903

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

________________

TWENTY-EIGHTH DAY
_________

                                                                                                                               MONTGOMERY, ALA.,

                                                                                                                               Monday, June 24, 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. Howell, as follows :

     Oh Lord we come to thee this morning with gratitude in our hearts and praise on our lips for the hood providence that has preserved our lives and our health and has permitted us to meet together


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

this morning in this hall to address ourselves to the work in hand. We pray thee, Oh Lord to deeply impress us with the responsibility that rests upon us. It is said in Thy Book "in any man lack wisdom let him ask of God that given to all men liberty and it shall be given him."

     We invoke thy divine light anf thy divine blessing this day; that we may have clear heads and cl:ean hearts and keep perception of the work before us, that we may come to wise conclusions that will result in the glory andhonor of thy name and to the good of the commonwealth. Forgive all our sins and lead us and direct us in the ways of righteousness and peace. Give us the highest appreciation of that which is right and an abhorence for that which is wrong. Bless the homes of these. Thy servants, preserve the lives and health of their loved ones and may all things result for the good of the people and the honor of God. And when our work is done here below, may we so live that the Master will say at last well done good and faithful servant and finally be gathered to the home of Christ, our Lord. Amen

The roll call showed the presence of ninety-two delegates.

The following leaves of absense were granted :

For Today--Messrs. Hood, Greer (Perry), Duke,

For today and tomorrow--Mr. M.M. Smith, Mr. Lomax, Mr. Studdard.

For Saturday--Mr. Glover.

Indefinite--Mr. Williams (Elmore).

For tomorrow--Mr. Jones (Montgomery)

     MR. SAMFORD--On Saturday afternoon Mr. Lomax paired with me on an amendment which I offered to the report of the Committee on the Executive Department. In Sunday's paper the pair was not mentioned. I desire to say that no aye and no vote was taken on that amendment of the Delegate from Marengo. I have a letter from Mr. Lomax stating that he understood I was paired with him on all of these questions and he desired the record to show that he would vote for the substitute offered by the gentleman from Hale if he had been present.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair is requested to have read a communication from the stenographer with reference to the report of Saturday's proceedings, which appeared in the Sunday paper.

     The communication was read as follows:

     I am requested by the Official Stenographer to make the following statement concerning the report of Saturday's proceedings in The Advertiser of Sunday morning:


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     Through a mistake in the composing room of The Advertiser, the two roll calls that were had on Saturday were transposed, the effect of which was to make many members appear to have voted exactly contrary to the way they did in fact vote. There were also erroneous arrangements of the speeches of some of the members at the afternoon session, remarks made by one member, being attributed to another. It was apparent to any one reading the report that an error of this description had been committed.

     The proprietors of The Advertiser, themselves discovering the error, after the 1,000 copies had been printed and the type distributed, on last evening reset Saturday's proceedings correctly, according to the copy that had been furnished by the stenographer on Saturday and reprinted the 1,000 copies, and, the official report now on the desks of members is correct, I believe, with the exception that on page 3 last half of column four. Mr. Sanford's (Montgomery) speech is attributed to Mr. Samford (Pike).

     MR. OATES--I see that I am reported as voting on the amendment of the delegate from Hale on the proposition against the sheriff when in fact I voted against that amendment.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair will state for information of the gentleman that the official journal shows that he voted against the amendment.

     MR. BURNS--In the last column on the third page of the printed report I am put down as denying that any lynchings have taken place. I said I denied that any lynchings had taken place with the connivance of the sheriff.

     The report of the Committee on Journal that the Journal for the twenty-seventh day was found correct and on motion was adopted.

     MR. WILSON (Washington)--On Saturday I made a motion to reconsider the vote by which Section 30 of the report of the Committee on Executive Department was adopted. I now wish to address the Convention on that motion. In the afternoon session I offered an amendment to the first part of that section which struck out the clause forbidding the Sheriffs from succeeding themselves, later on I voted against the report of the impeachment proposition of the Sheriff. Mr. Chairman, I wish to be understood that it is to neither of these propositions that I shall address myself or make a motion to reconsider this morning, but to the proposition that the Sheriff cannot succeed himself or any body else within a year after the expiration of his term of office. I do not concede that either of the other propositions are correct, but as a majority of this convention have clearly expressed ed their views that both of the first proposition are correct, I do not care to take up the time of the Convention in the further discussion of either. Mr. President, the amendment offered by the


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

gentleman from Hale was adopted with barely a quorum present, the Chair had to almost corral the members present to get a quorum to vote, and with this I am told that several members have changed their mind, and in the hurry of the vote and in the hurry to get through, did not give the matter clue consideration, and for this reason I will ask the Convention to reconsider the vote by which the amendment was adopted. Now, Mr. President, this amendment says that the Sheriff shall not hold office for 12 months after the expiration of his term. Why is such a provision necessary?

     MR. BOONE--Which is equivalent to four years.

     MR. WILSON--I thank you for the suggestion. It is in substance that he shall not succeed himself or anybody else or hold any office for four years after the expiration of his term. Why this discrimination against the Sheriff? Are the Sheriffs of Alabama such a hard set of customers that they must be bound hand and foot, gagged and labeled unfit for further public service for four years? It has been argued on this floor that the Sheriff is an executive officer. So he is, and he has always been so. It is said that he is such a powerful and formidable factor in county affairs that it would be unsafe to trust him with the administration of office of Sheriff or that of any other office for four years after the expiration of his term. According to the argument of the chairman of the committee, it has been so for "many, many
years," and for that reason?which this convention has adopted as good that the Sheriff should not succed himself, that the present arrangement should not be interfered with.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Will the gentleman permit an interruption?

     MR. WILSON--Certainly.

     MR. JONES--The Committee on Executive Department only made the Sheriff ineligible to succeed himself--did not offer the amendment about which the gentleman is now speaking--personally, I voted against it.

     MR. WILSON--I understand that. The purpose of moving to reconsider is to offer an amendment placing the report as brought in by the Committee on Executive Department as it was, but I merely said, if the gentleman's argument would apply in one case it would apply to another and it should be left right where it came from. Now, Mr. President, I have not found the Sheriffs with whom I have associated such horrible, terrible fellows that they were unfit for public trust for more than one term. I can see no reason in branding them any more than any other county officer, and if it be the fact, which I do not concede, and which I state now is not so, that they are the most powerful and influential county officers in the state,?then I would remind the gentlemen


907

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

that insist on branding them, that they might as well go a little slow for fear they might encounter a little of this formidable opposition in adoption of the Constitution. I hope the Convention will reconsider this vote and the purpose of asking this is to offer an amendment to place the provision back as reported by the Committee on Executive Department.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I rise for the purpose of replying to the gentleman who has just preceded me, not so much for the purpose of requesting this Convention not to reconsider this vote, because I think that everything that is done in this Convention should be thoroughly considered and that no ill-advised action in any matter should be had.

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

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

     MR. WATTS--If I understand the motion of the gentleman from Washington, it is to reconsider the vote by which a certain amendment was passed. Since then the section was passed. Can he reconsider the amendment without first reconsidering the vote lay which the section was adopted.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--No sir.

     MR. WATTS--He said the section had been passed and he desired reconsideration of the amendment rather than the vote by which the section was passed.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair understood the motion to reconsider the whole section. The Chair understood that the gentleman explained that his object in reconsidering the vote by which the section was adopted was for the purpose of offering an amendment which would reinstate the section as originally reported by the committee.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--As I was going on to say, I do not think that any ill advised action should be had by this convention in any matter. We are adopting a Constitution which will curb the powers of the Legislative Department, and for that reason we should be careful, but I desire to say to this convention that we are not here now for the purpose of legislating in the interest of office holders, we are here to legislate in the interest of all of the people of the State of Alabama. Gentlemen seem to misconceive the purpose for which offices were created. They were not created by the people for the purpose of placing money in the pockets of the individual, they were not created for the purpose of elevating one individual above another, but they were created for the benefit of the people themselves.

     MR. MORRISETTE--Will the gentleman allow me to ask him a question?


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--Yes sir.

     MR. MORRISETTE--Were they created for the purpose of placing one gentleman below another?

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--No sir, and I will reply to that. Whenever you have it understood that any office is so limited, that the powers which are conferred upon the office holder cannot be prostituted to his own ends but that they must be used in the interest of the people, you dignify that office. Whenever you place an office beyond the ambition of the mere office seeker you dignify that office, and you make the incumbent of that office a better office holder. Now, Mr. President, I want to trace the history of this provision in the fundamental law of the State. In 1819 when our ancestors met to adopt a constitution for the State, there was one office at which they struck, and that office was the office of the sheriff of the counties in the State. They said in that constitution that no sheriff should be qualified to succeed himself, either as sheriff car as deputy for three of years after the expiration of his term.. In 1861 when the people again met in Convention for the purpose of chancing their fundamental laws, they provided that the sheriff should not be his own successor, and that he should not even have the privilege of holding a deputy's office. In 1875 when they met again for the same purpose, they placed the provision in the constitution that he should not be his own successor, and for what reason? Will the gentleman from Washington tell me why?

     MR. WILSON--Yes sir.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--Why?

     MR. WILSON--I was not living at that time, but I have been told by people because the sheriffs handled the administration of estates in Alabama, but there is no reason now, the cause being removed the prohibition ought to be removed.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID -- The convention knows, it is a matter of history, that it was adopted for the purpose of taking from the sheriff the temptation that might exist to use the authority that was vested in him by the people for his own political advancement. Well gentlemen if that was the purpose, and we all know that it was the purpose of the people, that purpose cannot be carried into effect as long as you leave it in the power of the sheriff to be a candidate, not for his own office. but for any office in the gift of the people in his county. Isn't the purpose of the constitution makers in 1875 nullified if the sheriff is permitted to use his office, not for the purpose of securing his election to the office of sheriff, but for the purpose of succeeding the tax collector or succeeding the tax assessor, of succeeding the probate judge, of succeeding any officer in the gift of the people?


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     MR. PRESIDENT--I believe I am member of the Committee on "Harmonics" as the distinguished gentleman from Montgomery (Ex-Governor Jones) has seen fit to call us, and it seems to me that when we get through with this instrument we should have one that harmonizes in every particular. I know that Sheriffs, as a rule, have been men of good character, and men of first-class ability, that the office has been well administered, but the same is true with reference to his chief, the Governor of the State of Alabama. You have by your action in this Convention said that the Governor of Alabama, at the expiration of his term, shall be unfit to hold the office of a justice of the Peace, or of a Notary Public in the State of Alabama. You dignify him by doing so. Here is his chief in the county. Why should you except the Governor and not except the other executive officers in the State? It has been said on this floor that the English-speaking race is the government-making race of the world. If there is one quality of that race that predominates over every other quality, it is the watchfulness with which the members of .that race guard the power of their Chief Executive of the State, or of the Nation. It was that watchfulness which caused that historic meeting so frequently referred to by Fourth of July orators at the Runnymede. It was that same sentiment that; ripened into the Declaration and later into the Petition of Right, it was that same principle that led to the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and later in order that it might be fully understood that the people reserved their power, except where granted to Congress and to the President in the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

     MR. WILLIAMS (Marengo)--The committee in formulating this last section saw fit to discuss the subject very clearly, and very forcibly and at some length, and in formulating it we conceived that we had done that which was for the best interest of the State. Now my friend from Hale (Mr. deGraffenreid) in discussing this subject says that this idea to discuss the subject is looking towards the best interest of the whole State. I beg to say to him that this was the object, and the whole object of the committee when it placed Section 30 where it was placed. Now the argument has been made that it is not to the interest of the people to create office or to have office for the purpose of putting money into pocket of the holder of that office. His argument would appear to go along the lines by which the Governor, the Lieutenant-Governor, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries and the other State officers are kept from succeeding themselves in their own office, or running for some other office, or seeking appointment for solve particular office during their term and 12 months thereafter. My friend forgets that while the Sheriff is an executive officer, while he is a Constitutional officer, while he is placed among the highest officers of the State, yet as a matter of fact, he is a county officer who has to deal entirely with his people at home. There is the reaching of the whole people.


910

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

There is the reaching of a particular people in a particular county and my experience has been, and I believe that it has been the experience of all members of this convention, that a Sheriff, when he reaches office, reaches and holds it for the interest of the money that is in it. Very few men use the arguments that were used in the tabling of the amendment as offered by striking out this last paragraph of the section. Very few men desire to place themselves as a target to be shot at lay a snob, to lie belabored by their fellow countrymen or fellow county men unless it be for the money that is in it, and I say now that it is for the money that is in that office that a Sheriff takes it, and not for the high honor that may come to the office of Governor or Attorney General or Secretary of State. Then if it is for the money that is in the office, I submit to this Convention that the Sheriff would do his duty were he even to succeed himself, in my opinion, and certainly would not neglect that duty in order to seek some inferior office in his county, such as Assessor, or Tax Collector. Now why was the provision left in that he should not succeed himself, because from time immemorial in this State it has been a Constitutional provision, and I submit to this Convention that when all of us--I started to say "permitted" our names to go before the people for the high position of delegate to this Convention, but I will say "placed" our names before the people, we said to them that we proposed to leave the fundamental law just as near as possible where it is. Now, Mr. President, all that the committee asks of this Convention is to leave that fundamental law as near as possible where you find it, make as few changes in it as possible, spare it whenever you can and spare to the people at home this one provision that in my opinion will, it passed as desired to be amended by my friend from Hale, will stir up more strife and row than any other by arraying against this Constitution, when we attempt to pass it, sixty-six of as good and true men as the State of Alabama has in it. I know the sheriffs of the State, and I know that they do their duty. The Committee saw fit to leave this mattes where it was, not to strike out as his own successor, not to say for four years because that is practically what the amendment means, that for four years you shall not hold office, that you shall leave the pursuits of your home and come to your county seat where you must live, there labor for your county and incidentally for your pocket, for four years, and at the end of that time be swamped; no other occupation can you seek, but to go back to the mercantile pursuits or farm, or possibly to his law office or doctor's shop. Now leave this matter like it is, don't go touching these old matters, don't give us any more that when we go back to the people and ask them to ratify this Constitution we will encounter opposition, which can easily and properly be avoided. My friend takes up the history of this office and says that in 1819 the Constitution made him ineligible to any office for three years afterward.


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CONSTITUTIONAL, CONVENTION, 1901

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--No sir, I did not say that.

     MR. WILLIAMS--To succeed himself?

     MR. deGRAFFENREID -- Yes for three years, either as deputy or as sheriff.

     MR. WILLIAMS--Practically as it was in 1785, and in 1861, following the Constitution of 1819 made him ineligible to succeed himself or to be deputy of one who might succeed him, and it appears to me to be a wise provision to leave that as it was in 1861. Touching the history of one of the counties in Southwest Alabama where the sheriff, a good man and good sheriff has succeeded himself practically for the past twelve or fourteen years. Why not leave it as it was in 1861. The Committee would have left it as it was then, we were attempting to leave this matter just as we told the people we would leave it. I dare say there are few members of this Convention, who, when making the race for this Constitutional Convention were not approached in person by the sheriff of his county and asked that question. If my friend wants to make the thing harmonious, so it may be musical, so it may be nice anti pleasing let him place the clerk, assessor, collector, all the deputy officers in the same shape, but the object of the Committee was to place the prime offices in the State on a non-succession basis, and to leave the county officers as they are. I submit to this Convention that that is harmony, leaves the State officers in one class and the county officers in another class, and we ask you to reconsider this amendment and strike out the amendment as passed in an unwise hour, in an unthoughted heat of last Saturday afternoon's session, when we all wanted to get away, without due consideration and due thought.

     MR. BOONE--I move the previous question.

     MR. REESE--I ask the gentleman to postpone his motion--

     THE PRESIDENT--Will the gentleman withdraw? Does the gentleman decline to withdraw the motion?

     MR. BOONE---Yes sir.

     THE PRESIDENT--The question is, shall the main question be put.

     Upon a vote the main question was ordered.

     THE PRESIDENT--The motion is to reconsider the vote by which this convention adopted Section 30.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--For the purpose of getting at that particular amendment as I understand.

     THE PRESIDENT--That was the purpose that the gentleman stated.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     MR. HENDERSON--I would like to have the section as amended read.

     MR. WHITE--May I inquire whether if we reconsider this, the gentleman is bound by the reasons he gave; that is, that it is simply for the purpose of reconsidering one matter? After we reconsider the section, will it be open for the purpose of reconsidering anything else?

     MR. WILSON (Washington)--I would like to state for the benefit of the gentleman that I am willing to be bound by it. I do not want to reconsider anything else.

     MR. WHITE--But I want to know what the Chair will hold on that.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair will hold that if the Convention reconsiders the vote whereby the section was adopted, that it will be open to amendment by the Convention.

     MR. WHITE--All of it.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery) -- I submit while the Chair is eminently correct in that ruling, that we can have an understanding when we vote for the reconsideration that it is for that purpose. Of course if gentlemen are going to amend, a great many of us who favor reconsideration would vote no.

     MR. WHITE--I submit that would have to be by general consent, because any member could move to reconsider any other proposition that had been adopted into that section.

     MR. SAMFORD--I do not know but that having offered an amendment, I might be considered as desiring to reconsideration. I simply desire to say to this Convention that I have no intention of going further myself, but I do not speak for anybody else in the Convention.

     MR. REESE--I make the point of order that the previous question has been ordered, and that debate is out of order.

     MR. WHITE--This is no debate, as I understand it, Mr. President, but simply a parliamentary inquiry.

     THE PRESIDENT--Yes, the chair indicated to the gentleman from Jefferson the opinion of chair, and quite a number of members who proposed amendments on Saturday have indicated they have no desire to renew those amendments this morning, but are willing to confine the consideration of the question to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale, Mr. deGraffenreid.

     MR. WHITE--Well that will not bind other members who want to go into old matters.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     THE PRESIDENT--That is true.

     MR. WILSON (Washington) -- But all the members that have proposed amendments have bound themselves not to raise the questions again. The gentleman from Pike and myself are the only members that I remember who proposed amendments. It seems to me this question should be thoroughly understood that we propose to go into nothing except the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale.

     MR. BOONE--Now, Mr. President, I call for the question.

     MR. ROGERS (Sumter)--I rise for the purpose of introducing a resolution, and ask unanimous consent that it be read now, so that the Convention may pass upon it. It relates to this very question.

     Objection was made.

     MR. WHITE--I move now to table the motion to reconsider.

     MR. SAMFORD--I rise to a point of order. As I understand it the previous question has been ordered. Do I understand that a motion to table can be made after the previous question has been ordered?

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair thinks that the motion to table has precedence of a motion for the previous question, provided it is made before the previous question is ordered. But, under the rules, after the previous question is ordered nothing seems to be in order except the previous question itself. I call the gentleman's attention to rule twenty-six, under which a motion to adjourn, which has the precedence of a motion to table, will not be entertained: "A motion to adjourn shall always be in order, even in the absence of a quorum, except when on the call for the previous question, the main question shall have been ordered." The main question here having been ordered, in the opinion of the Chair a motion to table will not be in order. The question is shall the vote be reconsidered.

     MR. SAMFORD--On that I call for the ayes and noes.

     The call was sustained.

     MR. HENDERSON--I would like to hear the section as amended and passed read.

     The section was read.

     Upon a call of the roll the vote resulted as follows :

AYES

Messrs. President,

Beavers,

Burns,

Ashcraft,

Boone,

Byars,

Barefield,

Burnett,

Cardon,


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Pettus,

Carnathon,

Knight,

Reese,

Chapman,

Kyle,

Robinson,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Leigh,

Rogers (Sumter),

Davis, of Etowah,

Locklin,

Samford,

Fitts,

Long, of Butler,

Sanders,

Foshee,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

Sanford,

Foster,

MacDonald,

Searcy,

Freeman,

McMillan, of Baldwin

 Sentell,

Gilmore,

McMillan (Wilcox),

 Smith, Mac. A.,

Glover,

Martin,

 Sollie,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Miller (Marengo),

Taylor

Grant,

Miller (Wilcox),

 Thompson,

Grayson,

Moody,

 Vaughan,

Haley,

Morrisette,

 Waddell,

Henderson,

Murphree,

 Walker,

Hinson,

Norman,

 Weatherly,

Howell,

Norwood,

 Williams (Marengo),

Jenkins,

Parker (Elmore),

 Wilson (Clarke),

Jones, of Montgomery,

Pearce,

 Wilson (Washington)

 TOTAL--69.

NOES

Beddow,

Malone,

Sloan,

Case,

Mulkey,

Spears,

deGraffenreid,

NeSmith,

Watts,

Espy,

Oates,

Weakley,

Howze,

Phillips,

White,

Jones, of Bibb,

Pitts,

Whiteside,

Kirk,

Porter,

Willet,

Kirkland,

Reynolds, of Henry,

 Williams (Barbour),

TOTAL--24.

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Almon,

Cornwall,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Altman,

Craig,

Heflin, of Randolph,,

Banks,

Cunningham,

Hodges,

Bartlett,

Dent,

Hood,

Bethune,

Duke,

Inge,

Blackwell,

Eley,

Jackson,

Brooks,

Eyster,

Jones, of Hale,

Browne,

Ferguson,

King,

Bulger,

Fletcher,

Ledbetter,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Graham, of Talladega,

Lomax,

Cobb,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Long, of Walker,

Cofer,

Greer, of Perry,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Coleman, of Greene,

Handley,

Maxwell,

Coleman, of Walker,

Harrison,

Merrill,


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION 1901

O' Neal (Lauderdale),

Proctor,

Sorrell,

O'Neill, of Jefferson,

Renfro,

Spragins,

Opp,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Stewart,

O'Rear,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Studdard,

Palmer,

Selheimer,

Williams (Elmore),

Parker (Cullman),

Smith (Mobile),

Winn.

Pillans

Smith, Morgan M.,

 

     MR. WILSON (Washington)-- I now move to lay the amendment offered by the gentlemen from Hale on the table.

     THE PRESIDENT-- The question will lie on the motion of the gentleman from Washington to reconsider the vote, whereby the amendment was adopted.

     THE SAMFORD--I understood this vote was on the reconsideration. of the whole section.

     THE PRESIDENT--The vote just taken was to reconsider the vote whereby the section was adopted. Now the question is to reconsider the vote whereby the amendment was adopted.

     MR. WHITE--Which amendment was that, Mr. President?

     THE PRESIDENT--The amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale, Mr. deGraffenreid.

     MR. WHITE--As I understood the reading of the section as amended, there was an amendment adopted at a later time than the amendment of the delegate from Hale.

     THE PRESIDENT--No, the gentleman is mistaken.

     MR. WHITE--I am not, from the reading of the section by the secretary.

     THE PRESIDENT--It may have been read out of its order.

     THE CLERK--They were read out of order.

     MR. WHITE?I make the point of order that the Journal shows different.

     THE PRESIDENT--The last amendment adopted was the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale, and the motion now is to reconsider the vote whereby the Convention adopted that amendment.

     MR. BOONE--That vote was in favor of a reconsideration of the section.

     Now, Mr. President, I move you to strike out from the section the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale, and on that I move the previous question.

     MR. WHITE--I make the point of order that the motion is not in order.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair would rule that the motion of the gentleman from Mobile is not in order for the reason there is a question pending, and that is the motion of the gentleman from Washington to reconsider the vote whereby the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale was adopted.

     MR. SAMFORD--On that I call for the previous question.

     MR. WHITE--I make the point of order that we have to accept the section and amendments and the adoption of those amendments as shown by the journal, and that we cannot remember contrary to the Journal.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman is correct. The Journal will control, unless the Journal is corrected, but it is in the power of the Convention to correct the Journal if they see fit.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I rise to a point of inquiry.

     THE PRESIDENT -- But the Journal sustains the recollection of the Chair, that the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale was the last offered.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I rise to a question of inquiry to save time. As I understand it the whole section was adopted by the House on Saturday and has now been reconsidered and is before the House. Will not the gentleman from Mobile move as a substitute for the pending question, that so much of the section as injected by virtue of my amendment should be stricken therefrom.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair is inclined to think, after the convention has adopted this amendment upon a direct vote, that the proper mode of reaching it, instead of making another amendment by striking out, would be to move to reconsider the action whereby the amendment to the section was adopted.

     MR. BOONE--I call for the previous question.

     Upon a vote the main question was ordered.

     MR. WILSON (Washington)--I desire to offer a substitute. At the suggestion of members around me, I move to lay the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale on the table.

     MR. REESE--I make the point of order that the gentleman rose for the purpose of offering a substitute and then made a motion to lay the amendment on the table.

     MR. WILSON (Washington) -- The substitute had not reached the secretary, and had not been read.

     MR. REESE--The gentleman stated that he rose for the purpose of offering a substitute and he should not be recognized at the time that he made the motion to table.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     MR. WILSON (Washington)--I had the floor, and it seems to be it is immaterial that I rose to do one thing and did another.

     THE PRESIDENT -- The Chair is unable to control the mental operations of delegates while on the floor.

     The motion to table the amendment was carried upon a viva voce vote,

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I give notice that on tomorrow, after calling the roll, I shall move to take from the table the amendment which has just been laid upon the table.

     MR. WILSON--I rise to a point of inquiry. Is not that in effect re-considering more than once?

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair would hold that a motion to take from the table would be in order.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery?)--I would like to inquire where the original section now stands.

     THE PRESIDENT--It is before the house for consideration.

     MR. JONES--With the other amendments.

     THE PRESIDENT -- With the other amendments which were incorporated into it, yes.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery) -- Now I move the previous question on the section as reported, with the amendments thereto which were adopted.

     Upon a vote being taken, the main question was ordered.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I want to give notice that I voted for the adoption of that section as amended, and on tomorrow morning I will move a reconsideration.

     MR. CARMICHAEL (Coffee)--I would like to have the section read with the gentleman's amendment stricken out, as it now stands for passage.

     The section was read.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I yielded the floor simply to permit that.

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair understands the gentleman from Montgomery has the floor.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery) -- I move the adoption of the section then as amended.

     THE PRESIDENT -- The gentleman has the floor for the purpose of closing the debate, if he desires to conclude it.


918

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I do not desire to conclude it it all.

     Another reading of the section as amended was called for and the section read. Upon a vote being taken the section as amended was adopted.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I ask permission of the Convention turn back to Section 12, for the purpose of correcting an erroneous amendment. I will read the section, or just a part of it. The section. as printed left out the words--

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair will state to the gentleman that the further consideration of this report is not in order at this time.

     MR. JONES ( Montgomery)--But I ask unanimous consent Mr. President. It is easier to do it now. We will have to consider what I want to bring up some other time. It is just to correct an error, and one of my own errors at that, and I know the convention will not object to a man correcting his own errors.

     MR. WILSON (Clarks)--I have no objection whatever, and do not intend to interpose any, but I think we ought to proceed in order, and I call for the regular order to which we stand committed.

     MR. FOSTER--Have we adopted the article as a whole?

     THE PRESIDENT--It is not up for consideration at this time, but will come up under the regular order.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I appeal to my friend to withdraw his call. It will save trouble--

     MR. WILSON (Clarke)--I withdraw the call for the regular order then.

     MR. JONES--Well, on reflection I will withdraw my request.

     On the call of the standings committees, the Committee on Legislative Department submitted the following report:

     A report from the Committee on Legislative Department :

     Mr. President :

     Whereas, Local Legislative provisions have heretofore belonged to the legislative Department of the Constitution, and

     Whereas, one of the standing committees of this Convention was given jurisdiction of Local Legislation, which led to some confusion in the introduction and reference of ordinances upon that subject to each of said Committees, and caused the Committee on Legislative Department to fully consider and draft a section, with numerous sub-divisions, to report to the Convention


919

CONSTITUTIONAL, CONVENTION, 1901

for adoption, and whereas, the Committee on Local Legislation has made its report not embracing a number of matters which this Committee maturely considered and desires shall be adopted.

     Now, in pursuance to an understanding and agreement with the Chairman of that Committee, your Committee on the Legislative Department instructs me to report and recommend for adoption the following additional restrictions upon the power of the legislature to enact local, special or private laws to come in after the words "public officers" in subdivision 26 of Section 1 of the Article already reported lay said Committee, to wit:

     27. Exemption of property from taxation or from levy or sale.

     28. Exempting any person from jury, road, or other civil duty.

     29. Laying out, opening, altering, or making roads or highways.

     30. Providing for the management or support of any common or private school, incorporating the same or granting such school any privileges.

     31. Granting any land owned by or under control of the State to any person or corporation.

     32. Remitting fines, penalties or forfeitures.

     33. Providing for the conduct of elections or designating places of voting, or changing the boundaries of wards, precincts, or districts, except on the organization of new counties.

     34. Restoring the right to vote to persons convicted of infamous crimes or involving moral turpitude.

     35. Refunding money legally paid into the State Treasury.

     Your Committee do not concur in Section 5 of said Article as reported by the Committee on Local Legislation, and recommends as a substitute therefor Section 23 of Article IV of the present constitution.

                                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                                                 Wm. C. Oates, Chairman.

     Report from Committee on Legislative Department on Local Legislation supplementary, etc., to report of Committee on Local Legislation to be considered in connection therewith.

     THE PRESIDENT--The report will lie on the table. Is it the gentleman's desire that the report should be printed?

     MR. OATES--Yes, together with the endorsement on the back, to be considered together with the report already made by the Committee on Local Legislation.


920

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     THE PRESIDENT--Rule forty-seven provides for the printing of articles reported, but not the reports.

     MR. OATES--That is a part of an article already reported. According to agreement, it simply. adds additional sub-divisions, which the Committee on Legislative Department propose shall lie incorporated into the other.

     MR. PRESIDENT--The point the Chair wanted to call the gentleman's attention to was that the rule does not require the printing of the report of the committee, but does require the printing of the Article, and it would call for a motion if the gentleman desires the report to be printed.

     MR. OATES--I move that the report be printed, with the article. It is very short.

     The motion was carried.

     THE PRESIDENT--The question now is the special order the report of the Committee on the Executive Department.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--In section twelve. Mr. President, by my own fault in the report, in writing it out, the words "except in cases of impeachment" were put after the words "in cases of felony," in the sixth line, when it ought to be just after the word "pardon" in the third line, and I therefore offer this amendment, which I will ask the Secretary to read.

     The amendment was read.

     Amend Section 12 by adding after the word "pardon" in the third line of the printed ordinance, the following words, to-wit: "except in cases of impeachment." And also by striking out the words "except in cases of impeachment" in the sixth line of the printed ordinance, after the words "in cases of felony."

     MR. JONES--I move the adoption of this amendment, Mr. President. I ask the unanimous consent to consider it. I had done so, when I rose before, and withdraw the request. I will state that it is just to correct a clerical misprint, so to speak. It is not in the right place as put in the ordinance, as amended, and the effect of the amendment is to strike it out at the wrong place, and insert it at the right place.

     THE PRESIDENT--The question in the mind of the Chairm is as to the proper procedure to be taken to reach the difficulty which the gentleman seems to desire to reach.

     MR. HOWELL--I will say that it has been the uniform custom in the Legislature of Alabama for thirty years, in cases of this kind, that it be remedied lay unanimous consent without reconsidering.


921

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     THE PRESIDENT--The Chair is obliged to the gentleman front Cleburne.

     MR. HOWELL--That has been the custom for thirty years.

     THE PRESIDENT -- The gentleman from Montgomery asks unanimous consent that this amendment may be made.

     MR. WILSON (Clarke)--I do not understand the chair to rule that an amendment is not in order to the article?

     THE PRESIDENT--No, this was an amendment directed to a particular section. It is motion to amend a section, and by unanimous consent the Chair is of the opinion that it may be done.

     MR. JENKINS -- I rise to the point of order, that you cannot amend a section after it is adopted, until you reconsider the vote by which the section was adopted.

     THE PRESIDENT -- Unanimous consent has been granted that this amendment may be made, and the Chair paused to get the advice of delegates upon that point.

     MR. JONES -- I would like to ask my friend from Wilcox if he has any objection to the amendment.

     MR. JENKINS -- I have none in the world. I want to get it in, but want to do so in a proper manner.

     MR. JONES -- There was never a parliamentary body in the world, Congress, the Legislature, or anything that could not change a thing by unanimous consent.

     MR. JENKINS -- I differ from the gentleman from Montgomery.

     Mr. Reese sought recognition.

     THE PRESIDENT-- The gentleman from Wilcox has the floor. To what purpose does the gentlemen from Dallas rise?

     MR. REESE -- I rise for the purpoes of informing the Chair that I have been endeavoring to find out what the amendment is.

     THE PRESIDENT -- The Chair will request the gentleman from Dallas as to what the pending amendment is.

     MR. JONES -- In the ordinance as originally reported, the Governor may have had the power to pardon in cases of impeachment as well as any other. In the hurry of debate to remove that error we put the word impeachment after the word felony in the sixth line, and the committee asks the unanimous consent of the House to let it be changed to make the ordinance conform to the wishes of the committee.


922

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     THE PRESIDENT -- And that consent has already been granted. The Chair submitted the request of the gentleman from Montgomery, and unanimous consent was granted to make the amendment.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I move the adoption of the amendment.

     Upon a vote being taken, the amendment was adopted unanimously.

     MR. PETTUS--I desire to offer an amendment to Section Twelve, and I would like to refer the chair to rule forty-nine, which states upon the final adoption of any article or section of the Constitution, a vote shall be taken by yeas and nays, and spread upon the Journal. Now, I submit, Mr. President, that this article, not having been finally adopted, but under the order of the Convention, having been considered section by section, that an amendment to the article is in order, though the amendment is directed to particular section, because, under the rules of the Convention, the section has not been finally adopted. Under rule forty-nine which provides that on the final adoption of any article or section of the Constitution, the vote shall be taken by the yeas and nays, and spread upon the Journal, I would submit, Mr. President, that under the order, and under the rules of this Convention, that although, by a resolution or motion, passed upon, that was not a final consideration of any section, and that when the question comes up on the adoption of the whole article, the article or any part or section thereof is open to amendment, and I offer the following amendment to section 12--

     MR. FITTS--I make the point of order that Section 12 has already been adopted, and enacted by a yea and nay vote, and can only be reached by a motion to reconsider the vote by which Section 12 was adopted, or by unanimous consent. Only in one of two ways can Section 12 be now disturbed.

     MR. PETTUS--I make the point of order that Section 12 has not been adopted by a yea and nay vote and the vote has not been spread upon the journal, and I make the further point of order, Mr. President, that when the article is up for consideration, an amendment that goes to any section of the article, goes to the whole article.

     MR. BOONE--It seems clear to my mind that the chairman of the Committee asked unanimous consent to amend a matter of placing certain words in the article in the wrong position. That was done by unanimous consent, and there was no necessity for putting it in as a formal amendment, when it was done by unanimous consent, and no other amendment can be made to that section, as suggested by the gentleman from Tuscaloosa without reconsideration, or by equal unanimous consent, as in the case of the motion made by the Chairman of the Committee.


923

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     MR. HINSON--As I understand it, the motion was to reconsider this section by unanimous consent; that is, the gentleman from Montgomery was allowed to offer this amendment by unanimous consent, and further consideration of it is now out of order, as I understand, and I therefore make that point of order.

     THE PRESIDENT -- The Chair is not quite clear upon the point --

     MR. PETTUS -- I would like for the Chair to look at rule 49.

     THE PRESIDENT-- Yes, the Chair is familiar with that rule, that relates to the adoption of the whole article, but it seems to the Chair that an amendment to a particular section which has already been adopted by this Convention would not be in order, without a reconsideration of the vote: by which the section was adopted; but after the whole article is adopted, section by section, that whole article nay be amended by adding additional sections, if the Convention should see fit. That relates to matters that have not been considered by the Convention, but it does not seem to the Chair, except by unanimous consent, that delegates can go back and propose amendments to particular sections. Otherwise we will have accomplished very little in taking it up section by section. While the Chair is not altogether clear upon the point, the Chair will sustain the point of order against the amendment. The gentleman play offer an additional section if it be germane to the article.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Just to expedite matters, I have a resolution referring to this, if the Clerk will read it.

     The resolution was read as follows:

     Resolved, That in engrossing the ordinance on Executive Department. the Secretary be instructed to change the numbers of the sections in the ordinance to conform to the action of the Convention.

     MR. JONES -- I move a suspension of the rules, that the resolution may be upon its passage.

     It will save time, as the ordinance was originally reported with a numbering which will be wrong now, and I am afraid some of my parliamentary friends might object if the Secretary corrected the numbers of his own motion.

     Upon a vote being taken the rules were suspended, and upon a further vote the resolution was adopted.

     MR. FITTS--I desire to offer an amendment in the shape of an additional section.

     The amendment was read as follows: Amend the report of the Committee by adding to Article 5 a section to read as follows:


924

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     "If the session of the General Assembly next after the ratification of this Constitution shall enact a law increasing the salary of the Governor, such increase shall become effective and go into operation immediately upon the passage of such act.

     MR. SAMFORD--That is not from the Committee.

     MR. FITTS--I offer the amendment. I simply in a word desire to make plain the object of this section as offered. The Convention declined in the section reported by the Committee to increase the salary of the Governor in the Constitution, but the Convention in its wisdom saw fit to pass a recommendation for the Legislature that the salary of the Governor should be increased by the General Assembly. Unless this additional section is added it leaves the matter where gross injustice and hardship is likely to be done and will in all probability be done.

     You have also seen fit to provide that the Governor shall come into office at practically the same time the General Assembly meets, the 15th of November. You therefore give your General Assembly no chance or opportunity to increase the salary so that it would apply to the next Governor and the effect of that is to put it off for four years and first be given to some man who is elected in the far future, and upon a mere technicality the next ingoing Governor will be deprived of any benefit of that increase. If it is proper, if the General Assembly sees fit to make this increase of salary, it is proper for the next Governor to have an opportunity to enjoy it as much as it is for some far-off elected Governor.

     MR. OATES--Why do you not frame the amendment so as to say if the salary is increased the increase shall also be given to the Governor first elected after the ratification of this Constitution?

     MR. FITTS--I will accept that.

     Mr. Browne here took the chair.

     The section as offered by the delegate from Tuscaloosa was altered so as to read "And shall apply to the first Governor elected after the ratification of this Constitution."

     MR. JENKINS--Is there anything in the Constitution that gives the Governor a salary?

     MR. FITTS--There is not, but he gets a salary of $3,000 a year from the State.

     MR. JENKINS--Is there anything in the Constitution that gives him the raise in salary?

     MR. FITTS--No, sir; but there is something in there that prevents his salary being increased or diminished during the term for which he was elected.


925

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     MR. JENKINS--If there is nothing in the Constitution permitting or providing for his salary or the increase of it, why should anything go in here as to any legislative enactment concerning it?

     MR. FITTS--Because you have passed a resolution recommending the General Assembly to increase his salary, and you know, and every other delegate knows, that the beginning of the term of the Governor and the beginning of the session of the General Assembly fall so close that even if that Legislature increases the salary, without this having clause, it cannot be applicable to the Governor in whose term it is passed, and I say it will be a gross injustice not to apply it to him but to some man elected in the future. It is as just to give it to the man in whose term it happened, happening as it must in the very beginning of his term and without his connivance as to give it to somebody else.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--The reason some of the members of the committee favored that was this: They believed that the gentleman who voted for the resolution did not intend to say that the Governor might get the increase, but that it shouldn't apply for four years from the time the next Governor went into office.

     The amendment as amended was read as follows:

     Amend the report of the Committee on Executive Department by adding to Article 5 a Section to read as follows:

     "If the session of the General Assembly next after the ratification of this Constitution shall enact a law increasing the salary of the Governor, such increase shall become effective and apply to the first Governor elected after the ratification of this Constitution."

     MR. MALONE--I would like to ask if that resolution would not make it to the advantage of the Governor elected at that time to have that law passed increasing his salary? Would not that be the effect of it?

     THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.--Will the gentleman from Tuscaloosa answer the question.

     MR. KNOX--The object of the amendment is simply--

     MR. MALONE--I have the floor.

     THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.--The gentleman from Henry has the floor, but the gentleman from Calhoun, rises, I understand, to answer the question.

     MR. KNOX--It occurred to some of those who favored the increase of the Governor's salary that the provision which has been adopted by this convention on that subject, which prohibits


926

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

the increasing or diminishing of the salary of the Governor during his term of office, would prevent any relief to the Executive officer even though the next Legislature which is elected after the adoption of this Constitution should determine upon making an increase, and as it is probable, that the term of the Governor's office will be made four years, this would postpone for something like six years the effectiveness of that provision. The provision increasing the Governor's salary would not go into effect for certainly something like that time. Hence it was thought proper, if the Legislature approves of the suggestion made by the Convention, that the Governor's salary shall be increased, that a proviso should be embodied in this article which would enable the next Governor elected to enjoy the benefit of the increase provided the Legislature decides to make the increase and not postpone its consideration for the full term of four years.

     MR. DUKE--Would that apply to the second Governor elected under this Constitution? To make my meaning clear, suppose the first Governor elected under the Constitution does not have his salary increased, suppose the Legislature fails to raise his salary, and then another Governor is elected and the Legislature increases the salary to $5,000, what effect would that have on the second Governor elected under the Constitution?

     MR. KNOX--This resolution would not have any effect. It is limited in its term to the next Governor.

     MR. DUKE--Would it not be better to let it apply to the Governor then in office?

     MR. KNOX--It might be, I have no objection to that.

     MR. SOLLIE--The provision of the section is contingent and conditioned upon the fact that the next Legislature after the adoption of this Constitution acts in this regard. Then the proviso would be effective, but if a subsequent Legislature takes it up and acts, then the proviso would not cover that enactment. The amendment was again read.

     MR. SOLLIE--It is, as I thought it was.

     MR. OATES--A good many of the delegates seem not to understand the purpose of the amendment. If they will recur to the fact that there is another clause in the Constitution and that has always been in there, and ought to be kept in there, that the salary of the Governor nor of any other of the State officers can be increased during their respective terms, I think they will see the application of this. The Legislature elected at the same time these officers are, Governor and Secretary of State, Auditor and Attorney General, could not raise any salary. This is proper. As to this case, the Legislature elected for instance after the ratification


927

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

of this Constitution, if they undertook to increase the Governor's salary as the resolution passed by this Convention invites them to do, could not give effect to the increase immediately, but only to apply away beyond. As the delegate from Calhoun very properly says it would be postponed practically for six years. This proposition offered by the delegate from Tuscaloosa is exceptional, and qualifies that section which prohibits the increasing of the salaries of the Executive officers during their terms, and allows the first legislature after the ratification of the Constitution to make a provision for increasing the salary of the Governo relected at the same time they are.

     MR. MALONE--I dislike exceedingly to differ with gentlemen who have so much ability to argue their case, but as I understand it, the Governor coming in with that legislature would be interested to the extent of eight thousand dollars, to have that legislature pass that particular bill, and while I might favor a salary of five thousand dollars to the Governor I am opposed to putting him in a position to get such direct benefit from the action of the legislature over which he has the powers that have been demonstrated here. I do not think it is right and I think the General Assembly would be free to act as they see it. I am opposed to the Governor being directly interested to such a great extent in any law to be passed.

     MR. PETTUS--I regret also to have to take issue with the distinguished gentlemen who are advocating this amendment, but it appears to me, after we have adopted the section to which the delegate from Montgomery has alluded, which provides in express terms that the General Assembly shall not increase the salary of any officers, during their term of office, it would be unwise to make an exception in the case of the Governor or of any other of these officers. This Section 7 of the Committee's report is taken almost verbatim from the Constitution of 1875 and it seems to me in engrafting that section into this instrument we have recognized the wisdom of the principle that inducements should not be held out to any of the officers enumerated in this section to bring influence to bear upon the legislature for the purpose of having salaries increased. I am not opposed to an increase in the Governor's salary, if it comes through the proper forum, and at the proper time, and in the proper manner, but it seems to me it is unwise to put in the Constitution at the end of the Article a proviso or an exception which in effect declares that the Article we have already adopted was unwise, or that there should be an exception made to it in any instance.

     Another reason why I think that this section proposed by the delegate from Tuscaloosa should not be adopted at this time is, that by resolution this matter has been left to the General Assembly. This Convention of the people assembled here, has declared that it is their opinion that the legislature should increase


928

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

the Governor's salary. It seems to me that is far enough to go along this line. If we go further and put this section in, it makes it almost compulsory upon the next legislature to increase the Governor's salary, and it seems to me it will be sufficient for the best interests of the State for the increase passed by the legislature to be passed under the general terms of the Constitution and not to have any retroactive effect, and not to take effect during the term of office of the next Governor to be elected under the Constitution.

     MR. JENKINS--As a member of this Constitutional Convention, I want to say candidly that I am tired of this question of the Governor's salary. It seems to me that we were sent here but for one purpose and that purpose is to raise the Governor's salary. Every other day the question is brought up and this Convention is consuming time on these matters when we ought to be getting down to the important proposition for which we were actually sent here, namely, the reform, of the suffrage.

     I am opposed to the whole proposition of raising the Governor's salary. I believe if you raise the Governor's salary you ought to hive the Supreme Court Judges some higher pay. They are hard worked people and are breaking down under the work they have, and if anybody deserves a raise it is they. I would vote ten times sooner to increase their salary than to increase the Governor, but I would vote against that proposition here today because we are not here to raise salaries and get up these outside discussions and consume time. The whole world don't depend on this. Every question along this line precipitates discussion and I say we should get to the proposition that we came here for, and we ought to vote down every proposition tending in any other direction. I am unalterably opposed to this resolution, and I hope the Convention will vote it down and that we may get on something else besides raising salaries.

     MR. KNOX -- It will be impossible for this Convention to take up the consideration of the report of the Committee on Suffrage until that Committee makes its report. The object of those who favor some increase in the Governor's salary, is simply to shape the Constitution in such a way as that the benefit of this increase will be enjoyed during this generation. It is not to be supposed that those who sincerely favor some relief to the Governor want to postpone it until the next generation, or want to put it off so many years. The circumstances are peculiar in this case, because it is proposed to increase the term of office of the next Governor from two to four years and so the benefit of this increase would be postponed for five or six years. Therefore, it seems to me as the gentleman from Montgomery suggests, that this case is an exception and that this proviso ought to be adopted. I therefore move the previous question upon the adoption of this section.


929

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     MR. COBB--Will the gentleman yield to me. I have an amendment which I think will be satisfactory, if he will withdraw that motion.

     The delegate from Calhoun yielded, and the amendment was read as follows: "Add at the proper place the words `if the General Assembly shall so determine.'"

     MR. COBB--I have not the proposition before me, but those words can be inserted at the proper place. My object is this: Inasmuch as we have referred it to the General Assembly to determine whether there shall be an increase of salary, my amendment proposes that it shall also be referred to the General Assembly as to when that raise shall take effect. If the next General Assembly, immediately after the adoption of this Constitution, sees proper to raise the salary of the Governor, this also gives them the power to say whether it shall take immediate effect or not, so that they would not be hampered by the constitutional provision in making that addition to their act.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--Suppose the next General Assembly should raise the salary of the Governor, what is there in the Constitution to prohibit the raise to the next Governor?

     MR. COBB--That provision which says that the governor during his term of office shall not have his salary raised. My understanding of the purpose of this amendment is to avoid that provision in the Constitution which says that the salary of the Governor shall not be increased during the time of the then incumbent.

     As the gentleman from Calhoun has well remarked, the situation is peculiar. The next Governor of Alabama will have been elected before the General Assembly convenes, and come into office just shortly afterwards. His term of office will have commenced before the General Assembly can pass this act. Hence, if we leave it as it stands it would no have the effect to raise the salary of the Governor who succeeds the present incumbent. My proposition is to leave the whole matter to the General Assembly and not to hamper them in what they propose to do by the constitutional provision to which I have referred.

     MR. BULGER--I understand by your proposition you authorize the Legislature in 1906 to increase the salary of the Governor of that year. If the next Legislature should wish to raise the salary of the Governor, will your proposition authorize it to be done?

     MR. COBB--My proposition is simply this, to give power to the General Assembly to raise the salary, if they see fit to do it, of the then incoming Governor, and not postpone it for four years, but it does not apply to any succeeding Governor. This


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

inhibition does not apply to any Governor except the one to immediately succeed this Governor. I move the previous question.

     MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)--I don't think the gentleman understood the question of the delegate from Tallapoosa, if he did, I did not catch his answer. Suppose the next Legislature after the ratification of this Constitution, should fail to raise the salary of this Governor, does this amendment reach far enough to apply to the next Governor elected.

     MR. COBB--I am willing to restrict it to the Governor next elected. I move the previous question on the whole pending measure.

     MR. SOLLIE--There are two things before the Convention, can the Convention vote on two questions at once?

     THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.--There is only an amendment here and amendment to that.

     A vote being taken the main question was ordered and a further vote being taken the amendment of the delegate from Macon was adopted.

     On the question of the adoption of the Section as amended a call for the ayes and noes was sustained and the roll call resulted as follows:

AYES

Messrs. President,

Haley,

Norwood,

Banks,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Oates,

Barefield,

Heflin, of Randolph,

O'Neill (Jefferson),

Beavers,

Hinson,

Palmer,

Beddow,

Howell,

Parker, of Cullman,

Bethune,

Howze,

Pitts,

Boone,

Inge,

Proctor,

Brooks,

Jackson,

Reese,

Browne,

Jones, of Bibb,

Robinson,

Burnett,

Jones, of Hale,

Samford,

Cobb,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Sanders,

Davis, of Etowah,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Sanford,

Dent,

Kirk,

Searcy,

deGraffenreid,

Knight,

Smith, of Mobile,

Duke,

Kyle,

Tayloe,

Eyster,

Leigh,

Thompson,

Espy,

Locklin,

Vaughan,

Ferguson,

McMillan (Baldwin), 

Waddell,

Fitts,

McMillan, of Wilcox,

Watts,

Gilmore,

Martin,

Weakley,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Merrill,

Willet,

Graham, of Talladega,

Morrisette,

Williams, of Marengo,

Grant,

Murphree,

Wilson, of Clarke,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Norman,

Wilson, of Washington,

TOTAL--72.


931

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

NOES

Ashcraft,

Grayson,

Parker, of Elmore,

Bartlett,

Handley,

Pearce,

Blackwell,

Henderson,

Pettus,

Bulger,

Jenkins,

Phillips,

Burns,

Kirkland,

Porter,

Byars,

Love, of Lawrence,

Reynolds (Henry),

Carrion,

MacDonald,

Rogers, of Sumter,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Malone,

Sloan,

Carnathon,

Miller, of Marengo,

Smith, Mac. A.,

Case,

Moody,

Sollie,

Chapman,

Mulkey,

Spears,

Davis, of DeKalb,

NeSmith,

Weatherly,

Foshee,

Opp,

Williams, of Barbour,

Freeman,

O' Rear,

Whiteside,

Glover,

 

 

TOTAL 43.

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Almon,

Hodges,

Reynolds, of Chilton,

Altman,

Hood,

Rogers, of Lowndes,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

King,

Selheimer,

Cofer,

Ledbetter,

Sentell,

Coleman, of Greene,

Lomax,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Coleman, of Walker,

Long, of Butler,

Sorrell,

Cornwall,

Long, of Walker,

Spragins,

Craig,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Stewart,

Cunningham,

Maxwell,

Studdard,

Eley,

Miller, of Wilcox,

Walker,

Fletcher,

O'Neal, of Lauderdale,

White,

Foster,

Pillans,

Williams, of Elmore,

Greer, of Perry,

Renfro,

Winn.

Harrison,

 

 

     So the Section as amended was adopted.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I move that the ordinance be put on its final reading and passage.

     MR. BLACKWELL--I offer an amendment.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--For what purpose?

     MR. BLACKWELL--It don't interfere with any Section in the Article.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--Can you tell me what it is?

     MR. BLACKWELL--I am perfectly willing to show it to you.

     The amendment was read as follows:


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     Amend the report of the Executive Committee by adding Section 31 as follows: That when vacancies happen by resignation or otherwise, in any office, the Governor shall make temporary appointments until the next election at which members of the General Assembly are elected, and at said election the qualified electors by direct vote shall fill such vacancy or vacancies.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I have an amendment which I desire to offer to the substitute and I ask the gentleman to yield the floor for that purpose.

     The amendment was read as follows:

     Substitute offered for the amendment of the delegate from Morgan.

     "Sec. 31. The Court of County Commissioners shall have authority when any vacancy occurs in any county office to appoint some qualified elector of such county to perform the duties of said office until the next general election by the people, when the people voting at such election shall vote for some qualified elector to hold said office and who shall hold said office during the unexpired term and until his successor is duly elected and qualified."

     MR. GRANT--I move to lay that on the table.

     MR. BLACKWELL -- The amendment I offered provides when a vacancy occurs in a county office the Governor shall fill that vacancy temporarily and at the next general election at which members of the Legislature are to be elected that the people shall have the right by direct vote of the people to fill that office. The amendment of the delegate from Hale provides that the Probate Judge, and County Commissioners shall fill this office temporarily rather than the Governor. This is in harmony with the action we have heretofore taken. It looks to the restoration of power to the people, where our government originally located it.

     MR. HARRISON--What would be the good of your Section, as these people as these people are elected for four years.

     MR. BLACKWELL--As a matter of fact Probate Judges are elected for six years and so are Circuit Clerks. As a matter of fact, however, the appointments will only be for two years, cannot be for longer than two years, whereas, now it may be for four or six years. My object is to restore to the people as much power as it is possible to give them to elect their own officers and to decide who shall speak for them as officers. It seems to me there can be no objection on the part of any man to saying that the people themselves shall have a right at the general election for representatives to fill an office that has been temporarily filled by the appointment of the Governor. That is a curtailing of the Governor's power. We know, as a matter of fact, from the statements of gentlemen here who have occupied the office of Governor,


933

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

that the Governor appoints a thousand men to office every year, according to the statements made. The result is, whether it is desired or not, a mighty machine is built up by the appointment of the Governor to these terms. These thousand men a year make 4,000 during the term of the Governor and that is sixty men to a county that the Governor appoints and 91 per cent. of those are the advocates of things that the Governor may want even if a year elapses between the time he goes out of office and he is again eligible. This gives the people the power just as soon as it is possible to give it to them to fill these places.

     The objection to the amendment of the delegate from Hale is that he transfers the power to make these appointments to the commissioners courts and probate judges. The Governor is entirely removed from all local influences and he is not entirely dependent on the county for re-election as the probate judges andcommissioners courts are and I would think he would be less likely to be affected by influences that will warp his judgment than the commissioners and probate judges, freer from selfish interests, and, therefore, I hope the amendment I offer will be adopted, giving the right to temporarily appoint until the people elect.

     MR. JACKSON--If this were left to the probate judges, and to the commissioners, would it not be more in the hands of the people than if left to the Governor.

     MR. BLACKWELL--I think not. I think as a matter of fact the probate judges and the commissioners are elected by one county and that county alone and if political influence were brought to bear upon them in that county to make the appointment they might be more influenced to make certain appointments than the Governor could be, who is not elected by one county alone. Therefore, I think the Governor is the best repository for this power.

     MR. SAMFORD--I don't see any necessity for adding this section. I think the Convention has taken up entirely too much time on this amendment, and I move to lay the amendment on the table.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I will ask you to withdraw that motion for me a second.

     MR. SAMFORD--I will, if you will renew it.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I will yield the floor to you for that purpose.

     The object of my amendment is simply to bring as close to the people of the State as possible the filling of the offices. This is a government of the people.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     MR. BEDDOW--Under your plan suppose a vacancy should occur in the office of Circuit Court Judge or Solicitor.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID -- Circuit Court Judges and Solicitors are not county officers. This applies only to county officers.

     MR. BEDDOW--I did not understand it.

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--As I was going to say, the very argument the gentleman makes and the very concession in his amendment that the Governor should not fill for the entire unexpired term because of the fact that the people who are interested are the people who should fill that unexpired terns, is an argument to this Convention in favor of the amendment which has been offered by me as a substitute. The law has already placed in the hands of the Court of County Commissioners the power to fill the vacancies in the case of the Treasurer. Section 1427 of the Code of Alabama provides that vacancies in the office of county treasurer are filled by appointment of the Court of County Commissioners.

     MR. SAMFORD -- Is there anything in this Constitution which would prohibit the Legislature from making these other county officers appointed by the Court of County Commissioners?

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--None in the world.

     MR. SAMFORD--Then would it not be unwise for the Convention to be putting in any clauses about that?

     MR. deGRAFFENREID -- I don't think it would be improper for this Convention to limit the power of the Legislature in that regard, and say that the people who stood nearest to these officers should have the appointing power instead of the Governor. The very proposition that the Convention has proceeded upon that the Governor should not be his own successor has grown out of the proposition that the Governor can use his office for his own ends or for the ends of his friends and as the people themselves have the power to elect the county officers, it seems it would be getting nearer to the people if we put this power in the Court of County Commissioners rather than the Governor.

     Something was said this morning about the fact that on Saturday afternoon members didn't have time to consider an important question. If there is any merit in the amendment offered by me or in the amendment offered by the gentleman for which mine is a substitute time and discussion and consideration will show it, and if the gentleman will permit me in order that this Convention may have time to consider it, we have not a full body here this morning, I move that the consideration of this matter be laid over until tomorrow.


935

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     MR. DUKE--I move to lay that motion on the table.

     A vote being taken the motion was tabled.

     MR. HEFLIN (Randolph)--I move that we table the substitute offered by the gentleman from Hale.

     A vote being taken the subject was table.

     MR. SAMFORD--I move that we lay on the table the amendment proposed by the gentleman from Morgan.

     The motion was carried on a division by a vote of sixty-six ayes and twenty-eight noes.

     MR. SAMFORD--I move the adoption of the entire Article and upon that I call for the previous question.

     MR. BURNS--I have the consent of the distinguished member of the Executive Committee to offer an amendment.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery) -- I hope the gentleman will withdraw the call for the previous question and allow this amendment to be offered.

     The motion for the previous question was withdrawn and the amendment of the delegate from Dallas was read as follows:

     Amend the entire Article by adding Section 31 as follows: In case any sheriff or any member of his posse be killed or permanently disabled while protecting a prisoner in his charge, the General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance of those dependent upon those who are killed or disabled.

     MR. BURNS--The amendment speaks for itself. We have an ordinance requiring a sheriff to lay down his life to defend a prisoner and if he or any of his posse lays down their lives, his family ought to be provided for.

     A vote being taken, a division was called for.

     Before the announcement of the vote--

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I desire to change my vote, for the purpose of moving a reconsideration. I vote no.

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

     MR. SAMFORD--Now I move that the article be put upon its third reading, and upon that I call for the previous question.

     MR. JONES--Mr. President, if it is admissible, I would like to change my vote again. I simply changed it for the purpose of reconsideration.

     MR. WILSON (Washington)--I call for a verification of the vote.


936

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

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

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

     MR. SAMFORD -- The request for verification comes too late. I have been recognized and I have made a motion.

     THE PRESIDENT--It seems to the Chair that after subsequent business has intervened, that it is too late to move for a verification.

     MR. BURNS--I thought we always had a right to demand a verification of the vote, if there is one had. I noticed several delegates' votes that were not counted.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--If the house will permit me, I suggest that we take up this matter and reconsider it now. I move to reconsider it. We can do it by unanimous consent, and can get rid of it in twenty-five minutes.

     There were expressions of dissent.

     THE PRESIDENT--In answer to the gentleman from Dallas, the Chair is of opinion that any delegate has a right to ask for a verification of the vote, if asked for in time, but after the result of the vote is announced, and the house has proceeded to other business, and other business is pending it is too late to call for a verification. What is the motion of the gentleman from Pike?

     MR. SAMFORD-I move the ordinance be put upon its third reading.

     MR. HOWELL--Will the gentleman give me one word?

     MR. SAMFORD-No sir.

     MR. HOWELL--You will get in a tangle if you don't mind; that document ought to be engrossed before it goes to a third reading.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)-I wish to state that the majority of the committee, in the present condition of this ordinance, do not desire it to be put upon a third reading. The gentleman, of course, has the right to make the motion, but he does not make it as the representative of the committee.

     MR. REESE-I move that consideration of the motion be postponed until tomorrow.

     THE PRESIDENT-The gentleman moves that the motion of the gentleman from Pike that the bill be ordered to a third reading be postponed- until what time?

     MR. REESE-Immediately after the reading of the Journal.


937

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     The motion to postpone consideration was carried.

     MR. HOWELL -- I move that that article be ordered engrossed.

     THE PRESIDENT--Further consideration of the article has been postponed until tomorrow.

     Mr. Jones and Mr. deGraffenreid replied in the negative.

     MR. JONES (Montgomery)--I would like to inquire when the motion to reconsider the vote by which the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dallas and which was laid on the table, will be in order under our rules.

     THE PRESIDENT--It is in order now, and will go over for consideration until tomorrow after the reading of the Journal.

     MR. CARMICHAEL (Coffee)--Could not the rules be suspended, so that it could be considered now?

     THE PRESIDENT--The rules could be suspended, but the house has postponed further consideration of this whole matter until tomorrow after the reading of the Journal.

     MR. FOSTER--I ask leave to offer a resolution.

     The resolution was read as follows:

     Resolved that beginning with today, the afternoon sessions of this Convention shall be from 4 o'clock p.m. until 6 o'clock p.m.

     MR. FOSTER--I move a suspension of the rules, that the resolution may be put upon its immediate passage.

     MR. SAMFORD--I will state several committee meetings are fixed for shortly after 5 o'clock.

     MR. REESE--I move to lay the resolution on the table.

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

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--Will you allow me to state a fact which comes from the newspaper men doing the work? They state they it will be impossible to do the work if the Convention determines to have later sessions.

     MR. FOSTER--I withdraw the resolution then, Mr. President.

     THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman desire that it be referred to the Committee on Rules?

     MR. FOSTER--Yes, let it go to the committee.

     THE PRESIDENT--The next regular order will be the report of the Committee on Taxation. Consideration of the report


938

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

of the Committee on Taxation ,was made a special order immediately after the consideration of the report of the Committee on Executive Department.

     MR. WEAKLEY--I ask unanimous Consent to Submit a report from the Committee on Municipal Corporations.

     There was no objection.

     MR. WEAKLEY--Before making this report I desire to say that the Committee on Municipal Corporations reported two separate sections of the article, consideration of which, at the suggestion of the Convention, was postponed until the completed article was reported by the committee. The committee have now reported the complete article, embracing the two sections already reported to the Convention, and before substituting this complete report we ask that the sections heretofore reported be recommitted to the committee. We ask unanimous consent that this be done.

     There being no objection, the sections were ordered recommitted to the committee.

     MR. BULGER--I ask leave to introduce a resolution.

     Objection was made.

     MR. WADDELL--I call for the regular order.

     The report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations was thereupon read as follows:

     Report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations.

     Mr. President--The Committee on Municipal Corporations instruct me to make the following report:

     After mature consideration of all the ordinances submitted to them they herewith report the attached Article which then recommend shall be adopted by this Convention as Article ----- of the new Constitution under the caption of "Municipal Corporations."

     All ordinances referred to this Committee are herewith returned.

                                                                                             Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                                 John B.. Weakley, Chairman.

ARTICLE-- .

Municipal Corporations.

     Section 1. All municipal corporations shall have the right to sue and shall be subject to be sued in all courts in like manner as natural persons.

     Sec. 2. Municipal corporations shall be invested with the privilege of taking private property for public use, but shall make just compensation


939

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

for property taken, injured or destroyed by the construction or enlargements of its works, highways or improvements, which compensation shall be paid before such taking, injury or destruction. The General Assembly is hereby prohibited from depriving any person of all appeal from any preliminary assessment of damages against any such municipal corporations made by viewers or otherwise; and the amount of such damages in all cases of appeal shall on demand of either party be determined by a jury according to law.

     Sec. 3. The General Assembly shall have power to establish, alter, enlarge or diminish the boundaries of any city, town or village in this State, but notice of such intended change shall be given by publication in some newspaper published in the village, town or city to be affected for thirty days prior to the meeting of the General Assembly, if no newspaper is published in said city, town or village then said notice shall be given by posting copy thereof at three public places in said city, town or village, and said notice shall be spread upon the Journal of the House in which the bill proposing such change is introduced.

     Sec. 4. No city, town or village shall be authorized or permitted to grant any franchise or privilege or make any contract in reference thereto for a term exceeding twenty years, nor shall any city, town or village grant any rights of way over or right to use any street or public way or part thereof except to the person or corporation offering the highest sum therefore or the highest per centage of gross annual receipts to be derived from the business so using the right of way or street or public place. No such privilege shall be granted until the applicant therefor shall have given notice by publication for thirty days in some newspaper published in the city, town or village of his intention to ask for such franchise and the date upon which such application shall be made, and the person, firm, association or corporation to whom such franchise is granted shall be liable for any damages inflicted upon the property of abutting proprietors.

     Sec. 5. No street railway, gas, water, steam or hot water heating, telephone, telegraph, electric light or power company within a city, town or village shall be permitted or authorized to construct its tracks or mains or erect its poles, posts or other apparatus or string its wire upon the same, along, over, under or across the streets, avenues, alleys or public grounds of such city, town or village without the consent of the proper municipal authorities of such city, town or village being first had and obtained.

     Sec. 6. The General Assembly shall not enact any law which will permit a person, firm, corporation or association of any character to pay a privilege license or other tax to the State of Alabama, and relieve him or it from the payment of all other privilege and license taxes in the State.

     Sec. 7. No county, city, town, village, district or other political subdivision of a county shall have authority or be authorized by the General Assembly after the ratification of this Constitution to issue bonds, unless such issue of bonds shall have first been approved by majority vote by ballot of the qualified voters of such county, city, town, village, district or other political sub?division of a county voting upon such proposition. In


940

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

determining the result of any election held for this purpose, no vote shall be counted as an affirmative vote, which does not show on its face that such vote was cast in approval of such issue of bonds. This section shall not apply to the renewal, refunding or reissue of bonds lawfully issued, nor prevent the issuance of bonds in cases where the same have been authorized by laws enacted prior to the ratification of this Constitution, nor shall this section apply to obligations incurred or bonds to be issued to procure means to pay for the property abutting said improve-sanitary or storm water sewers, the cost of which is to be assessed against the property abutting said improvements or drained by such sanitary or storm water sewers.

     Sec. 8. That no city, town or village shall hereafter become indebted for any purpose or in any manner to an amount which including existing indebtedness shall exceed 7 per centum of the assessed valuation of the real and personal property within said city, town or village subject to taxation as shown by the last preceding assessment for State and County purposes, provided, however, that in determining the limitation of the power of such city, town or village to incur indebtedness there shall not be included the following class of indebtedness, to wit:

     (a) Notes, certificates of indebtedness or revenue bonds issued in anticipation of the collection of taxes, unless the same be not paid within two years from the date of such issue and all such notes, certificates of indebtedness, and revenue bonds shall be provided for, and made payable from the taxes levied for the year in which they are issued, and shall never exceed the amount of such taxes.

     (b) Bonds issued for the purpose of purchasing or otherwise providing for a supply of water or for the construction or installation of sanitary sewers, or for the extension of either of the same.

     (c) Obligations incurred and bonds issued to procure means to pay for street or sidewalk improvements or storm water sewers, the cost of which is to be assessed against the property abutting or drained by such sewers.

     (d) Debts created for the preservation of the public health.

     (e) Debts existing on the 6th day of December, 1875, or any obligation issued to renew or refund the same.

     Sec. 9. No city, town or village whose present indebtedness exceeds the limitations herein imposed shall be allowed to become indebted in any further amount until such indebtedness shall be reduced within such limit; provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall prevent any municipality from issuing bonds in renewal or for the refunding of obligations already existing.

     Sec. 10. The General Assembly shall provide by general laws for the organization and classification of cities, towns and villages; the number of such classes shall not exceed four, and the powers of such class shall be defined by general laws so that all municipal corporations of the same class shall possess the same powers and be subject to the same restrictions.


941

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     The General Assembly shall assign the cities, towns and villages of the State to the class to which they respectively belong and change assignments made as populations of such cities, towns and villages increase or decrease, and in the absence of other satisfactory information as to their population, the General Assembly shall be governed by the last preceding Federal census, provided, however, that any city, town or village in Alabama may in the year 1905, and every ten years thereafter cause a census of all its inhabitants to be taken, and the General Assembly may change the classification of such city, town or village according to the result of such census.

     Any city having a population of more than 20,000 inhabitants may frame a charter for its own government, not in conflict with this Constitution, whenever the Mayor authorized by a majority vote of the legislative body of such city shall have made application to the Judge of the Circuit Court for the appointment of the Board to be composed of nine qualified electors who shall have been for at least five years residents of such city. If the Judge of the Circuit Court is a non-resident of the county in which said city is located, then such application may be made to the Judge of any State Court of Record of General Common Law jurisdiction, residing in such county, and the said application and the appointments made thereon shall be entered of record by the Clerk of such court.

     Said Board shall within ninety days after such appointment return to the chief magistrate of such city the draft of such charter signed by a majority of said board; within thirty days thereafter, such proposed charter shall be submitted to the qualified voters of such city at a special election to be called by the Mayor, if a majority of such qualified voters voting thereat shall ratify the same, it shall be at the end of thirty days thereafter become the charter of such city, and supersede any existing charter or amendments thereto, and all special acts of the General Assembly relating to the corporate organization or government of such city; other than laws securing and enforcing the payment of the debts of such city.

     A duplicate certificate shall be made setting forth the charter proposed, and its ratification which shall be signed by the chief magistrate of such city, and be authenticated by its corporate seal; one of such certificates shall be deposited in the office of the Secretary of State, and the other shall be deposited among the archives of such city and all courts shall take judicial notice of such charter. Such charter so adopted may be amended at intervals of not less than four years by proposals therefor, submitted by the Legislative authority of the city to the qualified voters therefor, at a general or special election held at least thirty days after the publication of such proposals in two newspapers of said city, and ratified by a majority of the qualified voters voting thereat. In any such charter or amendments thereto any alternative article or proposition may be presented for the choice of the voters, and may be voted on separately without prejudice to the others.

     Sec. 11. No city, town, village of other municipal corporation other than provided for in this article shall levy or collect a higher rate of taxation


942

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

in one years on the property situated therein than one-half of 1 per centum of the value of such property as assessed for State taxation during the preceding year, provided, that for the purpose of paying debts existing on the 6th day of December, 1875, and the interest thereon a tax of 1 per centum may be levied and collected, to be applied exclusively to the payment of such indebtedness, and provided, further that this Section shall not apply to the city of Mobile, which city may from and after the ratification of this Constitution levy a tax not to exceed the rate of three-fourths of 1 per centum, to pay the expenses of the city government, and may also levy a tax not to exceed three-fourths of 1 per centum to pay the debt existing the 6th day of December, 1875, with the interest thereon or any renewal of such debt, and provided, further, that this section shall not apply to the cities of Birmingham and Huntsville, which cities may levy and collect a tax not to exceed one-half of 1 per centum in addition to the tax of one-half of 1 per centum as hereinabove allowed to be levied and collected, such special tax to be applied exclusively to the payment of interest on the bonds of said cities of Birmingham and Huntsville as heretofore issued in pursuance of law, and for a sinking fund to pay off said bonds at the maturity thereof.

     And provided, further, that this Section shall not apply to the cities of Troy, Attalla, Gadsden, Bessemer, Woodlawn and Florence, which cities may from and after the ratification of this Constitution levy and collect an additional tax not exceeding one?half of one per centum per annum, but this additional tax shall not be levied unless authorized by a majority vote of the qualified electors voting at a special election held for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not said tax shall be levied.

MINORITY REPORT

     The undersigned, a member of the Committee on Municipal Corporations does not concur with the majority of the committee in the report submitted and therefore moves to strike out the tenth Section of the report, and respectfully offers the following substitute in lieu thereof:

     The General Assembly shall have authority to incorporate cities, towns and villages by a general law which shall grant to all municipalities the same powers, rights and privileges and shall not discriminate between municipalities in the powers, rights and privileges granted, on account of population, situation, condition, the pursuits of the people, or for any reason whatever. The General Assembly shall grant to no municipality of community the right to establish or amend its own charter, but all municipal charters shall be granted or amended by special laws formed under a general law equally applicable to all communities. Provided, that no charter or amendment thereof shall be valid until it shall be accepted or ratified by a majority of the qualified electors residing within the limits of such municipality, and voting at an election held for that purpose.

                                                                                                                                      J. W. A. Sanford.


943

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     THE PRESIDENT--The report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations and the ordinance reported by it, will lie upon the table, together with the minority report.

     MR. WADDELL--I move that we do now adjourn.

     THE PRESIDENT -- The Chair will inquire whether the gentleman wishes the report of the Committee to be printed with the ordinance reported? The rules require the printing of the ordinances, but not the reports.

     MR. WEAKLEY--I ask that the report of the Committee be printed.

     MR. SAMFORD--I ask if that carries the minority report with it?

     To which there were expressions of assent.

     THE PRESIDENT--It is moved that the report of the Committee, and the minority report be printed, with the accompanying ordinance.

     And the motion was carried.

     MR. HEFLIN (Randolph)--I move that the Convention do now adjourn.

     The motion prevailed and the Convention adjourned until 3 p. m.

____________

AFTERNOON SESSION

     The Convention met pursuant to adjournment and a roll call disclosed the presence of ninety-five delegates.

     MR. SANFORD--I ask leave to introduce an ordinance.

     Unanimous consent was given.

     MR. O'NEILL (Jefferson)--Have I the right to introduce an ordinance at this time?

     THE PRESIDENT--No ordinance can be introduced at this time as a matter of right, but only by common consent.

     The resolution introduced by the delegate from Montgomery was read as follows:

     Ordinance No. 396, by Mr. J. W. A. Sanford:

     An ordinance to prohibit the General Assembly from authorizing lotteries, gift enterprises or pool selling on sports or games of any kind of description.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, That the General Assembly shall have no power to authorize lotteries or gift enterprises, and shall enact laws prohibiting the sale of lottery or gift enterprise tickets; pool selling on horse racing, prize?fighting, and on all sports and game, of any description, wherever such horse races, prize-fights and sports and games may occur.

     Referred to Committee on Legislative Department.

     MR. O'NEILL (Jefferson)--I desire to ask unanimous Consent to send up a short ordinance.

     MR. CARNATHON--I object.

     MR. BURNS--I rise to a point of order. The gentleman objecting is not in his seat.

     THE PRESIDENT--The point of order is well taken. The clerk will read the resolution.

     MR. WADDELL--I objected.

     THE PRESIDENT -- The Chair failed to hear the gentleman his voice is so mild and soft.

     The resolution was read as follows:

     Ordinance No. 397, by Mr. O'Neill of Jefferson:

     Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled that--

     The legislature may provide that at the general election immediately preceding the expiration of a term of a United States Senator from this State, the electors may by ballot, express their preference for some person for the office of United States Senator. The votes case for such candidates shall be canvassed and returned in the same manner as for the State officers.

     Referred to Committee on Legislative Department.

     Mr. Henderson, in the rear of the hall, desired to be recorded as present.

     MR. REESE--I make the point of order there is a rule providing for the manner in which gentlemen can have their presence noted.

     THE PRESIDENT--The rule is that gentlemen wanting to be recorded as present can have that done by notifying the Clerk.

     Leave of absence was granted to Mr. Macdonald for this afternoon.

     THE PRESIDENT -- The order of business this afternoon will be the consideration of the report of the Committee on Taxation.


945

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     MR. BROWNE--Before going into the consideration by sections of the Article as reported by the committee, I desire to briefly state for information of the convention the amendments proposed by the committee. In Section 1 the only amendment proposed is that "no tax shall be assessed upon any debt for rent or hire of real or personal property while owned by the landlord or hirer--

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

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

     MR. WADDELL--The point of order is that the consideration of this Article must be taken up section by section. That is the order and the gentleman is reading a report made by that committee with which we have nothing to do.

     MR. OATES -- I rise to a point of order. The universal parliamentary law in all legislative bodies is that the chairman of the committee who is reporting anything is considered to have the right in the introduction to explain the whole matter to the body, which I presume the delegate from Talladega is doing, and when you come to consider, of course it is to be read section by section--I do not understand that it is to be done now.

     MR. WADDELL--I insist that this report of the committee was read; it has already been read, and that courtesy has already been shown, but he is re-reading what has already been read.

     MR. BROWNE--I move to amend the first section of the Article as reported by the committee by adding thereto every other section as reported by the committee, and upon that I desire to be heard.

     THE PRESIDENT--The gentleman will proceed.

     MR. BROWNE--Section 1, as amended by the committee--the amendment as proposed by the committee to Section 1--provides that no tax shall be assessed upon any debt for rent or hire of real or personal property while owned by the landlord or hirer, during the current year of such rental or hire, and when such real or personal property is assessed at its full value. That amendment was introduced to meet a recent decision of the Supreme Court, wherein they have held that a rent note or any other contract for rent was taxable during the current year in the hands of the landlord, notwithstanding the property for which it was given was assessed at its full value. The committee conceived that to be double taxation in its worst form, and, therefore, provided that amendment. There is no amendment to Section 2. Section 3 has been so amended as to provide that the Governor may negotiate temporary loans never to exceed three hundred thousand dollars, whereas heretofore that loan was limited to


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one hundred thousand dollars. A further amendment has been proposed to that section providing, for the refunding of the State's bonded indebtedness. As the section stands in the present Constitution, there is a provision against the State's creating any indebtedness, but that it should not apply to funding the existing indebtedness of the State. That indebtedness has already been funded, and this proviso is changed so that the section shall not apply to the refunding of the present bonded indebtedness of the State. Section 4 has been amended by limiting the rate of taxation for State purposes to 65-l00ths of one per centum, instead of 3-4 of one per centum. Here I desire to say that there were several ordinances introduced and referred to the Committee on Taxation looking to the lowering of the State rate of taxation. Some of those ordinances put the State rate--limited it to 55, some to 60, some to 62 1-2 and one to 65. The committee, after a most thorough and careful examination into the finances of the State, and after a long conference with Judge Cook of the Auditor's office, determined to recommend the limit of 65-100ths of one per cent, and I desire to be allowed the privilege to incorporate, without making an oral statement, the figures in my remarks for publication in the stenographic report, a statement showing why and how this limit can be safely placed upon State taxation. Unless objection is made, I will not read these figures, but will ask unanimous consent that they go into the stenographic report as part of my remarks.

     MR. FOSTER (Tuscaloosa)--I object. The facts ought to be known. I would like for the figures to be read.

     The clerk then read the statement as follows:

     Statement No. 1:

     Estimate of Auditor's Office of receipts and disbursements for fiscal years ending September 30, 1901, made October 1, 1900:

Total estimated receipts______________________________________________$2,547,500.00
Total receipts will be________________________________________________ 2,812,811.11
                                                                                                                                    

Excess of receipts over estimate _______________________________________ $ 265,311.11

Estimated disbursements ____________________________________________$2,526,970.00
Disbursements will be _______________________________________________ 2,754,043.09
                                    

     Excess of disbursements over estimate _________________________________ 227,073.09
Excess of actual receipts over actual disbursements____________________________58,768.02

     The above receipts and disbursements are arrived at as follows:
     1901.
June 18, amount cash receipts to date___________________________________$2,612,311.11


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Estimated receipts to September 30, 1901 -------------------------------- 200,500.00

     (Estimated at about the same rate of increase over receipts for same period of last year as has been the receipts to June 18, 1901,

over the receipts prior to June 1, 1900.) ____________

$2,812.811.11
1901.
June 18, by disbursements to date----------------------------------$2,313,823.09
Estimated disbursements to September 30, 1901 --------------- 440,220.00
____________

$ 2,754,043.09
Excess of receipts over disbursements---------------- 58,768.02
1900.
Oct. 1, amount of cash balance in Treasury --------------- $ 620,767.68
1901.
Oct. 1, cash in Treasury, (estimated) ---------------------------- $ 679,555.70
The estimated cash balance for October 1, 1901, is made up
as follows:
Cash balance on October 1, 1900 -------------------------------- $ 620,767.68
Amount excess of receipts over disbursements for
fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 1901 ----------------------- 58,768.02
____________

$ 679,555.70
Statement No. 2:
Estimate of net gain to the Treasury for fiscal year ending
September 30, 1902, over fiscal year ending October 1, 1901:
Cash in Treasury Oct. 1, 1901, in excess of balance of
Oct. 1, 1900, (in round numbers) -------------------------- $ 59,000.00
Amount paid on the deficit during fiscal year ending
Sept. 30, 1901 ------------------------------------------------ $ 82,000.00
Amount of extraordinary appropriation for present fiscal year:
Refunding licenses paid under invalid law ------------------------ $ 40,000.00
Montevallo Girls' School Building --------------------------------- 32,000.00
Expenses Constitutional Convention ------------------------------- 50,000.00
Half of legislative expenses ------------------------------------------- 25,000.00
_____________

$ 147,000.00
Total gain ---------------------------------------------- $ 288,000.00
Deduct book?keeping deficit, October 1, 1901, (esti?
mated) ------------------------------------------------------------ $ 9,000.00
____________

Net gain ---------------------------------------------------------- $ 279,000.00


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     These figures show:

     First--The deficit which was several years ago, in round figures, $700,000.00, has been practically wiped out, and the Treasury will, in 1902, be relieved of the burden imposed on it by such deficit to the extent of the amount by which it was reduced in 1901, namely, $71,000.00.

Second--The gain to the Treasury in cash on October 1, 1901, over the same period. in 1900, as above
     shown, will be __________________________________          $ 59,000.00

Third--The gain to the Treasury in addition to above for 1902 over 1901 on account of extraordinary
     appropriations for 1901, will be__________________________ 147,000.00
                                                                                                              ____________

Total gain for 1902 over 1901 ____________________________ $ 279,000.00

Should taxable values for 1902 remain the same as for 1901 and the rate of taxation for general purposes
     be placed at 45 instead of 55 cents on the $100 the decrease from property tax would be about ___________           $ 247,000.00
                                                                                                                         _____________
Excess of lessened expenditures over lessened receipts _______________           $ 32,000.00

     The foregoing statements and figures show that the rate of taxation for general purposes could well be reduced from 55 to 45 cents for 1902, and there would then be a surplus of receipts over expenditures of about $32,000, without counting upon any increase of receipts from property and license taxes. But the increase of taxable property values for 1902 can safely be estimated at as much as the increase of such values for 1901 over 1900, namely $8,000,000. From such increase the tax at a 45 cent rate would be $36,000. The excess of receipts for licenses for 1902 over 1901 are conservatively estimated at $20,000. Adding these figures we have a total excess of receipts over disbursements for 1902 of at least $88,000 with a rate of 45 cents.

     But out of strict conservatism the Committee decided to recommend that the 45 cent rate for general purposes only go into effect beginning with the year 1903.

     In fixing the rate at 65 cents it was contemplated that 45 cents thereof would be sufficient for general purposes, leaving the special one mill tax each for school purposes and for pensions unaffected.

     With the rate at 55 cents for general purposes for 1902 it will be seen that there will be an actual surplus (in addition to the actual cash balance) in the Treasury on October 1st, 1902, of


949

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

no less than $279,000 with taxable values and receipts from licenses remaining at a standstill, and of not less than $321,000 should receipts from taxes and licenses increase for 1902 in the same amount as was such increase for 1901 over 1900. But there is an actual cash balance carried over in the Treasury on October 1st, 1900 of $621,000 (in round figures), against which it is true there were chargeable liabilities in an amount somewhat (but not greatly) in excess thereon. But, as a matter of fact, this cash balance remained practically untouched and those liabilities were largely paid in October, November and December, 1900, out of the tax and license receipts of the Treasury during those months.

     There will be an actual cash balance in the Treasury on October 1st, 1901, of $679,000. It makes no difference whether this amount is called a surplus or not. In one sense it is a surplus, in another sense it is not a surplus. It certainly has the same force and effect to all practical purposes as a surplus in the event the State continues in business and continues to collect sufficient other monies to pay the liabilities chargeable against these balances without resorting to them. It is a cash balance with no outstanding warrants against it. Should the State government be dissolved October 1st, 1901, there would be payable but of this cash balance the October, November and December liabilities, in amount about the same as the balance. While these liabilities are chargeable against that balance, they are as a matter of fact not paid out of the Treasury faster than are the tax receipts of October, November and December, 1901, paid into the Treasury. So long as yearly disbursements are not in excess of receipts, and so long as the State continues to levy and collect taxes, this actual cash balance will remain in the Treasury unexpended and might be considered a safety fund to be used in case of some unforeseen misfortune.

     The condition of the Treasury on October 1st, 1902, will be as follows:

Cash balance (at least) --------------------------------------------------------            $ 679,000.00
Actual surplus in addition (at least) ---------------------------------------------              321,000.00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ____________
     Total cash balance ------------------------------------------------------------ $1,000.000.00

     Against which there will be liabilities (book-keeping) payable in October, November, and December, 1902, about equal to the first item of $679,000. But the receipts of the Treasury during those months will be more than sufficient to meet these liabilities without drawing out 1 cent of that cash balance.

     In the foregoing statements and deductions it has not been taken into consideration that the State can, by refunding its bonded indebtedness, which matures in 1906 diminish its interest


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

expenditures by about $120,000. Neither has it been taken into consideration that under the law exempting cotton factories from taxation until 1907, there is being invested in such industries in Alabama about $8,000,000 a year. Nor has it been taken into consideration that taxable values during the years immediately following an era of depression ascend in increasing ratio.

     The era of lowest depression of taxable values of late years was 1895 and 1896. In four years from 1896 to 1900 inclusive, taxable values increased 22,500.00, notwithstanding the rate of taxation, general and special, was during that time increased by 1 1-2 mills. It is a well known fact that the increasing of the tax rate has the effect of decreasing taxable values, and on the other hand the decreasing of the tax rate has the effect of increasing taxable values. If these last matters be taken into consideration it would be safe to estimate that notwithstanding the proposed reduction in the tax rate there can easily be accumulated a large surplus in the Treasury unless the General Assembly reduces the levy below the proposed limit on the one hand, or upon the other makes large special and extra appropriations.

     MR. BROWNE--The remaining changes in the Article reported by the committee are as follows:

     In Section 5 for a levy of a special tax by counties for the construction of public roads. In the present Constitution, any county may levy such special tax for public buildings and bridges as may be authorized by law. There is no constitutional limit, upon this special tax, but there is no provision in the present Constitution for the levy of a special tax for roads. The committee so amended this section as to limit that special tax for public buildings and roads to one-quarter of one per cent., and provided that the fund might also be expended for public roads as well as for public buildings and bridges. There is also a proviso that any county may, for public school purposes, levy and collect such special tax as may be authorized by law, provided that the tax must be first voted by a majority in numbers and in value of taxable property, and provided, further, that such special tax shall not be allowed when it shall increase the total rate of taxation for State and county purposes to more than $1.25 upon every $100 of taxable property, exclusive of the special tax for bridges, etc.

     Section 6 has only been amended by striking out the words "and enterprises." It ready now; "The property of private corporations, associations and individuals of this State shall forever be taxed at the same rate; provided, this section shall not apply to institutions and enterprises devoted exclusively to religious, educational or charitable purposes." The words "and enterprises," after the word "institutions," have been stricken out by the committee.


951

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     Section 7 has been so amended as to incorporate therein the Birmingham amendment. It has further been amended so as to provide that a city can levy a special school tax, provided such special tax shall not be levied and collected when it shall cause a greater rate of taxation in any one year than $1.75 for all State, county and city purposes, exclusive of the special county tax for bridges, etc.

     Section 8 of the Constitution of 1875 has been stricken out. That section provided that the General Assembly was to lower certain salaries. There is no room now for its operation, and it was stricken out.

     There has been added to the Article by the committee, Sections 9 and 10. Section 9 provides, "No county shall become indebted in an amount greater than five per centum of the taxable value of the property thereof; provided, this section shall not apply to any indebtedness in excess of such five per centum, "which has already been created, or authorized by law to be created." The committee recommend an amendment to that proviso as reported, so as to avoid any ambiguity and to make it read thus: "Provided, this section shall not apply to the excess of any indebtedness over such five per centum which has already been created or authorized by now existing law to be created."

     Section 10 reads as follows:

     "Section 10--No city, town or other municipal corporation shall become indebted in an amount exceeding five per centum of the taxable value of the property thereof; provided, that for the erection or purchase of water-works, gas or electric plants, or sanity sewerage an additional indebtedness not to exceed three per centum may be created: provided. further, that this section shall not apply to indebtedness in excess of such five per centum already created or authorized by law to be created."

     These are all the changes recommended by the committee.

     MR. SAMFORD--I desire to offer an amendment to Section 1.

     THE PRESIDENT--The question is on the motion of the gentleman from Talladega.

     MR. BROWNE--I withdraw that amendment.

     THE PRESIDENT--Does the gentleman move that this Article be considered section by section?

     MR. BROWNE--It was a special order that it should be considered section by section.

     THE PRESIDENT -- The clerk will read the first section and then the amendment of she delegate from Pike will be in order.

     MR. GRANT--Before that is done, I desire to make a motion.


952

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

There are only a few of the members, so far as I can find, that have this report before them. Three out of four around me have not go it. I want to move that the Secretary be directed to have this report printed.

     MR. SAMFORD--I understand the report has been printed and distributed.

     MR. GRANT--It has, but we can't get any and the Secretary has none.

     MR. OATES--Has not the report been read?

     THE PRESIDENT--Yes.

     MR. OATES--Won't it be in the report of tomorrow?

     THE PRESIDENT--It was read sometime since.

     MR. OATES--Did not the gentleman from Talladega read it in his remarks?

     THE PRESIDENT--No.

     MR. OATES--I thought he had.

     MR. GRANT--If I am not out of order, I have a resolution on the subject which another delegate has prepared.

     The resolution was read as follows:

     Resolved, That 500 copies of the articles accompanying reports made to this Convention by the standing committees shall be printed.

     MR. SAMFORD--I had the floor on my amendment, and I didn't yield for any such purpose as that.

     MR. GRANT--No, and I didn't offer that. I thought it referred to this matter.

     A vote being taken the motion to print was lost, on a division 39 ayes and 50 noes.

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

     The Section was read as follows:

     Section 1. All taxes levied on property in this State shall be assessed in exact proportion to the value of such property, but no tax shall be assessed upon any debt for rent or hire of real or personal property while owned by the landlord or hirer during the current year of such rental or hire and when such real or personal property is assessed at its full value; Provided, however, the General Assembly may levy a poll tax, not to exceed $1.50 on


953

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

each poll, which shall be applied exclusively in aid of the public school fund in the county so paying the same.

     MR. SAMFORD--I desire to offer an amendment.

     The amendment was read as follows

     Add in fifth line of Section 1 after the word "value," "and no license or other tax shall ever be imposed for the inspection of any article of merchandise used for fertilizer."

     MR. SAMFORD--As every man in this Convention know there has been for a number of years in this State a special tax placed upon a commodity used entirely by the farmers of this State for the ostensible purpose of inspection of fertilizers. Everybody ,who is at all conversant with the workings of this law knows that the tax imposed is largely in excess of the amount necessary for such inspection of fertilizer. This is a special tax imposed upon the farming classes of the State, a tax which I contend is unwarranted.

     It is not my purpose in offering this amendment to antagonize anybody or any class, but I do it for the avowed purpose of taking off of the poorest class of our citizenship a tax which is entirely unnecessary for their protection. In my county and in my section every man who engages in the business of farming is required to pay to the State of Alabama 50 cents per ton on every ton of fertilizer that he uses in his farming operations. This tax is imposed by the General Assembly of this State under the make-believe that it is for the protection of the farmers of this State by way of inspection for his fertilizer.

     Upon a close examination into this subject those of you who desire more information upon the matter will ascertain that the actual cost of the inspection of these fertilizers does not exceed 10 cents per ton. Why is it then, Mr. President, that this State and the Legislature of this State should be permitted to impose upon the farmers of this State a tax which is in reality not for the benefit lout is a burden to them. We have in the report from the Committee on executive Department made the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries an executive officer and as an executive officer of this State his salary should be paid by general appropriation just as the salaries of other State officers are paid. If his office is necessary for the protection of a large class of the citizens of this State, then the funds necessary for the maintenance of his department ought to be provided for out of the general Treasury of the State, and not by any special tax. If I understand it, there is no other class of citizens in the State of Alabama who are specially taxed for the purpose of benefiting themselves.

     MR. WHITE--Except the railroads.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     MR. SAMFORD--Yes, but we are going to try to keep them from being taxed hereafter for their special benefit. That being the case I ask you as fair men, as high-minded men, who are here attempting to do equal justice to every class of citizens, why should the farmers of Alabama be taxed 50 cents a ton on his fertilizer in order to maintain a department which they say is for his protection, and especially so in fact that only one-fifth of the amount goes towards maintaining the Department of Agriculture. There is no reason for it, and there can be no other explanation for it than the fact that there are certain institutions that have grown up over the State at the expense of the farmer, and are now being maintained by a tax upon the very men who need the protection most.

     MR. JACKSON--I would ask you what part of that tax goes to the Agricultural and Mechanical College?

     MR. SAMFORD--I don't know. My information is $25,000 or $30,000, but that don't change the proposition, although I love the Agricultural and Mechanical College as well as any man in Alabama.

     MR. JACKSON--I asked merely for information.

     MR. SAMFORD--The gentleman from Barbour informs me that $37,500 goes towards the maintenance of the Agricultural school at Auburn, but that does not change the proposition. If the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Auburn needs maintenance and needs $37,500 for its maintenance, it is the duty of the legislature to appropriate it out of the general treasury and support that institution as other institutions are supported. If it is necessary for the maintenance of the civilization of this State that the agricultural high schools dotted all about over this State should be maintained, it is the duty of the legislature of the State to maintain them out of the general treasury of this State by general appropriation. Mr. President, if it is necessary that the fertilizers used by the poor farmers of this State should be taxed, let them be taxed because the State needs the tax, and not upon the subterfuge that the farmer needs the protection.

     It cannot be claimed because the law imposing this tax requires that the manufacturer shall not add this 50 cents a ton into the price for the fertilizer that the consumer has to pay, that the consumer does not pay it. That 50 cents is in there. It is added in the cost as every wise business man adds all the cost of manufacture into the price at which he sells his goods. If I am engaged in the sale of clothing and I go to the market at New York and buy a thousand dollars worth of clothing and bring it to Alabama to sell and the legislature of Alabama says, Mr. Samford, before you can sell that thousand dollars worth of clothing you have brought from the markets you must pay the State of Alabama for the protection of the wearers of your clothing


955

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

a $100 license, I would be a silly business man, indeed, if I failed to add the $100 into the cost of the clothing I intended to sell. If I am engaged in the manufacture of fertilizer and the cost of the fertilizer without the tax is $14 per ton and the State of Alabama says before you can sell this fertilizer you must pay me a tax of 50 cents per ton, I would be a foolish manufacturer, indeed, if I failed to add the 50 cents into the cost of the fertilizer.

     A DELEGATE -- Is it not a fact that there being some trouble in regard to collecting debts for fertilizers on account of this tax the manufacturer probably acids more than the 50 cents at ton to the price?

     MR. SAMFORD--That may be true, but I am speaking of the logical result and the natural result.

     MR. WHITE--Are you not contending vigorously against the theory of sound republican government, that the manufacturer pays the tariff and not the consumer?

     MR. SAMFORD--I presume we of Alabama have long since been of the opinion that the man who wears the coat pays the price. That being the case, it occurs to me it is absolutely unnecessary for me to discuss this question further. I desire simply to place it before the Convention that if the farmers are to be taxed, tax them, but don't do it by a subterfuge. If the State of Alabama needs the 50 cents per ton for running expenses, then tax them the 50 cents per ton, but do it as taxes, and not under a pretext that it is for their own protection. If they need the protection they are entitled to it like any other class of citizenship. If we need inspectors of guano and fertilizers it becomes our duty to see to it that the farming classes are protected by having an inspector and having that inspector paid out of the general treasury of the State. I know as a matter of fact that I am opposing the sentiment that has existed in the General Assembly for several years, but I trust that this Convention may see it in a different light to what it has been viewed by the different General Assemblies.

     It is wrong that we continue to take this tax from one class and give it to others. It has been retained largely for the reason that the surplus, after paying the expenses of analysis of fertilizer goes to the cause of public education, to the agricultural schools which everybody who knows anything about them will agree with me amount to nothing more than local high schools all over the State. I was discussing this question in one of the rural neighborhoods in my Senatorial District, when I met an old farmer who worked every day between the plow-handles, a man, however, of the highest order of intelligence, in the precinct which has the honor of having been the home of my distinguished friend from Montgomery and I asked him "what benefit do the farmers


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of Pike get from that 50 cents a ton they pay on fertilizer?" Nearly blind, with green goggles and red hair and whiskers, he said: "About once every five years we get a bulletin, and that is all." And yet Pike County is taxed $10,000 a year and don't get a dollar back.

     MR. JACKSON--Is there a man in the State who can't get the bulletins by simply having his name placed on the list?

     MR. SAMFORD--Yes, they can get them, but in the name of God, what good is the bulletin. It is like retaining the corn and sending the shucks to the farmer, to the man who pays the money.

     MR. SOLLIE--Worse than that.

     MR. DENT--If we don't adopt the amendment, is it not perfectly proper for the Legislature to do this at any session?

     MR. SAMFORD--Yes; but I am reminded by that of what was said about raising the Governor's salary. If the Legislature has been waited on and asked again and again to give relief, and the jobbery that occurs after they get up here makes them lose sight of what they should do, I think this Constitution ought to be great and brave enough, if they think it is right that the farming class should be relieved of an iniquitous tax, to put it in the organic law and limit the right of the Legislature to place a license tax on this class of merchandise.

     MR. WADDELL--It is strange to me that this cry has come up against this tax from a lawyer who resides in a city which has a few manufacturies of fertilizer. No cry has come up from the farmer of Alabama against this tax. In every Legislature which has attempted to amend this law or repeal it, the measure has been voted down by the farmers of that body.

     I think I can read between the lines. This tax, as I understand it, goes to establish a department which inspects this fertilizer and prevents the manufacturers of the article from palming off a spurious article on the market. The farmers have never complained or objected to paying this tax. The analysis is given on each sack of the fertilizer and is, to a certain extent, a guaranty of the contents thereof.

     MR. REYNOLDS--Why is it that the State Chemist would not analyze fertilizer without knowing first what kind it is, and who put it up and what the analysis on the sack is?

     MR. WADDELL--I did not know that was a fact. I do not see, Mr. President, why this section should be amended in this regard. If the farmer don't object to pay the tax, certainly nobody else is affected by it. The gentleman says that the farmers of Pike County pay $10,000 tax a year. I expect it is the fertilizer


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

company that is in operation that pays that tax, and not the farmer.

     MR. SAMFORD--I will state for the information of the gentleman that if you add the amount paid by the merchants and by the fertilizer companies in my county, it will amount to something like $20,000.

     MR. WADDELL -- I see no just reason for putting this amendment in the Constitution, and I hope it will not be done.

     MR. WHITE--I do not know, since hearing the gentleman from Russell, whether I ought to say anything on this subject, because he seems to think that a lawyer ought not speak for a farmer.

     But I think we are all interested in having taxation fair and equal, and I can see no difference between imposing a tax of fifty cents a ton on fertilizers that are used by farmers, and levying fifty cents a ton tax on iron ore and coal that go to make up pig iron.

     MR. SAMFORD--They have no such tax.

     MR. WHITE--No, and we wouldn't stand such a tax as that. Men engaged in the pig iron business are too enlightened and have too much at stake to submit to any such unequal taxation as that. It is the farmer, the individual farmer, who only pays a few dollars and has not enough involved to make up a lobby to come to the legislative halls and prevent the imposition of such a tax as that. Who pays this tax? If Democratic doctrine and Democratic theories mean anything, it is the man who consumes the fertilizer. The fertilizer factories at Troy don't pay the tax. The farmers of Alabama who use the fertilizer do it. If the factory did pay it, it is wrong because we have no right to tax the fertilizer factory any more than we have a right to tax an iron furnace.

     MR. SAMFORD -- Will the gentleman permit me to ask a question? Is it not a fact that the coal and iron miners have inspectors appointed for them?

     MR. WHITE--Of course they have.

     MR. SAMFORD--And paid by the State?

     MR. WHITE--Yes; and their wages are regulated by the price of iron.

     MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)--Do those inspectors inspect the products or the condition of the mines with reference to health and safety?

     MR. WHITE--What difference does it make whether they inspect one or the other?


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

     MR. BURNETT--Don't you think it necessary to have some expert to inspect the fertilizer to determine the value of the fertilizer so as to protect the farmer?

     MR. WHITE--Possibly so. Do you think there ought to be an inspector to tell the value of coal and iron?

     MR. BURNETT--But you can't see the value of a fertilizer like you can of iron or coal.

     MR. WHITE--I expect the man who uses it would be the one who could tell about it.

     MR. BURNETT--But if defective, it could only be discovered after the crop was ruined.

     MR. WHITE -- But he would have a next crop still ahead of that. But if the gentleman is right that fertilizer should be inspected, then it becomes the duty of the State of Alabama to make the inspection anti not the manufacturer to do it. Every farmer in Alabama pays this unjust tax imposed on him in the same proportion and I am informed by the gentleman from Troy that we can get all the inspection they need at 10 cents a ton, but they pay 50 cents.

     MR. LONG (Butler)--If the farmer, as you say, pays this 50 cents tax because the manufacturer adds it to the cost of manufacturing the article, why don't the farmer put it in on his price for his cotton?

     MR. WHITE--Because the price of cotton is fixed at Liverpool and New York. (Applause.)--I wish the farmer had the opportunity to fix the price of his cotton, but the difficulty is that the price of the farmers' products is fixed in the great marts of the world and he has to sell at what he can get, and when he comes to buy anything, he has to pay the price at which the other man offers to sell.

     They tell us, however, that they need it for the Agricultural and Mechanical College. Is it any more incumbent upon the farmers of Alabama to support that institution than it is on the other people of Alabama to support the University?

     MR. HARRISON--Will the gentleman permit a question?

     MR. WHITE--Yes sir.

     MR. HARRISON--He says that this is to support the Agricultural College. Doesn't my friend know that institution only receives one-sixth of it, and it takes about that to pay the expenses?

     MR. WHITE--Perhaps so.

     MR. HARRISON--You will find that it is so.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

     MR. WHITE--I am answering the argument I understood was being made in the interest of this tax, that it went to maintain the Agricultural and Mechanical College.

     MR. OATES--Will the gentleman allow a question?

     MR. WHITE--Yes sir.

     MR. OATES--Does the gentleman not know there are nine Agricultural Colleges in the State supported by this tax, one in each Congressional District?

     MR. WHITE--I have no doubt that is true. There have been a number of gentlemen to me already, asking me not to oppose this measure, because they live in towns where these schools are situated. (Applause.) But, I ask, Mr. President, if there be nine Agricultural Schools in Alabama, maintained by this tax, does that make it any more just? Why are these schools maintained? Is it not for the uplifting and upbuilding of the people of Alabama. Is it not to improve the citizenship of Alabamians? If it is not, then they ought not to exist. And, if that is the purpose, then all the taxable property of Alabama should contribute equally to their support. I am glad to see these colleges in these towns, and I for one regret that we do not have one in every town in Alabama, but, Mr. President, I do not believe it is right to impose upon one class of our fellow citizens a tax for educational purposes that we do not impose upon every other class in Alabama. We want the farms in Alabama to become productive. We want the farmers in Alabama to become independent and prosperous. If we really desire that, then we ought to lift this unjust burden from off their shoulders. We want fertilizer factories in Alabama. We want cotton mills in Alabama, and iron furnaces all over the State where they can be, but, Mr. President, if we expect them to come to Alabama, and prosper, we must deal fairly and justly with all. I do not know how much it oppresses, nor do I care; it is not just the amount of the tax, but the fact that it is unjust, the fact that it is imposed upon them and is an unjust discrimination against them, as a class, that makes me rise to my feet and ask the adoption of the amendment of the gentleman from Pike.

     MR. GREER (Calhoun)--Mr. President, as a farmer, I rise to endorse the remarks made by the gentleman from Jefferson, and also by the gentleman from Pike. As a farmer, from experience, Mr. President, I charge openly and boldly, without the fear of successful contradiction, that today, tomorrow, or at any time, I might send one, two, three or five hundred pounds of this fertilizer that is taxed, and I could not get it analyzed without giving the name and brand of the guano, analysis printed on the sack. Now then, Mr. President, why should we farmers be taxed--


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     MR. DENT--Will the gentleman allow a question?

     MR. GREER--Just as many as the gentleman likes.

     MR. DENT--When you send it for analysis, what is the difference between the analysis reported by the Chemist and the one sent up?

     MR. GREER--We simply get back a statement that it comes up to analysis. That is the only explanation we get back.

     MR. ASHCRAFT--I desire to ask the gentleman a question. Did you ever individually receive such a reply from the State Chemist?

     MR. GREER--I have not--

     MR. ASHCRAFT--Have you ever seen them?

     MR. GREER--I have, yes, sir. And I want to say further, that the State Chemist himself, I am quite sure, will not deny what I have said, that when it has been sent, Mr. President, for analysis, word comes back that we will have to furnish, not, perhaps, in just so many words, but that we must furnish the brand of the fertilizer, and the analysis printed on the sack.

     It is a well known fact, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, that the manufacturer adds 50 cents a ton to the cost of the fertilizer, and the farmers who use the fertilizers have the tax to pay. Unfortunately for the farmer, gentlemen of the Convention, he cannot hide his property, and escape taxation as the gentlemen who own money and who own bonds, but our lands are there, and they are taxed for every dollar that they are worth, and we pay it without grumbling: Why should gentlemen say that we should have this protection; when we have never asked for it. Why should they say we should have this undue protection, when in the name of God and the farmers of Alabama, I tell you we do not want it. We say that it is an unjust discrimination against us, that it is an unjust imposition that taxes fertilizer 50 cents a ton which is taken from our hard earned dollars.

     The gentleman from Lee informs us that only one-sixth of this amount goes to maintain the Agricultural Schools in Alabama. I care not whether it is one-sixth--

     MR. HARRISON--Will the gentleman allow me to interrupt. I said about one-sixth went to the Agricultural and Mechanical College where the work of analyzing is done. I didn't say the other schools. They only receive about enough to pay them for what they do.

     MR. GREER--I am glad the gentleman corrected me, for the simple reason that though it is one-sixth or one-tenth the principle is the same.


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     I want to say to you, as a farmer, and as a man who has followed agriculture for a living since he has lived in the great State of Alabama, that I have never received one five cents worth of benefit from the agricultural colleges in Alabama. I want to say to you that the 50 cents I pay as a tax on every ton of fertilizer I use every year I feel is collected from me unjustly and unwarrantedly. I want to say that the farmers of Alabama, all over the State, feel just as I do about it, and as a farmer want to ask the members of this Convention, to help them to vote for and pass the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike, in support of the farmers, the hard-working farmers of Alabama.

     Now, Mr. President, we do not object to the nine agricultural schools in Alabama. We are proud of them. We would not take from a single district the school that it has, but if the school is worthy and is meeting with success, then pay for it as you do for other schools, out of the general appropriations, and out of the funds which are collected from taxes generally, and then the farmers of Alabama will pay their full share to support and maintain the same. One question I would like to ask the gentlemen who support the agricultural schools in Alabama, and that is if they know how many plows it takes to run each of those schools, and how many men they turn out each year as scientific farmers?

     MR. WHITE--I will ask the gentleman if he knows the price of fertilizer in Georgia, in comparison with this State?

     MR. GREER (Calhoun)--I do not.

     MR. WHITE--I have just been informed it is 40 cents a ton less in Georgia than in Alabama.

     MR. GREER (Calhoun)--The question has been asked why the farmer does not fix the price of his cotton? The question was partly answered by the gentleman from Jefferson. I want to say the reason we do not fix the price of our cotton is because it is already fixed for us in Liverpool, and that we receive here what it is worth in Liverpool, less the cost of transportation, and less a considerable commission and middleman's profit.

     Now, Mr. President, I did not intend to make an argument on this question. I hope, and I trust that the gentlemen of this Convention will relieve the farming classes of Alabama of this unjust discrimination. I believe that if the men who think they are the self-constituted guardians of this class of people will reflect a moment when we ask for bread, will not give us a stone. I think the farmers know what they want. I think as a plain practical farmer I know what I need, and I say Mr. President, that I do not need it. I do not want it, and the farmers of Alabama do not want this fifty-cent tax levied against every ton of fertilizer used in the State. We are told that the farmers in the Legislature voted down a proposition to take the fifty-cent tax off. I want


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to ask the Convention when, in recent years at least, has there been a single time that the farmers have had a majority in the General Assembly, when we could have voted down such a proposition? I wish to ask if the gentleman realize how small is the percentage of farmers in this Convention? It is only a handful and we come and ask the lawyers, and we come and ask the business men, as business men, and as honest men, to help to relieve us of this burden--this unjust burden that we have borne for years.

     Mr. President, the gentleman from Pike and the gentleman from Jefferson have both ably discussed these propositions. The gentleman from Jefferson frankly tells you that the coal men and the iron men would not stand such unjust legislation; that they would not stand such an unjust discrimination against them; but, unfortunately, the farmers of Alabama have not the power; they have not the might to rise up and say to the people of Alabama, You shall not discriminate against us. We come to you as law-abiding citizens, as tax-paying citizens, and ask you, in the name of the common people of Alabama, in the name of the farmers, who are the back-bone and sinew of the world, to relieve them of this unjust taxation. If you will but stop and think a moment, I believe you will do it.

     I say again, we do not need an inspector. I say again that it is a farce, and it is impossible to get fertilizer analyzed without first writing the brand on the fertilizer, and also the analysis on the sack.

     In conclusion, I want to say that we feel very grateful to the lawyers, and other members of this Convention, who are going around, and taking upon themselves the task of button-holing the members of this Convention now, in an endeavor to secure pledges against this amendment. The farmers of Alabama may feel grateful to those members; we note with pleasure how zealous they are, and yet I want to say to them, if they carry the proposition, we will go back, we will bear the burden, we will continue to bleed for awhile, but after awhile the time may come when the lawyers and others of the General Assembly may be in as hopeless a minority as the farmers are today, and then, as proclaimed by the gentleman from Jefferson, we may demand and secure our rights.

     MR. WHITE--Will the gentleman allow a question?

     MR. GREER (Calhoun)--Yes, sir.

     MR. WHITE--I want to know if the inspection has improved the article any?

     MR. GREER (Calhoun)--I am glad that my attention has been called to that. That is the point I was about to overlook. I want to say, as a farmer, that farmers give a note that reads


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something like this: that the man who sells the guano, the merchant, is not responsible for the crop. He does not guarantee it. The guano is sold solely on the guaranteed analysis, without any guarantee as to the result of the fertilizer. If it pays, you are all right, you are that much in ; if it does not pay you, and proves worthless, you pay for it and take your medicine. That is all there is in it. You have no help for it whatever. Those are the provisions in the notes we give for the fertilizer. They contain absolutely no guarantee.

And in answer to the gentleman, I want to say that the guano today is nothing compared to what it was twenty years ago. Where a hundred pounds, twenty years ago, would produce a given result, it takes from three to four hundred pounds today to produce a like result; and I want to say that I do not believe there is a farmer upon this floor who has experimented, and is really a farmer--I mean the farmer who depends upon his farm for a support--but will endorse all that I say, when I assert that guano today, under the fifty-cent a ton inspection tax, is a much inferior article to that we used to have without the fifty-cent inspection tax added.

Now, gentlemen, in conclusion, let me beg of you, in the name of a hard-working class of people in the State of Alabama, as a whole; a people who have been discriminated against in the past, let me beg of you in their name, to relieve us of this unjust taxation, and this burden, and in future years "our children's children will rise up and call you blessed."

MR. PALMER--Mr. President and gentlemen of this Convention : This is the first time I have been on my feet during the sitting of this Convention. I have not introduced an ordinance, nor a single resolution, nor have I opened my mouth in this Convention. Gentlemen, when you began this Convention, and started to call the roll, my name being well down on the list, before you got to my name, I was satisfied you had enough resolutions and ordinances to make a Constitution, and that there was no use to offer more. It was two days before you got to my name again, and when you got there, I then thought that you had enough for ten Constitutions, and so I have held my tongue, and have done nothing but vote, and always, under almost all circumstances, voting to sustain the committee's reports.

It seems to be the custom of this body, and it seems almost as bad in that respect as the lower House of Congress, that when a man gets on the floor you talk him down. I have said nothing to delay the work of this Convention, and if you are not interested in what I say, why just begin to talk and I will quit and get out of the way.

Now gentlemen, I am a farmer, although I go on crutches. I do nothing but farm, and thanks be to God, I make a good living


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out of it. I have raised up and educated my children as well as any man in this State, although I go upon crutches. There has been a great deal said here by gentlemen about the fertilizer business. I am satisfied that there is not a man in this House but what is willing to do what is right, provided he knows what is right. Now in this State, since the war, all Southeastern and Southern Alabama has been brought into a state of cultivation. Before the war we used to throw out tens of thousands of bushels of seed around our seed houses, and the cattle would work them into the ground during the winter and they were not utilized. There were no oil mills in the country before the war, and all this was lost. We have now commenced to use commercial fertilizers and use them largely. It is human nature, just as soon as there is a great demand for any product, for people to begin to put a spurious article on the market for money. It is so with fertilizers.

     There has been a great deal said here about our Agricultural Colleges, and the analysis of fertilizers by the State Chemist. I tell you, gentlemen, these fertilizers are analyzed, and the gentlemen who have preceded me are to a great degree mistaken in the charges that they have brought against the Agricultural College. If you will take a sample of fertilizer, or a sample of your soil, and send it to the State Chemist, while he has his class in the class room, it is a pleasure to him to analyze these things before the class, and he will do it.

     Now if we take up agricultural chemistry and study it, we find that there are thirteen chemical elements that enter into plant life, and that nature has richly provided all these elements except three. We need nitrogen, we need potash, and we need phosphoric acid. We get the latter out of phosphate, the cheapest of all fertilizers. It is dug from beds in Florida and South Carolina, and it is the cheapest of all fertilizers. Next in cost is the nitrogenous manure. Cotton seed meal is the strongest that we have. The costliest is the potash, and I think the most of that comes from Germany, and if you get muriate of potash, it is very costly indeed, costing about $50 a ton. Unless you throw some protection around the farmer and see that the analysis of these fertilizers comes up to a certain standard of nitrogen and potash, (the phosphates are cheap, not much more than dirt, and a great deal of it I am sorry to say is nothing more than dirt), he is without means of protection. If you hate these manures analyzed, why then he can tell what he is doing, because the principal ingredients as I have said, or the nitrogenous manure and potash.

     Now there is one thing I desire to call to the attention of this Convention, and gentlemen I thank you from the bottom of my heart that you have quit talking, and that you are listening to an earnest old clod-hopper, that has done nothing but hop the clods all his life. We have in this State nine Agricultural Schools. I live within three or four miles of one of them. I have been in them


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time and time again, and the schools are not doing all that the law making power intended that they should. There are nine of these schools and they are given enough money almost to run them, and they have a free tuition, but the boys who go there do not know that it is an Agricultural College. They do not perform one minute's manual labor. The farms are rented out, and I know this from observation, because I have been to the school time and again. Now if you will make these schools strictly agricultural schools; put a professor there that knows what agriculture in a scientific way is, and teach all the boys how to farm scientifically, the State will be blessed beyond measure. But if you do not do this, if you just run these schools as common high schools, it is a shame and a fraud on the State that nine schools should be supported at the expense of this State, which are doing no more good than any other high school in the State. That is my position, gentlemen. The Agricultural College is doing its duty, as far as it can, but gentlemen, if you would inform yourself, and know what an Agricultural School really is, just take a trip to Starkville, Mississippi. They have got there the best Agricultural College in the South. It was headed by Gen. Stephen D. Lee. He is gone from the presidency now, and I do not know how it is carried on since he left. The fault lies in the management of these schools. If we do make them agricultural schools, every boy who goes there will do two hours manual labor a day, but if he would do four hours work a day, every poor boy in the district would have a chance to go there and get his education, and pay his board, and it would not cost him a cent. That is the object of these schools, but we have missed it, and we do not carry it out. I would like to see the amendment carried, as it goes in the right direction, but I would like to see that change, and stop the appropriation to the agricultural schools unless they are agricultural schools indeed. That is my opinion as to that.

     But as for the analysis of the fertilizers, that is all right, and if you cut that out, then the farmers of the State of Alabama will buy more dirt than they buy manure, as sure as you are born. The manufacturer will make the price of the dirt, and call it phosphate, nitrogen and potash. The farming class, as a mass, do not know what it is.

     Now I would like to say something further, but I have talked enough--

     Call of "go on, go on."

     I have been a close student all my life, and tried to be perfect in what I did. There has been right sharp things said here about bulletins. There was a bulletin sent to me several years ago, that there was an experimental station at Uniontown. I think Mr. deGraffenreid lives close by--

     MR. deGRAFFENREID--I live near there.


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     MR. PALMER--That bulletin read that they had taken an old worn out gulley, a prairie field, and had planted it in grapes, and they are making ten tons of grapes to the acre, and they were selling them at 10 cents a pound. That figured up right big to the acre, and I got on the cars and went to Uniontown to see about it. I got off of the cars and took a plank walk and walked to a hotel, and met an old man who was keeping it, I don't know his name, and asked him where the agricultural station was, and he hung his head and said: "agricultural station? Didn't know one was here; but there is a stable keeper here that knows everything, and I will send for the stable keeper and he will carry you to this agricultural farm station." Well the stable keeper came, a very communicative fellow, too, and nice fellow to talk to. I told him what I wanted, and what I had come for. He said he would carry me out. Now there was another thing said in that bulletin, which was that they had tile drained that farm, and the lands where the tiles were was producing fifty per cent. more grapes than the land that was not drained. That was a wonderful thing to the farmer, to increase the production fifty per cent. by laying tile drains. You lawyers, I suppose you all know the law, but from the way I hear you talk you do not know much about farming. (Applause.)

     Well, I went over to see the farm. He had one grape vine tied up to a house that marks civilization in every family where you see it, and the ground is very rich there, and I found that he had counted the bunches of grapes on this vine, and I averaged it by estimating if you put the vines so many feet apart, and every vine was as good as that, there would be ten tons of grapes to the acre. (Loud applause.) I said then, show me the tiles, I have seen the grape vine behind this little house, but show me the tiling. He said, my dear sir; you are the first man in Alabama that has ever come here to make an inquiry about them; there is not a single one in working order; every one is filled up; they run up and down, and up and down, and we thought the water would seek its level and go out, but didn't know the dirt would get in there and stop it up." Well he was a young fellow, and I said what pay do you get for this thing, and he said sixteen hundred dollars a year and all that I can make on it. I thought it was a pretty good place to hide out a politician, and get him out of the way.

     Now gentlemen, I am satisfied that you want to do what is right. We farmers do not object to paying the fifty cent tax, if you will take the money and put it into the common schools. There is where it should go, or to the agricultural schools, if they are strictly agricultural schools, but we need farmers that know something about scientific farming. I tell you my dear audience, gentlemen of the Convention, I do not know anything about parliamentary law and do not want to come to any more Conventions,


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I am tired of it, but I will tell you gentlemen, that if you get the stumps out of your field, and get a disk plow and hitch three or four mules to that plow and break the land well in the subsoil, it will thrive, and if you will get harrows and cultivators and get the land clear of clods, you can put a white boy up on that cultivator and make him attend to a hundred acres of land. There is no use talking about the scarcity of labor, if you fix your land and go about it right.

     Now when you buy a fertilizer, you want a fertilizer where you know what you are getting; you want a fertilizer that shows a certain percentage of nitrogen, which is the best fertilizer on sandy or any lands, and then you want so much phosphate, and so much of potash, and you have got the complete fertilizer, and if you want to, you can mix them yourself. I moved down in Washington County three years ago. A merchant lived just across the road from me. He was the agent of a fertilizer company, and he told me "you buy this, it will give the very best results, it will cost you $19.50 a ton." The phosphates will cost you twenty-two, all the merchants here know that; the potash will cost you fifty, and this was put at nineteen. It was very cheap. I put the stuff out, and then got some cotton seed meal and put some potash with it, and upon my word, if there is any truth in me at all, the manure that I bought mixed was nothing but dirt. It was no account, and the other showed fine results.

     MR. SAMFORD--Will the gentleman permit a question?

     MR. PALMER--Yes, sir.

     MR. SAMFORD--You had to pay 50 cents per ton to have that dirt analyzed?

     MR. PALMER--Yes, sir.

     MR. SAMFORD--Under the present law?

     MR. PALMER--No, I didn't send it there--

     MR. SAMFORD--But you did pay the 50 cents a ton. It had a tag on it.

     MR. PALMER--But what I am contending is this, we want it analyzed, but it does not cost any fifty cents a ton to do it. I believe a nickle a ton will pay the cost. But gentlemen, understand me, I do not object to the fifty cents, but after you get it out of us, put it where it will bring in some return. Put it into the common schools, or else make the agricultural schools indeed, what they ought to be.

     MR. ROGERS (Sumter)--In speaking of what it costs, the State received this year in round numbers ninety-six thousand dollars from the sale of these fertilizer tags, and the expenses were


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about seven thousand dollars, and about three thousand dollars was appropriated for fairs, and they converted into the treasury of this State about eighty-six thousand dollars.

     MR. PALMER--Well, that is a heap of money; more than I ever expect to have.

     MR. GREER--May I ask the gentleman a question?

     MR. PALMER--Certainly.

     MR. GREER--I will ask you if you know what it does cost to analyze this fertilizer?

     MR. PALMER--No, I do not.

     MR. GREER--I will state for your information. I have been talking to Mr. Adams, and he says that it actually costs about ten cents a ton.

     He also suggests, and I want to correct that, that he think I am mistaken in regard to the analysis of fertilizers. That came from the Clerk of a Committee appointed by our club, and my remarks were based upon the result of inquiries made by said Committee. I do not want to do any one an injustice. However, the Clerk, Mr. Adams, agrees with me as to the cost of making the analysis.

     MR. PALMER--Gentlemen, when you collect this tax, put it in the primary schools; put it where the children can reap some benefit and learn to read and write. Put it in the academies, unless your agricultural schools be made agricultural schools indeed. Every boy that goes through and gets free tuition ought to be made to do two hours work a day, and if he does four hours work a day, a poor boy can go through free and be educated. They do it at Starksville, and why cannot we do it? We can, and gentlemen, I spoke to two gentlemen, trustees of that school where I live, and I said gentlemen, we ought to make this an agricultural school, or withdraw the appropriation. They said, yes, you are right, but it is in our district, and let's get the money. I live within six miles of it, and can send my children to it, but I want the school to do what it should, or not make the appropriation.

     Now, gentlemen, I thank you from the bottom of my heart that you have listened to me. It is my first speech, the first one I ever made in any Convention in my life. I have been as green as a gourd, and afraid to open my mouth, because I was afraid somebody would spring the "question" on me, and I don't know how many things you have got to shut a fellow up here. (Loud applause.)

     MR. PEARCE--Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention, it is very embarrassing to me to attempt to make a speech on the present occasion, on this proposition, under the existing


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circumstances. I am very peculiarly situated. I am from a County where there is one of these "guano schools" as I call them, and I am in the presence of ninety-six men who are learned in the law. I was raised at a time when school facilities were very poor and my language will be very poor, and consequently I am further embarrassed.

     It has been insisted by the gentleman who has just preceded me, that if you tax the guano at all, you ought to put it into the public school fund. Well, I must confess that will be a milder piece of class legislation than the other, but it will still be class legislation. It would be asking the farmer to specially add to the school fund, after he has paid his taxes on his other property, but it would be milder and better than to put it into these guano schools. So far as the guano schools in different sections of the State--and excuse me for calling them "guano schools," because I not much of a roan for big words anyhow, and there is too much of that other name and I cannot remember it all--the people in my county who go to that school and get the benefit, if any one gets any benefit, are not the people who pay the tax on the guano. They are usually the sons of men who are not farmers, or to a great extent they are, and they do not use any guano, and besides all of the farmers need their folks at home, and usually cannot patronize the schools. But we propose, and we come out and say as Democrats, that we are in favor of a government that stands for equal rights to every man and special favors to none. As I understand Democratic principles as promulgated by the Democratic party, that is what we represent. Now, sir, if to have equal rights to all in this country, and special favors to none, is to have the farmer taxed fifty cents a ton on the guano he uses, I do not want any equal rights in mine. I do not want them. It has been insisted on this floor, by some gentlemen, that the farmers have never complained of this tax. Well, I am here to tell you that they have complained of it, and I know what I am talking about, and I expect that the gentleman who makes the statement in all probability is a lawyer, and the farmer would not likely go to the lawyer and complain to him about his taxes, because the farmers expect the lawyers to hold office, and they would not expect him to go to the Legislature and relieve him from it.

     It has been insisted here that it was very important to have a tax on guano, in order to protect the purity of it. In my judgment, and my judgment is made up from a long experience, it is entirely unnecessary for that. I am here to tell you that I sold and used guano for years and years before there ever was a tax on it, or any arrangements to have it inspected, and in my judgment, it was as good, or better, then than it is now. Why, it would be unreasonable to suppose a man would set up a factory to manufacture guano, and manufacture spurious goods and sell them to the people. How long would he last at it? You may as


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well insist, as it has been insisted here on this floor by the gentleman from Pike, that the people who wear clothing should be taxed to pay an inspector to inspect the clothing, to see that it is of good quality, and well put together. It would be just as reasonable to have an inspector for the shoes that are worn in this country, and hats, and so on down the line, for everything that the people consume in this country. It would be just as reasonable, gentlemen, and you will see that it is all bosh, and my honest opinion now is, candidly expressed, that this whole thing is gotten up more to promote the interest of some little town or other than to promote the interest of the farmers of this country. If you will think it over, gentlemen, it is more to promote the interest of some neighborhood, or some town, than it is to promote the interest of the farmers in this State, or at least that is the way I look at it.

     Now, gentlemen, I do not want to detain you longer. I have not been making any racket in this Convention, and I do not want to consume your valuable time. I have explained this thing in a reasonable, common-sense way, and have told you the facts. There are one or two--

     MR. SAMFORD--I ask the gentleman to yield to me temporarily. I desire to make a motion that the rules be suspended, and that this Convention remain in session until this question is disposed of, or until this amendment is disposed of.

     Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for, and the motion to suspend the rules was lost.

     MR. FITTS--I move that we remain in session until the gentleman from Marion completes his argument.

     The motion was carried.

     MR. PEARCE--As I started to say, there is one or two more propositions I wanted to discuss in connection with this matter. It has been insisted to me, before I came here, and since I came, that the farmers did not have this tax to pay. Well, the reply I have to that is simply that if the farmers do not have to pay it, and it is right to impose the tax of fifty cents a ton on the manufacturer, there has been a greater mistake made, for they ought to have gotten fifty dollars a ton instead of fifty cents a ton, and had a school everywhere. That is my opinion about it, and you see that proposition will not hold good.

     In conclusion, I want to tell you, gentlemen, that I know the working people; I know the little boys and the little girls in this country, and I have ridden over this country and seen them digging and delving to make cotton at five cents a pound to pay this guano tax, and I appeal to you, gentlemen, as I tell you, notwithstanding I am from a county which has one of these schools in


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it, I appeal to you on both sides of this hall, when you vote on this proposition, for God's sake vote it down; it will be the most patriotic and the most sensible thing you ever did in your life. Stand up for your manhood; stand up for what is right; let it go which way it may. I thank you, gentlemen, for your attention.

     THE PRESIDENT--Leaves of absence are requested for Mr. Cofer for today, and for Mr. Davis of Etowah for tomorrow.

     After making the usual announcements, the Convention adjourned until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.

__________

Corrections.

     In Mr. Pillan's remarks on Section 4 of Executive report, should read, "It (the Electoral Commission) made one ruling as to Florida and exactly the opposite as to Oregon."