dollars in his hands for which he had not immediate use that he could safely loan out, would say it is my duty, if I can do it safely, to get something for this trust estate, and not let this money lie idle in the Treasury. That is the principle upon which that ordinance was offered. There has been, and perhaps is now, a sentiment that a large amount of money, sometimes a million dollars, under exceptional circumstances, should not be hoarded in a vault, when the people need it in circulation, and some propose to deposit it in bank by taking security for its return ; but the answer to that, it seemed to us, was that if this money must ho out of the vaults at all, and anybody was to bet the interest on it, that it should be the State, and not the depositories where it might be left upon proper security, and who would loan it out and get the interest.
Those, Mr. President, are in the main the views which actuated the majority of the Committee on the matters referred to.
As the House knows, there is a minority report. Some difference among the members of the Committee on some of these amendments, which they of course will defend and announce at the proper time. I now withdraw the motion to put this ordinance on its third reading, and move that it be considered section by section.
MR. WEATHERLY--Before the gentleman yields the floor, I would like to ask him a question.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Certainly.
MR. WEATHERLY--In the event of the suspension of the Sheriff, under the last section referred to in the Article, is there provision made for the appointment of some person to perform the functions of the Sheriff's office?
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Not expressly in the Constitution. That must be supplied by the general law and the statute which makes the Coroner act when the Sheriff is incompetent.
THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman from Montgomery now withdraws his motion to order this ordinance to a third reading, and moves that it be considered section by section.
MR. deGRAFFENREID--Is an amendment to any section of the ordinance now in order?
THE PRESIDENT--Amendments are not in order until the section is reached.
MR. HARRISON--I rise to a point of order, and call the Chair's attention to Rule 51, wherein it is said that when an ordinance or article is reported to the Convention and a minority report accompanies the majority report, the ordinance or article accompanying the minority report shall be considered an amendment. I submit that under the rule, the proper question before the Convention is upon the amendment, treating the minority report as the amendment.
THE PRESIDENT--When the gentleman arose, the Chair was about to state to the Convention that there is a minority report which accompanies the majority report; but that report relates only to two sections, and the Chair presumes that the gentleman would prefer to have his minority report considered when those sections are read.
The Chair was about to ask the gentleman what his pleasure was in reference to that, when the gentleman from Lee arose. The question is on the motion of the gentleman from Montgomery that the article be now considered section by section.
The motion was carried.
The Secretary read section 1 of the Article as follows:
An ordinance to create and define the Executive Department.
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled. That Article V of the Constitution be stricken out and the following Article inserted in lieu thereof:
ARTICLE V.--EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT.
Section 1. The Executive Department shall consist of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer, Attorney General, Superintendent of Education, Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries and a Sheriff for each County.
THE PRESIDENT--What will the convention do with the section that has been read.
MR. OATES -- I would like to inquire of the Chairman of the Committee, what is the necessity for retaining in the Constitution, like the present one, State Auditor, and State Treasurer? Why retain the word State? Why not just have it Auditor and Treasurer?
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Personally I do not see the slightest objection to striking it out.
MR. OATES--Then I move to strike out "State" just before Auditor, and "State" before Treasurer. We are not dealing with
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the Auditor or Treasurer of any other State, and it seems to me to be useless repetition.
The President stated the question was upon the motion to strike out the word "State" where it appears "State Auditor" and "State Treasurer" in the second line of section 1.
THE PRESIDENT--Will the gentleman reduce his motion to writing.
MR. OATES--The Secretary, I presume, will take it down. It is very short. Strike out the word "State" in the second line before "Auditor" and the word "State" before "Treasurer" in the same line.
The motion was carried.
MR. LONG (Walker)--I have an amendment I desire to offer.
The amendment was read as follows: "Amend the ordinance by striking out the words "Lieutenant Governor" wherever they appear in any section of the ordinance.
MR. OATES--Mr. President, a point of order--
THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman will state the point of order.
MR. OATES--We are considering the first section. The gentleman cannot offer a sweeping amendment to the whole article, but only to that section.
THE PRESIDENT--In the opinion of the Chair, the point of order is well taken. The gentleman can offer the amendment to this section.
MR. LONG (Walker)--I offer it as far as it applies to section 1, then.
THE PRESIDENT--To strike out the words "Lieutenant Governor?"
MR. LONG (Walker)--Yes.
THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman from Walker moves to amend section 1, by striking out the words "Lieutenant Governor" in the first line.
MR. LONG (Walker)--Mr. President, I offer that amendment because I think it is unwise to create the office of Lieutenant Governor in this State. Under the Constitution of 1867, a Republican Constitution as it was called, the office of Lieutenant Governor was created in the State of Alabama. I among others, remember well when the Democratic orators went all over Alabama,
into every hamlet in it, asking that the people ratify the Constitution of 1875, and the main argument was that it abolished the office of Lieutenant Governor in the State of Alabama. I contend that we no more need the office of Lieutenant Governor in this State than a wagon needs five wheels. Why Mr. President, it leaves it optional with the Legislature to fix the salary for the office of Lieutenant Governor. It is reasonable to suppose that a man running for that great office would ask for at least fifteen hundred or two thousand dollars salary. It takes away the right of the State Senate to name their own presiding officer in that body, and I can see no danger in our present form of government, if the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House should succeed, as their names appear, to the office of Governor, in case of the death of the Governor, or for any other reason.
Why, Mr. President, we have pledged our faith, and we have gone before the people of Alabama and all the orators have pledged themselves to make only the few changes in the Constitution that are needed. We were called together, not for the purpose of creating more offices. I was unfortunately a member of the last House of Representatives, which has been cursed all over Alabama for appropriating unnecessary and unneeded money, and now we are asking the people to ratify a Constitution, and creating by that Constitution another high office in this State.
Why, in my humble judgment, the very mention of Lieutenant Governor in the Constitution will take from us ten thousand votes among the hill-billies of Alabama. Many of the people were taught to hate it by Democratic orators, and I was one of them. When but a boy, fifteen years of age, in seventy-five, I attended some of the Democratic meetings, and the first men I had seen since the Yankees that came in their with store bought clothes on, were these Democratic speakers, and they fought to a finish the Lieutenant Governorship in the Republican Constitution. It was then and there that I learned to despise the name of a Lieutenant Governor, and I learned it from such men as John T. Morgan and others in this State. I can see no use for this office, and I hope this Convention will consider well the fact that needless offices should not be created by this body. I do not believe that a sound and sane reason can be given why we should have it. I have always believe that the Senate itself, Mr. President, should have the right to elect its own presiding officer. I do think that the Senate of Alabama should have the right to elect its presiding officer. Why you might as well go on and say we should have a Lieutenant State Treasurer, a Lieutenant State Auditor, or a Lieutenant Member of the General Assembly, or a Lieutenant Bailiff in every beat, if you want to create more offices. Mr. President, on that ordinance, I want to go on record as opposing this proposition, because I deem it a useless expense, and inexcusable for lack of
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necessity, and acting on that I have offered this amendment to the ordinance.
MR. THOMPSON--Mr. President, I regret very much to feel the necessity of differing with the Proctor Knott of Alabama. But, Mr. President, the gentlemen of the Convention, I have not that abject fear of the hill-billies that seems to characterize the gentleman who has preceded me. It is true that my county would be included in that list, and I among the number, but gentlemen of the Convention, I believe the hill-billies of Alabama have sense enough to see the necessity for this provision, and when presented to them they will approve it. Mr. President, a distinguished citizen of my county, if I mistake not, was the last Lieutenant Governor of this State, the lamented Dr. E. H. Moran, and it is my recollection that the fact that he held that office, likely prevented a bloody riot within these walls. That he by his courage took charge of the Senate of Alabama, and the joint convention of the General Assembly, and proceeded to canvass the ballot in the presence of Federal bayonets. That was one time, gentleman, in the history of Alabama, when a Lieutenant Governor was needed. It may go for forty years before it is needed again, but if it is, the slight expense that it will cost will be a thousand times repaid. If the fact that this Convention creates the office of Lieutenant Governor prevents a contest, prevents litigation, or a riot within the lifetime of the present generation, then our work here will not have been in vain. And, gentlemen of the Convention, I think that this provision by the Committee on the Executive Department is eminently wise and should be adopted by this Convention.
MR. BOONE (Mobile)--Mr. President, I favor the retention of the words "Lieutenant Governor" in the first section of the Article, for reasons which I shall give briefly. In the event of the sickness, disability, removal out of the State of the Governor, as the Constitution provides, the people will have elected a man to serve them as Governor. They will have passed upon that proposition, and will have chosen that man with the view, if such a contingency arises, that he will be the Governor. Now, Mr. President, how does it operate at present? An election is held. It is true under the succession as the law now is, in the event of the disability or the death of the Governor, that the President of the Senate and then the Speaker of the House come in respectively, but do the people know who that man will be? A majority of the members elect the Speaker, and seventeen men elect that President of the Senate. The people do not elect him. He is not chosen as the Chief Magistrate of this State should always be chosen, and that is by the people, and that is why I support the Committee in creating a Lieutenant Governor for this State.
MR. OATES--I think my friend, the delegate from Walker, is laboring under a misapprehension, and I think I understand
particularly why the distinguished Chairman of this Committee is in favor of creating this office.
It is a fact, sir, that when the campaign was on in favor of the Convention in 1875, the Democratic speakers did in common with other innovations which had been made on our former system of State Government, denounce the Lieutenant-Governorship as wholly unnecessary. That was twenty-six years ago, and men ought to, if they do not, learn by time and experience. They change things and show many times a necessity for something perhaps which was not necessary a quarter of a century prior to that time. Now, sir, in the recent illness of our present excellent Governor, before he was sworn into office, it was a debatable question whether he would be able to be sworn in or not, and I remember well that the distinguished Chairman of this Committee, an ex-Governor of the State, and myself, conferred together, about the difficulties that might be engendered in the event of Governor Samford's death before he was sworn in. It had been ascertained that the then incumbent, Governor Johnston did not believe if Governor Samford dies, that he ought to surrender the Governorship to some President of the Senate, elected thereafter. It would have presented complications, and I think there is another delegate or two on this floor, who studied that question then and expressed doubts about it. Now sir, that is one of the troubles which is solvable by the proposition of this Committee. A Convention would naturally, when they nominate a candidate for Governor, select an excellent man for successor to that Governor; in the event that he should die before he was sworn in, or after, and then he is elected by the people,- by the voters of Alabama. The apprehension of my friend, the delegate from Walker, that it is creating a new office, with a higher salary, is not well founded. Delegates will see that it is left to the General Assembly to fix the salary of the Lieutenant-Governor and it does not follow that it should be a large salary: It ought to be something similar to the salary that is paid to the President of the Senate, and there is no doubt but what the General Assembly, or Legislature, which ever we will then call it, will look at it in that way, and make provision not greatly dissimilar or in excess of the amount now paid to the President of the Senate.
Why, sir, some gentlemen, and I used to when I was younger, than I am now, and had seen a little less of the world, became prejudiced, especially in those days when we suffered so much from reconstruction, against every innovation that had been made as we characterized it by carpet-baggery upon our former institutions, and we knocked them out for that cause, rather than for anything founded in reason and good judgment. But I wish to call the delegates' attention to a thing not now before them, as an illustration. They invented some good things, though they did it imperfectly. One was a Commissioner of Industries. That
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was abolished unceremoniously by that Convention. Now experience has brought us around to making it an addition to the office of the Commissioner of Agriculture--the only objection to which is the double name,--(that is to me.) I think the Commissioner of Industries would cover all, and that the General Assembly ought to require him to make a report to the Governor, and get it before the General Assembly and the public every year, as to the progress, and extent of the industries in coal production, iron ore and steel, and in fact every industry of the State because all will be informed then of our wealth and productive capacity. These, as well as agriculture, ought all to be embodied in a report, and it is no essential that he should be called Commissioner of Agriculture to reach just what we want. But it would be objectionable to call him by a similar name to that which was odious to us and we knocked it out, because it had been brought in not by the sanction of our people here.
Then again, I will mention by way of illustration, that they invented what was called a Board of Education. We abolished that largely for the reason that it was badly administered. It was not properly hedged about and made safe. But what delegate in this Convention will say today, that if that Board of Education had been properly limited and properly organized, it would not have been infinitely more capable to deal with and legislate upon the subject of education and schools than a General Legislature now is, or ever will be. But we wiped it out, instead of taking hold of it and improving it as we might have done. We acted on our prejudices. We might have improved it, and made it safe, and it would have been a splendid thing for Alabama and for the schools of the State.
So my friend's argument that this is a reproduction of something that the carpet-bag government of Alabama established, ought not to have that force which it seems to have in his very intelligent and discriminating mind. It is not a good objection at all, and I believe, sir, that every delegate who has read this provision, and thought about it, doubtless will adopt it, and if any excessive salary should be given to that officer, why the Legislature would be responsible for it, and not this Convention. I do not believe they will do that, and having stated my views briefly, I shall say nothing more.
MR. SOLLIE--I am going to, and do advocate the amendment, not because I object to the creation of the office of Lieutenant-Governor, but because of another consideration which addresses itself to my judgment and makes it become necessary for me to resolve a doubt which I now have respecting the policy of this convention in favor of economy. The difficulty which puts me upon the side of the question which I otherwise would not occupy, lies in the fact that the creation of this office, and the compensation
to go with it, are separated from each other, one being in Section 5 and the other in Section 7 of this ordinance. The two are not so that the Convention may consider them together. I know not what will be the wish and pleasure of this Convention when it comes to providing the compensation for the Lieutenant- Governor. If I knew that it was the sense of the Convention that he should receive pay only when actively in service--
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Will the gentleman allow me one moment?
THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman permit the interruption?
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--It will be perfectly acceptable to the Committee to have provision made at the proper place, if amendment is offered to that effect, and the Convention adopts it, that the Lieutenant-Governor shall receive no other or greater salary than that paid the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
MR. SOLLIE--A provision like that would remove my objections to the creation of the office, Mr. President, and I have nothing further to say. If the proper limitations and restrictions are put upon the compensation, I have nothing to say against the creation of the office.
MR. CASE--Mr. President, I wish to say, sir, that I am opposed to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Walker, and I am opposed to it for the reason that the people of the State of Alabama ought to have a right to select who may become the Governor of the great State of Alabama. The view that I take of this is, that he stands as heir-apparent if the Governor were to die, or for any other reason he should become disqualified, then he becomes the Governor of the State of Alabama. Mr. President, it is not disallowing the Senate to say who may predominate over it, or who may become its officer; it is denying the right of the whole people of the State of Alabama to say who may or may not become Governor. And, as to the reference, Mr. President, to hill-billies, and to the Democratic pledges all over the country, and what has been said, has nothing as I conceive, to do with this great question, and I shall certainly vote against the amendment.
MR. HOWZE--Mr. President, I was the originator of this ordinance. After mature consideration, it seemed to me highly appropriate that the State of Alabama should have this important officer of Lieutenant-Governor. It seems to me that the State, in the first place, should have the right to directly say who should fill this office in the event that the person chosen originally should
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become incapacitated, or should vacate the office for any reason. It seems to me it is a self-evident proposition, that it is best and proper for the people to select that person. There are several important reasons why this office should be created, it seems to me, and they have been mentioned by my friend, Governor Oates, and it is not necessary that I should take up the time of the Convention in arguing upon that proposition. I want to state, however, that I am as much averse as any other member of this Constitutional Convention to creating offices, and in drawing that ordinance, while I thought that it was an important office, I was afraid there might be objections to it because it was the creation of a new office, and I put in the ordinance the suggestion that the salary should be the same as that allowed to the Speaker of the House, I think that this is important. I think it should be done. When this Lieutenant-Governor is exercising no functions of the office, he should not be paid a salary. I, therefore, provided in the ordinance that he should be paid the same salary that the Speaker of the House receives and when exercising the office of Governor, then he should receive the salary. I think that is fair, proper and right, and I shall propose, when that point is reached, to make an amendment to that effect--That the salary shall be the same as that of the Speaker of the House.
MR. MERRILL--Having at heart the ratification of the Constitution, I think we should deal more especially with the paramount question upon which we stumped the State in the election, and that was the suffrage question. It was not desired, nor expected, that there would be any changes, unless the good of the people was clearly manifested. There was no expectation nor desire that any new offices should be created. There was no desire or expectation that any useless office should be created, and, believing, as I do, that this office, the very first thing that we do here, the very first ordinance we pass, and the very first section of that ordinance, provides for the creation of a new office, that the people of twenty-five years have gotten along well without; and when we go back to the people with this increase of offices, we cannot give them the reasons why. Now, before the Constitution of '75, this office existed. What reasons are there now for the creation of the office that did not exist in '75 when it was abolished? None that I can see. And, there being no good reason for the creation of the office, in my humble judgment, we ought to go to that part of the Constitution that needs our attention, and that part that we were sent here to reform and fix up, and not waste the time of the Convention by creating new offices for the Legislature or the people hereafter to fill. Why, suppose we go back to the county of Barbour with the Lieutenant-Governor on our hands, and want the Constitution to be, adopted with him in there. You may know what the result will be. We will have difficulty enough, gentlemen, to get this Constitution through, when we do the best we can, on the questions
we were sent here to deal with, and not originate new clauses and originate new offices to encumber ourselves when we undertake to have the Constitution adopted.
MR. REESE-- Mr. President, I should be opposed to this ordinance if I thought it created a new office. I assume, however, that this Convention will adopt the line suggested by the gentleman from Birmingham, that this officer shall receive no compensation except for the services that he shall perform. That he shall receive the same salary that the Speaker of the House receives. Assuming that to be true, I heartily favor the ordinance.
The remarks made by the gentleman from Barbour are not pertinent to the ordinance. Mr. President, this is not the creation of a new office. This is a changing of the name of office that we have had always, and an office without which we could not get along. Mr. President, under the present provisions and existing conditions this officer, this very important officer, who stands next in succession to the Governorship of Alabama, is selected by the Senate of Alabama, a body composed of thirty-three men. Assume that the parties in this State should ever be anything like equally divided and you might have a condition presented in that body of seventeen members of one party, and sixteen of the other party, and under the caucus rule, the invariable rule that has run from time immemorial, the selection of the Governor of Alabama would devolve upon nine men, who in some way happened to tumble into that Senate.
Mr. President, I am fully aware that the politicians have had a long ride and long lease of enjoyment upon the selection of this officer, next in succession to the Governor. They have enjoyed it ever since '75, and the statute of limitations has almost run against them, and I can see that they would be loathe to give it up. They would be sorry to surrender to the people of Alabama vested rights which they think they hold, and ought to have by reason of long enjoyment, but, Mr. President, if there is one thing apparent in the sentiment of the people of Alabama at this time, it is the progressive spirit that has moved them along the lines, to exercise a greater voice and interference in the management of their own affairs and the selection of their officers. The cry can be heard all over Alabama, and there are thousands of people in Alabama that favor a proposition to elect everything in the State of Alabama from a Constable to United States Senator. The people would like, they would prefer, to have the choice of naming the man who shall be Governor. Why should they be compelled to put that authority possible in the hands of nine men, who would constitute a majority of the caucus of one party in the Senate. It is not the creation of a new office. It is the changing of a name, and placing the appointment or selection back where it rightly belongs, to the people who will have to be governed by
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this man, should he become Governor. Assuming, therefore, Mr. President, that a provision will be put in there that will safely guard the people from having or permitting the legislature to pay this man for any service that he does not perform, I am heartily in favor of the office and I say that the people ought to be permitted to have a voice in the selection of a man that may, perhaps, be their Governor.
MR. WILSON (Washington)--Mr. President, the chief objection to this office has been heard, so far, seems to be the expense attached thereto. In my very few years observation I have learned not to place too much trust in the General Assembly, when it comes to matters of appropriations. It seems to me though, that this objection has been partially met by the gentleman to my left, in the shape of a proposed amendment, which has been consented to by the Chairman of the Committee, and to further this idea I would like to ask the Chairman of the Committee, if he will consent, to a further amendment, placing a restriction on the legislature by prohibiting them from increasing or changing the pay of the Lieutenant Governor.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Mr. President, as the gentleman asks the question, I will say that I cannot answer for the Committee, but personally, I would not be willing to deal with that in the Constitution.
MR. WILSON (Washington)--Then, Mr. President, since the Committee declines to make the people absolutely secure against an increase of salary, I shall vote no.
MR. DENT--I had not expected to say anything upon this question. While I have very decided views about it and I regret very much that I differ with my colleague, I believe that this office is a wise one, and a useful one, and speaking for myself, I do not apprehend any difficulty in going before my people, and giving good and sufficient reasons why this office ought to be created, and I believe when that is done they will endorse the action of this Convention, if it so act in creating that office. Mr. President, several questions have been referred to in connection with this office, but there is one remark made by the gentleman from Bibb, who first addressed this Convention, in which the services of the last Lieutenant Governor which Alabama had, were commended. By the simple fact that he happened to have that office at that time it prevented trouble and perhaps a riot and bloodshed. I endorse what that gentleman says, because I know something of the history of those times.
MR. MERRILL--Would not the President of the Senate, if a proper man, have rendered the same services.
MR. DENT--He might, and might not. We have had an experience in reference to the office of Lieutenant Governor, and I am willing to stand on it.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I would like to ask the gentleman from Barbour a question. Wasn't the President of the Senate at that time a person who was a conspirator in an effort then on foot, the object of which was to throttle the will of the people of Alabama?
MR. DENT--I am reminded that that was the fact, and he was a man that was particularly odious to a large majority of the people of Alabama. But, as I say, if there were no other reason why that office should be created, I think that the very reason which has been given upon this floor repeatedly is a sufficient one, and, that is, that the people themselves should say who should be the successor of the Governor in the event of his death, or inability to discharge the duties of that office.
MR. WILLIAMS (Barbour)--I have some personal regret that the "State of Barbour," as it is sometimes called, is at some difference upon this question, and I cannot allow my friend who has just spoken upon this subject to speak for me. I do not agree with him. I have some personal recollection, too, of the inconvenience and bitterness of those days in which the Lieutenant-Governor was forced upon us. I hated him worse than I ever hated any mortal on earth, but my feeling towards him was more largely because of the crowd he came out of, than the fact he was holding a new office. It was one that was made in that time for the oppression of our people, and it was so used, but, Mr. President, have not recent events shown us the propriety of having a man of this rank in this office? Does not everybody here remember how the hearts of the, people ached within less than twelve months past, when the present Governor, it was thought, had come to his end? When the question was as to who should succeed, when the presiding officer of the Senate had not been elected, and the probability was that the then incumbent of the executive chair would hold over, and that peculiar state of things which he favored would be visited upon the people, and how far many of them differed with him upon such questions and how something in the nature of the accidental, I may call it, prolonged the life of the Governor, and brought us all out of it? And we would be in the same state of suspense and tribulation today but for the fact that the organization of the Senate has been completed, and the State is under its regular form of government and administration. The honored incumbent of the Executive Chair of this State may be now breathing his last, we do not know, and if he is, who ought to preside in his place? A man elected by the Senate, or a man elected by the people of the State of Alabama? An office next highest to the Chief Magistrate of the State, to be
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wielded by an incumbent, however honorable, elected by thirty-three men. Why, Mr. President, the Lieutenant-Governor would be elected at the same time as the Governor of the State. The people would know him; they would pass upon his efficiency in the event of the death or disability of the man elected to the chief position. There would be no surprises to them, no uncertainty to them in the situation; no forecasting of probabilities, but they would know definitely what to count and upon whom to count. I think, sir, for the satisfaction of the people of the State, when the expense is a matter of mere bagatelle, that we can safely go to them and meet them face to face, and tell them how and why we sought to provide for such emergencies as shadowed this State six months ago, and I am in favor of the proposition.
MR. SANFORD- I have but a few words to say, and I must say to my friend from Walker, to whom I always listen with great interest, that he is entirely mistaken with regard to the canvass of seventy-five. It so happened that I took a very active part in that: I advocated the Constitution of seventy-five, notwithstanding some objectionable features, principally because it was the work of our own people. It was ordained to substitute a Constitution that had been ordained by men from the four corners of the globe. Men who pretended to represent counties in whose boundaries they had never set foot. Men pretending to be delegated from counties whose names they could not pronounce. Strangers to our people. In the convention of seventy-four, which met in seventy-five, the chief objection, the great objection, was the Board of Education, and the Commissioner of Industrial Resources, whose ignorance was the laughing stock of all Alabama. He said when he was shown a piece of rock salt, that it was silver quartz out of which silver came. Of course the people objected to all these offices.
MR. OATES--He is the same man who discovered a brass mine.
MR. SANFORD--The same man. I want to say to my friend here, that he seems to be sensitive upon the question of the Senate's choosing its own officer. He thinks that thirty-three men ought to select the President of that body. If that be true, how much more important is it that eighteen hundred thousand then should choose their Lieutenant Governor who is but a Vice Governor. The Government of the United States elects a President and Vice President. Why should not the State of Alabama elect a Governor and Vice Governor? The Vice President has a fixed salary. The Lieutenant Governor of Alabama would have no salary according to the traditions of this country, except when he is presiding over the Senate, and then he will receive, and would now receive, I presume, the very same compensation that the President of the Senate receives. It is not a burden to our people.
I agree with the gentleman from Barbour, who is averse to creating new offices. No man is more opposed to numerous offices than I am. Offices are the source of weakness, and if the Government could be carried on without an officer, it would be the wisest invention in political affairs that the world has ever seen, but that is an impossibility, and therefore we should have just such officers as experience has taught us are necessary for the welfare of our whole people.
It seems to me there can be no just objection when the people have a right to choose their Chief Executive, that they should have the right also to say who should succeed him, in the event of a great calamity, or in the event of a resignation, or in the event of his departure from the State. What objection is there to it? The recent and present unfortunate conditions in Alabama teach us the importance of this measure. Seventeen men may choose your Lieutenant Governor, who possibly may take charge of Alabama, in the next six months. Why not let you avoid such a contingency, with eighteen hundred thousand people to choose your Vice Governor, before such a misfortune befalls you again? I hope, Mr. President, that the office of Lieutenant Governor will be created. It was objected to in 1875 for the reasons that I have just stated; that he was an officer created by a Constitution which the people of Alabama rejected by more than seven thousand votes, and which Congress itself had put upon us, and therefore everything connected with that Constitution was exceedingly odious to our people. Hence the abolition of the Lieutenant Governorship. The Board of Education and the Commissioner of Industrial Resources, which time has shown is necessary now, inasmuch as agriculture is no longer the chief industrialism of Alabama. Now we want it for the mines, now the want it for the factories; now we want it for all kinds of industries, and therefore it is proper that we should re-create it, under the form of Agricultural Commissioner and Commissioner of Industrial Resources or Industry, and so with the Lieutenant Governorship. I hope, gentlemen of the convention, that you will vote to make him an officer.
MR. BLACKWELL--I desire to state that during the campaign I made for the position of delegate in this Convention, on the stump in my country, everywhere I stated that I was in favor of the creation of the office of Lieutenant-Governor. In my county we have both classes of men that have been alluded to here. At least, we have men in the hills, and men in the valleys, our county being composed of hills and valleys. I did not find a solitary man either in the hills or in the valleys,--and we want to know something about the sentiments of the people, how this matter will affect them when it is carried back to them--that was opposed to the creation of the office of Lieutenant-Governor after the reasons for it were given-not a solitary one. The recent experience
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that has been here alluded to, was then detailed to the people there, and the difference between the friction that seemed imminent here when we knew hardly who would be Governor when we had a Chief Magistrate not sworn in, and the condition of our sister State of Kentucky, which went through the ordeal of losing her Governor and without friction her Lieutenant-Governor came in and took up the reins of government, was brought before them, and recognizing that they would have the right to pass upon the men who might become the Chief Executive of Alabama, they readily endorsed the proposition to elect a Lieutenant-Governor, believing it was right that we should, to as great extent as possible, restore the very genius of our government by giving the people the right to elect their own officers, thereby making it indeed a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Now, as to the statements of the gentleman from Barbour that the first act we are going to do is create an office. That is not the question that should actuate or govern a party of men assembled to make our organic law possibly for a century, the law which will not only guide us now, but which will possibly be the guiding light for six or eight millions of people in the time to come. The question is not whether the first thing we do creates an office, but whether we should pass the measure, whether it is right. That is the question. Knowing my people and believing they want the right to pass upon the qualifications of a man who may possibly be Governor of the State of Alabama and knowing that they are more competent to do it than any seventeen men in the State of Alabama coming from a county made up of hills and valleys, I most heartily endorse the measure proposed to create a Lieutenant-Governor for the State of Alabama.
MR. MARTIN--It is the policy and law of this State of Alabama and has been all through that the people have the right and privilege of choosing their Chief Magistrate. It was never intended that any other power save that of the people themselves should choose the man whom they desire to preside over their destinies for the term of the office of Governor. This is a privilege that the people are jealous of. They would not part with it under any circumstances. You elect a Governor and that Governor, as has been said, is subject to all the ills that flesh is heir to. He is liable to die, he is liable to become infirm and disqualified from discharging the important duties of his high and elevated position. In that event, someone else must take his position, someone else must take up the power that he lays down. Who shall it be? That was a question that agitated the minds of the leading men of the State of Alabama but a few months ago. If we lose our Governor, if death should strike him down, then who will place upon his shoulders the robe that the people have placed upon the shoulders of their Chief Magistrate? The people
did not select anybody to take it, and that was the question that agitated the minds of many in the State of Alabama at that time. It is right and it is proper that the people of Alabama should have a voice in saying who shall preside over them in the event their Governor is removed by death or by any other cause. Shall it be the President of the Senate? I say to you that the people of the State of Alabama had no voice in electing or selecting the President of the Senate to preside as Governor. He may be a magnificent man, he may preside over that learned body with dignity and with fine ability and yet not be the man that the people of the State desire to occupy the high position of Governor. Therefore, I say that at the time they elect their Governor, they should elect a second man to take up the powers and the duties of that office, if, unfortunately, the Governor shall be removed. There is a strong disposition, it seems, to bring on fewer elections in this State, to permit the State officers to hold for a term of four years. Now suppose you elect your Governor and in the course of a few months or of a year he is broken down by death or prevented by some other cause from filling that office? Then some other man that your people never thought of, that the people had no vote in selecting, presides over them for three or four years, as the case may be. Therefore, I say, Mr. President, let the people at the same time they select their Governor, select a man to take his place in the event the Governor is stricken down. No harm can result from this. It is but saying to the people "select two men, one as your Governor and the other to preside over you in the event of his removal."
It has been said by some that some people in sections of Alabama would object to this, that we could not go back among the Hill Billies with this kind of a Constitution and expect them to ratify it. I desire to say this: "When I cast my eye around this hall and see the magnificent assemblage of Alabamians that have gathered here, when I reflect that they are all animated by one earnest and patriotic desire, I have no doubt but what a Constitution will here be framed that will be sanctioned by the people and that will prove a blessing to the State of Alabama for years to come." Let us then, Mr. President, act with the best lights before us. Let us trust the people, confide in them, do our work well and in this instance say to them: "It has been possible that some man should preside over you as Governor whom you have not had the privilege of election, but henceforth your Governor, whether he be Governor or Lieutenant-Governor, the man who presides over your destinies as Chief Executive shall be a man of your choice and a man for whom you have voted at the polls."
MR. WHITE--I doubt whether I can add anything to what has already been said, but it occurs to me that we should consider this question and determine it upon sound reasons. We are told that certain classes of our fellow citizens living upon the
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hilltops may oppose it. I have great confidence in the people. In fact, I have so much confidence in them that I am never afraid to do right, because I believe they will always approve of that which is right. The Chief Executive of the State is the chief officer of the State. By him the people of the State are judged By him the laws of the State are enforced because it becomes his duty to see that the laws are executed. Great questions of policy, great economic questions are presented which must be decided by him. He stands above every other office in the State in dignity, in power, and in authority. Then we should select him with more care and with more caution than we should any other officer, the selection of whom devolves upon us, and if the Chief Executive fills this high station, and must meet these requirements, is it not important that he who might succeed the Chief Executive should at least fill the requirements and meet the demands that we would expect of the Chief Executive himself?
It is now understood by this Convention, this very article itself proposes, that the term of this officer shall be extended to four years. By that very act we double the chances of the death or disqualification of the Chief Executive. He must live through four years and be able during that time to discharge the duties of his office. Heretofore his term was only two years. Aside from this whether we select the best man or not, we know we have selected him and we are satisfied. Then there is it seems to me this great difficulty, not yet presented, except merely suggested in the outline given by the Chairman of the Committee. The Governor and the Senators who are to select his successor, if it is to be left to the Senate, are selected at the same time. Suppose for any reason, the Governor should not be capacitated to enter upon the discharge of his duties or suppose he should die before he became qualified, what is the result? At once a wrangle begins in the Senate, with the term of the Governor then expiring, a wrangle over the selection of their presiding officer. His qualifications as presiding officer are laid aside and forgotten. The ambitions of men and the intrigues of men enter into that question and into that controversy. How long may that deadlock last? Who can tell when they will decide who shall be their presiding officer during that long time--who will discharge the duties of that office. I say to you, Mr. President, and gentlemen of the Convention, there is nothing so momentus, so full of danger to the people as a threatened dual government. It seems to me that there are strong, yes, are potent reasons along this line why this question should be settled, and settled at once. Then, again, I believe that the who people of Alabama, taken as a State, can make a wiser and more conservative selection than any number of the gentlemen who have been selected to represent their respective districts in the Senate.
Again, when, we look at it from the standpoint of party responsibility, our scheme should provide when we elect and place a party in power we should hold it responsible for the administration. How would it be if the State was one way politically and the Senate another way politically. I say, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, in my judgment there are strong reasons why this provision reported by the Committee should be adopted.
MR. OATES--I desire to ask the delegate a question.
THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman consent to be interrupted?
MR. OATES--I ask it for the purpose of impressing on some who do not quite take in the situation: This provision is not to affect the present condition? It so happens that the present President of the Senate is a very excellent and capable gentleman, but this provision which we propose to put in the new Constitution is to guard against any future trouble, is it not?
MR. WHITE--Yes, sir. We only look, as suggested by the delegate from Montgomery to the past and present for a lesson to guide us in the future. It is the future for which we are providing, not the past or the present, our action cannot affect either the past or present condition of affairs.
So far as the salary which is to be provided for is concerned, I understand an amendment has already been agreed upon by the Committee by which they will limit the salary of the Lieutenant Governor to the amount of salary to be fixed for the Speaker of the House of Representatives and I think that will meet the objection of the gentleman from Washington when he considers it and sees it in all of its bearings. The legislature of Alabama have not in the past, so far as I am informed, and do not believe they will in the future create a salary for the Speaker of the House greater than he deserves.
MR. OATES--The rule of the General Assembly has been stinginess in regard to salaries. They have not given any great salaries.
MR. WHITE--I think that suggestion is true, and I do not have any fear along that line, and while I dislike always to differ with my friend, the distinguished delegate from Walker, I feel it is my duty on this occasion to differ with him and trust the Convention will adopt this section of the Committee's report.
MR. O'NEAL--From the progress we are now making in the consideration of these various sections it is clear that we shall consume a week on them, and I, therefore, move the previous question on the amendment of the delegate from Walker.
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A vote being taken the previous question was ordered and a further vote being taken the amendment of the delegate from Walker was lost.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I now move the previous question on the section as amended.
MR HEFLIN--I move the adoption of the first section as amended.
MR. OATES--I don't think it is necessary or proper to use too many words, that we should use as few as possible, and I desire to ask the Chairman of the committee why not strike out the word "Agriculture" and have it "Commissioner of Industries?"
MR. JONES--The committee determined that matter and for reasons not necessary now to be stated fixed upon the name as reported, therefore, I am unable to accept the amendment.
Murmurs of disapproval being audible the suggestion was not persisted in.
A vote being taken the previous question on the section was ordered.
THE PRESIDENT--The question is on the adoption of section 1 as amended. All those in favor of its adoption will say aye.
MR. PARKER (Cullman)--Rule 49 requires that the adoption of any section or article of the Constitution must be by a yea and nay vote.
THE PRESIDENT--The attention of the Chair is called to rule 49 which reads:
Rule 49 -Upon the final adoption of any article or section of the Constitution the vote shall be taken by yeas and nays and spread upon the Journal and the article as, adopted shall be spread upon the Journal and be referred to the Committee on Order, Consistency and Harmony of the Constitution.
That rule applies to the adoption of an article as a whole and not to each section. All those in favor of this section will say aye.
MR. O'NEAL--I move to reconsider the vote by which "State" before the word "Auditor" and the word "State" before the word "Treasurer" in the second line were stricken out.
The Chair has not announced the result of the vote. The Chair would announce that the section as amended is adopted.
MR. O'NEAL--Then I now move to reconsider the vote by which the word "State" in the second line before the word "Auditor" and before the word "Treasurer" were stricken out.
MR. SOLLIE--My recollection is, Mr. President, that the negative side of the vote was not put to the Convention on the adoption of that first section of the report.
THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman is correct. As many as are opposed to the adoption of the section will say "No."
The section was adopted.
THE PRESIDENT--The Chair was interrupted by the point made by the Delegate from Cullman.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I move the adoption of Section 3 of the ordinance and on that I move the previous question.
MR. SMITH (Mobile)--I make the point of order that a motion to adopt a section and the previous question cannot be called for at the same time.
MR. SOLLIE--I second the point of order.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I do not understand the gentleman's point of order.
MR. PRESIDENT--By the rules under which we are proceeding, it is necessary for the Clerk to read this section 2. It has not been read and the Chair will direct the reading. The Chair will then recognize the gentleman from Montgomery to make whatever motion he desires.
Section 2 was read as follows:
Sec. 2--The Supreme Executive power of this State shall be vested in a Chief Magistrate who shall be styled "The Governor of the State of Alabama."
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I move the adoption of that section.
MR. OATES--Before that motion is put let me ask the Chairman why not strike out the words "the State of" and have it read simply "the Governor of Alabama."
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--There was no particular reason why it should be exactly this way but we desired to avoid making changes where there were no real substantial reasons for them. Some people thought it better, that it sounded better "The Governor of the State of Alabama" than "The Governor of Alabama."
MR. OATES--It seems to me the greater brevity, the better in a Constitution, so long as there is no doubt as to the meaning.
THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman from Montgomery (Mr. Oates) desire to propose an amendment?
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MR. OATES--I move to strike out of line 2 the words "Of the State," so that the section will read "Sec. 2. The Supreme Executive power of this State shall be vested in a Chief Executive, who shall be styled `The Governor of Alabama."'
MR. O'NEAL--And I move to lay the motion on the table.
A vote being taken on a division the motion was laid on the table, 70 yeas and 56 nays.
THE PRESIDENT--The question now recurs on the motion of the gentleman from Montgomery (Mr. Jones) to adopt Section 2 as read.
A vote being taken the section was adopted.
The Secretary will read the third section.
The third section of the report was read as follows:
Sec. 3. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Attorney General, Superintendent of Education and Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, shall be elected every four years by the qualified electors of this State, at the same time and places appointed for the election of members of the General Assembly.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--On behalf of the Committee I move to amend Section 3 by adding after the words "shall be elected" in the third line the words "on the first Monday in August, 1902, and thereafter." The object of that is to prevent any doubt under the section as to whether the first election for Governor shall come four years from now, leaving the present incumbent in until that election. The object of the amendment is to have the election come in August, 1902, and every four years thereafter.
MR. PILLANS--May I ask the gentleman a question?
MR. PILLANS--Would it not he better to say "at the State election in 1902," to conform to a charge in the time of holding elections, if any such is made? For instance, there is a strong feeling to have the elections in the Fall.
MR. JONES--I think that may be, but I will offer this suggestion so that we may get along. I understand when the report of the Legislative Committee comes up, we will have a test as to whether we shall have elections every four years for members of the General Assembly instead of two years, and then the Committee on Harmonies can take up the two reports and fix them to suit the final vote of the House on this question.
MR. OATES--In addition to what the delegate from Mobile suggests, I would say to the chairman of the committee, that the matter of the date of the election has been before the Legislative Department, and that committee has acted on it, not finally, but by a majority vote, and have agreed to abolish the August election, and have the election in November, so as to avoid so many elections, and I would suggest to the gentleman from Montgomery, the chairman of this committee, to accept the suggestion of the delegate from Mobile, as that will allow us to get along without any conflict.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I think there is force in the suggestion, and we will accept the amendment and strike out the words "on the first Monday in August, 1902."
MR. FITTS -- And insert in lieu thereof, "at the general State election in the year 1902, and thereafter, etc."
THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman from Montgomery, for the Committee on the Executive Department, moved to amend the section by adding after the words, "shall be elected" the following words, "at the State election in 1902 and thereafter."
A reading of the section as thus amended was called for, and it was read as follows:
Section 3. The Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Attorney-General, Superintendent of Education and Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, shall be elected at the State election in 1902 and thereafter every four years by the qualified electors of this State, at the same time and places appointed for the election of members of the General Assembly.
A vote being taken, the amendment was adopted.
MR. BROWNE--In order to have this section conform to Section 1, I now move to strike out the word "State" before the word "Treasurer" in the first line and the word "State" before the word "Auditor."
The amendment was agreed to.
MR. OATES--I desire to offer an amendment to this section and briefly to state my reasons therefor.
I move to strike out of this section the words "Attorney-General," and on that to test the sense of the Convention for what may properly be substituted.
My motion is based upon the idea that the Governor of the State ought to appoint the Attorney-General. It is not a political office, and while in the main good lawyers have usually been selected, as it now stands any lawyer who may be a shrewd polititian
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more of a politician than of a lawyer, who succeeds in getting nominated on the ticket, will be elected Attorney-General. The Attorney-General ought always to be an able lawyer. He is the adviser of the administration with whom he serves and it seems to me it would be a wiser and better provision to allow the Governor at the time he is inaugurated, or soon after he goes into office, to nominate the Attorney-General, to be confirmed or rejected by the Senate, as officers usually are appointed, "with the advice and consent of the Senate."
Some of the other States have this provision. and in one where I had occasion to inquire into its workings, the State of Pennsylvania, they are thought to be admirable. It is not, I think, very important that this officer should be elected by the people, and I believe it will be the means of more uniformity--in fact, I believe it will be the rule, without exception, that able officers will be appointed. Naturally, when the Governor has the appointment to make, he will select one of the best lawyers in the State that he can get to accept and since we see in this report a proposed section, which, no doubt, will be adopted, that the Governor is to hold his term for four years and be ineligible as his successor, or to any office for a year after his term has expired, he would not use this office, as under the present system a Governor might do, in the distribution of patronage to benefit himself in the future. A Governor would have no object in making the appointment, except to get the very best officer he possibly could, and what we all desire to do is to elevate as high as possible our future State government, not only in its suffrage, but in its personnel, and in its administration. In what I say, I mean no reflection at all upon any gentleman who has filled the office of Attorney-General. On the contrary, many very able gentlemen have occupied that position. Our present Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and many other able gentlemen have held that position, and I think, for the reasons I have given, it will more certainly secure the services of an able lawyer, and I, therefore, move to strike those words, and if that is done will offer a substitute in proper language that that officer shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice of the Senate.
MR. FITTS--The distinguished delegate who has just taken his seat, makes the motion to strike out the words "Attorney-General" for the express purpose, as he gives us warning, of testing the sense of this Convention upon a proposition looking, as he says, to having the Attorney-General of the State appointed by the Governor. Therefore, addressing myself to the point upon which he says he desires to test the sense of the Convention, and, in order that it may be tested fairly and disposed of now and forever, I desire to call attention to some of the objections which seem to me to stand in the way of and should defeat the proposition he suggests.
He states that the Attorney-General ought not to be elected by the people, for the reason that some lawyer who is a politician may be nominated and elected Attorney-General. There is, of course, always the danger of politicians getting offices as long as we have offices for them to get; but the danger of a lawyer with a political turn of mind getting an office at the hands of the people is hardly so grave, hardly so likely as his getting it through the appointment of a Governor. Furthermore, the office of Attorney-General is the very office of all others under our State Government as administered today that ought to be absolutely independent of interference and control of any officer in the State of Alabama.
So far as being the legal adviser of the administration, he is, but he ought not to be, the property of the Governor in order to advise the Governor to do things his way. He is the adviser, not so much of the administration he is the check in his advice upon all of the administrative departments. It so happens, as every member of this Convention knows, that a written note signed by the Attorney-General to any officer of this State is an absolute protection to that officer in any proceedings upon his official bond. That man ought to stand on the high ground of absolute independence. And he can have that pedestal under his feet better, whether politician or not, whether good lawyer or poor lawyer, when he stands upon a foundation coming to him from the vote of the people, and of the whole people. He is as often called upon to pass upon the validity of the orders of the Governor of the State as he is upon the orders of any other officers in the State excepting the Auditor. Not everything that the Governor of this State does goes by any means. It very often happens that the order of the Governor is submitted to the Attorney-General and it has happened at some times in the past and it is liable to happen in the future that the Governor, in the press of business, with views of his own, not giving as much attention to the law department of the Government as to other departments, will overlook clauses in appropriations bills; and that the opinion of the Attorney-General very often brings to his attention matters and things that he had neglected to observe, and restrains payments of money and other official acts of the administration that might have taken place but for the intervening clause.
The Attorney-General advises every officer of the State Government. He is no more the adviser of the Governor than he is of any other State officer. To be entirely frank and plain about this office, he is more the adviser of the Auditor, by far, than he is of any other officer of the State, and with the exception of those large matters that govern the political future of the State and that attached the great office of Governor, it may be safely said in a very large degree the Auditor and Attorney-General run the ordinary, every-day State Government under which you live. The
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Governor of the State could safely remain out of the State for any reasonable length of time and with the conscientious faith that, with the Auditor and the Attorney-General advising him as to the law, if he was honestly observing the law and trying to get at its true solution, the Government could go on fairly well and without friction for a considerable length of time.
Now, Mr. President, if this should be taken away from the people at all, to which I am absolutely opposed, it ought not to go into the hands of the Governor to appoint this law officer, this hand that can step in and say you can't do that, this hand that is male to star the proceedings of the Executive itself when he calls attention to the fact that the Executive is over-stepping the hounds of the lazy. This man whose opinion is made by your law an absolute protection to any officer to whom he gives it. This person should not be appointed by the Executive's hand. If it should be taken from the people it should be given to some other body and if it should be removed from election by the people, the better plan would be to have him chosen by the Supreme Court of the State as is the case in Tennessee and several other States of the Union. For next to the important work of advising the different departments in giving opinions that protect them, his next most important work is to attend to cases in which the State is interested, civil and criminal, in the Supreme Court and in other courts of the State.
I am aware that the gentleman who makes this motion has had this in mind for several years. I know that he was of the opinion that the Attorney Generals should be chosen by the Governor during the long and close and affectionate personal intercourse between us and which I cherish to this day, I am aware that he thought then that the Attorney-General should be chosen by the Governor in order that he might be removed from the possibility of falling into a political channel, but although it comes from a strong source I do not think it is a wise suggestion. It will not do at all unless you restrict the State Government in many particulars. So long as he stands and he ought to stand, I believe the Attorney-General ought to continue as an independent arm of the Government, having great power -- great power to check the other arms of Government. He ought not to be appointed by the Governor, because while many Governors would appoint the very, best men they could find and would not be controlled or animated by the feeling that after the appointment they would have any property in him, yet the temptation when the acts of the Governor were called in question, when orders upon the Auditor and Treasurer signed by him were brought to the attention of the Attorney-General, the natural tendency, the natural disposition of this man appointed by the Governor would be to lean to his side.
510 OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS
MR. WADDELL--I move to lay the motion of the delegate from Montgomery to strike out the words "Attorney-General" on the table.
A vote being taken, the motion to table was carried.
THE PRESIDENT-T-he question now recurs on the motion to adopt Section 3 as amended.
MR. COLEMAN--It seems to me that the phraseology of that Section could be improved. "Shall be elected at the general State election in 1902 at the same time and place appointed for the election of members of the General Assembly." The time and places for the election of members for the General Assembly is certainly not 1902, "Shall be elected the same time and place as the election of the members of the General Assembly in 1902 and every four years thereafter" is the way it seems to me it should read.
THE PRESIDENT--The Chair will ask the delegate who proposes the amendment to reduce it to writing.
MR. JONES--If the gentleman will write it out, as it appears to be simply endeavoring to straighten this section out, we will accept it. And if gentlemen will pardon me for the suggestion--I make it in the utmost good faith, if we can get at the substance of what is right, this Committee on Harmonies will attend to any bad breaks in grammar or style.
MR. COLEMAN--That is all right but surely the phraseology is bad now.
MR. JONES--The Committee has already accepted the gentleman's suggestion.
Several delegates here addressed the Chair, desiring recognition.
THE PRESIDENT--The delegate from Greene has the floor and is writing an amendment.
MR. BURNS--I rise to a question of privilege.
THE PRESIDENT--State the question.
MR. BURNS--There was permission given me this morning during some lull in the proceedings and I will send it up now.
THE PRESIDENT--The Chair does not recall any special license granted to the gentleman from Dallas any more than he usually exercises. The gentleman from Dallas asks unanimous leave to send up an ordinance.
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The leave was given.
Ordinance No. 368, by Mr. Burns:
To amend Article eight (8) of the present Constitution by adding or inserting the following:
All veterans of the civil war of 1861-'65, and all male persons 21 years of age, who are legitimately related to ex-soldiers by blood or marriage, and all ex-slaves who were 21 years of age January 1st, A. D., 1861, residents then, and who have continued to reside in this State, who are not debarred by some provision of this Constitution, shall be entitled to vote.
Referred to Committee on Suffrage and Elections.
Ordinance No. 369, by Mr. Burns:
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled that the following classes shall not be allowed to register, vote, or hold office:
1. Those who are bastards, or loafers or who may be infected with any loathsome or contagious disease.
2. Those who shall have been convicted of treason, bribery, forgery, larceny, robbery, bigamy, seduction, incest, murder, rape, or any attempt to rape, arson, or an attempt to burn houses or property, burglary, or an attempt to burglarize, embezzlement, crime against nature, malfeasance or misfeasance in office, vagrancy, or obtaining money or goods under false pretense, who have not been pardoned and restored by the proper authorities.
3. Those who are descendants of parents, who are of or descendants of two or more different races, those who shall have married any woman having a living husband, from whom she has not been legally divorced, those who shall have married another woman before they have obtained a legal divorce. Those against whom a decree of divorce has been rendered by some court. Those who shall have lived in open, continuous adultery or fornication. Those who have committed an assault and battery upon his wife, or step-daughter, or paramour and those who have ever cast an illegal ballot, and those who have bought the vote of any elector, or who have ever sold their own vote, or who have not paid a poll tax of $1.50 six months before any election, at which he may attempt to vote.
MR. COLEMAN--I move to amend Section 3 by striking out all of the section beginning with the words, "And four years," and substitute therefor the following, "shall be elected at the same time and places appointed for the election of members of the General
Assembly in 1902, and every four years thereafter, by the qualified electors of the State.
MR. JONES--The committee is entirely satisfied with that.
Mr. Pillans--I offer a substitute for the amendment of the gentleman from Greene.
The amendment was read as follows:
"Amend by adding after the words `shall be elected' the words `in the year 1902, and thereafter every four years."'
MR. HEFLIN (Chambers) -- I move that the Section as amended be adopted.
THE PRESIDENT--The question is on the substitute of the delegate from Mobile for the amendment offered by the gentleman from Greene.
MR. PILLANS--I will strike out the words "every four years," because they are already printed.
A vote being taken, the substitute was lost. A further vote being taken, the amendment of the delegate from Greene was adopted.
MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--The hour for adjourning has arrived.
MR. BURNETT--I offer an amendment.
THE PRESIDENT--Let the amendment be read.
The amendment was read as follows:
"Amend Section 3 by striking out the words where they occur `on the first Monday in August,' and inserting in lieu thereof, `on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November,' and add to said Section 3, at the end, the following words: "The Legislature shall have the power to change the time of holding elections.'"'
MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I renew my motion.
The President then announced various meetings of the committees, and the Convention adjourned.
In the report of proceedings of Monday, June 10th, at the bottom of report of Committee on Executive Department, after Mr. Macdonald's first remark, it should read:
MR. JONES (Montgomery)--If the gentleman from Montgomery will allow me, I will explain that these amendments merely relate to what we feared might be obscurities in the terms of
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the officers first elected; the other amendment relates to the case of a Governor declared of unsound mind claiming that he had been restored, and the officer exercising the office refusing to surrender on the ground that the Governor was still of unsound mind.