Слике страница

Mr. KELSO said, that it seemed to be the desire of gentlemen to do up all the business of the Convention that afternoon; but for his part, he saw no necessity for being in such a desperate hurry to get through with the business before them. His friend from Allen appeared very desirous of getting into committee of the whole. This might be desirable, but as far as his experience went, he would say he had seen more frolics and waste of time occur during the sessions of such committees, than at any other time. How, he would ask, could a subject be committed, when there was no committees existing to which it might be re

paid much attention to them-nevertheless, he considered the mode just suggested of referring the Constitution of Indiana to the committee of the whole, the most correct mode, and the one that should be adopted. The idea had been suggested to his mind some time since, by a gentleman residing in the northern part of the State, and he favored the plan because it afforded an opportunity for every member, at the outset, to present his views. It would lead to a more extended discussion, which was eminently desirable. He was opposed to any unnecessary consumption of time, and he regarded the formation of a number of large committees, as tending to that result. They could take upferred. It was about as senseless a proceeding the Constitution, article by article, and it might be that they would agree upon those articles while in committee of the whole, thus making short work of the labor before them. It was a false idea that every resolution and subject that had been discussed in the Convention of Kentucky, and Ohio, and New York, had to be gone over again in the Convention of Indiana. He was opposed to any such course of procedure. The idea that a large book must be made of their proceedings was equally absurd; and he could not but think that if those proceedings were to go entirely unreported, the term of their session would soon be brought to a close. Mr. BORDEN renewed his motion to refer the whole subject to the committee of the whole.


[ocr errors]

as for a man to search for the hole made by thrusting his finger into water. (Laughter.) They had adopted the rules of the late House of Representatives, and by these rules they should be governed. He would have the Chair, then, appoint the committee ordered to be raised on yesterday, and that committee report to the Convention the necessary standing committees: The Convention could then decide upon the requisite committees, and then his friend from Allen might bring forward his proposition to go into committee of the whole for the purpose of distributing the Constitution.

Mr. READ, of Monroe, said, he understood that on yesterday a committee had been appointed to draft rules and regulations for the government of the Convention; this was all The PRESIDING OFFICER stated, that it the duty which that committee was required to was not in order to refer the Constitution of perform. It had no authority whatever vested Indiana to the committe of the whole that in it to raise the standing committees. In the subject was not now before the Convention.- New York convention, a committee was first The question pending was the resolution pro-organized who simply reported rules and reguviding for the appointment of the standing lations. So in the Ohio Convention. Then some gentleman came forward and presented a Mr. BORDEN said, he would modify his plan of action to the consideration of the Conmotion, and move the reference of the resolu-vention, which plan of proceedings was adopted. tion to the committee of the whole. Now they had appointed a committee on rules The question being upon the motion of the and regulations, and thus completed the organgentleman from Allen, (Mr. Borden,) Mr. ED-ization of the Convention. The next thing MONSTON said, he was far from setting was to appoint a committee who should report himself up to be a judge of parliamentary law, a plan for the business of the Convention.but as he understood parliamentary usage, he The amendment he had already offered, was not certainly thought that upon the committee on worded in the manner he would prefer; he rules and regulations, appointed yesterday, would therefore withdraw that amendment, and devolved the duty of drafting committees, and offer the following as a substitute. "That a reporting their organization to the Convention. committee of - be appointed to report a It then remained for the Convention to decide { plan for the business of this Convention, and which were necessary and which were not.-to designate the number and functions of the Their number could be either diminished or increased. This had been the practice in all Legislative bodies. When these committees were appointed, then there existed something tangible to which references could appropriately be made. He trusted that under the resolution of yesterday, the chair would proceed to appoint a committee who should report rules and regulations for their government, and that he would also appoint the necessary standing committees.

different committees."

Mr. BORDEN said, he would withdraw the amendment he had that morning offered, for a season, in the hope that some general amendment, effecting the purpose he wished to attain, would be adopted. He would merely remark that the gentleman's attempt at ridicule was one thing, and sound argument another. The motion he had made was precisely the same in effect as one made in the Virginia Convention, by one of its most eminent members. He did not

swallow up everything. This, at least, was the purport of the gentleman's statement. Now it did appear to him, (Mr. P.) that for a gentleman who had never been in any deliberative

mean that the several resolutions were such as were brought up in that Convention, but that the proposition to go into committee of the whole, and then distributing the Constitution, was of like character to one offered in that as-body before, to come there and ask to be made sembly.

So the amendment was withdrawn.

Mr. READ, of Monroe, moved to strike out all after the resolving clause of the resolution offered by the gentleman from Tippecanoe, (Mr. Pettit,) and insert the amendment which he had just offered, as a substitute.

The question being upon the motion of the gentleman from Monroe,

[ocr errors]

the head and front of a committee which was: to have the distribution of the various subjects embraced in this Constitution, was a tolerably officious act, and one against which might justly be raised the charge of absoiption. He had had some experience in legislative bodies elsewhere, and for one he felt bound to say that such a position as that taken by the gentleman from Allen, he was not desirous of occupying.

As the practice of referring the message of the President to the committee of the whole had been alluded to, he would state that such a reference could be made with all propriety, but that when before that committee for con

made directly from the committee of the whole. They must in the first place adopt a resolution appointing committees, and then the direct reference could be made.

Mr. PETTIT desired to say a few words before the question was taken on the pending amendment. It appeared to him that the natural divisions of government here and elsewhere were three-legislative, executive, and { judicial; and these divisions were recognized insideration no reference of certain portions could a provision in the present Constitution. These be made directly to any other particular comdepartments embraced every subject requiring mittee. That committee simply resolved that their attention; for no gentleman had as yet at- having had under consideration so much of the tempted to bring forward a proposition provid-President's message, they recommended the reing for the addition of another division of the ference of this portion and the other to appropowers of government. Almost the first pro-priate committees. The reference was never vision of their present State Constitution, as also of the Constitution of the United States, and of the several States of the Union, set forth those three divisions of the powers of government. Similar divisions were to be found The resolution adopted on yesterday provided in the acknowledged provisions of the unwrit-for the formation of a committee which should ten Constitution of Great Britain. The ap-report rules and regulations for the government pointment of these three committees would not of the Convention-the Convention in the of course debar any gentleman from moving meanwhile to be governed by the rules of the the formation of other committees, if such an House of Representatives. Now if the resoaddition should be thought necessary. He was lution of the gentleman absorbed the resoluprepared to vote in favor of such an addition if tion of yesterday, and embraced the power to gentlemen thought it absolutely requisite. raise the committees, they must, acting under With reference to the proposition of the gen- the rules of the House of Representatives, tleman from Allen, (Mr. Borden,) he must say adopt the same number of committees that exthat he considered it of but little practical utili-isted in that body. They must raise similar ty. It was true that if, as the gentleman pro-committees to those organized by the House. posed, nineteen committees were organized, a Were they then to have a committee on ennumber of gentlemen would be gratified in be-rolled bills? He took it for granted that such ing appointed Chairmen of those committees. For one he was willing to take the tail end of any committee.

(Cries of "consent," "consent.")

a committee would not be raised because it would not be applicable to the Convention; that however, would be the effect of the gentleman's proposition. On the contrary there was no Mr. PETTIT. Gentlemen say consent but necessity existing for any such committee, and it may be that a committee thus constituted the true course to be pursued was to elect only would be like a Kangaroo-strongest in the such committees as were necessary and approhind quarters. (Laughter.) The effect of hav-priate. If the proposition for organizing three ing so many different committees would be to great committees were adopted and carried inretard action and confuse business. Each com- to effect, how then would the business proceed? mittee would be encraoching upon the proper A friend at his left, for instance, might desire duties of theother, for they could not fail, with- that some provision with reference to the juout mutual consultation, in reporting twenty diciary should be engrafted on the Constitution. different provisions of the Constitution, of offer-Then he would only have to move that the coming some particular article that would conflict with another article.

From the statement of the gentleman from Allen, it was to be inferred that the proposition he had offered was the serpent that was to

mittee having charge of that subject be instructed to inquire into the expediency of engrafting said provision; and after the report of the committee had been presented a motion would have to be made that it be laid on the

[ocr errors]

table and printed, and afterwards referred to the Mr. BORDEN said, that he wished before committee of the whole on the state of the the vote was taken upon the question before Commonwealth. They would then come to the them, to allude briefly to the remarks made by most interesting period of the session-the pe- the gentleman from Tippecanoe,(Mr. Pettit.) He riod when the deliberations of the committee of admitted that much deference was due to the the whole commenced. At that time every more mature experience of Congressmen and member should be in his place, attentive to the Legislators; nevertheless, he thought that some duties of legislation. If the committee of the degree of learning and wisdom might be found whole should adopt the provision it would be elsewhere than among those gentlemen who reported back to the Convention and then the had served in Congress, and in State Legisla question come up as to whether the Conventures. The gentleman from Tippecanoe had ton would concur in the action of the commit- said that he (Mr. B.) had proposed a resolution tee of the whole. If it was concurred in, the-in character like the rod of Aaron's serpent provision would become a part of the proposed that swallowed up all others. He did not design Constitution. If any amendment was made it was arousing the ire of any gentleman in the Conthen to be re-referred to the appropriate com-vention,and therefore he would remind the House mittee in order that in a smaller body it might that in offering his resolution it was intended be carefully considered. to operate temporarily, until the House had He had heard it suggested that but one com- adopted their permanent rules. It was not mittee should be appointed to have under their his design to take anything out of the hands of jurisdiction all the topics embodied in the Con- the gentleman from Tippecanoe. He would stitution. He had heard several gentlemen bow in deference to his superior knowledge conversing about the propriety of such a plan, and experience, nevertheless the opinions which tut as yet he had not obtained the approbation he entertained consientiously he should fearof his own mind, that such a course should be lessly express. It was argued that the distripursued. He did not think that with propriety bution of the subjects before them did not or justice all the subjects coming under the su- belong to the Committee on rules already pervision of the three different departments of ordered. He thought differently. It was said this government could be referred to one com- that we should not refer to the proceedings of mittee. It appeared to him that the persual of other Conventions; but he would ask, with great such a course would be drawing into a very respect to his friend from Ripley, (Mr. Smith,) small vortex the power of the Convention, and if it was wrong to refer to the proceedings of the also that the labors of these different commit- Convention which formed the instrument they tees could more harmoniously and beneficially were about revising. Upon the second day of effect the purpose designed in the calling of the the session of that Convention; Mr. Johnston Convention. To undertake to dovetail togeth-submitted a resolution for the appointment of er the action of nineteen different committees twelve different standing Committees which would be a more fatiguing task than to travel committees reported the twelve different artiover the most old fashioned railroad in Indiana.cles to that Convention that now comprise the As a matter of course the various courts of the State would be at variance in their decisions apon the true meaning of the different articles of the Constitution. They could not of necessity give them the proper construction. He trusted that the resolution he had offered would be adopted.

existing Constitution of the State. Yet his friend from Tippecanoe (Mr. Pettit) had said that such a course of procedure was incongruous-that it would inevitably produce confusion. Several of the leading members of the Con{vention to which he had referred, and who were considered at that time very able men, among Mr. OWEN said, he had been from the first them Judges Park and Johnson, and Mr. Noble, in favor of passing the resolution of the gen-advocated the division of the Constitution into teman from Monroe, and the remarks of the twelve different parts, and it was thus referred, gentleman who had just taken his seat, further each portion to an appropriate committee, confirmed him in the opinion that it ought to be and they only raised those committees that were adopted. So far as he had considered the mat-applicable to the business of the Convention. ter he thought that the number of standing committees should be more than three and less than nineteen, and their organization could more speedily be reported to the Convention through the medium of a select committee raised for that purpose.

Mr. EDMONSTON, of Dubois, moved to fill up the blank in the amendment offered by the gentleman from Monroe, with the words "one from each Congressional District."

The question being upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dubois.

For one, he would say that he represented the opinions of a portion of the people of this State, and he cared not whether it pleased gentlemen or not, he intended to perform the duty he was commissioned to execute. He felt it to be his. duty, however, to bow to the will of the majority.

The gentleman from Tippecanoe (Mr. Pettit) had said that every part of the Constitution was embraced under one of three heads; now he' would respectfully inquire of him, to which of these heads the bill of rights appertained.

Mr. PETTIT said, he thought he could readily satisfy the gentleman on that point. The rights set forth in the bill of rights were secured by the judiciary. The violation of any of them could easily be punished in any judicial district.

of these committees, that action could easily be revoked by the Convention; as the formation of those committees was merely a commission of the House to expedite business and save time. He did not think that the appointment of these three committees as the gentleman from Tippecanoe had stated-would interfere with the subsequent appointment of any other committees that might be thought necessary. All that was contemplated in the formation of these committees was that they should exer

Mr. BORDEN said the gentleman from Tippecanoe, in the resolution submitted by him, proposed the appointment of only three committees. Now it was admitted by all that there was a great probability that several other committees would necessarily be created.cise the work of supervision. This fact was admitted by the gentleman from Tippecanoe himself. Why then delay the formation of the necessary committees? why not pass a resolution for their formation at once? The duty had to be performed and it would be better that it should be executed iminediate- { ly. He was satisfied that the proper plan was to authorize the mode of distribution he had sug-subject before them; but he confessed they did gested.

Mr. BASCOM moved that the Convention adjourn; which motion was disagreed to. The question being upon the amendment offered by the gentleman from Dubois, (Edmonston,) to fill up the blank in the amendment offered by the gentleman from Monroe,

They were not to over-rule the action of the Convention, but were to advise and point out those plans of action which they considered most advantageous to the Commonwealth.

Mr. MORRISON of Marion said he had listened with great deference and pleasure to the speeches that had been delivered upon the

not come up to his ideas of the duty which they, as delegates of the people, had to perform.

The idea of three great committees might please some gentlemen, because of the vast influence it would give those gentlemen in the Convention-if elected Chairman of those committees. He attributed no such motive to genMr. RARIDEN remarked, that he was of tlemen; although such a construction might be opinion that the object set forth in the propo-placed upon their action. Suppose, said Mr. sition offered by the gentleman from Tippeca- Morrison, that these committees be appointed noe had been misapprehended by gentlemen and that they consist of fifty members each; I who had been engaged in discussing the sub-would enquire of any man who has ever done ject. He did not understand that it would business in a committee, how so large a cominterfere with the rights of any member of the mittee could speedily and impartially execute Convention. The three several committees the business entrusted to them? If this plan were to act as presiding spirits over the execu- were to be adopted, he said it was just as easy tive, the legislative, and the judicial departments to organize one great conventional committee, of the government. It was a species of machinery to whom should be entrusted all the business for the purpose of bringing together in one arising before the Convention. There would be harmonious whole, the discordant elements but little difference between the action of fifty that prevailed in the Convention-for it was and the action of a hundred and fifty men when clearly evident that many of the members they came to close work and scrupulous detail. composing the Convention, would not be satis- He would have the members look for instance fied without making numerous amendments to at the subject of banking or finance. Such a the Constitution they were called upon to re-subject would give ample scope to the most envise. There was an apparent necessity existing larged efforts of the ablest intellects in that for the formation of a committee on elections, in body. There were fifty other subjects, perhaps addition to the three proposed, whose duty should not as important, but still demanding assidious be the examination of the credentials of the attention, which would require the investigation members; but if any other committee was and attention of these committees. How could desired, for instance a committee on banking, they all be deliberated upon, and reported to the there was a manifest propriety in delaying its Convention without jarring or confusion? There formation, until the time for action upon that were subjects that would come up for considersubject arrived. When those gentlemen of ation, that were not embraced in the Constituthe Convention,who were thoroughly acquaint- tion; then why not at once organize the necesed with the various and important subjects sary committees of reference instead of waitcoming under the consideration of the Conven- ing until the very moment for action had arrivtion, had become known to the President of ed? Suppose, (continued Mr. M,.) that the comthe Convention, then would be the propermittees were increased to twelve or fifteen, and time for the appointment of other committees that each committee was composed of some nine to consider such particular subjects as might or ten members, could not those committees act be deemed worthy of consideration. It would with more expedition upon the subjects referred be apparent to the mind of every member, that to them, than if their number were diminished? if there was anything wrong in the action of any They could report back to the Convention the

Respectfully, &c.,

[Signed] J. A. WRIGHT, Governor,

J. P. DRAKE, Treasurer of State.
E. W. H. ELLIS, Auditor of State

result of their deliberations, and after those re-shall be accepted. An early answer is desirports were received they could be referred to ed. and acted upon, in the committee of the whole, and there they could easily be made to harmonize. For one he desired to have more discussion upon the subject, so that each member might understand clearly the position he occupied in the Convention. He wished that the members of all parties should be heard in the discussion of the body, as he wanted to make the Convention as democratic as possible-he wanted to make it a democratic republican

whig Convention.

[ocr errors]

Mr. PETTIT said, that he did not desire to debate the question any further at this time, believing that it would be better for members to commune among themselves in regard to it. He would therefore move that the Convention adjourn.

The question being put on the motion to adjourn; it was not agreed to.

On motion, the resolution and pending amendments were laid on the table.

Mr. RARIDEN moved, that the Secretary of the Convention be instructed to ascertain, and report, whether a more convenient hall could not be procured, for the deliberations of the Convention, and upon what terms.

The PRESIDENT stated, that in connection with the subject just mentioned he would lay before the Convention, the correspondence that had taken place between the Governor and proprietors of the Masonic Hall, respecting the hiring of said Hall, for the use of the Convention.

The correspondence was read by the Secretary, as follows:


President of the Convention: Please lay before the body over which you have the honor to preside, the accompanying correspondence. Having failed in procuring

the Masonic Hall for the use of the Convention

under the restriction of the Legislature, we have prepared the Hall of the House for their reception, leaving it to the Convention to take such action in the premises as may be deemed proper. We have the honor to be, &c.,

JAMES P. DRAKE, Treas. of State.
E. W. H. ELLIS, Auditor of State.

INDIANAPOLIS, May 6, 1850.


Dear Sir:-Under an act of the last Legislature the undersigned are authorized to contract with you for the Masonic Hall for the use of the State Convention to revise the Constitution, at a rate not exceeding one hundred dollars per month. We are authorized to close such a contract immediately if our proposition

INDIANAPOLIS, May 9, 1850. Messrs. ELLIS, DRAKE, and WRIGHT: Gentlemen:

Your note of the 6th instant, in relation to for the sitting of the Convention, has just been the use of the large room in the Masonic Hall,

! received.

I cannot, in justice to the stockholders for whom I act, contract for the occupancy of the room at the rate you propose, viz: one hundred dollars per month; but I will agree to prepare the room as stated in a former letter, keep it in order during the session of the Convention, for $20 a day, or I will prepare the room for the use of the Convention, leaving the compensation to be fixed by the Convention Respectfully your ob't servant, [Signed]


WM. SHEETS, Com'r. Mr. PETTIT moved to lay the communications just read on the table.

The motion was agreed to.

The question then recurring upon the motion offered by the gentleman from Wayne, (Mr. Rariden.)

Mr. KELSO moved to strike out the word "Secretary," and insert the words "a committee of three."

The amendment was agreed to, and the resolution as amended was adopted.

Mr. MILROY offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That there be a committee of seven appointed, whose duty it shall be to enquire into and report to this Convention upon the legalido the printing for this Convention, and that ty of the claim of the present State Printer to in the meantime the Secretary of the Convention be authorized to cause the necessary printing to be done at the prices usually paid for similar work done for the General Assembly.

Mr. KELSO said, he had been told by a vention could be done at least twenty per cent practical printer that the printing for the Concheaper than the public printing had heretofore been done for the State. Whenever the matter should come to be decided upon he was for giving it to the lowest bidder, compelling him to give good security for the performance of the


Mr. BASCOM desired to say, that he was entirely opposed to letting out the printing by contract. The public printing as it was now executed was done for as reasonable a price as it could be with justice to the printer. The men who offered to do it at twenty per cent below the present prices would have to employ "rats," as they were technically denominated. He

« ПретходнаНастави »