SIXTY‑SIXTH DAY

______

MONTGOMERY, ALA.,

Thursday, Aug. 8, 1901.

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, was called to order by the President, and opened with prayer by Rev. Mr. Andrews, as follows:


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O, Lord, our Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for another night's refreshing sleep. We thank thee that we are privileged to see the light of another day and to stand upon this, the threshold of a new day, and look out upon its possibilities. As we look, Lord, upon what is before us today, we tremble in our own weakness. We realize how little qualified we are for the discharge of the duties before us, and we pause ere we begin our work, to pray Thy blessings upon us. We beseech Thy help in all that we have to do, and to let Thy strength supply our weakness, and let us feel that we are guided by a higher power, and sustained by a divine hand. We pray Thee, O, Father, that Thou wouldst bless this Convention;  help the presiding officer in the work which he has to do. Help each one of the members ; may each one discharge his duty in the fear of God, knowing that he must answer for everything he does, both to his people and to his God; and may the Lord bless the Convention and bless its work. May it redound to the good of the people and to the glory of our triune God.  We pray for our people; we pray, that God may smile in prosperity upon our beloved State, so that all of our people, in every walk of life, may prosper and may feel the everlasting arms about them, and may the Lord be with them all. Bless those in authority over us. Give them wisdom, our Father, and give them fairness and justice, and may the Lord direct all of our people. Direct each one of us, until, through Thy mercy, we have finished the work here below, and ended the journey we have begun, and then give us, we pray Thee, death in Thy faith, and an abundant entrance into the home of the righteous and good, we pray Thee, through the riches and grace of Christ, our Redeemer, Amen.

On a call of the roll 82 delegates responded to their names.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑I rise to an inquiry, of parliamentary information: Can a motion to reconsider a section that was defeated yesterday be made now to be considered tomorrow?

THE  PRESIDENT ‑Under the rules it can be made today, and it can only be considered tomorrow by the action of the Convention. The Convention might set it down for a hearing, might make it a special order for some future day.

MR. SANFORD‑I move then that Section 4 of the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations be reconsidered and that next Wednesday be set apart for its consideration.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman will allow the Chair to suggest to him that this motion would be proper after the approval of the journal. The journal has not yet been approved.

Leaves of absence were granted as follows‑ Indefinite leave to Mr. Foster on account of sickness; indefinite leave to Mr. Taylor on account of sickness; indefinite leave to Mr. Stewart on account


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of sickness; leave to Mr. Fain, Assistant Doorkeeper for Friday and Saturday.

MR. CRAIG‑I notice some, either clerical or typographical errors in the remarks I made yesterday as reported. I do, not wish to take up the time of the Convention in correcting them here, and I would ask leave of the Convention to put them in writing and hand them to the Clerk if that is proper.

Leave was granted.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑‑I rose, Mr. President, to make a motion to reconsider Section 4 of the report, but I am informed by the Committee that they have prepared a substitute which will be offered, and therefore, I will not make the motion.

MR. BANKS‑I ask unanimous consent to have the body of this petition read.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Will the gentleman withhold his request until the journal is approved.

Report of the Committee on Journal approving the journal for the sixty-fifth day of the Convention was read and adopted.

The petition presented by Mr. Banks was read as follows:

To the Constitutional Convention, Montgomery, Ala.:

We the undersigned citizens of the State of Alabama do hereby offer our protest against the railroad pass evil, and do hereby declare our desire that it be made an unlawful act for either State, county or municipal officials to accept railroad passes from any railroad company or for any such company to give such passes.

We further petition the Constitutional Convention now in session in Montgomery to incorporate in the proposed Constitution some effective self-operative provision to that end.

Seale, Ala., July 23, 1901.

O. T. Geckeler, teacher; W. A. Parham, teacher ; Ben Jennings, merchant; James M. Wright, planter; C. H. Dudley, farmer; H. B. Perry, merchant; W. C. Henry, merchant; J. L. Henry, merchant; G. A. Ferrell, farmer; H. A. Ferrell, teacher; R. H. Holland, city clerk; J. A. Mickerstaff, farmer; I. C. Evans, and many others.

MR. SANDERS‑ In the report of the proceedings of yesterday, I am reported as not voting on ordinance 409. I was present and voted for the adoption of that ordinance.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The journal has it correct. It must be a mistake in the published report.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. HANDLEY‑I ask unanimous consent to have a petition read.

The consent was given.

The petition was read as follows:

Petition No. —  by Mr. Handley.

To the Constitutional Convention, Montgomery, Ala.:

We the undersigned citizens of the State of Alabama, do hereby offer our protest against the railroad pass evil, and do hereby declare our desire that it be made an unlawful act for either State, county or municipal officials to accept railroad passes from any railroad company, or for any such company to give such passes.

We further petition the Constitutional Convention now in session in Montgomery to incorporate in session in Montgomery to incorporate in the proposed Constitution some effective self-operative provision to that end.

Roanoke, Ala., July 23, 1901.

J. J. Arnett, farmer, O. F. Smith, farmer, O. J. Trent, Jr., farmer; W. H. Knight, physician; C. R. Power, mechanic; F. B. Barrett, farmer; C. p;. Lee, merchant ; W. A. Waters, butcher; R. R. Ryan, grocery; T. R. Burgess, merchant; G. R. Cheney,: T. S. Foster, clerk, and many others.

Referred to Committee on Corporations.

MR. NORWOOD — I ask unanimous consent to have a petition read.

The consent was given.

The petition was read as follows:

Petition by Mr. Norwood:

To the Constitutional Convention, Montgomery, Ala.:

We, the undersigned citizens of the State of Alabama, and county of Lowndes, do hereby offer our protest against the railroad pass evil, and do hereby declare our desire that it be made an unlawful act for either State, county or municipal officials to accept railroad passes from any railroad company, or for any such company to give such passes.

We further petition the Constitutional Convention now in session in Montgomery to incorporate in the proposed Constitution some effective self-operative provision to that end.

Letohatchie, Ala., July 23, 1901.

E. Farrior, merchant; C. W. Powell, M. D.; J. H. Payne, merchant; J. W. Cook, planter; W. M. Garrett, A. R. Garrett, mer‑


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chant; S. E. May, merchant; R. H. L. Garrett, M. D.; M. W. Sanderson, clerk; R. Farrior, clerk; F. C. Claghorn, planter; W. E. Whitney, planter; C. E. McDonald, planter; S. D. Suggs, clerk, and many others.

Referred to Committee on Corporations.

MR. MALONE‑I ask unanimous consent to have a petition read.

The consent was given.

Petition was read as follows:

To the Constitutional Convention, Montgomery, Ala.:

We, the undersigned citizens of the State of Alabama, do hereby offer our protest against the railroad pass evil, and do hereby declare our desire that it be made an unlawful act for either State, county or municipal officials to accept railroad passes from any railroad company, or for any such company to give such passes.

We further petition the Constitutional Convention now, in session in Montgomery to incorporate in the proposed Constitution some effective, self-operative provision to that end.

Dothan, July 23, 1901.

Ed Nix, druggist; W. J. Baxley, lawyer,; Orum Nix, drug clerk; W. S. Johnson, dentist; Dothan Hardware Co., per J. N. Cunton, manager, merchants;  T. F. McCarty, contractor; H. E. Jordan; R. D. Crawford, attorney; C. Z. Sanders, merchant; A. M. Seay, E. J. Kirkland, farmer; Dothan Variety Works, per J. W. Baughman; and many others.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The secretary will call the roll of delegates for the introduction of ordinances.

MR. ASHCRAFT‑I move a suspension of the rules, and that the all of the roll of delegates and the call of the roll of standing committees be dispensed with this morning.

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair should call attention to a motion to reconsider that was entered by the gentleman from Hale on yesterday.

MR. deGRAFFENREID – We are in the middle of the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations, and I make that motion, but request the House to let it lie over until the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations is disposed of, and then I will ask to be allowed to take it up. I don't want to split this report in two, by motion. If the House will permit it, I ask unanimous consent for it to be clone in that way.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)‑I object.


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MR. deGRAFFENREID– I gave notice on yesterday that I would make the motion. I did not make the motion. Under the rules of the House, I would ave a right to do so at any time between now and 1 o’clock. I simply gave notice on yesterday.

MR. deGRAFFENREID– Mr. President, here is what I said in the stenographic report.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman from Hale will suspend a moment. The Convention will be governed by the official Journal of the House.

The secretary here read from the Journal as follows:

“Mr. deGraffenreid moved to reconsider the vote by which the article was ordered to a third reading.”

MR. deGRAFFENREID– I move that that motion be set down for hearing immediately upon the completion of the article before the Convention.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)– I make the point of order that it first requires the motion to suspend the rules before that motion can be entertained.

THE PRESIDENT– In the opinion of the Chair, and the Chair so ruled, when the matter of suffrage was before the Convention, when the Convention has any matter before it, it can proceed with its consideration, or postpone its consideration to such future time as it may desire. In the opinion of the Chair it would not be necessary to suspend the rules.

MR. GRAHAM– If the president will hear me, the rules fix a time for consideration by the Convention, and it cannot be arbitrarily put at another time without the consent of the Convention. This is a motion to reconsider, and it is not subject to the ruling made when the article on suffrage was being considered.  Further more, the Chair made that ruling before engrossment, this is a question of reconsideration, and not a question of regular consideration. The rules fix that it shall be considered immediately after the approval of the Journal, on the day succeeding that on which it is moved, but if moved the succeeding day it shall be forthwith considered. The ruling of the Chair on the other occasion would have no effect on this matter. It would require a suspension of the rules without reference to what the chair would previously have ruled. I refer to rule 27.

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair is familiar with rule 27. In the matter referred to on the report of the Committee on Suffrage, the question was presented. It was a motion to reconsider the vote made by the gentleman from Jefferson relating to the right of foreigners to vote, a motion to reconsider and a motion made to postpone the consideration of the motion to reconsider until after


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Section 6 had been concluded. Now, it is true that the rule says that when a motion to reconsider is entered it shall be considered on the next day, and so the rule says that when the consideration of any report from any general committee is made a special order, it shall be taken up and considered when reached. For instance, we take up the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations just as we take up any report when made a special order. and the rules require that it be taken up and considered, but that does not deny to the Convention the right, if it sees fit to postpone further consideration. It would paralyze the business of the Convention to take from it the right to dispose of business as it pleased. The point of order is overruled.

MR. GRAHAM— Mr. President‑

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair does not care to hear further from the gentleman from Talladega.

MR. GRAHAM‑I want to know if this question was raised with the Chair when the matter on suffrage was under consideration ?

THE PRESIDENT‑ No point of order was made, but the Chair gave the matter careful consideration, and the Chair has no  doubt on the question that the Convention may postpone consideration of any question before it if it sees fit.

MR. GRAHAM‑ One other question, will the Chair permit me?

THE PRESIDENT‑ The Chair does not care to hear any further argument.

MR. GRAHAM‑I do not wish to argue it.

THE  PRESIDENT‑ The gentleman is arguing it.

MR. GRAHAM‑I beg pardon—

THE  PRESIDENT‑ The Chair does not care to hear any further discussion upon this point. The motion of the gentleman from Hale is that further consideration of this motion to reconsider be postponed until after the consideration of the report on municipal corporations is concluded.

MR. PETTUS‑ On that, I call for the ayes and noes.

The call for the ayes and noes was sustained.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)‑I want to understand the motion. To postpone until when?

THE PRESIDENT‑ Until after the Convention finishes the report on municipal corporations.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. GRAHAM‑I move to lay the motion to postpone upon the table, and demand the ayes and noes upon that– no, I will withdraw that motion.

MR. HOWZE‑I rise to a parliamentary inquiry.

THE PRESIDENT The gentleman will state his point of inquiry.

MR. HOWZE‑I desire to know whether the journal shows that the motion to reconsider was made on yesterday, or whether at this morning hour?

THE PRESIDENT‑ It was entered on yesterday.

MR. HOWZE‑ Notice was given yesterday?

THE PRESIDENT–The journal shows the motion was entered. The question is on the motion of the gentleman from Hale to postpone consideration of his motion to reconsider the action of this Convention whereby the article on Judicial Department was ordered to a third reading, until after the report of the Committee on Municipal corporations is concluded.

The roll call resulted as follows:

AYES

Messrs. President,

Haley,

O’Rear,

Barefield,

Handley,

Parker (Cullman),

Browne,

Harrison,

Pearce,

Cardon,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Reese,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Inge,

Reynolds (Henry),

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Jackson,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Carnathon,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Samford,

Cobb,

Kirkland,

Sanford,

Coleman, of Greene,

Knight,

Selheimer,

Coleman, of Walker,

Lomax,

Smith, Morgan M.,

deGraffenreid,

Lowe (Jefferson),

William (Barbour),

Eley,

Macdonald,

Williams (Marengo),

Eyster,

Martin,

Williams (Elmore),

Ferguson,

Norwood,

Wilson (Clarke),

Glover,

O’Neal (Lauderdale)

Winn,

Grayson,

O’Neill (Jefferson),

Greer, of Calhoun,

Opp,

TOTAL– 49

NOES

Ashcraft,

Boone,

Craig,

Banks,

Brooks,

Davis, of Etowah,

Beddow,

Bulger,

Dent,

Bethune,

Byars,

Espy,

Blackwell,

Cofer,

Fletcher,


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CONSTITUTIONAL  CONVENTION, 1901

Foshee,

Miller (Marengo),

Sanders,

Gilmore,

Miller (Wilcox),

Sloan,

Graham, of Talladega,

Mulkey,

Smith (Mobile),

Hood,

Murphree,

Smith, Mac. A.,

Howze,

Norman,

Sorrell,

Jones, of Hale,

Oates,

Spragins,

Kyle,

Palmer,

Walker,

Lowe (Lawrence),

Pettus,

Watts,

McMillan (Baldwin),

Phillips,

White,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Pitts,

Whiteside,

Malone,

Porter,

Merrill,

Rogers (Sumter),

TOTAL‑49

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Almon,

Henderson,

Moody,

Altman,

Hinson,

Morrisette,

Beavers,

Howell,

NeSmith,

Burnett,

Jenkins,

Pillans,

Case,

Jones, of Bibb,

Renfro,

Cornwall,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Cunningham,

King,

Robinson,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Ledbetter.

Sollie,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Leigh,

Waddell,

Greer, of Perry,

Locklin,

Weatherly,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Long (Butler),

Willet,

PAIRS

AYES                                                 NOES

Long (Walker),

Studdard,

Bartlett,

Burns,

Vaughan,

Hodges,

Proctor,

Chapman,

Foster,

Weakley,

Duke,

Freeman,

Sentell,

Fitts,

Grant,

Parker (Elmore),

Searcy,

Maxwell,

Kirk,

Spears,

Stewart,

Tayloe,

Wilson (Washington),

Thompson,

And the motion to postpone was lost.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)‑I desire to make a point of order that other business has intervened since the reading of the journal this morning, and that a motion to re‑consider is not now in order, because the gentleman himself has put in a motion to postpone, and has thereby lost his right to reconsider. He cannot


3752                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

take advantage of his own wrong. Several petitions were read, and he made a motion to postpone his motion to reconsider, and he cannot take advantage of his own wrong to come before this Convention.

THE PRESIDENT– Upon what does the gentleman base that motion?  On any rule of the Convention?

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)– Yes sir, it must take place immediately after the approval of the journal. I base it on Rule 27, which I tried to get before the Convention awhile ago. A petition has been read, and the gentleman has made a motion himself: “If made on the same day, shall be considered immediately after the approval of the journal on the day succeeding that on which it is made.”

THE PRESIDENT– The Chair ruled on that question sometime since and the ruling of the Chair was that when a motion is entered, say on yesterday, it is, under the rules, a special order, and it is the duty of the Chair to place the matter before the Convention, and it is not a matter which can be waived by any delegate. It is a matter before the Convention to be considered before disposed of. Now then, this special order was brought before the Convention. Thereupon the gentleman from Hale moved to postpone further consideration and the Convention by a tie vote refused to postpone, and so the question is now before the Convention for consideration.

MR. GRAHAM– I acquiesce cheerfully in the ruling of the Chair until it gets to the point where, after petitions were read, but the gentleman’s own motion brought other business between then, and the reconsideration, and he ought not to be allowed to push this matter. I know the Chair’s ruling on the point, and petitions were read and I make no point on that, but I make the point that he was lost on his own act and he ought to stay lost.

THE PRESIDENT– It does not seem to the Chair that the gentleman could waive his motion to reconsider by merely submitting a motion to postpone the consideration of that identical motion.

MR. GRAHAM‑ If the Chair will permit me, I will withdraw the point of order. I now move a reconsideration of the vote whereby the article on judiciary was ordered to a third reading, and upon that (I do not care to discuss it) the purpose is well known, I move the previous question and call for the ayes and noes.

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega)‑I desire to make a point of order—

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The gentleman will wait a moment please. Let the Chair state the question. The gentleman from


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Hale moves to reconsider the vote whereby the article of the Judicial Department was ordered engrossed and to a third reading, and upon that moves the previous question.

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

MR. GRAHAM (Talladega) ‑That the report of Municipal Corporations is a special order for this hour, and cannot be displaced except upon a suspension of the rules.

THE  PRESIDENT‑ The Chair would rule that a motion to reconsider under the rules, has precedence of the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations. The Chair will overrule the point of order.

The question is shall the main question he now put?  The main question was ordered.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The question is upon the motion to reconsider and upon that the ayes and noes are demanded. Is the call sustained.

The call was sustained.

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

AYES

Messrs. President,

Haley,

Opp,

Barefield,

Handley,

O’Rear,

Browne,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Parker (Cullman),

Cardon,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Pearce,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Howze,

Reese,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Inge,

Reynolds, of Henry,

Carnathon,

Jackson,

Rogers (Lowndes),

Cobb,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Samford,

Coleman, of Greene,

Kirkland,

Sanford,

Coleman, of Walker,

Knight,

Selheimer,

deGraffenreid,

Lomax,

Whiteside,

Eley,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Williams (Barbour),

Eyster,

Macdonald,

Williams (Marengo),

Ferguson,

Martin,

Williams (Elmore),

Glover,

Norwood,

Wilson (Clarke),

Grayson,

O’Neal (Lauderdale)

Winn,

Greer, of Calhoun,

O’Neill, of Jefferson,

TOTAL– 50

NOES

Altman,

Bethune,

Bulger,

Ashcraft,

Blackwell,

Byars,

Banks,

Boone,

Cofer,

Beddow,

Brooks,

Craig,


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Cunningham,

Malone,

Porter,

Davis, of Etowah,

McMillan, of Baldwin,

Rogers (Sumter),

Dent,

McMillan (Wilcox),

Sanders,

Espy,

Merrill,

Sloan,

Fletcher,

Miller (Marengo),

Smith (Mobile),

Foshee,

Miller (Wilcox),

Smith, Mac. A.,

Gilmore,

Mulkey,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Graham, of Talladega,

Murphree,

Sorrell,

Hood,

Norman,

Spragins,

Jones, of Bibb,

Palmer,

Walker,

Jones, of Hale,

Pettus,

Watts,

Kyle,

Phillips,

White,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

Pitts,

TOTAL– 50

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Almon,

Howell,

NeSmith,

Beavers,

Jenkins,

Pillans,

Burnett,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Renfro,

Case,

King,

Reynolds (Chilton),

Cornwall,

Ledbetter,

Robinson,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Leigh,

Sollie,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Locklin,

Waddell,

Greer, of Perry,

Long, of Butler,

Weatherly,

Henderson,

Moody,

Willet,

Hinson,

Morrisette,

PAIRS

AYES                                                             NOES

Bartlett,

Burns,

roctor,

Chapman,

Sentell,

Pitts,

Duke,

Freeman,

Harrison,

Oates,

Grant,

Parker (Elmore),

Searcy,

Maxwell,

Kirk,

Spears,

Long, of Walker,

Studdard,

Vaughan,

Hodges,

Foster,

Weakley,

Stewart,

Tayloe,

Wilson (Washington),

Thompson,

And the motion to reconsider was lost by a vote of 50 ayes and 50 noes (Loud and prolonged applause).

THE PRESIDENT– The special order for consideration is the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Mr. Boone sought recognition.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑I had the floor.

THE PRESIDENT‑ The recollection of the Chair is that the gentleman from Greene had the floor and was discussing the question when the Convention recommitted the subject he was discussing to the Committee on Municipal Corporation.

MR. COLEMAN‑I was discussing it, and time was allowed then to say whether the amendment would be accepted.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ Thereupon a motion was made and carried to recommit that amendment to your committee.

MR. BOONE‑ The committee authorizes me to offer this substitute for Section 1 of the report which was tabled yesterday, and I offer it.

The substitute read as follows:

Substitute for Section 1 of the article on Municipal Corporations so that Section 1 will read as follows:

Municipal Corporations shall have the right to sue and shall be subject to suit in the courts of this State.

MR. BOONE‑ The committee—

MR. DENT‑I rise to a point of inquiry. As I understand it, the Convention tabled Section 1. I do not see how you can very well offer a substitute for a section that is on the table.

THE PRESIDENT‑ It could not be done. The only proper parliamentary motion would be to take section 1 from the table, with the notice that the gentleman proposes to offer as a substitute this section, if the Convention takes it from the table.

MR. BOONE‑ Then I make the motion to take Section 1 from the table, and will offer this substitute for it.

A reading of the substitute was called for and the substitute read.

THE PRESIDENT‑ Now the motion of the gentleman from Mobile is to take from the table Section 1, and he gives notice that if the Convention takes it from the table, he will offer as a substitute the section which has just been read, and which is recommended by the committee.

Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for, and by a vote of 46 ayes and 25 noes, the motion to take Section 1 from the table prevailed.

MR. BOONE‑ Mr. President, the substitute of the Committee is introduced for the simple purpose of, making it plain in the


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

fundamental law of this State that a municipal corporation can be sued and shall be subject to suit, and why do we think that that is material? Because if you will turn to the Declaration of Rights, you will find a provision in there that the State of Alabama shall never made a defendant in any suit at law or in equity. We think this is material to put in the Constitution because the converse of this proposition appears in the declaration of rights in reference to the State, which may be said to be the parents patria of these, its children, the municipal corporations of the State; they are all subject to the State; the State brought them into being, and the State can abolish them. now, we think that this does not create any new cause of action. It was in the Constitution before that all corporations should be sued and should be subject to suit in all the courts of this State, and we just simply say that municipal corporations shall have the right to sue, and shall be subject to suits in the courts of this State.

MR. O’NEAL (Lauderdale)– That does not apply to municipal corporations.

MR. BOONE– But, sir–

MR. HOOD– Haven’t the courts of this State held that the word “corporation,” as used in the present Constitution, had not reference to municipal corporation?

MR. BOONE– Yes sir; and that is the very reason, gentlemen of the Convention that we want to put it in the Constitution, that Municipal Corporations can be sued.

MR. HOOD– One other question. Will not that section authorize the garnishment of the revenues of the city on a judgment?

MR. BOONE– It will not in my opinion.

MR. HOOD– The Supreme Court—

MR. BOONE– I am perfectly familiar with the principle the Supreme Court has announced that a garnishment on judgment was a suit.

MR. HOOD– Now would not this authorize the garnishing of the revenues of the city?

MR. BOONE– I understand. It seems to be the view that gentleman constituting this committee are the weakest body that has yet appeared before this Convention, but at the same time with great deference to the learning of the gentlemen, I say that nobody who will read this section would content that it confers a right because it says it shall be subject to suits in the courts of the State or that it would abolish or change the decisions of the courts on questions of public policy, as to when a municipal corporation should be sued, and—


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. HOOD‑ We have nothing in the present Constitution authorizing suits against municipal corporations, have we?

MR. BOONE ‑Not expressly, and that is why we want it in there. We don't want it to put in the power of the General Assembly to say that no municipal corporation shall be sued, because we think that in carrying out the governmental functions, if they trespass upon the rights of a citizen, or wrong a citizen, they should be liable to suit.

MR. WALKER (Madison)‑Would not a provision of this kind raise the very serious question as to the power of the Legislature to limit the right of bringing any kind of suit by garnishment or otherwise against a municipal corporation, and isn't it dangerous on that account?

MR. BOONE‑I would ask the gentleman if he thinks it dangerous for the Legislature to provide that a suit shall not be brought against a county unless it shall have been first filed with the Board of County Commissioners. There are other sections which authorize the bringing of a suit against a county.

MR. WALKER‑ My answer to that is, under the present law, regulations of that sort are left to the Legislature. I do not want to put in the Constitution, that such regulation will not be left to the Legislature.

MR. BOONE‑ Do you contend that this section that says suits are to be brought would be any inhibition on the power of the Legislature to bring this suit?

MR. WALKER– I do not go that far.

MR. BOONE‑ It is a good thing that we have freedom of expression among the delegates, and that the fact that a man has held a superior position in life to another, his opinion has not always got to go. Now, gentlemen on behalf of the Committee, I ask that this section be adopted.

MR. HOOD‑I certainly did not intend to question the profound learning of the gentleman who preceded me, nor to question the learning and ability of the committee, that has presented this question, but, Mr. President, it certainly does leave the question in doubt as to whether the Legislature could regulate suits against cities, should this provision be placed in the Constitution. It is undoubtedly true under the present Constitution that cities and municipalities may sue and be sued. The gentleman confesses that proposition. He admits to the Convention that there is no provision in the present Constitution authorizing suits against cities or authorizing cities and towns to bring suits. Then why the necessity of placing a provision in this Constitution which is open to construction by the courts of the State, and certainly will leave the question in grave doubt?


3758                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. BOONE‑ May I ask a question? Could the Legislature take away the right to sue and be sued now?

MR. HOOD‑ Not if this provision is placed in the Constitution.

MR. BOONE‑ But if we do not put it in there?

MR. HOOD‑ Probably it could, lout certainly there is no body of men that will ever gather in the legislative halls of Alabama would be so foolish as to take away from the cities and towns of this State the power of suing and being sued. Then why encumber this article with that section, which is to say the least of it doubtful in its construction. The question propounded by the distinguished gentleman from Madison, no doubt has appealed to every member of this Convention.

Will that not authorize a judgment creditor of a municipal corporation to bring suit by garnishment and thereby reach the revenues and income of the various cities and towns in this State?

MR. BOONE‑ May I ask the gentleman a question? If a garnishment cannot now be made against a city?

MR. HOOD‑ It cannot.

MR. BOONE‑ Do you mean to say that a writ cannot issue and the question is not whether or not the income is necessary, or if it is a part of the taxable revenues of the city. Do you deny that proposition?

MR. HOOD‑ It has been decided by the courts of this State that it was against public policy to garnish the revenues of a city, but the court has held that by a process of mandamus, you could reach the surplus funds of a city.

MR. BOONE‑ And they have not held that a garnishment would lie.

MR. HOOD– To reach the income or revenues of a city?

MR. BOONE‑ On land or property of a city, which was not used for the purpose of carrying on the government?

MR. HOOD‑ It can be reached probably by process. I am not familiar with any such case that the gentleman refers to, but certainly it has been uniformly held in Alabama, and every other State in the Union, so far as I knew, that you cannot reach the revenues of a city by process of garnishment or other summary processes or proceedings. Therefore, Mr. President, I move to lay the amendment on the table.

MR. COLEMAN‑I hope the gentleman will withdraw that.

Mr. Graham (Talladega) took the chair.


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CONSTITUTIONAL  CONVENTION, 1901

The motion to table was withdrawn.

MR. COLEMAN‑ Mr. President and delegates of the Convention. this is an untried innovation upon existing law, and to my mind, it is attended with very serious consequences. The question propounded by the member of the committee demonstrates itself the danger to be encountered by the adoption of this section. He asks the question, could not the Legislature pass a law prohibiting suits against a city, were it not for this section that he proposes to introduce in the organic law. Now if this section prohibits the Legislature from passing a law which will prevent suits being instituted against cities, where is the line to be drawn, where the Legislature can prescribe what suits shall be brought and what shall not be brought. The very proposition and the very question of the gentleman who represents the committee demonstrates on its face the danger of putting in the organic law such a provision as this. Under existing laws, cities may be sued in all proper cases regulated by statute.

Put it in the organic law that cities shall be sued and shall sue, and who is to determine the discretion of the Legislature if the Legislature can say that this suit or that suit or the other suit shall not be brought, then this section which he proposes to introduce in the organic law, is wholly inoperative because the power would still be in the Legislature to prescribe what suits shall be brought, but if the Legislature cannot prescribe those suits because of the introduction of this section, it shows upon its face the extent to which litigation may be instituted against a city. I appeal to this Convention to consider the danger of embarking upon new fields of legislation. There is not a case that can be imagined at this time where a city ought to be sued where the provision is not ample and there should be no such limitation of restriction put in the organic law of the State, not at least until we have further light from the courts than we have at this time.

MR. WHITE‑I heartily approve of the section proposed by the Committee, and I have heard no good reason advanced why that section should not be adopted. Under the law of Alabama today, towns and cities may sue and be sued. Well under that law, giving them the right to sue and be sued, you cannot take from them the revenues necessary to carry on the municipal government. In other words, placing this in the organic laws does not give any other rights than those which are now possessed either by the city or those having claims against the city, the only difference is that it makes it permanent.

MR. COLEMAN‑ Don't you know that where a city may be sued, is provided by statute.

MR. WHITE‑ No, I don't know anything of the kind.


3760                  

OFFICIAL  PROCEEDINGS

MR. COLEMAN‑I would like to know then, where you get the power?

MR. WHITE‑ By law.

MR. COLEMAN ‑What law?

MR. WHITE‑ The law of the State.

MR. COLEMAN ‑Isn't that statutory law?

MR. WHITE‑ Of course, I had not understood you. The right to sue and be sued is given not by the Constitution, but by statute. It it is right by statute, why is it not right by the Constitution.

MR. COLEMAN‑ Will you permit another question?

MR. WHITE– I have not the time, but never mind. I will answer you.

MR. COLEMAN‑ Does the statute provide for the instances in which a city may be sued?

MR. WHITE– No, it says may sue and be sued, and leaves it to the common law to say wherein they are liable. That is the law of the land. They simply may be shed in cases where there is a cause of action and this does not create any cause of action, simply gives a right to sue in cases where there is a cause of action, and it takes away from the Legislature the right to deprive a citizen of the right to bring suit against a city where he has a cause of action. We are just entering upon a period when municipal corporations are becoming the owners of public utilities. We are just entering upon an era when they own the water works, lighting plants, sewers, and a vast amount of other things. In other words, they are taking the place of other corporations, and individuals in supplying the public with public utilities. I say it is right when they contract liabilities in connection with these things, to give a mail the right to bring suit whose property or whose labor they have taken. Now the great cities of Alabama may soon get control of the Legislature of Alabama and the citizens may be at the mercy of the powerful cities in the State, and it is proper and right that in the organic law of the State, we shall implant a principle which cannot be destroyed by legislative action, that whenever a cause of action exists against a city, that the citizen shall have the right to maintain a suit thereon. What right had the city of Birmingham to buy $100,000 worth of lumber and then to have the Legislature to say that the man who sold it cannot sue for it? What right had the city of Birmingham to put the stone in the city building, and say to the quarry men, we shall not pay you, and defy you, because the Legislature says you shall not sue us. What right has the city of Birmingham to throw slush and sewerage over half of the county of Jefferson and Tuscaloosa, and the man


3761

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

whose home is ruined by the emptying of the sewerage upon him and his property has no redress on earth? I say it ought to be written in the organic law of Alabama, and written there to stay, and I hope the section will be adopted. I regard it as the most important section that has been reported by that committee and I now move the previous question upon it.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The gentleman from Jefferson moves the previous question upon the substitute, as I understand now before the House. The question is shall the main question be now put?

The main question was ordered.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM ‑The question is upon the adoption of the substitute.

Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for, and a further vote being taken, there were 40 ayes and 43 noes, and the substitute was lost.

MR. WEAKLEY‑ On yesterday, Section 2 of the report on Municipal Corporations was laid on the table.

I now move that Section 2 be taken from the table and referred to the Committee on Corporations, and that this Committee be discharged from further consideration of the section.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The gentleman from Lauderdale moves that Section 2 which was on yesterday laid on the table, be taken from the table and referred to the Committee on Corporations.

MR. COLEMAN‑ Permit a parliamentary inquiry. As I understand, Section 1 was taken from the table, and a substitute offered for it.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM ‑It was reconsidered and a substitute was offered and lost, the present occupant of the Chair understood from the President.

MR. COLEMAN‑ But it had to be taken from the table for a substitute to be offered to it.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The former occupant of the Chair  notified me that the question had been reconsidered for the purpose of offering a substitute.

MR. COLEMAN‑ That brought Section 1 before the Convention, and the substitute was defeated, and that leaves Section 1 before the Convention.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The gentleman is right.

MR. COLEMAN‑I move to lay Section 1 on the table.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Upon a vote being taken the motion to table prevailed.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The gentleman from Lauderdale moves to take Section 2 from the table and refer it to the Committee on Corporations.

A vote being taken the section was referred.

MR. WEAKLEY‑I move that Section 4 of the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations, which was on yesterday laid upon the table, be taken froth the table for the purpose of offering a substitute. I ask that the substitute be read, before the vote is taken.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The question is on the motion of the gentleman from Lauderdale.

MR. HOWZE‑ My recollection is that that section was referred back to the Committee.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The Journal shows that it was laid upon the table. The question is upon the substitute which the gentleman desires to be read before a vote is taken.

The secretary read the substitute as follows:

"No county, city, town, taxing district or other municipal corporation shall be authorized or permitted to grant any franchise or privilege for a term of years unless the application for such franchise or privilege shall have been duly advertised and bids received therefor publicly and shall award the same to the highest and best bidder, but it shall have the right to reject any and all bids. This section shall not apply to a trunk railway nor to cities or towns or other municipal corporations having less than 2,500 population."

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The question will be upon the motion of taking Section 4 from the table.

The motion to take from the table prevailed.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑ The section which has just been read, is in order.

MR. BOONE‑ The object of the committee in putting this, section into the Constitution is for the purpose of preventing the general councils of cities and towns from giving away valuable franchises and privileges, which belong to the public, without any consideration therefor. That is in the charter of nearly every important city in the Union, and it is in the Constitution of Kentucky, and we thing it is important to put it in the Constitution of this State to prevent the bartering away by Councils of franchises of the people without any consideration whatever.


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MR. COBB‑ Why do you exempt towns under 5,000 inhabitants?

MR. BOONE‑ We did that because of the fact that many members of this Convention said they did not think it wise. The  smaller towns wanting these things to come there, do not want them shut up and he prevented from granting these franchises if  they see fit. We did that in deference to the opinion of many members of this Convention.  When we get to a town the size of Montgomery, Mobile, and Birmingham‑where they are asked to give franchises for oil pipes or putting down gas, or the thousand and one utilities of a public nature‑it is to prevent the giving away or granting of these valuable franchises in perpetuity for nothing. This committee is trying to have our Constitution uniform to the Constitution of other States. In Philadelphia the other day. A franchise was sold for $600,000, and so, it is in all the larger cities, in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Louisville, Cleveland, Pittsburg and in Mobile, we have in our charter that they cannot give away any more franchises. The delegate from Lauderdale (Mr. O'Neal) introduced substantially the same ordinance before the committee. We thought it better to provide exactly the machinery, the mode by which it should be done, and how the bid should be secured, but the Convention differed with us, and tabled it.

Now we put in the Kentucky provision, except we do not put in any term of years. The Kentucky provision reads as follows:

No county, city, town, taxing district or other municipality shall be authorized or permitted to grant any franchise or privilege, or make any contract in reference thereto for a term exceeding 20 years. (We have left out any term of years) "on privilege for a term of years such municipality shall first, after due advertisement receive bids therefor publicly and award the same to the highest and best bidder, but it shall have the right to reject any or all bids. This section shall not apply to a trunk railway." And the committee has added "nor to cities or towns or other municipal corporations having less than 5,000 inhabitants."

We think that it is in the interests of the people of the State, and we ask the Convention to consider it favorably.

MR. DENT– What do you understand the Committee to mean by "trunk railroad?"

MR. O'NEAL– That is the word used in the Kentucky Constitution.

MR. BOONE‑ Yes.

MR. O'NEAL– I would like to ask—


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. BOONE‑ Now just one minute. I have not a duplex mind, and I will answer the gentleman from Barbour first. My understanding is it means a trunk line running through a town, with lateral branches or switches to go to the yard or workshops or warehouses, diverging out from the main trunk.   Take the Louisville and Nashville, where it runs through Mobile from One Mile Creek on southwardly, its tracks and its necessary switches are a part of the trunk line, but if it wanted to build a line we will say out St. Anthony Street to the western limits of the city, that would not be a trunk line. That is my understanding. It seems to me to have a well defined meaning. Now I will answer the gentleman from Lauderdale.

MR. O'NEAL‑Isn't it any necessary part of a line?

MR. BOONE‑Yes, any necessary part, necessary switches, etc., which are a complement of the trunk line. Now the gentleman from Mobile?

MR. BROOKS‑I want to ask my colleague if the substitute submitted by the Committee contains any provisions as to the mode of compensating for franchises given?

MR. BOONE‑No sir, I think that would be a matter of legislation. We attempted to go into that question in the Article which was reported by the Committee, but the wisdom of the Convention tabled that, and now we put in general terms that can be filled out by the Legislature.

MR. BROOKS‑Then as I understand, instead of granting a franchise upon a percentage basis, a city may grant it for a lump sum?

MR. BOONE‑Yes, or in such manner as in carrying this Article into execution the Legislature might regulate.

MR. BROOKS‑There is another question that I desire to ask my colleague. Under this substitute, it leaves out the length of time that a franchise might be given. I want to ask if a corporation applying for a franchise, if they could not get enough votes in the Council, could not get a franchise for a hundred years.

MR. BOONE‑If it were not for another Section which my colleague Mr. Smith moved to amend yesterday, which comes up, subsequent to this, and which limits the time. The Committee suggested twenty years and he moved to make it fifty years, and that comes up subsequently. We cannot put it all in one Section.

MR. HOWZE‑Is it in the Section as you announced it?

MR. BOONE‑It is not, sir, it is not in the substitute as read.

MR. HOWZE‑You said in the substitute.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. BOONE‑It is in another Section, it is not in the substitute, we took it out.

MR. MURPHREE‑I would like to offer an amendment so as to not confine it to cities of 5,000, but to put it at 6,000.

MR. BOONE‑The Committee will accept that.

MR. O'NEAL‑I object to that, I think where a town has 6,000 inhabitants the franchises are worth something.

MR. BOONE‑On behalf of the Committee, I am authorized to accept the amendment.

MR. O'NEAL‑I object.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The Clerk will read the amendment of the gentleman from Pike.

The amendment was read as follows:

"Amend the substitute so as not to apply to towns and cities of less than 6,000 inhabitants."

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The gentleman asks unanimous consent, but the gentleman from Lauderdale objects to the amendment.

MR. MURPHREE‑I offer the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑I recognize the gentleman from Pike.

MR. MURPHREE‑I do not wish to make a speech, I simply wish to offer the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The question will be upon the amendment of the gentleman from Pike.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑In my judgment no article in this Section on Municipal Corporations that has as much intrinsic merit as the one now under consideration. Ambitious towns, especially those that are just starting and are looking forward to metropolitan proportions, with no money in the treasury, but with broad and splendid streets, unilluminated, and untraversed by street railways, are ambitious for these utilities, and often franchises are given to corporations for the purposes of illuminating the town, and streets railways, and so forth and so on. When a town is in its infancy, and therefore the franchises at that time is not worth much, but in the course of time, the city of Birmingham, for instance, in ten or fifteen years, a franchise that was given, say as a bonus to enterprising capitalists to build a street railway a few blocks, with the right, however, to all the streets of the city, or to a gas company, in the course of fifteen or twenty years, would be worth, in all probability, a half million or a million dollars. I am quite sure


3766                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

that today the city of Birmingham or Mobile or Montgomery, could sell the franchises they have given away,  for a million dollars in each of these cities. In my judgment, there is no more important limitation that can be placed upon city authorities than the giving away of franchises belonging to the people. The late Capt. Enoch Ensley, Mr. President, who was a capitalist and developer in this State for many years, had an idea in regard to the city of Ensley, which was named after him and his purpose was that all franchises should be sold or that the city should take stock in all these public utilities to be used for the education of the children. He had statistics, which I have not at my disposal, showing that had these franchises been disposed of for a consideration, a part of the revenues or a part of the stock of the corporations in the great cities of this country, it would practically remove the necessity for municipal taxation. Why, Mr. President, it is outrageous for city authorities to give away these important franchises, and I am opposed to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike. Very few cities start with 6,000 population, very few, indeed, and I do not know of any and yet these franchises can be given away by these cities in their infancy and when they shall have reached the limit proposed by this amendment of 6,000, why then it is too late; the franchises have been given for these public utilities, and therefore it would be of no effect. Now, it ought to be made to apply to the whole business, to towns, cities and villages, but in deference to the Committee, I am willing to yield a certain number on that line, but I would suggest that not over 2,000 or 2,500. Take my own, for instance, today in its infancy with only one street railway, with no gas and other practical utilities, that would be worth in the course of twenty years $200,000 or $250,000, maybe a half million.  It would not come within the limits of the Constitution and therefore all these things could be given away. I am opposed to the city authorities having the power to give away hundreds of thousands of dollars of valuable franchises, and for that reason, Mr. President, I shall move to lay on the table the substitute offered by the gentleman from Pike, with the view of making a motion to limit it to 2,000. I will ask, is it capable of further amendment? Is an amendment now in order?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑No sir, not at this time. Section 4 was taken from the table, a substitute was offered, and an amendment to that, and another amendment to that is not in order.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑Then I move to lay it on the table.

MR. MERRILL‑I ask the gentleman to withdraw the motion to table.

MR. DENT‑Won't you withdraw it?

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑Will the gentleman renew it?


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CONSTITUTIONAL  CONVENTION, 1901

MR. DENT‑No, sir, I will make no promise.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑I have no desire to limit the discussion upon the question.

MR. MERRILL‑Give us a change to be heard and to discuss it. Withdraw it.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑I will withdraw it, but I want an opportunity to offer an amendment at some place limiting it to twenty-five hundred.

MR. COBB‑I move to lay it on the table.

MR. MERRILL‑I think I have the floor.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑I recognized the gentleman from Barbour. When the gentleman from Jefferson withdrew his motion, the Chair recognized the gentleman from Barbour.

MR. MERRILL‑It strikes me that the adoption of this section will be a thrust at local self‑government. It is my impression that cities and towns ought to be allowed to manage their own affairs, and that no such restriction ought to be placed upon them.  Why is it that they are prevented in this manner from managing their own affairs? Where is the necessity for it? It will operate very largely to the damage of some of the cities in Alabama. To illustrate, suppose a city has but one line of railroad, or one corporation controlling all the lines leading into that city. It matters not whether the city be, young or old, that railroad and that corporation is squeezing the life out of that city, and it is the desire of the people of that city to obtain another line there and this provision in the Constitution, Mr. President, would cut them off from the right they now possess to give this competing line an opportunity to come in even by a donation of the privilege of the right of way over their streets. I know the situation, Mr. President, because the town that I came from is in that condition now, and I ask the gentlemen upon this floor to stay their hands and not place upon us the shackles and prevent us from obtaining other roads that will assist us in our natural and proper growth.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑Will the gentleman permit a question? Does the gentleman from Barbour argue that this section gives to any particular corporation an exclusive franchise?

MR. MERRILL‑Oh no, no, of course not, you do not apprehend my position at all.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑Then has not the city of Eufaula the power to give additional franchises, if paid for?

MR. SMITH‑I do not like to explain personal matters, but to illustrate the situation: The city of Eufaula has three railroads all under one corporation and we are now making an attempt, and


3768                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

the prospect of success is fine, for another road to come in there, and the people in a mass meeting, and the City Council in its meeting, have agreed to donate not only the right of way, but, to give them terminal facilities in that city, and I say it would be of more benefit to the people to have that other road than all the other franchises would be North. It gives the power to the corporation now there to come in and bid against this corporation that is now coming.

MR. BOONE‑ I would like to ask the gentleman a question.  Under the last Federal Census is not Eufaula a town of less than five thousand inhabitants?

MR. MERRILL– I understand what you are striking at, but they have a proposition here to reduce it to two thousand. I asked the committee to put in six thousand.

MR. BOONE‑The committee accepted it.

MR. MERRILL– But there is a disposition on the part of some of the delegates to cut it down to 2,000, but it is wrong in principle, because I am in favor of local self government, and if the authorities elected by the people to run and take care of their municipality are so corrupt, or can be influenced so as to sacrifice these great rights belonging to the city, it is a matter for the people that elected them, and ought not to be put in here in the way of a prohibition. Why, it would enable these corporations that are there, who have the power and who have the means of bidding up to a pint which would exclude all other railroads from coming in there, and I ask the gentlemen of this Convention to consider the matter well before taking such action as will cut off from some of the cities that are attempting to grow, though not young now, but are being throttled by corporations already there. Give them a chance to get in their place, to break down monopoly and give competition, and thereby benefit the people who live there.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I would like to hear the substitute read in order that I may act intelligently.

The Clerk again read the substitute.

MR. KYLE (Etowah)– The town I represent is in the condition of Eufaula. We have four railroads there and we want another, which we believe we are apt to secure. If the limitation is reduced to two thousand, as proposed by the gentleman from Jefferson. we will be unable to give then, the right of way through the town.

MR. O'NEAL‑Why not?

MR. KYLE‑Because the other roads will bid up and cut them off.

MR. O'NEAL‑It does not apply to railroads.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. KYLE‑It does not apply to trunk railroads, but they must be in towns of less than 5,000.  We  have forty six hundred people and therefore it would cut us out. Then the idea of requiring smaller towns to sell their franchises is perfectly absurd.  We want these utilities. We cannot grow or prosper without these utilities and if investors are required to come in and pay for them, the result will be we will not get them. Therefore, we are opposed  to any measure that cuts us out of electric light plants, railroads and street car lines in any of the smaller towns of the country.  My friend, Cunningham, is from the town of Bessemer and many street car lines permeate his city under charters now, and therefore he is safe. We are not in that position. We want more roads and better roads.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑Does not the substitute expressly say that it does not apply to trunk lines of railroads. That is what it says.

MR. O'NEAL‑In any kind of town?

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑That is what it says: The argument of the gentlemen from Barbour ought to defeat it if those were not expressly excepted.

MR. MERRILL‑I desire to ask how long a road has to be to be a "trunk line?"

MR. DENT‑Possibly, as the amendment now stands, it might not affect the town in which I am so much interested, but actually if the amendment proposed by the gentleman from Jefferson is offered, it would. As stated by my colleague, this is evidently a blow at local self-government. That is a recognized Democratic doctrine. There is a great disposition among people and it was the disposition of our friends across the Mason and Dixon line, to undertake to be guardians for the people, and tell them what they ought to do, and how they ought to do. I am sorry to see any such spirit as that creeping in among the Democrats of Alabama.   Now, Mr. President, in the Convention of 1875, the gentleman who represented the County of Walker, made a speech here in which he said that everybody and everything ought to be allowed to do as they pleased with their own truck, and to some extent when there was no corruption in it, and no fraud in it. I think that is a pretty good doctrine to stand up to. Now, take the question of franchises as to letting the streets. We have a corporation in our town that has the privilege of using the streets for the purpose of lighting them. The service is not entirely satisfactory. Under this clause, which is now under consideration, suppose we wanted a rival company to come in there. Before we could grant them the privileges of the streets for that purpose, the right would have to be put up and sold to the highest bidder and it might enable the corporation that is already there, whose service is not satisfactory, to pay such


3770                  

OFFICIAL  PROCEEDINGS

a price as to cut off that competition. Now, I understand there is an effort being made to get a new street railway in the city of Montgomery, and if there is any force in the resolutions offered yesterday by the gentleman from Walker, it looks as if they need it. What sort of position would the city of Montgomery be in when they come to offer this franchise if this clause is in force before they could grant it?

MR. WEATHERLY‑Would not that also apply to new gas companies and water companies?

MR. DENT‑Yes, sir, certainly. I was coming to all that. Any of these franchises. But suppose the law was in force, how could the city of Montgomery, unless it was put up to the highest bidder, secure a competing line for a street railway. Why, the one here might, as a matter of life and death, as a matter of money, bid more than the one coming in could afford to bid, and it looks to me that the whole thing is vicious, and I move that the section and amendments be laid upon the table.

MR. BOONE‑I object to the word vicious, because it seems to be patented or registered here.

MR. DENT‑I stand corrected, I should not have used it.

MR. BOONE‑Everything they don't want is vicious, vile or dangerous.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The gentleman from Mobile is out of order.

MR. DENT‑I beg the gentleman's pardon, that was a slip of the tongue. I meant to say wrong in principle.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The question is to lay the section and substitutes on the table.

Upon a vote of 51 ayes and 26 noes, Section 4 with the substitute and amendment were laid upon the table.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The question recurs on Section 10.

MR. BOONE‑Section 4 was taken from the table.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑But by this vote it is laid on the table again.

MR. DeGRAFFENREID ‑I have an amendment to Section 10.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑Section 10 is next in order.

MR. O'NEAL‑An amendment is not in order. The section has not been read.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. DeGRAFFENREID ‑I ask that the section be read.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑I call attention to the minority report to Section 10.

The Secretary read Section 10 (with the minority report) as follows:

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

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

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

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


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such city, other than law securing and enforcing the payment of the debts of such city.

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

MINORITY REPORT

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

The General Assembly shall have authority to incorporate cities, towns and villages by a general law which shall grant to all municipalities the same powers, rights and privileges granted, on account of population, situation, condition, the pursuits of the people, or for any reason whatever.  The General Assembly shall grant to no municipality or community, the right to establish or amend its own charter, but all municipal charters shall be granted or amended by special law or formed under a general law equally applicable to all communities. Provided, that no charter or amendment thereof shall be valid, until it shall be accepted or ratified by a majority of the qualified electors residing within the limits of such municipality and voting at an election held for that purpose.

MR. ASHCRAFT (during the reading)‑I rise to a point of order. The reading of the report of the minority is not in order.  The proposition just submitted, and not the substitute offered by the minority is the only thing in order.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑I thought that was what the Clerk was reading. I am informed by the Clerk that the specific article is not set out, except in this general way. The Clerk will proceed.

MR. SAMFORD (Montgomery) ‑ I offer that substitute which has been read.


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MR. DeGRAFFENREID ‑I desire to offer an amendment.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The gentleman from Montgomery has the floor.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑ I will ask to he allowed to introduce an amendment.

MR. SANFORD‑After I get through, Mr. President, the distinguished chairman of the committee, when he said that municipalities in this country were growing to be very important, was right, and if he had gone further and said that the municipalities in this country were a great danger to rights and property of the people, he would not have been wrong.  Of all the dangers to the people today, the powers granted and exercised, or usurped by the municipalities are the most to be dreaded. Under the pretense of one policy or another, we have taken full possession of the communities that dwell within their limits. Now, my fellow delegates, of all the governments that obtain in America,  the most important to the citizen is the municipal government. Your treaties with regard to the Philippine Islands or Porto Rico or tariffs, or any other government, or the acts of Congress or the acts of the Legislature, even do not touch so nearly the people living in these municipal corporations. It regulates them in everything. It even tells them that they shall not spit in a particular part of the street. It regulates what they shall do for their own improvements. They cannot make a side-walk without being under their special supervision. They cannot make a pavement unless it is done according to the rules, laws and directions of the Mayor and Council, or the City Engineer. It has become a source of oppression to the people.  They are great evils, instead of great benefits, and as an evidence, gentlemen, of the great truth that whatever is planted grows unless it is destroyed. These cities originally were intended as places of refuge from oppression of great wrongs of marauding gangs of robbers.

MR. FITTS (Tuscaloosa)‑Don't they make the property owner pay for putting down a rock pavement, and then fine him the cost of the delimitation of the foundry for spitting on it. (Laughter.)

MR. SANFORD‑Yes, sir, they do that, or if he spits in a public conveyance he is fined for it. It goes even to the regulation of his morals.  They may make it necessary for you to tip your hat to a lady with your left hand instead of the right. Now let me say that at one time they were a source of great protection to the people, but they have become a menace to their rights and to their property.  Now this particular ordinance No. 10 says you shall divide these great dangers into four classes; classify them.  For what purpose?  Why do you want the city of Montgomery put into four distinct ranks or orders. Do you wish to give those


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of one rank more power and right and privilege than those, of another? Why should those in number one rank have more rights than those in number two rank, or in number three or four. Why should a city like Montgomery, of 13,000 white people and 17,000 darkies or negroes, have more rights than Eufaula or Greensboro or Troy. Why should you make: the classes if you make them to burden them when the people in those cities object to those classifications. If it is for the purpose of giving them rights, privileges and liberties which are not bestowed upon other portions of the State, then the remnant of the State object to the discrimination and therefore in that case there should be no classification.  That is one part of Section 10.  The other part is cities having twenty thousand or more than twenty thousand inhabitants should make their own charters. There is no gentleman in this Convention but who knows that charters are nothing more than the collection of great prerogatives.  Franchises were formerly in the hands of the king, in monarchial governments, in our country they are in the hands of the State. Now, why should these franchises belonging to the State be conferred upon cities having 20,000 or more inhabitants, and not upon one having ten thousand or less. Why should you make a discrimination of the rights and powers and liberties and privileges among our people anywhere in this country.  Shall Montgomery with thirty thousand inhabitants have more rights than Huntsville with ten or Florence with eight or Eufaula with six or seven or Greensboro with two thousand? Why should they have more right? Have they any more virtues, except in proportion to their numbers, than  any other community in the State of Alabama? Why should you make this discrimination, this distinction? Why not make it a general law?  I admit that a city of twenty thousand population may have more power. Why? It has more muscle, and it may have more wealth, but should not have more rights and privileges or liberties than a city of two thousand or of fifteen hundred population. I am standing here for the people, and not for privileged communities. Why look at the wrongness of allowing a city council to make its own charter?  It appoints nine men who have been in town long enough (five years) they say for the purpose of being indoctrinated by the aldermen (and they are not always men of heroic virtue or Roman civilization) but many of them are insolvent and bankrupt in fortune and in character (laughter.) And yet these men are to apply to the Circuit judge and ask him to appoint nine men who have lived here not less than five years and make a charter.  Many of them are incompetent. Look at the charters which have afflicted the people of Alabama in the different parts of the State, proposed by councilmen, or proposed by committees they have appointed.  Some of them are excessively oppressive. Some of them say you cannot walk the streets without paying your tax, and so much for the privilege of going from your house to the market, or from your place of employment or labor. These are all wrong. Give the


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cities the right to make their own charters. Mark you, this says "subject only to the Constitution" which will prevent them from establishing great hells in their place. It does not say "contrary only to the laws of the Constitution and upon this subject the Constitution is profoundly silent. What will prevent them from establishing pool rooms? Gift enterprises are forbidden, but other enterprises of the same kind‑cockpits, race tracks, prize fighting establishment and everything that pertains to immorality.

The President resumed. the chair.

THE PRESIDENT‑The time of the gentleman has expired.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑ I have an amendment to offer.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows:

Provided, that nothing contained in the Constitution shall affect the charter of any town, city or village now in existence in which charter there is contained a provision against the sale, exchange, barter or giving away of spirituous, vinous or malt liquors, intoxicating drinks, liquors or beverages, or in which there is any regulation of the sale or giving away of spirituous, vinous, or malt liquors, intoxicating drinks, liquors or beverages, but such charter of such towns shall remain as they now exist until they are altered changed or vacated in the manner provided by law at the time of the adoption of this Constitution.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑ Mr. President and delegates of the Convention, that amendment is simply introduced for the purpose of allowing, so far as I am concerned, the town of Greensboro to retain its present charter. I do not know that it is a fact, but I suspect it is true, that the town of Greensboro, is the only town in Alabama in which it is provided that no liquor shall be sold in that town. That provision was placed in the charter of the town of Greensboro because of the establishment of the Methodist Church of an institution of learning at that place. Greensboro as you know is the place where the Southern University is located. When the church determined upon Greensboro as the place for the location of the University, it was placed in the charter of the town that no liquor should be sold or given away within the town of Greensboro or within four miles of the town. I do not know, and I doubt very seriously whether any of the delegates to this Convention know what effect of section 10, or even of the amendment to the section will have upon the various towns and cities of the State of Alabama.  So far as I am personally concerned I am opposed to the adoption either of Section 10 or of the minority report, but I have put this clause in here so that if the Convention disagrees with me the Convention will allow the charters of Greensboro to remain as it is until that charter is altered or changed in accordance with the laws of the State as it now exists. As I understand it they propose


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to classify the towns of the State of Alabama and put them in four classes, in effect destroying the charters of each town as they now exist, because each town of a particular class will have the same rights and privileges, and be subject to the same restriction, and have the same power as all other towns of the same class. Well, now, Greensboro does not possess under the present law all the privileges, powers or rights of other towns under the franchise, and so far as I am advised a large majority of the people of that town are satisfied with the charter of the town as it now exists because of the fact that it is prosperous as it now exists, that, it is a good moral community, and if they should pass a general law in the State which would change the charter of that town with reference to the sale of whisky, perhaps the first thing to be done would be the removal of that university to some other town, which the people do not want done. It might not have that effect. It grows out of my fears because I believe it will take the Supreme Court twenty years to tell us what to have done in towns of the various classes, if either Section 10 or the minority report is adopted.

MR. WEAKLEY‑I desire, Mr. President, to state to the Convention that in adopting the section upon the report of the committee on local legislation this Convention has decided that no special act shall be passed by the Legislature incorporating any town or city in this State. Anticipating the action of the Convention in that respect, and considering the resolution bearing upon the matters set out in Section 10, the Committee on Municipal Corporations proceeded to consider and recommend to this Convention a scheme for the organization and classification of cities, which so far as their investigation extended was the best they knew how to present to this Convention. I desire to say, gentlemen, that in my opinion one of the great evils resulting from local legislation has been the fact that every municipal corporation in the State of Alabama has to come to the Legislature for its charter. The census reports show that there are now 203 municipal corporations in this State, and that in 1890 there were 110. All of these new corporations have to be chartered by the Legislature, and on taking into account the various amendments which have been passed to city charters, there being in my town particularly three amendments at the last Legislature‑a great body of this increased legislation has been demanded by the need of the municipal corporations of Alabama. Other States in the American Union have felt the same trouble, and the result is today the Constitution of sixteen States in the United States provide for all cities in the State being classified and governed by general laws. No matter what this Convention may do with this section as reported by the committee, in view of your action already taken this Convention will be compelled of necessity to adopt a certain portion of the section whether it establishes it all or not. So far as the committee is concerned it does not make any difference to them, but I say if you desire and


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if you wish to provide for the incorporation and government of any city in Alabama not now incorporated, all of that part of Section 10 beginning with the words "Federal census" on line 10 must be adopted by this Convention. So far as the committee is concerned the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale is not objected to. There is no desire on the part of this committee to interfere with any prohibition laws now existing in the State, or to interfere with the rights of any city to conduct and operate a dispensary system, or to interfere with any regulation with regard to the restraint or the sale of liquor. But, Mr. President, it is insisted that some general system than that now prevailing shall be adopted by the people for the purpose of forming suitable governments for the municipalities of this State. You take by way of example the city of Anniston. It has a perfect and almost complete law for the assessment and collection of taxes, and in my own town the assessment and collection of taxes is influenced only by the disinclination of the people to see their names in the papers.  You take the city of Florence as another illustration where we have a perfect and almost complete system of street improvements, the result of an act passed by the Legislature, and other cities in the State have never been able to procure such legislation. We say gentlemen that if all towns in the State having similar population, similar situation and similar institution, were to combine their ability and their experience and their wisdom in this matter the result would be a more perfect and complete system of municipal governments. As it now is the question of a municipal charter is only a question of the shrewdness and ability of the particular City Attorney who happens to have charge of the matter.

One word more upon the subject of classification. No man who understands the first principle of municipal government will contend that a city like Montgomery, Mobile or Birmingham should be governed by the same system of laws that should govern a village of less than 1,000 people, and a village or small town of that size should not have the same authority in all matters that a large city has.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑Why not?

MR. WEAKLEY‑The reason is that in a larger place, there is a better organized government, and they are better able to pay experienced and skilled men for executing the laws and carrying out the requirements of the charter. In a city of small size, it is not necessary to have a regularly organized and equipped fire department, nor is it necessary to have, as large cities have, a large police force.  Neither is it necessary for them, as large cities do, to maintaining an engineering department, nor is it necessary for them to have departments of sewers and public works and all those things which a large city requires, and a small one does not.


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It is the experience and opinion of those people who have studied this matter that the magnitude of the interests involved in a large city are such that it is not wise to submit them to the operation of the general law which should apply to the small cities, and consequently this Committee has reported a scheme by which any city in this State having a population of more than 20,000 people may frame its own charter to conform to the needs of the particular city. I consider, gentlemen, that that is the highest type of local self-government. This is no new proposition. It is embraced in the Constitutions of the State of California, of the State of Missouri, of the State of Washington and of the State of Mississippi, and under the operation of this provision in the Constitution, the cities of St. Paul, Minneapolis, St. Louis and San Francisco, have all adopted, by a vote of the people, municipal charters which are pronounced by experts in that line, to be a marvel of city government.  I see no reason why the cities of Birmingham and Montgomery might not be able to do the same thing. I say, gentlemen, that the city charters which have been adopted by the legislatures have been the product of the Board of Aldermen and the city attorney?  I say that, under this scheme, the city charters in the cities of this State will be a result of the vote of the people. It is provided that upon an application to a Circuit Judge a commission shall be appointed to frame a charter and provide for a government for the city, and then submit it to a vote of the people. Now, Mr. President, another proposition: If there are any cities in this State that are satisfied with the existing conditions and satisfied with the charters which they already have and do not want them taken away from there, if it is thought best for them to continue under the charter which they now have until they need an amendment, then let this section be amended, so as not to apply to cities of this State until it is adopted by a vote of the people of that city.

Then the proposition would be that there would be embraced in the law of this State a provision whereby the cities may be classified, and a general law would be passed governing all cities of the same class, to become effective only when it was adopted by the voters of that particular city. So far as I am personally concerned, I would not object to such an amendment.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I desire to know if the Committee will except the city of Troy from the provisions of that section?

MR. WEAKLEY‑I have no objections at all.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑In case we cannot lay it all on the table, I want to do that.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)‑I simply desire to call the attention of the Convention to the fact that this minority report, in effect repeals several provisions already adopted on local legislation. The Article on Local Legislation which has already been


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adopted by this Convention provides that the General Assembly shall not pass any local or special laws granting a charter to any corporation, or incorporating any town, city or village, or amending, confirming, or extending the charter of any city or village." It  was the opinion of this Convention that by general laws, the charters of every city in the State could be amended. Now, the minority report contains this provision: "The General Assembly shall grant to no municipality or community, the right to establish or amend its own charter, but all municipal charters shall be granted or amended by special law;" so the minority report authorizes special laws to amend the charters of corporations. It reopens all the evils of local legislation which this Convention has curtailed.  The reports of the acts of the last legislature show an immense volume composed principally of amendments of charters of municipal corporations. Now, I am sure this Convention has no disposition to undo the work it has already accomplished, and therefore, I move to lay upon the table the minority report.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I desire to amend the motion of the gentleman from Lauderdale by moving to lay‑

THE PRESIDENT‑The motion is not amendable. The motion of the gentleman from Lauderdale is to lay upon the table  the minority report.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑Will you withdraw is please?

MR. O'NEAL‑I will withdraw it if you desire to discuss the matter. Will you renew it?

MR. COLEMAN‑Yes, I will renew it.

THE PRESIDENT‑The Chair will call the attention of the gentleman from Lauderdale to the fact that there is an amendment to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale that is the pending question.

MR. O'NEAL‑Then I move to lay the amendment and the minority report on the table; but I will withdraw my motion.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, I listened very attentively to the able Chairman of this Committee to see whether or not there was any necessity for any provision, or subdivision, of Section 10, and he did not bring forward a single argument to show that all the power which he proposes to embody in a Constitutional provision, could not be exercised at this time by the legislature. He says in Section 10, down to the word "census" on line ten, must necessarily be retained, but, Mr. President, the law already provided, authorizes the legislature to pass general laws, and there is nothing there provided for that has not already been provided. Now, it is dangerous as I said before when we tamper with the organic law, es-


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pecially provision; which have not been constructed by the Supreme Court of this State, and we ought to be very careful no only in the general form of statutes or ordinances, but in the selection of any word for when courts come to construe, great difficulty arises when you take into consideration the entire instrument to arrive at the meaning of particular parts.  I need but call the attention of delegates to this Convention to the number of decisions which have been rendered upon construing the Constitution of 1875.  There are over 100 appeals already taken and the law is just coming to be generally understood by the profession.

So far as the classification of the cities is concerned, if it becomes necessary, it can be done.  We have heard a great deal of the barefoot boy and the horny-handed farmer.  In this State it is proposed to build up an aristocracy of municipalities, and an aristocracy which takes away form the State the power to revoke a charter, because the Legislature can never revoke a charter granted under this Constitution.  The tenth section already provides for that.  Now you have heard the objections to the minority report, and surely if anything is subject to criticism it is Section 10 now under consideration.  The gentleman moved to lay upon the table, and I agreed to renew his motion, but I will extend the motion to lay Section 10 upon the table, and the minority report upon the table, and the amendment upon the table.

MR. ASHCRAFT–No gentleman on this floor has been yielded to more courteously than the gentleman who moves to table.

MR. COLEMAN–I got the floor by a promise to renew the motion.

MR ASHCRAFT–You promised to renew the motion to lay the amendment upon the table.

MR. O’NEAL–If my colleague desires to discuss it, I hope the gentleman will withdraw the motion for a moment.

MR. COLEMAN–Of course I will withdraw it.

MR. ASHCRAFT–Mr. President and gentleman of the Convention, if we belong to that class of citizens who live so far in the past that we believe we should have the right to spit upon the sidewalk and in the public buildings and in the street cars, then gentlemen, vote to lay this proposition on the table; but if we believe that we belong to that class of people who are for progress, who believe that people who are assembled together in great bodies have some rights as a body, as well as individuals, then let us consider well what is our opportunity here to institute that progress, and consider well also how long it will be before we have  such another opportunity. We cannot treat lightly this question.  In the article on local legislation, we resolved that we would permit no special legislation in the adoption or amendment of munici‑


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pal charters. I ask, gentlemen, on this floor to consider how they are to be adopted or amended unless some provision like this proposed by the majority of the committee is adopted. I speak as well against the report of the minority as in favor of the majority,  and I shall undertake to call your attention for a brief moment to the advantages proposed by the majority—

MR. WALKER (Madison)‑I desire to ask the gentleman if, in his opinion, the prohibition of local and special legislation involves the necessity of conferring upon each municipality in this State the powers of the Legislature?

MR. ASHCRAFT‑It does not, and the majority report undertakes to confer upon no city, except those above twenty thousand inhabitants, that power. Each city under 20,000 inhabitants must be organized and governed under the form of a common charter to be provided by the Legislature for its class. When the Legislature is called upon to perform that great responsibility, it will perform it under the sanction of such responsibility ; but when the Legislature undertakes to charter one town, the attorney for the town comes here and has his local member to propose the measure, then, regardless of whether or not it is in the interest of the whole people, whether or not it regards the interests of the town, or of the residents of the town, it goes through. Under the proposed plan, cities of each particular class will unite to see that they receive charters which mean progress; which mean that the people as a whole will be protected. All those institutions which make for the moral and social uplifting of the town are uniform. Every city will be interested in each proposition. No single one of them will have opportunity to secure special advantages, and there will be no combinations against those things which are for good.

MR. HOOD‑Do you think because one city, say one of these four classes, has the right to sell whisky, and is in favor of the selling of whiskey, that all other cities of the same class should sell whisky?

MR. ASHCRAFT‑We have carefully guarded against any proposition of that kind in the article on local legislation by providing that nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to prevent the Legislature from enacting local laws regulating or prohibiting the sale of spirituous liquors.

MR. COLEMAN‑Would not the provision be equal in power to any other provision in the Constitution if it is put in there?

MR. HOOD‑If one city of a certain class does not care to own its own water works, do you think that all other cities of the same class should be prevented from owning their own water works ?

MR. ASHCRAFT‑No such proposition is involved here. It is not proposed that the Legislature shall compel any city to own


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its own water works.  It is not intended to throttle the voice of the people.  If a majority of the cities of a class so desire they will be able to secure to their people the right to vote upon the question of whether they shall own their public franchises, and which of such franchises they will own.  If each city is given that right under a classification who can object to the people having the right to be guided by the experience of a majority of the cities and who then can say that some other course ought to be pursued.  You have here the product of the careful consideration of the Committee.  Men sneer at the proposition and ask you to vote against it because you may limit the right to spit on the sidewalks.  I ask you who is it that has lifted the city of Memphis from the quagmire in which it was, when the yellow fever infested it and destroyed its citizens, into one of the most beautiful cities of the South?  It was not the men who wanted to spit on the sidewalk, but the progressive men who believed that the whole body had some rights and who understood these great questions of municipal government, and if we want to make progress let us unite on this majority report and let the Legislature enact general laws that will be the product of the combined effort of all men skilled in municipal affairs of this State.

I now renew the motion to lay the minority report and the amendment to it on the table.

MR. deGRAFFENREID–I demand a division of the question.

THE PRESIDENT–The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion to table the amendment prevailed.  The question then recurred on the motion to table the minority report.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion to table the minority report prevailed.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)–I hope that the eloquent appeal of the gentleman form Lauderdale will not have the effect of sweeping the Convention off of its feet.  I have never attempted to sweep this Convention off its feet by my eloquence. If I ever have, I have failed, and I trust his success will be the same as mine.  This proposition, it occurs to me, with reference to this Section, as reported by the Committee, reminds me of a little anecdote with regard to a fellow who was contrary to the whole world.  He didn’t want anything in common with anybody, and he said that when he died and went to purgatory, he was going to make application to get a little fire and brimstone and go off and start a little purgatory of his own.


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The source of all corporate power is from the State. It has been so recognized since this has been a State, and it has always been the policy of this State to reserve to itself the right to revoke any charter it has given. It becomes necessary sometimes to revoke charters of municipal corporations. It becomes necessary sometimes to revoke charters of other corporations, but the effort of this Committee is to place in the organic law of the land such a provision as will take away from the State the right to revoke charters in municipal government. It is an effort upon the part of this Committee to put into the organic law the right of certain cities in this State, and more as the inhabitants grow, to organize themselves into a separate government. and ,without the power of the State Government, through its Legislature, to control it. The whole proposition is wrong. The whole theory is wrong, when it comes to placing it in the organic law of the land. I do not deny the proposition that it is a fine scheme, as suggested by the Chairman of the Committee. It possibly is a good scheme, and possibly ought to be enacted into law by the General assembly, but this Convention ought not to put beyond the power of the General Assembly, the legislative body of the State, to amend, revise, correct or do anything that it sees proper with regard to its own creatures. I therefore move to lay the Section on the table.

MR. BOONE‑I hope the gentleman will allow the Committee the opportunity of closing on this matter.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑The Committee declined to withdraw a few minutes ago when I wanted to discuss it, and I now decline to withdraw.

MR. BOONE‑I say to the gentleman that the Committee as putting in an amendment.

THE PRESIDENT‑The motion of the gentleman from Pike is that Section 10 be laid upon the table.

Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for and the motion to table Section 10 prevailed lay a vote of 65 ayes and 24 noes.

MR. WILSON (Clarke)‑On yesterday the gentleman from Tuscaloosa gave notice that he would make a motion to reconsider the vote by which Section 6 was adopted. He has been called away on account of illness, and I desire to make that motion now.

MR. WEAKLEY‑I rise to a point of order. The motion to reconsider has not been made.

THE PRESIDENT‑I will call the attention of the gentleman from Lauderdale to Rule 27. The rule, as the Chair interprets it, means that when a motion is made to reconsider on the same day on which the Section is adopted, it shall be the special order,


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to be considered immediately after the approval of the Journal, but if it is entered on the following day, it may be entered at any time during the morning session. Rule 27 says: "When a vote has passed. except on the previous question, or on motion to lay on the table, or to take from the table, it shall be in order for any delegate who voted with the majority to move for a reconsideration thereof on the same day, or within the morning session of the succeeding day, and such motion, if made on the same day, shall be considered immediately after the approval of the Journal on the day succeeding that on which it is made ; but if first moved on such succeeding day, it shall he forthwith considered; and when a motion for a reconsideration is decided, that decision shall not be reconsidered, and no question shall be twice reconsidered."

MR. FITTS‑This notice to reconsider was given on yesterday afternoon.

THE PRESIDENT‑The notice was given yesterday afternoon, but that is not tantamount to making the motion. The motion must be entered.

MR. FITTS‑The motion should have been entered within the hour immediately succeeding the reading of the journal of this morning ?

THE PRESIDENT‑The rule does not so declare. The rule declares that if the Motion was entered on yesterday, it is to be considered immediately after the reading of the journal, but if not entered as in this case, but merely notice given, it may be considered any time during the morning session.

MR. FITTS—I thought the motion was entered on yesterday.  I made a mistake.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑It would bring up the same question if it was entered on yesterday. It was the duty of the, Chair to lay it before the Convention, because it was a special order, and the gentleman would not be denied his right. It would be the special order which was passed over by oversight.

MR. VAUGHAN‑The stenographic report has it that the motion was made on yesterday afternoon.

THE PRESIDENT–If the motion was made yesterday, it would be the special order, and it would be the duty of the Chair to lay it before the Convention, and if the Chair neglected or failed to do it it ought not to cut off the gentleman's right. It would be just like a report of any standing committee was made the special order, and if the Chair ran over it in the order of business it would not displace it. It would still be the special order, and ought to be submitted to the Convention for action.


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MR. VAUGHAN‑The stenographic report has him as saying "I vote for the section for the purpose of moving to reconsider tomorrow, and I make that motion now."

MR. DeGRAFFENREID‑If there is to be any question about it, I now make the motion to reconsider.

THE PRESIDENT‑If the motion was made on yesterday, then it is the duty of the Chair to lay the matter before the Convention as the special order for consideration, and the delegate does not lose his right simply because the Chair neglected to call it to the attention of the Convention.

MR. O'NEAL‑I move to lay the motion to reconsider the vote by which Section 6 was adopted, on the table.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to reconsider was tabled.

THE PRESIDENT‑The Chair will call the attention of the Convention to the fact that the gentleman from Tuscaloosa, Mr. Foster, did not move to reconsider, but gave notice that he would move on tomorrow to reconsider, and the Convention is governed by the journal and not by the stenographic report.

Section l l was read as follows:

Section 11. No city, town, village or other municipal corporation other than provided for in this article shall levy or collect a higher rate of taxation in one year on the property situated therein than one‑half of one per centum of the value of such property as assessed for State taxation during the preceding year, provided that for the purpose of paving debts existing on the sixth day of December, 1875, and the interest thereon a tax of one per centum may be levied and collected, to he applied exclusively to the payment of such indebtedness, and provided, further, that this section shall not apply to the city of Mobile, which city may from and after the ratification of this Constitution levy a tax, not to exceed the rate of three-fourths of one per centum to pay the expenses of the city government and may also levy a tax not to exceed three-fourths of one per centum to pay the debt existing on the 6th day of December, 1875, with the interest thereon or any renewal of such debt, and provided, further, that this section shall not apply to the cities of Birmingham and Huntsville, which cities may levy and collect a tax not to exceed one-half of one per centum in addition to the tax of one-half of one per centum as hereinabove allowed to be levied and collected, such special tax to be applied exclusively to the payment of interest on the bonds of said cities of Birmingham and Huntsville, as heretofore issued in pursuance of law, and for a sinking fund to pay off said bonds at the maturity thereof.  And provided, further that this section shall not apply to the cities of Troy, Attalla, Gadsden, Bessemer, Woodlawn and Florence, which cities may from and after the ratification of this Constitution


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levy and collect an additional tax not exceeding one-half of one per centum her annum, but this additional tax shall not be levied unless authorized by a majority vote of the qualified electors voting at a special election held for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not said tax shall be levied.

MR. WEAKLEY–The Committee authorizes me to offer this amendment.

The amendment was read as follows:

Amend Section 11 by adding at the end of said section the following:

"And provided, further, That the purpose for which such special tax is sought to be levied shall be stated in such election call and if there is a revenue derived front such tax, it shall be used for no other purpose than that stated."

MR. WEAKLEY–I now offer an amendment to the amendment.

The amendment to the amendment was read as follows:

"By adding after the word 'law,' in line sixteen and one-half of Section 10, the words `or now authorized by law to be issued."'

MR. WEAKLEY-‑I ask unanimous consent to accept these amendments.

MR. BROWNE-‑Before that is put I rise to a question of parliamentary inquiry. Section 7 of the Article on Taxation was laid  upon the table to be taken up and considered with Section 11 of this article. Now what condition is that section in. Is it here? It was to be taken up and considered with Section 11 of this article.  Section 11 of this article is up for consideration. The motion was that the other be laid upon the table to be taken therefrom and considered with this section. Both sections have reference to taxation by cities, towns and villages. The Convention placed itself in that attitude. I just wanted to know where they are.

THE PRESIDENT‑The present occupant of the chair was not in the chair when that order was made.

MR. BROWNE‑‑ That order was made in July. It was done on the motion of the chairman of this committee against my protest.

MR. WEAKLEY‑I suppose there will be no objection to taking up Section 7 of the article on taxation and offering Section 11 of this report as a substitute for that.

THE PRESIDENT‑The Chair ruled when the report of the Committee on Local Legislation was before the Convention, and a


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part of the Committee on Local Legislative Department which bore upon the same subject was brought before the Convention at the same time under a similar order of the Convention that the only method that occurred to the Chair whereby the matter could be properly considered would be that one section would be offered as an amendment to the other, so the several propositions brought in by the Committee on Legislative department, which affected local legislation, were thereupon taken up and considered paragraph by paragraph as amendments to the report of the Committee on Local Legislation. Now, it is competent for the Convention to take up the section which is reported by the Committee on Taxation and offer it as an amendment or as a substitute for this section or when the report of the Committee on Taxation is up for consideration. It would be competent now for the Convention to displace the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations and take up the report of the Committee on Taxation, and this section might be offered as an amendment to the report of the Committee on Taxation.

MR. BROWNE‑Didn't the Convention displace it when they adopted the motion made by the chairman of the committee that it should be taken from the table and should be considered when this section was considered? Didn't they do it then?

THE PRESIDENT‑Well it would be in the power of the Convention to consider two reports at once, if they determined so to do, it might be confusing to do so. It can only properly be brought in as an amendment. The Convention must either displace the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations and take up the report of the Committee on Taxation, when this section may be offered as an amendment to it, or the section as reported by the Committee on Taxation may be offered as a substitute or amendment for this section. It is a mere matter of procedure.

MR. WEAKLEY‑I ask unanimous consent to accept for the committee the two amendments which have just been proposed.

MR. O'NEAL‑Let us hear them read.

THE PRESIDENT‑They have been read in the hearing of the Convention.

MR. O'NEAL‑Will the Chair state them?

THE PRESIDENT‑The Chair could not undertake to state them from memory. Does the gentleman desire they be read again?

MR. O'NEAL‑Yes, sir. I do not care to give my consent to something I do not understand. I have forgotten them like the Chair.

The amendments were read as requested.


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Consent was given for the committee to accept the amendments.

MR. O'NEAL (Lauderdale)‑Is the section open to amendment.

THE PRESIDENT‑Yes, sir.

The Chairman recognizes the gentleman from Winston.

MR. HALEY‑I have an amendment to offer.

Mr. Weakley sought recognition.

THE PRESIDENT‑For what purpose does the gentleman desire to speak?

MR. WEAKLEY‑I thought the question was upon the adoption of the section.

THE PRESIDENT‑It is the custom of the Convention to recognize gentleman to offer amendments and the Chair has recognized the gentleman from Winston.

The amendment offered by the gentleman front Winston was read as follows:

"Amend Section 11 of the report of the Committee on Municipay Corporations by striking out the word 'Attalla' where it appears in line 17 of the report."

MR. HALEY‑I move the adoption of the amendment, and upon that I call for the previous question.

MR. DAVIS (Etowah)‑I do hope the gentleman will withdraw that amendment. He is not from Etowah county, and we have three delegates on the floor representing Etowah county and for him to spring a question like that and demand the previous question I submit is unfair.

MR. HALEY‑I withdraw the motion.

MR. DAVIS– I trust the Convention will not adopt this amendment. As I stated, Etowah county has three delegates on the floor of this Convention, and we three have agreed amongst our selves, and we believe we can represent Etowah county. We believe that we are doing what the people of Attalla want when we include Attalla in this list. Ten years ago the city of Attalla issued $50,000 worth of bonds for which they received $45,000 in cash. With the $45,000 she built an electric light plant, a water works plant and a public school. She paid the interest on those bonds for one or two years and then she defaulted. Never since then has she paid any more interest. Today she belongs to the list of strangulated towns and she has affected a compromise with the owners of those bonds, whereby they propose to take $25,000


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at the rate of 3 per cent. Now mind you, these bonds have been reduced to judgment, and the judgment amounts to something like $80,000 against the city of Attalla. They propose to cut this judgment 1‑3 and to cut the rate of interest 1‑2 on that 1‑3 and to settle for $25,000 at 3 per cent. instead of $80,000 at 8 per cent.  interest. The city of Attalla today has that electric light plant, that waterworks plant and that public school the proceeds of the money she received for these bonds. She comes here by her Mayor and Aldermen, and many of her leading citizens and asks that her hands be untied and that she be permitted to effect this compromise with her creditors. There is of course some objection. There never was yet a movement in the interest of progress where some croker or some man who is a drawback to civilization did not rise up and protest. The people of Attalla only ask that their hands be untied. They do not ask us here to put that 1-2 of 1 per cent. extra tax on her. They merely say, "Take off this constitutional provision which limits us to 1-2 of 1 per cent. and allow us by the votes of our qualified electors to say if we want it," and I believe, Mr. President, if the people of Attalla want to pay their honest debts, we, as a matter of right, should grant it to them, and submit it to a vote of the people, and for that reason, I believe, and hope, that the amendment will be tabled.

MR. BROWNE‑It seems to me, Mr. President, that any provision for taxation, by either State, county or municipality should be placed in the article upon taxation. It seems to me that nobody can gain‑say that proposition. I could never see any good reason why this Convention postponed the consideration of the Section in the Article upon. Taxation until the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations was up.

MR. BEDDOW‑I rise to a point of order. The gentleman is not addressing himself to the amendment of the gentleman from Winston.

MR. BROWNE‑I am coming to that.

THE PRESIDENT‑The immediate question before the Convention is the amendment offered by the gentleman front Winston.  Incidentally, it seems to the Chair that a delegate might discuss the merits of the Section as reported by the Committee as illustrating his objection to the amendment, but the main discussion, of course should be directed to the amendment.

MR. BROWNE‑Now that is why I opposed this amendment.  This Section has no place in the Article upon Municipal Corporations. Its proper place is in the Article upon Taxation, where it has been for the last twenty‑five years.

Now it was ordered by the Convention that this Section be laid upon the table and be taken up and considered when Section 11 on Municipal Corporations was up for consideration. The time


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for its consideration would be now. In order that the Article on Taxation that has been held up by a motion made by the Chairman of this Committee, unnecessarily, it seems to me, for about six weeks, in order that that Article can be made complete and go to the Engrossing Clerk for engrossment and the order to a third reading, I now move that this Section 11 be laid upon the table with all of the amendments. If they will allow me to make this explanation. As soon as that is done, if the order of this Convention is to have any effect, why then it comes up immediately, Section 7 of the Article on Taxation, for consideration, and if it is held that it does not necessarily of itself come up, I will then move to take that Section up, then the Committee can offer by way of substitute the Article which it has. I now move to lay the amendments and the Article on the table, as that is the only way to reach it.

MR. WEAKLEY‑I hope the gentleman will not make the motion to lay the Section on the table, without giving the committee an opportunity to be heard.

MR. BROWNE‑I refuse to withdraw it. My Section was laid upon the table against the Committee's protest, without having an opportunity to be heard upon it. As I say, it can do no harm, they can offer it as a substitute for the Committee on Taxation, that is the only way to bring it up.

MR. WEAKLEY‑I will ask if he cannot offer his Section as a substitute to this just as well?

MR. BROWNE–I will not place myself in the ridiculous attitude of taking out of the article on Taxation a Section upon the subject of taxation and placing it in the report of another Committee that has nothing to do with it.

MR. WEAKLEY‑The gentleman declines to withdraw.

MR. BROWNE‑Yes.

A division of the question was called for.

THE PRESIDENT‑The question is to lay the amendment offered by the gentleman from Winston and the Section reported by the Committee on Municipal Corporations upon the table.

A division was called for and the first question will be on the motion to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Winston.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to table was carried.

THE PRESIDENT‑The question recurs upon the motion to table the Section reported by the Committee on Municipal Corporations.


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Upon a vote being taken there were 41 ayes and 42 noes, and the motion to table was lost.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑‑‑In order that we may proceed in harmony with the order of this Convention at a previous day, I move to take up section 7 of the Article on Taxation at this time.  We were considering the Article on Taxation, and when Section 7 was reached it was postponed to be taken up when we reached Section 11 of the present Article. It would seem, therefore, proper and in order that we should now proceed to consider Section 7 of the report of the Committee on Taxation.

THE PRESIDENT‑The gentleman from Greene moves that Section 11 of the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations be laid aside, and the Convention take up Section 7 of the report of the Committee on Taxation. Is the Convention ready for the question ?

MR. HOWZE– I hope that motion will not prevail, for this reason, Mr. President, the section as reported by the Committee on Municipal Corporations is more perfect than the one reported by the Committee on Taxation. It is complete, it adds what we want to come in the section, and the section of the Article on Taxation does not. Let us adopt this now, and if the gentlemen wishes to displace this article the Committee on Harmonics can place it properly. I don't think it necessary that we should take up unnecessary time in parliamentary tactics and motions. It seems to me that the proper plan would be to adopt the section as reported by the Committee, and let it go to the Committee on Harmonics.  It seems to me we are wasting time in these dilatory tactics.

MR. BROWNE‑May I ask the gentleman a question?

THE PRESIDENT‑Will the gentleman yield for the gentleman from Talladega?

MR. HOWZE‑No, sir. This section on Municipal Corporations embraces everything in the section of the report of the Committee on Taxation, getting in these different towns and cities.

MR. CUNNINGHAM– I rise to the point of' order that when a motion is to lay on the table until a definite time, when that time arrives, the subject is taken from the table without action of the Convention. The motion was to lay on the table Section 7 of the Article on Taxation, and it was to be taken from the table at the time Section 11 of this report was up for consideration, and therefore it comes from the table without any formal action of the Convention.

THE PRESIDENT– It seems to the Chair that that is correct, that when the Convention sets a matter over for consideration to a certain time that it would come before the Convention for


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consideration. The chair does not know exactly how the Convention can consider two reports at one time, unless it displaces one of them.

MR. HOWZE‑ I understood the motion was to postpone consideration of this section and this report until the other could be taken up.

THE PRESIDENT‑That is the pending motion, the Convention can lay aside the consideration of this section and take up Section 7 of the report of the Committee on Taxation.

MR. HOWZE‑It was to that motion I was addressing myself.

THE PRESIDENT‑The gentleman will proceed.

MR. HOWZE– I say, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, let us end this matter. Here we are dilly‑dallying over this thing, and likely to be at it another hour or two if we take up the report of the Committee on Taxation, because it is to be amended and it will take considerable time. Why take the time?

MR. COLEMAN‑‑I rise to a point of order.

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

MR. COLEMAN‑The question is up by the order of this Convention.

MR. HOWZE‑On your motion?

MR. COLEMAN‑I will discard the motion it necessary, but the question is up already. We have arrived at that time and that place when proceedings contemplated and provided for in our resolution when Section 11 was reached, it should be considered.

MR. HOWZE‑I make the point of order that we are considering the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations.

THE PRESIDENT‑The Chair is of the opinion that notwithstanding the previous order of the Convention, Section 11 could not be displaced, unless by some action of the Convention. It seems to the Chair under the motion of the gentleman from Greene, it could be laid aside and Section 7 considered provided the Convention was willing for that to be done.

MR. HOWZE‑Repeating what I have said, I think we should end this matter and stop these dilatory tactics. I move to lay the motion of the gentleman on the table.

MR. COLEMAN‑I ought to have an opportunity to reply.

THE PRESIDENT‑Does the gentleman from Jefferson yield ?


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MR. HOWZE‑No, sir.

THE PRESIDENT‑It is moved that the section under consideration be laid aside and the Convention take up Section 7 of the report of the Committee on Taxation, and it is moved that that motion be laid upon the table.

A vote being taken the motion to table prevailed.

MR. BEDDOW (Jefferson)‑I wish to offer an amendment.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows: "Amend Section 11 by striking out of line four the word `preceding,' and inserting in lieu thereof the word `same.' "

THE PRESIDENT‑The question will be upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson.

MR. BEDDOW‑In offering this amendment, while a small amendment, it is of great and vital importance to the municipalities of the State of Alabama. The words as reported in the report of the Committee, and to which I reserved the right to offer an amendment when the question came up, is in the exact words of the old Constitution. Under its provision, or under the provision of the old Constitution, it has brought about a great deal of trouble to municipalities throughout the State in the assessment of taxes.  The law as it now stands, and as it will stand if this section is adopted as it now stands, requires the municipalities of the State to go one year back on the assessment made for State and county taxes and simply because the word preceding was put in the old Constitution. Under its operation it is necessary, the law requiring that the assessment of every municipality be gotten from the Tax Assessor's office, it is necessary to go to the court of record and get the assessment from the books of the present year and then make the assessment according to that of the preceding year. This has worked great hardship to the municipalities. As an illustration take the city of Ensley. Two years ago a lot there, possibly might be assessed at $50. At the next assessment for State and County purposes that same property might be worth six thousand dollars.  There are a number of instances of that kind in that city. According to the law as it now stands, if the assessment was made on the valuation of fifty dollars on the preceding year, and this year assessed at six thousand dollars, notwithstanding the increase in value or improvement upon that lot, the municipality is required to assess at the sum of fifty dollars, whereas the State and County is assessed at six thousand dollars. The Supreme Court has construed the meaning of this constitutional provision, and in its decision it is intimated by the learned justice who delivered the opinion that it was a wrong, but that the Constitution requiring it  the Court must adhere to what was just and right. In the case of the Elyton Land Company vs. Mayor and Aldermen of Birming‑


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ham in the year 1886, they assessed their property, and there was not included in the assessment a large amount of personal property which would have netted the municipality some four or five thousand dollars, but in the year in which the assessment was made on the personal property for State and County they had a large amount of personal property, and notwithstanding the fact that the city of Birmingham has passed an ordinance requiring them to pay taxes on the first day of January in the year in which the assessment was made, yet in construing this law the Supreme Court of Alabama said they were not entitled to the taxes upon this property. Notwithstanding that on the first of January it was within the confines of their municipality, and the result was that they lost the taxes on personal property to the amount of four thousand some odd dollars. The court in its opinion in this case said : "We have carefully considered the question raised because of its importance, and that it is brought for the first time before the court, and have arrived at the conclusion, announced with some reluctance, but with the policy or expediency of the constitutional provision we have no judicial concern. Our duty is to interpret it as it is ordained by the people. We are forced to hold that the provision of Section 20 of the charter of the city above questioned is unconstitutional."

Mr. President, what reason can there be to require a municipality to take the assessment of the preceding year, when it would he just as easy to get the assessment for the present year? The assessment is made during the last three months of the year, in October, November and December. This matter was brought to my attention by the tax collector of Jefferson county, and the various municipalities throughout out county, and with this explanation I am sure that the Convention will adopt this amendment and allow the assessment for the municipalities be made on the same year that it is made for the State and county.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I desire to offer an amendment relating exclusively to the city of Troy. It is a local matter and I offer it as an amendment to the amendment.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows:

Amend by adding at the end of the section "and providing further that the additional tax authorized to be levied by the city of Troy shall be applied when collected exclusively to the adjustment of the present indebtedness of said city."

MR. SAMFORD‑I desire to say simply that I have conferred with my colleague, Mr. Murphree, with reference to that addition, and he thinks it is wise, and I ask the Convention to adopt it.

THE PRESIDENT– The question will be upon the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike.


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MR. BEDDOW‑I do not think it is germane to the amendment I offered. It relates entirely to a separate matter.

THE PRESIDENT‑It seems to the Chair that the point of order is well taken.

MR. SANFORD‑I think the gentleman is right and I will ask unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment for the present.

THE PRESIDENT‑The gentleman from Pike asks unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment. The Chair hears no objection.

MR. CHAPMAN‑I rise to support the amendment introduced by the gentleman from Jefferson—

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑I will ask the gentleman to yield for a moment. The hour of 1 o'clock approaches, and I wish to introduce a short ordinance so that it may be referred to the proper  committee.

THE PRESIDENT‑The gentleman from Dale asks unanimous consent to introduce an ordinance. The Chair hears no objection.

The Secretary read the ordinance as follows:

Ordinance No. 445:

Be it ordained by the people of Alabama in Convention, that Section 28 of the article on judiciary heretofore adopted by this Convention be repealed and the following section substituted in its stead:

Sec. 28. A solicitor for each judicial circuit or judicial subdivision of the State, shall be selected in the manner to be prescribed by law, who shall be learned in the law, and who shall, at the time of his selection, and during his continuance in office, reside in the circuit or other territorial subdivision for which he is selected, and whose term of office shall be for four years, and he shall receive no other compensation than a salary to be prescribed by law, which shall not be increased during the time for which be was selected; provided, that this article shall not operate to abridge the term of any solicitor now in office, and provided further that the solicitors selected in the year 1904 shall hold office for a term of six years, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

Leaves of absence were granted as follows: Indefinite leave to Mr. Kirk on account of sickness; to Mr. Long (Walker) for today; to Mr. Henderson for today; to Mr. Wilson (Washington) for the remainder of the week; to Mr. Stewart (Perry) for Friday


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and Saturday; indefinite leave to Mr. Reynolds (Chilton) on account of sickness.

MR. HEFLIN (Chambers)‑I ask unanimous consent to introduce a short resolution.

Leave was granted.

Resolution No. 289, by Mr. Heflin of Chambers:

Resolved, that it is the sense of this Convention that the Committee on Order, Harmony and Consistency of the Whole Constitution, be, and it is hereby instructed to offer a substitute or substitutes for Section 28 of the judiciary article to the Convention for its adoption or rejection.

MR. HEFLIN‑I ask that the resolution be referred to the Committee on Rules.

The resolution was so referred.

THE PRESIDENT –The gentleman from Sumter (Mr. Chapman) has the floor.

MR. CHAPMAN‑I would prefer if I could have the floor immediately after the recess.

A DELEGATE-‑I move that the Convention do now adjourn.

The motion to adjourn prevailed.

______________

AFTERNOON SESSION.

The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, there being ninety delegates present upon the call of the roll.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑The Convention had under consideration when it adjourned in. the forenoon Section 11 of the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations. There was pending an amendment offered by the gentleman from Jefferson. The gentleman from Sumter has the floor.

MR. CHAPMAN‑At the close of the morning session the amendment of the delegate from Jefferson, Mr. Beddow, was the pending question. That makes a very slight apparent change in the section of the Committee. I shall address myself, Mr. President, entirely and only to that amendment. The old law has been, and is now, that the taxes of municipal corporations shall he assessed according to the State taxes of the preceding year. That means, Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, that a municipal corporation must wait until one year after the taxes for the State and county are paid or collectable before it can make an assessment upon the property of citizens in any municipality. There


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is no reason, gentlemen, that I can see, why the assessments should not be made in a city or town during the same year that the assessment is made for the State and county. The reason I apprehend that the word "preceding" was put into the law was that the State and county assessments were not completed, in other words, they were not fixed, so that there could be no change in them until after the July term of the Commissioners' Court each year. It was then only a municipal corporation could ascertain what the State tax was upon property. Now that was predicted upon the idea that cities and towns were compelled to make their tax year different from the State and county. That now is an unfair and indeed a false presumption, because the municipalities can arrange its tax year, and should do it, so as to conform to the tax year of the State and county. What would be the result when the State tax for any year is finally adjusted in July, where then are allowed to raise or reduce assessments, immediately after municipal corporations can immediately assess its taxes. I would ask the delegates of the Convention to take one moment upon this. A municipal corporation under the law as it stand, does not have to send the Assessor around to take the assessment, he does not have to go out and ask each man what property he has to assess, the town assessor usually goes to the State tax book, and assessment books of the county, and from them he simply puts down the State tax and, reduces it by half and that takes the town tax.  In the ordinary town the assessor can do it in one day, and in a few days for a good sized city. Every municipality can make a tax year conform to that of the State, and before the Tax Collector for the State can have his books ready to collect his tax in the fall the Tax Collector for the town can have his ready and be collecting taxes. Now that is the only reason that I apprehend why it has been heretofore held in the law that the tax should be for the preceding year instead of the current year. Now we go into the practical effects of it. Let us take the practical result. It very often happens, Mr. President, in our town, I don't know how it is in other towns, that a great deal of property escape, taxation because the merchant who prepares for the fall trade moves in a stock of goods in August or September just before the time for assessment of taxes. He gets in a stock of perhaps $10,000 worth of goods. He sells the fall goods for that year and assesses for the State and county taxes, but before the time comes for the town to assess a year following, that man has disposed of his property and he is gone. He owns no real estate in the town, and the town loses the taxes upon that stock of goods. It not infrequently happens that this is the case. If a man owns real estate I concede that it makes no difference, because the tax assessor for the municipality fastens upon that real estate as for the State and county taxes, but it does not fasten upon personal property which has gone and disappeared and sold out by retail to every one, and there is no way in


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the world to get any property upon which to levy a lien for town taxes. Now in so far as the illustration made by the delegate from  Jefferson, it is immaterial, because the succeeding year the property will be assessed at its increased value, but it sometimes happens even that that is a hardship because a man assesses his real property, and suppose his house should be burned, and yet for the current year he is assessed at three or four times the value.

THE PRESIDENT‑The time of the gentleman from Sumter has expired.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑Mr. President, perhaps there is more involved in the proposed amendment than would be thought upon first impressions. I have not been very favorable to the report of this Committee, but when it has a proper provision in it, I think it ought to be sustained, and I think it will be. I have but little to say in reply other than to read the law and to give the reason for fixing it upon the preceding year as contained in our decision rendered by the Supreme Court. The present Constitution has been in force for many years. It uses the precise language used by this report: "As assessed for State taxation during the preceding year." Now the reason assigned for that is very clearly stated by the judge, who rendered the decision read this morning by the delegate from Jefferson. Here is the reason assigned for requiring cities and towns or municipalities to assess the taxes as assessed by the State the preceding year, and it has its force, and every one who listens to it will be impressed with the truth of it. This was rendered by Judge Clopton in the Elyton land case.

The court is discussing why the State places these limitations upon municipalities. "In interpreting limitations upon legislative power in State Constitutions, the nature and objects of the particular limitations should be kept in view." Now that sentence has a good deal in it, if you will remember it in connection with what followed directly, "and the causes in which they originated considered in the light of history and former constitutions; and such force and operation given to the language, consistent with its legitimate meaning, as may fairly remedy existing and apprehended evils, and accomplish the desired ends." Now that is the premise to the conclusion; "the framers of the Constitution were cognizant that no governing power is more liable to abuse than the taxing power, and also of its oppressive use and perversion by municipal authorities without regard to the interest of the citizen.  They sought to prevent this by restricting the exercise of the power within moderate and protective limits."

Now he has stated the reason for it, and the very object had in view, to prevent the abuse of taxing powers by municipalities, which, as has been learned from long experience and observation,


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are being constantly exercised, and he says of this that this very language was put there to prevent that very thing.

MR. BEDDOW‑Does not that particular part of that opinion which you have read refer to the power of the municipality in assessing the value?

MR. COLEMAN‑Yes, sir; and why the limitation was put, and this decision, if any one will take it and examine it from beginning to end, he will find in it not the remotest support to this proposition. On the contrary, it gives the reason why the limitation should be fixed, and it is perfectly clear when you take the very case mentioned by him.

Now the City Assessor in January, without any restriction or limitation, may assess the property at whatever he sees property and there is very little remedy for the man himself whose property is being assessed. But when he is required to come and take the assessment that has been fixed by the city, under proper authority, such as the assessor himself, and passed upon by the Probate Court, you have something clear, fixed, and is a protection, and it is not left in the hands of the municipal assessor at all. That is the reason of it. But it would be utterly impossible, with any consideration of fairness, to apply the principle contended for here. We have a fiscal year. We are bound to have it. That is fixed by law as the first day of October. The Probate Court meets in June of the following year, and at that time it is the duty of all parties whose property has been assessed to appear before that court, and if there are any alterations to be made‑-too much an assessment, too low a rate‑-there they are adjusted and finally determined, and that is the conclusion of the court in July.

Now, then, we have exactly what the judge refers to here in speaking of it, a fixed, satisfactory, conclusive limitation upon their power. It is not left to the assessor. But even go still further, according to the doctrine advocated here, if the limits of a town were extended at any time after this fiscal year before the first day of January, why a man's property must be assessed although it was not subject to assessment at that time. If a party sees fit to build a house on his land, he is to be assessed that year, notwithstanding the fact that the fiscal year has terminated the October before; in fact, there would be no fixed way of assessing valuations and fixing taxation upon parties. There is a great deal in this. There is no hardship, though, in either, and there is no delay. Whenever the assessments are affixed and determined in July, the city assessor has nothing to do but go there and get the assessment already fixed and limited, and, as a matter of course, his duties are easy, and they are satisfactory. Where we have been working so long under a system so clear and which has given so much satisfaction, I do not think it would be wise policy to enter


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upon a field of speculation, and I, therefore, oppose the amendment.

MR. COBB‑When it says "the preceding year," doesn't it mean the preceding tax year, and if the taxes for the municipality are assessed in the very same year in which this final determination is made, wouldn't it be the preceding tax year which closes in July.

MR. COLEMAN‑That is a matter of course, and that reminds me of another point in this decision. The gentleman said something about property escaping taxation. In the first place, the merchant is required to give in his property at the time he has the greatest amount of goods on hand during the year. Here it says:

"It is argued, that this construction exempts all property which may have escaped taxation during the preceding year, and all property which may come into existence after the completion of the State assessment. As to property which may escape assessment, the municipal officers on its discovery have but to report the same to the assessor and collector, whose duty it then becomes to assess it." The fact is that every proposition that has been made has been fully discussed and determined upon, and the law ought not to be disturbed.

 MR. deGRAFFENREID‑I move to lay the amendment of the gentleman from Jefferson on the table.

On a vote being taken, the motion to lay on the table prevailed.

The following amendment by Mr. Murphree and Mr. Samford of Pike, was read:

"And provided, further, that the additional tax authorized to be levied by the city of Troy shall when so levied and collected be used exclusively in the payment of bonds and interest coupons thereon hereafter issued in the adjustment of the present bonded indebtedness of said city."

THE PRESIDENT‑The question will be upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Pike.

Upon a vote being taken the amendment was adopted.

MR. ESPY‑I have an amendment I desire to offer which was prepared by Mr. Lee of Escambia.

The amendment was read as follows:

"Amend Section 11 by adding the word 'Brewton' after the word `Woodlawn,' in line 18."

Upon a vote being taken the amendment was adopted.

MR. LOMAX‑‑‑I have an amendment.


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

The amendment was read as follows:

"Amend Section 11, reported by the Committee on Municipal Corporations, by adding the following:

" ‘And provided further, that this Section shall not apply to the city of Montgomery, which city shall have the right to levy and collect a tax of not exceeding one‑half of 1 per cent. per year upon the value of all taxable property therein fixed by State taxation, for general expenses, and an additional tax of not exceeding three‑fourths of 1 per cent. per year upon the value of property therein as fixed for State taxation, to be devoted exclusively to the payment of its public debt, interest thereon and renewals thereof, and to the maintenance of its public schools and public conveniences."

MR. LOMAX‑This amendment was prepared by my colleague from Montgomery, Mr. Watts. It meets the views of five of the delegates to this Convention from the county of Montgomery. It also meets the approval of the Mayor and City Council. It is absolutely necessary in order to permit us to properly take care of the obligations we now have, and I move the adoption of the amendment.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑I remember that when my friend from Montgomery was nominated, the Convention which nominated him,--and he is known to be one of the delegates from the State at large,‑-adopted a resolution that you should not increase the taxes of the people. When I was nominated by the county, I pledged the people of that assembly, the convention, that I would not raise the taxes of the people. These other gentlemen from the county, I am told, say that they did not make any such pledge, but the Party made the pledge and I recognize it, and I cannot see, upon my life, why Montgomery should be burdened more than almost any other city in the State. That it has been imprudent and that it incurred an indebtedness without wisdom is known of all men. Its present Council is not remarkable for its wisdom. It is endeavoring even now to evade the responsibilities which they think this Convention, in its Constitution, will impose upon them in the way of limitation in the granting of franchises.

Let us look at it for a moment. My friend there says Montgomery requires 125 per cent. Already the people of Montgomery county, who reside in the city, are taxed two twenty-seven and a half per cent. This city has acted under the Constitution that has prevailed for twenty-five years, and for the last ten or fifteen years at least, while it should properly tax from seventy to seventy-five, it is taxed one hundred and twelve and a half per cent., in defiance of the Constitution of the State and have applied money so raised to any purpose that suited the fancy or caprice of the Aldermen.


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

The proposition of my colleague is that now, inasmuch as the City Council has collected one hundred and twelve and one-half percent. instead of seventy or seventy-five per cent., that we should go further and give it the right to collect one hundred and twenty-five per cent. It is just precisely as wise as if a man who has been robbed of twelve hundred dollars should immediately turn around and give the gang of robbers eighteen hundred dollars because of the theft. Why should they do it? What evidence have we that one hundred and twenty‑five per cent. will pay an indebtedness of more than two millions of dollars, with bonds on the market which we cannot sell, when the people are pledged not to enlarge the indebtedness of the county. Montgomery is as much a part of the people of Alabama as any other portion of the State. One hundred and twenty-five per cent. is higher than any other class of ten thousand men that I know pay for city, village or town privileges. I can see no reason why the people should be thus burdened. Mr. President, he says that his five colleagues‑I am rather astonished at the defection of my friend Macdonald if he be one of them. My friend Jones is unfortunately afflicted and is not here to answer for himself. I do not know that Governor Oates favors this project. I am certainly earnestly and intensely opposed to it and I appeal to these people not to single out Montgomery as a sacrifice, and not to burden them, when already they have a debt of two million dollars which they cannot pay; when their assets consist of the Fire Department, a Market House and a Cemetery, and some water works that are very valuable, but who wants to buy a Cemetery or a Fire Department to meet these great obligations? I say to this Convention that it would be unjust.  What men have these gentlemen seen and confabulated with, who speak for the people of Montgomery city? The City Council, many of whom have been defeated for their own wise policies and who are going out of office in a few weeks, and are doing everything that they can possible as a mere matter of spite under the pretense of honesty and patriotism. Now the people I meet on the street say to me—

MR. LOMAX‑You seem to question the proposition that five of the representatives from Montgomery Council favor this proposition.

MR. SANFORD‑I do.

MR. LOMAX‑Do you deny that Mr. Watts favors it or that Mr. Graham favors it, or that I favor it or that Mr. Macdonald favors or that Governor Jones favors it?

MR. SAMFORD— I did not know Mr. Macdonald favored it.

MR. LOMAX‑He does favor it and Governor Jones favored it at a meeting of the Montgomery delegation at which you were not present.


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MR. SANFORD‑That is not all. There are six of us here.

MR. LOMAX‑There are seven of us here.

MR. SANFORD‑That is a greater misfortune than I thought Montgomery was afflicted with. (Laughter.)

MR. LOMAX‑With great respect I would like to ask my colleague if he refers to himself in that remark? (Laughter.)

MR. SANFORD‑Certainly, and to you also. Now, I would  say that the people say to me when they meet me on the street, "Don't let the Convention, if you can prevent it, put any more tax on this city or upon us."

THE PRESIDENT‑The time of the gentleman has expired.

MR. MACDONALD‑I feel it necessary after the allusion made to me by my distinguished colleague from Montgomery, Colonel Sanford, to explain my vote in this instance. Every one who knows me, understands and my course in this Convention has shown, that I am opposed to putting on the people any unnecessary burden, and that has been the course of my life so far as it had any public character at all. When this matter was first broached to me, I was very much like my friend, General Sanford, in reference to it, but I became convinced (and I can be convinced some times) that the necessities of the case demand this. As I understand there is a maximum limit by law now for the city of Montgomery, of I believe a cent and a half. Is that correct?

MR. SANFORD‑About eighteen and a half cents.

MR. LOMAX‑A cent and a quarter.

MR. MACDONALD ‑ It is true that the municipality of Montgomery does not tax up to that rate, but the tax has been one twelve and a half, and so this suggested raise as a matter of fact is no raise at all but merely fixes a limit already fixed, although it is true that that limit of one and a quarter is made up by permission given to assess the property of the city for the purpose of paying interest on certain bonds which do not require the full amount now.

MR. SANFORD‑Ain't it a fact that the interest which one per centum is allowed, amounts to about $27,000 and a  few hundred, and they collect about sixty odd thousand dollars upon it illegally.

MR. MACDONALD‑Yes, sir, I have already answered that proposition, that it is not needed for that specific purpose.

MR. SANFORD‑That is illegal and yet we want to increase the illegal taxation by making it legal.


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MR. MACDONALD‑No sir. I desire that the municipality of Montgomery which is in a condition that absolutely demands this relief according to the best information I have been able to receive, and I and no expert on the question and must get information front those who are expert, that the municipality of Montgomery in the condition in which it now is (it makes no difference how they got into that condition whether through the extravagance of those who had the business in charge or through misfortune), does need that relief, and so far as I and concerned, I and willing to answer to my constituents of the city of Montgomery and the County of Montgomery for my vote here, and it is my deliberate conviction, after being impressed directly to the contrary, that this relief is needed by the city of Montgomery.

MR. SANFORD‑You won't have many constituents if you talk that way.

MR. GRAHAM (Montgomery)‑‑I am as much opposed to raising; the tax limit or to increasing tile rate of taxation as my distinguished friend who has just spoken so strongly against this proposition. Under ordinary circumstances I would be more than willing to take the opinion of the gentleman as being correct upon any proposition that is presented, except upon matters municipal, when he is known to be at all time "agin' the government," that is so far as I have known the gentleman.

MR. SANFORD‑Because it has always been oppressive.

MR. GRAHAM--The gentleman says because it has always been oppressive. Let us concede for the sake of argument, that it is oppressive. We have a debt which has been created by the city of Montgomery. That debt we are honorably bound to pay and we are here appealing to the sovereigns of the State of Alabama to place us in the position where we can pay that debt as honorable men.

MR. SANFORD‑Can't you do it by reducing your expenses?

MR. GRAHAM‑As to that I am not informed. There may be excessive expenses, but I presume on account of the existence of this large amount of indebtedness on the part of Montgomery those who are now administering; its affairs are sailing as close to the  shore as it is possible for them to do consistent with good government. Now, Mr. President, Colonel Sanford, my colleague, has told us that we cannot pay the debt. There is no doubt in the world about the fact unless we get the relief which is sought through the amendment offered by my colleague, Mr. Lomax, the city of Montgomery will be absolutely unable to pay the indebtedness and must default. Now is it better that we should confer upon the city the right to pay this indebtedness, although it may result in a small amount of hardship. Confessing that, for the sake of argument, I say is it not better that that should be done,


3805

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

than that the capital city of the sovereign State of Alabama should be disgraced in the commercial world by failing to pay the interest on her obligations when they fall due?

MR. SANFORD‑We have no evidence that one hundred and twenty-five will save us from the disgrace of which you speak.

MR. GRAHAM‑One hundred and twenty-five, Mr. President, in the opinion of those who are interested deeply in this matter, and who are informed on this subject, will relieve Montgomery from this threatened disgrace. It is fortunate that we have five men who represent the county of Montgomery, who come from the county of Montgomery, who are agreed on this proposition. An effort as I am informed, was made to satisfy my friend here that it was proper and right that we should have the power conferred upon this city which has been asked by this; amendment, but, as I am also informed, he did not agree to it. I am also informed that our distinguished friend who formerly hailed from the wire grass of this State, and is now an honorable citizen of Montgomery County, has also been approached on the subject. As to how he stands I do not know and it is entirely immaterial. It is between him and his conscience, as to what he thinks is right.  Mr. President, I do not care to add any thing more to what I have said, but I do appeal to this Convention in the interest of the fair name of the city of Montgomery, in the interest of the State of Alabama, in the interest of the tax-payers of the city of Montgomery that this amendment should be adopted.

MR. SANFORD‑ Mr. President, is it not as much to the interest of the people that it should not be adopted. I would like to ask the gentleman one more question. Is it not a fact that the town today has a great many officers, some of whom might be dispensed with ?

MR. GRAHAM‑I do not think there is any doubt about that fact.

MR. SANFORD‑They are like the Siamese frogs—

MR. GRAHAM‑I do not agree on that proposition. I never saw a Siamese frog and don't know what it is.

MR. EYSTER‑I have an amendment.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows: Amend Section 11 by adding after the words "per annum" on line twenty the following: "And provided, further, that this section shall not apply to the cities of New Decatur and Cullman, which cities may, from and after the ratification of this Constitution, levy and collect an additional tax not exceeding one-quarter of one per centum per annum in addition to the tax hereinbefore authorized which special tax shall be applied exclusively to educational purposes."


3806                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. BLACKWELL–   I desire to offer a substitute to the amendment.

The Secretary read the substitute as follows: Amend Section 11 by adding after the word "per annum" in line twenty "and provided further, that this section shall not apply to the cities of Decatur and New Decatur and Cullman, which cities may from and after the ratification of this Constitution, levy and collect an additional tax not exceeding three-tenths of one per centum ; such special tax to be applied exclusively to paying the current expenses of public schools, public improvements and to the payment of current expenses of their city government."

MR. EYSTER‑I ask consent to accept the substitute offered by the gentleman.

There being no objection the substitute was accepted.

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑I have an amendment.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows:

Amend Section 11 of the Article on Municipal Corporations, line 18, inserting after the word "Florence" the words "Pratt City, Ensley and Wylam."

MR. CUNNINGHAM‑I desire to say that the delegates from Pratt City and Ensley and Wylam are unanimously in favor of it.

MR. WEAKLEY‑‑I ask unanimous consent to add Avondale.

There being no objection the amendment was adopted.

MR. WEAKLEY–I have an amendment.

The secretary read the amendment as follows:

Amend by striking out the word Florence in line 18.

Upon a vote being taken the amendment was adopted.

MR. deGRAFFENREID–  It seems from the number of amendments already added to that Section, we are going into the same difficulty we criticized the Legislature about, into the business of local legislation, and I believe that nearly every town except Florence, Greensboro, Eutaw and a few others have been exempted from the operation of the Section and I therefore move to lay the Section and all of its amendments on the table.

There were expressions of dissent.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for, and by a vote of 36 ayes and 56 noes, the motion to table was lost.

MR. BOONE–I move the previous question on the Section and the amendments thereto.


3807

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

THE PRESIDENT‑The previous question is moved on the Section and amendments.

The main question was ordered.

MR. BROWNE‑I ask for the reading of the Section as amended, it is long but very important.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑Mr. President—

THE PRESIDENT–The previous question has been ordered. For what purpose does the gentleman from Pike rise?

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)‑I desire to give notice that I voted in the affirmative, and that on tomorrow I will make a motion to reconsider the vote by which the previous question was ordered.

Leaves of absence were granted as follows: Indefinite leave to Mr. Moody, to Mr. Sollie for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, and for tomorrow.

THE PRESIDENT‑The question will be upon the adoption of the Section as amended. The Secretary will now read the Section as amended.

The Secretary read the Section and amendments as follows:

Section — .  No city, town, village or other municipal corporation, other than provided for in this Article, shall levy or collect a higher rate of taxation in any one year on the property situated therein than one‑half of 1 per centuin of the value of such property as assessed for State taxation during the preceding year; provided, that for the purpose of paying debts existing on the 6th day of December, 1875, and the interest thereon, a tax of 1 per centum may be levied and collected, to be applied exclusively to the payment of such indebtedness, and provided, further, that this Section shall not apply to the city, of Mobile, which city may, from and after the ratification of this Constitution, levy a tax not to exceed the rate of three‑quarters of 1 per centuin, to pay the expenses of the city government, and may also levy a tax not to exceed three‑quarters of 1 leer centuin to pay the debt existing on the 6th day of December, 1875, with interest thereon, or any renewal of said debt; and provided further, that this Section shall not apply to the cities of Birmingham and Huntsville, which cities may levy and collect a tax not to exceed one‑half of 1 per centum in addition to the tax of one‑half of 1 per centum, as hereinbefore allowed to be levied and collected, such special tax to be applied exclusively to the payment of interest on bonds of said cities of Birmingham and Huntsville as heretofore issued in pursuance of law, or now authorized by, law to be issued, and for a sinking fund to pay off said bonds at the maturity, thereof; and provided, further, that this Section shall not apply to the cities of Troy, Attalla, Gadsden, Bessemer, Woodlawn, Brewton, Pratt City,


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

Ensley, Wylam and Avondale, which cities may from and after the ratification of this Constitution, levy and collect an additional tax not exceeding one-half of 1 per centum per annum; and provided further, that this Section shall not apply to the cities of Decatur, New Decatur and Cullman, which cities may, from and after the ratification of this Constitution, levy and collect an additional tax not exceeding three-tenths of 1 per centum, such special tax to be applied exclusively to paying the current expenses of the public school, to public improvements, and to the payment of current expenses of their city government, but this additional tax shall not be levied unless authorized by a majority vote of the qualified electors voting at a special election held for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not said tax shall be levied; and provided further, that the purposes for which such special tax is sought to be levied shall be stated in such election call, and if authorized, the revenue derived from such tax shall be used for no other purpose than that stated; and provided further, that the additional tax authorized to be levied by the city of Troy shall, when so levied and collected, be used exclusively in the payment of the bonds and interest coupons thereon, hereafter issued, in the adjustment of the present bonded indebtedness of said city; and provided further, that this Section shall not apply to the city of Montgomery, which city shall have the right to levy and collect a tax of not exceeding one-half of 1 per cent. per year upon the value of the taxable property therein, as fixed for State taxation, for general purposes, and additional tax of not exceeding three-fourths of 1 per cent. per year upon the value of the property therein as fixed for State taxation, to be devoted exclusively to the payment of its public debt, interest thereon, and to the maintenance of its public school and public conveniences.

THE PRESIDENT–The question is on the adoption of the Section as amended.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)–I desire to offer an amendment.

THE PRESIDENT–Not after the previous question has been ordered.

MR. SANFORD–I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was not sustained.

MR. HARRISON–Mr. President—

THE PRESIDENT–For what purpose does the gentleman rise?

MR. HARRISON–I desire to ask for information, form the gentleman form Montgomery, Mr. Lomax, who introduced the amendment, whether or not the effects of it would allow the city


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

of Montgomery three‑fourths of one per cent. as under the old Constitution, to pay the former indebtedness, in addition to the one twenty‑five called for by the amendment?

MR. LOMAX‑No, sir.

MR. HARRISON‑It looks to me that it does.

MR. LOMAX‑It supersedes the old Constitution entirely.

MR. HARRISON‑Won't that be in addition to the right of 1875?  You cannot take away that right which gives the city the right to levy a tax of 50 cents for general purposes and three‑quarters for all debts, could you take away the right of those old bondholders prior to 1875?

MR. LOMAX‑This does not take away the right. It expressly gives the city the right to levy this tax for that purpose.

MR. BOONE‑I understood the previous question. I was ordered.

MR. PRESIDENT‑It has been.

Upon a vote being taken, the section as amended was adopted.

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)–I desire to give notice that I shall move reconsideration on tomorrow.  I do not make the motion now, but just give notice.  I desire to be permitted to state that so far as I see that this is all right, but one of my colleagues is absent, and I do it out of abundance of caution.  I may not make the motion on tomorrow.

PRESIDENT‑The Chair will state that it is not necessary to give notice-‑it may be for the purpose of advising friends of the measure, but it is not necessary to give notice.

MR. WILSON (Clarke) ‑This morning I moved to reconsider the vote by which Section 6 was adopted yesterday. That motion was laid upon the table. I now move to take from the table my motion to reconsider the vote by which Section 6 was adopted. I ask for the reading of the section.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The delegate from Clarke moves to take from the table the motion to reconsider the vote by which Section 6 was adopted.

MR. ASHCRAFT‑I rise to a point of order a motion to take from the table or to reconsider cannot displace the regular order, and I demand the regular order.

THE PRESIDENT‑It seems to the Chair that the point of order is well taken.

MR. WILSON–That was the point of order?


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OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT‑That a motion to take from the table cannot displace the regular order. It is not a privileged motion.

MR. WILSON‑What is the regular order?

THE PRESIDENT‑Consideration of the report of the Committee on Municipal Corporations.

MR. WILSON‑Is not this a part of that report?

THE PRESIDENT‑When a motion is laid upon the table and is again called up, it comes up before the assembly precisely as a motion to lay upon the table with all the amendments then pending, but a motion to take from the table is not a privileged motion.

MR. WILSON‑It is not a privileged motion? Haven't we already adopted the last section of this Article?

THE PRESIDENT‑The consideration of the Article before the Convention has not been concluded; nor has it been ordered to a third reading.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑I have an amendment that I wish to offer to the Article.

THE PRESIDENT ‑ The Chair will hear the gentleman from Clarke on a point of order.

MR. WILSON‑I move to suspend the regular order that I may move to take from the table.

Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for, and upon a further vote there were ayes 40, noes 36, and the motion to suspend was lost.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑I wish to offer an amendment as an additional section.

The Secretary read the additional section as follows : "No charter for the government of any municipality made according to any law enacted by the Legislature, shall become operative until the same shall be adopted by a vote of a majority of the qualified electors residing within the limits of such municipality."

MR. WEAKLEY‑I move to lay the amendment upon the table.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑Of course (Laughter). I make that because the charter is to the city what the Constitution is to the Legislature and to the State. It is the authority which confers or denies the grant of privileges to the people who dwell herein. It may impose great burdens upon them, and, therefore, I think it is just as proper that a charter after it has been framed, should be submitted to the people over whom it is to gov‑


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CONSTI'1'UTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

ern, as it is to submit a constitution to the people of the whole State. I, therefore, urge that a charge should he submitted to the people subject to its command or authority, just as the Constitution is; and submitted to the people for their ratification to govern the whole State. Is there any gentleman who is opposed to it?

A DELEGATE‑Oh, no!

MR. SANFORD‑He says, "Oh, no," and is unable to make the distinction if his life and his soul's salvation depended upon it‑between a charter, the organic law of a city; and the Constitution, the organic law of the State.

MR. O'NEAL‑Would not that be in effect embodying the principle of initiative and referendum in the Constitution of Alabama?

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑No more than the Constitution itself is an initiative and referendum‑precisely the same principle.

MR. O'NEAL‑That is the only one we have in the Constitution.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑That is the only one because it has never been agitated before, that has been moved and I move this for the same reason that the people whom it shall govern shall have something to say what shall be their organic law whether a State or a city.

MR. WEAKLEY‑I renew my motion to table.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑Answer it with argument.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to table prevailed.

MR. WHITESIDE‑I have an amendment I desire to offer.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows : "Amend by adding an additional section : Any person, firm, or association or corporation who may construct or operate any public utility along, on or across the public streets of any municipal corporation under any privilege or franchise permitting such construction in or through such municipal corporation shall be liable to abutting proprietors for the actual damage done to the abutting property on account of such construction or operation."

THE PRESIDENT‑The question will be upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Calhoun.

MR. WHITESIDE‑Gentlemen of the Convention, the courts have held that these utilities that operate upon the streets of a city  are not an additional servitude upon abutting property, they may be constructed and operated along a street and damage the prop‑


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erty and almost destroy its value and the abutting property owners have not right to recover any damages therefor. This provision is simply to allow them to recover the actual damages that may be caused by the construction and operation of these utilities along the streets by the property.

MR. BOONE‑Mr. President, it may not be a vain thing, but still I am going to attempt to defend the proposition offered by the gentleman from Calhoun. His idea in introducing that is, where an electric railroad or other street railroad or one of these trunk lines that we were talking about this morning, having a franchise or privilege to run their line up against a man's sidewalk, and prevent his dray or carriage or anything else from going in or out, the occupants of it loading or unloading from it, they do damage the abutting proprietor and they should pay what is fair and just. As the delegate from Calhoun has urged, the courts have held that the putting of an electric railroad or the putting down of posts on the sidewalk for a trolley system was, not an additional servitude on the street from that charging it with a different use from that originally set out by the proprietors who dedicated that property or from whom it was condemned. The object of the section introduced by him is not to effect that, but where it actually damages the abutting proprietor in the way we have attempted to explain, it does seem to me they should be required to pay for it.

MR. KYLE‑It occurs to me if that becomes a part of the Constitution of this State, you cannot build an electric railroad, or any other railroad in a city, and it would appear that these lawyers are anticipating very dull business and want damage suits growing out of the construction of railroads to keep them up. That will be the result of it. There never will be another railroad built if that is put in there, for every man that lives on a street will find himself seriously damaged by the noise of the cars or some other thing, which will damage him and disturb his family and render it unpleasant, and he will want damages, and these lawyers will bring so many suits against them that they will have to abandon business.

MR. WALKER‑‑It seems to me that the proposition offered by the gentleman from Calhoun is already the law of the State. I can see no use in enacting it in the Constitution. I move to lay it on the table.

MR. WHITE‑Please withdraw that.

MR. WALKER‑I withdraw the motion to table.

MR. WHITE– I think my friend is mistaken about that being the law in Alabama now. It was decided in the Allen case directly reverse of that. I agree with the gentleman from Calhoun that the abutting owner should not be made to bear all the burden, that the parties proposing to use the streets should pay for the


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CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

additional burdens imposed upon the property. Now the law presumes that no street railways, electric lights, horse car lines, telegraph lines, telephone lines‑that the servitude has already been paid for in the original grant of the street‑that that is one of the burdens incident to the grant. That view is not always just or always right. You may have along the front of your property a beautiful lot of shade trees.

MR. WALKER‑If you will look at the case of Highland Avenue and Belt Line in Birmingham against Mathews I think was the name— it decides that actual damages could be recovered.

MR. WHITE‑That was a railroad operated by steam. They draw that distinction. You cannot run a car propelled by steam, you can run all others, and I think the amendment offered by the gentleman from Calhoun should be adopted.

MR. HOOD‑Whether the matters contained in the amendment be the law now or not, it is certainly a question purely legislative. It has no place in the Constitution. We can certainly leave it to the legislature to regulate the liability of these street railroads for injury to abutting property and not load down the Constitution with such things as this. That may be wise or unwise. This is a matter of considerable importance sprung upon this Convention by an amendment and has not received even the consideration of the Committee.

MR. WHITESIDE‑May I interrupt the gentleman?

MR. HOOD‑Certainly.

MR. WHITESIDE‑The proposition was introduced in an original ordinance referred to the committee and reported by that committee. You will find the same proposition mixed with other matters in Section 4 of the report of this committee.

MR. HOOD— That section has been laid upon the table, and I think this section should be laid upon the table, and I make that motion.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for, and a further vote being taken there were 25 ayes and 47 noes and the motion to table was lost.

MR. WHITESIDE‑I move the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑The gentleman from Greene has the floor.

MR. COLEMAN‑‑I move that the delegate be allowed to except Gadsden. We are in an exempting humor this evening.

MR. WHITESIDE‑‑I move the previous question.


3814                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. HOOD– I wish to include the town of Eutaw that it be added to the amendment.

MR. WHITESIDE ‑ I make the point of order that the amendments are not in writing and I move the previous question upon the adoption of the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT‑The question is shall the main question be now put?

Upon a vote being taken the main question was ordered and a further vote being taken the amendment or additional article to

the section was adopted.

MR. WEAKLEY‑Yesterday afternoon when the Convention had under consideration Section 7 of the article as reported by the committee several amendments were offered. The Convention recommitted Section 7 with the pending amendments to the committee instructing them to report today. I have to say that the committee reports back Section 7 as originally reported, and an additional section which I think will meet the views of all the gentlemen who objected to the original section on yesterday.

THE PRESIDENT‑It seems to the Chair that the proper course would be that Section 7 be reported back with a substitute.  Do you report Section 7 back for adoption?

MR. WEAKLEY‑Yes.

Sec. 7. No county, city, town, village, district or other political subdivision of a county shall have authority or be authorized by the General Assembly after the ratification of this Constitution to issue bonds, unless such issue of bonds shall have first been approved by majority vote by ballot of the qualified voters of such county, city, town, village, district or other political subdivision of a county, voting upon such proposition. In determining the result of any election held for this purpose, no vote shall be counted as an affirmative vote, which does not show on its face that such vote was cast in approval of such issue of bonds. This section shall not apply to the renewal, refunding or reissuance of bonds lawfully issued, nor prevent the issuance of bonds in cases where the same have been authorized by laws enacted prior to the ratification of this Constitution, nor shall this section apply to obligations incurred or bonds to be issued to procure means to pay for street and sidewalk improvement or sanitary or storm water sewers, the cost of which is to be assessed in whole or in part against the property abutting said improvements or drained by such sanitary or storm water sewers.

Section — . No city, town or other municipality shall make any assessment for the cost of sidewalks or street paving, or for the cost of construction of any sewers, against the property abut‑


3815

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

ting on, such street or sidewalk so paved or drained by such sewers in excess of the increased value of such property by reason of the special benefits derived from such improvement.

MR. WEAKLEY‑I desire to move the adoption of Section 7, and to state that so far as the additional section, it meets the approval of the gentleman who objected on yesterday, it speaks for itself, and it simply provides that all bond issues by municipalities or counties shall first be submitted to a vote of the people.

MR. MACDONALD‑I merely wish to state that so far as I am concerned, and so far as those who are with me are concerned, the section reported as Section blank in reference to streets, sidewalks, paving and the construction of sewers is acceptable to us.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑On yesterday, when I offered an amendment, this section was recommitted to the committee, in order that the amendment might be framed in accordance with that offer, and which seemed to meet the approval of the delegates to this Convention. Now, I am perfectly willing to vote for this section with the conditions attached provided by a separate section, but it is not right that we adopt this section independent of another and perhaps lose the other, and I will not support this section as it is, though I favor it with the conditions of the other attached, and if you will make that a paragraph of this, and let it all come in together, it is all right, but we cannot afford to miss–

MR. BOONE‑I ask unanimous consent that the last paragraph submitted by the committee as an additional section be made a part of Section 7, reported back by the committee, being added as a paragraph to said Section 7.

The consent was given.

MR. CRAIG‑I have an amendment.

MR. WILSON (Clarke)‑I rise to enter a privileged motion.

THE PRESIDENT‑The Convention has under consideration, now a section reported by the Committee on Municipal Corporations.

MR. WILSON‑I desire, under Rule 30, to make a motion to set down a special order.

THE PRESIDENT‑‑The Chair cannot recognize the gentleman to make a motion of that kind. The question now is upon an amendment offered to the Article upon Municipal Corporations. and the consideration of this Article cannot be interrupted to take up outside matters. The question is on the adoption of the section as reported by the Committee. The Chair will inquire


3816                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

of the gentleman from Dallas if his amendment relates to this section.

MR. CRAIG– Yes, sir; to Section 7.

The amendment was read as follows: ‘Amend Section 7 by adding after the word ‘voters,’ in line 4, the words ‘and women tax-payers.’”

MR. BOONE– I move to lay the amendment on the table.

MR. FITTS– I hope the gentleman will not do that.

THE PRESIDENT– It is moved that the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dallas be laid upon the table.

MR. CRAIG– I had the floor and never yielded it. I do not wish to take up the time of this Convention, but the people of Dallas County particularly, and I suppose of other portions of the State, have suffered from this ignorant and vicious suffrage of which we have been speaking so much in this Convention. At one time a tax of one hundred and forty thousand dollars was levied upon us by that kind of voters. At another time two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Now, sir, under this Constitution, as we may adopt it, there are bound to be a great many votes cast in these matters to fix a tax upon people who own property, and they have no voice in the amount or method of taxation. You may leave out the negro vote entirely, and in almost every cit or town where taxes are levied, there will be two people who own no property to one who does own it, and they will be voters, and those two votes will always out-vote the one vote of the man who owns the property.

Now, in the city of Selma, we have five million dollars of assessed property– a little over that; in the whole county, nine millions of dollars. We have forty-six thousand negroes in that county and about eight thousand white people. Of that number probably one-third of the negroes in that county will be able to vote under this educational qualification, and we may not console ourselves with the thought that these ignorant voters are not going to come up to the requirements of this Constitution, for many of them will do it. There are more of them in our county that pay their poll tax than there are white men, and that is the case in a great many counties. Now there are a great many women in our cities and throughout all the cities in the State who own property, and that is all they have got, and what I want to do is to let the people who own that property come up and cast a ballot against the ballot of those people who do not own any. I understand the prejudice of men against women voting. I understand that thoroughly. I have been raised right here in this Southern country, and have never lived anywhere else, and never expect to, but I believe in property matters, women have some rights


3817

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

as well as men. I have been told by a lady in this town who heard the discussions on the floor by the gentleman from Montgomery two or three years ago, not speaking on the question particularly, but she said to me: "I had to pay fifteen hundred dollars for improvements in front of my house, and I had nothing to pay it with.  I had to mortgage my home and have nothing with which to pay off the mortgage, and when the law days comes. I may be sold out unless I can borrow the money and extend the dept." She had nobody to vote for her or represent her, and, yet she has property here and she must either sell it and get out, or let the city come and take it, and that matter was brought to the attention of the gentlemen on this floor. Now, an I want in this matter is to let the people who own the property, as well as those who don't own it, vote on this matter. That is all I ask for.

MR. FITTS‑I think that the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dallas is eminently correct. I am aware of the fact that when you come up with the proposition in this State, yet awhile, to allow the women of the land to vote that, at first blush, the proposition that they are to vote at all sounds novel and carries with it more or less of a shock to the usual and ordinary proprieties as we are accustomed to look upon them. But in this matter of creating a bonded indebtedness in towns where they are property owners and where they have no finale member of the family to case a ballot that represents that property, when that property is to be taxed, and it is to become as much a burden upon their property as upon the property of any other person in that town, it does seeing to me that the idea that all the men can vote for the creation of that bonded indebtedness and put that bonded indebtedness upon all of the property of all the widows and all the women in that town who happen to own property, and who are as much interested in that bonded issue and in that indebtedness of the municipality as the men, an injustice that they should not have some voice in the matter, it being as much their debt as that of any man who lives in that municipality. It does seem to me to be nothing but ordinary and even‑handed justice that women who own property in their own naive, and who have no male member of the family to represent them should have the right to pass upon whether or not they want that bond issue made, which becomes a burden and a tax upon their property.  They are as much the taxpayers as the men.

I see smiles on the faces of these old roosters around here who have an idea that they don't want the women to vote. I see smiles of scorn and derision. This is no woman's suffrage.  This is but equal justice, common and even‑handed, to the women of the land. It has been done in Louisiana and other States of this Union. What earthly reason can there be why it should not be done here? Where is the justice in the idea that a man, right on the same street. occupying the next house to a woman, should


3818                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

go to the ballot box and cast his ballot as to whether or not he wants a bond issue in that city, for which the city becomes liable and upon which taxes have to be collected to pay the interest on that issue and the principal of it, and the woman who has been left without any one to represent her, who owns the adjoining property, cannot vote as to whether or not that bond issue shall be made and whether or not she shall be burdened with that additional tax? That is just simple, even‑handed justice, and the rights of the women to have some representation as to the burden which shall be fastened upon their property and as to bonds which shall be issued for which their property has to be taxed to pay the interest upon the bonds themselves whenever they are paid ‑

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑Wouldn't it be better to let the majority of the property rule?

MR. FITTS‑Well, that brings back the idea of measuring the rich and the poor, of letting them vote in pyramids according to what they have, and it always causes dissatisfaction, but certainly a woman who owns property has as much right to vote upon this question as a man who owns property. I don't know how it is in other cities, but I happen to come from a town where there are a large member of ladies who are property owners. I have in mind now one particular street in the very best portion of the city that is to a large extent owned, up and down on one side and up and down on the other, by widows of the very highest class, and the widows of distinguished men who have served their State in all the great walks of life, and right now, if the proposition came up in that town as to whether or not to issue bonds, whether or not to burden that city with a bond issue, there are no people in it no tax payers in it that would be more vitally interested in it than these widows. They would have to be taxed to pay the interest upon the bond issue, they would have to be taxed to pay the debt; they would have no representation whatever in this matter, and certainly ought to be allowed to go to the polls on that occasion and vote. It would not be mixing in politics at all. It is a business proposition as to whether or not they are going to borrow so much money, and go so much in debt. It is a partnership in which they are interested as a party who goes in debt. It is as much their debt as it is the debt of the men and they ought to be allowed to go to the polls and say whether or not they are willing to go into that enterprise. And it is suggested to me by the distinguished gentleman upon my left that I can make it stronger by saying that I only risk this right for women tax payers, and certainly a woman tax payer, upon this subject, ought to have as much right to vote as a man who don't pay any taxes, and yet we propose here to leave it to the vote of people and men who don't own any property and don't own any part of this mortgage indebtedness. Yet women who own property are not allowed to have any voice in the matter.


3819

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

I think the amendment is but right. I think it can be administered in decency and order. I think it is the first step in the right direction of carrying justice to the women taxpayers in Alabama.

MR. BOONE –  This question has been very vehemently argued on the other side, and unless some gentleman wishes to oppose it on the floor, and I do not think they do, I move the previous question upon the Section and amendment.

The main question was ordered.

THE PRESIDENT‑The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dallas.

MR, FITTS‑I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was sustained.

A reading of the amendment was called for and the amendment was read.

Mr. Cunningham took the Chair.

MR. BROWNE ‑ I call for a reading of the Section as it would be amended if this amendment is adopted.

Section 7 was read as proposed to be amended.

MR. PETTUS‑I rise to make a parliamentary inquiry. Does that apply to married women or single women?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The Chair is of the opinion that it applies to any woman, whether married or single, provided she pays taxes.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑Does it say women tax payers without regard to age?

MR. FITTS‑The previous question has been ordered.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The previous question has been ordered. As many as favor the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dallas will say aye and those opposed no.

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

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The ayes and noes have been called for.

MR. PETTUS‑I rise to a point of order. They have not been called on the motion to table.

MR. FITTS‑Yes, I called for the ayes and noes on that.


3820                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The Chair will hold that a motion to lay on the table does not remove the call for the ayes and noes on the merits of the question. The question is shall the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dallas be tabled, and upon that the ayes and noes have been called for. As many as favor the tabling of the amendment will say aye as their names are called, and those opposed no.

MR. COBB‑I would like to ask unanimous consent to amend by putting in "unmarried women tax payers."

MR. CRAIG– We agree to that.

Objections were made.

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

AYES

Almon, Glover,  Norman,
Barefield,    Grayson, Oates,
Bethune,  Greer, of Calhoun, O’Neal (Lauderdale),
Blackwell, Handley, Opp,
Boone, Heflin, of Randolph, O’Rear,
Brooks, Inge, Phillips,
Bulger, Jones, of Wilcox,  Sanders,
Burnett, Ledbetter,   Searcy,
Byars,  Lomax, Selheimer,
Cardon, Lowe (Jefferson), Sollie,
Cobb, McMillan (Baldwin),  Spragins,
Coleman, of Greene,  Malone, Vaughan,
Coleman, of Walker, Martin, Waddell,
Duke, Merrill, Weakley,
Eyster, Miller (Wilcox), Williams (Barbour),
Fletcher, NeSmith,   Williams (Marengo),
TOTAL‑48

NOES

Ashcraft,  Dent,  Howze,
Banks, deGraffenreid,   Jackson,
Beddow,   Eley,  Jenkins,
Browne, Espy, Jones, of Bibb,
Burns, Fitts, Knight,
Carmichael, of Colbert,  Foshee, Kyle,
Carmichael, of Coffee, Freeman,  Lowe (Lawrence),
Chapman, Gilmore, Macdonald,
Cofer, Graham, of Montgomery, McMillan (Wilcox),
Cornwall, Haley, Miller (Marengo),
Craig, Harrison, Murphree,
Cunningham, Hinson, Norwood,
Davis, of Etowah, Hood, Palmer,

3821

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

Parker (Cullman), Rogers (Lowndes),  White,
Parker (Elmore), Samford, Whiteside,
Pearce, Sanford, Williams (Elmore),
Pettus, Smith (Mobile), Wilson (Clarke),
Pitts, Sorrell, Winn,
Porter, Thompson,
Renfro,  Walker,

TOTAL– 59

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Messrs. President, Jones, of Montgomery,  Reynolds (Henry),
Altman,  King, Robinson,
Bartlett, Kirk, Rogers (Sumter),
Beavers, Kirkland, Sentell,
Carnathon, Leigh, Sloan,
Case, Locklin, Smith, Mac A.,
Davis, of DeKalb, Long (Butler), Smith, Morgan M.,
Ferguson, Long (Walker), Spears,
Foster, Maxwell, Stewart,
Graham, of Talladega,   Moody,  Studdard,
Grant,  Morrisette, Tayloe,
Greer, of Perry, Mulkey,  Watts,
Heflin, of Chambers, O’Neill (Jefferson), Weatherly,
Henderson, Pillans, Willet,
Hodges, Proctor, Wilson (Washington),
Howell, Reese,
Jones, of Hale, Reynolds (Chilton),

So the motion to table was lost.

MR. PITTS‑I now offer this amendment which will make it read "unmarried women tax‑payers over twenty‑one years of age."

PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The Chair will say that the previous question has been ordered and all amendments are out of order without unanimous consent.

MR. FITTS‑I ask unanimous consent.

Objections were made.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑I move a suspension of the rules in order that the gentleman may be allowed to offer the amendment.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The gentleman from Hale moves a suspension of the rules in order that the gentleman may be allowed to offer the amendment.

Upon a vote being taken, a division was called for and the motion to suspend the rules was lost by a vote of 59 ayes and 40 noes.


3822                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. GREER (Calhoun)‑I move to table the whole section and the amendment.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM. ‑ The question is the pending amendment and the motion to table the section is not in order.

MR. SOLLIE— I rise to a question of information. As I understand what has been done thus far, a motion was made to suspend the rules, and pending that motion and before a vote was taken a motion to table was made.  As  I understand, a motion to table is in order only before the vote has been taken upon a pending motion to suspend the rules. Be the question of law as it may, however, my recollection is that the motion to suspend the rules was not put.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The motion was put on the motion to suspend the rules. The question is on the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dallas.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for and by a vote of 65 ayes and 45 noes, the amendment was adopted. (Applause.)

While vote was being taken:

MR. GREER (Calhoun)‑I want to change my vote for the purpose of moving to reconsider.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑No change on this is necessary.

MR. GREER‑It would be too late–

PRESIDENT PRO TEM ‑ The Chair would say that no record is kept of the votes of delegates upon a division, and therefore the question as to how they voted on the question for the purpose of moving a reconsideration would not be questioned unless they were challenged.

MR. GREER‑I vote aye for that purpose.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The question recurs upon the motion to adopt the section as amended.

MR. O’NEAL‑I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was sustained.

MR. BURNETT‑I move to adjourn.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The motion is out of order. The previous question has been ordered and that is tantamount to ordering a vote.

MR. COLEMAN (Greene)‑Will you have it read so we will know what we are doing?


3823

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

PRESIDENT PRO TEM. ‑ The gentleman from Greene asks that it be read.

MR. COLEMAN‑Only the amendment.

The amendment was read as follows:

“Amend Section 7 by adding after the word ‘voters’ in line seven ‘and women tax‑payers.’”

MR. COLEMAN‑I move to lay that amendment as written, on the table.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The Chair will hold that the amendment has been adopted and is therefore not before the Convention, and the motion to lay on the table is out of order. The motion is upon the adoption of the section as amended. The Secretary will call the roll.

During call of the roll–

MR. O'NEAL‑I move to lay the section as amended on the table.

PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The motion is too late, the call of the roll has begun.

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

AYES

Altman,

Foshee,

Palmer,

Ashcraft,

Freeman,

Parker, of Cullman,

Banks,

Gilmore,

Parker, of Elmore,

Beddow,

Graham, of Montgomery,

Pearce,

Blackwell,

Graham, of Talladega,

Pettus,

Boone,

Greer, of Calhoun,

Pitts,

Browne,

Haley,

Porter,

Burns,

Hinson,

Renfro,

Carmichael, of Colbert,

Hood,

Rogers, of Lowndes,

Carmichael, of Coffee,

Jackson,

Samford,

Chapman,

Jenkins,

Sanford,

Cofer,

Jones, of Bibb,

Smith, of Mobile,

Coleman, of Greene,

Knight,

Sorrell,

Cornwall,

Kyle,

Spears,

Craig,

Lowe, of Lawrence,

Studdard,

Cunningham,

Macdonald,

Thompson,

Davis, of Etowah,

McMillan (Baldwin),

White,

Dent,

McMillan, of Wilcox,

Whiteside,

deGraffenreid,

Miller, of Marengo,

Williams, of Elmore,

Eley,

Murphree,

Wilson, of Clarke,

Espy

Norwood,

Winn,

Fitts,

O'Neill (Jefferson),

TOTAL‑65


3824                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

NOES

Almon,

Harrison,

O’Neal of Lauderdale,

Barefield,

Heflin, of Randolph,

Opp,

Bethune,

Howze,

O’Rear,

Brooks,

Inge,

Phillips,

Bulger,

Jones, of Wilcox,

Sanders,

Burnett,

Ledbetter,

Searcy,

Byars,

Lomax,

Selheimer,

Cardon,

Lowe, of Jefferson,

Sollie,

Cobb,

Malone,

Spragins,

Coleman, of Walker,

Martin,

Vaughan,

Duke,

Merrill,

Waddell,

Eyster,

Miller, of Wilcox,

Walker,

Fletcher,

NeSmith,

Weakley,

Glover,

Norman,

Williams, of Barbour,

Grayson,

Oates,

Williams, of Marengo,

Handley,

TOTAL– 46

ABSENT OR NOT VOTING

Messrs. President,

Jones, of Montgomery,

Reynolds, of Chilton,

Bartlett,

King,

Reynolds (Henry),

Beavers,

Kirk,

Robinson,

Carnathon,

Kirkland,

Rogers, of Sumter,

Case,

Leigh,

Sentell,

Davis, of DeKalb,

Locklin,

Sloan,

Ferguson,

Long, of Butler,

Smith, Mac. A.,

Foster,

Long, of Walker,

Smith, Morgan M.,

Grant,

Maxwell,

Stewart,

Greer, of Perry,

Moody,

Tayloe,

Heflin, of Chambers,

Morrisette,

Watts,

Henderson,

Mulkey,

Weatherly,

Hodges,

Pillans,

Willet,

Howell,

Proctor,

Wilson, of Washington.

Jones, of Hale,

Reese,

MR. COLEMAN– I change my vote from no to aye, for the purpose of moving a reconsideration tomorrow morning.

The result of the roll call was 65 ayes and 46 noes, and the section as amended was adopted.

MR. GREER (Calhoun)– I desire to give notice that on tomorrow morning I will move for a reconsideration.

THE PRESIDENT– The gentleman from Greene gives the same notice.

MR. BOONE– I desire to offer an additional section.

The Secretary read the section as follows:


3825

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

"Section — . The Legislature shall make provision by general laws whereby any city, town or village existing by virtue of any special or local law may elect to become subject to and be governed by the general laws providing for the incorporation and organization of cities, towns or villages."

MR. BOONE‑As emery member of this Convention knows we have adopted a section in the article on local legislation whereby in the future the legislature is inhibited from passing any law creating a municipal corporation. Now, Mr. President, that is in line with nearly all the States of the Union, and if you will take the annotated Constitution of the State of New York you will find that wherever that is the law there is a proposition the same as I have introduced here in some thirty odd States whereby any municipal corporation that existed prior to that time if it so elects to do so can come in and be organized under the general laws governing cities, towns and villages. In Ohio that has been generally clone, so much so that in the city of Hamilton, although it had a special charter, the Legislature authorized the method as to how it should be done, and it came in under the general operation of the laws of Ohio, governing municipal corporations. That is the only purpose. So that the General Assembly shall provide the means whereby cities, we would say like Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery or any town, city or village that is incorporated in the State, if it saw fit could abandon its special charter and come in under the general laws of the State. The laws of Ohio are notably good and sound on this subject and doubtless our Legislature will when they meet give us something of the kind. I think the section is in order.

MR. COLEMAN‑There can be no doubt that the Legislature will have that authority any way. There is nothing in the Constitution to prohibit, and why should we take these risks and enter upon new fields without time to consider these questions. It adds nothing to the power of the Legislature. It can do all that now, and I do not think we should make these venturesome steps in framing an organic law, when we have not time to consider their length, breadth and character. I move to lay the section on the table.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to table was lost.

MR. VAUGHAN‑I have an additional section.

The Secretary read the section as follows: "The Legislature shall have the power to establish, alter, enlarge or diminish the boundaries of any city, town or village in this State, but notice of such intended change shall be given by publication in the locality to be affected, which notice shall be at least twenty days prior to the introduction into the Legislature of such bill, and the evidence of such notice having been given shall be exhibited


3826                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

to the Legislature before such bill shall be passed, and entered upon the Journal of the house in which the bill is introduced."

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑I offer an amendment.

THE  PRESIDENT‑The gentleman will be recognized in a moment.

MR. VAUGHAN‑There is a section in the old Constitution, which provides that local or special laws be advertised for thirty days before they are introduced into the Legislature. I think that when a bill is introduced here to increase the boundary lines of a city or town that notice ought to be given to the people in the town that is affected by it. I do not think representatives should have power to come here to the Legislature and pass these laws and the first that the people know of it in the towns is when it is printed in the paper. I think it nothing but right that this section should be in the Constitution so as to require bills of this sort to be passed like any other local or special laws should be, and I think inasmuch as this Convention has decided to make Legislatures meet every four years instead of every two, is all the more reason why a notice should be given in cases of this sort. I think the Convention realizes the necessity of some such provision as this, and I think they hastily voted down a provision somewhat similar to this in the article that we are discussion now, and I hope the Convention will adopt the section.

MR. O’NEAL‑ I would to discuss the amendment.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The Chair recognized the gentleman from Montgomery.

MR. WHITE– I would like to have the amendment read.

The Secretary read the amendment as follows:

" Provided that the question of annexation shall be submitted to the qualified electors residing in the territory proposed to be annexed at an election called for the purpose of ascertaining their will.”

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Secretary will now read the proposition of the gentleman from Dallas for the benefit of the Convention.

The Secretary again read the proposed section.

MR. O’NEAL‑Mr. President, the objection to that section is that it is purely legislative. The Legislature of Alabama has power to do anything that is not prohibited by the Constitution.  It is not necessary for us to be spending our time here directing the Legislature what they shall do. And the other objection to it is this: the effect of that is to direct the Legislature to pass local laws in reference to all the town and cities in Alabama.  The Leg‑


3827

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

islature could pass a general law which would cover the whole subject, and it is not necessary to pass a general law and local law. The section of the article on local legislation directs how that can be done by advertisement and notice, but I say the article on local legislation already adopted absolutely prohibits legislation of this character. It is simply local and special which that section directs the Legislature to enact. It directs the Legislature to change the boundary of ally town in this State by local law, but the article on local legislation prohibits and requires the Legislature to do it by general law, which will apply to every town and city in the State. Now we are asked after we have spent weeks on the subject to take a backward step on the question and open the case on local laws again. This simply directs the Legislature to pass laws for any town in the State in regard to its boundaries, streets or anything else. It ought not to be allowed.  There is nothing to prevent the Legislatures from passing general laws. In fact the Legislature is already ordered by the article on local legislation to pass general laws on this subject which will apply to all towns in the State. We have a law now which prohibits the General Assembly from passing any law, changing the laws of any city, amending the charter of any city. This simply authorizes them to do it by special laws. I hope the Convention will not adopt a section of this character, the effect of which is to break down the safeguard which we have already erected against the evils of local legislation. I therefore move to lay the section and the amendment on the table.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)– There is an error in this.  I was to be recognized‑I was called, and he got up.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– The Chair will say that the Chair recognized the gentleman from Montgomery, and he did not rise.

MR. SANFORD– I did not hear you. Mr. President. I want to say this is nothing more than to restrict the Legislature from doing it, whether the people wish to be admitted or not into any town or city. I would say it is Utterly impossible to do it by a general law, for every portion of the territory annexed to a city has to be described by metes and bounds. It. is absolutely impossible to do it by general laws. How could you enlarge the city of Selma to run to the river and north to the Mathews factory, and out to a certain place without describing it particularly. It cannot be done by general laws. How could you say about Montgomery, "Sections 14 and 18, and then out by Wiley's establishment to the river?" You cannot do those things by general laws. It is bound to be done by special act. It is impossible for them to do so. You make a general law as to how cities may be enlarged, but how to enlarge them is a matter of special enactment, and I suggest this for the purpose of showing that it shall be submitted to the


3828                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

people who will be drawn into the city whether they desire to be annexed or not.

MR. O'NEAL ‑What would prevent the Legislature from passing a general lain to the effect that where a city desires to enlarge boundaries the Mayor and Board of Aldermen shall describe the boundaries and submit the matter to the vote of the people in that particular locality? What would prevent a law like that from being enacted? That could apply to every town in the State. The idea that you have to have a special law is not true, because a general law could cover it on the lines you suggest.

MR. SANFORD‑But the Legislature should say when so submitted by the Aldermen and Mayor, the people shall determine whether they desire to be annexed or not. That is all this amendment it.

THE PRESIDENT‑The gentleman from Lauderdale moves to lay the section and amendment on the table.

MR. VAUGHAN (Dallas)‑I call for a division of the question.

THE PRESIDENT‑The question is to lay on the table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Montgomery.

A division was called for.

Upon a vote of 47 ayes and 4 noes, the amendment was laid upon the table.

MR. SANFORD‑I offer this amendment.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The gentleman is not in order. The question is to lay on the table the amendment of the gentleman from Dallas.

MR. WILLIAMS (Elmore)‑I rise to a point of order. There were only fifty‑one votes cast, and that is not a quorum.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The point of order is too late. The question is on the motion to table the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dallas.

Upon a vote being taken, the motion to table prevailed.

MR. COBB‑I offer an additional section.

The Secretary read the Section as follows:

"Section — . All voters under this Article shall be persons possessing the qualifications prescribed for voting by the Article on Suffrage and Elections.

MR. COBB‑That amendment is intended simply–

MR. deGRAFFENREID– I desire to offer a substitute.


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CONSTITUTIONAL  CONVENTION, 1901

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑‑Does the gentleman yield?

MR. COBB‑To allow him to offer the substitute without yielding the floor.

The Secretary read the substitute as follows:

"No woman shall be qualified to vote at any election to determine whether bonds shall be issued by a city, town or village who is not at the time she offers to vote a bona fide resident of such city, town or village, and who does not own in her own right real estate situated in said city, town or village, assessed for taxes during the year preceding the year in which she offers to vote, at five hundred dollars, or more, and no woman shall vote at such election who is under twenty‑one years of age.

MR. O'NEAL‑I have no amendment.

MR. COBB‑Mr. President, I think I had the floor.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The question is on the substitute offered by the gentleman from Hale. There are two amendments already pending. Does the gentleman from Macon ask unanimous consent to accept the amendment?

MR. COBB‑No, sir.

MR. O'NEAL– I rise to a point of order. The section offered by Mr. Cobb is the original section. Mr. deGraffenreid offered a substitute. Now, why can't I amend the substitute?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑Because the amendment offered by the gentleman from Macon is an amendment to the Article reported by the Committee.

MR. O'NEAL‑It is the original section.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑‑But as such it is an amendment and has not precedent. The gentleman from Macon will proceed.

MR. COBB‑The purpose I had in offering that amendment was to bring the female voters to the same standard so far as qualifications are concerned as to male voters. Now, this substitute I am in favor of, only it does not put in these additional qualifications. I am in favor of the five hundred dollar proposition, but I want also the female who are allowed to vote to possess the same qualifications prescribed for voting under the Article on Suffrage and Election.

MR. CHAPMAN‑May I ask the gentleman a question?

MR. SANFORD‑May I ask the gentleman a question? Don't five hundred dollars' worth of property exceed that? Don't that exceed what is required.


3830                  

OFFICIAL  PROCEEDINGS

MR. COBB‑I will accept the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale.

MR. O'NEAL‑I object.

MR. CHAPMAN‑May I ask a question? Is not the effect of your amendment to convert females into males for the time being?

MR. COBB‑I hope not. (Laughter).

MR. O'NEAL‑I raise the point "no quorum."

MR. GREER (Calhoun)‑I move that we now adjourn.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑I had the floor.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The gentleman is out of order; the gentleman from Hale had the floor.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑ Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Convention: The reason I voted to permit women to vote in municipal elections for the issue of bonds was because I have never believed in the doctrine of taxation without representation.  The amendment which was offered by the gentleman from Dallas and which has been adopted by this Convention, is a step in the right direction.  The only reason why a woman should be permitted to vote in municipal elections for the issuance of bonds, is because of the fact that she has property situated in that municipality. which is to be affected by that bond issue. In other words, she has to contribute, along with the male members of the community to the payment of the interest and the principal of the bonds.  That being so, the property that she owns, which should justify her vote, should be a substantial amount of property, and it should be such property as really finds protection in the towel. As I understand it, Mr. President, taxation is justified only upon the principle of protection. The State is permitted to tax its inhabitants because of the measure of protection that it offers to them  and cities and towns are permitted to tax the people ,who live within their boundaries or who own property situated within that town or city because of the fact that the city furnished police protection, and other protection to its inhabitants. and to the property situated therein. The gentleman from Macon offered a proposition looking to the fact that women who owned three hundred dollars worth of property whether it was real or personal property, should be permitted to vote. I do not think so, Mr. President. I think it should be lands situated in town, land that may be reached, land covered by the mortgage issued by the city at the time of the execution of the hands. The purpose of the amendment is plain and I therefore move its adoption, and upon that I move the previous question.


3831

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. O'NEAL – Do you want to cut off all debate? Let us be heard.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The pending question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale.

MR. O'NEAL‑I raise the point of no quorum.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The Chair has no way of knowing.

MR. O'NEAL‑I ask for the call of the house to ascertain whether there is a quorum?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM. –  The gentleman has no right to ask it. He has the right to make a motion.

MR. O'NEAL–  I move a call of the house to ascertain whether a quorum is present or not.

MR. JENKINS‑I rise to a point of order, that only by a vote can you show whether there is a quorum or not, and not until the vote is taken on the motion can he raise the point.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The Chair is of the opinion that the point of order is well taken.

MR. O'NEAL– I move that we now adjourn.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for.

Upon a further vote of 38 ayes and 43 noes the Convention refused to adjourn.

MR. COLEMAN‑The amendment ought to include obligations and bonds. The section as changed in the other section provides for contracting obligations incurred or bonds issued and his amendment only says bonds.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑I ask unanimous consent to be allowed to put the word "obligations."

MR. O’NEAL– I object. If you want to fix the thing, reconsider the whole thing and fix it properly.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The request of the gentleman from Hale is denied.

MR. COLEMAN– I am trying to bring the Convention to a consideration. If we adopt this article let's have it in as good shape as we can get it, not having the voting of women simply upon one part of it, and not upon the other. It is only on bonds, and if she has a right to vote as to the issue of bonds she ought to have a right to vote upon the contracting obligations.


3832                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑If the gentleman wishes to put it in there, he can move to amend by putting in the word "obligation," and I am willing to accept it if he desires to amend in that way.

MR. COLEMAN‑I desire to amend by adding the word "obligation," and ask unanimous consent.

MR. O'NEAL‑I object.

MR. COLEMAN– I move to amend by inserting the word "obligation" just before the word "bond."

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM– 'The Chair regrets to say that there are two amendments now pending. It is therefore out of order.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑We can adopt this and amend it afterwards, can't we, as a matter of parliamentary inquiry.

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The question is upon the adoption of the amendment. The gentleman from Greene has the floor.

MR. COLEMAN‑I move that the rules be suspended.

MR. O'NEAL‑I call for the ayes and noes.

MR. GREER (Calhoun)‑I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was not sustained.

A division was called for.

And upon a vote of 54 ayes and 16 noes the rules were suspended.

MR. GREER (Calhoun)‑I rise to a point of order. There is not a quorum voting.

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑The point of order is not well taken.

MR. COLEMAN‑I move to amend by inserting the word "obligations" before the word "bond."

MR. GREER (Calhoun) ‑I rise to a point of order. The amendment is not in writing and the rules of this house require it to be in writing.

MR. PETTUS‑I rise to a point of order. The gentleman from Calhoun is out of his seat.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The point of order is well taken.


3833

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. GREER‑I rise to a point of order. The gentleman from Greene is not in his seat.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM. ‑ The gentleman from Greene is now in his seat, and the Chair recognizes him.

MR. COLEMAN‑I move to amend by inserting the word “obligations or bonds,” to correspond with the section.

MR. O'NEAL‑I move to lay the amendment on the table.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for.

Upon a vote being taken the motion to table was lost.

MR. GREER ‑ I desire to discuss the amendment. Mr. President, it seems to me that we have been travelling this evening at break-neck speed, and that we have failed to consider; we have lost our bearing; the Convention has gone wild, and after they consult their pillows tonight these gentlemen will realize how ridiculous they have been this afternoon. (Applause)

MR. GRAHAM– Will the gentleman allow me to ask him a question?

MR. GREER– No, sir. We find ourselves in this aspect; all female tax-payers, or women tax-payers are allowed to vote. It does not require them to be residents of the town in which they own property, it does not even require them to be registered. It does not require them to possess any of the other qualifications that the male inhabitants of Alabama possess. (Prolonged laughter.) Mr. President, I made no slip of the tongue. I spoke advisedly. It does not specify any age. A fourteen year old girl may vote. A large number of colored citizens in Alabama, and some whites, I am sorry to say, put what property they possess in their wives’ names, to escape the payment of honest debts.  Perhaps they own five hundred dollars worth of property, that would be required under this amendment. A man qualifies under other sections, and it is his wife votes and he votes on five hundred dollars worth of property. Some male inhabitants of the same city own five hundred dollars worth of property and he would have one vote, while the woman and the sorry, good-for nothing husband, should he vote under the original section if they own one hundred dollars worth of property, and under this amendment five hundred dollars they would have two votes. It seems to me this is a ridiculous proposition. It seems to me if we are to pass it, as a gentleman from Greene says, it should be passed in order. It should be resident female inhabitants, and in my honest opinion they should be single, unmarried, over the age of twenty-one.

A DELEGATE‑And white.


3834                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. GREER‑Yes, and white; and white at that if you please, sir. You disfranchise the poor old man, and come along here and enfranchise his wife. That is what you have done. I say I do not object to women being represented except for one thing. I consider woman the greatest, the best, and the purest gift that God has ever given to man. (Applause.) I do not believe, Mr. President, and I never will believe, that any considerable number of the intelligent and the best class of females could vote under any provision that you might pass here. I do believe from the very depths of my heart, the irresponsible and the less intelligent and the lower class, especially the colored, would vote, every one of them, that had an opportunity. Now I say, Mr. President, that we should stop and turn around and see where we are "at" if you please.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑I rise for the purpose of moving the previous question upon this amendment.

MR. GREER‑I would ask the gentleman, I know he is very previous, but I would ask him not to be quite so previous this afternoon.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑I thought the gentleman had taken his seat‑I beg his pardon.

MR. GREER‑I repeat I appeal to this Convention. for if this thing must be done let it be done in order. Let us have some specification that they must be resident inhabitants, must be unmarried, must be over 21 years of age. Let's leave some system, some order about it. And as has been suggested, that they must be white, but I want to say that in my candid opinion, the fairest, the purest, and the best creation– the fairest, the purest and the brightest jewels that ever walked under the brilliant rays of God's shining sun will be lowered immeasurably when you pass such a resolution as this, and I protest in the name of the wives and daughters of the best white men of Alabama, (Applause), to stop before you go too far. Mr. President, if I had less lungs, and less respect for the fair sex I would not plead, but feeling as I do, and reverencing and loving them as I do, I am compelled to beg this Convention to be more moderate, and if they do anything let it be done in order, and in such manner as will be becoming a Constitutional Convention in the great State of Alabama. Now, Mr. President, I have said all I care to say at this time. I reserve the further shot that I may have on my motion tomorrow morning, and I now move to adjourn.

Upon a vote being taken it division was called for, and by a vote of 41 ayes and 49 noes the Convention refused to adjourn.

MR. COLEMAN– From the remarks of the gentleman who last addressed the Convention, it would seem that a great many of the members of the Convention are laboring under a mistake. For


3835

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

their information I would like for the Secretary to read the amendment in order that they may see how far it provides for the very objection made by him.

Section ‑. No woman shall be qualified to vote at any election to determine whether obligations car bonds shall lie issued by a city, town or village, who is not at the time she offers to vote a bona fide resident of such city, town or village, and who does not in her own right own real estate situated in said city, town or village, assessed for taxation during the year preceding, the year in which she offers to vote, at $500 or more, and no woman shall vote at such election who is under 21 years of age.

The amendment provides for every objection that has been urged thus far. She is required to be 21 years of age—

MR. WHITE‑I will ask if that amendment would not destroy the effect of the Section itself.

MR. COLEMAN‑It has no effect as I understand it, upon the Section. I have been trying to keep up with it.

MR. WHITE‑But will you ever find a women over 21 years of age. (Laughter.)

MR. COLEMAN‑Perhaps the gentleman is more interested in those questions than I am. I do not know. While I have not been in accord with woman's suffrage, and have voted against it, still I do not pretend to possess more knowledge and information as to what is right than the other gentlemen who compose this Convention. It seems that they think that women ought to vote. I favor myself the proposition of the majority of the property, which would have given women representation, and thus have excluded them from being mixed up in politics, and I think that would have been the better plan, but I do not adhere to this, inasmuch as the majority of the Convention seems to think otherwise. That was my purpose in advocating that proposition the other day on the report of the Committee. That was the right way to my mind to see that women were represented in cases of this kind, but if the delegates of this Convention think that women ought to vote at these elections, I think the amendment is all sufficient, and in fact it imposes a qualification upon them that is not imposed upon them in a general election because they can vote if they have $300 worth of property, and here a woman is required to have $500 worth.  Having stated these views, and remembering the condition of mind in which this Convention is, it does seem to me that it would be more becoming to us as a body if we would consider this question during the night and come here in the morning and consider it as we should with deliberation and for the best interest of the whole State. I therefore move that we do now adjourn.


3836                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

MR. deGRAFFENREID— I rise to a point of order. There has been no business transacted since the House refused to adjourn.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM‑‑The point of order is well taken.

MR. deGRAFFENREID‑I now move the previous question upon the adoption of the amendment.

MR. GRAYSON– I call for the ayes and noes.

MR. O'NEAL– I call for the ayes and noes.

The call was not sustained, and upon a vote being taken a division vas called for and by a vote of 46 ayes to 16 noes the main question was ordered.

MR. O'NEAL– I raise the point of no quorum,

MR. deGRAFFENREID— There is a quorum in the House.

MR. GREER (Calhoun) — There is no quorum in the House.

MR. O'NEAL– I demand a call of the roll.

MR. PETTUS—  I make the point of order that a call of the House cannot he ordered under the rules of the House except upon a vote of those present.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The point of order is well taken. The question is, will the house order the call of the roll to ascertain if a quorum be present.

A vote was taken and the house refused to order a call of the roll.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The question is on the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called for.

And by a vote of 52 ayes to 20 noes the amendment was declared adopted.

MR. O'NEAL– I raise the point of no quorum.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.– The point of order is not well taken unless the gentleman moves a call of the house.

MR. O'NEAL‑I raise the point of order that no section of this Constitution can be adopted except by a majority of the delegates to this Convention, under the rules of this Convention and general parliamentary rules, and I ask the Chair to pass upon that question.

MR. JENKINS‑‑‑I demand a call of the roll of the house.


3837

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1901

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑I move we adjourn.

MR. O'NEAL‑I ask for a ruling on my point of order, whether or not a section of the Constitution of Alabama can be adopted by a minority of this Convention?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The Chair is of opinion—

(Great confusion and cries of there is a quorum present.)

THE  PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The Chair is of opinion that a quorum is present.

MR. O'NEAL‑The last vote showed a quorum was not present.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The Chair is of the opinion that a quorum did not vote, but a quorum is present.

MR. O'NEAL‑Is that the decision of the Chair?

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑That is the decision of the Chair, that a quorum is present, and a number of gentlemen did not vote.

MR. O'NEAL‑I appeal from the decision of the Chair.

(There were loud expressions of dissent.)

THE, PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The gentleman appeals from the decision of the Chair.

MR. O'NEAL‑And on that I ask for an aye and no vote.

The call for the ayes and noes was not sustained.

MR. FREEMAN‑I move that we adjourn.

THE PRESIDENT PRO TEM.‑The gentleman is not in order. The question is does the ruling of the Chair stand as the judgment of this Convention?

Upon a vote being taken the Chair was sustained. (Loud applause.)

MR. SAMFORD (Pike)—  I move that this article be engrossed and read a third time, and upon that I move the previous question.

THE PRESIDENT‑The Chair will inform the gentleman that the pending question is the adoption of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Macon as amended by the amendment offered by the gentleman from Hale, upon which the previous question has been moved and ordered.

MR. O'NEAL‑On that I call for an aye and no vote.


3838                  

OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

The call was not sustained, and upon a vote being taken a division was called for, and by a vote of 58 ayes to 30 noes the amendment as amended was adopted.

MR. SANFORD (Montgomery)‑I move we adjourn.

Upon a vote being taken a division was called.

By a vote of 54 ayes to 21 noes the motion was carried.

Thereupon the Convention adjourned.

______

CORRECTIONS

In proceedings of 65th day, second page, sixth column, where Mr. Jackson voted aye and gave notice he would move to reconsider tomorrow, he made inquiry of the Chair before the vote was announced to know if a motion to table could be reconsidered, and being answered in the negative, asked to have his vote changed from aye to no, which was done.

______

In remarks of Mr. Graig, in proceedings on 65th day, second page, second column, seventh line after word “nominated” read “by the Governor;” on eighth line read “ordinance” for resolution; on twentieth line read after Legislature “and be by that body;” on thirty-fifth line read “killed three men” on fifty-second line read “a few weeks ago some negro men.”

_______

In remarks of Mr. Burns on 64th day, third page, fifth column, ninetieth line. the word "him" should read "them ;" in one hundred and eighth line read "to these railroad passes upon another class of people," in one hundred nineteenth line read: "Such men as Pugh and Mudd.”

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