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   THIRTY-SECOND DAY

Montgomery, ALA., June 28, 1901.

The Convention net pursuant to adjournment, was called to order by the President and the proceedings were opened with prayer lay the Rev. Mr. Lamar, as follows :

O Lord we have laid down in peace and slept in safety because Thou hast watched over us. And we render to Thee praise and thanksgiving for Thy providential care. And now Lord as we face the duties the temptations, the duties and responsibilities of another day, we ask Divine guidance, grace and strength that we may be properly fitted to meet them all. We beseech Thee to save this day Thy servants from harm. So direct them that their labors may be wise and Lord grant that under Thy direction they may do that which is for the good of our kind and the glory of Thy name. Accept these our prayers, guide us in all our ways, and at last receive us unto Thyself, we ask for Christ sake, Amen.

The roll was called and showed the presence of 140 delegates.

The following leaves of absence were granted :

Indefinite on account of sickness-Mr. Williams (Elmore) ; Mr. Vaughan.

For Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-Mr. Willett.

For Saturday and Monday-Mr. Boone, Mr. Porter, Mr. Harrison, Doorkeeper.

For Saturday-Mr. Mac. A. Smith, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Kirkland, Mr. Long ( Butler.)

For Saturday, Monday and Tuesday-Mr. Bartlett:

For Thursday, Friday and Saturday-Mr. Beavers.

For Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Mr. Morrisette.

For yesterday and today-Mr. Dent from 4 o'clock today until 11 o'clock Monday; Mr. Howell for today and Tuesday.


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The report of the Committee on Journal that the journal for the thirty-first day was correct, was read and adopted.

On the roll call for the introduction of resolutions, ordinances, etc., the following were introduced.

Resolution No. 200 by Mr. Burns (Dallas.)

Whereas, this Convention has seen proper to reject all amendments to Article V looking to the relief of sheriffs, and whereas the Supreme Court, has already been burdened with sufficient labors; and, whereas, local government should be maintained and for other valid reasons.

Resolved, That it is the sense of this Convention, that Section 30 of Article V, should be stricken out and the sheriffs should be left on the same footing, as other county officers.

Referred to the Committee on Executive Department.

Ordinance No. 404 by Mr. Coleman (Walker.)

Whereas, ample provision is made by law for the impeachment of officers, and whereas it is contrary to the policy of this government that any part of the powers of our department should be exercised by any officer of another department, and whereas it is contrary to the spirit of our institutions that any person should be punished before trial.

Now, therefore, be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, That the following part of Section 28 of Article V adopted by this Convention be and the same is hereby annulled, to wit: "And the Governor when satisfied after hearing the sheriff, that he should be impeached may suspend him from office until the impeachment proceedings are decided."

Referred to the Committee on Impeachments.

MR. DUKE-I have a resolution which I desire to have referred to Committee on Consistency and Harmony.

Resolution No. 201 by Mr. Duke :

Whereas, there appears in The Huntsville Mercury the following article, to wit :

"The past five days have been record breakers in the hot weather line, said a prominent citizen. I have been unable to sleep until the small hours of the night and I am afraid we can't call Huntsville a summer resort any longer. Last night I couldn't sleep owing to the heat, so decided to take a stroll over the deserted streets. Now if I was the least bit superstitious, I would say that I have seen ghosts. On every street I would see some white figure sitting in the windows, looking like phantoms in the stillness of midnight. Upon closer investigation the ghosts were


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found to be some poor mortal whose surroundings were as hot as mine. This is the hottest spell we have ever had in the recollection of the oldest inhabitants."

And, whereas, said article indicates a fearful state of suffering in the city of Huntsville from the immense heat in that section of the State.

And, whereas, Monte Sano, an erstwhile summer resort is in close proximity the said city of Huntsville and must be suffering also from the intense heat of that region of the State.

And, whereas, many delegates to this Convention state that, owing to the strong breeze, they were forced to close the blinds of their windows to prevent catching cold on last night.

And whereas, no such condition, to say the least, as that described in the above article prevails in the city of Montgomery.

Therefore, be it resolved by this Convention that the citizens of the aforesaid Huntsville, and Monte Sano, be invited to come down to the city of Montgomery and look in upon the Convention, and remain in the said city of Montgomery during the heated season, where the gentle breezes ever blow, and where no such apparitions as that described in the said Huntsville Mercury ever disturb the citizens or its visitors.

MR. GRAYSON-Does that refer to the snowy heights of Monte Sano or to the low level of Huntsville.

THE PRESIDENT-That is referred to the Committee on Miscellaneous Provisions.

Resolution No. 202, by Mr. Foster:

Resolved: 1-That the Committee on Rules is hereby instructed to examine all the reports of the standing committees which have already reported, and the reports which shall hereafter be made by the standing committees, and assign to each section of said report such time as in its judgment should be allowed for debate thereon.

2-That when the time so assigned by the Rules Committee to any section shall have been consumed in debate thereon, all debate on such section and pending amendments shall immediately cease and a vote be taken thereon; provided, that the mover or chairman of the committee proposing the pending matter may, unless he shall have already spoken twice, speak to the matter for fifteen minutes, after the time for debate has closed.

3-That no delegate, except the mover or chairman of the committee proposing the pending matter, shall speak more than once to the same question, for more than ten minutes at any time. The mover or chairman of the committee proposing the pending


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matter may speak fifteen minutes on opening, and twenty minutes in reply.

4--This resolution shall not apply to the report of the Committee on Suffrage and Elections.

Referred to Committee on Rules.

Resolution No. 203, by Mr. Graham (Talladega):

Resolved, That beginning with next Monday the afternoon sessions of this Convention shall be from 3:30 to 5:30 instead of 3 to 5.

Referred to the Committee on Rules.

Resolution No. 204, by Mr. Heflin (Chambers):

Resolved, That after today the Convention shall convene in this hall at 9 o'clock a.. m. and remain in session until 1 o'clock p. m., and reconvene at 3 o'clock and remain in session until 6 o'clock p. m.

Referred to the Committee on Rules.

Resolution No. 205, by Mr. Jackson:

Resolved, That no delegate in this Convention be permitted to speak more than ten minutes on any subject under discussion, except the mover of an amendment or substitute, who may use ten minutes each in opening and closing debate, and the chairman of a committee in the discussion of a report made by the committee of which he is chairman, who shall have thirty minutes to open and close. Provided, that whoever may move to reconsider any action of the Convention shall have the time accorded the chairman of the committee, the report of which committee is under consideration, provided further that any delegate may have his time extended by permission of the majority of the delegates present.

Referred to the Committee on Rules.

Resolution No. 206, by Mr. Reese:

Whereas, but little time of this Convention is consumed by the regular call of the roll for the introduction of ordinances, resolutions, etc., and

Whereas, much unnecessary consumption of time is had in explaining and obtaining unanimous consent or suspension of the rules for the introduction of ordinances, resolutions, etc.,

Therefore, be it resolved, that hereafter the roll call for the introduction of ordinances, resolutions, etc., shall not be suspended except by unanimous consent.

Second, that no resolution or ordinances shall be introduced at any other time except by unanimous consent.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Third, it will be in very bad taste on the part of any member taking up the time of this Convention in asking said consent except in dire and pressing emergency.

Referred to Committee on Rules.

Ordinance No. 405, by Mr. Reynolds (Chilton):

Whereas, the newspapers of the State are highly influential in molding public sentiment, and

Whereas, newspapers, as well as individuals, are biased necessarily in favor of those from whom they receive gratuities.

Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention assembled, that no newspaper in this State, or representative, or other free transportation from any railroad company doing business within this State. That the newspaper, in the event that it or its representative, receives, accepts and uses such free transportation, shall be fined not less than $500 for each violation of this section of the Constitution, and that the railroad company who itself or through its agent, issues such pass, free pass or transportation, shall be fined a like sum for each violation of this section.

Referred to Committee on Legislative Department.

Mr. Spragins offered the following petitions, which were read on motion.

Petition No. 8--

Hons. R. E. Spragins, A. S. Fletcher, R. W. Walker, J. W. Grayson and Members of the Constitutional Convention:

Huntsville, Ala., June 15, 1901.

Believing that privilege licenses as levied and collected from the merchants of our city is double taxation, and that by such means the merchants are made to pay more than their part of the public burden, we hereby urge you to introduce and work for the passage of an ordinance to be embodied in the Constitution seeking to protect us from city licenses. (Signed):

W. L. Halsey, R. E. & W. E. Pettus, W. J. Bennett & Co., Southern Produce Co., D. V. Amberg, Mgr., J. A. Anderson & Co., T. A. Thurston, Senys Grocery Co., R. King Grocery Co., Mrs. Julia H. Wise, Terry Bros. & Rogers, J. W. Gill, C. B. Wilbor, R. F. Simpson, Shielas & Co., Brown & Phillips, Cantrell & Young, M. S. Barnett, H. Scholle, Duncan & Winston, W. A. Brewer, Wheeler Bros. & Gast, E. Lambert, Laxson & Kelly, Thomas H. Gilbert, L. J. Gaines, S. O. Holmes, E. C. Orgain, A. B. James, H. E. Damson, Huntsville Drug Co., Louis Edelman M. D., A. C. McGhee, grocer; W. T. Nichols, J. Keller, M. Adler, Mrs. W, A. Parks, P. Lamborda, J. W. Martin, Demeur Bros., Newman G. Schloss, Charles C. Anderson, W. H. Weil & Co., M. A. Collins, J. H. McAnelly & Bro., D. W. Tafts, T. H. Wade, W. H. Watkins, Metcalfe & Grosser, R. B. Johnson, C. H. Pulley &


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Co., J. W. Blake & Bro., Darwin & Fuller, E. T. Terry & Co., W. S. Smith & Co., Alabama Implement & Seed Co., Harrison Bros., Frank H. Neuman, Miss Vogel, J. D. Graves, Mrs. L.A. Ford, A. S. Daniel, A. E. Overton, E. A. Rankin, J. Jacoby M. Co., A. J. Stewart, H. T. Daniel, K. J. Harrison, Y. B. Warner, E. Mullins & Co., Louis Zinsberg Co., A. C. Campbell, Mur- ray & White. 

Petition No. 9-----

Huntsville, Ala., June 14, 1901.

To Hons. R. E. Spragins, John W. Grayson, A. S. Fletcher, and R. W.  Walker, and the Members of the Constitutional Convention:

At a meeting of the Wholesale Grocers' Association held in this city this morning, the following resolution was passed:

Resolved, That we, the Wholesale Grocers' Association of the city of Huntsville, most respectfully urge you as our representatives in the Constitutional Convention, to use your utmost endeavors to have a clause in the Constitution of the State of Alabama, requiring the election of Railroad Commissioners by the people, and paid by the people, as other officers are paid.

We ask this, believing that the interest of the trade generally demands it as fair and just.

Yours very truly,

W. L. Halsey, President. R. E. Pettus, Secretary.

Resolution No. p 207, by Mr. Waddell:

Be it resolved by the Constitutional Convention of the State of Alabama, that no person shall be entitled to the floor for the purpose of debate for a longer period than ten minutes, except the chairman of the committee whose article is under consideration, and he shall he allowed twenty minutes to open and ten minutes to close the debate on any subject which is up for consideration under his article, provided the provisions of this resolution shall not apply  to the Committee on Suffrage and Elections.

MR. WADDELL--I move to suspend the rules for the purpose of putting that resolution on its passage.

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

THE PRESIDENT-A motion to suspend the rules cannot be tabled.

A vote being taken, the House refused to suspend the rules, and the resolution was referred to the Committee on Rules.

THE PRESIDENT-The next order of business will be the call of the standing committees.


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The call was completed and no reports made.

MR. BULGER - I ask to offer a resolution as my name was passed.

THE PRESIDENT - Is there objection?

There was objection.

THE PRESIDENT - The next order will be the special order, the consideration of the report of the Committee on Taxation.

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

THE PRESIDENT - The Convention had under consideration Section3 of the report of the Committee on Taxation to which  the gentleman from Montgomery offered an amendment and when the Convention closed the gentleman from Montgomery had the floor, but the Chair will recognize the gentleman from Dale in a  point of order.

MR. SOLLIE - If there was a gentleman holding the floor, I do not care to urge the point of order. The point I was about to  make was that the motion to reconsider would be next in order. I withdraw the point of order with the understanding that I will make it later.

MR. OATES - Before proceeding, I ask the Clerk to change the figure “four” in the eighth line and make it “three and a half.” The Convention has not entered upon the consideration of the amendment and I think I have a right to amend it.

By consent the change was made.

MR. OATES - Now, Mr. President, I confess that I enter upon the consideration of this matter with some misgivings be- cause of certain opposition that has been made known to me in a very respectful and kind manner by the Committee on Taxation which reported the proposition. But I feel it my duty to discuss this amendment briefly to this Convention and to call the attention of the Convention to it and try to impress upon them just what is meant by it. All of us know that the State of Alabama  has a bonded indebtedness of nine and one-third millions of dollars. Over nine hundred thousand of that is represented by four per cent. bonds most usually called Seay bonds because when Seay was Governor he negotiated those bonds in lieu of bonds bearing six per cent interest which the legislature had authorized prior to that time in order to take up what was known as Horse Shoe money. There was a million dollars of that issue by authority of the Legislature years before which was kind of lien. You will recollect there were bills of money and coupons on the bank in the  shape of horse shoes. They bore eight per cent interest and were the shape of horse shoes. They bore eight per cent. interest and were sold in the market frequently as low as fifty cents on the dollar, but they improved until they reached par when it was found that


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the Legislature proposed to refund there in a six per cent. bond. But that was not conclusive and the Legislature subsequently believing that a bond hearing a lower rate could be substituted for them passed an act authorizing the Governor, when Seay held that office, to negotiate such refunding bonds, and he succeeded in negotiating four per cent. bonds which do not mature until 1920. So that amount of our bonded debt is not included at all in the proposition I offer. With the exception of the Seay bonds, represented generally by the letter C. bonds resulting froth that settlement when Mr. Houston, Mr. Lawler and the Governor were the Commissioners and which have always been four per cent. from the first to the present time, $945,000. They are included with the Class A and B bonds and of the Class B there is not quite $600, 000. They were given for the release of the State or to take up the State's obligation or bonds which had been unwisely issued by act of the Legislature and given to certain railroads to lease the State from its endorsement of their bonds at $16,000 per mile. I believe these bonds were for $5,000 a mile and the amount that had been issued then and used in that way when the credit of the State broke down is represented by the five hundred and  odd thousand dollars of bonds and they bear five per cent. interest. Of the Class A there is in the neighborhood of $7,000,000, and they bear five per cent., as do also the B bonds, and Class C bonds bear four per cent. and all three classes of these bonds mature five years from the first day of next month, July 1, 1906.

As the State will not be in condition to pay off these bonds at that time, it is necessary in advance to prepare for some way of meeting this bonded debt.

MR. deGRAFFENREID-May I ask the gentleman a question for information:

MR. OATES-Yes, sir.

MR. deGRAFFENREID-Cannot that be done under the section without your amendment by the Legislature?

MR. OATES-I think it can possibly be done under that, but I have yet to learn that in a delicate matter of so much importance as this, dealing in millions of dollars, there is anything to be lost by being more definite in what we say about it. That is a general declaration. The Legislature may provide for refunding the bonded debt.

MR. deGRAFFENREID-The point I want to make is, is not your amendment a legislative act?

MR. OATES-No, it is simply a direction for the Legislature and so reads.

Gentlemen will find it in the stenographic report. This section is:


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“That the Legislature shall, at its first session after the ratification of this Constitution, authorize the Governor of the State to cause to be issued ($8,500,000) eight million, five hundred thousand dollars, face value of State bonds, to mature fifty years after date and to bear not more than 3 1-2 per cent. per annum, payable semi-annually; and that eight million, four hundred and three thousand six hundred dollars ($8,403,600) of said bonds shall be used exclusively for the redemption by exchange or otherwise, for an equal amount face value of the Class A, Class B and Class C bonds of the State, which when thus redeemed shall be destroyed.”

Then there is a provision that the bonded debt of the State shall never in any event exceed $9,500,000. I put that latter clause in because I think the limit of bonded indebtedness should be declared in the Constitution. It adds somewhat to the value of your bonds when you show to the world that the State is not going to over burden itself with bonds.

Now the Legislature of 1894-95 passed an act for this purpose, to refund the bonded indebtedness and authorized the Governor to do so. I, having the honor at that time of holding that position, went to New York and spent several days in Wall Street trying to effect it. A provision was put into that law which was not just as I advised. It was in substance but the limitations were not. A committee of one of the Houses conferred with me and I advised to facilitate the exchange of bonds to put in a proposition that the bonds first exchanged should be the last to be redeemed and the last exchanged to be the first to be called, and I suggested to make none of them subject to call for redemption in less than thirty years. They differed with me and made it fifteen. When I went to Wall Street they said "These are but fifteen year bonds because they are subject to be called in fifteen years," and they calculated their value on that basis and that with another reason rendered it impossible to make an exchange. And that other reason was this: Owing to the language of the present Constitution declaring that any increase of the bonded debt should be wholly void, these bond holders obtained an opinion from an able firm of lawyers, of which I remember Mr. Hornblower was at the head, that if you undertook an exchange of these new bonds (the Governor had them printed and proposed to exchange them) and they said we do not know whether these exceed your present bonded debt or not. We suppose they do not as you have no right to do it, but if they do they will be a nullity and nobody will risk an exchange of a bond that is good for an uncertainty. Therefore under our present Constitution it was impossible to effect a refunding. I failed for these reasons. A subsequent legislature amended that act when Mr. Johnston was Chief Executive, practically annulling nearly all the conditions and making them fifty year bonds and turned him loose and he did not do it and I pre-


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sume he encountered the same difficulty that I found. So it seems to me that the refunding is a matter very much to be desired and I offer this amendment not in any antagonism to the committee at all but in harmony with its declaration in favor of refunding the bonds, but this is more specific and directs what shall be done. Right preceding it in this very section we are considering it declares that any new debt created, with the exceptions named therein, shall be wholly void and then puts in a proviso that the Governor may borrow $300,000 to meet deficiencies in the treasury. Then it says the legislature may provide for refunding the bonds. With that declaration just preceding it that any additional debt shall be wholly void and this declaration in the report of the Committee that the Legislature may have the power to refund, there seems to be a conflict, and I do not know what the New Yorks will say on that. This amendment cannot do any harm. It is not in violation of or in conflict with the report to make it more specific as this first paragraph of the amendment I offer does, and whenever a section is passed if there is any conflict it can be easily accommodated to what has been done. Now is not this desirable. What I offer here is simply in aid of the proposition the gentleman make.

MR. BULGER-Is there any provision in the present Constitution or any proposed provision in the new constitution that prevents the legislature from doing just what you purport to have done?

MR. OATES-Yes, sir. If the gentleman had listened to me he would have heard me say that under the present constitution I spent several days in Wall Street trying to effect this thing and the moneyed men obtained an opinion from a distinguished law firm at the head of which was Mr. Hornblower that it could not be done under the Constitution, that any new debt would be wholly void, and it would be so considered, and they would not make any trade or exchange, so that the Legislature under the present Constitution is hampered.

Now this Committee's report proposes to authorize it by saying that the Legislature can make provision for the refunding of the bonded debt. This first section is simply in aid of that declaration, making it more definite and not at all inconsistent with it, and the Governor what to do in effecting this refunding. Now what is this practically? The new bonds proposed to be issued are to run for fifty years. Of course the date of their maturity would be after every member of this convention has passed over the river and gone to his grave. It would come up for a subsequent generation to pay. A three and a half per cent-and if it is ascertained to be practicable to negotiate them at a lower rate, there is nothing to prevent the legislature from doing it. I first put it in not to exceed four, so as to allow them a fair latitude, but as it was thought by some that that would induce bondhold-


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ers to lobby and try to get 4 per cent and as I believe it practicable to refund them at 3 1-2 when they have a long time to run, I by consent changed that to 3 1-2. I presume every gentleman here knows that it adds considerably to a bond to have a longer time to run. Bonds bearing the same rate of interest one issue to run for fifty years and another issue to run for twenty years, the longer term bonds are worth considerably more because it is idle capital that seeks investment in bonds and they don't want to have to reinvest early, and the investment that lasts longest, with equal security, and looking alone to the security of interest on that investment and freedom from taxation.

Now, I have shown there is nothing in this inconsistent with the report of the committee, but that it will really go in aid of it making more definite directions to the Legislature in making provisions for the exchange. There is no conflict whatever.

Now, gentlemen, is it not desirable? You make the calculation between the rate of interest paid at the rate it now bears and at 3 1-2 per cent. you will find there is a difference of $126,000 a year. Is not that worth saving to the people of Alabama? It is cutting down their taxes that much. It takes time to get ready for such a transaction as this, and when you are dealing with millions movements have to be slow and cautious, and you have to be more particular in your provisions than in ordinary transactions.

No, I have briefly stated the object and purpose of offering that section. I have offered my amendment severally because I did not know what would be the will of the Convention, and if the Convention should only wish to deal with part of these propositions, they could easily do so.

MR. HARRISON-I would like to ask the gentleman a question.

MR. OATES-Certainly.

MR. HARRISON-Have you any doubt as to the authority of the Legislature under the article as reported by the committee and here read to refund this debt?

MR. OATES-Possibly they would have that right but the language which says that any debt shall be wholly void might render it difficult.

MR. HARRISON - Then your proposition is to go a step further, not only to authorize the Legislature, but to tell them how to do it?

MR. OATES-That is it as to that section. I don't want to take up time needlessly, but I think I am prepared to answer any question that any gentleman want to put to me on that line. Then I have the further propositions:


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Sec. 2.- That it shall be the further duty of said Legislature, at its first session after the ratification of this Constitution, to  authorize the Governor, Auditor and Treasurer of the State, to  obtain by purchase, in the name of and for the use of the State  Capitol, all of the square of land upon which the Capitol Building is situated south of said building, to Washington street, bounded west by Bainbridge and east by Union street; provided, said property can be purchased at reasonable prices, but if not in the opinion of the Board, then the same shall be condemned on proceedings, to be instituted by said Board in the name and in behalf of the State, and to be had according to the provision of Article I,  Chapter 42, of the Code of 1896, which shall be applicable thereto.

Sec. 3.-'That all the bonds in the first section hereinabove provided for over and above the $8,403,600 to be used in redemption or exchange for that amount of outstanding bonds Class A, Class B and Class C, to-wit. $96,400. shall be sold by said Board, consisting of the Governor, Auditor and Treasurer, after due notice given by publication in at least three daily newspapers, to the highest bidder, which sold bonds shall bear not more than 3 1-2 per cent. per annum, payable semi-annually, and which shall not be sold for less than their face value, and when so sold the proceeds shall be covered into the Treasury, and shall be used by said Board to pay for the said lands on said square when purchased or condemned as aforesaid, and so much of the money arising from the sale of such bonds as may be necessary to permanently improve the Capitol Building and to pay for the private property on said square purchased or condemned as aforesaid may be used for such purposes."

Now, sir, some gentleman think, and I hope it is true, that there may be no necessity for this provision because they think that the treasury will be so full that there will be a surplus of probably $100,000 or more which could be used by the Legislature for these purposes. I think, that is a calculation which may fail. Nearly all calculations that are made with reference to the amount of income from the various sources are not always certain, they are frequently disappointing. I don't care if gentlemen want to limit that with the proviso that such bonds shall not be sold, provided there be sufficient surplus money in the treasury. But. Mr. President, let me inquire first whether the purposes to which it is to be applied are necessary, because if not then of course the whole thing falls. Now, is it necessary and proper to enlarge and improve this capitol building? Everyone knows that this building which has stood for fifty years is not going to stand and answer the purposes of a capitol unaided very much longer, and if we consult other States that have recently built State houses, we will find that it will cost from $700,000 to $1,000,000 to build a suitable one. Anyone who will inspect this old building carefully, any architect will tell you that, that it must be renovated and improved


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greatly or soon have to be substituted by a new one. Now, can it be made a good capitol, without going to that vast expense? I think so. Put a new roof on the building of first class material, and extend the two front wings, say forty feet north and south. Any gentleman who has an eye for architecture, or architectural beauty and symmetry, who will look from below the steps, will see it would be vastly improved by such extension, because the building is too tall for its length north and south, and such an extension would add greatly to its appearance, and such an extensive as that on a much larger scale was made by the Congress of the United States to our great capitol up there. The only criticism on that was that it extended so far that viewed from down the street or at a distance it is too low at the middle for its great length, but this would not. Forty feet would enlarge the two halls and would enable the galleries to be such as our beautiful ladies and gentlemen who visit the hall would desire and make theirs comfortable. Until lately there was nothing but benches around there, the rudest kind of so-called accommodation. Chairs are circled around there. There are nothing but hard chairs in a circle around there now and it is not at all suitable to the great State of Alabama. But nice galleries will be made and larger halls and more ample accommodations for all the State officers.

Any one who will look at the Auditor's office will see that great and growing office is too small in room, it should have a larger room added. The Governor's office is confined in a little 12x14 room which very poorly commends itself to strangers to see the Governor penned up in that little space. He should have a large room 30x40 feet square with proper furniture, so that when the stranger enters the chamber of the Governor, he will be favorably impressed and think that we are an appreciative people. Then sir, what will it do? These improvements can be made in this building at an expense of from $30,000 to $40,000, and what will it result in? It will give us a good capitol here for thirty years to come. Is that not a measure of economy rather than to wait a few years until we have to build a new one? I think it is. Who wants this old capitol, full of historic memories, to be thrown aside and converted into waste and destroyed? Why, sir, it so happened that this is the Cradle of the Confederacy. Here assembled the first Confederate Congress in the Senate Chamber. I then, quite a young man, came to see that sight. From that gallery I saw assembled Toombs, Cobbs and that wonderful deformity in physical manhood, but giant in intellect, Alexander H. Stephens, and numbers of other able men from the Empire State at our door. From South Carolina and others of their ablest men. Here too, Alabama had very able men as her representatives in that Congress. Judge John L. Shorter from East Alabama, and able men from all parts of the State, among whom I believe ------


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THE PRESIDENT-The time of the gentleman from Montgomery has expired.

MR. OATES-I would thank the Convention to allow me a little more time to finish ,what I  have to say, I am not going to repeat, and I am not going to consume any unnecessary time.

MR. HEFLIN (Randolph) -- I move that the gentleman's  time be extended ten minutes.

MR. BULGER-I move to amend the motion that the time be extended until he concludes his remarks.

MR. HEFLIN-I accept the amendment.

The motion of the gentleman from Randolph as amended by the gentleman from Tallapoosa was adopted by the Convention.

MR. OATES-I thank you gentlemen of the Convention for this indulgence, I will endeavor not to tax your patience but get through as quickly as I can with this explanation. I will not go further in the production of names, in calling the attention of the delegates to them, more than to say that among Alabama's delegation there, I believe, but one today survives, the distinguished philanthropist and orator, Jabez L. M. Curry-he is a specimen of the ability that represented Alabama in that Congress. Tennessee and all the other Southern States were there represented. Now, whether any gentleman thinks that the cause in which they assembled was right or wrong, is not the question, it began one of the greatest events in the history of the world, that ever occurred, and the place in which such a thing occurred as time rolls on is revered and respected and people want to see it. Without going any further, or speaking of the inauguration of the first President of the Confederacy at this Capitol and other incidents that here transpired, is there any gentleman who wants to throw aside this old Capitol Building when it is still practicable to improve it, renovate it, extend it and make a splendid and handsome Capitol for the State. The estimate for the ground is that it can be purchased for $50,000 or possibly $56,000 is the limit-$40,000 for the improvement of the Capitol. Gentlemen, do you not feel a sufficient pride in the Capitol of your State to spend this much for it? Then when that is done, and when the Legislature finds a surplus in the treasury as it is urged it will, then expend some of that surplus in erecting a mansion for your Governor on the southeast corner, and our good ladies who sought in the last Legislature an appropriation of $2,500 for their White House can be put on some suitable place in this square for the deposit of the archives of the Confederacy, they could have a corner and convert it into a park which would be inviting to all the people. When strangers visit us, it would tend to elevate their opinion of the people of Alabama when it is seen by them that we care so much for our Capitol and its beautiful grounds around it.


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There is not a Capitol of any State in the Union more beautifully situated than this, then why allow a part of the square upon which it stands, and right near its doors, to be stables and old shacks destroying and greatly impairing its beauty? Now, gentlemen, if there is any other way of doing this thing more acceptable, why all right, do it. What I desire is that it shall be accomplished. I have no personal interest in it except as a citizen of Alabama. I have no personal interest in the refunding of the bonds except as a citizen of Alabama, and as such probably at a sacrifice, because it is my fortune to own some bonds which I would rather have at 5 per cent. than 3 1-2 per cent., but I think it my duty to have the bonds refunded and save the difference to the people of Alabama. Gentlemen, can you do it in a better way? I don't know any. There is no disrespect to anyone in it, to the Legislature, it is a direction, a plan which would be perfectly acceptable, and if you think it ought to have any conditions attached to it, put them to it. I have discharged my duty, By an explanation of this proposition, I have done my duty in bringing it before you, if you see proper to vote them down, let them go by the board, that is not my business and it does not affect me. In the discharge of what I conceive to be a duty I bring these things before you, the representatives of the sovereign people of Alabama, for that is what you are, not an Executive Department, not a Judicial Department, but all combined. It is the people of the State speaks through this body, and if you see and know that a thing would be beneficial to the whole people of the State, why hesitate or haggle about it or the way in which it shall be done? It is not disrespect to the Legislature or anybody else, and if it is practicable, and you believe the people will justify you in adopting it, why not do it? I could add very much more, but I will not further trespass on your time which you have so generously given to me.

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

PRESIDENT PRO TEM. PETTUS - Will the gentleman permit a question?

MR. OATES-Certainly.

MR. CUNNINGHAM-It is said, and correctly said, as I understand, that the value of a bond is determined by the rate of interest and the time it has to run.

MR. OATES-Correct.

MR. CUNNINGHAM-The effect of this amendment would be, therefore, to fix the value of the bonds, refunding the debt of the State of Alabama six years in advance of their maturity?

MR. OATES-Yes, sir.

MR. CUNNINGHAM-Inasmuch as this would be in the organic law of the State, now isn't it possible that at the end of


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five years, the financial condition of the country may have changed in such a way as to increase the interest earning power of money and thereby cripple the State in refunding the debt at the par value at the rate of 3 1-2 per cent. interest? That is one side. Again, might not the earning capacity of money decrease to such an extent that the debt could be refunded at less than 3 1-2 per cent. and finally would not this provision in the Constitution of the State at this time have the effect of fixing the value of the present bonds of the State of Alabama, inasmuch as it provides a definite manner in which they are to be refunded? In other words, would it not naturally increase the value of the present bonds of the State at the present time

MR. OATES-I will state in reply to the question that it might have some slight effect upon them, but the premium now on these bonds bearing 5 per cent. is 10 ; they sell at 110. I don't know the fluctuations, it might have some little effect, but if you will observe the language of the amendment I offer, it is "not exceeding 3 1-2 per cent.," and I believe it will always be practicable unless some misfortune overcomes this country, not now apprehended, that 50-year bonds can easily be floated at 3 1-2 per cent. If at the time the Legislature acts, when they come to pass the act contemplated, they find that the bonds can be floated and the debt refunded at a less rate of interest, this does not hamper them-it says "not exceeding."

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)-Mr. President and delegates to the Convention: The delegate from Montgomery who has just addressed you is always entertaining and instructive, and we are apt to be carried with the current of his words and lose sight of the pertinancy of what he says upon the issue before us. If any delegate has been impressed here by his remarks that the State of Alabama would lose $123,000 to be gained by refunding of the debt unless his plan was adopted, you have simply been led away by the words he was using, and not by the force and effect that should be given to them. If any delegate here has been impressed with the idea that the Capitol building, the grounds, cannot be selected except by the adoption of the amendment, I think you have followed the force and effect of his argument with little purpose. Not one proposition contained in that amendment except that which refers to the selection of the grounds and the appropriation for the improvement of the Capitol-but what has been provided for in the section as prepared by the Committee on Taxation. We discussed thoroughly all these phases of the question that could possibly arise. We have used the language which has stood the test of the courts and satisfied the capitalists who were to loan the money. Section 3 reads as follows:

Sec. 3.-After the ratification of this Constitution, no new debt shall be created against, or incurred by this State, or its authority, except to repel invasion.


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That was a provision that was in the old Constitution, and the statement which has been made to you that there was difficulty in negotiating bonds since the last Convention assembled and the Constitution was adopted arose in this way: The debt was funded under the provision that we have here, which existed prior to 1875, but when they attempted to issue new bonds in addition to funding the debt, they were confronted with the provision that no new debt could be created, and that is the reason Mr. Hornblower gave his opinion that the debt would not be binding upon the State. Not that there can be any objection raised to the authority of the Legislature to issue bonds to fund the present indebtedness of the State. The section provides further at the close that the section shall not be so construed as to prevent the issuance of bonds for the purpose of refunding the State's existing indebtedness." There is ample provision and when the gentleman from Montgomery was interrogated on that point he was compelled to admit that ample provision was made. Now, so far as issuing bonds to purchase these lands or to improve the Capitol building, according to his own argument, it is demonstrated that it is unnecessary, for by refunding the bonds, he says we will save $123,000, and he says the expenses are estimated at $97,000. Why, then, in view of that fact, issue bonds in addition to funding the present indebtedness of the State? Issue bonds with the admitted fact that by the funding of the debt more than is necessary will be placed in the treasury to enable you to improve your Capitol and purchase the grounds. What advantage is to be gained by this legislation? Isn't it strictly legislation to go on and provide for the improvement of the Capitol, for the purchase of property? Why not trust these things to the Legislature, where they properly belong, instead of bringing it in here as a part of the organic law of the State? Delegates to the Convention, so far as fixing by an ordinance, or inserting in here at a premium not greater than 4 per cent. it is an invitation to capitalists-

MR. OATES-That is 3 1-2 per cent.

MR. COLEMAN-The same objection prevails against it at 3 1-2 per cent. as at 4 per cent. If it is wrong at 4 per cent. it is wrong at 3 1-2 per cent. It might be 3 1-4 per cent. Can eve not trust the Legislature and the Governor, who have been trusted always with the power of refunding the debts and negotiating the bonds of the State on the best terms possible? That is all that the report of the Tax Committee does. It leaves it with the Governor and the Legislature to issue bonds when they are needed, not bond the people of Alabama by an organic provision five or six years in advance of the time necessary to fund this debt.   I believe if the delegates will closely consider Section 3, they will find every provision necessary for the adjustment of the State's. indebtedness, and there is a provision there that the State shall


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incur no new debt, and of course would not be authorized to issue any other bonds except in settlement of the debt which already  prevails.

MR. ASHCRAFT - I would like to ask a question, it has been discussed by several, whether or not under the provision as pro- posed by the committee, the Legislature has the constitutional authority to make a purchase of the land adjoining the Capitol grounds? I would like very much for you to answer the proposition, there are several gentlemen would like to hear.

MR. COLEMAN - I have two answers to make to that. Under the general provision where the Legislature is not prohibited, it has ample power, but, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, if such a provision as that is deemed necessary, let it be introduced in the proper place and not upon the report of the Committee on Taxation. An independent section authorizing the  Legislature to purchase the land or the property, if deemed necessary, could be introduced by an independent separate section and I cannot see if the Legislature can appropriate money as was done under my friend's administration (Mr. Oates) for the improvement of the Capitol, why the Legislature has not the same power now that it had then.

MR. JONES (Wilcox) - Mr. President, there is no member upon the floor of this House for whom I have as much esteem as I have for the distinguished gentleman who has offered this amendment.  Before I had reached by majority I met with him in the Virginia army. Together we followed the fortunes of the Southern army in Pennsylvania, in Maryland, and in Tennessee and afterwards in Virginia, and Mr. President, it needed man- hood to go through what he did, and I never saw a finer specimen of manhood than was to be seen in him, in his youth.  He went through those trying days, Mr. President, in a manner that won my admiration and respect, and I have held it for him ever since. I have favored him in every aspiration he has had, and when he desire to be President of this Convention, I wrote him certainly the only man on the floor of the House who voted for him for President of this Convention.

But, Mr. President, while that is true, I beg leave to differ with him. We all have our opinions about the measures that come before this House.  It has been stated that men are independent in their thoughts on this floor.  That is to be commended, and although I have respect for the gentleman's opinion, and although I have listened to him with great interest in the argument that he made, I have not changed my opinion one particle that this amendment should not be incorporated into the Constitution of the State.


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What are we here for? Are we here to make another book like this? (Holding up the Code.)  Do we want a Constitution as large as the civil code of Alabama?  Are we to fix it so we will have one book with the Constitution of the State in it, an- other with the civil laws of the State and another book with the penal laws of the State? Leave to the Legislature of the State what they can do legitimately. That is what we ought to do. That is what we are here for. That is what the people of Alabama expect of us, Mr. President.

I went home last Saturday was a week ago, and on the train I heard some gentlemen of intelligence, and there are many of intelligence that are not in this body, discussing the Constitutional Convention, and they said this: “Why those solons at Montgomery have missed it; they seem to think that they are the Legislature of the State.  When will they get through? Why, they won't get through until the fall of the year.”  They did not know that I was a delegate, and Mr. President, I didn't tell them  that I was a delegate.

I tell you that if I did not care anything about the matter, except from a selfish standpoint, I would not be advocating measures that the Legislature can take charge of.  It is hot.  This  weather is oppressive. The Legislature will meet here in the  Winter.  We are nearly all of us prostrated with the work in committees. A year or so ago I was in New York, where there was a  gentleman on the street car who said during one of those hot days, “why it is almost as hot in New York as it is in Hades,” and he  turned and saw a lady and apologized to her he said, “I did not  know you were on the car, I beg your pardon.” She said “Sir, you owe me no apology, except you put in ‘almost’; it is just as  hot as Hades now in New York!”

Mr. President, from a selfish standpoint, even if I cared nothing about the expense to the State of Alabama, I would say let  the Legislature do the work that they can do, and let us do the work that the people expect us to do.

Now, to take up this proposition, what are we asked to do?  We are asked to pass an amendment, telling the Legislature what to do.  Some New York attorney gave it as his opinion that the Constitution was not full enough on that.  Now, Mr. President, take this section, and it says at the conclusion, con- trolling that which precedes it, “provided that this section shall  not be so construed as to prevent the issuance of bonds for re- funding the State's existing indebtedness.” What else do you  want?

MR. OATES - May I interrupt my friend?

MR. JONES - Yes, sir.


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MR. OATES- That language referred to the process that was going on, and not completed, at the time that the Constitution of 1875 was made, the result of the Houston settlement.

MR. JONES-Yes, I understand that.

MR. OATES-Let me interrupt you a little more, please. It had gone on, and in my administration it had not been completed. Certain parties were holding back their bonds and demanding the interest. I drafted a statute of limitations and got the Legislature to pass it in 1894-5, which provided that any of these bonds which were not presented for exchange by the first day of July, 1896, should be forever barred, and that is the only way that was ever completed, to which the Constitution refers there. But in the opinion of Hornblower and others, the prior language having referred to a former question against the creation of any new debt, rendered it very hazardous, and they thought they would not advise the taking of new bonds, because it might be an increase of debts which were prohibited in the same section of the Constitution.

MR. JONES-Yes, but the latter part of that section controls all that goes before, and it is to be incorporated into this section of the Constitution.

Now, so far as the State Capitol is concerned, why cannot the Legislature improve the Capitol? All of us have State pride, and would like to see our State Capitol compare with any Capitol in this broad land, and if we had the means I would say do it. Now there is another thing if you notice in the old Constitution. You will see that the Governor is authorized to negotiate temporary loans, never to exceed $100,000. What does the Committee report here? The report of the Committee says not to exceed $300,000. There is a provision, an additional one, and it is not necessary that we should say anything to the Legislature in reference to purchasing this property for the State of Alabama.

Mr. President, while I merely give it as my opinion. we came here for a special purpose. There may be one man in this Convention of ordinary sense, and he can sit down in his room and offer amendments to articles that are brought in here, and keep this Convention in session for a month's time. Any man can do that where it is entirely unnecessary, and where the Legislature can do the work that we are attempting to do unnecessarily .

MR. deGRAFFENREID-I move that the amendment of the gentleman from Montgomery be laid upon the table.

Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for, and by a vote of 76 ayes to 24 noes the motion to table carried.

MR. WATTS-I have an amendment.

The amendment was read as follows:


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Amend Section 3 of  Taxation Report by adding at the end of said section the words: Provided the General Assembly may increase the State debt not exceeding $200,000 for the improvement of the Capitol, and adding to its grounds.

MR. WATTS---I did not favor the amendment offered by my distinguished friend from Montgomery, because it involved two or three different propositions, the one as to the issue of bonds being clearly a matter within the discretion of the Legislature, and ought not to be incorporated into the Constitution. The other feature of this amendment in the shape in which it was offered, was perhaps open to the same objection, but I favor the purchase by the State of Alabama of the balance of the square upon which the Capitol stands, and I have offered this amendment to Section 3 for the purpose of enabling the Legislature to find the means, if necessary, to purchase the grounds and to improve this Capitol building, if in their discretion, after a consideration of the matter, they should deem it wise to do so.  There can be no question about the fact, I take it, with Alabamians, that the building which represents their Capitol, and in which the business of the State is carried on, should at least be kept in repair, and should present a decent appearance to visitors and should be a credit to the State. I agree fully with my distinguished colleague from Montgomery that there should be additions to this building; that there should be repairs made to it, and to do that it may not be necessary to issue bonds. This section as reported by the Committee on Taxation inhibits an increase of the State debt for any purpose, except the purposes stated in it, and therefore, if the Legislature in its wisdom should ever determine to improve this Capitol, and there was not sufficient money in the State Treasury to do it, they would be unable to do it, and the Capitol building would be left without improvement for want of power on the part of the General Assembly to provide the means to carry out the improvement. I have been in many of the Capitols of the States of this American Union, and I have looked upon the Capitol buildings which those States have erected, and I believe, with the single exception of Rhode Island, there is not a single one of them that does not excel in beauty and in elegance the Capitol of the great State of Alabama. I believe, Mr. President, that it is the duty of the Legislature to acquire the balance of this square. I think that these houses to the south here should be removed. I think that that land should be gathered into the Capitol grounds and beautified, and made a part of those grounds. Whatever the ultimate object may be, to erect a Governor's mansion, or what other uses it should be put to, it at least should be owned by the State.

Some suggestion has been made, or hinted at, that this would simply aid the city of Montgomery to have beautiful grounds.


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That sort of thought should not enter the minds of delegates when they cast they eyes back a few years and remember that the city of Montgomery, as a free gift, presented to the State of Alabama the northern side of these grounds without one dollar of compensation. Does it stand then in good taste to be saying that the purchase of the south side of these grounds to complete the whole, and make it a thing of beauty, should not be done because forsooth it may add some to the beauty of Montgomery. Alabamians should be proud of their Capital City. It is redolent with history. As my distinguished friend says, upon these grounds and in this city, a young nation was born. It is true it was short lived, but ever since that nation was born, the bravery and heroism of its soldiers have been the wonder of the world. Here, Mr. President, the first Confederate Congress was established. Here Mr. Davis was inaugurated President of the Confederate States, and upon these grounds to the north, the fair, the patriotic and the untiring women of Alabama have erected a magnificent monument which shall for all time bear testimony to the valor of those soldiers who fought for principle, for home, for country and for fireside. Shall we have less ambition, shall we have less pride in our Capitol City, and have less pride in our capitol grounds than our women? Another thing, you have been over your Capitol City since you have been here, and you see how well it is paved. You see what a magnificent system of sewerage we have. You see what water we have. You ought to encourage, and you ought to be proud of your Capital City. Why, gentlemen, it is the best paved, the cleanest and the best policed city in our beautiful Southland. I think this amendment should be adopted so that when the Legislature meets, whether it be next year, or four years from now, or two years, and they, come to consider this question of beautifying the Capitol grounds, and improving this Capitol they should not be hampered or met with the cry of a depleted or an empty treasury.

Another part of this report, Mr. President, provides that the tax rate should be reduced from seventy-five to sixty-five cents on the hundred dollars. If that part of the report should be adopted, we will find that there will perhaps be no funds in the treasury for the improvement of the Capitol. Will we not then bind down the Legislature, by saying their hands shall be tied, and that they shall not have the power to provide for the improvement of this building? They  may not exercise the lower of issuing these two hundred thousand dollars of bonds, they may never have occasion to do so. Alabama may prosper in the future as she has prospered in the past. Her revenues may increase. Her treasury may be full, and they may be able to appropriate out of the treasury the funds necessary for the purposes intended, but if the time should come, Mr. President, when such is not the case, let us so fix this Constitution that the Legislature


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shall have the power of appropriating or borrowing the money for the improvement of the State Capitol and its grounds.

MR. WEATHERLY-I do not wish to appear discourteous to the gentleman who has offered the amendment in what I am about to propose, nor do I intend to say that I lack sympathy for the cause which he advocates, but solely for the purpose of doing whatever I can to help to confine this convention to its real work, I move to lay the delegate's amendment on the table.

MR. WATTS-Upon that I call for the ayes and noes.

The Chair declared that the call was not sustained, and upon a vote being  taken the motion to table prevailed.

MR. BROWNE - I move the previous question on the adoption of Section 3.

The main question was ordered, and upon a further vote being taken the Section was adopted.

The President resumed the Chair.

THE PRESIDENT - The Clerk will read the next Section.

Section 4 was read as follows:

Sec. 4. The General Assembly shall not have the power to levy, in any one year, a greater rate of taxation than sixty-five one-hundredths of 1 per centum on the value of the taxable property within this State.

MR. BROWNE - With reference to that Section I desire to say that the Committee on Taxation has made a very thorough and very careful investigation into the condition of the finances of the State. In the estimate that I presented before this Convention when the Article was first taken up, I think that I clearly showed that we could safely reduce the rate of taxation from 75 to 65 cents upon the $100, to take effect within the next fiscal year, and that we would then have a surplus of receipts over expenditures. I know that some gentlemen have criticised those figures, but let us see whether or not they can be justly criticised.

The levy for the next fiscal year has already been made by the Legislature. The expenditures for the next fiscal year are already fixed and cannot be increased or decreased. Then, all that is necessary to be done is to see what amount of receipts we will have for the next fiscal year, basing the receipts upon the same property valuation that we had for the last fiscal year. Certainly no gentleman upon the floor of this Convention  will for one moment contend that the tax valuation of property for this year will be less than it was last year. Taking the same valuation that we had for last year, adding to the receipts of next year the clean surplus of $59,000 of receipts for this fiscal year over disburse-


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ments, then taking $147,000 of extraordinary appropriations for this fiscal year, which have been made and cannot be made for next year, adding to that $71,000 that was expended in the reduction of the deficit this year that will not and cannot be expended for next year and we have about the sum of $280,000, which will be the difference between the receipts and disbursements for the fiscal year ending October 1, 1902.

Take from that one mill, which nets the State $247,000, and any one that understands figures will readily see that this tax rate can be lowered for the next fiscal year.

I then went further in the statement and said we could safely estimate the increase of taxable values for the next fiscal year, over the last, at $8,000,000, the amount of the increase of this year over last. But gentlemen who oppose this reduction said it will not amount to that, and I wrote a letter to every Probate Judge in the State of Alabama and I asked him two questions: what was the taxable value of the property in your county for the last year, and what is the taxable value for this year? I have had replies from thirty-four Probate Judges, and they show an increase of $8,200,000, and we still have thirty-two Probate Judges to hear from. That will net the State, in addition to the surplus, forty odd thousand dollars; then the increase from license taxes estimated at $20,000, would make an increase of $60,000, even if we should reduce the tax.

Now another estimate in those figures of the other day, and some gentlemen don't like estimates, I estimated that the receipts of this fiscal year at the actual amount of the receipts received into the State Treasury as shown in the Auditor's Office, up to June 18. I then estimated the receipts from the 18th to September 30th, at the same ratio of increase as was the ratio of increase tip to June 18th of last year, which gave me $10,000. Gentlemen said that would not do. I went into the Auditor's Office this morning and I asked him two questions: what were your receipts last year from June 18th, until and inclusive of June 27th, nine days, and I got the figures. What have they been this year up to the close of your office last night? I got the figures, and I had the Chief Clerk in the Auditor's Office to make the calculation, and I found $6,500 in excess of last year for nine days, and I only claimed $10,000 for the time between June 18th and September 30th.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)-I would like to ask a question. I do not do it in a spirit of antagonism, but to hear you discuss it.

MR. BROWNE-I am glad to accommodate the gentleman.

MR. SAMFORD-We are on the eve of refunding the State debt. What is your idea about the reduction of the tax limit and its effect upon that proposition?


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MR. BROWNE-I will state that the matter has been very carefully considered by the Committee, and that the Committee agree that it will not have any deliterious effect upon the refunding of the State debt.

Now, I think these figures clearly show that we could reduce this tax rate for the next year. The Committee does not so recommend, however.  The last General Assembly has made a levy at seventy-five; that is at fifty-five for general purposes, and one extra mill for soldiers and one extra mill for educational purposes. Now that levy having been made, this provision to reduce is “the General Assembly shall not have the power to levy, after the ratification of this Constitution.”  We do not propose to interfere with the levy already made, so we calculate the receipts for the coming fiscal year, and adding to it the amount of tax derived at fifty-five for general purposes, upon the extra eight million valuation, although we have eight million two hundred thousand from thirty-two counties and it will be oat least twelve millions, and we add to it an increase of only twenty thousand dollars from license taxes, when it will be over fifty in all probability; then we go over into next year with a surplus of fifty-nine thousand dollars, in addition to the cash balance in the treasury, over which there has eternally been so much dispute, when there ought never to have been any.  One man will call it a surplus and another will say it is not a surplus. Lose sight of surplus altogether. When a man has got a hundred dollars in his pocket, with nothing  against it, and wants to buy a pair of shoes, he does not sit down and figure whether or not that is a surplus.  The State of Alabama on the first day of October had six hundred and twenty thousand dollars - it was more than that, but against part of it there were outstanding warrants- but it had in the treasury on the 1st of last October, sic hundred and twenty thousand dollars, against which there were no outstanding warrants; but, there were chargable against that, bookkeeping liabilities of something over seven hundred thousand dollars.  Those liabilities were not due. They were payable in October, November and December following. If the State had gone out of business on the first of October, and not collected its taxes for October, November and December, not only those liabilities would have had to have been paid out of that cash balance, but the nine million of bonds would  have had to have been paid out of that pitiful six hundred and twenty thousand dollars, but those liabilities have since been paid, and we got in practically enough receipts from taxes and licenses in October and November and December to pay those liabilities as they fell due without touching the six hundred and twenty thou- sand, and instead of only six hundred and twenty we now have  over eight hundred thousand dollars and all July interest paid.


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Now that seven hundred thousand that was paid in October, November and December, that was charged against that balance in the treasury, is now charged against the receipts of this year, and at the end of this year, they will then go and charge October, November and December liabilities of the next fiscal year against this fiscal year, showing a charge against the receipts of this year of fourteen hundred thousand dollars when it only ought to be seven hundred thousand.

Be that as it may, on the first day of October, 1902-

The hour of adjournment having arrived, leaves of absence were granted Mr. Mulkey for Saturday and Monday, and Mr. Norwood for this afternoon and Saturday, and thereupon the Convention adjourned until 3 o'clock p. m.                                             ______________

AFTERNOON SESSION.

The Convention reconvened at 3 o'clock, p. m., and upon the call of the roll one hundred and nineteen delegates responded to their names.

Leaves of absence were granted as follows:

Mr. Freeman for Saturday, Monday and Tuesday; Mr. Haley for Saturday and Monday; Mr. Jones of Montgomery, for this afternoon; Mr. Pearce until Wednesday afternoon; Mr. Cunningham of Jefferson, for tomorrow; Mr. Graham (Talladega), Saturday, Monday and Tuesday; Mr. Foshee, for Saturday.

MR. BROWNE-When the Convention adjourned at noon, I had just started to show the condition of the treasury on the first day of October, 1902, or upon the last day of September, at the close of that fiscal year. We will then have in the treasury, an excess of receipts for the present fiscal year over disbursements of fifty-nine thousand dollars; we will have the amount of two hundred and eighteen thousand dollars, which is the amount of extraordinary appropriations of this year, that will not be expended out of the receipts next year; we will have, in addition, an increase from the increase in taxable values of at least fifty thousand dollars; we will have an increase of at least twenty thousand dollars from license taxes, making three hundred and forty-seven thousand dollars excess of receipts over disbursements. That will be an actual surplus and a bookkeeping surplus as well, against which there will be chargable no liabilities whatever.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)-Will the gentleman pardon me?

That two hundred and eighteen thousand dollars that you speak of, what fund is that?

MR. BROWNE-Seventy-one thousand dollars deficit paid off by the treasury, this year, that will not be to pay next year;


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thirty-two thousand dollars extra appropriation for the girls' school building; forty thousand dollars money paid out of the treasury  refunded, illegal license tax, fifty thousand dollars for the expenses of this Constitutional Convention, twenty-five thou- sand dollars, one half of the expense of a session of the legislature, all of that being chargable to this year. The expenses of a session of the legislature are charged against one year, the legislature meeting in November, and the whole expense of the session is chargable against one year. Those figures foot up two hundred and eighteen thousand dollars.

Now they will have a session of the legislature next year, but only twenty-five thousand dollars of it will be chargable against the receipts for next year; really, none of it will be, because it will go into the next succeeding fiscal year. That gives you three hundred and forty-seven thousand dollars, and there is no amount of figuring that can get around that actual surplus, neither can it be gotten around that it is a bookkeeping surplus. You cannot keep books, so as to charge anything against that three hundred and forty-seven thousand dollars. In addition there is, I won't call it a surplus, some people object to that, but in addition to that there will be a cash balance in the treasury of some six hundred and fifty, to six hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars.

MR. OATES-When?

MR. BROWNE-On the first day of October, 1902. We are getting down to the time that the Committee proposes this tax reduction. That actual cash balance was six hundred and twenty thousand dollars on the first day of this fiscal year. Now on the first day of the next fiscal year, we will have that six hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars, with nothing chargable against it-I mean nothing payable out of it. There will be liabilities chargable against it, but they will be payable in the future, and if the State continues in business, that money  will not be touched. There will be in the treasury of the State of Alabama on the first day of October, 1902, at least $1,047,000, of which three hundred and forty-seven thousand dollars will be an actual surplus, and to all intents and purposes the other seven hundred thousand is a surplus. It is a cash balance. If the State goes on in business, it will collect during next October, November and December a great deal more than is sufficient to pay the liabilities that will be on the looks, chargeable against that cash balance.

Then it is proposed to allow the next General Assembly to levy only a six and one-half mill rate, one mill of which is to be for the public schools as now, one mill for the soldiers, and four and a half for general purposes. Now, the lessened receipts, if the taxable values of property remains as it is now, would only be $247,000, but the taxable values we see have increased this


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year over last year ten to twelve millions of dollars, so the lessened net receipts on account of the one mill would be in the neighborhood of $260,000. It, therefore, appears that the State of Alabama can easily, in the first place go to this reduction of one mill within the next fiscal year. It will have a real surplus of about $50,000 then, but at the end of the next fiscal year, there will be a real surplus of about $347,000, and you cannot figure it any lower and in addition to that the cash balance.

Now we have not yet taken into consideration that it is agreed all around that the bonded indebtedness of the State of Alabama can be refunded at a saving of not less than $120,000 a year. There is no doubt upon that question. There are gentlemen upon this floor who know almost with an absolute certainty where Alabama's bonded indebtedness can now be refunded at less than three and one-half per cent. So we might with safety---

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega) -Isn't that estimate that it can be placed at 3 1-2 per cent. based largely upon the fact we now have a tax rate of seventy-five and not on the prospect of a reduction?

MR. BROWNE-No sir, it is not; it is simply based upon good sound business principles. There is not a dealer in bonds in the United States who would not be absolutely satisfied with these figures, and willing to take these bonds at the lowest possible rate. Mr. President, I have just had a little experience in assisting to float some bonds for the city of Talladega, and we got the bonds of that city floated, though it is true we had to pay a higher rate of interest, but the city had defaulted for seven years upon its interest and only paid up one-half of the interest, and if we had had any such showing as this, that little town could have floated her bonds at 3 1-2. Bond holders do not require that heavy rates of taxation be assessed against the people before they will take the bonds. All that is necessary is to show them that there are sufficient assets to pay the interest upon the bonded indebtedness. How much money pray, will it take to pay the interest at 3 1-4 or 3 1-2 per cent., on $9,000,000? A little over $300,000, and this year the State of Alabama collects in taxes and licenses over $2,800,000. Now I would like to see the bondholder that would be afraid to risk the State of Alabama paying out of that the sum of $300,000. There is $120,000 interest that can be saved in refunding that bonded indebtedness that we do not take into consideration at all.

Mr. President, gentlemen who oppose this reduction, probably have not thought or remembered, or probably never knew, that we are building in the State of Alabama today cotton factories at the rate of $9,000,000 a year. Those cotton factories, as a rule, are small factories, with a capital of from $100,000 to $150,000, and I have not known any of them to run three years without


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doubling the capital and doubling the capacity. If the rate of building cotton factories keeps up as it has since the passage of the law of 1897, which exempted them from taxation for ten years, until that exemption expires in 1907, we will, in 1907, be collecting taxes at a low estimate upon $75,000,000 invested in cotton factories. But gentlemen may say that we have no right to expect that it will be kept up. Possibly not.  If they do not keep it up, in 1907 we will be collecting taxes upon at least $40,000,000 of cotton factories without building any more.

It will probably be urged by those who oppose this reduction, that we cannot count on any increased values in the future. When this report was made, the argument was made against it that we had no right to expect any increase this year over last. I thought then that any man in Alabama who did not know that there would be an increase of taxable values this year over last, certainly had his eyes shut all the while. The reports of the Probate Judges show that the increase this year will be at least $12,000,000.

Now, panics have always come in the past, in eras of ten years. Sometimes they have come as close together as eight years, but never any closer. Four years ago was the period of the greatest depression of property values in Alabama, since the panic, or since the boom. There were only $241.000,000 of taxable values in Alabama four years ago. They have, in four years, steadily increased, until last year they were $260,000,000, and they will be $278,000,000 this year. Now gentlemen who are so much afraid that the credit of the State of Alabama will be hurt, must take this into consideration that we have got at least four years more of prosperity during which time---

MR. OATES - Does the gentleman state that the taxable values in this year are $278,000,000.

MR. BROWNE-They will be this year.

MR. OATES-That is estimated

MR. BROWNE-It is estimated. I have the figures since we adjourned at dinner from two other counties.

MR. OATES-That is a larger amount of taxable property than has ever been shown.

MR. BROWNE-No, sir; we have not got back to the taxable value before the last panic.

MR. OATES-In 1891 ?

MR. BROWNE-Just about that. It was about $275,000,000 or $276,000,000.

MR. OATES-But it will make it larger than it ever was, if it is $278,000,000.


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MR. BROWNE-Well, practically the same; may be one or two million over, where we are only in the middle of a period of prosperity. We will have four such years more, if we presume we will have a panic in four years; but it does not make any difference when you do not count on one dollar's increase from this time one, because gentlemen can get up and say, in answer to that, that you believe that it will increase, and we believe that it will not. You do not need any increase in the taxable values to go on with a 65-cent rate, after the increase of this year. Certainly, gentlemen will not argue that we are going to have a panic next year. If they do, in answer to that I want to say: did you ever know a bank to keep all of its capital and all of its deposits on hand all the time looking for a panic, that is certain to come sometime in the future?  Must the State of Alabama collect taxes for which it has no legitimate use from the people, and hoard up the surplus in the treasury looking forward to a day when a panic will come upon us? With that three hundred and fortyseven thousand dollars of absolute surplus in 1902, and six hundred and seventy-five to seven hundred thousand dollars actual cash balance in the treasury, with the power in the Governor to borrow three hundred thousand dollars, we would be in a condition to stand a worse panic than we have ever known.

MR. OATES-Will the delegate allow another interruption?

MR. BROWN-Yes.

MR. OATES-Is it not without exception that in any and all governments we ever knew anything about, when there is a surplus in the treasury it leads to very extravagant appropriations?

MR. BROWNE-I thank the gentleman for the suggestion. They do not wait, Mr. President, until you have got a surplus; they simply wait until you have got a possible surplus in the future, and then members flock down to the General Assembly, each one with a pet scheme to get an appropriation for some pet object. And behind all of the opposition to the reduction of this rate of taxation is self-interest, not of individual members, but of particular objects. I do not know, it may become necessary before the close of this discussion to state where some of the opposition comes from, but I shall wait until it develops.

MR. ROBINSON-Was the report of this Committee on this section unanimous?

MR. BROW NE-Yes, sir; unanimous.

Now, I will state another thing, Mr. President, this is no pet scheme of mine, and as far as I know it is not the pet scheme of any member of the Committee. We had several resolutions referred to the Committee by members of this Convention, calling our attention to the pledge made by the Democratic party, in


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the platform, "be it resolved, that this Convention will lower the rate of State taxation if possible," and with two or three such resolutions before the Committee, and with several ordinances lowering the rate of taxation, it was our duty, Mr. President, to examine into that question carefully and thoroughly, and to report upon it accordingly, which we did.

MR. FOSTER-Will the gentleman allow a question?

MR. BROWNE-Certainly.

MR. FOSTER-The assessed value of the property in the State now is two hundred and sixty-six millions?

MR. BROWNE-Yes, sir.

MR. FOSTER - If there is a seventeen million increase, won't it make it two hundred and eighty-three million?

MR. BROWNE-Yes, but I do not count on its being seventeen. We have only heard from thirty-six counties altogether--

MR. FOSTER -  I will ask the gentleman if the two hundred and sixty-six million was not for the year 1900, and the present year's assessment is not about eight million over that?

MR. BROWNE-It will be at least twelve million over that of this year, upon which we collect taxes this fall.

MR. FOSTER-Will the increase this year be about twelve million also?

MR. BROWNE-That is the increase for this year.

MR. FOSTER-I mean the increase next October.

MR. BROWNE-We do not know what that will be.

MR. FOSTER-I thought that was it.

MR. BROWNE-No, this increase I have here is an actual increase this year over last, upon which increased assessment we collect taxes this fall. It is $8,445,000 from thirty-six counties, leaving thirty counties to be heard from.

I have received in reply to these letters I have written to the probate judges, asking simply two questions in several instances communications from them urging that this Constitutional Convention enact some measure that would tend to cause some law to be enacted looking to the equalization of taxation over the State. I introduced an amendment to the report of the Committee on Executive Department a few days ago, providing that certain State officers should be a Board of Equalization, which was very promptly laid upon the table. Some of the probate judges write me that in their counties property is not assessed at


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over fifty- cents of its actual value. Now the point that I  wish to make right there is this: as you lower the rate of taxation, you increase the taxable value of the property, and as you increase the taxable value of property you lower the rate.

Now I have examined the records with regard to the rate of taxes collected by a great many of the cities of the United States. We have heard different towns and localities in Alabama say look what a grand city Chicago is, and it never could have been such a magnificent city, if they had not levied and collected a rate of taxation of $5.50 upon every hundred dollars' worth of property. Go and look at the record, and you. will see that it is the universal rule in Chicago for the Board of Assessors to assess the property at 10 per cent. of its value. Now when you figure it on that basis, Chicago has a rate of 55 cents.

Illinois and Indiana levy a larger rate of taxation than Alabama, but it is officially known and stated that the assessable value of the real and personal property that is given in for taxes in both of those States at only from 20 to 25 per cent. of its real value. By looking at the figures in Alabama you will see that when taxes are raised, the values do not go up quite so rapidly. There is no doubt that the reduction of the rate from 75 to 65 cents will of itself increase the value sufficiently to make up for the difference.

Now, Mr. President, in conclusion, I desire to say that as far as I am concerned, I do not desire this reduction of taxation for the benefit of the poor farmer alone, of whom we have heard so much upon the floor of this Convention. I desire it mainly in the interest of the welfare and industrial development of the State of Alabama. Georgia collects a State tax of 55 cents; Tennessee collects 50; Louisiana limits it to 60 in her Constitution. Industries and capital will not come to Alabama and locate where you have a fixed lien on their property of 75 cents upon the $100, when they can go to States which have equal advantages and where the lien is much less. Georgia, it is true, has no constitutional limit upon the rate of taxation, but she has now a rate of a little over 55, less than 56, for all purposes, and that is considered in that State an exorbitant rate, and is the highest rate that they have had for several years. It is a well known fact that the rate of taxation in Chattanooga was the cause of building Roseville in Georgia. Hundreds of thousands of dollars came to Chattanooga for investment in manufacturing industries but the rate of taxation was high and they went a mile and a half, into Georgia line, and put down hundreds of thousands of dollars of property.

MR. HOWZE-I desire to offer an amendment.

The amendment was read as follows:

Amend Section 4 by striking out the words "sixty-five," and inserting in lieu thereof the words "seventy-five," and adding at


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the end of the section the following: "for two years succeeding the adoption of the Constitution, after which no greater rate than sixty-five one-hundredths of one per centum shall be levied."

MR. HOWZE-In offering the amendment I feel somewhat embarrassed for two reasons. In the first place, I dislike very much to appear antagonistic to this able Committee on Taxation, which I am satisfied have thoroughly investigated the subject; in the second place, I do not want to appear as if I am antagonistic to a reduction of the taxes, because I am not; but it seems to me, Mr. President, and gentlemen, that there is some little doubt can the statement by the chairman of this committee, as to whether or not it will be wise for us to make this reduction at once. It seems to me that the margin which the gentleman has presented in the figures which he has given, is rather too slim to justify us right now in changing the rate of taxation. It seems it would be a much wiser plan to wait at least two years. until we can get prepared for this change in our rate of taxation.

If this surplus accumulates, as the distinguished chairman of this committee has predicted, it would be wise to reduce the rate of taxation, and I feel we can trust the Legislature to make such a reduction, but it does seem to me that we are running a risk, and too much of a risk, to reduce the rate of taxation at once. There are extraordinary payments that will arise every year in our history. Instances will occur where we will be called upon to make extraordinary payments, and there is no certainty that this surplus will accumulate as our friend has told us in his remarks this evening that it will. I do believe that the tax rate ought to be reduced, and I think it is something we ought all to anxiously hope for and demand, but it seems to me that we should not venture to hurriedly upset our tax plan, if we are wise men, as we will by this amendment to our Constitution. I think that after two years, when we can get prepared for this reduction, that it ought to be made, and I insist that my amendment covers the exigencies of the case and will prepare our State for this important event.

MR. BAREFIELD-Will the gentleman allow one question?

MR. HOWZE-Certainly.

MR. BAREFIELD-Does the gentleman think it will be better to insert "seventy-five cents" and then, if we have a surplus in the treasury, allow the Legislature to reduce it?

MR. HOWZE-No, I do not think that would be best. I think it would have a better influence, as the chairman of the committee has stated, for us to put it upon record that we propose that all taxation shall be limited by our fundamental law. I think that the Legislature might probably make a reduction of the taxation, but it seems to me it would be wiser and best to put it


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in the fundamental law, and publish it to the world that we intend that our taxation shall be limited, and, for that reason, I have suggested this amendment.

MR. BROWNE-Will the gentleman allow a question?

MR. HOWZE-Yes, sir.

MR. BROWNE-Upon what information does the gentleman predicate the suggestion he has offered that it would be unwise to decrease the rate of taxation beginning with October, 1902?

MR. HOWZE-Upon your statement almost entirely.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)-If your conclusion is that the figures are too slim, the committee is anxious for you to point out the difficulty. Don't say that the figures are too slim, and let nobody know to what you refer, but give us the figures.

MR. HOWZE-From what I have heard of the figures given by the chairman of the committee, this surplus is made upon a basis depending upon the payment of extraordinary expenses that we have made, such as the holding of this Convention and other things, the meeting of the Legislature and the refunding of a license tax. All of these things he has counted in, in order to make up this surplus. Now these extraordinary expenses may come on in the next year or two. We do not know whether they will or not, and I say a surplus of one hundred and fifty or two hundred thousand dollars is not too large a surplus for us to look to in making this reduction. If the surplus accumulates within two years, there is nothing to prevent the next session of the Legislature from reducing the rate of taxation, but it does seem to me that it would not be wise for this Convention to abruptly reduce it as I understand it would go into effect almost immediately.

MR. BROWNE-After the 1st of October, 1902.

MR. HOWZE-You have not got that in the Section.

MR. BROWNE-The levy for the next fiscal year has already been made. This can only apply to levies to be made after that.

MR. HOWZE-In 1902?

MR. BROWNE-The levy under the new Constitution would not be made until December, 1902, and consequently the rate would not go into effect until 1903.

MR. HOWZE-I think that is too short a time for us to take this leap.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)--I wish to offer an amendment to the amendment.


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The Clerk read the amendment as follows: Amend the amendment by striking out all of it except the words "seventy-five cents."

THE PRESIDENT-The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Talladega to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson to Section 4 as reported by the Committee. I now recognize the gentleman from Talladega.

MR. GRAHAM-Mr. President, I offered this amendment, not for the purpose of holding on to the burden of taxation or increasing the burden of taxation in Alabama, but out of abundance of caution. I must confess frankly that I have not the financial optimism of the. Committee. No doubt the majority of that Committee are better versed in finances than myself, both from their public experience and their private holdings. At the same time I want to say that no member of that Committee appreciates more the duties of a delegate in this Convention with reference to the tax-payers of this State than I do, and I want to say at the same time that no member of that Committee appreciates the credit and standing of the State of Alabama in the financial world more than I do. They talk about increase in valuation. I refer you to page 21 of the last report of the Auditor. In the year 1890 which was scarcely eleven years ago, the taxable values of this State were $259,000,000 in round numbers. In 1891 they were $275,000,000 in round numbers, the highest tide that we have ever reached. In 1892 they were $260,000,000, $15,000,000 decrease in one year. The next year they went down nearly $1,000,000. In 1895 they dropped to $243,000,000, and in 1895, scarcely six years ago they were $241,000,000; they commenced to go up and in 1900 they had reached $260,000,000, upon the estimate of the Chairman of the Committee we will get a little above $275,000,000 for" the present year, and we get back to where we were in 1891. Where is the man of financial ken in this body that can undertake to tell us that in 1905 we will not find ourselves in the attitude that we were in 1895, drop back to $241,000,000. Then what are you going to do with the credit of the State of Alabama with a limitation of 6 1-2 mills for taxing power. I make this argument upon the presumption that the State of Alabama is going to maintain its faith with the people in the appropriation for schools and for the Confederate soldiers.

MR. ROBINSON (Chambers)-I will ask the gentleman if he knows what the tax rate was in 1895 ?

MR. GRAHAM-I think one-half mill to the soldiers at that time we have a mill now.

MR. ROBINSON-What was the tax rate?

MR. GRAHAM---Five and one-half mills.


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MR. OATES - I was going to say that at the session of 1894-5 it was increased from five to five and a half mills.

MR. GRAHAM-Mind you, only one-half mill levied for the soldiers, and at the present time we have one mill for them.

MR. BROWNE-Does the gentleman not know that in those days they did not collect the amount of corporation taxes that are now collected?

MR. GRAHAM-Certainly, I know that.

MR. BROWN-Don't the gentlemen know that large valuation of $275,000,000 was made up largely out of inflated values of boom town property which collapsed about that time, and that the shrinkage in values immediately following that was on account mainly of shrinkage in boom town property?

MR. GRAHAM-I understand that and appreciate it fully, but I care not whether it was levied on boomed town property, it was a tax and it was money when it was collected-boom or no boom. I was going on to say that we now have an obligation with the Confederate soldiers of this State for one mill tax, which is one-half mill above that of 1895, and we have a contract appropriation with the citizens of this State for the support of the public schools of a one-mill tax that we did not have at that time. I am making this argument, as I say, out of abundance of caution, and not with a view of keeping up taxes in the State of Alabama. Suppose we do have these excellent values that they speak of? Can we not trust the Legislature with the tax rate? Did we not trust them when they put it at five and one-half mills, and when they put it at four mills, when they could have raised it to seven and a half mills? Isn't it a fact, gentlemen, that every man in this room who becomes a candidate for the Legislature usually incorporates in the first plank of his platform a reduction of taxes if the finances of the State will permit it. Do you suppose the character of the candidates for the Legislature is going to change? I think it is impossible for the leopard to change his spots, and it will be impossible for the politician to change his platform-reduction of taxes. The distinguished gentleman who comes from my county, and the chairman of this committee, said it was not the province of the Constitutional Convention to levy taxes, but to fix the limit.

MR. BROWNE-When did I say that?

MR. GRAHAM-And we are not today levying a tax by my amendment of 75 cents, but we are simply fixing the limit for the protection of the credit and the good name of the State of Alabama, and leaving it to the patriotism and the business sense of future Legislatures to levy a tax under that constitutional limit of 75 cents. When this act passed calling this Constitutional


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Convention, there was no guaranty of a decrease in the limitation of tax rates we simply promised that we would not disturb the present rate of taxation. It is true that the Democratic party came on and said if it was possible, we would make a reduction, but do the figures of the Auditor for the year 1900, and for years past say that we can afford to do it? I asked the gentleman a while ago the question in regard to the renewal of the State's debt, bonds at 3 1-2 per cent, if that estimate was not largely upon the fact that the State of Alabama had a maximum rate of 75 cents. He differs with me in his answer to that question. It is not worth while to argue to a man for a moment that when a person undertakes to handle bonds that he is going to investigate not only the maximum tax rate, but he is going to investigate the valuations of the State or municipality for years past, and when he investigates the fluctuations of Alabama valuations, whether boom or not, he is going to fix his estimate on the average he strikes of the years he examines. Now I cannot undertake to follow the intricacies of those figures, but I refer you to page 15 of the Auditor's report, of his estimate for the year ending September 30th, 1901, and let us see how it tallies with the estimate of this Committee. On page 15 he makes the estimated total for receipts $2,547,500 for the year 1901.

MR. BROWNE-Will the gentleman allow me to interrupt him a moment.

MR. GRAHAM-Certainly.

MR. BROWNE-The estimate was of the receipts and disbursements for this fiscal year, and are identical to a fractional part of a cent with the estimate made by our Committee-with Judge Cook of the Auditor's office. The figures you have before you-if the gentleman had taken the trouble to inquire in the Auditor's office, he would have found that estimates were made a year ago, and that the receipts were $300,000 more than the estimate, and the disbursement $240,000.

MR. GRAHAM-I will answer in a moment. I am quoting from the Auditor's report made a year ago, and the receipts are $2,547,500, and the disbursements $2,526,970, showing only a surplus of $21,000, in round numbers, and that does not include what the State of Alabama had to pay back to the University on account of the land sale which did not go into effect$56,000 is the sum-

MR. SAMFORD-Does it include what was to be paid back?

MR. GRAHAM-Does not include any extraordinary appropriation made by the last legislature. As to the difference of the gentleman's estimate and the present, I say it in the hearing of men who were in the last legislature, and of men who have served Alabama in many legislatures, that we have today upon our sta-


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tute books the most drastic revenue law ever framed in Alabama. You cannot undertake to make estimates for future years upon the income or the estimated income which this revenue act will bring in framed by the last legislature. Shall we give the Governor of Alabama-the then acting Governor and the present Governor-any credit for financial sense and for the investigation of figures when we read his able and well-considered message to the legislature of Alabama, which said in substance: Gentlemen, you have reached the limit, you must make no more appropriations. Can we not trust our lamented Governor whom, as soon as he was able to assume the duties to which the unanimous voice of the people had called him, in his very first message to the legislature said in substance: Gentlemen, you must call a halt, you have reached the limit and you must protect the credit and the good name of Alabama, you cannot do it if you make any more appropriations. Now I attach some weight to these messages of these two Governors. I attach some weight to the opinion of such men as Richard Clarke of Mobile, who made a speech upon this very floor and told the legislature of Alabama that they had reached the limit and that they must protect the good name of the State. I ask you, gentlemen, why did a bill which passed this House appropriating $100,000 to the Confederate soldiers of Alabama, why did that bill die in the Senate? Was it because men in that body (did not esteem and revere the patriotism and the memories of the men of 1860 and 1865 ? No, gentlemen, it was not for that because Alabama does love her soldiers, dead and those alive, they refused to do it simply because the business sense and wisdom of the State said that the Treasury would not bear the appropriation at the present rate of taxation. Now, gentlemen, I did not expect to mike this argument. I  did not want to do it because you well know that when the question of the reduction of taxes is suggested to some people they are willing to reduce without reference to the effect that it may have upon the State or upon the credit of the municipality whose rate is to be reduced. I said in the outset that I appreciated the burdens of the people, and of the tax payers and I would be the first man if this were to fix a rate to it could not be changed or reduced, I would be the first man to come up and say that I would stand by it if it had to be the fixed rate. But when you come to fix a limitation, and leave it to future legislators to fix the rate, I am, out of abundance of caution, in favor of leaving it to the Legislature. Was there any demand, gentlemen, when this question of calling the Constitutional Convention was up, that the tax limitation should be reduced. It never was heard of until the Democratic Convention and it was not heard of in the canvass, no man urged his election here that he might reduce the taxes, on the contrary the only pledge that I was asked to make any of my fellow citizens was, that I would not vote to raise the limit either of State, county


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 or city, and I am here to abide that pledge, and when I do abide by it, I have kept faith with every constituent I have and with the sovereign people of the State of Alabama.

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

THE PRESIDENT-Will the gentleman permit an interruption?

MR. GRAHAM---Certainly.

MR. REESE - Isn't it a fact that the tax valuations have doubled since the rate was provided, and is it a fact that the legitimate expense of government have doubled in the same time?

MR. GRAHAM-I do not understand the gentleman.

MR. REESE-Isn't it a fact that the tax valuation in 1900 were nearly double the tax valuations at the time of fixing this rate in 1875, and is it a fact that the legitimate expenses of State government have doubled in the same time-in twenty years?

MR. GRAHAM-I think so, sir. I see here from a table which I have before me, from 1876 down to 1900 that the tax valuations have nearly doubled and it seems that while we had a rate of four mills at one time, that we have gone back to seven and a half mills, and we are spending it all. Now then, gentlemen, if we can do this it is all right but out of abundance of caution-----

MR. OATES-If we are spending it all where are the $100,000 going to come from the gentleman assured us would be on hand to buy the additional ground and improvements for the Capital?

MR. GRAHAM-I am trying to get this Convention to answer that question. I stated at the beginning I did not know much about figuring these statistics, but I have read, gentlemen, within the past four years, a great deal in regard to a surplus and a deficit, I have never known whether there was one or the other, and I would not reflect upon any one in that matter, but it does seem to me that the very first discovery that Governor Jelks and Governor Samford made and revealed about the Treasury was, that there was no surplus for them, and it was necessary for the Legislature to call a halt. There was no abuse of the taxing powers or appropriations during the administration of Governor Johnston that can be severely criticised.

MR. HARRISON --- Do you believe that the influences brought to bear on the last Legislature to pass that $100,000, that if it had not been for the 7 1-2 cent limitation that they would have voted it anyhow?

MR. GRAHAM-I think they would, there is no doubt about it. I said a while ago that the men of Alabama appreciate the


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services of the men of 1861 and 1865 and it was only their business sense that said they must not go any further.

MR. HARRISON - Do you not believe that 55 cents is enough for the people of Alabama to pay?

MR. GRAHAM-I will answer that question with the condition it is enough for the people of Alabama to pay if they believe it right to take away the present one mill for Confederate soldiers and one mill for the public schools.

MR. BROWNE - Will the gentleman allow the to ask a question?

THE PRESIDENT-~Will the gentleman permit an interruption ?

MR. GRAHAM-Certainly.

MR. BROWNE-Has the gentleman examined into the figures in this matter sufficiently to say that in his opinion the rate cannot be reduced to 65 cents without taking away one mill?

MR. GRAHAM-I will say most emphatically from the report of the Auditor of 1900--

MR. BROWNE-Have you gone to the Auditor's office and had that report corrected to show what the actual receipts were and that they were $300,000 over this estimate?

MR. GRAHAM-I have not, but I have gone to the State Treasurer who said if you reduce this to 6 1-2 mills either the soldiers will lose one mill or the public schools of the State will lose one mill, and I believe from his experience in that office he knows something of the finances of the State of Alabama.

MR. BROWNE-Will the gentleman allow me to remark right there. Judge Cook has been the Chief Clerk for twelve years-without going into the matter as deeply as I have-he examined it before the committee, spent an hour and a half before the committee, and gave his opinion that they could safely lower the rate to 6 1-2 mills and not touch the one mill for the soldiers or for the schools, nor touch the $550,000.

MR. GRAHAM-One question. Did not judge Cook make this very table for 1900?

MR. BROWNE -That was an estimate for the future, and the Auditor's office will tell you that they are always conservative and make them less than they really are.

MR. GRAHAM-I am pleading for conservatism. I appreciate the conservatism of this estimate I have here more than the conservatism of the estimate which has been read by the committee.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. deGRAFFENREID-In the estimate Mr. Browne refers to, there was $75,000 estimated to be collected from the tax on guano?

MR. GRAHAM-Yes.

MR. deGRAFFENREID - And $20,000 from the sale of school lands ?

MR. GRAHAM-Yes, we have every possible estimate in the world in that including the drastic revenue law made for the express purpose of meeting a deficit. The Chairman of the committee who made the report informs me that they tax things that had never been taxed before and increased the taxes on other things that had never been increased before. I refer to Mr. Whitson of Talladega, and that this revenue was made for the express purpose of forestalling a deficit, and how we can find these figures that go into fairy lands within less than nine months after the Legislature has adjourned. I cannot understand, unless under the theory I expressed a while ago, the financial optimism that has seized me. I tell you that the people of Alabama would better appreciate that you leave the taxes at seventy-five cents and thus assure the maintenance of the credit of Alabama rather than they would if you were to pitch at their feet the morsel of sixtyfive cents and discredit the credit of the State within less than ten years or before we can call another Constitutional Convention.

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

MR. GRAHAM-Certainly.

MR. KIRK-Have you examined the figures and the statement made by the Chairman of the Taxation Committee?

MR. GRAHAM-No sir, not very- closely.

MR. KIRK-Can you show this Convention that that statement is incorrect?

MR. GRAHAM-No sir, I cannot, and I say that the committee cannot show that it is correct until the time has expired for which they made the estimate.

MR. KIRK-What do you understand will be the surplus in the Treasury if it be correct ?

MR. GRAHAM-I don't know what they claim.

MR. KIRK-What is it, Mr. Browne?

MR. BROWNE-At the end of this fiscal year, $659,000-the Auditor will not dispute it, and nobody will dispute it if he knows anything about figures.

MR. GRAHAM-What will be the liabilities?


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. BROWNE-In round figures, about that much, bookkeepers' figures, and the receipts for October, November and December will be more than sufficient to pay them, and they won't be due until then.

MR. GRAHAM-Don't the liabilities begin at once in its interest on the debt and amounts due monthly and quarterly?

MR. BROWNE-They are bookkeeping liabilities, but not payable until October, November and December, and the tax receipts will largely more than pay them.

MR. GRAHAM-They are estimated?

MR. BROWNE-No ; figures.

MR. GRAHAM-How are they actual when you are dealing with the future?

MR. BROWNE-We are not going on estimates alone. Go into the Auditor's office and you will find for October, November and December every dollar of this year's receipts; there are only $50,000 or $60,000, to come in for this fiscal year.

MR. GRAHAM-I would like to know if any of the tax assessments for this year have reached the Auditor's office?

MR. BROWN-They are not, but I do not suppose the gentleman doubts the statement I made a while ago that I had received information from thirty-four judges of Probate showing an increase in value of $12,000,000?

MR. GRAHAM-Not in the least. I simply asked the question if the tax assessment for the present year had gotten to the Auditor's office.

MR. BROWNE-I will state that the Auditor's chief clerk told me this morning that several of the Probate Judges had sent the estimate in, but that it was not properly done, as they should have kept the estimate until the Commissioners' Courts met in July, and called my attention to the fact that there would probably be a large increase when they met to determine that matter in July.

MR. GRAHAM-Now, in reply to these questions, I have only to say this, and I want my position understood, that it is not a criticism upon the action of this committee. I think it is commendable on their part to want to reduce the tax limit, and I join with them in it, but it is merely a question of caution, and in reply to all the question asked me, I put it to the committee, are you not willing to risk the patriotism and integrity of the Legislature to reduce the rate when they find the estimate you have made to be correct?

MR. KIRK-There is one other question I desire to ask.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. GRAHAM-Certainly.

MR. KIRK-What amount of surplus do you think we ought to provide for accumulating in the Treasury every year to put ourselves on the conservative idea that you suggest?

MR. GRAHAM-I cannot say just what amount that should lie, but I think it at least ought to be enough to meet fluctuations in value like we had from 1890 to 1895, and then back at the present time.

MR. KIRK-Were the assessments of last year and year before made upon boom valuations?

MR. GRAHAM-They were made upon a rising tide of values in Alabama, I am glad to say, and I believe we will reach high tide again next year in the natural course of financial matter, and it is the history of every State and every country that we have every ten or twelve years a period of depression, and I am only anticipating this again. I wish that this committee, in making their estimate, could, with their financial ken, assure us that this depression would not come back upon the people of Alabama within the next ten years. This Constitution, if we make it, and it is ratified, will stand for at least twenty-five years, and I do trust and hope that its conservatism not only on the franchise but on taxation, will be of such a character that it may stand for fifty years, and, gentlemen, I do not believe that 75 cents will be any too much to put in as a conservative maximum limitation. I will vote with the gentleman as readily as anybody should I become a member of the Legislature, for the reduction whenever the surplus appears. I ask you to guard what the State has done in the past and see to it that we take no backward step in our assistance to the Confederate soldiers, that their one mill shall stand there; that we take no backward step in educational matters, but that the one mill shall stand there, and with the $550,000 appropriation from the general fund, when you take those out bring it down to four and a half mills that the State must subsist on. and it has never been below four and a half mills but at one period, and when the distinguished ex-Governor was relating the trials that came upon him in the office of Chief Executive. I put in comparison with it that he suffered more than that on account of the embarrassment to the credit of the State anal the State failing to meet its obligations, and he could not borrow more than $100,000. I can remember when the school teachers of the State went unpaid for months at a time when we had no money and then the rate was four mills, and under this plan if you keep faith with the Confederate soldiers and the public schools, you bring it lack to four and a half mills as a maximum and what are you going to do when the days of 1890 and 1895 come back upon the State? Is not the credit of the State-----


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MR. OATES-I was going to suggest to you on that point that as late as 1895 the State had borrowed or obtained in some way $500,000 though it could only borrow $100,000. The way was done by placing the warrants of the State as collateral in New York and on the faith the people of New York had in this State and it was absolutely necessary in order to pay the teachers their money, and at that time the tax rate was five mills.

MR. GRAHAM-Five and a half including the soldiers.

MR. OATES-Five and a half at session of 1894-95.

MR. GRAHAM-And the State had $500,000 of floating indebtedness?

MR. OATES-Yes.

MR. GRAHAM-With the rate five mills and the Committee report brings it down to four and a half, you still have only one mill to go to the soldiers and one mill to the public School fund. Now there it is. There is the situation. I prefer to make it certain that the integrity of the State shall be maintained and then trust to the integrity of the Legislature that the taxing power of the State shall not be abused that is all that there is in my proposition. I have the utmost confidence in every member of that Committee, I approve the motives which inspired them to do it, but I fear that they are reasoning upon a false premise if they believe that the State of Alabama and the sovereign people prefer that they should tamper with the good name of the State, simply to give them a promise of reduction in taxation. Gentlemen, consider this question well, and when you do vote, vote with it in your mind that you are going to maintain faith with the people of the State who are dependent upon the public schools, and with the Confederate soldiers who have received of your bounty and the bounty of the taxpayers of the State. Let me put one more point to you before I close. I do not believe that this Convention is going to pass the present limit of five mills in each county and seven and a half mills IN the State. If you are not going to do that, where is the hole of the poor people of this State for educational facilities and educational fund except in the present State appropriation of $550,000 and the one mill special tax ? I apprehend that the franchise law which we will frame here will cut down the poll tax receipts in this State. I apprehend that. Where are you going to compensate for that loss? There can be no local taxation. You talk about what the people will do after you put it in the Constitution whether they will ratify it at the polls, and I say to you that the supreme thing which you may write in the Constitution of Alabama is not who shall or who shall not vote in the future, but when you go to the mass of the sovereign white people of this State, the supreme thing which you write in that Constitution will be the provision for the education of the white children of Alabama, and it is on that line and out of


1227

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abundance of caution, that I stand here and plead for this Convention to leave the tax limitation at 75 cents, and risk it to the honor and integrity of future legislators to see that the people are not burdened under this limit, and that no surplus accumulates in our Treasury.

MR. CUNNINGHAM-I take it for granted that there are some points upon which we all agree. First, that the honor and dignity of the State and its credit should remain absolutely unimpaired; second, that the appropriations mace for public schools should remain at least as high as they now are, and if possible increased; third, that the special tax for the benefit of ex-Confederate soldiers should remain what it is, and, if possible, be increased; fourth, that upon a majority of this Convention there is a limitation which acts as a bond of honor upon us, not to increase the tax rate of this State, and if possible to reduce it.

It, therefore, follows, Mr. President, that in recommending a reduction of the tax rate, the Committee should lie able to explain and satisfy this Convention that this can be done without sacrificing either the credit of the State, the educational interests of the State, or the interests of the old soldiers. I confess to you, Mr. President, so far as I am concerned, I have been converted to the view of the Committee, which is unanimous, by the statistics furnished by the distinguished, able and pains-taking Chairman of the Committee, which he gets fresh from the Auditor's office of this State. I believe, Mr. President, that he has shown and for the reasons given in his very able address to this body, that all of these interests can be protected and at the same time taxes reduced to the amount of ten cents on the one hundred dollars.

There are one or two points to which I desire to call special attention, and upon which to place special emphasis and that is that there will be for years to come a constant increase in the assessed valuation of property of this State and in proof of that I submit two facts; first, that the increase during the last few years has been due to an absolute increase of value and not speculative or boom prices. And I desire to call attention to the further fact that it is being demonstrated daily that the manufacture of cotton in this State can be done with a great prospect of dividends and with considerable return upon the money invested in it, and finally and that which in my judgment will add greatly to the value of the Taxable property of this State, is the established fact that when we can in Alabama make steel, and when it is established that we can make steel, it shows we are in the markets of the world for the highest products of iron. It has been established for years that we make the cheapest pig iron in the world. Now, since it has been demonstrated that we can make steel out of our ore and that we can make it cheaper than any other point in the world, it naturally follows that this country, especially this min-


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

eral district, will in the next few years, increase twenty-five or fifty percent in valuation.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)-What effect upon the mineral development of the State do you think the prospective steel trust will have?

MR. CUNNINGHAM-'That, Mr. President, is a practical question that enters into the economic consideration of trust. I will answer the gentleman by saying that I do not believe that the great iron industry of the State of Alabama will ever be incorporated into the Steel Trust of the United States, and if it is, it stands to reason that the steel trust of the United States would not shut down it property in which there is the largest profit and keep operating those in which there is the smallest profit, and I am here to say if that were done, if the iron industries of this State were absorbed by the United States Steel Company, the strong probability is it would double the iron and steel production of Alabama because those products can be more cheaply made here than elsewhere.

Another reason why I believe this tax rate can be reduced is because the statistics of the State show that as the tax rate is reduced there is a tendency to all increased assessment of property. I call especial attention to the Auditor's report on page 21 where delegates will see that the tax rate was seven and a half in 1876. In 1877 it was reduced to seven mills and it remained at that figure until 1880. Delegates will find by referring to this table that the assessed value gradually decreased front 1876 to 1879 inclusive. In 1880 the tax rate was reduced to six and a half mills and delegates will find that the assessed value of the State greatly increased until 1887. Delegates will find that after the tax rate was reduced to six mills the assessed value increased in 1885 and 1886 over what it was in 1884. In 1887 you will find that the tax rate was reduced to five and a half mills in that year the assessed valuation was $214,000,000. In 1888 it was $228,000,000. In 1889 the tax rate was reduced to four and a half mills and we find a constant increase in the assessed valuation of the property until 1892. It therefore follows that as we decrease the rate there is an increased assessment and as you increase the rate other thing being equal there is a diminished assessment of property. Now on the question of education.

MR. GRAHAM-One moment before the gentleman leaves that point. Do you not believe that the present State back tax law has raised the assessment to the highest limit possible?

MR. CUNNINGHAM-By reference to the Auditor's report you will find in the counties where the back tax law has operated it has been a great success and in the counties where it was not operated it was practically a nullity. We in Jefferson have felt it severely.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. GRAHAM-And righteously.

MR. CUNNINGHAM-Yes, righteously. Now, Mr. President, the gentleman's amendment proposes to strike out the only opportunity for local taxation for public schools. I am here to say that I am in favor of local taxation for public schools.

MR. GRAHAM-So am I.

MR. CUNNINGHAM-Not only that but I am in favor of an equitable distribution of the funds between the whites and the blacks of the State. The only opportunity to have local taxation for public schools is a reduction of the tax rate for the State and county.

No delegate upon this floor who looks upon the Democratic platform as I do can afford to increase the rate of State and county taxes for any purpose whatever. But when it is reduced to sixtyfive it leaves a margin of ten cents on the one hundred dollars or one mill tax, for school purposes and I now give  for the benefit of the Convention a statement made before the Teachers' Association a few days ago by one of the most distinguished and certainly a representative and possibly the best educator in the State of Alabama. I have reference to Prof. Phillips of Birmingham. He stated that the appropriation to the public schools out of the State treasury was sufficient and that the State was doing its part and he made an honest and earnest plea for local taxation for public schools not only for the purpose of raising the funds for educational purposes, but he cited the well known fact that men who take an interest in anything, who participate in it, feel a personal responsibility they would not otherwise have and in that way there would be a stimulation in this line all over the State of Alabama. This I believe is true and in this inheres the principal argument in favor of local taxation for public schools. I will not advance the idea, I repudiate it, that the great county of Jefferson which pays fifteen per cent. of the taxes of the State and gets back only one-third of that appropriated to public schools, should not bear its proportion of taxes for the purpose of educating the children of the entire State that are not so favorably placed as to natural resources. I believe. the appropriation of the school fund out of the treasury of Alabama should lie maintained and I am here to maintain it at its present limit. But I undertake to say there is an equity upon this question. I do not deny the fact that if the county of Jefferson were relieved of this ten cents on the one hundred dollars under a provision in the next section or two of this report it would have one mill for school purposes which would amount to $40,000 to the county of Jefferson. And it would amount to that to every county in Alabama that takes advantage of it, but I am here to say that every community in every county should feel it might come home to them and that the responsibility of this matter, that they should not look altogether to the city of Montgomery or to the Legislature for relief.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. SAMFORD-Do you hold to the principle, that it is the duty of the State to educate its citizens or that it is the duty of the county?

MR. CUNNINGHAM-In a case such as ours where there is an unequal distribution, where there are greater and lesser counties, it is the duty of the State to appropriate money out of the common fund of the State for the purpose of extending the beneficient blessings of education to the poorer districts.

MR. SAMFORD-I will ask the gentleman if the reduction of ten cents won't have the effect to stop any increased appropriation out of the general treasury for public education in Alabama.

MR. CUNNINGHAM-Certainly not, but I will admit this that it would limit the capacity of the Legislature to appropriate money to a certain extent, but it transfers the responsibility and the authority in the matter from the State to the counties and the communities and it is an equity that inheres in that that the community should bear its proportion.

MR. SAMFORD-Then the gentleman holds that it is the duty of the county to educate its citizens and not of the State?

MR. CUNNINGHAM-As a part of your educational system and in this I am not alone but am in accord with the educational sentiment of the State upon this subject as gathered from the teachers of the State of Alabama "who know  more in one minute about education than either the gentleman from Pike or the gentleman from Jefferson can know in a whole day. That is their view and I believe it is in keeping with the knowledge of human nature and in the general faculties making up the mind, that when you get a man interested in a question he will feel more interest than if he were an infant with the great State at Montgomery caring for him, I am asked what would be the effect of a "fall in the rate of assessment on securities. It would increase the assessment twenty-five million. If you read the Auditor's report there are some novel features upon that question. I notice, for instance, that in the great county of Jefferson the amount of money hoarded in banks is $130,000, whereas in Geneva it is $260,000. That must be a typographical error. But the legislator who solves the great problem of smoking out the wealth that is hidden, that it may be exposed to taxation will be the greatest statesman ever produced up to this time in the world's history.

Note, I have taken up more time than I had expected.  but if I can emphasize the fact that in voting for this committee's report, both as a member of the committee and as a delegate upon this floor, I do so with a clear and distinct conviction that I will not rob a single child in the State of Alabama of a single cent that is now appropriated for his education; that I will not detract from the State of Alabama an iota of its present high and great credit;


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

that I will not take from the old soldier of Alabama a solitary cent that he has for his comfort and support in his declining days; if I had a thought otherwise, I would have brought in a minority report and opposed this proposition.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)--Was it the purpose of the committee, if the question is proper, in suggesting that the tax rate be reduced to 65 cents, to enable this Convention to adopt the 1-mill tax for county purposes?

MR. CUNNINGHAM-I can answer only for myself that that is one of the purposes I had in view.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega) -Suppose the Convention does not see proper to adopt that system, and it should fail, would the gentleman be in favor of going back to the 75 cents?

MR. CUNNINGHAM-Then the responsibility will rest on the friends of education and not upon the Committee on Taxation.

MR. GRAHAM-I want the gentleman to understand that I endorse local taxation and so stated awhile ago.

MR. CUNNINGHAM-Now, in regard to trusting the Legislature: I have no distrust of that honorable body. I have had the honor to be a member of it once or twice. I think it is a great honor, though some of my constituents differ with me-I am quite sure that is pretty general-but I want to call attention to a principle that inheres in human nature. It is true with the individual; it is true with the family; it is true with the community, and it is true with the State, that a surplus leads to extravagance always, and if there were a surplus in the treasury of the State of Alabama of say $500,000, and it was up to the Legislature to reduce the tax rate one mill on the dollar or to increase it for the purpose of education or some other such purpose, when the barefooted boy was disclosed to the vision of the Legislature, when the rhetorical bubbles of eloquence were held up before that body, what would be the result? They would vote the increase. I say, Mr. President, frankly, I am in favor of this limitation, not through distrust of the Legislature, but because I believe property in the State of Alabama should have some constitutional guaranty as to the extent to which it can be taxed.

At the suggestion of a gentleman, I repeat that Dr. Phillips stated in his address, and it was liberally applauded, that Alabama was doing as much out of the State treasury as she ought to do. That being the case, and inasmuch as the great question of local taxation for public schools depends upon the adoption of the committee's report, and, believing as I do, on this question of local taxation for public schools, I want to say I believe it to be the duty not only of those who honestly and conscientiously believe that this can be reduced without bringing detriment to the State, but also of those who favor local taxation for public schools, to. vote for this committee's report.


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MR. BULGER-Will the gentleman permit me to ask him a question?

MR. CUNNINGHAM-Certainly.

MR. BULGER-Do you not believe that if the tax rate were reduced to 65, it will absolutely prohibit the Legislature from doing anything more for the old soldiers and the public schools both?

MR. CUNNINGHAM-I do not, for the reasons stated heretofore that there is going to be a constant increase in the value of property in the State of Alabama for the reasons I attempted to give, and because the reduction in the tax rate will lead to a voluntarily increased assessment of property in the State, and, therefore, there will be as much money in the treasury under this reduction as there would be if the rate remained seventy-five.

MR. BULGER-Do you not believe it will decrease the capacity of the legislature to do anything more for the soldiers and for the public schools?

MR. CUNNINGHAM-The answer I gave to the gentleman's former question was that the increase in the value of the property, the voluntarily increased assessment, would lead to as much money being in the treasury as there is today and therefore it would not decrease the capacity or power of the legislature to make this increase.

MR. ASHCRAFT-Mr. President, I venture to make any remarks on this subject with great trepidation. I admit my inexperience.

I feel profoundly interested in the great question of local taxation for schools. That question lies very near to my heart. I believe it is one of the essential elements of the educational problem of this State. But as much as I love that idea, I love the idea of the general prosperity of my State and its good name and credit more. Upon the preservation of that good name and credit all of our prosperity depends. When the Committee made this statement it was reinforced by giving to us a sort of history of the distinguished gentleman who furnished the figures, that he has been in the Auditor's office for twelve years, that these figures were received from him, that he is regarded as an authority on these questions of taxation. So I went down and had an interview with the gentleman and he had the goodness to give me the original figures or the sheet of paper which contains the original figures, which he furnished to the Committee. He says that the conclusions of the Committee are its own conclusions and not his conclusions. "What are your conclusions, Judge Cook?" "My conclusions are on that piece of paper, and they are that if this tax is reduced, as is proposed by the Committee, the probable income .of the State will be $1,750,000, while its probable expenditures will be $1,914,000." Then another question was propounded: "Ac-


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

cording to your experience and observation, do you believe, if this reduction is made, that the State can continue its present policy of appropriating one mill to the schools and one mill to the old soldiers?" He said: "My opinion is that one or the other of those appropriations will suffer."

It is but due since his name has been given as authority on this floor that his conclusions should be furnished to this Convention and I have, therefore, taken the liberty of quoting from the paper which he furnished me.

MR. KIRK-May I make a suggestion?

MR. ASHCRAFT-Certainly.

MR. KIRK-Judge Cook was before the Committee and I put the question to him: "Can we safely reduce the tax rate to six and a half mills and not interfere with this special appropriation for schools and for soldiers and at the same time make the $550,000 appropriation annually?" He said: "In my opinion you can.

MR. ASHCRAFT-I think the gentleman from Washington was present and heard the direct reply to the interrogatory which I propounded to judge Cook. Here are the figures in black and white. Receipts $1,750,000; expenditures, $1,914,000.

MR. BROWN-May I interrupt the gentleman to make a statement?

MR. ASHCRAFT-Yes, sir.

MR. BROWNE-Judge Cook did not have those figures before the Committee. Judge Cook did some figuring of his own. Judge Cook, without being influenced by any person whomsoever, after a careful investigation, in the presence of the Committee, gave it as his opinion that we could safely lower the rate from seventy-five to sixty-five to take effect next year and not affect the soldiers one mill nor the school tax one mill, nor the $550,000. Judge Cook helped me get up the figures that I published in a paper when this report first came in.

MR. BEDDOW-I rise to a point of order. The gentleman from Talladega is not asking a question but making an additional speech.

MR. BROWNE-I make the point of order that I asked the gentleman could I make the statement and the gentleman yielded and I am now making the statement.

MR. BEDDOW-I make the point of order.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM (Jones, Hale)-Does the gentleman submit to be interrupted?


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MR. BROWNE-No, sir; I am not through.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM-Does the gentleman from Lauderdale consent to the interruption?

MR. ASHCRAFT-I am sorry but the gentleman has the concluding of the debate-

MR. BROWNE-Then the gentleman declines to allow me to correct a misstatement?

MR. BEDDOW-I rise to a point of order. The gentleman is out of order.

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM-The gentleman from Talladega is out of order.

MR. ASHCRAFT-I have made no misstatement. Here are the figures that were furnished me.

MR. BROWNE-I rise to a question of personal privilege.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM--The gentleman will state the question.

,MR. BROWNE-The figures the gentleman presents are entirely different from those reported by me and the gentleman states that those figures are the figures judge Cook presented before the Committee. I desire to state that they are not the figures that judge Cook presented before the Committee.

MR. ASHCRAFT-The gentleman misunderstood me if he understood me to say that those are the figures that Judge Cook presented to the Committee. I stated that Judge Cook said he had presented the figures to the Committee and that they are correct, but that the conclusions which the Committee had drawn from those figures were the conclusions of the Committee, that the conclusions which he drew from those figures are as I stated to this Convention. I think that is clear.

Now the point I desire to make is this: That we are proposing to set a limitation upon the power of the Legislature to impose taxes upon the property of this State and we are proposing to set that limitation probably for fifty years to come. We are undertaking to say, that there will come no time in the history of the State when it will need a larger appropriation or not so large an appropriation as it is now using. If we are about to do that upon the conclusions of gentleman from figures and statistics which have been made up from our past records, we should act with great caution when it comes to an action based on that sort of information, because, Mr. President, here are gentlemen of business capacities, business integrity and patriotic purposes who draw a very optimistic conclusion as to the future, and here is a man who is quoted as one of the best authorities in the State who


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draws an entirely different conclusion! Which of these conclusions is correct? Can this Convention take the risk of saying this man is wrong and the Committee is right? Are not the interests involved too great for us to take any risk on the subject of reducing this limit on taxation? If it should result in a reduction of the school fund or if it should result in a reduction of the old soldier fund or if it should result in depriving the State of the ability to take any forward step in that great social, moral and political progress which it ought to take before another Constitution is trade, then, Mr. President, ought we not to stand on the safe side? Can we afford to do something here today which may probably stand across the path of progress and hinder our advance? I said a while ago that much as I love certain other ideas and thoughts which are before the Convention, if to maintain our present standard of security those other principal, must be sacrificed. I am willing to make the sacrifice.

We have great things in store for this State, but we are not going to continue to increase in financial prosperity, our great manufacturing and our great agricultural districts are not going to increase and multiply and grow great without making upon us corresponding demands for progress in all the other departments of government; and it is only through this means of levying a tax upon the property in this State that we can make this political, social and educational progress.

And so, Mr. President, I say the risk we take in making the reduction, the chances we take of injuring the credit of our State and of compelling ourselves in the very near future to pay a higher rate of interest by endangering our  credit-all of these things ought to make us vote for this reduction only after the most mature deliberation. We ought not, I say Mr. President, to take this great risk.

MR. deGRAFFENREID-I move the adoption of the amendment of the gentleman from Talladega and upon that I move the previous question.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)-I ask the gentleman to withdraw that motion.

MR. REESE-The amendment of the delegate from Talladega is not before the House.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM-The Chair understands the amendment of the gentleman from Talladega to the amendment of the gentleman from Jefferson's (Mr. Howze) original Section of the Committee's report is the question now before the House.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)-Mr. President, I dislike to be put in the attitude of opposing a reduction of taxation. Some of those who have advocated this report and even the Chairman of the


1236

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Committee whose report proposes to reduce the tax limit in Alabama, have sought to put those who are opposed to the reduction of the tax limit in the attitude of opposing the reduction of taxation. That is hardly a fair statement of the proposition. I opposed the report of the Committee to reduce the tax limit from 75 cents to 50, or the lower fractions if you choose to put them that way, upon the ground that it is unnecessary, that it is uncalled for and that it is an attempt upon the part of this Convention to prescribe legislation which ought properly to be left to the legislative assemblies that are to come after us. In the argument of the distinguished gentleman from Jefferson who preceded me be read from a report showing that after the tax limit was placed at 75 cents in 1876, in 1877 the General Assembly reduced the rate of taxation to 70 cents, that it stood at 70 cent; for two years and in 1880 it was reduced to 65 cents, that it stood at 65 cents for four years. Then in 1885 the General Assembly reduced the tax rate-I repeat that to show the distinction between the tax limit and the tax rate-to 60 cents. It kept that that for two years and in 1887 the General Assembly reduced the tax rate to 55 cents and the next year reduced it to 50 cents, in 1889 to 45 and in 1890 to 40 cents. So it continued until 1892. But the General Assembly had reduced the tax rate too low and they found it out and they increased it in 1893 to 50 cents, in 1894 it was 50 and in 1895 55, and it went on until they had to go back to the limit. And to meet what ? I deny it was a gross expenditure of public money. They had to do it because the General Assembly had reduced the tax rate so low that there came a deficiency in the  Treasury and it was in order to pay the State's honest debts and we had to go back to the full rate. There is a lesson to be learned right there. It is against the policy of good government to accumulate a surplus in the Treasury; but it is against the policy of good government to have a deficit in the Treasury. And so the General Assembly meeting every two years, as I hope it will continue to meet, can deal with the existing conditions as they find them, and if the condition of affairs justify the reduction, you know that the General Assembly call be trusted to make the reduction. The record of the past has shown it. Now, if the General Assembly had had a narrow limit within which to make the reduction, it would not have been safe to have done it, and it would have been necessary to preserve the credit of the State to continue the tax rate which had put the surplus in the Treasury to meet contingencies. But fortunately they were able to meet the situation, knowing that when those conditions changed and when with a lower rate they can still protect the credit of the State, they will go back to it.

I dare say there has not been a sentiment in any section demanding a limit on the power of the General Assembly below that established by the Constitution of 1875. The record of all these years is that this matter has been safely left to the General As-


1237

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

sembly and why should we depart from it now? Is it because this Constitutional Convention proposes to discharge the functions of all the legislatures that are to come after it? If we cannot trust the Legislature to deal fairly with the people, how can we well trust ourselves? The people might be as jealous of our assertion of power as of the Legislature's. The Legislature is elected by the same people that sent us here. They are as honest and good men as we dare claim ourselves to be. They are jealous of the welfare of the State. Two weeks ago I thought I saw a conservative sentiment in this Convention, to leave the old Constitution which our father framed untouched in every sentence and in every syllable except where a new demand had arisen or an evil had been found under the old system. But in these later clays in the last few days there has grown up a sentiment I scarcely know whence it came, but each man who conceives that the General Assembly has not enacted laws suited to his idea, now wants to repeal that law in this Constitutional Convention.

Gentlemen of the Convention, we are not sent here for any such purpose. We are sent here to frame a Constitution that would stand for at least as many years as our present constitution.

Now upon the doctrine of equity, let us consider it. I was asked a while ago by a member of the Convention I esteem, "Do you know of any reason why we should adopt it? Do you know of any reason under this record on page 21 why we should not be willing to trust the General Assembly to deal fairly with the tax rate?"

MR. ROBINSON-Has not the general average tax rate in the last twenty years been below six and a half?

MR. LOWE-I have no doubt the gentleman can answer it better than I can and I do not doubt he asks the question because he can answer it and I would like for him to answer it.

MR. deGRAFFENREID-And if that is so, didn't it show that we can still trust the Legislature?

MR. LOWE-That is what I was going to say.

Now looking at this as you would on a suit in chancery for an injunction or any other extraordinary remedy. A court would first consider what will be the effect of the denial of the remedy asked for and if it appears that serious consequences may follow the granting of relief and but slight evil consequences will follow the refusal of the relief, it is the duty of the court to deny the relief asked in the extraordinary form. So I ask what evil can follow to Alabama by reason of the refusal to pass the recommendation of the Committee, can any evil result in the light of history? And I ask the Chairman of the Committee can any evil result by leaving it where it is?

MR. BROWNE-I think if evil would not result from leaving it where it is, the Democratic State Convention would not have


1238

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

pledged us to reduce that rate, if possible, I will now ask the gentleman again what did the Democratic party mean in State Convention assembled by pledging this Convention to reduce that rate, if possible?

MR. LOWE--I will answer the gentleman, because I am glad to say, though some sections of the press may have favored a departure from the Democratic platform, no Democrat has yet raised himself on this floor to advocate a departure in the slightest degree from the pledges made to the people. The pledge of the party was, in the first place, that there should be no increase in the tax rate, and, if possible, that there should be a reduction. How are we to determine the possibility? It lies in the consciences of the members of the Convention to determine it, and upon whose authority are we asked to determine it? Upon authority that I respect, an authority that may be immaculate, but is not infallible. It seems that this unanimous report of the committee has been based upon the representation of the clerk in the Auditor's office.

MR. BROWNE-That statement is not exactly correct, and I would like to correct it.

MR. LOWE-The authority for making the statement has been stated to the convention.

MR. BROWNE-I stated who gave that to us and we went in and examined it and I could state that I have spent fifteen or twenty hours in the Auditor's office myself on the matter.

MR. LOWE-If I misstated that, the Convention already knew the sources of information and the ground upon  which the recommendation was made, but I say that this Convention ought to hesitate to accept such an authority in the fact of the tremendous consequences that may follow an error in the judgment of these gentlemen. And we know by the records that the gentleman the committee quotes, that if this amendment prevails, if we adopt the old clause of the Constitution that no evil can come to the people because representatives fresh from the people every two rears will determine this question.

But, Mr. President  I  should not have cared so much about that, although I recognized that as one of the dangers which menaced this Convention and the State I would not have cared so much for that as for the tendency that has manifested itself and cropped out in every report and in the argument of every man who has appeared on this floor with a fad or hobby, that it should be protected by the Constitution.

The Constitution is not a grant of power to the Legislature ; it is simply a limitation, a negation, upon them. The call for this Convention was made possible by one impulse. There was no man who dared before the call for the Convention go out on the


1239

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

stump and advocate particular reasons why this Convention should be called. But one of them was to purify the franchise to make possible fair and honest elections in Alabama. This Convention would do its work well if it provided for that contingency; if it preserved this Government in the hands of white people, where the elections would be fair and free from fraud and then adjourn. The people would say well done. But if that is not done, if there is a glaring evil that must be corrected, let us do it, but when we are called on to accept the opinion of one set of men admitted to be expert as against the opinion of another set of men whom I believe to be experts, I will accept the opinion of the set of men which, if wrong, will have the least evils following it.

MR. PEARCE-It seems to me that this matter has been pretty well discussed, and about all the trouble in it is imaginary evil. In fact, nearly all of our troubles are that. I want to state to this Convention that we examined this matter as carefully as we knew how, and I think we knew how. We examined all the resources of information without fear of punishment or hope of reward. Panics have been used on this floor as a great scarecrow Now it is always fair to discuss both sides of any proposition, and the gentlemen who discussed the panics never told this crowd that the men who make the money by  their sweat to pay the taxes in this State-that when the panics came, their power to pay would be reduced. I hope we won't have any panics, but if we do, it will effect the men who make the money by bringing themselves in contact with the minerals, just as much as it will effect property. The only question for you to decide is, whether if this panic comes, you will use a little more economy in the administration of your State or whether you will sweat the people more that make the money to pay the taxes.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)-I do not care to take up the time of the convention in further discussion, and I move the previous question on my amendment.

MR. REESE--I move to table the amendment of the gentleman from Talladega.

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM.-The previous question has been called for and the question is, is the call sustained?

MR. BROWNE-I make the point of order that any delegate has a right to move to table the amendment of the delegate from Talladega.

The President here took the chair.

MR. O’NEAL -In view of the importance of this matter and to give the delegates opportunity to consider it I move to adjourn.

THE PRESIDENT-Did the gentleman from Dallas move to lay the call for the previous question on the table?


1240

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. REESE-No, the amendment.

THE  PRESIDENT-And thereupon the gentleman front Lauderdale moved to adjourn and in the opinion of the chair the motion to adjourn has precedence.

MR. GRAHAM-I would like to ask the gentleman to withdraw that motion. As County Superintendent I am forced to be with the teachers at Talladega tomorrow and I want to vote on this question.

 MR. COLEMAN-I ask the gentleman to withdraw the motion for the previous question.

MR. O’NEAL --I will withdraw the motion to adjourn if you will withdraw the motion for the previous question?

MR. GRAHAM-I think the matter has been sufficiently discussed and I will let it remain as it stands.

MR. LOWE-I shall vote against the previous question on a matter of this importance. We should have a full discussion.

MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)-I rise to a point of order. A motion to adjourn is not debatable.

THE; PRESIDENT-The point is well taken. The Chair was not entertaining debate, but merely that the gentlemen might understand each other.

MR. CUNNINGHAM-Under a special rule that the Convention should hold until 6 o'clock today, will not the rules have to be suspended to carry a motion to adjourn?

THE PRESIDENT-It seems to the Chair that a motion to adjourn is a privileged question and is in order at any time.

MR. CUNNINGHAM-Does the Chair hold that a motion to adjourn supersedes a special order?

 THE PRESIDENT-It seems to the Chair under our rule 26 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, when the Chair is stating a question, when the roll is being called and a vote has not been announced, or when a vote is being verified, etc.

MR. CUNNING HAM-The point of order is that it operates as a suspension of the rules. On yesterday the hour for adjournment was fixed at 6 o'clock this afternoon and therefore the motion should be to suspend the rules.

THE PRESIDENT-In the opinion of the Chair the joint of order is not well taken.


  1241

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

A vote being taken the Convention refused to adjourn.

MR. GRAHAM-I renew my call for the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT-And the question is on the motion of the gentleman from Dallas to table the amendment of the gentleman from Talladega.

Those in favor of the motion to table will say aye; those opposed, no; it seems to the Chair-

MR. BROWNE-I call for the ayes and noes.

MR. SAMFORD-I rise to a point of order. After the vote has been put viva voce it is too late to call for the ayes and noes.

MR. BROWNE-I withdraw the call.

A division was called for.

MR. deGRAFFENREID-We would like for the Chair to state the question we are voting on. Some think we are voting on the motion for the previous question, and others that we are voting on the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT-The motion was to table the amendment, as the Chair understood it.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)-I call for the reading of the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT-Let the Chair state the question. The gentleman from Talladega called for the previous question upon the adoption of the amendment offered by him which was to amend the amendment, offered by the gentleman from Jefferson to the section as reported by the Committee. Thereupon the gentleman from Dallas moved to lay the amendment by the gentleman from Talladega upon the table, and the reading of the amendment is called for. As many as favor the adoption of the motion of the gentleman from Dallas to lay upon the table the amendment of the gentleman from Talladega will rise and remain standing until counted after the reading of the amendment.

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

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

MR. JENKINS-That a motion to lay an amendment on the table cannot be put after a call for the previous question. The only motion that can be put is the motion for the previous question.

THE  PRESIDENT-The Chair overrules the point of order.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)-I move that the ayes and noes be called for upon the motion to lay the amendment of the gentle-


1242

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

man from Talladega upon the table. I call for the ayes and noes upon that question.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)-I make the point of order that the question has already been put and a division demanded.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)-I make the point of order that the House did not know what was before it. The Chair has now stated what is before the House, and as we are now voting upon the specific proposition stated by the Chair, I call for the ayes and noes upon that question.

THE  PRESIDENT-The Chair will state that when the same question was raised a short time since, the Chair ruled that the call for the ayes and noes came too late. Since then the Chair has come to the conclusion that ruling was erroneous, and that the call for the ayes and noes can be made at this time.

MR. ROGERS (Sumter)-I renew the motion then, that we have the ayes and noes upon this proposition.

THE PRESIDENT-The point of order of the gentleman from Talladega is overruled. The question is whether the call for the ayes and noes is sustained.

And the call was sustained.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)-The amendment has not been read.

The amendment was read as follows :

Amend Section 4 by striking out the words "sixty-five" and inserting in lieu thereof the words "seventy-five," and adding at the end of the section the following: "for the two years succeeding the adoption of this Constitution, after which time no greater rate than sixty-five one-hundredths of one per centum shall be levied."

The amendment to the amendment lay Mr. Graham (Talladega) was read as follows: Amend the amendment by striking out all of it except the words "seventy-five."

THE, PRESIDENT-The question is upon the motion of the gentleman from Dallas to lay upon the table the amendment of the gentleman from Talladega, and the ayes and noes have been ordered. As many as favor tabling the amendment of the gentleman from Talladega, will say aye as their names are called, and as many as are opposed will say no.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)-I would like for the Chair to state the effect of the aye and no vote.

THE  PRESIDENT-If a majority vote aye, it will be to lay the amendment offered by the gentleman from Talladega upon the table.


1243

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)-That will establish the old Constitution, as I understand it? Leave the provision in the old Constitution intact?

MR. BROWNE-I make the point of order that the gentlemen upon the floor of this Convention understand the question as stated by the Chair.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)-As I understand it, and that is why I ask for the statement, the refusal to lay upon the table, would leave the amendment to the amendment restoring the rate in the old Constitution?

THE PRESIDENT-The amendment offered by the gentleman from Talladega is to retain the present tax rate, that of seventy-five cent, and if it is laid upon the table, it will be upon the table subject to the pleasure of the Convention.

MR. HARRISON-The question will then recur upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson.

THE PRESIDENT-The question will then recur, of course, upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson. As many as favor the motion to table will say aye, and those opposed no, as your names are called.

During the roll call-

MR. JENKINS-I desire to vote aye for the purpose of moving to reconsider the vote (to which statement there were expressions of disapproval).

MR. JENKINS-Then I vote aye.

MR. LONG (Walker)-I am paired with the gentleman from Montgomery, Mr. Graham; if he were present he would vote no, and I would vote aye.

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

AYES.

Messrs. President,

Chapman,

Fletcher,

Almon,

Cobb,

Foster,

Altman,

Cofer,

Glover,

Barefield,

Coleman, of Greene,

Grant,

Bethune,

Coleman, of Walker,

Grayson,

Brooks,

Craig,

Greer, of Perry,

Browne,

Cunningham,

Hales-,

Burnett,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Harrison,

Burns,

Davis, of Etowah,

Heflin, of Chambers.

Byars,

Duke,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Cardon,

Espy,

Hinson,

Carnathon,

Fitts,

Hodges,


1244

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Howze,

Moody,

Rogers, of Sumter,

Inge,

Morrisette,

Sanford,

Jackson,

NeSmith,

Searcy,

Jenkins,

O'Neal. of Lauderdale,

Sentell,

Jones, of Wilcox

O'Rear,

Sloan,

King,

Palmer,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Kirk,

Parker of Elmore

Sorrell,

Knight,

Pearce,

Spears,

Kyle,

Pettus,

Spragins,

Leigh,

Phillips,

Stewart,

MacDonald,

Pillans

Studdard,

McMillan (Baldwin,

Pitts

Tayloe,

Malone,

Proctor,

Walker,

Martin,

Reese,

Weatherly,

Maxwell,

Renfro,

Whiteside,

Merrill,

Reynolds (Henry),

Williams, of Marengo,

Miller, of Marengo,

Robinson,

Winn.

Miller, of Wilcox,

Rogers, of Lowndes,

 

Total-89.

NOES.

Ashcraft,

Henderson,

Porter,

Banks,

Hood,

Samford,

Beddow,

Jones, of Bibb,

Sanders,

Blackwell,

Jones, of 'Montgomery,

Selheimer,

Bulger

Kirkland,

Smith, of Mobile,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Ledbetter,

Smith, Mac A.,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Lomax,

Waddell,

Case,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Watts,

Cornwall,

McMillan, of Wilcox

Weakley

de Graffenreid,

Murphree,

White,

Eley,

Norman,

Williams, of Barbour,

Eyster,

Oates,

Wilson, of Clarke,

Graham, of Talladega,

O'Neill (Jefferson),

Wilson, of Washington,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Opp,

 

Total-41.

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING.

Bartlett,

Handley,

Parker, of Ctllll1lan,

Beavers,

Howell,

Reynolds, of Chilton,

Boone,

Jones, of Hale,

Sollie,

Dent,

Locklin,

Thompson,

Ferguson,

Long of Butler,

Vaughan,

Foshee,

Long of Walker,

Willet,

Freeman,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

Williams, of Elmore.

Gilmore,

Mulkey,

 

Graham, of Montgomery,

Norwood,

 

So the motion to table was carried.


1245

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. BROWNE-I now move the previous question upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson offered by the gentleman from Jefferson, and upon the original section as reported by the committee.

MR. O’NEAL-I ask the gentleman to withdraw his motion. 'There are several gentlemen who have amendments which they ought to have an opportunity to present.

MR. deGRAFFENREID-I move to lay the amendment of the gentleman from Jefferson and the section was reported by the committee upon the table, and upon that I call for the ayes and noes.

MR. LOWE(Jefferson)-I move that we do now adjourn.

THE PRESIDENT-The gentleman from Talladega moves the previous question upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson, and the section as reported by the committee. Thereupon the gentleman from Hale moves to lay upon the table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson, and the section as reported by the committee .  Thereupon the gentleman from Jefferson moves that this Convention do now adjourn.  As many as favor the motion to adjourn will say aye; those opposed will say no.

And the motion to adjourn was lost.

THE PRESIDENT-The question recurs upon the motion to table. The ayes and noes have been demanded and the question is, is the call sustained ?

 The requisite number of members stood up.

 MR. COLEMAN (Greene)-I ask for a division of the question. if it can be done.

THE; PRESIDENT-The call for the ayes and noes is sustained.

MR. COLEMAN (Greens)-I call for a division of the question.

THE PRESIDENT~-The chair will state that this question was ruled by the chair contrary to the right for a division, but upon further reflection and investigation, the chair is of the opinion that in overruling the request for a division, the chair was in error. The chair will reserve the former ruling, and rule that the division is in order.

The first question will be upon the motion to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson.

The chair will state he finds it laid down by Mr. Cushing in his Law of the Practice of Legislative Assemblies, that a division


1246

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

may be had upon a motion to table, where the motion to table relates to more than one separate and distinct proposition. The question is first upon the motion to lay upon the table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson, to the section as reported by the Committee on Taxation.

MR. BROOKS-I rise to make the point of order that the motion to divide has reference to a pending resolution, wherever the sense will admit of it, but on a motion to table two resolutions, it does not mean a division of the question; that is a separation of the two motions, which is altogether a different thing.

THE PRESIDENT-Mr. Cushing lays it down that where a motion to table contains two propositions, an original proposition and an amendment to the proposition, that it is in order to have a vote upon each in their order. So the question is upon the motion to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson, and upon that the ayes and noes are called for, and the call has been sustained.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)-I call for the reading of the amendment.

The amendment was again read.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)-I would like to have it read in connection with the section which it proposes to amend.

The section and the amendment were read.

THE PRESIDENT-The Secretary will call the roll.

During the call of the roll:-

MR. BANKS-I am paired with Mr. Leigh; if he were present he would vote aye and I vote no.

MR. LONG (Walker)-I am paired with the gentleman from Montgomery; if he was present he would vote no and I would vote aye.

MR. SLOAN-I ask the chair to state the question so that I may have an opportunity to change my vote.

THE PRESIDENT-The question is on the motion to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson to the section reported by the committee.

MR. SLOAN-Do I understand that the vote is now to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson?

THE PRESIDENT-It is.

MR. SLOAN-I wish to change my vote to aye.

The call of the roll resulted as follows:


1247

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

AYES.

Almon,

Haley,

Pitts,

Barefield,

Harrison,

Proctor,

Bethune,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Reese,

Blackwell,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Renfro,

Brooks,

Hinson,

Reynolds, of Henry,

Browne,

Hodges,

Robinson,

Bulger,

 

Inge,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Burnett,

Jones, of Bibb,

Rogers (Sumter),

Burns,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Samford,

Byars,

King,

Sanders,

Cardon,

Kirk,

Sanford,

Carnathon,

Knight,

Searcy,

Case,

Kyle,

Sentell,

Chapman,

Lomax,

Sloan,

Cobb,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Smith (Mobile),

Cofer,

Macdonald,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Coleman, of Greene,

McMillan, of Baldwin,

Sollie,

Coleman, of Walker,

Malone,

Sorrell,

Craig,

Martin,

 

Spears,

Cunningham,

Maxwell,

Spragins,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Miller (Marengo)

Stewart,

Davis, of Etowah,

Miller (Wilcox)

Stoddard,

deGraffenreid,

Moody,

Tayloe,

Duke,

Morrisette,

Walker,

Espy,

NeSmith,

Weakley,

Fitts,

O'Neal (Lauderdale),

Weatherly,

Fletcher,

O'Rear,

Whiteside,

Foster,

Palmer,

Williams (Marengo),

Glover,

Pearce,

Wilson (Wash'gton),

Grant,

Pettus,

Winn.

Grayson,

Phillips,

Greer, of Perry,

Pillans,

 

 

Total-94.

NOES.

Messrs. President,

Hood,

O'Neill, of Jefferson,

Ashcraft,

Howze,

Opp,

Beddow,

Jackson,

Parker (Elmore),

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Jenkins,

Porter,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Selheimer,

Cornwall,

Kirkland,

Smith,

Mac. A.,

Eley,

Ledbetter,

Waddell, Eyster,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Watts,

Graham, of Talladega,

Murphree,

White,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Norman,

Williams (Barbour),

Henderson,

Oates,

Wilson (Clarke),

Total-33.


1248

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING.

Altman,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Mulkey,

Banks,

Handley,

Norwood,

Bartlett,

Howell,

Parker (Cullman),

Beavers,

Jones, of Hale,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Boone,

Leigh,

Thompson,

Dent,

Locklin,

Vaughan,

Ferguson,

Long of Butler,

Willet,

Foshee,

Long, of Walker,

Williams (Elmore),

Freeman,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

Gilmore,

Merrill,

 

 

And the amendment was laid upon the table.

MR. deGRAFFENREID-I believe there was a division-

MR. BROWNE-I make the point of order that the previous question was ordered.

MR. deGRAFFENREID - There was a motion to law the amendment and Section on the table, and the gentleman from Greene called for a division, and the Chair held the question could be divided, and the House has voted upon the amendment. The next in order it seems to me, would be the call of the roll as to whether the Section should be laid on the table.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)-I move we adjourn.

THE PRESIDENT-The next question will be upon the Section as reported by the Committee.

MR. JONES (Montgomery)-I move we adjourn.

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

MR. WILSON (Clarke)-I call for the ayes and noes on the motion-

THE PRESIDENT-They have been ordered.

MR. WILSON (Clarke)-On the motion to adjourn?

THE PRESIDENT-The Chair rules a motion to adjourn is not in order after the previous question has been ordered.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)-The previous question has not been ordered.

MR. WILSON (Washington)-This is a motion to table. The previous question was displaced by a motion to table.

THE PRESIDENT-The gentleman is correct. The motion by the gentleman from Hale was to lay upon the table, first the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson then the Sec-


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tion as reported by the Committee, and a division was called for and granted. The question would now be upon the motion to table the Section as reported by the Committee.

MR. deGRAFFENREID-And it seems to be a motion to adjourn would not be in order.

THE PRESIDENT-Will the gentleman suspend a moment? The Chair rules a motion to adjourn will not be in order when the Chair is stating a question, or when the roll is being called, or has been called and the vote has not been announced. The roll is being called now upon a division of the question, and a motion to adjourn is not in order. The question is upon the motion to lay upon the table the Section as reported by the Committee.

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

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

MR. JENKINS-Under the rules we adopted yesterday, this Convention stands adjourned at 6 o'clock, and it is now 6 o'clock.

MR. BROWNE-I make the point of order, Mr. Chairman, if the hour of adjournment-

THE PRESIDENT-The point of order is not well taken. As many as favor laying upon the table the Section as reported by the Committee will say aye, and those opposed no, as their names are called.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)-Do I understand the Chair to hold that the Convention is now in the act of taking a vote when the Chair has just stated the question and not a name has been called upon the roll?

THE PRESIDENT-The vote is being taken under the division of the question.

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)-The roll is not now being called Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT-It seems to the Chair that the Convention is in the act of voting upon a division of the question, having voted upon one branch-

MR. LOWE (Jefferson)-I know that debate is not in order, but I make it as a suggestion; suppose there had been six divisions of the question, and the hour of adjournment was about to strike, and the vote by ayes and noes upon each one of these questions would have taken as long as it takes here, some twenty minutes, would the President hold that-

(Here the clock struck the hour of 6 o'clock.)


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I want to say that what I have said is in expression of my opposition to gag law, by which they seek to establish a permanent law upon Alabama, and I am going to continue to do it as long as the advocates of measures here appeal to gag law,-

MR. JONES (Montgomery)-I rise to a point of order. This Convention stands adjourned under its own rule.

THE PRESIDENT-The Convention will stand adjourned until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.                                         ________

CORRECTION

In proceedings of thirty-first day, part of the report of Committee on Amending the Constitution and Miscellaneous Provisions was omitted. In is here inserted.

The motion to turn over the affairs of the State last column of third page was made by Mr. Fitts and not by Mr. Pitts.

Report of Committee on Amending the Constitution and Miscellaneous Provisions, to which was referred Ordinance No. 390, by Mr. Spears of St. Clair, has instructed me to report favorably the accompanying substitute for said ordinance. The Committee was not unanimous, some of its members reserving the right to oppose the adoption of the ordinance.

Under instructions from the committee, the chairman reports, for the information of the Convention, the facts showing the necessity for a Court House in the district affected, without recommendation as to the policy of adopting ordinances which are local in their operation, and within the province of the Legislature.

St. Clair County is divided into two parts by Back Bone Mountain, which runs entirely across the county from east to west. The two portions into which it is thus divided are nearly equal in area and population, while the larger portion of the wealth of this county is in that portion which lies south of the mountain. A greater portion of the litigation in the county originates in the territory south of the mountain, and a greater number of the parties and witnesses who attend the courts in St. Clair county are from that territory. The mountain is rugged and barren, and not inhabited. Immediately north of the mountain stretches a level country plain called "the flat woods," which is also barren and uninhabited, and which in wet weather is boggy and difficult of passage. The roads over the mountain and through the "flat woods" are almost impassable, and the character of the country over which they run is of such character that the revenues of the country are insufficient to put them in good condition. The only railroad route between the portion of the county affected by this ordinance and the county seat is by way of Birmingham, a distance of 80 miles. There is


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no trade between the residents on the south side of the mountain and the county seat. Attendance upon courts is about the only business which takes people living on the south side of the mountain to the county seat. The people on both sides of the mountain seem to be practically united in the desire for a court house on the south side of the mountain.

The above facts are stated upon information obtained from the reputable citizens of St. Clair county who have been before your committee. These gentlemen were all Democrats except Col. Spears, who introduced the ordinance. This fact is stated so that the Convention may be informed that the adoption of this ordinance is desired by all the people and not by those of one political faith only.

The committee has had before it letters from the Probate Judge and Circuit Clerk of St. Clair county, from the Solicitor of the Circuit which embraces that county, and from other prominent citizens of the county, among others Judge Inzer and Judge Greene, all recommending the adoption of this ordinance, if the Convention sees fit to take up any matters of this kind.

Respectfully submitted,

J. M. Foster, Chairman.                  __________                

An Ordinance to provide for the establishment of a court house and jail at some point to be determined by an election by the people, in that portion of St. Clair which lies south and southeast of Back Bone mountains, and which is embraced in precincts numbered 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21, in said county.

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

First-That it shall be the duty of the Probate Judge of St. Clair county to order an election to be held in precincts numbered 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 in St. Clair county, not later than sixty days after the ratification of the Constitution to be submitted to this Convention, for a vote of the qualified electors in said precincts upon the selection of a place within the territory embraced in said precincts, at which a court house and jail shall be erected and maintained. Officers for such election shall be appointed, and the election, in all things in accordance with the law governing general elections. Upon the ballot to be used at such election the name of all places to be voted on shall be printed, and the choice of the electors shall be indicated by a cross mark before the place of his choice. The votes cast at such election shall be canvassed, tabulated, returns thereof made, and counted in the same manner as is done in the elections for Sheriff


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and other county officers. At the place receiving the highest number of votes at such election there shall be erected and maintained a court house and jail for the trial of all cases and the transaction of all legal business originating in said precincts 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21. The venue of all actions and suits (other than such as are to be tried before Justices of the Peace) in which only residents of that portion of said St. Clair which lies south and southeast of Back Bone mountain, except as otherwise provided by law, shall be at the court house herein provided for.  Provided, however, that Ashville, in St. Clair county, shall continue to be the county seat of said county until changed by vote of the qualified electors  residing in that part of St. Clair county which lies north northwest of said Back Bone mountain.

Second-The Court of County Commissioners of St. Clair county shall at its first regular meeting after the election provided for in Section 1 of this Ordinance take all necessary steps and make all necessary orders to issue and sell bonds of St. Clair county to the amount of $10,000, the proceeds to be used only for the erection and equipment of such court house and jail, or to provide by other means a sufficient amount of money to erect a suitable court house and jail at the place which shall have been selected in accordance with said Section 1, and to properly equip and furnish the same with record books and other necessary equipments ; provided, however, that if said Court of County Commissioners shall levy a tax for such purpose, such tax shall be levied on all taxable property in said county, but all of such tax shall not be levied and collected in one year.  And provided  further, that such court house and jail shall be completed in every way and shall be ready for the holding of court and the transaction of legal business on or before the first day of the Spring Term, 1903, of the Circuit Court of St. Clair county.

Third-The Sheriff, Probate Judge, Circuit Clerk, Register in Chancery, Tax Assessor, Tax Collector and Superintendent of Education of St. Clair county shall keep offices in the court house which shall be built in accordance with the provisions of this ordinance.

Fourth-The General Assembly at its first meeting after the ratification of the Constitution to be submitted to the people by this Convention, shall enact laws regulating the holding of Court at the court house provided for in this ordinances.

Fifth-This ordinance shall be valid and effective if the Constitution which shall be framed by this Convention be ratified by the people. Otherwise, it shall be void.