FORTY ‑ EIGHTH DAY
Thursday, July, 18, 1901.
The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, was called up order by the President, and opened with prayer by the Rev. C. B. McDaniel as follows:
Almighty God, we beseech Thee to grant unto these Thy servants, set apart to the office and work of this State, Thy richest blessings, that faithfully fulfilling their course, at the last day each one may receive a crown of righteousness laid up by the Lord, the righteous Judge. We pray for our loved ones who are not present with us. Be with all in authority, with all rulers, Governors, Judges, Magistrates, and persons in authority, with all who direct our thinking and lead our sentiments, and grant unto every man the assurance that his work is blest from on High. Assist us, O Lord, in all our doings, with Thy most gracious favor, and further us with Thy continued help that in all our works begun, continued and ended in Thee, we may glorify Thy holy name, and finally by Thy mercy, obtain everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Upon the call of the roll 106 delegates responded to their names.
MR. WILLIAMS (Marengo) ‑ The stenographic report in the record of two of the votes show Mr. Rogers (Sumter) and myself as absent or not voting, when as a matter of fact we were paired. The record of the third vote of the afternoon session shows the pair properly at the end of it, and it strikes me the pair should be shown as in the third record of the vote, and not have us absent and not voting when as a matter of fact we were paired, which means a vote.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The stenographer is requested to note the pair.
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MR. O'NEAL ‑ At the proper time I desire to be heard further on the point of order raised yesterday, and some authorities which I desire to present to the Chair to call his attention to the difference between the section as reported by the Legislative Committee and the section on which the Convention has already acted on Executive Department ‑ they are entirely different in their language and meaning in some respects. Will the Chair hear me now?
THE PRESIDENT ‑ If the gentleman will send up the authorities that he has the Chair will examine them.
MR. SENTELL– I rise to a point of personal privilege.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman will state the point of personal privilege.
MR. SENTELL ‑ Judging from the controversy on the floor of the Convention on yesterday in which some remarks I had made were referred to, I think the remarks I made were misunderstood by some gentlemen. All that I have to say in regard to the acts of the Legislature I said on last Monday in the discussion of the question regarding the Shelby County Court House. By referring to those remarks it will be found that I said that local bills often passed at night sessions when not more than two dozen members were on the floor taking part. I want it understood that I did not make those remarks in regard to the general acts and working of the Legislature at all, because when general bills were under discussion they were always read in full, and the roll always called slowly, so that every man could vote and be recorded. It was only at night sessions when the calendar was very heavy we passed over the work so rapidly this was resorted to, and it was really necessary in order to get through with the calendar. What I wish to state is that even at these night sessions a quorum was always recorded at the beginning of the session, then the members retired to the cloak room, some to the library and some even left the Capitol, and those local bills were continued to be passed unless the question of no quorum was raised, and not more than two dozen members were often present on the floor. Of course, if the question of no quorum had been raised the members would have been hunted up. The statement made by the gentleman from Montgomery was that I stated that no roll call was called, and no bill read. By reference to my remarks on Monday it will be seen what I did say.
MR. COLEMAN (Greene) ‑ I desire to make a statement with reference to the remark of the Chairman of the Committee on County Boundaries on yesterday. I do not wish the people that I represent to be misled, nor do I wish to be credited with more magnimity than I deserve. Greene county is so situated it has less population than any of the adjacent counties, and could not
be placed more advantageously Senatorially, and upon examination I find that to increase the representation of Greene county would be to visit upon some other county a greater injury than that which we have sustained. Therefore I did not object to the apportionment made by the chairman.
The Committee on Journal reported that they had examined the journal for the forty ‑ seventh day and found the same to be correct. On motion the report of the committee was adopted.
MR. SMITH (Mobile) ‑ I am instructed by the Rules Committee to report a resolution favorably.
The Clerk read the resolution as follows:
Resolved, That each delegate may speak ten minutes, and no longer, upon any motion to reconsider the action of the Convention upon any matter upon which it has acted.
MR. SMITH ‑ I move the adoption of the resolution.
A vote being taken the resolution was adopted.
The next order of business was the call of the roll for the introduction of ordinances, resolutions, etc.
MR. CORNWALL ‑ Mr. President, I have an ordinance I desire to introduce.
The clerk read the ordinance as follows:
Ordinance 420 by Mr. Cornwall:
Whereas, the people have at all times the right of local self ‑ government a principle which forms one of the most treasured tenets of the Democratic party, and whereas, the object of the establishment of all local governmental units, such as counties, municipalities, precincts or beats and special school districts, is the benefit and welfare of the people within the particular local area, and whereas this convention has the power and authority to create and establish counties and to fix and arrange county boundaries wherever the necessities become apparent and
Whereas, there is a great and pressing need for the establishment of a new county in the lower portion of the present county of Jefferson, and
Whereas, all conditions as to population, property valuations, diversity of pursuits and area, exist in the proposed county, the contiguous counties being left with all of the requirements for counties under the law, and
Whereas, in the formation of said proposed new county dupe and fitting honor could be done the memory of George S. Houston, the great leader of the State Democracy in conferring his name thereon, now, therefore,
Be it ordained by the State of Alabama in Convention Assembled:
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1. That there is hereby created and established a new county to be called and known by the name of "Houston," to have all of the rights and privileges of counties in this State, with the following described boundaries, viz: Beginning at the intersection of the south line of Township 18, south; Range 2, west, and the west bank of the Cahaba River, running thence west to the range line between Ranges 2 and 3, west; thence north two miles on said range line; thence north two miles on said range line to the southwest corner of Section 19. Township 18, south, Range 2, west; thence west five miles to the southwest corner of Section 20, Township 18, south, Range 3, west; thence north one mile to the northeast corner of Section 19, Township 18, south, Range 3, west; thence west one mile to the northeast corner of said Section 19; thence north one mile to the northwest corner of Section 18, Township 18. south, range 3. west; thence west three miles to the southwest corner of Section 10, Township 18, south, Range 4, west; thence north two miles to the township line between Townships 17 and 18 south, Range 4, west, and at the northwest corner of Section 3, Township 18, Range 4, west; thence west three miles to the range line between Ranges 4 and 5 west, and at the southwest corner of Section 31, Township 17, south, Range 4, west; thence north on said range line three miles to the northeast corner of Section 24, Township 17, south, range 5, west, thence west to the east bank of Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River; thence in a southwesterly direction. following the meanderings of said Locust Fork of the Black Warrier River and of the Black Warrior River to the intersection of Black Warrior River with the township line between Townships 18 and 19, south, range 8, west, thence east to the northeast corner of Section 5, Township 19, south, range 7, west; thence south two miles to the southwest corner of Section 9, Township 19, south, range 7, west; thence east two miles to the northeast corner of Section 15, Township 19, south, range 7, west; thence south two miles to the southwest corner of Section 23, Township 19, south, Range 7, west; thence east two miles to the range line between Ranges 7 and 6 and at the southwest corner of Section 19, Township 19, south, Range 6, west; thence south two miles to the southwest corner of Section 31, Township 19, south, Range 6, west; thence east two miles to the northeast corner of Section 5, Township 20, south, Range 6, west; thence south two miles to the southwest corner of Section 9, township 20, south, Range 6, west; thence east two miles to the northeast corner of Section 16, Township 20, south. Range 6, west; thence south two miles to the southwest corner of Section 23, Township 20, south, Range 6, west; thence east two miles to the range line between Ranges 5 and 6 west, and at the southwest corner of Section 19, Township 20, south, Range 5, west; thence south on said range line between Ranges 5 and 6, four miles to the southwest corner of Section 7, Township 21, south, range 5, west; thence east seven miles to the southeast corner of Section 7, Township 21, Range 4, west; thence north to the present boundary line between Jefferson and Shelby Counties, thence in a northeasterly direction following the present boundary lines between Jefferson and Shelby Counties to the place of beginning, and containing 445 1 ‑ 4 square miles.
Sec. 2. The county seat of the new county of Houston shall be the city of Bessemer.
Sec. 3. That Jacob Kimball, Dr. J. B. Viles, J. V. Huey, Chambers McAdory, Dr. M. C. Ragsdall and H. W. Crook be and the same are hereby appointed a Board of Commissioners for the performance of the duties and exercise of the power, hereinafter enjoined and conferred upon them; a majority of said board may act and may fill all vacancies therein.
Sec. 4. That said Board of Commissioners are hereby empowered and directed to divide said county into election precinct, to the: best convenience of the people, and to designate the place of voting therein, as soon as practicable, and to give notice of the boundaries of said precincts and place of voting therein by publication in some newspaper published in said county, for at least twenty clays previous to the election hereinafter provided for. That said Board shall hold an election for the election of county officers on Tuesday the fourth day of February, 1902, in said county by giving at least thirty days notice thereof, by advertisement in some newspaper published in said county. That said commissioners are empowered to appoint three (3) inspectors and one returning officer for each election precinct in said county to hold said election, who shall he governed in their duties by the laws regulating elections in this State. That said returning officers shall make their returns to said Board of Commissioners, at Bessemer, Alabama, within three days after said election; that the said Board of Commissioners after duly counting the votes shall make certified returns thereof to the Governor of Alabama within ten days after the day of election; that within ten days thereafter, the Governor, Secretary of State and Auditor shall count the votes and the Governor shall issue commissions to those persons who shall have received the highest number of votes as county officers.
Sec. 5. That the county officers to he elected at said election shall be one (1) probate judge, one (1) circuit clerk, one (1) sheriff, one 1) tax assessor, one (1) tax collector, one (1) treasurer, one (1) county superintendent of education, one ,(1) coroner and four (4) county commissioners, who shall hold their respective officers until the next general election for State and county officers and until their successors are elected and qualified.
Sec. 6. That until the next apportionment of representatives, the said county of Houston shall be entitled to one representative, which representative shall be taken from Jefferson County's number.
Sec. 7. That the County of Houston be and is hereby attached to the Ninth Congressional District and Eighteenth Senatorial District, and shall form part and parcel of the Tenth Judicial Circuit and the Northwestern Chancery Division until otherwise provided by law, and that the present city court of Bessemer shall have and exercise all the jurisdiction and power, within and over the entire county of Houston, which now are or may hereafter be by law conferred on the several Circuit and Chancery Courts of the State, and that the Justices of the Peace and Notaries Public, and Notaries Public, ex officio Justices of the Peace, and Constables located in said territory embraced in the limits of Houston county shall continue in office until
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their successors shall have been appointed and qualified; provided, however, that from and after the time this ordinance goes into effect they shall be confined and limited in their official capacity, duty and lower to said limits of Houston county.
Sec. 8. ‑ That from and after the first day of March, 1902, all suits pending in the courts of tire counties of which the defendant resides in that portion of the county now established as the county of Houston, and all indictments pending in the counties of Jefferson and Tuscaloosa and Bibb, where the offense was committed in territory of said county now established as the county of Houston, shall be transferred to the calendar courts of the said county of Houston; and all records, commissiones and other papers belonging to any of the suits or indictments, together with all legal indictments thereto appertaining, shall be transferred to the clerk of the court of the said county of Houston.
Sec. 9. ‑ That the Governor be and he is hereby empowered to appoint a commission of five persons, one of whom shall be a resident of each of the counties of Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, Bibb, and two residents of the new county of Houston, which said commission shall divide and apportion between the counties herein provided for the present lawful bona fide indebtedness of the old counties hereinbefore mentioned, having regard for public buildings and other permanent improvements remaining in the old counties.
Sec. 10. ‑ That the compensation of each of the commissioners in this ordinance mentioned in sections 3 and 8 shall be $5 per day for each day actually employed, to be paid out of the treasury of the new county.
MR. O’NEAL– (Lauderdale) ‑ I want a correction made in the stenographic report of yesterday, some words have been omitted in my argument. I have corrected the inaccuracies and will hand them to the stenographer.
MR. DAVIS (Etowah) ‑ I have a resolution I wish to offer.
The Clerk read the resolution as follows:
Resolution No. 251, by Mr. Davis of Etowah:
Whereas, This Convention has just received an invitation to move its place of deliberation to Bellevue Hotel on Lookout Mountain, overlooking Gadsden, Ala., where the temperature never goes above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and with ample room to accommodate all the members and employees of this Convention and
Whereas, This Convention has recently experienced a temperature of 105 degrees in the hall of the House of Representatives:
Therefore, Be it resolved, That after Saturday, the 20th day of July, this Convention do adjourn to meet on Monday the 22d day of July, at said Bellevue Hotel, there to continue its deliberations.
Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ To what committee would the gentleman like to have that referred?
Several delegates suggested the Judiciary Committee.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ It will be referred to the Judiciary Committee.
MR. HOWELL (Cleburne) ‑ I have a resolution I desire to offer.
The Clerk read the resolution as follows:
Resolution No. 252, by Mr. Howell:
Whereas, It is always becoming in any people to give expressions of gratitude to the Giver of all Good.
Be it therefore resolved, That we for ourselves and in behalf of all the people of the State, whom we represent, that our sincere and devout thanks are offered up to the benign Giver of every blessing, for the welcome and copious showers of rain which are falling all over the State, that there will be "bread for the eater and seed for the sower."
THE PRESIDENT ‑ To what committee would the gentleman like to have that resolution referred?
MR. HOWELL ‑ I move to suspend the rules that it may be placed upon its immediate passage.
A vote being taken, the rules were suspended.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question recurs on the resolution of the gentleman from Cleburne.
MR. HOWELL ‑ We, as a Christian people, recognize the Divine Hand in all the events of this life. We are taught in His word, which is the religious textbook, that everything good and perfect comes from the Father of Life, and that it is but meet and right that we should not only feel in our hearts a sense of gratitude for spiritual blessings, but for the temporal blessings of life as well, and it has occurred to me that it would be becoming in this Convention, as the representatives of a great Christian people, to give expression in our own behalf and in behalf of our people, of our gratitude to Him from Whom all these blessings cometh. Our people for days and weeks have been nervous and anxious that there, might come rain to give bread to the eater and seed to the sower, and, therefore, I move the adoption of this resolution.
A vote being taken. the resolution was unanimously adopted.
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MR. SANFORD (Montgomery) ‑ I desire to introduce an ordinance.
The clerk read the ordinance as follows:
Ordinance No. 421, by Mr. Sanford:
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in convention assembled, That when two or more corporations shall hereafter conduct their business or employment, or any part of the same, in combination, or jointly, through the same agent, or through different agencies or citizens, in the performance of, or in consequence of any agreement, or combination, or understanding between such corporations, that they will jointly or mutually share in the advantage, benefit or profit, or in the loss to them, or any of them, that may incur in their business or employment, or in any part thereof, the holders of stock in any of such corporations shall thereupon and thereafter be liable, as co ‑ partners, for all existing and future debts, obligations, liabilities of each and all of such corporations, to any other persons or corporations, or to the State of Alabama; and for all fines and emercements lawfully imposed upon such corporations; provided, that such joint agreements may be authorized by special acts of the Legislature, in which the same are clearly and fully set forth in their terms, stipulations and provision.
MR. SANFORD (Montgomery) ‑ I ask that that ordinance be referred to the Committee on Legislative Department.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ It seems to the chair that the matters it deals with should properly be referred to the Committee on Corporations.
MR. SANFORD (Montgomery) ‑ But I ask that it be referred to the Committee on Legislative Department.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ In deference to the request of the gentleman from Montgomery, the ordinance will be referred to the Committee on Legislative Department.
MR. BROWNE ‑ The Committee on Taxation instructs me to report the following.
The clerk read the report as follows:
The Committee on Taxation instructs me to report the following proviso to Section 10 of Article XI, viz:
Provided, This section shall not apply to the cities of Sheffield and Tuscumbia.
And the following additional section to said Article viz:
Section 11. The Legislature may levy a tax of not more than two and one ‑ half per centum (2 1 ‑ 2) on every one hundred ($100) dollars of the value of all estate, real, personal and mixed, money public and private securities of every kind passing from any person who may die, seized and possessed thereof, being in this State or any part of estate, money or securities, or interest therein transferred by the interstate laws of this State, or by will, deed, grant, bargain, sale or gift, made or intended to take effect in possession after the death of the grantor, devisor or donor to any person or persons, bodies politic or corporate, in trust or otherwise, other than to or for the use of the father, mother, husband, wife, brothers, sisters, children or lineal descendants of the grantor, devisor, donor or intestate.
And recommend the adoption of the same.
Chairman Committee on Taxation.
MR. BROWNE ‑ I move that the report be laid upon the table and printed and be taken up in connection with the report of the Committee on Taxation.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The ordinance amending the report will lie upon the table and be printed.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The next order of business will be the special order. Consideration of the report of the Committee on Legislative Department.
MR. JONES (Montgomery) ‑ I rise to a question of the privileges of the Convention.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Montgomery will state his question of privilege.
MR. JONES (Montgomery) ‑ On yesterday during the debate on the free pass amendment, I am told by members of the Convention that gentlemen who were not entitled to the privileges of the floor were here lobbying, and I therefore ask that the door keeper be instructed to enforce the rules of this Convention as to the admission of persons to this floor.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The door ‑ keeper will be so instructed.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ On yesterday ‑ I offered an amendment which the Chair ruled out of order on the ground the Convention had already acted on the same proposition when the report of the Committee on Executive Department was under consideration. I desire to call the attention of the Chair to the proposition which was under consideration. In the report of the Executive Depart‑
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ment, Section 20, are the following words: "The Governor shall not appoint any member of the General Assembly during the term for which he shall have been elected to any office." That was a prohibition on the Governor to appoint any member of the General Assembly, whether it was an office of profit or trust or not. Under that prohibition, he could not appoint a member of the legislature to an office of honor. Now, the provision in Section 16 is "No Senator or Representative shall, during the term for which he .hall have been elected, be appointed to any office of profit under this State." Now, if we concede that the Chair is correct in his ruling on the point of order, to which I beg to dissent, that the House cannot act twice on the same amendment, I submit respectfully to the Chair that this is an entirely new proposition. The House declined to accept the amendment, declined to adopt this provision because it was far reaching in its effects and prevented the Governor appointing a member of the General Assembly to a small office of honor in this State ‑ the office of notary public, or commissioner to represent the State at some industrial exposition, or any position of honor‑
MR. HARRISON ‑ I rise to state that gentlemen in this neighborhood do not hear a word that the gentleman is saying.
MR. WADDELL ‑ I rise to a point of parliamentary inquiry.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ State the point of parliamentary inquiry.
MR. WADDELL ‑ The question before the House? We cannot hear.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman is applying for a rehearing.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ Appealing for a re ‑ hearing from the Chair.
MR. BOONE ‑ Will the re ‑ hearing take the usual course?
THE PRESIDENT ‑ In all probability.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ Now, the Chair on yesterday, as I state, held the amendment I offered was identical with the amendment or proposition which this House had voted down when the report of the Committee on Executive Department was under consideration. The Section in the report of the Executive Department, on which this Convention has acted, was in the following language: The Governor shall not appoint any member of the General Assembly during the term for which he shall have been elected to any office‑
MR. BULGER ‑ I rise to a point of order.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman will state the point of order.
MR. BULGER ‑ There is no pending question before the House. There is no motion under which the gentleman can make a speech or argument.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ Does the gentleman say I have no right to call the attention of the Chair to the facts in reference to a proposition before the House? The Chair on yesterday ruled two amendments were identical, and the Chair did not have the two articles at the time, and I know if the Chair was mistaken, he would correct himself. The Chair did not have the benefit of the two amendments, and I want to call the attention of the Chair to the fact that the amendments are entirely different.
MR. BULGER ‑ I insist on the point of order, there is nothing before the House. The gentleman has made no motion, nor does he rise to a question of personal privilege to allow him to take up the time of this Convention in a speech this morning.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair would be pleased to hear the gentleman from Lauderdale, the Chair is always glad to hear him, but it seems to the Chair that the point of order is well taken. There is nothing before the Convention.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ My amendment is before the Convention, Mr. President, and I ask the ruling of the Chair on that proposition,
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair does not understand that the gentleman has re ‑ offered the amendment.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ I offer the amendment now. I desire to say that at the time the hour of adjournment struct before I had an opportunity of making reply to the statement of the Chair. I thought certainly I would have the privilege this morning.
MR. OATES ‑ It is entirely discretionary with the Chair to hear a member under the circumstances, and no member by a point of order can take him off the floor, it is discretionary with the Chair to hear the gentleman or not.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair will hear the gentleman in view of the suggestion of the gentleman from Montgomery, it seems reasonable. As the matter is important. the Chair will hear the gentleman briefly.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ I just wish to say these are not similar propositions. The proposition we acted upon when the report of the Committee on Executive Department was under consideration was whether the Governor could appoint a member of the Legislature to any office whether of profit or not. Now, my amendment says the Governor shall not appoint a member of the Legislature to an office of profit under this State ‑ an entirely different proposition. I say that parliamentary practice lays down the proposition on the
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subject of amendments : an amendment may be in any of the following forms, to add or insert certain words or paragraphs and if this fails, it does not preclude any other amendment than the identical one that has been rejected. I say it is not the identical amendment. "To add, or strike out certain words, and insert certain others, and if lost it does not preclude a motion to strike out the same words and insert different words." Now, the other objection which I make to the ruling of the Chair, on the point of order, is that it is a matter for the Convention and not for the Chair. The rule as laid down in Cushing’s Manual is that "the inconsistency or incompatibility of a proposed amendment with one which has already been adopted is a fit ground for its rejection by the Assembly, but not for the suppression of it by the presiding officer as against order." That proposition is also laid down in Jefferson's Manual, and I submit that when this question was before the Convention when the Article submitted by the Committee on Executive Department was considered, many members said that they favored the proposition but it is a question that properly should be considered when the report of the Committee on Legislative Department is under consideration, and they therefore voted against it at that time.
On yesterday when the question with regard to passes was under consideration, a number of gentlemen said they would vote against it because that matter ought to be acted upon when the Committee on Corporations reports. Now, if the Chair is sustained, the ruling of the Chair be the law, then the question of railroad passes is taken entirely out of this Convention, because when offered again the objection can be made that it is out of order because acted upon once before by the House. I care nothing about the amendment particularly, but I think the precedent is wrong.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The policy of issuing railroad passes?
MR. O'NEAL ‑ No. sir. I say the effect of the ruling of the President would be to take from the House the power to consider any amendment to any Article when in the opinion of the Chair had already been acted upon, and therefore respectfully urge that the Chair reconsider its ruling on that question because it is too far ‑ reaching.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ With reference to the suggestion made by the gentleman, and the argument submitted, the Chair is always glad to be assisted by delegates, and will always appreciate any argument or suggestion from delegates on the floor to aid the Chair in reaching a correct conclusion on questions of parliamentary law. Now, with reference to whether the amendment offered when the report of the Committee on Executive Department was considered was germane or not, the Chair will say that that question is decided when it arises. If a point of order is made against
it, it is ruled to be germane or not– and when it is decided it is germane it is res adjudicata, that it is germane when it is considered. So far as this particular proposition is concerned, the report was brought in by the Committee on Executive Department, and the distinguished Chairman of the Committee on Legislative Department called attention to the fact that a similar clause was in the report to be brought in by the Committee of which he was the Chairman, but that he saw no objection to its being considered at that time, and it was considered and fully discussed. Possibly a day or two days of the time of this Convention was consumed in a full and elaborate discussion and consideration of that question. Now, the proposition is to bring that identical question again before the Convention. The delegate from Lauderdale seeks to distinguish it by saying that the original proposition covered all offices, and his covers offices of profit. Well, all offices certainly include offices of profit, and if he desired to present it in a more restricted form, he should have offered an amendment to the proposition while it was being considered by the Convention, but his proposition was considered and is concluded by the action of the Convention at that time. Mr. Cushing does say with reference to consistency or inconsistency of amendments, that this ought to be determined by the Convention and not by the Chair. But this is not a question of consistency, between two amendments, or whether the amendment now offered is in conflict with the amendment formerly considered by the Convention. The question is whether this Convention shall be called upon to take up and consider the identical proposition, in terms or in substance, that was formerly considered. The inconsistency or incompatibility of a proposed amendment which has already been adopted is a fit ground for rejection by the Assembly, but not for suppression by the presiding officer. Now, the same authority that lays this proposition down, and I say this is not such a case, lays down this other rule, “that whatever is agreed to by the assembly on a vote either adopting or rejecting a proposed amendment cannot afterwards be altered or amended.” And again: “That whatever is disagreed to by the Assembly on a vote cannot be afterwards moved again.” This rule is the converse of the proceeding. The Chair will overrule the point of order. The fact that this is brought in by a separate committee would be the same as if brought in by any delegate– it would stand on the same ground.
MR. HOWZE– I have an amendment that I desire to offer.
MR. JONES ‑ I would like to make a parliamentary inquiry.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Jefferson was the floor.
The Clerk read the amendment as follows:
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Amend by inserting in Section 16 after the word "State" in the second line the words "filled by appointment or."
The Secretary here read Section 16 as follows:
Sec. 16. No Senator or Representative shall during the term for which he shall have been elected be appointed to any office of profit under this State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such terms, except such offices as may be filled by election by the people.
MR. HOWZE ‑ The object of the amendment is to insert into this section the prohibition against the appointment of any Representative or Senator to an office filled by appointment as well as offices which have been created or the emoluments of which have been increased during such term. It is merely adding offices filled by appointment, such for instance as Railroad Commissioners, and Convict Inspectors. I think they should be included in the class of offices to which Senators and Representatives may not be appointed by the Governor.
MR. THOMPSON (Bibb)– I rise to a point of order, that the amendment is not in order. It is a part of the same proposition that has been before the House before. That was included within a section that has been defeated by the Convention in consideration of the report of the Committee on Legislative Department. It is an attempt to bring up a part of the same matter that has heretofore been passed upon; and it is not in order to bring it up.
MR. HOWZE– On that point the gentleman, I think, is mistaken.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair would like to hear the gentleman from Jefferson on that point.
MR. HOWZE ‑ I have this to say. I was looking for that objection to be made; and I was really hopeful that the President of the Convention would change his ruling upon that point. My idea in regard to it is while it may be the amendment I offer, was in spirit included in the amendment offered to the report of the Committee on Executive Department, I do not think I am precluded from offering it here, because each article proposed to this Constitution is separate and independent. Each one is entirely separate and distinct from the other, and does not become linked together until this Constitution is completed and the Committee on Harmony reports it is adopted as a whole. Further, any proposition which is germane to any section in any one of these articles, may be offered as an amendment although it may have been considered under some other article. The amendment offered in the Executive Department ,vas germane and it was acted upon but the action of this Convention it seems to me cannot possibly affect any
amendment offered to an other article or section where it is germane. It seems to me that the only question for the Convention or the President to determine when each article is up for consideration is whether any proposition by way of an amendment is germane to any article or any section in that article. If that is true, if that is germane, why then this is the proper place and it is proper for this Convention to consider it. The only question would be it seems to me is whether or not the proposition I offered ‑ this amendment I offered, is germane to this section. It is entirely distinct and independent of the section to the article of the Executive Department which this Convention ought to consider, if it is germane, that is as long as there is any connection, this Convention is bound to consider it, and the fact that it was considered in connection with any other section or any other article cannot have any influence upon that amendment when offered. It is for that reason I make these remarks. I wanted to give my views to the President before he ruled on the other question. I don't care to take up the further time of the Convention. I think the proposition one of great importance. It is a different one from the one considered in the report of the Executive Department. It was not in fact the question then considered, and I offer it because I think it of great importance and should be incorporated in the Constitution. I was not in favor of the broad proposition which was attempted to be passed in the report of the Executive Department by which it was sought to have the legislators excluded from all offices of every character. They should be excluded in order that we might have a government free from bias or prejudice.
MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– When the question was up before I was in favor of a similar provision but it seems to me after we have thoroughly gone into a matter, thoroughly discussed it, thoroughly considered it, that it is unnecessary for us to take up the time of this Convention in the further consideration of a useless thing when we are not only getting along slowly in the formation of a Constitution, but are being criticized by the people who sent us here; and for that very thing I therefore move to lay the amendment on the table.
MR. BULGER ‑ I rise to a point of order. This question should not be put to a vote of this Convention because this amendment is out of order, and because the Chair has twice decided it on this very question.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The point of order is well taken.
MR. JONES (Montgomery) ‑ Would the Chair hear a member on the correctness of a ruling that has been made?
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair will hear the gentleman from Montgomery. The Chair has been rather liberal on this question.
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It is somewhat irregular, but the Chair will hear the gentleman from Montgomery and will then rule upon the question and so far as the Chair is concerned will consider it as concluded.
MR. JONES (Montgomery) ‑ Owing to its effect on future legislation, a motion to lay on the table decides nothing. It cannot be adopted. It has a very different effect from a vote to pass on a motion to indefinitely postpone. That may be called res adjudicata. A motion to lay on the table has no more effect, to use a legal illustration, than a continuance of a case would have as being res adjudicata. I submit to the Chair, therefore, whatever may be the ruling, where a vote is passed to indefinitely postpone a question, the same effect cannot and does not arise when a temporary disposition is made by a vote to lay on the table. It occurs to me, therefore, that the Chair has not given that fact any prominence in the ruling heretofore made on that question.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Suppose for instance this Section 16 is now under consideration, and the gentleman offers his amendment, the gentleman from Jefferson; and the Convention lays his amendment upon the table and the next section of this article is read, and he offers this same amendment to the next Section. And the point of order is made against it. The reply of the gentleman from Montgomery and those who maintain that position, would be that is offering a different section? That does not make any difference if it is the same proposition? Now suppose in a matter whether we should have a Lieutenant Governor ‑ that question was up; and suppose the Convention had rejected it, that proposition could not he added again when each section came up, the members get up and offer amendments to each section of the article of the Committee on Executive Department that we would have a Lieutenant Governor, then by adding a provision for a Lieutenant Governor. It would be simply calling upon the Convention to consider over and over again the same proposition.
MR. ROGERS (Sumter) ‑ I rise to ask a question.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair thinks he has heard enough discussion on this subject.
MR. ROGERS ‑ I want to ask the Chair if it is not the opinion of the Chair when a gentleman wishes to go into these matters that the proper motion to be made is to rescind the action of the Convention before they will do it.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Certainly. That was brought up in the matter of the sheriffs, where the Convention had decided on a provision for the impeachment, the suspension of a sheriff pending impeachment proceedings. The Chair ruled that an independent ordinance could be introduced and one was introduced. Any member dissatisfied with any provision in the Constitution may intro‑
duce an ordinance to repeal that provision or rescind it. This Convention cannot be obstructed in its business by having the same proposition presented to it over and over again. As Cushing says, "Whatever is agreed to by the House, either adopting or rejecting a proposed amendment, cannot be afterwards altered or amended." Further on he provides the Convention may rescind its action by regular proceedings. Then he says, "Whatever is disagreed to by the assembly, cannot be afterwards moved again."
MR. SANFORD (Montgomery) ‑ Suppose the amendment is made in different language.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Whether it is made in different language or not, if it is substantially the same proposition it cannot be gone over. The Secretary will read the amendment. The Chair will rule that the amendment is not in order.
MR. PETTUS ‑ I move the adoption of the section and on that I call for the previous question.
And upon a vote being taken the main question was ordered and the section was adopted.
The Clerk then read Section 17 as follows:
Sec. 17. No person hereafter convicted of embezzlement of the public money, bribery, perjury or other infamous crime, shall be eligible to the legislature, or capable of holding any office of trust or profit in this State.
MR. OATES ‑ That is the same as in the present Constitution.
The Chair here recognized Mr. Watts of Montgomery.
MR. WATTS ‑ I have an amendment to Section 17.
The Clerk then read the amendment as follows: "By adding thereto the following words, no negro shall be permitted to hold office in this State."
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question is upon the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery.
MR. WATTS ‑ That amendment of mine is an important question in this Convention, the constitutional law. I want to request the permission of this Convention for their indulgence for about a half an hour to discuss it.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question is shall the time be extended to the gentleman from Montgomery not to exceed thirty minutes.
There being no objection, the chair announced that, the time asked for was granted.
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MR. HOWZE ‑ Doesn't it require a suspension of the rules and wouldn't a suspension of the rules require a two ‑ thirds vote?
MR. FITTS ‑ I rise to a point of order. The chair has already announced that permission has been granted.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ In the opinion of the chair, it would require a suspension of the rules.
MR. HOWZE ‑ It would certainly require a suspension of the rules in order to put that through, and before it be done, it must be ascertained by a two ‑ thirds vote.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ It seems to the chair that the point is well taken.
MR. BLACKWELL ‑ I move a suspension of the rules.
MR. LOMAX ‑ Permit me to call the attention of the chair to the fact that it has been the practice in this Convention since this ten ‑ minute rule has been adopted, that when a gentleman's time has expired, a motion is made to extend his time, and such motion was adopted without a suspension of the rules. It has been repeatedly done, and I suggest that the President is sufficient for a ruling of the chair, without more, especially, in view of the late time at which the point of order is made.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ In all these cases, the point of order was not made, and the chair does not feel authorized to raise points of order, especially wherever it interrupts privileges of members. I think where a point of order is distinctly made, it seems to the chair that he is without power to disregard it.
MR. DUKE ‑ I made the point of order that the point of order made by the gentleman from Jefferson comes too late. The chair had already announced its decision on the vote, and the gentleman had gone forward to make his speech.
MR. LOMAX ‑ The presumption was after the chair had announced its decision, that the rules had been suspended in accordance with the law.
If a motion had been submitted to suspend the rules and the chair had announced the result, although a sufficient vote had not been had to sustain it. it seems it would come too late. No question has been submitted to the Convention at all about whether the rules will be suspended or not.
MR. PETTUS ‑ I suggest in addition to the point of order the presumption was that the motion was behind any motion to extend the time. The motion was to suspend the rules and extend the time and there was no call for a division of the question.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The chair is in some doubt about it.
MR. MERRILL ‑ I move that the rules be suspended for the purpose of extending the gentleman's time.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Upon a further consideration, the chair will decide that the point of order made by the gentleman from Jefferson was not in time in view of the practice that we have indulged in of extending the time without specially submitting the question of suspending the rules of the Convention.
MR. WATTS ‑ I regret exceedingly that I should have to ask from this Convention the extension of time which I have requested. But this proposition which I have offered to the Convention was first submitted to our attention by Senator Morgan, as one of a constitutional nature, and cannot be discussed in the limited time ordinarily given to members. I desire to urge consideration by this Convention and the adoption of that amendment. We are here to do what we legally can to insure the reign of the white man in Alabama. This amendment is a pronounced step in that direction. It provides that no negro shall hold office in this State. If the Convention will bear with me ‑ will be kind enough not to interrupt me with questions ‑ I will undertake to show, not only that this proposition is within the Constitution of the United States, but that as a matter of policy, it ought to be adopted. This negro question is a troublesome one. It is not only hard to solve now, but it has continued to be difficult of solution for many years. For more than a century, the negro has been the subject of legislation. Whether that legislation has been by the people or by the Congress of the United States, by the States of the South or by those of New England, that legislation, at least until a few years before the war between the States, has been almost uniformly adverse to the negro race. As early as 1705 Massachusetts was legislating against the negro. In 1774, Massachusetts, and in 1822 Rhode Island, prohibited the inter ‑ marriage of the races. New Hampshire provided that her militia should consist of free white citizens while Connecticut made it a penal offense to establish a negro school. When the Declaration of Independence was drafted and those words used which are so often quoted, "all me are created equal," there was no thought of the negro and he was not included in them. When the preamble to the Federal Constitution was written, the negro was not included in "we, the people," whose rights were there declared. I assert it without the fear of successful contradiction, that in the inception of this Government, and for nearly one hundred years afterwards it was never contemplated that the negro should be a citizen of the United States or of any State, and until 1848 he had no civil or political rights throughout this broad land of ours, except in the States of New York, North Carolina and Maine. It will thus be seen that the desire of the white race to treat the negro as an inferior did not originate in the South.
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What, then, is the law on this subject? When the Federal Union was formed the respective States ceded to the Federal Government certain rights which are specified and laid down in the Constitution of the United States, and since then by sundry amendments have ceded other rights; but the rights which have not been ceded to the Federal Government are still held by the States in all of their original integrity. In the case of Walker vs. Sanvinet. 92 U. S., and Maxwell vs. Dowe, 176 U. S., and in the Slaughter House cases, 16th Wallace, it is distinctly held that the first eight amendments to the Federal Constitution when enacted had no reference to the rights of the negro race; that neither of these amendments has any reference to the exercise of State sovereignty, and that each of them had reference alone to the exercise of the powers of Congress. The 9th, 10th and 11th amendments have no relation whatever to the rights of citizenship. The 12th Amendment relates to the election of President and Vice ‑ President. The l3th Amendment gave freedom to the slave. The 14th Amendment gave the negro civil rights only; and the 15th Amendment simply secured him from discrimination in the grant of the right of suffrage. In the famous Dred ‑ Scott case decided by Chief Justice Taney in 1856, a decision which electrified the whole Union and which brought down upon the head of that learned Judge the condemnation of every lover of the negro, it was expressly and unqualifiedly decided that the negro was not then and never had been a citizen of the United States nor of any State of the American Union. If then Alabama cannot put into her Constitution a prohibition against the negro's holding office, it must be by reason of or on account of some amendment to the Federal Constitution adopted since 1856. I take it that it will not be claimed that this action is prohibited by any amendment to the Constitution of the United States except the 14th Amendment. The question then for discussion is, does the 14th Amendment prohibit it? To answer that question, it is necessary to analyze the language of the 14th Amendment and to consider the various decisions rendered since its enactment. The first clause is: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
Mark you, gentlemen, there are two kinds of citizens spoken of here: Citizens of the United States and citizens of a State, and their rights are different. You will recognize that there are many citizens of the United States who are not citizens of any State; and there are millions of citizens of the United States who are not citizens of Alabama. The rights and privileges of citizens of the United States are established by the Federal Constitution and by the laws enacted by Congress. The rights of citizens of Alabama are established by its Constitution and by its laws. The rights of
citizens of the United States are under the control of Congress. The rights of citizens of Alabama are to be governed by its laws.
Now, take the next subdivision of the 14th Amendment: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States."
The absence of reference to citizens of the States in this clause, whereas in the previous clause both kinds of citizens are spoken of, shows that the framers of the 14th Amendment had some purpose in the language used and that purpose, it seems to me, was to say to the States that wherever a privilege or an immunity is granted by the Federal Constitution or its amendments, that is a privilege and immunity of the citizens of the United States. But wherever the State acts, it is a privilege or immunity conferred by the State and this clause does not say, mark you, that the privileges and immunities of citizens of the State shall not be abridged, but only those of the citizens of the United States. Therefore, a State has a right to make any law it pleases for the government of its citizens and for the administration of its affairs, with this exception only, that where it, affects life, liberty or property, the law must apply with equal force to all: and where it affects the suffrage, there must be no discrimination on account of race, color or previous condition. Therefore, a State has a right to say whether a jury in its own courts shall consist of twelve or less men ; whether verdicts shall be unanimous and whether there shall be any jury at all. It has the right to prohibit the intermarriage of the races. It has the right to provide for the separation of the races upon railway trains, in schools and in public places. It can prohibit or permit women to practice law. It can give women the right to vote. Further, the State can give to a white woman, if it chooses, the right to vote and prohibit it to the negro woman, for the reason that the 15th Amendment simply protects the negro male from discrimination in the exercise of the right of suffrage. The State can go further. It can establish in one of the Congressional districts a set of qualifications for suffrage, and in each and every one of the other Congressional districts it can establish an entirely different set of qualifications for suffrage. That is clearly maintained by the authorities. The only limitation, as I said before, is that these qualification must apply to all alike in each one of these different districts.
Now, I read again the other part of this 14th Amendment. "Nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
A singular thing occurs right there: You will notice that in the first two clauses, we have been speaking about citizens. This, clause commences to speak about persons. It says "Nor shall any
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State deprive any person of life, liberty or property” and that every person shall have equal protection of the laws. That clause then includes not only corporations, but also includes women and children. It not only includes citizens but it includes anybody everywhere who has property within the State. Mark you, another thing; While the first clause says protection of life, liberty or property shall be given to every person, the second clause says the equal protection of the laws shall be given only to those who are within the jurisdiction of the State. Mark you, again, the language is not its laws, but the laws, thereby showing that the intention was to make the State give to its citizens and to the people within its jurisdiction the protection of any and every law which affects life, liberty or property. Now, it is often said that the 15th Amendment gives the right to vote. That statement is untrue. The 15th amendment does not give any man the right to vote. It simply secures the negro from discrimination in granting the right to vote. It was decided in the cases of Cruickshank and Reese both in 92 U. S., and in that of Harris, 106 U. S.. that the right to vote comes from the State and not from the United States and that it is not all attribute of national citizenship. The only exception to it is decided in the Yarbrough case, 110 U. S., and in the case of Wyley v. Sinkler, 180 U. S., where it is held that in an election for members of Congress the right to vote for Congressmen comes from the United States because the Federal Constitution gives such people the right to vote for Congressmen as each State gives the right to vote for members of its Legislature. It was decided in Bradwell v. Illinois, 16 Wall, decided by the same Justice Miller who decided the Slaughter House cases, in Minor v. Happersett and in Blacker v. McPherson. 146 U. S., that the right to vote is not one of the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States granted by the 14th Amendment. Why, we all recognize that women and children are in a certain sense citizens of Alabama and citizens of the United States, yet who would contend on this floor, or any where else, that the State of Alabama was bound to give women and children the right to hold office? What, then, is the meaning of privileges and immunities? What did the framers of the 14th Amendment mean when they used that language? It was decided in the Civil Rights case, 109 U. S., that the term did not include civil rights. It was decided in the Slaughter House cases 16 Wall., that it meant equal justice in the courts.: It was held again in Strander v. W. Virginia. Rives v. Virginia, both in 100 U. S., in Neal v. Delaware, 103 U. S. Bush v. Kentucky, 107 U. S., and in Gibson v. :Mississippi, 162 U. S., that it is unlawful to limit jury duty to one race because it was said it was unfair to submit the property rights of one race entirely to the determination of the other. In several of these cases expressions are used, which at first glance and without due consideration, might seem to combat the position I take. If you will read
these decisions and carefully consider them, you will find that the Supreme Court of the United States, in no single instance was talking about anything except civil rights except where they were discussing the right to vote; and when they were discussing the right to vote, they spoke of it as a political and not as a civil right. Now, then, not one of these decisions, except some that I am going to make reference to now, have any reference what ever to theright to hold office. Let me call attention here to another thing. You will find these same words, privileges and immunities in Section 2, Article IV, of the Federal Constitution. They were, therefore, in the Federal Constitution eighty years before the 14th amendment was adopted. As far back as 1797 these words received judicial interpretation by the Supreme Court of Maryland. This was done in the vase of Campbell vs. Morris, 3 Harris and McHenry. Seventy ‑ five years afterwards that case was followed by the Supreme Court of California in the case of Van Valhenberg v. Brown, 43 Cal., and later in Lyons v. Cunningham, 66 Cal.; and the same principle is held both in Blank v. Pausch, 113 Illinois, and Laurent v. Kansas, 1 Kansas. I call attention to the principle decided there which has ever since been maintained and never departed from by the State Courts, by the Federal Courts, or by the Supreme Court of the United States that suffrage and office are political rights and as I will show you a State has a right to dispose of its offices as it pleases. In the case of ex parte Virginia., 100 U. S., Justice Field delivered a strong dissenting opinion in which he coincided with the preceding decision in each one of these cases I have mentioned and in which he held that the right to vote and to hold office were political and not civil rights; that the 14th amendment was intended to protect civil rights only and that each State had the right to prescribe the qualifications of its officers, and but for the 15th amendment it would leave the right to regulate who should cast ballots. He decided in there, and it has been decided by numerous decisions, that but for the 15th amendment, the State could preclude the negro from voting. In spite of the 15th amendment we can prevent him from holding office in this good State. In the case of Boyd v. Nebraska, 143 U. S., and in the case of Wilson v. North Carolina 169 U. S., and in the famous case of Taylor v. Beckham; 178 U. S., the case which almost overturned Kentucky, it was distinctly and emphatically decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that a State has the right to prescribe the qualifications of its officers. The same thing was in substance decided in the case of Blacker v. McPherson, 146 U. S., where the people of Michigan undertook to elect their electors by districts and the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the law on the ground that it was a State office, and that the State of Michigan had the right to regulate it. Now, Mr. President, so much for the law on this question. What about the policy? I have heard it said that we ought not to put this in the Constitu-
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tion. Why not? That we ought not to put it here because it shows too plainly that our purpose is to keep the negro out of Alabama politics. Now, Mr. President, how much plainer do we want it? Isn't every letter and every line of the report of the Committee on Suffrage to that effect? Haven't we said to the people of Alabama upon the hustings that this is what this Convention is for? Are not the people waiting to hear how we are going to provide for disfranchising the negro? Our purpose is plain. It is not denied by any man upon the floor of this Convention or in this State. You must remember that the State of Alabama never adopted the 15th amendment. It was forced upon us by the other States in the Union. The negro was forced upon us as he was forced upon other Southern States. We have the right, then, to make our protest against it in such manner as the law allows us and we have undoubtedly the right, as my distinguished friend, the Chairman of the Committee on Suffrage will tell you, under the law, to deprive the negro of holding office in Alabama. Mr. President, I have heard it said at various times in the Committees and upon the floor of this Convention, that the putting in or the leaving out of some provision would endanger the ratification by the people of the instrument we shall frame. I do not know as to the truth of falsity of these fears but I think I know what the people of the Black Belt will say as to this and what the people of the other parts of Alabama will say to a provision which excludes the negro from holding office. Put this amendment into your Constitution, go with it to the people, and argue it before them. It will matter little as to what else we may put in there. Every city and town will be aroused with interest and enthusiasm ; every hillside and valley will be ablaze. The white men of Alabama of all ages and the youth who casts his first vote, whether they live in a city or on a farm; whether they live in the Black Belt, the Wire Grass or the hill counties will hasten to the polls and by their ballots will say to this Convention, well done.
MR. SOLLIE ‑ Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention : I regret that this important question has made its way into the Convention by way of amendment, for the reason that the question involved is so momentous that delegates can scarcely discuss it within the ten minutes allowed. Yet I shall see to say what I have to say within the ten minutes. I am glad indeed that the gentleman who has preceded me, the gentleman from Montgomery, has done into the details of the various decisions which have been rendered, bearing upon the legal phase of the proposition. After careful consideration and study of the question. I agree with him that if this Convention wishes to do so, as a matter of law, a valid constitutional provision may be made by which the negro may be precluded from the privilege of holding office in Alabama. I can do no more than to go briefly into an agreement with the gentleman upon the propositions of law which he has
cited, without attempting to take up the cases one by one. I wish, however, to make somewhat clearer than he has done some of the distinctions and demarkations ‑ lines upon some of these questions. That provision contained in the Fourteenth Amendment of equal privileges and immunities was in the Articles of Confederation. It received consideration and its meaning was known to the courts and the laws of the nation long before any of the amendments to the present Constitution, or at least before the Fourteenth or Fifteenth Amendments were made. It has been fixed by the decisions as securing simply the civil rights of citizens. The Fourteenth Amendment has no bearing whatever upon this provision. Nor has the Fifteenth Amendment. True, the rights to hold office is a political right, and the right to vote is a political right, but they are separate political rights, and they belong to different classes of political rights. They contemplate different things; they contemplate different privileges. They are different in meaning. Now, Mr. President, when this identical question was before the Congress of the United States, when the Fifteenth Amendment was being passed upon, this question was argued ‑ the question whether the broad term political rights covering all parts of the political rights of the citizen, should go into that amendment, or whether it should be restricted and limited to the single proposition of the right to vote, was then argued. Numerous statesmen spoke, upon the question, and it was finally agreed upon that the right of suffrage alone should be protected.
Mr. President, showing that our record is consistent and in harmony with the result of that discussion, our court, in the case of Kentz against the City of Mobile, 120 Ala., where the question came up as to whether a man should be required to be learned in the law to be an officer in the city of Mobile, held the act to be unconstitutional in the provision which required him to be learned in the law, not because it was obnoxious to the Fifteenth Amendment, but because it was obnoxious to Section 2 of Article I of the Constitution of this State. By some strange notion of the Convention of 1875, that provision was enacted. It does seem that some of the constitutional provisions of that instrument must have been made more or less under duress of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments; yet, although neither of the amendments required that there should be put into our Constitution a clause protecting all the political rights of the citizens and giving them to every man, it was done, with the exception that the right to hold certain offices was confined to persons learned in the law ;and inasmuch as the office created in Mobile was not within the constitutional inhibition, or rather constitutional requirement, that the officer should be learned in law, a provision requiring such way; stricken down by our court as being unconstitutional, and because of our own Constitution, and not because of the Fifteenth amendment in the United States Constitution. So, then, our own court
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passing upon that question has followed up the discussion and the conclusion reached in Congress and has followed up the true and sensible meaning of the Fifteenth amendment, holding that the right to hold office is protected in Alabama alone by our own Constitution.
Now this Convention has stricken out the words "political rights" in our Constitution. Then we come back to the proposition offered here, and insist that one of the two political rights, the right to vote is protected by the 15th Amendment, and the other, the right to hold office, is not. I hold with others that we are not bound upon the present question by the 15th Amendment ; that nothing else but the 14th and 15th Amendment could by any stretch of the imagination even touch upon the question, and the decisions of the State courts and the Federal courts have so clearly shown that the 14th amendment does not bear upon it, that we can pass from that amendment and limit our investigation to the 15th Amendment alone, and that the 15th Amendment is specifically pointing out the right to vote, or the suffrage right, according to the old rule of construction that the specifically naming of one in a series of matters standing in equal situation in an enactment, is an exclusion of the others. Then I say, Mr. President, that if this Convention sees proper to do so, without going further into details and arguments, in my humble judgment, the Convention has the power to pass this ordinance.
Then, passing from the legal aspect of the case, is it policy to do so. It has gone throughout the length and breadth of the State of Alabama that the chief aim and object of this Convention is to reform the suffrage of this State. If there is one thing which may more infurate the people of a community, may have a more vexing effect than any other, it is to see the prospect of their local affairs or of their district affairs, or of their State affairs, passing into the hands of negro officials. If we are in Alabama to have that peace and quietude which is lest for both races, I say that it is best that the negroes do not hold our offices, but that the white men hold them. The day may come when the negro has gone so far in the arts of civilization that it will be proper and right that we reconvene ourselves in a Constitutional Convention, and extend to him new rights, but until that day comes, and we know not when it will come-- ‑ it is problematical, it is wrapped in the great bosom of the future, and we cannot say when it will come, the better and safe plan is to act upon the conditions which now exist. and which will exist most probably for years to come, and say to the negro, it is best for you, and for us all, that we curtail you of this right to hold office in the State of Alabama. Because with the negro in local offices, and the white men in Alabama appearing before the negro official, always means to stir anew the old feelings of prejudice which cannot be restrained, but
which if the negro keeps his place and continues to make the progress which he has made in times last, may become a thing of the past. The negro will remain here, and some of them must vote in Alabama, and so long as that is true, there is a possibility and even a probability that they may hold office. The probability becomes stronger than in the last, because we have been sent here by a people who have carrier their elections confessedly against the popular will of the section where the negro is in majority, as long as they have wished to do so, and have sent us here for the purpose of making laws under which we may purify the ballot box. and by which we may declare the results of elections as they are, and that being true, there is more probability of the negro holding office in the immediate future than there has been in the immediate past, unless the right is taken from him.
MR. COLEMAN (Greene) ‑ The question now before the Convention has been precipitated upon us somewhat, and I am sure that delegates here who are not members of the Committee on Suffrage, have not had time sufficiently to consider the question now being discussed. In the main, the first gentleman who addressed you, stated the law as we understand it to be in regard to the authority of the State to exclude the negro from holding office, but so far as he asserted that the State of Alabama had the authority to enfranchise the white women and disfranchise the negro woman, we are unanimously opposed to his conclusion. Now the fourteenth article reads as follows: "All persons," and I stop here to say that "persons" include females as well as males. "all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and of the States where they reside." Now, there is a constitutional declaration in the 14th Amendment "that all persons born or naturalized as citizens of the United States, are citizens of the State in which they reside." Here is the 15th Amendment: "The right of citizens" ‑ who are citizens, "all persons born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State where they reside." Therefore "the right of all citizens of the United States," which includes men and women, for they are persons, "shall not be abridged or denied by any State on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude." It does seem to me that if anything could be plain, it is plainly here declared that you cannot enfranchise white women and disfranchise the negro women. Nothing could be clearer. Nothing could be more simply expressed, and for that reason we do not consider the proposition of the distinguished Senator to whom the gentleman has referred as stating a correct exposition of the law.
Now so far as the negro may be disqualified by the State from holding office I take it that the latest exposition of the Supreme
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Court of the United States in the case of Taylor and Baker, which expressly declares that office, in a State are not included within the words privileges and immunities, and for that reason the court held that it had no jurisdiction of the case and dismissed it. That decision was rendered by a divided court of five to four. Following the decisions of the Supreme Court as we have, and considering the conclusions to which they have come recently, especially in the Puerto Rico and Philippine cases, it is exceedingly doubtful where the Supreme Court will land when this question comes up in a political aspect from the South. I am free to say that under the latest exposition, the case that I have referred to, by a divided court of five to four, the State has absolute authority over the question of whom shall hold office in the State. The real question is one of expedience under all the circumstances. These questions were discussed time and again by the Committee on Suffrage and Elections, and it was our conclusion that inasmuch as we expected to eliminate the ignorant and incompetent voter from the exercise of suffrage, there would be no danger in this State, and we thought it the better policy as well as more consistent with our prosperity that we leave it untouched, but, Mr. President, inasmuch as it is before the Convention, and it is a matter of supreme importance, I move that the resolution be printed, and put upon the table, and that further discussion be postponed until we have time to discuss it more at length.
The President here resumed the chair.
MR. COLEMAN (Greene) ‑ I would like to have it made a special order. I move that the amendment be printed and laid upon the table, to be taken up for further discussion hereafter and that we now proceed with the regular order of business.
The gentleman from Dallas (Mr. Burns) was recognized.
MR. BURNS ‑ I know the motion is not debatable, but I have a substitute that I wanted to get in, but I was a little slow.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Has the gentleman from Greene any objection.
MR. COLEMAN ‑ I have no authority in the matter, but have no objection to its being offered.
MR. BURNS ‑ I ask to offer the amendment as a substitute.
The substitute was read as follows: "And no person who is not a white qualified voter shall hold any office under the State."
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The motion of the gentleman from Greene is that the amendment and the substitute lie upon the table to be printed, and taken up for consideration at the pleasure of the Convention.
MR. WATTS ‑ This is an amendment to this Section 17. Are we going on and pass the section without paying any attention to the amendment, or what are we going to do with it?
MR. OATES ‑ I was going to remark that there are other places in the Constitution where this would come in much more appropriately for consideration, than here, and hence I am in favor of laying it on the table to be taken up for consideration later.
Upon a vote being taken a division was called for, and by a vote of 74 ayes and 21 noes the amendment was laid upon the table, with the substitute, to be taken up at the pleasure of the Convention.
MR. WHITE ‑ I have an amendment to Section 17.
Section 17 was read: Thereupon the amendment was read as follows: Amend by striking out the word "hereafter" in line one.
MR. WHITE ‑ The necessity for this amendment is apparent. There is no reason why a person who has been heretofore convicted of embezzlement of the public money, or any other infamous crime should be entitled to hold office or to be a member of the legislature, and I suppose the Committee will probably accept it.
MR. OATES ‑ This is the old section, copied from the present constitution, but I have no objection in the world to the gentleman's amendment, and have no idea that the Committee has any. As far as I am concerned I am willing to accept it.
Upon a vote being taken the amendment was adopted, and upon a further vote the section as amended was adopted.
Section 18 was read as follows:
Sec. 18. No law shall be passed except by bill, and no bill shall be so altered or amended on its passage through either House as to change its original purpose.
MR. OATES ‑ That is the provision in the present Constitution and I move its adoption.
Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.
Section 19 was read as follows:
Sec. 19. No bill shall become a law until it shall have been referred to a standing committee of each House, acted upon by the committees in session, and returned therefrom which fact shall affirmatively appear upon the journal of each House.
MR. OATES ‑ This is amended so as to prevent such practices as have been shown to exist in some cases. For instance I heard evidence here about a bill being passed around in open ses‑
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sion, from one member of a committee to another, and they were permitted to write their names on the back, and this section now requires a reference to a standing committee. Another practice has been engaged in, of referring a local bill simply to the delegation from the county, and it is passed upon by them. We have no such thing as county sovereignty in this State. The State itself is the sovereign. This section also provides that the fact that it is referred to a standing committee and passed upon in session by the Committee of each House must affirmatively appear upon the journal. I move its adoption.
MR. BROWNE– I do not know whether the section reported is correctly printed, but it reads “by committees in session.” I would suggest that it should read “acted upon by such Committee in session,” so that it may be acted upon by the Committee to which it is referred.
MR. OATES– There are the Committees of each House spoken of.
MR. BROWNE– I know one instance where it was referred to one Committee and reported back by another.
MR. OATES– There cannot be any mistake the way it reads here, and I move the adoption of the section as reported.
MR. COBB ‑ I will offer that amendment, because it is in harmony with what precedes.
MR. BROWNE ‑ I offer an amendment, which the Clerk will read.
The amendment was read by the Clerk as follows : "Strike out the word ‘Committees’ and insert the words, ‘such Committee in each House.’”
MR. WALKER ‑ As you have it there, the amendment would make it read "such Committee of each House in session."
MR. BROWNE ‑ Such committee in session of each House.
MR. COBB ‑ Such committee seems to the to be sufficient.
MR. BROWNE ‑ I think it is right as written, "standing Committee of each House, acted upon by such Committee in session."
I only desire to state that in the Shelby County case, the bill was referred, as the journal will show, to one Committee, and that it was reported back by another and different committee, and that question is before the Supreme Court, not yet having been decided. Certainly it will obviate the attempt to do such a think in the future.
The amendment was again read : "Strike out ‘the committees’ and insert ‘such committee in each House.’”
MR. OATES ‑ That is a change of language, and if the gentlemen think it is more expressive, all right, I have no objection to it. I think it is clear like it is.
MR. COBB ‑ I move to strike out the word "each" in the amendment.
A reading being called for the section as amended was read: "Sec. 19. No bill shall become a law until it shall have been referred to a standing committee of each House, acted upon by such committee in session, and returned therefrom, which fact shall affirmatively appear upon the journal of each House.
Upon a vote being taken the amendment to the amendment, and the amendment were adopted, and thereupon the section, as amended, was adopted.
Section 20 was read as follows:
Sec. 20. Every bill shall be read on three different days in each House, and no bill shall become a law unless on its final passage it be read at length and the vote taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for and against the same be entered on the journal, and a majority of each House be recorded thereon as voting in its favor, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.
MR. HARRISON ‑ I have an amendment.
The amendment was read as follows:
Amend Section 20 by inserting between the words of and each where they occur on the fourth line of said Section, the words "those elected to."
MR. HARRISON ‑ The effect of this amendment is to require a majority of the members elected to each House to vote in favor of a bill before it becomes a law. Under the Section as reported by the Committee, and as has been the case in Alabama under the present Constitution, with a Senate composed of thirty ‑ three men, seventeen constituting a quorum, nine Senators can pass a law, and it has often been done. With the House of Representatives of 100, fifty ‑ one being a majority, twenty ‑ six members of the House could pass a law. I submit that this will be one of the safeguards in the direction which the Convention has undertaken to put into operation. I do think, especially when we have confined the Legislature to the consideration of general laws, and when they are required as by articles already adopted, to provide by a system of general laws all relief heretofore given by special and local laws, that they should be carefully considered, and I insist that this provision will see that they are more carefully considered, because it will require a greater number of members or Senators to vote for
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such measures. Further, Mr. President, I insist it will give that care and attention that ought to be given to the legislation, and it will give more stability to the laws enacted. I do not think it is right that any law should be passed upon the vote of merely nine senators, or twenty ‑ six members of the House of Representatives. Tennessee and a number of other States have adopted this rule and my information is that in every one of them it has worked well. I offered an ordinance to this effect, which was referred to the Committee. Not being a member of the Committee, I do not know what the position of the Committee was with reference to it, but in my judgment it is one of the most important safeguards that we can place in this Constitution, and I desire to bring it to the consideration of delegates of this Convention.
MR. MACDONALD– Would not the amendment you suggest require a unanimous vote if there was only a quorum of members present.
MR. HARRISON ‑ It would require fifty ‑ one Representatives to vote for the passage of a law, and require seventeen Senators if they were only there, and the rest absent, I think, Mr. President, it ought to be unanimous. A majority of a legislative body should be required to vote for the passage of any law and I think it will prevent hasty legislation, and that it is not asking too much that a majority of those elected by the people for the purpose of legislating should at least attend before bills are enacted into law.
MR. FITTS ‑ Would not it have the effect of making Senators and Representatives more diligent in attending in order that they might be there?
MR. HARRISON ‑ I think it would, and that is the reason I propose it. The result of it would be that we would have a better attendance upon the sessions of the Legislature.
MR. SANFORD ‑ I offer an amendment.
MR. BEDDOW– I desire to ask the gentleman from Lee a question.
THE PRESIDENT– The Chair will suggest to the gentleman from Montgomery that there is an amendment pending, and to be in order it should be offered as an amendment to the amendment.
MR. SANFORD ‑ It is hardly an amendment to the amendment. It is on a different subject, and I will wait.
MR. BEDDOW ‑ In case an important measure is pending before the Senate and House could not a few filibusterers prevent the passage of the law sometimes?
MR. HARRISON ‑ We have already adopted a provision that gives the House the power to enforce the attendance of members.
MR. SANFORD ‑ It is sometimes very difficult to do that, is it not?
MR. HARRISON ‑ I think not.
MR. OATES ‑ The delegate from Lee stated he introduced an ordinance upon this subject, and was before the Committee and discussed it, but a majority of the Committee thought it best to report this system as it stood. The gentleman will see that this is precisely the language of Section 21. Here is numbered 20. Twenty ‑ one of the present Constitution. The delegate from Lee conferred with me about it, and I was very willing that he should offer the amendment which he has offered because it is an important matter to be considered, and not speaking for the Committee, but individually I am in favor of the proposition as it is reported. Individually I am in favor of the amendment offered by the delegate from Lee, for the reasons which have been stated by him. Now sir, if there be any member of the Legislative Committee who desires to be heard in opposition to the amendment, I would be glad for then to be recognized and heard.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ I desire to offer an amendment to the amendment.
MR. WHITE– This amendment it seems to me to be a great departure from our long legislative precedent—
MR. OATES ‑ If the gentleman will allow me.
MR. WHITE ‑ Yes, sir.
MR. OATES ‑ One thing I wish to add to my remarks. I do not know which side the gentleman takes, but the delegate from Lee has had long experience in the Legislature, and in fact he is now a Senator, and has brought to my attention more forcibly the objection which he mentioned to this Section as it is, and being in favor of the amendment that he offered.
MR. WHITE ‑ I am speaking for the people rather than for the members of the Senate. As was suggested by the gentleman from Jefferson in his inquiry to the gentleman from Lee, about persons who wanted to defeat bills absenting themselves, to prevent the passage of a measure. So that would work both ways. It might stimulate those who wanted to pass a measure to assemble, while it might on the other hand stimulate those who wanted to defeat a measure to remain away. Now suppose that either House, or branch of the Legislature, was nearly equally divided between two political parties. Then the political party upon whom the responsibility for the legislation rested, having a bare majority, if one member should be sick, or absent, the minority could defeat the will of the majority, though that party be held responsible for the legislation having the majority in that body.
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MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ Seventeen constitutes a quorum in the Senate. Could not nine men indefinitely postpone a bill, which means its death, whereas, it would take a majority of the Senate, seventeen members, to pass it? Could not nine men kill it by indefinite postponement, whereas it would take seventeen to pass the bill, and would not that apply to the House as well?
MR. WHITE ‑ That seems to be a very strong objection to the measure, as suggested by the gentleman from Walker. Less than a majority might defeat a bill, while it would take a majority of the whole House to enact a law. In other words, nine members of the Senate might indefinitely postpone a bill and thereby defeat it, whereas it would take seventeen or more to pass the measure. Now, the complaint that nine Senators may enact a law is a complaint showing the necessity of increased representation. If there is an evil in that, then the evil is further behind us than the point that we are discussing. We need more representation in Alabama if there is anything in the objection, or anything in the suggestion that nine men in the Senate can pass a law. In other words, if that objection is well taken, then we need increased representation in the Senate, for as long as we have the representation which we now have, and which we have already decided to have in the future, it is right and proper that a majority of that body, or of either body, should have the right to enact legislation, and that the will of that majority might not be defeated by the minority of another party in the body. Therefore, I am opposed to the amendment. In other words, it is an innovation as I first said, and without some strong reason, we ought not to make that innovation.
MR. HEFLIN (Randolph) ‑ If the amendment offered by the gentleman from Lee should prevail, would not a quorum be powerless to pass a bill if there was one dissenting vote?
MR. WHITE ‑ Why, of course, a bare quorum with one dissenting vote could defeat any bill.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Does the gentleman make any motion with reference to the amendment?
MR. WHITE ‑ I do not wish to cut off debate. I regard this as a very important measure.
MR. BULGER ‑ It has been well said that this is a departure and an innovation on the practice and custom of the law ‑ making power of this State, since the organization of the government of the State. Now, there are two or three reasons, in my humble judgment, why this amendment should not be adopted. It is not unfrequently the case that there are twenty ‑ five members of the House of Representatives who are absent from a session; that would leave in session seventy ‑ five members.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ If the gentleman will permit a question: You say that this is an innovation upon the practice which has prevailed in this State. Was not the question of quadrennial sessions of the Legislature, which we adopted yesterday an innovation; and didn't you vote for that innovation?
MR. BULGER ‑ Yes, I think so; and, therefore, I favored biennial sessions. Now, as I was stating when interrupted ‑ if there are seventy ‑ five members present----
MR. HARRISON ‑ Wasn't it an innovation upon the customs of the State, when, thirty ‑ five provisions were stipulated prohibiting local legislation.
MR. BULGER ‑ Yes, I think so.
MR. HARRISON ‑ You voted against that, too.
MR. BULGER ‑ I think so; I was in favor of local legislation by the Legislature and not by the Commissioners' Courts, and I have yet no reason to regret how I voted.
Now, if seventy ‑ five members only are present, which frequently occurs in the Legislature, it will require fifty ‑ one members to pass a bill. It will only require thirty ‑ eight members to defeat a bill. That practice ought not to prevail in any Assembly, whether it is of the importance of a legislative assembly or not. It should require in the Legislature as many ‑ votes to defeat a bill as it requires to pass a bill. If this amendment is adopted, that will not be the case. Before any important bill can become a law in this State, when there are only seventy ‑ five members present, the opposition can raise twenty ‑ five votes and defeat the bill, because we all know that a motion to indefinitely postpone a bill amounts to defeating the measure, and it would require fifty ‑ one votes to pass the bill; therefore I move to lay the motion on the table.
Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for and by a vote of fifty ‑ six ayes and thirty ‑ five noes, the motion to table was carried.
MR. SANFORD (Montgomery) ‑ I offer an amendment.
The amendment was read as follows: "Amend Section 20 by inserting in the second line of said section after the words ‘at length,’ the following, ‘which fact shall be entered on the journal.’”
MR. SANFORD ‑ I make that amendment simply because the Constitution under which we now live contains pretty much the same words, but sometimes bills are read by merely reading the title, and it appears as if they were read three times. By entering this fact on the journal it will show that it was read at length, and that is the reason I offer the amendment.
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MR. OATES ‑ I do not see the necessity for the amendment, and, therefore, I think that the section as reported by the committee ought to pass. I cannot see that there is any necessity for the amendment offered by my colleague, and, therefore, I move to table it.
Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for, and by a vote of fifty ‑ five ayes and twenty ‑ one noes, the amendment was tabled.
MR. LONG ( Walker) ‑ I have an amendment.
The amendment was read as follows : "Amend Section 20 in the fourth line by striking out the words ‘in its favor.’”
MR. LONG (Walker)– If my amendment was adopted, it would read as follows: “Every bill shall be read on three different days in each house, and no bill shall become a law unless, on its final passage, it be read at length, and the vote be taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for and against the same be entered on the journal, and a majority of each house be recorded thereon as voting except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.”
It is fixed to provide that a majority of the House can pass a bill like it has always done, and I think it is a safeguard to legislation. It prevents a minority from defeating legislation, and it is right on the line of the amendment which was offered by the gentleman from Lee, and it has been discussed on this floor, and I think the gentlemen understand it. I think it is a very necessary amendment and that it should be adopted.
MR. OATES ‑ I don't see the necessity for the amendment. If I did, I would make no objection to it, but I think it is right as it is, for a majority of each House to be recorded as voting in its favor, and otherlvise it cannot pass, and, therefore, those words have an office and effect, and I move to table the amendment.
Upon a vote being taken, the motion to table was carried, and upon a further vote, the section was adopted.
Section 21 was read as follows:
Sec. 21. No amendment to bills shall be adopted except by a majority of the House wherein the same is offered, nor unless the amendment with the name of those voting for and against the same shall be entered at length on the journal of the House in which the same is adopted, and no amendment to bills by one House shall be concurred in by the other unless by a vote taken by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the same be recorded at length on the journal; and no report of a committee of conference shall be adopted in either House, except upon a vote
being taken by yeas and nays, and entered on the journal, as herein provided for the adoption of amendments.
MR. OATES ‑ I move the previous question on the adoption of the section.
MR. WATTS ‑ I want to know whether in the fifth line of that section the words "of a majority" appear. The words “of a majority” are in the old Constitution.
The section was again read.
MR. OATES– I wish to say the emendation of the old section was very carefully considered, not only once but twice by the Committee and it is reported here just as it was adopted by the Committee, and hence I move the previous question on its adoption. I think it is perfectly clear.
The main question was ordered and upon a further vote the section was adopted.
Section 22 was read as follows:
Sec. 22. The legislature shall pass general laws under which local and private interests shall be provided and protected.
MR. OATES ‑ That has already been adopted, and incorporated into the article on Local Legislation, and for that reason I ask unanimous consent that it be stricken out here.
There being no objection the section was stricken out.
Section 23 was read as follows:
Sec. 23. The legislature shall have no power to authorize lotteries or gift enterprises for any purpose, and shall pass laws to prohibit the sale of lottery or gift enterprise tickets, or tickets in any scheme in the nature of a lottery in this State, and all acts, or parts of acts heretofore passed by the legislature of this State, authorizing a lottery or lotteries and all acts amendatory thereof, or supplemental thereto, are hereby avoided.
MR. OATES ‑ That is the same as in the present Constitution, and I move its adoption.
Upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.
Section 24 was read as follows:
Sec. 24. The presiding officer of each House shall, in the presence of the House over which he presides, sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the legislature, after the same shall have been publicly read at length, immediately before the signing and the fact of reading and signing shall lie entered upon the journal; but the reading at length may be dispensed with by a two
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thirds vote of a quorum present, which fact shall also be entered on the journal.
MR. OATES ‑ The change made in that from the corresponding section in the present Constitution is it was only necessary heretofore for the presiding officer to read the title before signing, and this requires the reading of the enactment at length before the signing, but the reading at length may be dispensed with by a twothirds vote of the quorum present, which fact shall be entered on the journal. In some cases it may be desired where a bill is of very great length and the House is satisfied it is all right, and it would consume a great deal of time to read it, to dispense with the reading, and by a two ‑ thirds vote they can so dispense with the reading of it at length.
MR. HOWELL– I would like that rule, but would it not in case the motion was made to suspend the rule, obviate the necessity of reacting the bill by its caption.
MR. OATES ‑ Of course it would have to be read by its caption, it is only the reading at length that may be dispensed with by the two ‑ thirds vote of the members present.
MR. HOWELL ‑ It would not require the reacting of the caption would it?
MR. OATES ‑ It would be necessary to read that to know what he has in hand. That is unavoidable.
An amendment by Mr. deGraffenreid was read as follows: Amend by striking out from section 24 all after the word “journal” in the fourth line.
MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ I do not care to discuss that amendment, except that I want to call the attention of the House to the fact that it strikes from it the provision that two ‑ thirds of the House may dispense with the reading of the bill at length when it is to be signed by the presiding officer of the House. It has always been done heretofore, and then, under the requirement that we have had heretofore, this House knows that frauds have been perpetrated upon the General Assembly, and as we have already declared by our action that the journals of each House shall be presumed to be absolutely true. I think that everything that can be done by this Convention, to prevent a fraud being perpetrated upon the house should be done, and for that reason I offer the amendment, and move the previous question.
MR. OATES ‑ Don't move the previous question.
MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ You have the right to close the debate.
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I hope the gentleman wont move the previous question. I want to offer a substitute. I offer the clause in the old Constitution as a substitute.
The motion for the previous question was withdrawn.
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I desire to say that I do not see how the Committee could have given a careful consideration to this section, and reported the section which they have. Every one who is at all familiar with legislation, knows that there are a great many bills which pass the legislature, and if the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate were required to read every bill at length before it was signed publicly in the presence of both Houses, that it would take up almost as much time as would be consumed in the passage of bills, and it is entirely unnecessary.
MR. MACDONALD ‑ Don't you think it would be an additional safeguard as to the correct engrossing of the bills. The third reading is on the engrossment of the bill, and has there not very frequently been a mistake made in the engrossment of bills.
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ In reply to that I will say that it might serve as an additional safeguard to require that every bill should be read by every member in each House publicly, and that would be an additional safeguard as to the engrossment of a bill. The law provides that it shall be read at length in both Houses, three separate and distinct times. The law provides that the Governor shall read it, and if you want to place any more safeguards around it, why there ought to be a provision that it could be taken out of the House and read by special committee on engrossment or something of that kind. If these bills are read at length by requirement of the Constitution, in each House where they are passed. I submit to this Convention, it will take up entirely too much of the time of the General Assembly, or Legislature, as we now call it, and time that seems to me is unwarranted, when we take into consideration the fact that the only intention of the Constitution makers of 1875, when they required the bills to be read by their titles, was to call especial attention of the members of each House to the signing of the bill, and what was in the bills that were being signed.
MR. WHITE ‑ This contemplates that the bill itself shall be signed by the presiding officer does it not?
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ Yes sir.
MR. WHITE ‑ Then I will ask you if a bill up to that time had been under another wrapper, if it would be possible, when it was read at length before the House to conceal its contents any longer and the identity of the bill itself.
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MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I hope the gentleman from Jefferson will not measure all future legislation in this State by the frauds that were committed with reference to the removal of the Court House of Shelby County, and I hope that all members of future Legislatures in this State will not be measured by that standard.
MR. BULGER– I will ask the gentleman if the Speaker is required to read the bill at length, whether it would make it any more sure that he would detect what wrapper it had been under after the bill had been engrossed?
MR. SAMFORD ‑ It occurs to me that the question of the gentleman from Jefferson, and the question of the gentleman from Tallapoosa are not germane to this matter at all, but in view of the question of the gentleman from Jefferson, the question of the gentleman from Tallapoosa is very pertinent, and answers the question of the gentleman from Jefferson.
Now, Mr. President, I do not care to detain this Convention on this proposition. I desire merely to call the attention of the Convention to the immense amounts of time that would be taken up in the reading of these bills at length, by both the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate, and it occurs to me that this time would be uselessly consumed. They say there is a provision in here which says that by a two ‑ thirds vote of the members this reading can be dispensed with. The very first thing that would be done, and the way this thing would work in actual practice, whenever bills were placed upon the Speaker's desk, or upon the desk of the President of the Senate, some member would get up and say, "Mr. President, I move that the reading of the bill be dispensed with," and a two ‑ thirds vote would immediately be recorded in favor of the motion, because that is a very burdensome part of legislative duties, and the bills would be signed, and not even their titles read.
MR. CUNNINGHAM (Jefferson) ‑ I desire to ask the gentleman from Pike if the signature of the presiding officer is not intended as a guarantee that the bill as signed by him is the bill that passed upon its third reading.
MR. SAMFORD ‑ That is true. Yes.
MR. CUNNINGHAM ‑ Then I desire to ask the gentleman, under the present Constitution, is it not practically a farce?
MR. SAMFORD ‑ In answer to the gentleman from Jefferson, I say it is not a farce unless the members of the different Houses employ clerks and stenographers who are not worthy to be trusted.
MR. CUNNINGHAM ‑ Would not a motion by a Senator or Representative to dispense with the reading at length of the engrossed bill, or of the bill that had passed, exonerate the presiding
officer from any responsibility that he might otherwise incur for an error in the bill?
MR. SAMFORD– In practice the presiding officer, as every one knows, is not required to read the bill at length, and therefore no further responsibility attaches to him than to see that it has the ear-marks of authenticity, and when he has complied with that part of his duties, he has complied with everything the law imposes upon him, and all that the people expect of him.
MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– Allow me to suggest to you that the present Constitution requires it to be read at length on the day of its passage.
MR. deGRAFFENREID– I desire to ask the gentleman a question.
THE PRESIDENT– Does the gentleman from Pike yield.
MR .SAMFORD (Pike)– I have only a minute or two, and would do so with pleasure if I thought I could convince the gentleman by answering his question.
Another proposition is, that the Constitution requires, as suggested by the gentleman from Montgomery, that a bill shall be read at length a third time after its engrossment, and in the presence of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, and it occurs to me there are enough safeguards thrown around it, so that if the officers who have been selected by the two houses of the General Assembly do their honest duty there can be no possible opportunity for fraud, or for error creeping into it.
MR. MACDONALD– It occurs to me that the Legislature could not be better engaged, and could not use the time for which the State of Alabama pays them more advantageously, than by devoting this additional time to seeing whether the engrossing clerks have engrossed the bills.
The gentleman from Pike says that we ought not to look forward to the future and judge it by the past, but that we ought to consider that the last Legislature or the last few Legislatures were exceptions. Well, I don’t know that we have anything to base an opinion upon in that respect, and I do not know that we can get any better predicate for prophecies as to what will occur in the future than our experience as to what has occurred in the past. Engrossing clerks have practically been the law-making power of this State for twenty years. I have had some little experience about these things and know whereof I speak. I know of instances where amendments have been passed by the Senate to bills adopted by the House and yet the Engrossing Clerk in the plentitude of her wisdom, has seen fit to leave out a number of such amendments, and the people have been absolutely powerless so the courts have
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decided, because we cannot bring these amendments before the courts of the State. We cannot show they have been adopted. We cannot impugn the Journal, nor impeach it in any way, but the Engrossing Clerk having copied off the bill as she understood it, and the bill having been read in the House and signed by the Speaker of the House, it became the law, and could not be questioned, although in point of fact it was not the law adopted by the two Houses of the General Assembly.
MR. deGRAFFENREID– We have already passed on this matter in the article on Local Legislation by an ordinance which almost prohibits local legislation in the State, have we not?
MR. MACDONALD– Yes, sir.
MR. deGRAFFENREID– And the General Assembly in the future will have plenty of time, will they not, to have these matters read, that they have acted upon?
MR. MACDONALD– Exactly so, sir. The suggestion of the gentleman is eminently pertinent and proper; they will have plenty of time. It seems that safeguards in the engrossment of bills have not been sufficient in the past. It seems that in the past that whatever the engrossing clerk desired to interpolate into the bill for any motive she might have– I mean he or she, and should not use the feminine pronoun in this respect, but it seems to me that the Legislature should not only ascertain that the laws are proper ones before they are passed, but they should see that they are passed in the proper manner. It seems to me that this section should be adopted as reported by the committee because it carefully safeguards this whole matter.
MR. PETTUS– I have an amendment to the delegate who proposed the substitute and I would ask unanimous consent to have it added to that amendment.
There being no objection made, the amendment was read as follows: “Amend by adding at the end of the substitute offered by Mr. Samford of Pike the words “provided that on the request of any member the bill shall be read publicly at length before signing.”
MR. PETTUS– I move the previous question upon the adoption of the substitute of the gentleman from Pike.
MR. HARRISON ‑ I appeal to the gentleman to withdraw that for one moment.
MR. PETTUS ‑ If the gentleman from Lee will renew it.
MR. HARRISON ‑ I will. There are several propositions here and as the choice of the propositions presented, I will support this substitute, but I desire to call the attention of the Convention to
what I conceive to be a bad provision in either of the alternatives which are offered. Prior to the adoption of the Constitution of 1875, the presiding officers of each House were called upon as now to sign these bills. They took them to their offices, read them, or had them read to them, and they took the responsibility for their contents. It was incumbent upon the officers to see that these bills were the bills that had passed the Houses. They had an opportunity to do so, and when these bills were presented to the Governor, he knew that the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House had both examined them and passed upon them and that they were correct. After the adoption of this Constitution, and I appeal to gentlemen here who have had legislative experience if it is not a fact that it was utterly impossible for the presiding officer to know what was in the bills. There comes along a pile of bills, perhaps six or eight inches deep, or I have seen them a foot or two deep, and the presiding officer says, “The President of the Senate will now sign these bills as read by their caption”–
MR. WHITE ‑ I want to ask if the article we have passed against local legislation there will be so much time taken up in the signing of bills?
MR. HARRISON ‑ I hope not. Perhaps there will not be so many bills, but I will answer that I do not believe under the change in our Constitution, that any Legislature can assemble here and comply with the mandates and provisions contained in this Constitution, at its first session in sixty days, and if you hamper them in this way, and provide in effect that every bill shall be read four times instead of three they cannot possibly get through, and I insist, Mr. President, that there is no sense in it. You might as well say that they shall be read five times, or six times, and fix it so that the Legislature can never have any time to do anything. I think three times is enough, and I believe, Mr. President, that you will have sufficient safeguards to see that bills are what they purport to be, if you will require the presiding officers to sign these bills after having carefully read and examined the same. I would rather risk the presiding officer of either House, and would rather put the duty upon him, when the House is not in session, to take these bills and examine them, and see that they are correct, and then there would be a responsibility upon this officer which would guarantee their correctness, then, at least one man will have examined them. I appeal to every man who has witnessed legislation under the old Constitution, that there is not a member who pays any attention to the reading, and there is no opportunity given to the presiding officer to examine them, but the bills are brought down from the enrolling and engrossing rooms, handed to him when the house is in session, and simply read by the caption, and he places his signature there without any opportunity to examine the bill, or to see whether it is properly engrossed or enrolled or
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not. I simply want him to have this opportunity. I believe that this is one of the false steps which were made in 1875. The intention was good but in its practical operations it has accomplished no good whatever. I would much rather that we go back to the old plan, and I cannot conceive any delegate will insist, as my friend from Jefferson does, to not only handicap the Legislature, and to curb them hand and foot, but also undertake to buck and gag them, and say that they shall not do anything. I think we would have a better system and that it would be a guarantee to us to have it placed in the Constitution that the presiding officer shall be required to carefully read and examine the bill, before he attaches his signature thereto, than to provide for this matter either under the old Constitution or the section now proposed. If I am forced to make a selection between the two, I will support the substitute. It will take less time, they will be rapidly read, if read at all, or as has been suggested here, ninety ‑ nine times out of a hundred it will be only that much time consumed. We know how many of the members of this Convention pay any attention to the second and third reading of ordinances. Many of you have been in the Legislature, and you pay no attention to it on earth. The Legislature will not do it, and it is useless to put this sort of a provision in the Constitution, which practice for years has demonstrated serves no good purpose. It means a mere consumption of time, and prevents the legislature devoting itself to the business for which it is assembled. Therefore I am opposed to the whole proposition, but as the lesser of the two evils I will vote for the substitute. I am requested, and promised to move the previous question.
MR. PETTUS ‑ I wanted to ask the gentleman from Lee if under the present Constitution the subject matter of a bill is not required to be stated concisely in the caption of the bill.
MR. HARRISON ‑ Always; and that is the provision in the present Constitution.
MR. CUNNINGHAM ‑ Will the gentleman yield for a question ?
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman's time has expired, and he moves a previous question on the section and amendment.
Upon a vote being taken, the main question was ordered. Upon a further vote upon the adoption of the substitute offered by the gentleman from Pike, a division was called for, and by a vote of twenty ‑ nine ayes and sixty ‑ one noes, the substitute was lost.
MR. HARRISON ‑ I now offer an amendment.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The previous question has been ordered.
MR. HARRISON ‑ Only on the substitute.
MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ There is an amendment pending.
MR. O’NEAL– There is an amendment pending which has not been disposed of.
THE PRESIDENT– Does the gentleman offer a substitute to the amendment?
MR. HARRISON– Yes, sir.
The substitute was read as follows: “Amend Section 24 by striking out all after the word ‘shall’ on the first line of said section, and inserting in lieu thereof the following: ‘Sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the Legislature after having first carefully read and examined the same.”
MR. HARRISON– Read the section as amended.
The section as amended was read as follows: “The presiding officer of each House shall sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the Legislature, after having first carefully read and examined the same,” etc.
MR. ESPY– I move to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Lee.
Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for, and by a vote of sixty-one ayes and twenty-two noes, the motion to table prevailed.
MR. PETTUS– I move the previous question on the adoption of the amendment and the section as reported.
The main question was ordered, and upon a vote being taken on the amendment offered by the Gentleman from Hale, and a division was called for, and by a vote of twenty-nine ayes and seventy-four noes, the amendment was lost. The question recurring upon the section as reported, upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.
Section 25 was read as follows:
Sec. 25. The Legislature shall prescribe the number, duties and compensation of the officers and employes of each House, and no payment shall be made from the State Treasury or be in any way authorized to any person except to an acting officer or employe elected or appointed in pursuance of law.
MR. OATES ‑ I move the adoption of the section.
Upon a vote being taken, the section was adopted.
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ It is within a few minutes of adjourning time, and I have a report here from the Committee on Engrossment, and I ask unanimous consent to be allowed to make the report and let it lie over.
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The report was read as follows:
Mr. President, your Committee on Engrossment haxe examined the following articles and find the same to be correctly engrossed: Local Legislation, State and County Boundaries, Banks and Banking.
W. H. Sanford.
MR. SAMFORD ‑ Under the rules, I think it will lie over.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ I move that immediately after adjournment, we take up those three reports and pass them or that we do so in the morning.
THE PRESIDENT– The regular order is the consideration of the report of the Committee on Legislative Department.
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) – I simply ask that it lie over under the rule.
MR. O’NEAL—We can take that up the morning.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ It can be done by unanimous consent, or by a suspension of the rules.
Thereupon the Convention adjourned until 3:30 o'clock.
The Convention was called to order by the President, and the roll being called showed the presence of eighty ‑ three delegates.
Indefinite leave of absence was granted Mr. Case on account of sickness in his family; indefinite leave was also granted to Mr. Norwood of Lowndes, on account of sickness : leave of absense for today and until 12 o'clock tomorrow for Mr. Dent ; indefinite leave of absence granted to Mr. Miller of Marengo on account of sickness in his family; leave of absence for today to Mr. Weatherly on account of sickness : to Mr. Tayloe for yesterday.
MR. PILLANS ‑ Learning that the Hon. Mr. Bankhead is in town, a distinguished Representative. I wish to offer a resolution tendering him the privileges of the floor.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Mobile asks unanimous consent to introduce a resolution. The chair hears no objection. The secretary will read the resolution.
The secretary read the resolution as follows:
Resolution 204: "Resolved, That the privileges of the floor of this Convention be and are extended to the Hon. J . H. Bankhead."
A vote being taken, the rules were suspended, and a further vote being taken, the resolution was unanimously adopted.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The special order for this evening is the consideration of the report of the Committee on Legislative Department. The secretary will read the next section.
The secretary read Section 26, as follows:
Sec. 26. The Legislature shall have no power to grant, or to authorize or require any county, or municipal authority to grant, nor shall any county or municipal authority have power to grant any extra compensation, fee, or allowance to any public officer, servant or employe, agent or contractor, after services shall have been rendered or contract made: nor shall any officer of the State bind the State to the payment of any sum of money but by authority of law.
MR. OATES ‑ This section is changed to a considerable extent by the committee. It is intended to prevent the Legislature not only to deny to it power to grant or to authorize or require any county or municipal authority to grant, and the denial to any such municipal authority to grant any extra compensation, fee, or allowance to any public officer, servant or employe, agent or contractor, after services shall have been rendered or contract made. The latter part: "Nor shall any officer of the State bind the State to the payment of any sum of money but by authority of law" is old. It was not deemed proper for the Legislature to pass a law touching any particular locality.
MR. COBB ‑ May I ask the gentleman a question?
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Does the gentleman yield?
MR. OATES ‑ When I have finished my sentence. So as to allow any county or municipality to authorize or to require the payment of money, supplementary, for instance, to the amount agreed to be paid in the contract, or to supplement the salary of any State officer, and this is intended merely to deny that power, so that every one, whether an officer or a contractor, must stand upon the contract made and the amount of the salary or reward.
MR. COBB ‑ I desire to ask my friend if that would interfere with the present law of allowing the sheriffs and clerks additional compensation. You know from time to time they are allowed certain additional compensation to their fees, ex officio allowances.
MR. OATES ‑ You mean by country authority?
MR. COBB ‑ By county authority.
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MR. OATES ‑ No ; not for services rendered; it is only affecting contracts already made, or where some salaried officers, I don't think it would affect that power at all, for if it were found by the County Commissioners that the sheriff of the county had performed extra services in any way, it would be competent for them to pass an order compensating him from the treasury for it.
MR. SANFORD (Pike) ‑ May I ask the gentleman a question.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Does the gentleman yield for a question?
MR. OATES ‑ Certainly.
MR. SANFORD ‑ I just have one illustration in my mind with reference to it. I remember on one occasion where the solicitor of a Circuit was disqualified from the prosecution of a murder case by reason of his relationship. The court, of necessity, had to appoint an attorney to represent the State in the prosecution. Would this forbid making compensation for such services as that?
MR. OATES ‑ No ; that is an original undertaking. It is to prevent the increase of the pay or allowance to an officer beyond his salary or to allow a man more in a contract than he makes for his services performed to the State or county than he contracts for. It does not prevent original undertakings, like unto the question propounded by the delegate from Pike.
MR. HOWZE ‑ I would ask whether there is in the section any provision against allowing the Legislature to increase or decrease the fees and compensation of officers during the term of office?
MR. OATES ‑ There is nothing in it with respect to that strictly. By reading the section, the delegate will discover the entire scope of it. There is no case, I think to which it could be made to apply that is not expressed in it. For instance: "The Legislature shall have no power to grant, or to authorize or require any county or municipal authority to ,grant, nor shall any county or municipal authority have power to grant any extra compensation, fee or allowance, to any public officer, servant, or employe, agent or contractor, after services shall have been rendered, or contract made."
MR. HOWZE ‑ That ought to be in this section or some other section.
MR. OATES ‑ I don't think this restricts it as supposed. It prevents abuses, however, that have been practiced, I am informed, in some of the counties ‑ possibly in the county of my friend from Jefferson. Mr. President, I move the adoption of the section.
MR. COBB ‑ I wish to offer an amendment. I wish to call the attention of my friend and of the Convention to the fact.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Will the gentleman send up the amendment?
MR. COBB ‑ It has not been prepared, and I will speak while it is being fixed up. I want to call attention to the fact that under this provision. it seems to me, that the Courts of County Commissioners or, the Boards of Revenue in the different counties would be cut off from allowing to certain officers ‑ the Sheriff and the Clerk, for example ‑ ex officio compensation for the rendition of certain services, not provided for in their fee bill. This is a regular custom. Our County Commissioners allow Boards of Revenue every year allow, the Sheriff so many dollars to the Clerk so many dollars, in addition to the compensation they have received by way of fees to perform certain duties, the performances of which are not provided for in the fee bill.
MR. JONES (Wilcox) ‑ I wish to offer an amendment.
The secretary read the amendment as follows: "Amend Section 26 by adding at the end thereof the following: ‘Provided, nothing herein contained shall prohibit the County Board of Revenue or Commissioners' Court from granting to county officers such compensation as may be authorized by law.’”
MR. COBB ‑ Either one of these amendments will do. It is only to provide against the possibility of cutting these officers off from their ex officio compensation that this amendment is offered. They have to perform duties for which they ought to be paid, and for which there is no provision in the fee bill, but there is a provision in the general law, allowing the Boards of County Commissioners and Boards of Revenue to pass upon these questions, and to allow them compensation ex officio not exceeding a certain amount.
MR. OATES ‑ Mr. President, I think that the amendment is not quite to the point which the gentleman is aiming at.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Wilcox has offered an amendment to the amendment.
The amendment was read as follows: "Providing, this section shall not apply to allowances made by Commissioners' Courts to county officers for ex officio services."
MR. COBB ‑ I will accept that.
MR. OATES ‑ Allowance is made for ex officio services. I have no objection to that. I am willing to accept it. I think Boards of Revenue include "County Commissioners or Boards of Revenue."
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MR. COBB– All "Boards of Revenues." I will accept the amendment. I will withdraw the first amendment and accept that offered by the gentleman.
MR. OATES– I will accept it for the committee, if there be no objection.
THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman asks unanimous consent to accept the amendment offered by the gentleman from Wilcox. Is there objection? The chair hears none.
MR. OATES– I move that the previous question on the adoption of the section is amended.
MR. HOWZE– Let me get this amendment in: “Amend by inserting after the word ‘made’ in the fifth line, the words ‘nor to increase or decrease the fees or compensation of such officers during their term of office.’”
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question is upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson. Are you ready for the question? As many as favor the adoption will say aye, and those opposed no. The ayes have it. The question now is on the adoption of the section as amended. On a vote the section as amended was adopted.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Secretary will read Section 27.
MR. OATES ‑ Some of the delegates think Section 26 was not adopted.
THE PRESIDENT– The Chair put the question and it was adopted.
MR. WADDELL ‑ The gentleman from Wilcox offered an amendment and the gentleman from Jefferson offered an amendment to the amendment.
THE PRESIDENT– The Chair will state for the information of the delegate from Russell that the Chairman of the Committee asked unanimous consent of the Convention to accept the amendment. No objection was made, and it was accepted by unanimous consent. The Chair submitted to the Convention the question of the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson, and submitted the question of the adoption of the section as amended.
MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ I ask unanimous consent to be allowed to send up a short ordinance, in order that it may be referred to the proper committee.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman asks leave to send up a short ordinance.
The Clerk read the ordinance as follows:
Ordinance No. 422, by Mr. deGraffenreid:
An ordinance to repeal Sections 8 and 9 of the Article heretofore adopted by this Convention on the subject of the Banks and Banking.
Be it ordained by the people of Alabama to Convention assembled, That Sections 8 and 9 of the Article heretofore adopted by this Convention on the subject of Banks and Banking be and the same are hereby repealed.
MR. deGRAFFENREID ‑ And that it be referred to the Committee on Amending the Constitution and Miscellaneous Provisions.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ In the opinion of the Chair the ordinance should be referred to the Committee on Banks and Banking. The Chair will submit the question of reference to the Convention if so desired.
MR. deGRAFFENREID– I ask that it be sent to that Committee, because the Committee on Banks and Banking has already reported on this matter.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ In the opinion of the Chair, after a Committee has examined a question, and has submitted a report contrary to the ordinance proposed, it would not be proper to submit it to another committee.
MR. FLETCHER ‑ The idea of the Chair is correct, the question has been heard by this Convention, both as an original proposition and then on the motion to reconsider, and it seems to me that if the Convention attempts to undo what it has done in this matter, our work has been useless and it strikes me that this comes directly in line with the duties or the committee on Banks and Banking, and that it would be rather discourteous to refer it to some other Committee.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ I will read rule 47.
The President read Rule 47 and stated the motion of the gentleman from Hale, that the ordinance be referred to the Committee on Amending the Constitution and Miscellaneous Provisions. A vote being taken the motion was lost and the ordinance was referred to the Committee on Banks and Banking.
The Secretary then read Section 27 as follows:
Sec. 27. During any regular session of the legislature the aggregate appropriations made shall not exceed in amount the income from the revenues of the State for the current fiscal year, as estimated by the Governor and Auditor.
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MR. PETTUS ‑ I have an amendment to offer.
The Secretary read the amendment as follows: Amend Section 27 by striking out the words "for the current fiscal year" and inserting in lieu thereof "for the last four preceding fiscal years."
MR. PETTUS ‑ It seems to me that there is an apparent ambiguity ‑ it might be construed, or might not. I submit if that construction be put upon it, the legislature would be limited in appropriations not to exceed the income for the year in which it is sitting, and as it is to be held every four years it seems to me it ought to have the right to appropriate the income for four years.
MR. OATES ‑ I rise for the purpose of moving an amendment by inserting the word "annual" between the words "aggregate" and "appropriations," in the first line.
MR. PETTUS– It reads then “aggregate annual appropriation?”
MR. OATES – Yes.
MR. PETTUS– I will accept that.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Limestone asks unanimous consent to accept the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery. The Chair hears no objection.
MR. OATES– This section is entirely new, and at the time it was adopted, the Committee did not know, could not know until afterwards that four year sessions of the legislature would be adopted, and hence they could not construct it so as to allow for that. My friend, the delegate from Sumter (Mr. Chapman) was the author of the ordinance from which this was largely taken, and I propose to yield the floor to him.
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ The only question that I desire to ask the distinguished gentleman from Montgomery is whether or not the treasurer was not included in "as estimated by the Governor and Auditor." It is not in the copy that I have here.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Does the gentleman from Limestone withdraw his amendment?
MR. PETTUS– On looking at it further I do not think the suggestion of the gentleman from Montgomery will answer the purpose and it will not clear up the ambiguity. I have asked unanimous consent to accept it, but I don't think it meets the difficulty. I will withdraw it, however, and let some one else offer an amendment that will clean it up.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Does the gentleman from Montgomery offer the word "annual" as an amendment?
MR. OATES ‑ Yes. sir.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Montgomery asks unanimous consent to insert the word "annual" between the words “aggregate” and “appropriation” in the first line.
MR. OATES ‑ I did not understand the suggestion of the gentleman from Sumter just now.
MR. CHAPMAN– “Treasurer” is left off.
MR. OATES ‑ Because the statute does not require the Treasurer to make any statement the Governor at all.
MR. PETTUS ‑ Don't you think it would be better to strike out the word "aggregate" and let it react "annual" appropriations, that means annual aggregate appropriations limited to one year's income.
MR. OATES ‑ I have no objection, that won't impair the sense, the word "appropriations" being plural embraces all.
MR. WILLIAMS (Marengo) ‑ I would like to ask the gentleman from Montgomery a question.
THE PRESIDENT – Does the gentleman from Montgomery yield to the gentleman front Marengo?
MR. OATES ‑ I have no objections, but I don't yield the floor.
MR. WILLIAMS– You intend the estimate for the four years shall be based on the succeeding year, or say for 1903 shall be based on 1901 and 1904 on the succeeding year?
MR. OATES ‑ The statute now makes it the duty of the Auditor to report to the Governor his estimate of the annual income for the two succeeding years, and the Governor has in his communication with the legislature to inform him of those years, and if it be one year, two ro four years, whatever number of years, you cannot tell exactly, because you do not know what time the legislature will meet and it is to be presumed in four years. There is no other construction other than the estimates should be made up to the beginning of the legislature.
MR. CHAPMAN– Mr. President. the suggestion made in this section of the report was made in order to limit the appropriation of the legislature, in order that the legislature might not, in its extravagance, appropriate sums largely beyond the estimated income of the State during the current fiscal year. I don't know Mr. President, that there has been in either the Constitution or the law; any authority or power to limit the legislature in its appropriation. Now, this section was introduced by me with the concurrence of my colleagues, in order to limit the appropriation
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in the aggregate during any regular session of the legislature to whatever amount might be estimated would be the income of the State as estimated by the Governor, the Auditor and the Treasurer. These three gentlemen know more, or should know more, and it is to be presumed that they do know more of the income of the State than any other three persons in the State and the Legislature ought not to be allowed to go beyond the estimated income of the State for the year. Now, whether it is one year, two, three or four years, according to the terms of the Legislature– but whatever it is this section as it now reads: “During any regular session,” and I will call the attention of the Convention to the fact that it does not limit the appropriation of any special session of the Legislature that may be called by the Governor under the authority given in this Constitution. “During any regular session of the Legislature, the aggregate appropriations made shall not exceed in amount the income from the revenues of the State for the current fiscal year, as estimated by the Governor and Auditor.”
MR. OATES– The Treasurer is not charged by statute with that. He has nothing to do with it.
MR. CHAPMAN– That is true, but my recollection is that in the committee, the section was passed to include the Treasurer because he was the one most interested in the finances of the State.
MR. OATES– That was discussed, but not adopted, because the statute did not require him to make any estimate.
MR. CHAPMAN – Well, possibly not, Mr. President, and gentlemen, the Legislature of Alabama ought not to be permitted to go beyond the estimate of the Governor and of the Auditor as to the income of the State during the fiscal year for which they make that estimate, whether it be one, two, three or four years. In this way, the Legislature will certainly be restrained within the ability of the State to pay its obligations. There is an amendment here which has been suggested, to amend Section 27 of the report of the Committee on Legislative Department by inserting after the word “year” in the third line, the words “for which such appropriations are made.” I am not in accord, Mr. President, with that amendment, because if it is limited to that— “for which such appropriations are made” it might entirely destroy the purposes of the section.
MR. REESE– Will you allow me to ask a question.
THE PRESIDENT– Does the gentleman yield?
MR. CHAPMAN– Certainly.
MR. REESE– I will ask the gentleman if the insertion after the word “made” in the first line of Section 27 of the words “for
any one year" during any regular session of the Legislature, the aggregate appropriations for "any one year" shall not exceed, and so forth. Will not that cover the objection?
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ I am inclined to think that would cover it. The only purpose I had in making this proposition was that at no regular session of the Legislature should it be authorized to go beyond the estimated receipts of the State of Alabama for any particular year. Those receipts, as estimated by the Governor and Auditor as it is here.
MR. HARRISON– With the gentleman’s permission I desire to ask him if it would not be covered by simply striking out the words “for the current fiscal year,” without those words in it would not that cover your view?
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ With due respect to the gentleman from Lee, I do not think that would meet it. My idea in making, the suggestion was that during each and every year there would be an estimate made by the Governor, the Auditor and Treasurer as to how far the Legislature could go in making its appropriation, general and specific upon the treasury, and that it should not go beyond the estimated receipts of the State.
MR. HARRISON ‑ If you had the general terms not to exceed the amount of income of the revenues of the State, that would be either by the year or in any other way.
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ That might be too broad. The only purpose in the world, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, was to limit the power of the Legislature to go beyond the income of the State, whatever that may be, whether great or small, no matter what it is, so that there will not be any appropriations made beyond what the State can pay. That was the only purpose.
MR. COLEMAN (Greene) ‑ I offer an amendment, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair had recognized the gentleman from Wilcox.
MR. JONES (Wilcox) ‑ I will ask the gentleman from Sumter if he will accept this amendment: "During any regular session of the Legislature, the appropriations for each four years before the next meeting of the Legislature shall not exceed in amount the income from the revenues of the State for each of said years respectively, as estimated by the Governor and Auditor.
MR. COLEMAN (Greene) ‑ That covers the amendment that I was prepared to offer.
MR. OATES ‑ I will accept that.
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ I have no objection in the world.
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MR. MERRILL ‑ I move to lay the section and all the amendments on the table.
A vote being taken, the motion to table was lost.
MR. WHITE– It does seem to me that this section confers very extensive powers upon the Auditor and Governor, and takes away very important powers from the legislature. In other words they cannot make an appropriation that does not meet with the views of the Governor and Auditor combined. If there should be an unfriendly Auditor to some great interest of the State, by reducing his estimate he can absolutely hold the legislature of the State in his hand, and so could the Governor. Then, in addition to that, if the legislature should desire to rebuild the Capitol and issue bonds, they could not make an appropriation for that purpose, because it would exceed necessarily, the income which the Auditor and Governor would make as an estimate for the current year, or any year. It would tie the legislature absolutely, leaving them powerless in the hands of the Governor and the Auditor. For one, I would rather risk the legislature of the State, I would rather risk their patriotism, I would rather risk their regard for the people of the State, and the welfare of the State, than risk either one or both of these officers, and I think it would be a very unwise and a very dangerous power to be given them and taken away from the legislative branch of the government.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)– Anything that comes from my friend from Sumter, who is so careful and conscientious, is deserving of careful consideration and I regret exceedingly that I feel impelled to oppose this section in toto. The language is “the legislature shall not appropriate any money beyond the current revenues as estimated by the Governor and Auditor.” Now, leaving aside for the moment other objections, these estimates, especially when the legislature meets only once in four years, are largely conjectural, it would depend upon the sanguineness of the two men. They might say property is increasing in value, going up 10 per cent in Alabama, and you can safely spend so and so, or they might be pessimists and take the opposite view, and in either event greatly err as to the amount of receipts. Now, the Governor already has veto power, and it seems to me that we are unwisely trammeling the legislature. There is one other objection to it. If this is a good principle, the legislature ought not to appropriate more money at a special session than a regular session, and while I sympathize with the motive that induced this section, it seems to me that the Convention ought to vote it down. It is utterly impracticable to accomplish the purpose it is intended to subserve.
MR. OATES– I do not think that the objections made either by the delegates from Jefferson nor by my colleague from Mont-
gomery are sound. Now the statutes, as we find them, as they now exist, require the Auditor to make his estimates, the amount of income and expenditures and make report to the Governor, and the Governor is required to give that information, or whatever his opinion may be based upon it or otherwise, upon those subjects to the legislature. Now, it is not such idle speculation. I think these officers could not, of course, estimate with that accuracy for four years that they can for two years or one year, but it is perfectly safe, and if their estimates of the amount of income are less than they prove to be, does not injure the State or anybody. Most likely, it will be because these careful painstaking officers are not apt to be seized with a fit of enthusiasm as to the vast amount of income and exceed it greatly. They are usually conservative, and estimate under what they think will be the probably income rather than above it. There is no such thing as putting the legislature in the power of the Governor and Auditor at all. It doesn't increase their power over the legislature in the slightest ‑ not a particle. The law now requires of those officers to make these estimates, it is only a difference in the length of time, so far as their work goes, and the question of the payment of interest on bonds is not involved. Why, the section of this Convention, which directs appropriations, includes an appropriation every time for the payment of interest on bonds. That has to be made out of the revenues along with such other expenditures as are found necessary and there is nothing dangerous in it at all. It is merely a safeguard against excessive appropriations.
MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ Suppose the Auditor and Governor should take issue as to the amount of income?
MR. OATES ‑ Well, the Governor holds the rank there.
MR. LONG ‑ Therefore, you leave it to one man, and not to the Legislature?
MR. OATES ‑ Not at all. It is easy to suppose a case whenever a gentleman wishes to make an argument, but it doesn't follow at all. I remember in one instance I differed with the Auditor a little and made my estimate a little lower than his. My motive was to be extraordinarily conservative and to be sure to be right. The Auditor though was a conservative man and his information was more extensive and more minute than mine. The duties of that office are such that he has every opportunity that an officer can have to know the probable income each and every year and the probable amount of expenditure. Now, sir, in the last Legislature, composed in the main of most excellent gentlemen and many that are very able men ‑ did make so far as reported in the papers, for I have never examined otherwise ‑ excessive appropriation in the aggregate, more than the amount of revenue probably would justify. That is what was stated, and to such an extent
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that it necessitated a bill which my friend, the delegate from Lee, who sits in my rear, being a Senator, constructed and introduced and it passed the Senate and House, to cut down the aggregate appropriations, and keep within the ability of the treasury to meet them. Now, sir, that was not because that Legislature was composed of inferior men, not at all. It was the most natural consequence that you ever find in the Legislature. The preceding Governor, it seems, had exerted his energies to accumulate all the money possible in the treasury and he had succeeded in getting a large amount of it with an increased amount of taxation, and there was a vast amount of money in the treasury, supposed to be much more than was needed, much more than would meet the ordinary wants of the State. Wherever that has occurred in the history of our government. State and Federal, wherever you pile up money in the treasury, the Legislative body that succeeds, that comes in next after that is understood ‑ I don't care how good the personnel of it is– they always go in for making large appropriations, numerous appropriations. Why, sir, that has been the case in the Federal government. Whenever you want to find a vast amount of appropriations made by the Congress of the United States, you will always find it, when it is supposed there is an excess of revenues, surplus revenues in the treasury, more than the government needs, and to that I attribute the enthusiasm of the Legislature in making the appropriations in the aggregate probably a little too large. Now, this is a proper precaution. It is a proper limitation because these officers, the Auditor and Governor, are charged, it is their statutory duty, the Auditor to inform the Governor and the Governor to inform the Legislature of the probable necessities and the amount of income necessary to meet it, or the amount of income with which they will have to deal in order to meet the necessities. Now, sir. it gives them no more power. Those officers are in the attitude where they can give that information to the Legislature when no member of it has it or can have it, because he has not the opportunity to get it. That is all of it. There is nothing in this that is at all dangerous. I think it is a very good provision, and the substitute offered by the delegate, General Jones, covers it completely, and it is accepted and I do not see any room for speculation and I move the previous question upon the report of the committee and the amendment.
MR. PETTUS ‑ Please withdraw that for a moment. I desire to offer an amendment, which will not limit the Legislature to the specific year for which the appropriation is made, but will prevent one Legislature from anticipating revenues of the other Legislature, and will give them authority to distribute the funds for the four years as they see fit.
MR. OATES ‑ Allow the Legislature to anticipate or prohibit?
MR. PETTUS ‑ To prohibit, I mean to say. I will ask the gentleman to withdraw his motion and allow the Clerk to read the amendment.
MR. OATES ‑ Certainly, I have no objection to its being read.
The Secretary read the amendment as follows: “During any regular session of the Legislature the aggregate appropriations made shall not exceed in amount the income from the revenues of the State available before the last day of the next regular session of the Legislature, as estimated by the Governor and Auditor.”
MR. OATES ‑ I have great respect for the ingenuity and aptitude of the gentleman from Limestone, but I cannot see the necessity for it. I think it is clear and means that substantially without being tied up, especially as his amendment proposes.
MR. PETTUS ‑ I suggest to the disinguished Chairman of the committee the amendment of the gentleman from Wilcox will prohibit the Legislature from appropriating for the four succeeding years any amount except the amount of revenue for that year as estimated by the Governor and Auditor. My proposition is that the great law ‑ making bode of this State should have the right to dispose of the revenues of this State for the ensuing four years as they see proper, and if there is a surplus in the next year after the Legislature adjourns or in any other one of the years, above the current expenses of the State government, they ought to have a right to appropriate that surplus in any one of the four years. The only legitimate reason for putting the Legislature in such a straight ‑ jacket as this is to prevent them from anticipating the revenues of the next Legislature.
MR. OATES ‑ I do not like to cut off gentleman from their opportunities, but if that is in order I am willing to include it and will insist on my motion upon the section and amendments.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The queston is on the substitute of the gentleman from Limestone to the amendment of the gentleman from Wilcox, and the gentleman from Montgomery moves the previous question.
MR. WATTS ‑ I move to lay the section and all the amendments on the table.
MR. OATES ‑ That is not in order. That has been done before and voted down. This amendment, at a former stage motion was made to lay the section and pending amendments on the table, and that was voted down.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The chair will hold that a motion to lay the section as reported by the committee and the amendment offered by the gentleman from Wilcox, as the chair now recollects has been voted down.
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MR. WATTS ‑ There has been other business ‑ another section offered.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The fact that there has been other business will not change it. If the gentleman will confine his motion to the substitute of the gentleman from Limestone it might be in order.
MR. WATTS ‑ No, sir; I want the whole thing laid on the table.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question is, shall the main question be now put?
The main question was ordered. The question then recurred on the substitute offered by the gentleman from Limestone, and a vote being taken the substitute was lost.
The question then was on the substitute offered by the gentleman from Wilcox, and on a division there were sixty ‑ one ayes and twenty ‑ one noes.
MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ I call for an aye and no vote.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The aye, and noes are called for. Is the call sustained?
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ I rise to a point of order. It is too late now to call for the ayes and noes ‑ but still I have no objection.
MR. LONG ‑ I make the point of order that there is no quorum voting.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The question is on the motion of the gentleman from Walker for an aye and no vote.
MR. LONG ‑ My point of order is that no quorum voted, and I ask a verification of the vote by an aye and no vote.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ It appears that there are sixty ‑ one ayes and twenty ‑ one noes, and the substitute is adopted. The chair overrules the point of order that no quorum voted. It appears that a quorum did vote.
MR. LONG ‑ Is there no way to ascertain that fact?
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The vote show it.
MR. LONG ‑ There is no way to question the vote.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman can question it. Does the gentleman desire to verify the vote?
MR. LONG ‑ Yes, sir; I do.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The chair will submit the question to the Convention. As many as favor the adoption of the substitute
will please rise and remain standing until they are counted. The question is on the substitute offered by the gentleman from Wilcox. All delegates are required to vote.
MR. LONG ‑ I call for an aye and no vote.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The chair submitted the call of the gentleman for an aye and no vote to the Convention and the call was not sustained.
A vote being taken, resulted in sixty ‑ one ayes to sixteen noes.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The chair decides that there are a sufficient number of delegates in the Convention who have declined to vote to make a quorum, and the substitute is adopted. The question now is on the section as amended.
MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale) ‑ I ask for an aye and no vote on the adoption of the section.
The call for an aye and no vote was sustained.
On request of the gentleman from Jackson, the section as amended was again read by the clerk.
MR. PETTUS ‑ Is it open for discussion now?
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The previous question has been ordered.
MR. LONG ‑ I rise to a point of order. No quorum voted on the amendment: and it is claimed that it is adopted. I ask for a roll ‑ call so that the amendment can be legally adopted.
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ The ayes and noes have been called on this vote and it will determine whether or not there is a quorum present.
The result of the roll call was as follows:
Graham, of Montgomery,
Davis, of DeKalb,
Graham, of Talladega,
Greer, of Calhoun,
Greer, of Perry,
Heflin, of Randolph,
Coleman, of Greene,
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Jones, of Wilcox,
Smith, Mac. A.,
Smith, Morgan M.,
Total ‑ 92.
Jones, of Bibb,
Jones, of Montgomery,
Carmichael, of Colbert,
Davis, of Etowah,
Total ‑ 30.
ABSENT OR NOT VOTING.
Heflin, of Chambers,
Carmichael, of Coffee,
Jones, of Hale,
Coleman, of Walker,
So the section as amended was adopted.
MR. COLEMAN (during the call of the roll) ‑ I am willing to vote if I can be satisfied as to the substitute. I want to know what it means. As I understand it there may be a surplus in the treasury each year of $50,000 not appropriated, and it can be carried over four years, and there is no way of reaching it at all, and if that is what it means, I will vote aye.
MR. BLACKWELL ‑ The gentleman has not permission to explain his vote, and it is out of order.
MR. COLEMAN ‑ Suppose it is not all used up in one year--‑
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman from Morgan makes the point of order that it is not in order for a delegate to explain his vote without the permission of the Convention.
MR. WHITE ‑ I rise to a point of order. The gentleman from Greene is not explaining his vote, but explaining why he didn't want to vote.
MR. COLEMAN (Greene) ‑ I vote aye, if it provides for the Legislature to use the money if there is a surplus carried over from year to year.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ Does the gentleman desire to have it read over again?
MR. COLEMAN ‑ Yes.
The section as amended was again read by the Clerk.
MR. COLEMAN ‑ That is exactly what I said, if there is a surplus there, you cannot get at it in one hundred years.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ It is not in order to explain a vote. How does the gentleman vote?
MR. COLEMAN ‑ I will vote aye.
MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ I desire to change my vote from no to aye for the purpose of moving a re ‑ consideration on tomorrow morning.
MR. COLEMAN ‑ I move to reconsider the vote by which the section was adopted. I do so for the purpose of offering an amendment authorizing the legislature to appropriate any surplus that may have accumulated in addition to the estimated revenues. If this Convention is satisfied, that the surplus, if any, should remain, is at the disposal of the legislature, why I would be glad to see the motion to reconsider voted down, but as I heard that section read it may accumulate there until the next Convention meet again.
A VOICE ‑ Four years?
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MR. COLEMAN ‑ Four years don't reach it, it will remain there until the next Convention meets to authorize the appropriation of it. That is the way it strikes me and that is the reason I hesitated to vote. Now, if I am mistaken in my construction, I would like for my motion to reconsider to be voted down, but if I am right, that is the condition, you will place the Treasury in, with any surplus that may accumulate there.
MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ It would take a suspension of the rules at this time to move to reconsider.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The point of order is well taken.
MR. COLEMAN ‑ Then I move the suspension of the rules. I want the question settled and that is the only purpose I have in view.
MR. PILLANS ‑ Would it not be better to let it go over until tomorrow, and then bring in your amendment.
MR. COLEMAN ‑ I will let it go over. I give notice that I will make a notion in the morning to reconsider, and in the meantime, we will have time to consider it.
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Clerk will read Section 28.
The Clerk read Section 28 as follows:
Sec. 28. All stationery, printing, paper and fuel used in the legislative and other departments of government shall be furnished and the printing and distribution of laws, journals, department reports and all other printing and binding and repairing and furnishing the halls and rooms used for the meeting of the legislature and its committee shall be performed under contract, to be given to the lowest responsible bidder below a maximum price, and under such regulation as shall be prescribed by law; no member or officer of any department of the government shall be in any way interested it, such contracts, and all such contracts shall be subject to the approval of the Governor, Auditor and Treasurer.
MR. PILLANS ‑ I have an amendment to offer.
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ Allow me to ask a question, whether or not there is a little mistake here in the fourth line as read by the Clerk, whether it is "committee" or "committees."
THE CLERK ‑ It is "committees'' ‑ plural.
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ It is "committee" in my copy.
The Clerk read the amendment offered by Mr. Pillans, as follows: "Amend Section 28 by adding at the end thereof, the following words: `The legislature may, however, provide that for such supplies or printing no bid from any non ‑ resident person or foreign
corporation shall be considered’ and by striking out the period at the end of the Section and inserting a semi-colon instead.”
MR .PILLANS– I have nothing to say more than is said by the amendment which is offered. The section as it is reported is a good section. It is in line with the requirement of the Federal government and State governments generally in all public contracts that they shall be given to the lowest responsible bidder, but it occurs to me in our experience in Alabama, particular in the matter of printing, recently, does not justify our making a hard and fast rule, that we shall give to the lowest bidder in Jacksonville, Florida, in Nashville, Tennessee, or in Buffalo, N. Y,., the public printing and send to these distant points the archives clear beyond the boundaries of the State. I confess if I were a member of the legislature, and the Constitution did not forbid it, and I were inspired by the very motives which inspired this Committee, I should, unless there were evidences that there was adequate printing offices in the State, or their prices excessively high, I would be quite unwilling to let the printing go beyond the borders of the State. With the variety of industries and the number of cities and towns and printing houses in Alabama, and I speak of printing particularly because that is a matter that has come considerably under my notice, it does seem to me that the legislature ought to be permitted to provide if it sees fit in its wisdom so to do from time to time either that the bidding may come from the entire Union or that it may be confined to the people who are domiciled in the State, and that is the object of the amendment.
MR. JONES (Montgomery)– Will the gentleman from Mobile
permit me to ask a question?
MR. PILLANS – Certainly.
MR. JONES– I think it an excellent idea, but would it not be a good idea to put a provision in there in case of combination to put the prices up. In this case as it is now, it is the lowest bidder and there are only three or four in the State, and if they combine the legislature is bound to take it at their prices.
MR. PILLANS– I agree with the views of my distinguished friend, and I would be glad if an amendment could be offered such as suggested by the gentleman, but the amendment as I offered it does not undertake to legislate, but to enable the legislature to see if they can find a plan to confine it to the State, unless they find it should go into the hands of a trust. It is not intended as legislation but as fundamental law.
Mr. Miller of Wilcox, here took the Chair.
MR. REESE– A great deal has been said in this hall about the Legislature of this State. I don’t believe that any State has
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ever had better Legislatures than those of Alabama which have assembled in this historic hall. Take this body and surround it by the conditions and temptations that have confronted that body, and this Convention would be led along the same paths that the Legislature has traveled.
MR. ESPY– I arise to a point of order. The gentleman is not addressing himself to the question before the House. He is discussing the character of the Legislature.
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– I will wait on the gentleman a little longer.
MR. REESE– I do not admit the right of gentleman to dictate what I shall say in this Convention. I am holding myself strictly to the matter before this Convention. Here is a proposition, and I suppose this will be followed by other amendments to hamper and particularize the conditions under which the Legislature shall make these contracts. This is a Constitutions Convention, Mr. President. It is not a legislative body, and there are important duties that remain for a Legislature to perform, and this Convention should not usurp those functions. Mr. President, it would be a reflection upon the intelligence of the people of Alabama, and those who may come here in the future to honorably represent the State as they have in the past, to hamper and load them down with these conditions. This provision leaves to the Legislature some discretion, and I contend that they are equal to and will rise to the full measure of their duty. We do not know what the conditions of the future may be, and therefore let them be left to the wisdom of the Legislature. In conditions arise such as the gentleman from Mobile contends for, the Legislature in its intelligence and wisdom can provide for it. That body may perhaps have made some mistake in a recent printing of the Acts, but we all make mistakes. Mr. President, I am afraid that even this Convention before it shall have adjourned, will be charged with having made some mistakes, and I believe we will make a mistake now, if we hamper down the Legislature with details which may be inconvenient and expensive to the State in the future. I now move the previous question on the pending amendment and the Section as reported by the Committee.
MR. BEDDOW– I ask the gentleman to withdraw that just one moment.
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– Does the gentleman yield?
MR. REESE– I have make my motion.
Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for, and by a vote of 49 ayes and 38 noes the main question was ordered.
MR. BEDDOW– I desire to offer a substitute.
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I object. I rise to a point of order. The previous question has been ordered, and after the previous question is ordered no substitute or amendment can be offered.
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM ‑ The point of order is sustained.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ I would like to ask the Chairman of the Committee a question for information. As I understand it this Section reported by the Committee is the exact Section found in the Constitution of 1875, is it not?
MR. OATES ‑ It is.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ Word for word, isn't it.
MR. OATES ‑ Yes, sir, and I will state in that connection in my absence, that it is so reported----
MR. WADDELL– A point of order. The previous question has been ordered.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ Some gentlemen never want anybody to talk in this Convention but themselves.
MR. FITTS ‑ I make the point of order that there is nothing in order, but a vote on the main question.
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM ‑ The point of order is well taken.
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I make the point of order that the Chairman of the Committee is entitled to close on this matter after the previous question is ordered.
MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ I make the point of order that the Chair itself has decided that the motion for the previous question was called.
MR. FITTS ‑ No he didn't. The previous question was ordered.
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM- The point of order made by the gentleman from Pike is well taken.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ I rise to a point of order. The Chairman of the Committee has the right to close this debate after the previous question is ordered.
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM ‑ That is what the Chair has decided.
MR. BULGER ‑ A parliamentary inquiry. I would like to know if the motion for a previous question extended further than the substitute.
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THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM ‑ Only to the substitute.
MR. REESE ‑ The previous question was called on the Section and substitute.
To which there were expressions of dissent.
THE PRESIDENT PRO .TEM – The Chair understood the previous question to apply only to the substitute.
MR. REESE ‑ The motion applied to the pending amendment and the Section.
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM ‑ The gentleman frorn Montgomery has the floor.
MR. GREER (Calhoun) ‑ A point of order. The Chairman of the Committee has a right to speak to the main question after the previous question is called, but not to the substitute.
MR. REESE ‑ I ask for a reading of the stenographer's notes.
MR. JONES (Montgomery) ‑ I desire to ask the Chairman a question, which he can answer later on, as I do not want to interrupt him. Is this Section not in the exact language of the Constitution, and under that did not the State have to send its printing to Florida because the Floridian was the lowest bidder?
MR. OATES ‑ In reply to that question I will state-----
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ A parliamentary inquiry; Is the gentleman from Montgomery who is Chairman of the Committee, now speaking upon the amendment or on his right to close the debate on this question?
MR. REESE ‑ I rise to a question of information. What is the ruling of the Chair?
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM ‑ In the opinion of the Chair the previous question was ordered upon the substitute.
MR. REESE ‑ I ask for the reading of the stenographic report, as it will show what my motion was.
MR. BEDDOW ‑ I object.
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM. ‑ We will be governed by the reading of the Journal.
MR. REESE ‑ I ask for the reading of the Journal.
MR. OATES ‑ I think you will find that the delegate from Dallas moved the previous question on the section and pending amendment. The Journal was read, stating the motion to be for the previous question on the section and amendment.
MR. OATES ‑ I have but little to say on this section, and by way of answer to the question of my colleague from Montgomery, if printing had not been given to a house in Jacksonville, Florida, not long since? I will say that such is my information, and furthermore I heard a good deal of complaint about its being unsatisfactory. But the section requires not the letting of printing acts and Journals, etc., to any bidder, but to the lowest responsible bidder. Now, if those who have charge of the letting out of the printing do their duty they should have proper bonds and obligations from the lowest responsible bidder insuring that the work will be well done, and done in accordance with the law. I oppose for the committee the amendment offered by the delegate from Mobile, only for the reason that the gentlemen who examine this will find that it leaves the power in the Legislature to regulate this matter. It is unnecessary to add any amendment. It is the section which we find in the existing Constitution, and it ought not to be amended. If it has been improperly or defectively executed, unless there is some internal fault in this section, and none occurs to me, vests the Legislature properly with the power, and if the executive officers do their duty under the provisions of the Constitution, it is as good a law as can be made upon that subject. I do not know of anything that is necessary to be added to this; statement, and therefore will not consume further tithe. I am opposed to the amendment whether it he offered as a substitute or an ordinary amendment to the section reported by the committee.
The question being upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Mobile (Mr. Pillans) the vote being taken the amendment was lost. The question recurring upon the section as reported by the committee, upon a vote being taken the section was adopted.
MR. BEDDOW ‑ I voted aye on that proposition, and I give notice now that I will move a reconsideration of it at the morning session tomorrow.
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I move that the rules be suspended for the purpose of reconsidering it now.
MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ On that I call for the ayes and noes.
The call was not sustained. Upon a viva voce vote being taken a division was called for.
Mr. Samford (Pike) sought recognition.
MR. BROOKS ‑ I rise to a point of order. The vote has not been announced.
MR. BEDDOW ‑ I make the point of order that no quorum voted.
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THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM. ‑ Upon casting up the vote there are fifty ‑ nine yeas and nineteen nays, exactly a quorum.
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I move----
MR. BEDDOW ‑ I call for a verification of that vote.
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I have the floor, and I move to reconsider the vote, and then I move to table the motion for a reconsideration.
MR. WILSON (Washington) ‑ I rise to a point of order. The rules require a two ‑ thirds vote of the members present to suspend the rules. The roll call on the last vote showed about one hundred and thirty members present.
To this there were loud expressions of dissent.
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM. ‑ The question recurs upon a motion of the gentleman from Pike to reconsider the vote whereby Section 28 was adopted, and the motion to table the motion to reconsider.
MR. BEDDOW ‑ I make the point of order that he can't make two motions at one time.
MR. REESE ‑ I move to table the motion of the gentleman from Pike to reconsider the vote by which the section was adopted.
MR. OATES ‑ The parliamentary rule of procedure is that a member can move to reconsider, and at the same time move to table that motion. It is a means of settling the question so that it cannot be brought up thereafter, and it is taken on one vote.
THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM. ‑ The question recurs upon the motion of the gentleman from Pike to reconsider the vote by which Section 28 was adopted, and the gentleman from Dallas moves to lay that motion upon the table.
MR. GREER (Calhoun) ‑ Upon that I call for the ayes and noes.
The call was not sustained, and upon a viva voce vote the motion to table was carried.
Section 29 was read as follows:
Sec. 29. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Governor, Auditor, Treasurer and Attorney General shall, before each regular session of the Legislature, prepare a general revenue bill to be submitted to the Legislature for its action, and the Secretary of State shall have printed for the use of the Legislature a sufficient number of copies of the bill so prepared which the Governor shall transmit to the House of Representatives as soon as organized. The Senate may propose
amendments to revenue bills. No appropriation or revenue bill shall be passed during the last five days of the session.
MR. OATES– My recollection is that “the treasurer should not have been included in this section, and I therefore ask unanimous leave to amend by striking out the word “Treasurer” and leave it reading “The Governor, Auditor and Attorney General.”
There being no objection the amendment was allowed.
MR. VAUGHAN– I have a substitute for the section.
The substitute was read as follows: All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose amendments as in other bills.
MR. VAUGHAN– Section 29 as reported by the committee, it seems to me, puts it in the power or in the hands of the Governor, Auditor and the several other officials to draft the revenue law, to which the Senate may propose amendments, but taking from the House the power to originate the bill, or proposing amendments thereto. The substitute I have offered is simply the section of the old Constitution on the subject, and I hope it will be adopted.
MR. BROOKS– I was going to offer an amendment in line with what the gentleman has already proposed, and desire to say in that connection that the difference between the present Constitution and the one proposed by the committee is found in the words just after the word “representative” in the first line, “all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” So much is in the present Constitution, and it goes on to say, “The Governor, Auditor and Attorney General shall, before each regular session of the Legislature, prepare a general revenue bill to be submitted to the Legislature for its action, and the Secretary of State shall have printed for the use of the Legislature a sufficient number of copies of the bill so prepared, which the Governor shall transmit to the House of Representatives as soon as organized.” That is the new part. Now, sir, I submit that we have already enlarged the power of the Executive of this State sufficiently by constitutional amendments so far. I am one of those who believe that we ought to keep the three co-ordinate branches of government– legislative, judicial and executive– as separate and distinct as possible. Now, this proposed amendment creates a sort of imperium imperio. It creates a third legislative house, the members of which will be influenced by a desire to carry through their pet measure on the subject of revenue, whatever it may be. I submit that Representatives in the General Assembly are able enough and have sufficient knowledge of the wants of the State to be able to formulate a revenue bill, without the assistance of this new board. As a matter of course, the Executive is expected, and at every session does send in his message containing
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his suggestions as to matters of revenue, but it remains for the Representatives of the people to formulate the bill. Those Representatives have before them not only the Auditor's report and the Treasurer’s report, but they can go from time and consult with all the executive officers, and they are perfectly able, without any suggestions from this third house, who will be influenced, as I say, by desire to perpetuate or carry through their particular ideas, to formulate such a bill as will be necessary for the wants of their constituents. Therefore, I am opposed to the proposition contained in the section reported by the committee.
The President resumed the chair.
MR. LONG (Walker)– I rise to support the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dallas, or the substitute which leaves it exactly like it is in the old Constitution. I ask the members on this floor to think what they are doing. We have just passed a section here which takes away from the Legislature every right or power on this earth, and says that they shall be governor exclusively and solely by the estimates made by the Governor and Auditor. If the Governor and Auditor of the State of Alabama estimate the revenues of the State for the next two years at only $10, although there may be a million and a half in the treasury, the Legislature cannot appropriate one dollar of that money.
MR. CHAPMAN– I rise to a point of order.
THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman will state the point of order.
MR. CHAPMAN- The remarks of the gentleman are not germane to the subject before the Convention.
MR. LONG ‑ If the gentleman will listen to me, I will try to enlighten him on the subject.
THE PRESIDENT– It seems to the chair that the gentleman is in order and the chair will overrule the point of order.
MR. LONG– Now, Mr. President, I mentioned that fact to show you that we are giving the Governor and Auditor of Alabama more power than the Czar of Russia has. There is not a civilized government on this earth that takes away from the legislative body the right to appropriate money and we are asked in this bill in the very neat section here, to provide that all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, and just listen how it reads: "But the Governor, Auditor and Attorney ‑ General, shall, before the regular session of the Legislature, prepare a general revenue bill to be submitted to the Legislature for its action, and the Secretary of State shall have printed for the use of the Legislature a sufficient number of copies of the bill so prepared which the Governor shall transmit to the House of Rep‑
resentatives as soon as organized. The Senate may propose amendments to revenue bills. One hundred and five Representatives in the House cannot propose an amendment. They sit here like dummies and tools, and fools. I ask this Convention to pause and think what they are doing. You have abused the Legislature ever since we have been in session. Has the time come when the Governor shall be President, shall the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the House, and is he to have all the power and to be the only wise man in this State? I am ready now to adopt a section to provide that no Legislature shall ever again meet in the State of Alabama. That it shall be organized and may be called together by the Governor, but it shall have no power on this earth except to call a Constitutional Convention. That is exactly what you do when you adopt this section. Do you propose to say that the people of this State shall not manage their own affairs? We say in one section that the revenues shall be estimated and that the Legislature must take that as their medicine, and here in Section 29, you say that the Governor and Auditor shall prepare the revenue bill, and that the House shall not even have the right to offer a single amendment. What is the use of your Legislature if you have that? Has it come to pass that we are unwilling to trust the people of the State of Alabama? Has our government become so corrupt that the Legislature of Alabama cannot be trusted? Shall we surrender all power to the Governor? If so, let us go to him on our knees, and let the Legislature go to him and say, “Oh, Most Excellent and Mighty Governor, give us the right to appropriate $10 to the common schools.” Go to him and say, “Oh, Most Excellent and Mighty Governor, we, the Representatives of the people of Alabama, beg you, sir, to let us frame a revenue bill.” Go to him and say, “Give us the right to regulate the whiskey licenses in the State of Alabama,” for you even deny that right in this section. You silence the voice of the Legislature completely. You make them sit here and appropriate money, but you give them no power to raise money, except to pass a revenue bill prepared for them, to which they must not even offer an amendment. It is time that the members on this floor were thinking what they were doing. Have you so far forgotten yourselves, and are your minds so poisoned against the Legislature, that you think they are all rascals and will he rascals for a hundred years to come? I believe that this Convention will lay upon the table the section reported by the committee, and adopt the substitute offered by the gentleman from Dallas, which has been the fundamental law of this State, as a landmark, ever since it has been a State. It is an old land ‑ mark in every State of the Union. There has never been so radical a measure as this proposed in any Constitution of the United States. It says that you cannot even offer an amendment to a revenue bill, but it must be drawn up by the Governor, Attorney General and Auditor before the Legislature meets. What
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do you want with a Legislature? Do you need them ? You say to them when they come here, that thus far you can go and no farther, and you absolutely put in the hands of three men the exclusive right of raising every dollar of revenue in the State of Alabama.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ I will suggest all amendment and read it to see if it meets with your approval: The Governor, Auditor, Treasurer and Attorney General shall be ex ‑ officio members of the leg islature and shall direct and control all legislation.
MR. LONG---Mr. President, I am opposed to that, unless they are elected as members of the legislature by the people. They have no right to be ex ‑ officio members of the legislature. (Laughter.) I now move if no one else wishes to speak on this subject. the previous question on the amendment.
Mr. Chapman sought recognition.
MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ I will withdraw my motion, as I see the distinguished gentleman rise. They all want to defend it, and I want them if they can enlighten the people of Alabama as to the reason why they put a measure so radical as this in the Constitution.
MR. CHAPMAN ‑‑ Since the speech of my distinguished friend from Walker, I and afraid that they have bored an oil well up in his county, and they have found combustible oil, and he is imbued with the spirit of combustion. It does seem to me that my good friend is a little off, either on oil or on this section. Now, Mr. President, and gentlemen of the Convention, what does this section provide? I hope that the reading of it will be oil on the troubled waters with my distinguished friend from Walker. It reads:
Sec. 29. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Governor, Auditor, Treasurer and Attorney General shall, before each regular session of the legislature, prepare a general revenue bill to be submitted to the legislature for its action, and the Secretary of State shall have printed for the use of the legislature a sufficient number of copies of the bill so prepared which the Governor shall transmit to the House of Representatives as soon as organized. The Senate may propose amendment to revenue bills. No appropriation or revenue bill shall be passed during the last five days of the session.
I believe, Mr. President, that I was the originator of the idea and it was for this reason, every man in this Convention who has ever been in the legislature, or who knows anything about its practices, its habits, and its rules, knows that the most difficult thing is to get a general revenue bill promptly and properly acted upon. The most difficult thing is to get a general revenue bill prepared. I remember distinctly that during the last General Assembly, dur‑
ing the fall, a committee was appointed to prepare a general revenue bill, that was done in November, and what was the result of it, a resolution was adopted, authorizing that committee to sit during the recess. That Committee had from in November until in February to prepare a bill.
MR. BULGER ‑ The gentleman appears to be familiar with the origin of the section, and I would like to ask if the section requires the legislature to enact a revenue law recommended by the Governor and Auditor.
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ Not a bit of it.
MR. BROOKS ‑ Do I understand the gentleman from Sumter to say that a resolution was adopted at the last session of the legislature authorizing the Ways and Means Committee to sit during recess?
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ Oh, no; I did not say that.
MR. SANFORD (Montgomery) ‑ I would like to ask the gentleman this question: The first section here say that all bills for the raising of revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. To originate it must have its origin or beginning, and how can it originate in the Legislative Department if it is prepared in the Executive Department?
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ It is not prepared there. I want to explain to the gentleman exactly how that it. We know that the preparation of a general revenue bill is the most difficult of all bills that are presented in the legislature, it requires more time, more talent, more investigation, and more study than any other bill that is presented to the legislature. Now, I was interrupted, when I was speaking about the last lession of the legislature. At the last session of the legislature the general revenue bill was not presented until about ten or fifteen days before the legislature closed, and what was the result of it? It was not considered by a single man in the legislature, except the five members who eventually had to be appointed to determine what we should pass, and we sat here. I among the other mummies ‑ I was among them ‑ we sat here and intrusted to that committee of five, within fifteen days of the close of the session, what we should pass, and they went down into the committee room, or somewhere else, I don't know where, and they brought up a bill of about three hundred sections, involving the State and the people of the State, and we did not know what was in it, and I don't know until this day, because the Acts have not yet come out. I do not know what was in that bill, and yet I voted for it, and all the balance of us did. My good friend over there, and my friends all around us here, voted for it under the same circumstances. Now, this section is simply directory. It is simply advisory, and nothing more. It says that all bills for
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raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. Now, I will have my distinguished friend from Montgomery to understand that the duty imposed upon the Governor, the Auditor and Attorney General is not the origination of the bill, but it is doing nothing more than the Governor has done for fifty years, advising the Legislature as to the finances of the State, that is all it does, and all it proposes to do, but we know this-----
THE PRESIDENT ‑ The time of the gentleman has expired.
MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ I move that he be allowed to complete his sentence, and not be cut off in the middle of it.
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ If my time is up, Mr. President, all that I can do is to pray to the Lord to give me time in the next world to finish on this. I have not and cannot within ten minutes possibly reach the merits of this Section. It is purely advisory and nothing more.
MR. LOMAX– I submit that the substitute offered by the gentleman from Dallas (Mr. Vaughan) for this Section ought to be adopted. There is no necessity for this. It is a mere matter of suggestion on the part of the Governor and the other State officers, and there is no necessity in the Constitution, because the Governor has it now, and will have it under this Constitution, to make suggestions as to a revenue bill, if he sees fit to do so. It is a dangerous innovation upon the principles of American government. We have it from the English Constitution, and in every American Constitution, and in the Constitution of the United States, that measures for the raising of revenue must originate in the House of Commons or in the House that comes from the people, which is the House of Representatives under our system of government. Now to say in our Constitution that the Governor, the Auditor, and the Attorney General, or any other officer of the State, shall prepare and present to the Legislature a revenue bill, in my judgment seriously encroaches upon the rights of the people in this direction. It is utterly unrepublican. The power of suggestion carries with it the power of persuasion, and the power of persuasion carries with it the power of threat, and the Governor might come to the General Assembly, and hold it by the throat and say if you do not pass my revenue law, your bills will either be pigeon ‑ holed or be vetoed in the Executive Office. Are you prepared to put in a Constitution which will last twenty ‑ five or fifty years so dangerous an innovation upon the rights of the people? We have made changes enough already We have changed the biennial session of the Legislature. We have taken away the right of the people ever two years to change their Representatives, and now you propose to come in and say to this Governor that you put it in his power for four years to say here is the revenue bill that I have prepared, adopt it, or refuse to adopt it at your peril.
We cannot defend these changes and these innovations before the people. They are not expecting them. They were not demanding them, so far as my information goes, and I had something to do with the canvass that preceded the calling of this Convention, and I tell you when you make innovations of so serious a nature, you cannot successfully defend them before the people who are watchful and anxious as to what the work of this Convention will do. The legislative power ought to be a separate and distinct power ; there ought not to be put into the hands of the Executive of Alabama anything which encroaches in the slightest degree upon the right of the people's representative's to say what their laws shall be. By this amendment you put the hands of the Executive upon the many strings of government when the English idea and the American idea has always been to keep the hands of the Executive away from them and to put them into the hands of the people.
MR. SOLLIE ‑ Will it not strike down the system of checks and balances which has always been at the foundation of our Government in America?
MR. LOMAX ‑ In my judgment that would be its tendency. It says he may suggest it merely. That is all right. The language sound, innocent enough.
MR. MACDONALD ‑ You say it is undemocratic and unwise to put an obligation upon the Governor to make suggestions to the General Assembly?
MR. LOMAX ‑ No sir, I do not; On the contrary I said that the Governor now had the power to make suggestions‑.
MR. MACDONALD ‑ Is it not his, duty to make them?
MR. LOMAX ‑ Yes, it is his duty and he has the power to make it, but it don't say he has the power to make a revenue bill and to bring it into the House of Representatives and say you must adopt it or you can't get any legislation through.
MR. O'NEAL ‑ He prepares laws for the Legislature.
MR. LOMAX ‑ He prepares them for the Legislature?
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ Does this Section say that?
MR. LOMAX ‑ No, sir, but I say that is the tendency and natural consequence of it, and I appeal to this Convention, not to but such power into the hands of the Executive that will defeat an expression of the will of the people as shown in the representative body of the General Assembly. Keep your departments separate and distinct. Reserve the monuments of liberty, and your people will bless you rather than curse you when you go to your homes. (Applause).
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MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I desire to add a few simple words in advocacy of the substitute for this section, and in aid of the reason so eloquently put by the gentleman from Montgomery. Every one who is at all familiar with the workings of our State government, and when I say our State government, I suppose it applies to every State government in America, that the Governor, as a general rule, has wonderful power and influence over a great number of the members. Now, place in the Constitution of this State a suggestion from the Convention, if you merely call it a suggestion but give the Governor, in connection with other State officers, the authority to draft revenue bills for the purpose of running the government during his administration, and you place in his hands a power that is dangerous in the extreme, and I submit to this Convention that they are drifting away from the land ‑ marks of our forefathers. The people will come together in their General Assembly once in four years, and be met with a budget prepared by the Governor of the State, which budget will be submitted to the General Assembly, and the General Assembly will be required and urged, and forced almost, to submit to the revenue bill as prepared by the Governor, as to what is estimated as necessary for its needs, and I say to the Convention that it is a proposition– think of it as you please– that you can never defend before the people of the State of Alabama. The members in the Lower House of the General Assembly are supposed to be the representatives directly from the people. It is the House, in governments like ours, which should govern the expenditures, because they are the representatives of the people.
MR. ROBINSON ‑ Would not the Governor that frames the revenue bills be out of office when the Legislature is in session?
MR. SAMFORD (Pike)– I don’t know whether he will or not, under the Constitution we are framing, for God knows where we are going to, or where we are to quit at the rate we have been going for the past two years.
MR. O’NEAL– In this section, when the Governor and Auditor submit their revenue bill, is not the Legislature bound either to pass it, or to reject it? Is there any authority for the Legislature to amend it? They are bound to take action, and don’t that mean that they must adopt or reject it, and that they have not the power of amendment?
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ Under the provisions of this section, it does occur to me that the revenue bill will absolutely be prepared by this committee appointed by this Constitutional Convention for submission to the General Assembly. They may propose amendments, but the right of amendment is left to a limited extent‑----
MR. CHAPMAN ‑ Is there anything here in this section to prevent the Legislature from absolutely rejecting the suggestion made by the Governor, and are there men in Alabama more capable of framing a revenue bill than the Governor, Auditor and Attorney General?
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I will answer the gentleman: The people of this government from the time of the foundation of this nation up to the present time, have always considered that the Lower House of Representatives was the only place for the origination of a revenue bill. They do not elect the Governor for that purpose; they do not elect the Auditor for that purpose, but for other duties of State, and they have always maintained that the right to levy taxes upon the people should remain in their Representatives in the House, which is supposed to be the closest to the people. I will not draw inviduous comparisons between the high offices of the State and the members of the General Assembly, that have been selected by the people. It is not necessary to do so, and in answer to your other question, it seems from this section that they must either receive it as a whole or reject it as a whole, and that is the only option left to them. I respectfully submit to this Convention that we ought not to go in this direction. We ought not to adopt the section reported by the committee, but we should adopt the substitute as proposed by the gentleman from Dallas.
MR. MACDONALD ‑ When the Committee on Legislation adopted this section, they did not anticipate any such bitter opposition as has been developed on the floor of this Convention. They had not the slightest idea they would be met by the tornado from Walker, the earthquake from Montgomery and the cyclone from Pike.
It seems to me if you carefully consider this section, it is entirely free from the objections that have heed urged to it here. We have been told with great force and fury that it was an infringement upon the rights of the people and a departure from the theories of our fathers. What do we find in Section 11 of Article V of the section? The Governor shall from time to time give the General Assembly information on the state of government and recommend to their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient at the commencement of each session of the Legislature, etc. Is that any tyranny?
MR. SAMFORD (Pike) ‑ I will ask the gentleman from Montgomery if he finds anything in the section which he has just read which permits the Governor or any other State officer, outside of the General Assembly, to prepare a general revenue bill for the levying of taxes upon the people?
MR. MACDONALD ‑ Of course I do not, and what is the purpose of the question? What is the significance of it? If he
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recommend a measure in the General Assembly, and it is made his duty to recommend the measure, how much better it would be to put it in correct and proper form for passage? Gentlemen, is it any tyranny, when the obligation of this duty is put upon the Governor in the Constitution as it now stands, and by the section suggested by the committee, it is put upon the Governor, Auditor and Attorney General, and to do what, Mr. President, to present a measure to the Legislature which they must take as it is offered. Not by any means. It requires the wildest exercise of imagination, and not reason, to say that because the Governor, Auditor and Attorney General shall present to the Legislature in the shape of a bill, knowledge, experience and wisdom they have as to these particular questions. No men are better able to form a conclusion than they are, because it is trade their duty to prepare such a measure and to present it to the General Assembly, submitting it to them as any other bill is submitted. They say that the Legislature is bound hand and foot and cannot amend it. Where does the gentleman get that idea that it cannot be amended by the General Assembly? From what phraseology of this section, or from what reasoning applicable to it, do they get that idea? It has to be presented as any other bill. It has to go through the same methods for passage as any other bill, and it is subject to amendment and subject to absolute rejection, just as any other measure that is submitted to them.
MR. SOLLIE ‑ I would like to ask the gentleman if the provision contained in this section is not in substance the origination of a revenue bill, and if there is any State in the American Union or any people among the English speaking nations, in which it is not left to the popular representative body of the people to originate legislative bills.
MR. MACDONALD ‑ No, sir, this is not the origination of a bill and more than a bill which is written in my office and brought up to the Legislature could be said to have originated in any office. The origination of a bill is when it is presented by some member of the House to the House, and then it comes as a bill which has been framed by men whose position peculiarly qualified them to get up and prepare a proper measure.
MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ I understood the gentleman to say that this was not a bill to be framed by the Governor, etc.
MR. MACDONALD ‑ It is a measure to be prepared by them.
MR. LONG (Walker) ‑ It say it is a revenue bill.
MR. MACDONALD ‑ It may be called that, but it does not become a bill until it is introduced in the House.
MR. BOONE ‑ I desire to offer a substitute for the substitute.
The substitute was read as follows:
All bills for the raising of revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. The Governor, Auditor and Attorney General shall, before the regular session of the Legislature, prepare a General Revenue Bill, to be submitted to the Legislature for its approval, and the Secretary of State shall have printed for the use of the Legislature a sufficient number of copies of the bill for its use, which the Governor shall transmit to the House of Representatives as soon as organized, to be delivered to or used as the House may elect. The Senate may propose amendments to the revenue bill. No appropriation or revenue bill shall pass during the last five days of the session.
MR. LOMAX ‑ I rise to a point of order. You cannot offer a substitute for a substitute.
MR. BOONE ‑ I offer it as an amendment to the substitute.
MR. LOMAX ‑ I submit that it is a substitute and not an amendment.
Indefinite leave of absence was granted to Mr. Byars.
The hour of 6 o'clock having arrived, the Convention thereupon adjourned.
In remarks of Mr. O'Neal on forty ‑ seventh day, note following corrections:
In second column, first page, thirty ‑ second line from bottom of page, read "never" instead of "ever."
In second column, thirtieth line from bottom of page, read "I" instead of "it."
In third column, thirty ‑ eighth line from bottom of page, read "and" between "presented" and "every."
In third column, forty ‑ sixth line from bottom of page, read "will" instead of "would."
In fourth column, eighty ‑ sixth line from bottom of page, read "induce" instead of "drag."
In fourth column, ninety ‑ fifth line from bottom of page, read "cent per cent." instead of "percentum."
In third column, seventh line from top of page, read "other" between "every" and "alternate."
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In remarks of Mr. Rogers (Sumter):
MR. ROGERS (Sumter) ‑ The suggestion made comes from a mind that is unable to grasp the first rudiments of the fundamental of government. Suppose I were to say to a doctor, "I don't want you to give my child a bottle of quinine at a single dose." Would he be fool enough to think I was arguing against quinine as a medicine?
They should be lifted above all considerations and be able to pass upon these things like it was said of job of old, when he sat in the market place, "righteousness clothed him there and justice was a role and a diadem."