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CONSTITUTIONAL, CONVENTION, 1901

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TWENTY-FIRST DAY

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                                                MONTGOMERY, ALA.,

                                                                                                                               Saturday, June 15, 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. Gay as follows :

     Our Father and our God, we praise Thee for Thy manifold blessings upon our State and nation. We praise Thee for the health and strength, for the desire to look to Thee as the author and furnisher of our faith, the giver of every good and perfect gift. We pray Thy blessing upon this assembly today. Grant O God to imbue this presiding officer with Thy wisdom, discretion,


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judgment and bless these who have the sacred trust given to them with that wisdom and that justice and that love of country which shall make them to be honored and honorable, and we pray Thee our God that thou wouldst bless our homes. Bless, we pray Thee, this State, Grant to direct us to Thy glory in all things, we ask it for Christ sake, Amen.

     The roll was called and disclosed the presence of a quorum.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE

     For Yesterday and Today--Mr. Kirk (Colbert).

     For Today -- Messrs. O'Neill (Jefferson), Ashcraft, Lowe (Lawrence), Thompson, Howell, Miller (Wilcox), Burnett, Reese, Foshee, Malone.

     For today and Monday--Messrs. Jones (Wilcox), Miller (Marengo).

     For Monday--Parker (Elmore), O'Rear.

     MR. HEFLIN (Randolph)--I rise to a question of personal privilege.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman will state the question of privilege.

     MR. HEFLIN (Randolph)--I am reported, by yesterday's stenographic report of the proceedings, as having voted on the ordinance seeking to increase the Governor's salary, from three to five thousand dollars, in favor of the minority report, and against the majority report, when I really voted for the majority report, and against the minority report, and I therefore ask that it be corrected.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Secretary informs the Chair that the journal shows that the gentleman voted in favor of the majority report, and the stenographer will be instructed to make the correction.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I rise to a question of personal privilege. In The Advertiser today there is a serious reflection, and insult as I consider it, to a majority of this convention, and as a member of that majority I wish to read some extracts from that paper, and I also have a resolution which I desire to offer.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I object. We have all seen that and it is mere newspaper criticism.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I insist upon my question of privilege.

     MR. PETTUS--I rise to a point of order. The gentleman is not addressing himself to a question of personal privilege. There is nothing personal in it.


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     MR. LONG (Walker)--That is for this convention to determine. It is a question of the highest personal privilege. When a body of men by an editorial in a Democratic newspaper, is referred to as a set of cowards, and as lacking timidity, and honesty of purpose---

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman will be in order until the Chair rules on the question of privilege. In the opinion of the Chair the question is not a question of privilege, and the point of order will be sustained.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--As much as I hate to do it, I am compelled to appeal from the decision of the Chair to the majority of this Convention. It is a question of the highest privilege, that the majority of this convention have been grossly insulted, by an editorial, that needs no explanation on this floor by the representatives of the people of Alabama.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman from Walker appeals from the decision of the Chair, and the question is shall the decision of the Chair be sustained.

     Upon a vote the decision of the Chair was sustained.

     MR. HINSON--I move that the privileges of the floor be extended to the Hon. Richard H. Clarke of Mobile.

     There being no objection, the privileges of the floor were so extended.

     MR. DUKE--On yesterday, I asked for and obtained leave of absence for Mr. Robinson of Chambers, for yesterday and today. I notice in the stenographic report, that he is reported to have been granted a leave of absence, and it says "tomorrow," meaning today. It should read for today and tomorrow, and if the journal has it---

     THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman mean for today and Monday? Tomorrow will be Sunday.

     MR. DUKE--No sir, I mean what I said. The stenographic report says for "tomorrow." This was on yesterday, and I asked for the leave of absence for yesterday and today. The stenographic report says he was granted leave of absence for "tomorrow," meaning today; it should read for "today and tomorrow," that is yesterday and today, and if the same mistake occurred in the journal I ask to have it corrected.

     THE PRESIDENT - The journal shows the request was granted in accordance with the recollection of the gentleman from Chambers, and the stenographic report will be corrected accordingly.


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     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I ask unanimous consent to be allowed to introduce a resolution at this time, that it may be read and referred to the proper committee.

     Resolution 146, by Mr. deGraffenreid:

     Resolved, That after next Monday this convention shall meet, regularly each day at 10 o'clock in the morning and shall remain in session from that time to 1 o'clock p. m. when a recess shall be taken to 3 p.m., and the convention shall remain in session until 5 p.m., when the convention shall stand adjourned until 10 o'clock a.m. of the succeeding day.

     Referred to Committee on Rules.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I ask unanimous consent to introduce a resolution.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--May I inquire of the gentleman what it is about.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I give the gentleman the right to object if he wants to, but I decline to tell him what it is about.

     MR. JONES--I object.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--Then I move that the rules be suspended, and that I be allowed to introduce this resolution. This privilege has been accorded to other members on this floor.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman will be in order. The gentleman from Walker moves that the rules be suspended in order that he may introduce a resolution.

     The rules were suspended.

     Resolution No. 147, by Mr. Long (Walker):

     Whereas, there appears in The Montgomery Advertiser of this State an editorial reflecting upon the honesty of purpose of a majority of this convention.

     Therefore. Be it resolved that this Convention hereby condemns said editorial as unjust and unwarranted, coming, as it does, from a Democratic, newspaper that prints subsidized $70 per day resolutions of the proceedings of this convention.

     MR. WATTS--I move to lay it on the table.

     Seconded.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--For that purpose I move a suspension of the rules in order that the resolution may be laid upon the table.


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     The rules were suspended, and upon a viva voce vote being taken on the adoption of the resolution, a division was demanded and had.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I ask a verification of the vote by the ayes and noes.

     MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)--I make the point of order that the gentleman is too late.

     THE PRESIDENT--It is too late to call for the ayes and noes in the opinion of the chair.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I move for a verification of the vote by ayes and noes.

     MR. PRESIDENT--In the opinion of the chair it is too late for the gentleman to call for an aye and no vote after the chair has stated the question, and the Convention has voted, and the result has been announced.

     MR. GREER (Calhoun)--Is it too late to ask for a verification? I ask for a verification of the vote.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I respectfully refer you to the rule that gives any member the right to call for an aye and noe vote, before the announcement of the vote.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman will please refer me to the rule.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I read rule thirty-six. The ayes and noes shall only be ordered when the call therefor is sustained by thirty delegates.

     I do not know in the absence of any rule anything to prevent a member on the floor from calling for an aye and no vote. It would be nothing but right and proper that an aye and no, vote be recorded whenever called for. I do not desire to be obstreperous in this matter, but it does seem to me that it is a simple matter of common justice, and if thirty members on this floor want an aye and no vote they should have it.

     THE PRESIDENT -- Rule thirty-six says: The ayes and noes shall only be ordered when the call therefor is sustained by thirty delegates.

     MR. BROWNE--I make the point of order that a call for the ayes and noes is not a motion, and is always in order before the vote is announced, whether the vote is by division, or whether it is viva voce.

     THE PRESIDENT--In the opinion of the Chair, when the Chair stated the question before the house, it would have been in order for any member to have moved for an aye and no vote,


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but no member made such a motion, and the Chair stated the question, and a vote was taken, and then a division was called for, and the chair put the question upon the call for the division, and that question was put and voted upon and the result of the vote was announced. In the opinion of the Chair it is then too late to call for an aye and no vote.

     Upon casting up the vote it appears there are fifty-four ayes and thirty-seven noes, and the motion--

     MR. GREEN (Calhoun)--Mr. President, I ask for a verification of the vote.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair is asked for a verification of the vote. As many as favor the adoption of the resolution--

     MR. BROWNE--Mr. President, I call for the ayes and noes upon the verification.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair has ruled a call for the ayes and noes is not in order. If the gentleman desires to have the call for a division taken over again, the Chair will state the question.

     MR. GREER (Calhoun) -- I would like to have the vote verified Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT--How does the gentleman wish it verified.

     MR. GREER--I do not know how it can be done except by an aye and no vote, but if the Chair rules otherwise, I ask that it be done by a rising vote.

     MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)--I make the point of order that the gentleman's motion is simply in the nature of an appeal from the decision of the Chair.

     MR. GREER (Calhoun)--I do not wish to be understood as appealing from the decision of the Chair.

     THE PRESIDENT--Has the gentleman any reason to believe that the secretary has not counted the vote correctly?

     MR. GREER (Calhoun)--I think there is some mistake as to the vote, Mr. President, but I do not say it is on the Secretary.

     THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman claim there is a mistake in the count, or does the gentleman think that upon a second vote some member may change his vote?

     MR. LOMAX--I rise to a point of order.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman will state the point of order.


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     MR. LOMAX--I submit that unless the vote is taken by the yeas and nays, there is no means provided by which a verification of the vote can be had.

     MR. OATES--I am not in sympathy with the motion at all, but the Chair will remember when the rules were reported I made inquiry on this point. The Chair may not remember it, but I think some of the members will, and it is certainly the practice, and I think the parliamentary rule, that the ayes and noes may be demanded, and that is the highest verification that can be taken. I know that is the universal practice in Congress, under the code of laws which is recognized by that body, and made the code in this country.

     As I stated the universal practice in Congress of the United States, and under Barclay's Code which is adopted by that body and is incorporated into its rules, is that the yeas and nays may be taken as the highest verification of a vote at any time. For instance, just as here, a division was called for by the delegate from Walker, and the members arose pro and con, and were counted, but that is always considered, or may be considered as doubtful, and the ayes and noes may be demanded, even when the result is announced by the Chair, if the demand is made at once before any other proceedings be had. While I differ with the Chair, I do it most respectfully, anal do not rise for the purpose of taking any appeal, but I think that on reflection the Chair will see that the rule is susceptible of this construction and is the better one in our practice. It will eliminate much trouble that many arise in future votes.

MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I hate to take up the time on what seems to be an unimportant matter, but I think the Chair is eminently right. When a vote is taken and disputed then the vote must be ascertained in the way in which it was originally taken. If it is by viva voce, and there is a call for a division, the members can stand up, or they can appoint tellers, but it is too late after a vote is gone into in one way then to change it to an aye and no vote. and I think the Chair is right.

THE PRESIDENT--In the opinion of the Chair, when the proposition is stated to the Convention, any delegate may demand an aye and no vote, if the call is sustained by the convention, but after the question is submitted to a viva voce vote it is then too late upon that proposition to call for an aye and no vote. After a division is called for if any gentleman challenges the correctness of the vote, then it is the duty of the Chair to submit the question for a verification, but the chair does not feel bound to submit the question for a verification of a vote simply in order that the advocates of a measure may secure another vote, because that demand might be continued indefinitely. As soon as we verified the vote, it might be claimed that that was not correct, and another


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verification demanded. The gentleman did not challenge the correctness of the vote and therefore the Chair does not feel authorized to submit the question for a verification.

     MR. HARRISON--I desire to offer a privileged resolution.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I make the point of order that it cannot be done at this time, Mr. President. There is a question before the House. I make the point of order that it is out of order at this time.

     MR. HARRISON--It is simply fixing the time to which the House will adjourn.

     THE PRESIDENT--I have not heard the resolution. The Secretary will read it.

     The resolution was read:

     Resolved that when this Convention adjourns it adjourn to meet at 12 o'clock on Monday.

     THE PRESIDENT--What is the point of order made by the gentleman?

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I withdraw it. I have no objection to the resolution. I do not want to take up time on it.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair will state that in the opinion of the Chair a question of this kind is one of the highest privileges and is in order.

     A vote being taken the resolution was adopted.

     MR. EYSTER--I ask unanimous consent for the introduction of a resolution.

     The resolution read as follows:

     Resolution No. 149, by Mr. Eyster:

     Resolved, That the courtesies and privileges of the floor of the Convention be extended to the Hon. William B. Jelks, Governor of Alabama; Charles E. Waller and E. M. Robinson.

     Rules suspended and resolution adopted.

     MR. GREER (Calhoun)--I move to amend by adding the name of the Hon. Charles E. Waller of Hale.

     I move to amend by adding the name of Hon. Richard H. Clarke of Mobile.

     MR. BURNS--I thought the motion was to suspend the rules to put the resolution in regard to Governor Jelks; that was the motion, to suspend the rules in order to act upon the motion to allow Governor Jelks the privilege of the floor. It was not for the amendment.


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     THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman make a point of order against the amendment?

     MR. BURNS--I do.

     THE PRESIDENT--In the opinion of the Chair the point of order is well taken.

     Upon a vote the rules were suspended.

     MR. GREER (Calhoun)--Now I move to amend by adding the name of the Hon. Charles E. Waller of Hale.

     MR. BURNS--I rise to a point of order.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman will state the point of order.

     MR. BURNS--The rules have been suspended for the specific purpose of voting on the question whether W. D. Jelks shall be entitled to the privileges of this floor, and that is the reason for the suspension of the rules, and it is not open to amendment.

     THE PRESIDENT--In the opinion of the Chair the rules are suspended for the purpose of considering that resolution, proposed by the gentleman from Morgan, and that resolution being before the Convention it is open to amendment, and the point of order is overruled.

     MR HEFLIN (Chambers)--I understood that the gentleman from Monroe moved that the privileges of the floor be extended to the Hon. Richard H. Clarke of Mobile.

     THE PRESIDENT--That order has already been made.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--Then I move to amend the resolution by adding the name of Hon. Edward M. Robinson of Mobile, who is an ex?member of the Legislature.

     The amendment was adopted, and upon a further vote the amendment of the gentleman from Calhoun (Mr. Greer) being adopted, the original resolution, as amended, was adopted.

     MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)--I ask unanimous consent to offer a resolution.

     Objection is made by Mr. Pettus.

     THE PRESIDENT--The next order of business will be the report of the Committee on the Journal.

     MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)--I ask that the rules be suspended and that leave be granted me to offer that resolution. I make a motion to that effect.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman from Lauderdale moves a suspension of the rules.


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     The motion to suspend the rules was lost.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers) -- Before the Committee on the Journal report I rise to a question of personal privilege.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman will state the question of privilege.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--On yesterday I voted for the adoption of the minority report of the Committee on Executive Department of this State. This report was offered by the gentleman from Dallas. The stenographic report has me among those not voting or absent, and it has my brother taking the place that my name should appear in, on the side of the people, and not on the timid side.

     MR. HEFLIN (Randolph)--I rise to a question of personal privilege.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman will state the question of privilege.

     MR. HEFLIN (Randolph)--I just want to state to the Convention that I object to taking the place of my brother from Chambers.

     MR. PROCTOR--The Committee on Journal reports that the Journal is correct in all these matters that have been brought before the Convention.

     The report of the Committee on the Journal was read, and stated that the Journal for the nineteenth day was correct.

     MR. PETTUS--I move that the Convention proceed to the consideration of the report of the Committee on the Executive Department.

     THE PRESIDENT--The question before the House is the report of the Committee on the Journal.

     MR. GREER (Calhoun)--I move that it be adopted.

     The motion was carried.

     MR. PETTUS--I renew my motion.

     MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)--I ask unanimous consent to offer---

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman from Limestone has the floor.

     MR. PETTUS--I renew my motion that we proceed with the consideration of the report of the Committee on the Executive Department.


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     THE PRESIDENT--The motion is not in order.

     MR. PETTUS--I move to suspend the rules for that purpose.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman from Limestone moves that the rules be suspended and that the Convention---

     MR. ROGERS (Sumter)--I ask the gentleman to withdraw his motion just a moment, for the introduction of an ordinance.

     MR. PETTUS--I withdraw the motion.

     MR. ONEAL (Lauderdale)--I ask leave to offer a resolution to be referred to the proper committee.

     MR. WADDELL--I call for the regular order, Mr. President.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I move a suspension of the rules for the purpose of allowing Mr. O'Neal of Lauderdale to introduce that resolution. There have been a number of resolutions introduced by consent. He simply wants to get that before a committee. It is a matter which will come under the consideration of the House at some other time.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I ask the gentleman if he won't make it general to all of the gentlemen in order that they may introduce resolutions?

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--No, sir.

     THE PRESIDENT--The motion is that the rules he suspended---

     MR. ROGERS (Sumter)--I believe that the gentleman from Limestone withdrew his motion temporarily in order to give me an opportunity to introduce an ordinance.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I have a proposition that I think will meet with universal approval, if you will allow me to state it.

     THE PRESIDENT--There is a motion before the House to suspend the rules, which is not debatable.

     Upon a vote being taken the Convention refused to suspend the rules.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I ask unanimous consent for the purpose of saving time and helping out all our brethren, if they will listen to me: I won't say a word afterwards, but just state the motion.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I object, Mr. President.


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     THE PRESIDENT--Objection is made. The next order of business is the call of the roll for the introduction of resolutions, ordinances, etc.

     Mr. Cornwall yielded his call to Mr. Rogers of Sumter.

     MR. ROGERS (Sumter)--I desire to introduce this, at the request of the Chairman of the Committee on Executive Department made day before yesterday that the delegate from Sumter should write out clearly what was ambiguous, in Section 4 of the article on Executive Department.

     Ordinance 372, by Mr. Rogers of Sumter:

     The returns for every election for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney-General, Superintendent of Education and Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, shall be sealed up and transmitted by the returning officers to the seat of government, and directed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall, during the first week of the session, to which such returns shall be made open and publish them in the presence of both houses of the General Assembly in joint convention; but the Speaker's duty and the duty of the joint convention shall be purely ministerial.

     The result of the election shall be ascertained and declared by the Speaker from the face of the returns without delay.

     The person having the highest number of votes for any one of said offices shall be declared duly elected, but if two or more persons shall have an equal and the highest number of votes for the same office the General Assembly, by joint vote, without delay, shall choose one of said persons for said office.

     Contested elections for Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General, Superintendent of Education and Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries shall be determined by both houses of the General Assembly in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

     Referred to the Committee on Executive Department.

     MR. COFER--My name was called so rapidly that I did not have the opportunity to send up a resolution. I desire unanimous consent to send it up.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I would like to inquire of my friend if he is the gentleman that objected to leave for me.

     The leave was given.

     Ordinance 373, by Mr. Cofer:

     An ordinance to be entitled an ordinance to define in part the duties of Lieutenant Governor of this State as provided for by this Constitution.


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     Be it ordained by the people of the State of Alabama in Convention assembled, that the Lieutenant Governor of this State shall perform the duties required of the Private Secretary of the Governor, and shall receive for his services such compensation as may be allowed the private Secretary of the Governor.

     Referred to Committee on Executive Department.

     MR. BROWNE--The roll was called so rapidly that I could not catch my name as it was called. I desire to introduce a resolution, and I will ask after the resolution has been read, to suspend the rules and put it on its passage.

     Resolution No. 154, by Mr. Browne:

    Resolved, That the report of the Committee on Taxation be set for the special order of this Convention, to be taken up and considered by sections, immediately after the conclusion of the existing special orders.

     MR. BROWNE--I now move to suspend the rules in order to put the resolution upon its passage.

     Upon a vote being taken, the convention refused to suspend the rules, and the resolution was referred to the Committee on Rules.

     MR. BROWNE--I ask unanimous consent to withdraw it.

     Mr. Pettus, and Mr. O'Neal (Lauderdale) objected to a withdrawal.

     MR. CRAIG--I have an ordinance which was forwarded to me by a gentleman with the request that I introduce it, and I do so at his request.

     Ordinance No. 374, by Mr. Craig (by request):

     To amend Section I of Article VIII of the Constitution of Alabama.

     Whereas very many of the people of Alabama have expressed themselves as unalterably opposed to the disfranchisement of any white man, except for crime, and have pledged many delegates to this Convention to observe this rule in framing a Constitution; and whereas by the express limitations contained in the IX and XXVth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the same rule must be applied to negro men, and if so applied in good faith, society would still be oppressed and debased by the exercise of voting by a large number of ignorant brutal men, wholly unfit to govern themselves and much less fit to govern others; and

     Whereas it is expected of this Convention and is its highest duty to so frame the Constitution, as that the Government of the


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people of the State of Alabama shall be placed and forever remain in the hands of those of her citizens, to whom of right it belongs, viz : those who are intelligent enough to know the right and with moral courage to do right, therefore.

     Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled:

     That every woman possessing the qualifications hereinafter specified shall be entitled to register and vote.

     She must be twenty years old or upwards, and if a married woman, the wife of a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in the election precinct in which she offers to vote for two years next preceding the election, and must be able to write legibly the required application for registration and sign her own name upon the registration list; and if her husband did not pay State and County taxes to the amount of $5 on property for the preceding year, then she must have paid taxes to that amount on wages or income to the amount of three hundred dollars during the preceding year.

     If a single woman, she must, in addition to the qualifications of residence and ability to write above prescribed for married women, have been born in one of the United States, or if born in a foreign country, must have resided in one of the United States, continuously since she was ten years old, and must have paid State and County taxes to the amount of $5 on property for the preceding year or have earned wages or income during the preceding year to the amount of three hundred dollars.

     And the following described women shall not be entitled to register nor vote: Women who have been divorced, except only for the adultery of the husband; women who are dependent on another in whole or part for their maintenance, Women who live in adultery or fornication.

     Referred to Committee on Suffrage and Elections.

     MR. BURNS--I think it should go to the Committee on Militia.

     Mr. Dent yielded his call to Mr. O'Neal of Lauderdale.

     Resolution 151, by Mr. O'Neal of Lauderdale:

     Resolved by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled: That it is the sense of this Convention that the General Assembly of Alabama should at its first meeting after the ratification of this Constitution fix the salary of the Governor of Alabama at five thousand dollars per annum; provided the same can be done without an increase of taxation in this State.

     Referred to Committee on Executive Department.


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     Ordinance 375, by Mr. Greer of Perry

     An ordinance to provide for the filling of vacancies in certain offices in the several Counties of the State.

     Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled:

     That the Court of County Commissioners of the several Counties in the State be empowered to fill all vacancies occurring in such counties by reason of death, resignation, removal, impeachment, failure to qualify or other disability, in the following offices to wit : Probate Judge, Sheriff, Clerk of Circuit Court, Tax Assessor, Tax Collector, Treasurer, Superintendent of Education, Corner, Justice of the Peace, Constable, members of the Commissioners' Court and all elective offices.

     Second The appointment so made by such court of County Commissioners to extend only until the next General Election; provided, that the Probate Judge may temporarily fill such vacancies, until the next regular meeting of such Court of County Commissioners.

     Ordinance 376, by Mr. Hinson:

     An ordinance to establish an inferior court in cities of five thousand inhabitants or more and to abolish the office of Justices of the Peace in such cities.

     Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, that there shall be elected by the qualified electors of each precinct of the Counties not exceeding two Justices of the Peace and one Constable. Such Justices shall have jurisdiction in all civil cases wherein the amount in controversy does not exceed one hundred dollars, except in cases of libel, slander, assault and battery and ejectment. In all cases tried before such Justices the right of appeal without the payment of costs, shall be secured by law, provided that in cities of five thousand population or more there shall be established an Inferior Court presided over by a Judge to be elected by the General Assembly, which Inferior Court shall be in lieu of and shall exercise the same jurisdiction as Justices of the Peace.

     Referred to Judiciary Committee.

     Resolution by Mr. Jones of Montgomery:

     Resolved that hereafter there shall be no call for introduction of resolutions and ordinances; but any member desiring to introduce a resolution or ordinance shall send it to the Clerk's desk at any time and the President at such time during the day as he may deem proper shall have such ordinance or resolution read and referred to the appropriate committee.


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     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I ask a suspension of the rules that the resolution may be put upon its passage. I think all will agree that we will save a good deal of time by it.

     The reading of the resolution was called for.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--To save time I withdraw the motion to suspend the rules and will let it go to the committee.

     The resolution was referred to the Committee on Rules.

     THE PRESIDENT-The hour of 11 o'clock having arrived under the rules of this Convention the call of roll will be suspended.

     MR. SMITH (Mobile)--I desire to ask unanimous consent for the Judiciary Committee to return Ordinance 240 and ask that it be referred to the Committee on Preamble and Declaration of Rights. The request is made at the instance of the gentleman offering the ordinance.

     The reference was changed as requested.

     MR. FOSTER--I ask leave to have an ordinance relating to primary elections, which was referred to my committee, referred to the Committee on Suffrage and Elections.

     The reference was changed as requested.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--My name is on the call, and before we adjourn, I ask to introduce a resolution.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery) --I would like to ask my friend if it has anything to do with this matter--

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I would like for the whole House to know what it is.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I object then.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I move then to suspend the rules.

     By a vote of 51 ayes and 39 noes, the Convention refused to suspend the rules.

     THE PRESIDENT--The regular order will be the consideration of the report of the Committee on Executive Department.

     MR. BURNS--Isn't there some mistake about that vote?

     THE PRESIDENT--It takes two thirds vote to suspend the rules.

     The regular order will be the consideration of the report of the Committee on Executive Department. The Secretary will read the next section.

     Sec. 9. The Governor may require information in writing, under oath, from the officers of the Executive Department named


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in this article, or created by statute, on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices; and he may at any time require information in writing, under oath, from all officers and managers of State institutions, upon any subject relating to the condition, management and expenses of their respective offices and institutions. Any such officer or manager who makes a wilfully false report, or fails without sufficient excuse to make such report when demanded, is guilty of an impeachable offense.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery) - I will state that the only change in that article from the present article in the Constitution, is that it provides for the case of a refusal. Heretofore it provided only in the case of a false report, but did not provide for the refusal to report at all. The present Constitution says that the officer shall be guilty of perjury and we simply make it an impeachable offense. We thought that would be better.

     THE PRESIDENT - What will the Convention do with the section?

     MR. WALKER - I desire to offer an amendment.

     The amendment was read as follows:

     Amend by striking out the words "such report when demanded," in line seven, and insert in their stead the words "the required report on demand."

     MR. WALKER - It occurs to me that as presented by the committee, the words such report, in the seventh line, refer necessarily to a willfully false report.

     MR. JONES - I would like to agree to anything that my distinguished friend from Madison offers, but the Constitution is meant to be plain words for plain people to understand, and any such officer or manager who wilfully makes a false report, or without excuse fails to make such report when demanded, is guilty of an impeachable offense. There is no practical difference. Nobody on earth would think "such report" meant a false report.

     I really think it is child's play to be amending the Constitution in these particulars, and everything that comes along, and when we get to that Committee on Harmonics, we will fix it all up.

     MR. WALKER - The purpose of the amendment is simply to have the report say what is intended by the Committee, and I don't think it does now.

     MR. HINSON - I move to lay the amendment on the table.

     The motion to table was lost by a vote of 37 ayes and 43 noes; upon further vote the amendment was adopted.

 


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     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I move the adoption of the section as amended.

     The Section was adopted.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Secretary will read the next Section.

     The Secretary read Section 10, as follows:

     Sec. 10. The Governor may by proclamation on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly at the seat of Government or at a different place, if since their last adjournment, that shall have become dangerous from an enemy, insurrection, or other lawless outbreak, or from any infectious or contagious diseases, he shall state specifically in such proclamation each matter concerning which the action of that body is deemed necessary.

     MR. SANFORD--I move to amend Section 10, by adding at the end--

     THE PRESIDENT--Will the gentleman send up his amendment.

     MR. SANFORD--The words, "and the General Assembly shall at that time consider no other subjects."

     THE PRESIDENT--Will the gentleman send up his amendment that it may be read at the Clerk's desk, so that all members may hear it?

     MR. SANFORD--I beg pardon.

     The amendment was read as follows:

     Amend Section, 10 by adding at the end of the fifth line the words "and the General Assembly shall consider no other subjects."

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I move the adoption of the amendment.

     By a vote of 34 ayes and 39 noes the amendment was lost.

     MR. FITTS--I move the adoption of the Section as reported by the Committee as now amended.

     MR. MAXWELL--I have an amendment.

     Amend Section 10, Article V., by inserting in line four the words "and" after the word "diseases."

     The amendment was adopted.

     MR. FITTS--I move the adoption of the Section as now amended, and upon that I call for the previous question.


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     On a vote the call for the previous question was sustained.

     A reading of the Section as amended was called for.

     The Section was read as follows:

     The Governor may by proclamation on extraordinary occasions convene the General Assembly at the seat of Government, or at a different place, if since their last adjournment, that shall have become dangerous from an enemy, insurrection, or other lawless outbreak, or from any infectious or contagious diseases, and he shall state specifically in such proclamation each matter concerning which the action of that body is deemed necessary.

     Upon a vote the Section as amended was thereupon adopted.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Secretary will read the next Section.

     Section 11 was read as follows:

     Sec. 11. The Governor shall, from time to time, give to the General Assembly information of the state of the Government, and recommend to their consideration, such measures as he may deem expedient; and at the commencement of each regular session of the General Assembly, and at the close of his term of office, give information by written message of the condition of the State; and he shall account to the General Assembly, as may be prescribed by law, for all moneys received and paid out by him, or by his order; and, at the commencement of each regular session, he shall present to the General Assembly estimates of the amount of money required to be raised by taxation for all purposes.

     MR. FITTS--I move the adoption of that Section as reported by the Committee.

     The Section was adopted.

     THE PRESIDENT?Read the next Section.

     Section 12 was read as follows:

     Sec. 12. The Governor shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law; and, after conviction, to grant reprieves, paroles, commutations of sentence and pardons. The Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Auditor, shall constitute a Board of Pardons, who shall meet on the call of the Governor, and before whom shall be laid all recommendations or petitions, for pardon or commutations or paroles, in cases of felony; and the Board shall hear them in open session, arid give their opinion in writing, to the Governor thereon, after which or on the Board's failure to advise for more than sixty days, the Governor may grant or refuse the commutation, parole or pardon, as to him seems best


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for the public interest. He shall communicate to the General Assembly at each session, each case of reprieve, commutation, parole, or pardon, with his reasons therefor, and the opinion of the Board of Pardons in each case required to be referred; stating the name, crime and convict, the sentence, its date, and the date of reprieve, commutation, parole, or pardon. Pardons in cases of felony and other offenses involving the crimen falsi, shall not relieve from civil and political disabilities, unless specifically expressed in the pardon.

     MR. FITTS--I move the adoption of that section as reported by the Committee.

     MR. LONG (Butler)--Mr. President, I object to that. I have an amendment that I wish to offer to that.

     THE PRESIDENT--Will the gentleman withdraw for the purpose of considering the amendment?

     MR. FITTS--Yes, I withdraw in order to allow that amendment with the understanding that my motion may be renewed.

     Amendment by Mr. Long (Butler):

     Amend by striking out the words "crimen falsi" where they appear in line fourteen of section 12, and insert the words "criminal offense."

     MR. LONG (Butler)--Now, Mr. President, the only reason that I have for asking for that amendment is that I want plain English language put in this Constitution, so that everybody can understand what it means. I do not think we should have any foreign language in this Constitution. I state to you here and now that a Populite in my County would go down to some of the beats there, and use the words "crimen falsi" and carry every vote in the beat, (Laughter.) and make the biggest bugaboo out of those words possible, and if the Committee does not like the words criminal offense, why they can get the definition of the words "crimen falsi" and put in what they think is proper.

     MR. WALKER--Will the gentleman allow an interruption?

     MR. LONG (Butler)--Yes.

     MR. WALKER--Would not this answer your purpose. Strike out the words "crimen falsi" in line fourteen and insert in lieu thereof the words "moral turpitude."

     MR. LONG (Butler)--I will accept it if you say "moral turpitude or criminal offense."

     MR. FITTS--We have no objection.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--We will accept that.


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     MR. LONG (Butler)--I will accept it with "moral turpitude."

     MR. LOMAX--But the gentlemen from Butler attaches a condition to his acceptance of the substitute--

     THE PRESIDENT--He withdrew his condition.

     MR. WALKER--I offer that as a substitute, or amendment to the amendment.

     MR. LOMAX--The substitute is entirely agreeable to the Committee.

     MR. LONG (Butler)--I do not want to delay the Convention. All I want to do is to get the plain English what we want in the Constitution, and I will withdraw that "criminal offense," if they want to call it moral turpitude.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman from Butler accepts the suggestion of the gentleman from Madison, and the Committee accepts the amendment.

     Upon a vote the amendment was adopted.

     MR. MERRILL--I have an amendment.

     The amendment was read as follows: Amend section 12 by inserting after the word "interest," in the ninth line, the following: in cases demanding prompt action, the Governor may grant reprieves, paroles, commutations of sentence and pardons, without delay and without consultation with the other members of the Board of Pardons.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I think my friend misconceives when he puts "reprieves" in there, as the article don't restrict the Governor at all about reprieves, because reprieves have to be acted on at once. It is pardons, commutations and paroles. I do not think he ought to be hampered but on the question of a reprieve, that can't hurt anything except not hanging a man for a few days.

     MR. MERRILL--As I understand the section, as it now stands, the Governor has no power to act without consultation with the Board of Pardons, until after the expiration of sixty days.

     MR. SAMFORD--That does not refer to reprieves.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--If my friend will allow me, I see he wants to help us out in the article; that only applies to pardons, commutations and paroles, but it does not to reprieves at all. He don't go before the Board on reprieves at all.

     MR. FITTS--Will the gentleman from Barbour withdraw it?

     MR. MERRILL--I withdraw it.

     MR. PETTUS--I have an amendment.


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     The amendment was read: Amend by striking out the words "Attorney General," in the third line of said section, and inserting in lieu thereof the word "Treasurer."

     MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)--I move to lay the amendment on the table.

     MR. PETTUS--I would like to ask the gentleman from Lauderdale to withdraw his motion, in order that I may state my reasons in one sentence.

     MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)--I withdraw for that purpose.

     MR. PETTUS -- I understand that the Attorney General sometimes appears as the prosecuting officer of the State, and I do not think that the prosecuting officer ought to sit as a member of the Board of Pardons to consider applications that may be made--

     MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)--He appears in the lower courts?

     MR. PETTUS--No, not in the lower courts. For that reason I offer the amendment to substitute the Treasurer and let him sit with the Auditor on the Board of Pardons instead of the Attorney General.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--The committee carefully considered all that. The Attorney-General, as a rule, never appears in the lower courts, but he does appear in the Supreme Court, and, therefore, he is generally conversant with the cases of moment, as they generally go to the Supreme Court, and, therefore, with the bulk of the cases that will come before the Board. He is an officer learned in the law, and one to whom Governors always resort for information. I doubt if there is a serious case in which the Governor has acted in twenty-five years in Alabama, that he has not first called on the Solicitor, and asked, what do you think? Give us the people's side. And the object of the committee in putting the Attorney-General there was not only because he was learned in the law, but that there would be somebody on that Board who would probably represent if he learned at all, the side of the State. Now, it is the hardest matter in the world when a man is to be hung, and his people come up before a Board, or a Governor, asking a pardon or a commutation of his sentence, to have anybody to come there and say hang this man, don't extend any clemency. People don't like to do that. They say let the Governor or the Board tussel it out, and our object in having the Attorney-General in there was not to make a blood-thirsty Board, but to have some one man who, above all others, if he leaned any way, would lean towards looking after the rights of the State. I am satisfied that if my friend had been on the committee when the discussion was had, he would not insist on putting the Treasurer in their instead of the Attorney-General. Now, if it were a


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solicitor who prosecuted the case in the courts below, and, therefore, no matter how conscientious he was, might probably have imbibed some personal feeling, the objection might be tenable, but it seems to the committee that the Attorney-General is a much better man than the Treasurer.

     MR. PETTUS--I would like to ask the gentleman from Montgomery a question.

     MR. JONES--Certainly.

     MR. PETTUS--The authority of that Board is merely advisory?

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Yes, entirely.

     MR. PETTUS--It seems to me that the dignity of the State would be sustained by the Governor, who would have to pass on the recommendation of the Board, and that the Governor could sufficiently represent the interests of the State in that matter, and the reason I object to the Attorney-General being a member of the Board, is because, as the gentleman from Montgomery has stated, he would lean towards the State. I think the Board that sits upon applications for pardons should be impartial, and should not lean one way or the other, and I, therefore, move the adoption of the amendment.

     MR. SAMFORD--Being somewhat familiar with the feelings of the solicitors of this State with reference to their attitude in prosecuting criminals, I feel constrained to say that as a general rule they are in a better position to pass upon the application for a pardon than any other set of men in the State, and with as much mercy, and as we are to have a Board of Pardons in this State, it occurs to me, and it occurred to the committee that was discussing this matter, that the Attorney-General, who represents the State before the Supreme Court, ought to be a member of the Board, not for the purpose of representing the State, and in prosecuting before the Board of Pardons, but for the reason that he is familiar, or would likely be familiar with the facts on both sides of the question.

     The Attorney-General of this State is always a man learned in the law. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, he is as far removed from the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime as any other officer within the State. He has absolutely no interest in it, and the only question that is brought before him for consideration is what does mercy require in this matter; what does the interest of the commonwealth require; what does the interest of the criminal require. Being a lawyer, being a man who is in the habit of weighing these matters, and these other members who are on the Board not necessarily being learned in the law, and not knowing how to weigh these things pro and con, it occurs


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to me that the addition of the Attorney-General of the State to this Board of Pardons makes it a very much stronger Board than it would otherwise be. All of these things were weighed before the committee; this question was carefully considered, and it was not passed over hurriedly, and I trust that this amendment will not prevail, and I, therefore, move to lay the amendment on the table.

     The motion was seconded, and by a vote of 84 ayes to 13 noes, the amendment was lost.

     MR. JONES--I have an amendment.

     Amend Section twelve, line six, by adding after the word felony the words "except in cases of impeachment."

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--The committee, in drafting this article, left out impeachment, and there is some doubt whether the Governor under the broad language of this section, might not have power to pardon in cases of impeachment, and so out of abundant caution, we ask to add that.

     A vote being taken the amendment was adopted.

     MR. FITTS--I move the adoption of this section as amended, and on that I call for the previous question.

     MR. SMITH (Mobile)--I ask, the gentleman to withdraw that a moment. I want to offer an amendment.

     MR. FITTS--I will withdraw.

     MR. SMITH--To amend section twelve by inserting in the ninth line, after the word "interest" the following: Provided the Governor shall have power to suspend the execution of any sentence until the Board of Pardons shall have acted."

     MR. JONES--Now I call my friend's attention to the first part of the section that says that the Governor shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, under such rules as may be prescribed by law, and after conviction to grant reprieves and so on; that would cover the case of the suspension of a sentence which the board was considering it.

     MR. SMITH (Mobile)--If it clearly showed that was intended to be done without consultation with the Board of Pardons, I think it would, but reading it all together, I am in grave doubt as to whether or not he would not have to call the Board of Pardons together in order to grant reprieves, and I introduce it merely to relieve it of that ambiguity.

     MR. JONES--I will state to my friend that the conclusion is absolutely cut out because there are but three 'things that go before the Board of Pardons; that is an absolute pardon, a commutation,


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or a parole. That is all that the board has anything to do with. Therefore, I think that section is entirety free from the objection which might appear from a casual reading of it.

     MR. BOONE (Mobile)--I move to table the amendment.

     The motion to table was carried.

     MR. COLEMAN (Greene)--I offer an amendment.

     The amendment was read: Move to amend Section twelve by adding the words "and approved by the Board of Pardons."

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Where is that.

     MR. COLEMAN (Greene)--By adding to the section the words--

     THE PRESIDENT--At the end of the section?

     MR. COLEMAN (Greene)--Yes, sir. It occurred to me that perhaps the Governor alone ought not to be allowed to restore the franchise, without consultation with the board. Sometimes that has been abused, for individual purposes, and the promotion of ambition, and it would be better and more satisfactory where a party has been convicted of a felony, or any other offense which disfranchise him, to have the approval of others besides the Governor for the restoration of the franchise.

     MR. LOMAX--I offer an amendment.

     The amendment was read. Amend by inserting in line ten, before the word "reprieve," the words "the remission of fines and forfeitures."

     On a vote of 62 ayes to 20 noes the amendment was adopted.

     MR. LOMAX--The purpose of the amendment, Mr. President, is simply to require the Governor to report to the General Assembly not only reprieves and pardons, but fines and forfeitures remitted.

     MR. FITTS--That is satisfactory to the committee.

     THE PRESIDENT--The committee expresses it willingness to accept the amendment.

     And upon a vote the amendment was adopted.

     MR. FITTS--I now move the adoption of that section as amended and on that I ask for the previous question.

     The call for the previous question was sustained, and upon a vote the section as amended was adopted.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Secretary will read the next section.


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     Section 13 was read as follows :

     Sec. 13. Every bill which shall have passed both Houses of the General Assembly shall be presented to the Governor; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large upon the Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If the Governor's message proposes amendments, which would remove his objections, the House to which it is sent may amend the bill, and send it with the Governor's message to the other House, which may adopt, but cannot amend said amendment, and both Houses concurring in the amendment, the bill shall again be sent to the Governor and acted on by him as on other bills. If the House to which the bill is returned, refuses to make such amendment, it shall proceed to reconsider; and if a majority of the whole number elected to that House, shall vote for the passage of the bill, it shall be sent with the objections to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by a majority of the whole number of that House, it shall become a law. If the House to which the bill is returned makes the amendment, and the other House declines to pass the same, the House shall proceed to reconsider, as though the bill had originated therein, and such proceedings shall be taken thereon as above provided. In every case, the vote of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for or against the bill, shall be entered upon the Journals of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor, Sunday's excepted, within six days after it shall have been presented, the same shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly, by their adjournment or recess, prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law; but bills presented to the Governor within five days before the adjournment of the General Assembly may be approved, by the Governor at any time within ten days after the final adjournment, if approved and deposited with the Secretary of State within that time. Every vote, order or resolution to which concurrence of both Houses may be necessary; except questions of adjournment, and the bringing on of elections by the two Houses, and amending this Constitution shall be presented to the Governor; and, before the same shall take effect, be approved by him; or, being disapproved, shall be repassed by both Houses according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

     MR. JONES--There is an amendment pending to Section 13.

     THE PRESIDENT--Let the amendment be read from the Clerk's desk.

     The amendment was read as follows: Amend Section 13 by striking out the words "or recess" and by adding after the words


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"in which case it shall not be a law" the following words, "But when return is prevented by a recess, such bill must be returned to the House in which it originated within two days after it reassembles, otherwise it shall become a law."

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I want to explain that without the amendment if the Governor was prevented by a recess from returning a bill in five days there would not be any obligation on him to return it at all, he could pocket it. The object of the Committee is that when the return is prevented by a recess in five days, the Governor must return it to the House in two days after its reassembling.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--Can I ask the gentleman a question?

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Certainly.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--That amendment does not refer to that part of the Section which says "bills presented to the Governor within five days before the adjournment shall remain with him and he shall have the power to approve or veto at any time within ten days after the final adjournment?

     MR. JONES (Montgomerv)--No, we are speaking now of the case of a recess, not of an adjournment.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I have ail amendment to that.

     THE PRESIDENT'--Does it relate to the amendment of the Committee?

     MR. HEFLIN--No, sir.

     MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)-May I ask the gentleman a question?

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I will answer all your questions with great pleasure as soon as we pass on the amendment of the Committee so as we can see what we are to be hammered over.

     A vote being taken the amendment offered by the Committee was adopted.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I have an amendment.

     The amendment was read as follows : "Amend Section 13 by striking out the words beginning in line 21 "but bills presented to the Governor within five days before the adjournment of the General Assembly may be approved at any time within ten days after the final adjournment, if approved and deposited by the Secretary of State within that time."


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     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I simply desire to say that this puts it in the power of the Governor to allow a bill to go over that has been placed in his office only five days before the final adjournment. If the Governor should not agree with the majority of the House and Senate, the power is placed in his hands to kill the bill, to refuse to allow it to become a law within ten days after the legislature adjourns, and the author of the bill is helpless and can have no relief in that line until another legislature is elected.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--All that occurred to the Committee but under the present Constitution the General Assembly is helpless after the fifth clay as to any bill they may send to the Governor. After the commencement of the five clays every hill that goes there can be pocketed by the Governor if he wants to do it, so that in that respect we have not put the General Assembly in any more helpless condition than tinder the present Constitution; but it is known to my friend from Chambers rind to all of us that towards the heel of the session a Governor is so crowded with bills that he cannot read them. I do not think there has been a man in office in at least twenty years who has react one-half of the bills which lie has signed towards the close of the session. It is absolutely a physical impossibility. He has to rely on the Attorney General and some trusted friends and they read in a hurry to avoid 12 o'clock at night on the last night and lie is acting in the dark. The object of this provision is to give the Governor in whom the people trust, an opportunity to calmly, consider the mass of the bills that is always piled on his table the night the General Assembly adjourns. Members of this House will remember some very meritorious bills which were sent down to the Governor on the last night of the session, and, owing to his feeble health and not expecting any more bills, at a very late hour lie left and tinder the common practice in this State those bills died the death because they were not signed before the adjournment of the General Assembly. Afterwards the Governor taking advice, concluded that the spirit of the Constitution, although it had never been acted on to that extent in Alabama, allowed him five days after the bill got to him to approve it. even if he approved it when the legislature was not in session, and he did approve five of those bills. On principle I think he was right, but there had been so much doubt about it that up to that tune no Governor had acted on a bill after the General Assembly had adjourned. Now, we must trust the individual who is Governor. It is the easiest thing in the world if the Governor wants to, with 200 bills locked up in that little office that Governor Oates so eloquently described yesterday afternoon, to go off and come back a week afterwards and sit in there in private and if he is a bad man simply say to the Secretary, "Here, Mr. Secretary, I signed this before the General Assembly adjourned."


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     In a great many of the larger States it has been found absolutely necessary to give the Governor some time after the adjournment of the Legislature in which to pass on bills that have been pending before him not more than five days. That is the case in New York, only they give him thirty days. We thought there was an evil under the present practice and that it could be remedied, that it would advance wise and good legislation, prevent trickery and give people an opportunity to be heard, if need be, and relieve the Governor and enable him to discharge his duties more intelligently. For these reasons I regret that the Committee cannot agree to the amendment of the delegate from Chambers.

     MR. HEFLIN--I move the adoption of my amendment.

     Mr. Oates had risen to obtain recognition from the Chair.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--Did the gentleman from Montgomery ask me a question?

     MR. OATES--No, sir; I rose to speak for your amendment.

     MR. HEFLIN--I thought you asked me a question.

     MR. OATES--I cannot concur with the Committee. I am in favor of the, motion made by the delegate from Chambers, and I wish to state to this Convention why I entertain that view.

     It is quite true, as stated by the Chairman of the Committee, as every ex-Governor knows, that under the present Constitution lie will lie so crowded with bills the last night of the session that it is impossible for any man to react them, and it practically deprives the Governor of performing that function which is committed to him lay the Constitution. In my own experience I had with me the attorney-General, the delegate from Tuscaloosa just on my right, and several other gentlemen in whom I could trust, to try to get through with the bulk of the bills, and did get through with all, I believe, but two on one occasion, and on another occasion I was not quite so successful. Now, it is an evil, there is no doubt about that, and it calls aloud for a remedy. The question is whether the remedy is to be as is proposed by the Committee or otherwise, to wit, by a restriction or limitation upon the General Assembly. The Legislature, under the present Constitution, is so loaded down with local measures, their time is so taken up--and it is quite natural that every member of either House shall want to dispose of and obtain the passage of measures which are of the greatest interest to his people of a local nature---that they neglect the general legislation until the last and then dump the most important bills almost altogether during the last day and night on the Governor.

     Now I believe the better way to remedy this evil is to provide that no general law shall be passed--no general bill shall be:


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passed during the three last days of the General Assembly. Then they would pass them before that time and it would give the Governor at least that many days to consider them. No general bill should be passed unless it was on reconsideration during those days, and that would give the Governor time to read them.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--What will the General Assembly do if you cut them off from local legislation and do not permit them to pass any general legislation in those last three days?

     MR. OATES--They would find plenty to do. When they cut off the local legislation, as this Convention probably will, there will be a residuum, so that they will have under consideration at each session several local bills, and I would have it provided that they cannot pass any general law during the three last clays of the session except upon reconsideration.

     Now, the provision reported by the Committee, and which is now before this Convention, to allow the General Assembly when the Governor vetoes or practically objects to any features in a bill to amend that bill. I think that is wise and highly proper. The Legislature would find plenty to do during the three last days, and it is better to put the limitation there than it is to make an exception to the almost universal rule for there are very few States, and I didn't hear the Chairman mention but one, to wit, New York, which allows the Governor after the adjournment of the Legislature to approve any bill. And suppose that he sees proper to kill off any bill that comes before him and that he may not want to veto and send to the General Assembly. He will just let it lie by until after the adjournment and do nothing to it, and kill it in that way. Wherever he vetoes a bill, let it go back to the General Assembly and give them a chance to pass upon it. Now, there never has been an exception to that rule and my friend and distinguished Chairman of this Committee when in the Executive Chair of the State for four years I venture to say never undertook to approve a hill after the adjournment of the General Assembly. I had a very able argument put up before me by a delegate on this floor, a distinguished lawyer, citing authorities, to sign a bill after the Legislature adjourned but as there was no precedent on the part of the Governor of scarcely and of the States in the Union except where special provision in the Constitution allowed it, I declined to do so. This is breaking a precedent that is almost universal. It is not deemed wise that the Governor should have this power of approving bills after the Legislature has adjourned and gone away. 'Why, go to the Congress of the United States, and the President never attempts to approve anything after the adjournment of Congress.

     MR. O'NEAL--Will the gentlemen allow me to ask him a question? 


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     MR. OATES--Certainly.

     MR. O'NEAL--Would you permit the Legislature to consider local bills during the last three days?

     MR. OATES--Of course if they are prohibited from passing any general bill at that time, they might occupy their time as stated awhile ago.

     MR. O'NEAL--Are not local bills frequently as vicious and dangerous to the State as general bills?

     MR. OATES--Yes, but every man knows that local bills are very short and easy to read, and you can read them without any trouble. The great long bills are mostly general laws and those are the ones which require the greatest consideration.

     MR. WATTS--If the legislature has passed upon a bill, by both houses, what harm can there be to allow the Governor to approve it within ten days afterwards, as well as to approve it during the session of the Legislature? This don't say "disapprove," it says "approve."

     MR. OATES--There is a precedent to the contrary that is unbroken except in one or two States, and I do, not think this innovation is at all necessary. That is my answer to your question. I think we had better maintain the old practice of limiting and restricting the Legislature from passing general laws during the three last days. If there are local bills that are of considerable length, the Governor will manage very well to get along with them. They are not so important to the public as the general laws by any means, and with that limitation which, I am authorized to state authoritatively I think I can state confidently, the Committee on Legislative Department, when it makes its report, will report, I think the matter will be in the best possible shape.

     MR. WILSON (Clarke)--I would like to ask the gentleman a question. If a bill is passed by both houses of the General Assembly and sent to the Governor less than five days before the final adjournment, if the Governor simply withholds his approval, what becomes of the bill--if he neither approves nor disapproves?

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--It is dead.

     MR. OATES--Do you mean what effect it would have?

     MR. WILSON--Yes, sir.

     MR. OATES--It would fail; but that would be a departure from what is generally done, and it is not to be presumed that the Governor would do that.

     MR. COBB--It occurs to me that this provision reported by the Committee on Executive Department is an exceedingly wise


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one. The Governor of the State of Alabama, is, in a very important sense, a part of its legislative department. In the Constitution, we provide before any act in the nature of legislation shall become a law, it shall have the approval and assent of the Governor. The supposition and intention is that the acts of the General Assembly shall be carefully scrutinized by the Chief Executive in order to prevent hasty and improvident legislation. Now, any provision which increases his power in this regard and gives him a better opportunity so to scrutinize the actions of the General Assembly is a wide departure from heretofore existing precedents. But I have no respect for precedents merely as such. If we can find a better way we should pursue it, and not hamper ourselves and tie ourselves to the old way just because it is the old way. The gentleman from Montgomery, my distinguished friend, Governor Oates, has been unable, as has every other gentleman on this floor, and as they will be unable, to point out one single solitary objection to the proposition made here by the report of the committee. And this, for the reason that where bills go to him within a certain time of the adjournment, he can easily prevent these bills from becoming laws, by simply refusing his assent. The Legislature adjourns and the laws are not enacted. He may often times find himself in this situation. Here is a bill about which he has doubt. It is an important matter. He is willing to trust the Attorney-General or any other friend, but he wants to pass his own cool and deliberate judgment upon it. He has not the time to do it, and, therefore, out of abundant caution, he refuses to let it become a law at all. Give him this ten days and he will have this opportunity to deliberate, to consider, and to examine and thus avoid the difficulty of refusing to permit a good measure to become a law by reason of the lack of opportunity afforded him to examine it. What is the harm, I repeat, and as has been repeated heretofore? If he approves the bill, it is a law; if he refuses to approve it, it is not a law. What harm is it to give him a little time to say whether he will approve it. His approval of it before the adjournment of the Legislature can have no possible effect different from his approval of it ten days after the adjournment, and the argument made by my friend from Montgomery has no force when he attempts to show that it would have the effect of preventing the return of the bill to the Legislature. It can have no such effect as that. If he is staisfied, if he has examined, if lie has deliberated and come to a conclusion that it is not a good bill, any conscientious Governor would return it to the Legislature and give them their Constitutional power to re-examine it. But it is because of this lack of time that good laws may fail, as they often have.

     Now, there is another effect that arises under the present law. My friend from Montgomery does not seem to lay any stress upon the fact that local bills are signed by the Governor in this hurried manner when, upon deliberation, he would not sign


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them. We have an instance before us here today. This very convention will be confronted with a proposition that a bill was passed by the last General Assembly of Alabama through fraud, and you will be asked to undo that fraud. And why was that possible? Because it was presented on the very last day of the session. It appeared to the Governor to be simply a local bill. He instituted no inquiry about it. He approved it. If he had held that bill for ten days, if the facts that have been presented to one of your committees had been presented to him, he never would have approved it, and this evil with which we are now a icted on account of this complaint that comes to us would have been avoided. I do hope that this convention will consider this matter carefully and will adopt the suggestion of the Committee on the Executive Department.

     MR. FITTS--I move to table the amendment of the delegate from Chambers.

     MR. SAMFORD--I hope you will withdraw that. I just want to say one word.

     MR. FITTS--I will withdraw it if you will renew it for me when you say that word.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I wish the gentleman would withdraw it for me.

     MR. HEFLIN--All right, I will pay you back.

     MR. SANFORD--Ordinarily, when the legislature adjourns, all legislation for that session ceases. But if this section is adopted without amendment it will be impossible for the people of Alabama to know what the law will be at the adjourning of the legislature. Rights of property, within ten days, may be involved in it. Crimes may be involved in it. When the legislature adjourns, all the acts are known to the people but here ten days afterwards, an act today may be perfectly innocent is made a crime.

     Now, as to questions of property involved in it: Men make contracts and transactions of every description that are perfectly valid but a law is approved ten days afterwards of which the parties to the transactions have no knowledge what ever and they become invalid and this will give to rise to litigation. I can see no reason for continuing legislation when the General Assembly is not in session. For ninety years we have gotten along without such a rule. When the General Assembly adjourns all legislation for that session ceases. I can see no reason why we should depart from that rule now and I hope the motion of the gentleman from Chambers, to strike out will prevail.


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     And now, in accordance with my promise to the delegate from Tuscaloosa, although against my judgment and wishes, I renew the motion to table the amendment.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--The Committee will withdraw the motion to table so as to allow those other gentlemen to be heard, although they would not let me speak the other day under the same circumstances.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I do not desire to detain the Convention at this time with a speech, but I differ with my friend from Macon who says he does not see anything in the argument of the gentleman from Montgomery. We have three departments of government in this State, the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislative. They are supposed to be independent of each other but the position the gentleman from Macon takes puts the Legislative Department absolutely in the hands of the Chief Executive after the General Assembly has adjourned and the members have gone home. This Committee, in some of the lines above this part which I desire to strike out, has provided that when a bill goes to the Governor and he finds objections thereto, he can return his objections with the bill to the House and the House can amend to suit his objections, and the Senate can do the same, returning it then to the Governor who has the power to approve. It provides further that if the House fails to agree with the Governor in his suggestions, they have a right to ignore those suggestions and, representing the sovereign people of Alabama, to override the veto of the Governor of the State. It is a right that members of the General Assembly have representing their constituents. I submit to this Convention that a bill could be submitted to the Governor within five days--

     MR. SANFORD--Will the gentleman submit to a question?

     MR. HEFLIN--I will.

     MR. SAMFORD--Suppose a bill is passed by both Houses of the legislature in the last five days of the session and is sent to the Governor, has he not the power to keep it and not return it to the legislature and thereby make himself part of the legislative power just as much as under this clause?

     MR. HEFLIN--That is true.

     MR. SAMFORD--Does this change his power over the legislature? Is not the effect simply to give him more time for consideration?

     MR. HEFLIN--That is true as to the five days. During those five days he can return it or can refuse to return it. But this Committee undertakes now to extend ten days more of time when the gentleman might be representing the County of Pike in this hall


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and would have no right to recall his bill from that Governor who might purposely allow it to die by failing to return it to the Secretary of State with his approval.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--This time is not extended to any bill on earth except those pending at the time the Legislature adjourns and which have been sent to him within five days before the adjournment and that for the purpose of approval.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I think I understand this question and I am objecting to giving the Governor the right to allow a bill to die without expressing his opinion.

     MR. FITTS--He has that right now.

     MR. HEFLIN--But the Legislature has the right to override the opinion of the Chief Executive at any time it sees fit to do so. It has done it and it does it every time the Legislature meets.

     MR. FITTS--Has not the Governor exactly the same right now for this five days?

     MR. HEFLIN--How about the ten days afterwards?

     MR. FITTS--The Legislature would. be gone then and they would have no right.

     MR. HEFLIN--That is it exactly and I thank the gentleman from Tuscaloosa for making that point. I was undertaking to get to it, but he has expressed it better than I could. That is the meat that I am striking at now. It gives him a power he has not now and robs the Legislature of the right it has now and for that reason I think this part of the report ought to be stricken out and the Governor ought to be required to sign these bills before the Legislature adjourns, and he should not be given the power to sign or refuse to sign a bill when the General Assembly which created it has adjourned.

     MR. WILSON (Clarke)--When I first read this Section of this Article I agreed with what has been said by the gentleman from Chambers. It struck me that it was increasing the powers of the Governor so far as his duties in connection with the lawmaking power is concerned. But after further consideration it is perfectly apparent to me that this particular provision does not in any way increase the powers of the Governor in this respect. Under the Constitution, as it iiow is and which it is not proposed to change, if a bill reaches the Governor within five days before adjournment of the Legislature, all the Governor has to do to kill it is simply to keep it. He does not have to veto it and return it to the General Assembly and thereby give the General Assembly the right, which the gentleman from Chambers insists it should have, of passing the bill over his veto. He does not have to return


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it to the General Assembly at all. He neither has to approve it or veto it, but if he just lays it aside, it does not become a law. So I say this provision does not in any way give the Governor any further power to kill legislation.

     The gentleman from Montgomery says it is to be presumed that any conscientious Governor would not hold a bill during those five days and thereby deprive the General Assembly from passing it over his veto. I concur that he would not and I also believe any conscientious Governor would not abuse the ten days' privilege which is given him to investigate and find out about the merits of the bill and approve it after the General Assembly has adjourned if he sees fit. Not to veto it, he has that power already, not by an express vote, but just to do nothing. I agree that a conscientious Governor would not intentionally stick a bill in a pigeon hole or pocket it and keep it for the five days and not return it; but it might be that he would not have an opportunity to inform himself so as to form a judgment or he might not have sufficient opportunity to inform himself, as pointed out by the delegate from Macon, to justify his veto or approval of the bill and this ten days additional time may be of great benefit to the Governor in ascertaining what is meritorious legislation and so far from hindering proper legislation it seems to me that it is in the interest of meritorious legislation. There may be questions of facts in relation to a bill about which the Governor desires to get further information and about which he is unwilling to trust others and this ten days will give hire the opportunity of finding out those things which might lead to his approval of a good bill, whereas but for this he might neither approve or disapprove, and thereby a good provision might become a law where otherwise it would not.

     MR. FITTS--I renew my motion to table the amendment of the delegate from Chambers.

     A vote being taken the motion to table was carried.

     MR. FITTS--I now move the adoption of the Section as amended and upon that I call the previous question.

     MR. LONG (Walker)--I rise to a point of order. The gentleman from Tuscaloosa being out of his seat cannot be recognized by the Chair.

     THE PRESIDENT--The point of order is well taken.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I would call the attention of the Chair to the fact that permission was given to the members of the committee to sit together during the debate on their report.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair does no remember any such resolution.


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     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I have an amendment to that section.

     The amendment was read as follows:

     Amend Section 13 by adding after the words "to reconsider it" in the fourth line the following: "If the Governor's message proposes no amendment which would remove his objection to the bill, the House in which the bill originated may proceed to reconsider and if the majority of the whole number elected to that House vote for the passage of the bill, the bill shall be sent to the other House, which shall in like manner consider it and if a majority of the whole number elected to that House vote for the passage of the bill the same shall be a law, notwithstanding the Governor's veto."

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--My attention is called to the fact by the gentleman who sits with me (Mr. O'Neal) that this section makes no provision for a bill becoming a law when it is vetoed by the Governor and the Governor fails to recommend any amendment to the bill. As I read Section 13 it provides that in the event the Governor vetoes a bill, it shall be returned to the General Assembly, and it further provides that if the Governor proposes amendments to the bill the House in which the bill originated may reconsider the bill and the amendments, and the bill as amended may be sent to the other House and there reconsidered, but I can find nowhere in the article any provision for passing a bill without amendment over the Governor's veto. If under a proper construction of Section 13 that be true, it is because the gentlemen have casually omitted it and my amendment is to cure what I think is a defect in that particular.

     MR. LOWE, (Jefferson)--Speaking in connection and along the line of the amendment the gentleman has offered, it seems to me that the proposition embraced in the report of the committee is the most radical and the most far-reaching that has yet come before this Convention. The proposition embraces the idea and carries with it the theory that the Governor may move amendments to bills pending before the General Assembly. It strikes down the line of demarkation which has existed from the beginning between the different and co-ordinate departments of government. For that reason, Mr. President, I shall oppose the provision in the report of the committee.

     Why should he at this late day, at this period in the history of our State and of our country, suggest for the first time that the Executive Officer should, for the purpose of amending bills, become a member of the General Assembly. Why sir, the executive functions and those of the law-making body are entirely distinct, they are co-ordinate but inconsistent. The Governor if he fails to, approve the action of the General Assembly can put upon it the


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stamp of his disapproval, and then the law-making power, the ordinary and direct representatives of the people have the right to say whether the veto of the Governor shall stand. But now this insidious innovation proposes that the Governor to all intents and purposes may not only exercise the executive function, but that he may go upon the floor of the House of the Representatives of the people and insist upon amendments to their bill. Now sir, it is possible that we shall never have an ambitious and intriguing Governor, but suppose we do, and suppose he wants not merely to pass upon the laws the people's representatives have enacted, but wishes to shape, suggest and frame those laws, he could easily make his terms and conditions and say you must accept this amendment or your bill will fail. I oppose it because the proposition seeks to remove the ancient landmarks, because it seeks to break down the wall that stands between the legislative and the executive.

     We know the tendency of each department to encroach upon the other. All history has taught us that. We know that from the time that civil liberty began upon earth there has been a constant conflict between the Executive and the law-making power. And now for the first time, so far as I know, in American Constitutions, the proposition is made that the Executive should become not an ordinary member of the law-making power but that he should have the power to alter and amend it, and to say "accept that or your bill fails." He does not say "accept my amendment or your bill fails." It is not said that the General Assembly should have the right to offer amendments to the bill after its return, but the proposition is that after the bill comes from the Executive the General Assembly has merely the right and power to accept the amendment of the Executive? It takes away from the General Assembly the power to amend and the General Assembly is left without that power to originate amendments to the bill but their power is confined strictly to accepting the amendment of the Executive.

     Gentlemen, I know of but one rule by which legislators should be guided and that is the settled rule of their own convictions, their ideas upon fundamental questions. If the fathers were wise, if they builded wisely when they constructed the three departments and placed the walls high between them, it would be unwise in us to seek to tear down or lower those walls today. This is a strange innovation, totally foreign to anything we have known before and the wisdom and the necessity and the justice of it should be clearly established to the mind of each member of this Convention before he should be willing to record his vote in favor of it.

     MR. COBB--Is it not true that the Governor now has the power to call into his office the proposer of a bill and tell him in


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plain words unless lie amends the bill in such a way the bill will not be approved, and is not that done and does not this simply allow him to do openly what has occurred in his office many a time.

     MR. LOWE (Jefferson)--I am willing to admit to the distinguished gentleman from Macon that it has been done in the past and if, as he says, the Governor has that power now, why give him the additional power to sit upon your floor as a legislator? If he has the right now to advise, and certainly he has with the individual members, why increase that power. It has become already more powerful than it should have become in the past, this influence of the Executive over the Law-making Department. That power has been exercised not only in the State but in the Nation until at times it has become almost a scandal. By the very language of this proposition you make your Executive Officer a member of the General Assembly, for it says "if the Governor's message proposes amendments which would remove his objections, the House to which it is sent may so amend the bill." Then he can propose any amendment to your Legislature. He can say "I, the Executive of the State, say to you, the Representatives of the people, you must embody this provision in your law."

     All of us know the insidious power of the Executive. Why increase that power? Why go farther and give the Governor more than the power to which the gentleman from Macon refers as now existing in the Governor and so exercised to influence legislation? Why can't we stand by the provisions of the old Constitution, unless this means to give the Executive additional power and influence in framing the legislation of the State.

     Mr. President, I have said now more than I contemplated. I have discharged what I conceived to be a plain duty in assailing what seems to me to be the most radical proposition which has yet come before the Convention, and I hope the most extreme that will at any time be submitted to it, and now, as the hour of adjournment draws near, I believe it would be unsafe for any member on this floor to attempt in the little while left to us to write an amendment which would reach the objections I have, I move the recommitment of Section 13 to the Committee with directions to the committee to eliminate from the Section the additional power sought to be bestowed on the Governor.

     THE PRESIDENT--The question is on the motion of the delegate from Jefferson to recommit this section to the committee with jurisdictions.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--No man yields more readily than I do, when acting in an official capacity, to the orders of his superiors, but here is a matter which this House has not heard discussed. So far, not a member of the committee has discussed


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the outline and plan of this section as a whole. The committee is prepared to defend every line of it as written. They think they can give good reasons, abundant ones, which will convince the members and perhaps convince my friend from Jefferson when he hears them. How would this committee be put in possession of the views of the House? Some gentleman says "this thing cannot be understood right now and you go back and try again." If the Convention advises and orders what to do the committee will do it, but it is sent back with these vague instructions, how can we do anything.

     MR. LOWE--The reason I made the motion to recommit is that it is the only possible way that we can reach the proposition. I think the committee can better do it and my motion to recommit carried with it instructions to eliminate that feature of the report.

     MR. JONES--After all, that is simply moving to strike out that part of the report. Let us have the fight on that and of the Convention strikes it out and that leaves the section mutilated then we can determine what to do with the remains but don't let us have a funeral before the man is dead.

     Now, it is getting late. This is a very important section and although I dislike very much to take up time I feel it my duty, if the debate is continued, to speak on it much longer than the hour of adjournment. We have a thin house, a great many of the members are away, and, therefore, I move that the House adjourn.

     MR. LOWE (Jefferson)--Mr. President, my motion is before the House.

     THE PRESIDENT--The motion to adjourn has precedence.

     A vote being taken on the motion, it was carried, and the Convention adjourned until 12 o'clock Monday.

__________

CORRECTIONS

     In roll call No. 2 on twentieth day on adoption of minority report in lieu of report of Committee on Executive Department fixing Governor's salary at $5,000, Heflin (Chambers) voted to adopt the minority report, and Heflin (Randolph) voted against the minority report.