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He did not expect there would be much differ- neither the Legislature nor that body could suence of opinion with respect to the legal ques-persede. tion; but when he came to the election, that was quite another question; while he remained in the performance of his duty as a delegate, he would not consent by his vote, to shackle any right which he considered to be inherent in the Convention. If he were arguing the question as to the right of one Legislature to repeal what had been done by another Legislature, involving a matter of this kind, he should take quite a different course.

These questions, however, were now considered immaterial on the ground upon which the gentlemen of the committee had seen proper to place their report. In justice to the gentleman from Cass, he was willing to admit that his argument contained all that could be said on that side of the question; but at the same time he could not coincide with him in the proposition, that this Convention, embodying the sovereignty of the State, was not bound by the act of the Legislature, or any other public body in the State. With all deference to the gentleman, he must be permitted to say, that the proposition was fallacious and unsound.

The Convention, according to his under

He desired to notice another thing. Though he could not lay his hand upon the page, he had been referred to an expression of the opinion of the last Legislature upon this very subject; he did not cite this as authority; but he had been told that, after the election of Mr. Chapman last winter, there was a resolution introduced in-standing of the matter, did not represent the to the Legislatare the substance of which was to confer upon Mr. Chapman the right to do the printing for this Convention, and that, upon the motion of some gentleman, it was laid upon the table. From this it would seem that testimony could be taken from the floor of the Legislature itself, that they did not even pretend to fasten their officers upon this body. He made this citation with diffidence, and not at all as a matter of authority; for there was not a particle of force in it, even if it were true. But aside from this, he would not yield to the Legislature the right, in any manner, to raise their authority above the primary act of the people; for that would be to restrict the popular power-the primary right of the people to establish and maintain such form of government as they may think proper. These were his views upon this question, hastily thrown out, and but illy digested, for he had no time to put them into book shape.

sovereignty of the State, for there was a State Constitution already in existence under which this Convention was called. The gentleman's proposition, continued Mr. Howe, can only apply if we go back to a chaotic state, a state of political disorganization, when the people would have a right to assemble together either by themselves, if their numbers were not too great, or by their delegates, if they pleased, and form a government to suit themselves. I say, if that were the state of things, there would be some force in the gentleman's argument; but such is not the case; we have already got a Constitution which is valid and binding upon us, and must continue to be so until set aside in the proper and legitimate manner. Now, the gentleman, in this case, is driven into a dilemma. He is either compelled to admit that the Constitution is yet in existence, or that it is not. If it be in existence, as a matter of Mr. HOWE said, he should trouble the Con- course, all legal rights that have accrued under vention with but few remarks in reference to it are valid and binding, and cannot be set aside; this question. He had been waiting to hear if it be not in existence, they run on without a from some gentleman of the committee the government. But the Constitution of the Unigrounds upon which the committee had based ted States itself, which we have sworn to suptheir report. The gentleman from Cass had port, would prohibit us from setting aside vestnow stated those grounds. This would super-ed rights. We were sworn to support the sede the necessity of arguing anew the question arising from the construction of the act of last winter, authorizing the call of a Convention, as to the right of this Convention, under that act, to elect a printer.

As gentlemen had argued, a question might arise whether the printer was to be regarded as an officer or a contractor. It was clear to his mind, that he ought to be considered a contractor. That he possessed none of the elements of an officer, and was therefore only a contractor, and if a contractor the question was, what was the subject matter of his contract? How far did it extend? Why, clearly, to all the printing of the State. It was all required to be done by the very nature of the bonds which he had given, and those bonds for the performance of his duty, constituted a contract, which

Constitution of the United States, and nothing was said about our own Constitution. Why? For the manifest reason that we have come here to revise and amend it. I say, then, that the proposition is unfounded that we represent the sovereignty of the State. As there is a Constitution already in existence, those rights that have been acquired under it are binding upon us. We are the mere delegates of the people, assembled here, not to make an original Constitution, as though none were now in existence, for we have a government, a Constitution, and we have a code of laws and public officers that have been brought into existence under it. All these are valid and binding upon us, and all that we have to do is to alter or amend the organic law of the State. We have no more authority than a set of commissioners,

no other right than to provide a law to organize the Convention. That is the whole extent of the authority which the Legislature possesThe moment we become organized under the law, I hold, with the gentleman from Cass, that we transcend every law except the Federal Constitution. That only is binding upon us. We are here to consult the interests of the people, and it is one of our chief duties to avoid

whether consisting of one hundred and fifty hands of the Legislature were not tied by the men or a dozen, or even a smaller number, old Constitution, the Constitution had nothing having a specific duty to perform. So, at the to do with it. It had vested in the Legislature time when it was considered necessary to re- the power to pass a law to organize this Convise the old code of laws, two gentlemen were vention by the election of delegates. Such appointed as commissioners for that purpose. was my opinion, and I entertain that opinion What power had they? They had power to at the present moment, that the law, so far as write out a new code and submit it to the Leg-it extends beyond the mere assembling of the islature. So we are here for the purpose of Convention, is nothing more nor less than surrevising the Constitution, and submitting that plusage. For instance, we see clearly that the revised Constitution to the people. We have powers delegated in the old Constitution-the assembled here by virtue of an act of the Legis-one adopted in 1816-gave to the Legislature lature. We have not assembled under the Constitutional provision, which requires that the Constitution shall be remodeled every twelve years; but under an act of the Legis-ses. lature. We therefore acknowledge the authority of the Legislature. We have no right to disavow its authority. We are morally and legally estopped from setting aside the act under which we are assembled, either in whole or in part. We must acknowledge its authori-a profuse expenditure of the public money. It ty. We are, then, mere delegates, under the is our duty to practice the most rigid economy, authority of the Legislature, assembled here for not only for the sake of the immediate interests the purpose of revising the Constitution, which, of the people, but for the sake of the example when revised, is to be submitted to the people, that we shall thus set. So far as the selection and if they are satisfied with it, our work will of a Printer is concerned, I have no particular be approved, otherwise it will have no validity. choice. I have the best of feeling towards the So far as the appropriation of money is con- present State Printer, and I believe he ought to cerned, we have no power to act. We have be selected, provided he will do the work as only the power to spend what has been appro-well and at the same prices as other printers; priated for us. And in my judgment, we have no right to go beyond the amount which has been appropriated by the Legislature for our use; and if we do go beyond the amount so appropriated, we shall be at the mercy of the next Legislature to make good the deficiency. { Thus we are morally and legally estopped from denying the binding force of the act of the Legislature upon us, and this, I think, shows the fallacy of the gentleman's proposition.

and I am informed that he has procured the materials and is prepared to do the work, but I contend that if he does do it he must be appointed by us-his power must come from this body. But it is suggested to me that there are printers in this place who will do the printing for twenty-five per cent. less than the prices now paid to the State Printer; if so, I desire that the work shall be done by them. Mr. Steele added, that he should vote in favor of the report of the committee, and he should give that vote, not from any feeling in regard to any printer, but from an honest conviction that the conclusion at which the committee had arrived, was the correct and proper conclusion.

Mr. STEELE said, that having had something to do with the report which was now before the Convention, he desired to say a very few words in relation to it. He concurred entirely in the views of the gentleman from Cass. The sentiments which that gentleman had anMr. BASCOM said, he did not rise to make nounced to the Convention, had impressed a speech upon this question, but he could not rethemselves upon his mind from the first introduction into the Legislature of the law author-sist the inclination he felt to say a few words, izing this Convention.

when he saw gentlemen who were foremost in During the canvass, said Mr. Steele, and be- debate upon almost every unimportant question, fore I announced myself a candidate for election, talent might be displayed, sitting as mum as the as soon as a question came up upon which some a large portion of the journals of my county day they were born. (Laughter.) The whole represented to the people that I was ineligible to a seat in this Convention, for the reason that question, said Mr. B., resolves itself into this: I held the petty office of Recorder. I called The patronage of this Convention is to be given their attention to so much of the act of the Lcg-to a printer, and gentlemen here who are aspiislature as provides for the eligibility of any ring to higher places, are afraid to show their hands. (Renewed laughter.) person who possesses the right of suffrage-the right to vote for a member of the Convention. They produced the old Constitution, which pro-lude to the motives of gentlemen.

The PRESIDENT. It is not in order to al

hibits any one from holding two lucrative offices Mr. BASCOM. I do not impugn the motives at one time. And in reply, I asserted that the of any gentleman.

The PRESIDENT. The Chair would ask the defend all suits that may arise, as well as those gentleman to explain what he does mean. in which the State is engaged at the time of his Mr. BASCOM. I mean, sir, that there are gen-appointment? You have a Secretary of State tlemen here who give us their views very freely and you impose certain duties upon him. Shall in regard to unimportant matters, such as the he only perform those duties which existed when appointment of a doorkeeper, but when a legal he was elected, or shall he perform all the duquestion of any importance arises, we are not ties that belong to that department? You have favored with their opinions. Well sir, the whole already called upon the Secretary of State to question is precisely this, who shall do the print-perform services, and you may yet have occaing for this Convention? Now when I am call-sion to call upon him to perform other services. ed upon to vote upon this question I want to vote You may have occasion to call upon the Audiunderstandingly, and I hope therefore, to be fa- tor, and upon the Treasurer for reports. Shall vored with the opinion of those who have some we say that it is necessary for us to elect all legal knowledge. I was glad to hear the gen- those officers, because we have occasion to avail tleman from Cass express his opinion. He did so, ourselves of their services? Will you turn Mr. fearlessly, and in the main I agree with him. I Test out of doors and 'put another man in posdo not think that we are bound by any law in session of the Record and Seal of the State beregard to the appointment of our officers, but if cause you came here with sovereign authority. I am wrong on this point I wish to be better in- I believe that no man will go so far as that, yet formed by legal gentlemen before I am called you tell me that because you require certain serupon to vote. vices to be rendered by the printer, it is necessary that you should elect him. You want the printer to send in here certain printed matter, therefore, you must elect him. But you also want the Secretary of State to furnish you with copies of documents, you must therefore elect him as well as the other.

Mr. PETTIT said, he had no desire to detain the Convention with any remarks, but if the gentleman over the way had any allusion to him, in the remark that he had made, he had a word to say in reply. Sir, said Mr. P., I am very far from holding that this Convention possesses entire sovereignty. We sit here with limited pow


If the present State Printer should fail to be We were called together for a specific in readiness to perform the work required by this purpose, and I maintain that the only point in Convention, there is no doubt he would be liable which we have unlimited power is that of mak-on his bond for the non-performance of his duty ing propositions. We have unlimited power to propose to the people of Indiana a form of government, an organic law, which, if adopted by the people, shall be the basis of their future government; that is all the power that we have. How would it operate if we conceive ourselves occupying a different position.

to the State. Sir, we are not above the State of Indiana; we are not above the Legislature of the State, and let me say to gentlemen, that if the people can at any time, resolve themselves into a Convention for the construction of a new form of government, they may also draw the sword and perpetrate revolution whenever they please. I know it is argued that might gives right, and in that view all communities have the

officers and elect new, but that is not the American idea. The idea is that one Government grows out of another as naturally as the new

If we can elect our printer, then he must be an officer of this body, but it is contended that he is not an officer, because he is not re-right to assemble in Convention, turn out old quired to take an oath of office. If then the printer be not an officer of the Convention, we have no power under the law to elect such a person, for we have only power to elect our offi-shoot grows from the seed that is planted. This cers, the law clearly contemplating the Secretary, Doorkeeper, Sergeant-at-Arms, &c.; these officers we have to elect, but the printer is employed by contract. Well, sir, I fully concur with the gentleman from Hendricks, that the printer is a contractor and not an officer, and that as such we have no power to interfere with his contract; but we are sitting here to propose to the people of the State to set the old Constitution aside and adopt a new one in its stead. Sir, if we consider him either as an officer or a contractor we have no power over him. It is said that we have power to elect all our officers, and our printer among the rest; but how will that tally with a proposition of this kind. The At-in force any such government. torney General for your State is an officer of the State. Is it necessary to appoint a new Attorney General for every set of cases that may arise? Or shall that officer be at liberty to prosecute and

doctrine was most ably canvassed in the great case of Rhode Island alluded to by the gentleman from Hendricks. I happened to hear the arguments in that case in the Supreme Court. The issue was directly brought up as to the validity of the Dorr government, and it was argued with great plausibility that the people possessing the original sovereignty, have a right to resolve themselves into a new form of government, and to abolish the old, without any preliminary steps having been taken by the old government. The Supreme Court denied this doctrine in the roundest terms. They held that even a majority of the people of Rhode Island could not have put

Well sir, let me ask the gentleman from Cass, by what authority are we privileged from arrest? Are we, as members of this Convention, privileged from arrest or not? I perceive that the

law provides that we shall be privileged from arrest to the same extent that members of the Legislature are. Now, without that provision of the law, how could we avoid the ordinary or usual arrest of our persons here? We are not the Parliament of Great Britain, we are not the Congress of the United States, nor are we the Legislature of Indiana, in all of which exemption from arrest prevails.

Mr. BIDDLE. I do not deny that as citizens we are not liable to arrest, but I deny that by virtue of being members of such a body as this, we would necessarily be privileged from arrest. As citizens we are exempt by the law of the State.

Mr. PETTIT. I know, as citizens, we are exempt by the law of last winter. But I will put this question: Suppose we pass a resolution declaring that members of this body shall be exempt from arrest, not only to the extent that members of the Legislature are, but further. Is there any judge or lawyer in this room who would hesitate for a moment to say, that such an act of ours would be a nullity, as transcending our authority? If we had not been privileged by law, we could not privilege ourselves. We might by force protect ourselves from arrest, but it would be a lawless act. There can be no question that we are amenable to all the laws that are in force in this State. We can neither make nor suspend the operation of any law. If we can do that we can just as well order ourselves to be paid six dollars a day, or any other sum we please. The present Constitution of the State provides that money shall not be drawn from the Treasury, except in accordance with an appropriation made by law, and it is the same Constitution under which we are living, for our meeting here has not abrogated it. Can it be said then, for a moment, that we are without the shield, the protection of the Constitution of the State of Indiana? No one, surely, will entertain such an idea, or undertake to enforce it. The same Constitution says too, that no law shall be made, abrogating or impairing the validity of contracts. Chapman is at present the State Printer. entered into a contract to do all the printing of the State. Shall we, a body sitting in accordance with the command of the Legislature, undertake to do that which those who created us could not do? Is the agent greater than the principal! Is the created greater than the creator! Yet the doctrine is propounded here, and argued with some degree of assurance, that we should take upon ourselves to impair the obligation of a contract.



Now I have made these remarks at the suggestion of the gentleman over the way, and atter, it seems to me, that every gentleman here had said every thing he desired to say. I disclaim any thing like feeling in regard to this question. I am told by those who are entitled to respect, that the entire profit to be derived


from the printing of the Convention, cannot exceed seven hundred and fifty dollars, and it does seem to me that that is a matter not worth a great deal of scrambling after. Sir, I am glad of the opportunity which is accorded me in the debate, of avowing my opinions upon the subject. They explain the vote that I shall give. I shall vote against concurring in the report, believing that a printer is provided for us. Nor do I agree with the gentleman as to the appointment of another officer. I mean the Stenographer, who was appointed to report the debates of this Convention. And, I ask, is it in our power to reject this officer? I hold that we have no such power. The Legislature created that office, and the Governor commissioned the officer. It is not for us to remove him. cannot even enquire into his right to hold office. I will put a case: Suppose the Legisla ture had said that the Governor should appoint an individual to sit here from nine o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock in the evening, and keep a vigilant eye upon our proceedings, and take down, in Stenographic notes, every articulate sound that was uttered. Could they not have done so? It appears to me they could, and that we would have no right to interpose. The Legislature directed the Governor to appoint and commission a Stenographer; the Governor did so, and he is as necessarily a portion of this Convention as any man on this floor, and we have no power to remove him if we desired to do so, except for such cause as I will not suppose will ever occur, namely, disturb-ance or disorder, on the part of that gentleman; but in such case only, would we be at liberty to expel him or any other officer of this Convention. I take it that we sit here, as I have said, with limited powers in all respects, except onewe have the unlimited power of making propositions. But who pretends that we can adopt a Constitution, and make it binding upon the people of this State, without their concurrence. Is is not provided that our work shall be submitted to the people? Can we revoke that provision and enforce obedience to the instrument we may frame? No one will pretend it. Yet if we had the Sovereignty that it is alleged we possess, we could unquestionably do this. No Sir; we have been sent here to devise a plan or form of Government, to be submitted to the people, to be by them decided upon, and it will be for them to determine whether they will risk their fortunes and their future lives under it,

or not.

Mr. NILES said, that as a mere abstract question of law, he thought the report of the committee correct. It might be most proper to employ the State Printer to do their printing, but he did not think that he was necessarily and ex officio printer to the Convention. He did not claim that the Convention was above law or could disregard the act under which it was called into existence. With the gentleman

that board were now in session here or elsewhere, and in need of the services of a printer, is it not clear that they could employ one or another at their discretion? If such a body could, so can we.

from Tippecanoe, (Mr. Pettit) he concurred in appointed a board of commissioners to look after the argument of Mr. Webster, and the opinion any of the public interests, with the same disof the Supreme Court of the United States, incretionary powers which the act under which we the case of Dorr, that under what may be cal-are convened, confers upon us. And suppose led the American political system, changes in the form of a government cannot be effected; by violence. While he sympathized with progress and reform, he deprecated revolutions; and he was glad to know that were anything of the kind attempted, not only the people, but the courts, would place their seal of condemnationer upon it. He admitted that had the Legislature designated the person by whom or pointed out the manner in which, their (the Convention's) printing should be done, it ought to be conclusive.

The gentleman from Tippecanoe asks whethwe propose to dismiss the Secretary of State, and other State officers, and employ other persons in their stead. I answer, that they are doubtless the proper persons at the seat of gov ernment with whom we should communicate as occasion requires. If we need information from the clerks and auditors of the various counties, it is unquestionably proper to apply for it through the proper State officers. But we might in our discretion, employ other persons to procure such information, and make them compensation for their services. Mr. N. thought this a matter perhaps of little practical importance, but he was inclined to concur in the { opinion expressed in the report.

Mr. HOLMAN remarked, that in order to

tion, it should first be decided whether the State printer was really an officer of the State, or not. By referring to the Revised Statutes, page 100, it would be found that the election by a viva voce vote was there provided for by law, of a prosecuting attorney, a State Printer, and other officers. Thus, there was a direct provision of law under which this officer was elected. He was an officer of the State-so

The gentleman from Tippecanoe-continued Mr. Niles insists that we were bound to employ the State Printer, merely because he is a State officer; and inquires whether we have power to increase our own pay, as if the answer to that question settled the other point. But I answer, we have no such power, simply because our rate of compensation has been fixed by the Legislature. We have no discretion on that subject. But we are allowed the widest discretion upon many subjects, including the incidental expens-arrive at a satisfactory adjustment of the queses. The twelfth section of the act providing for the call of this Convention, in part reads thus: "The members of said Convention shall receive three dollars per day while actually attending upon the sittings of said Convention, and shall be allowed the like compensation for their travel as members of the General Assembly are allowed by law; and their secretaries, officers, and attendants shall be paid the same compensation as the officers of the General As-recognized by the law of the State. He took sembly of this State are paid for similar services; it for granted then, that if this State Printer which pay together with the pay of a compe- was an officer of the State, they must look at tent stenographer to report the debates; which the law providing for his election, to ascertain stenographer shall be appointed by the Gover- the purpose of the Legislature in his election. nor for that purpose, with the other expenses of If he was elected for a specific purpose, why the Convention, shall be certified by the presi- then, in the exercise of the power delegated to dent of the Convention, and shall be paid by him, he must be confined within the limits prethe Treasurer of this State, on the warrant of scribed by the Legislature. It would be observed, the Auditor of Public Accounts." Now sup- on referring to the Revised Code, that this pose we should employ additional clerks and officer was to be elected triennially, and that direct them to make duplicates of papers, to be among other things it was provided that he distributed upon the desks of members, would should discharge the duty of printing for the not the expense be paid on the order of the Pres- State. In connection with this provision, there ident ! We might, in this way, supersede any were two other sections stipulating as to the absolute necessity for a Printer. So, I appre- manner in which the work should be done. bend, we may employ any printer we choose, to The only question to be decided then, was, do the same work, or we may let it out to the what was the design of the Legislature in creatlowest bidder. I do not conceive that this Con- ing the office of State Printer! As he had vention is in any sense the State, as that term before said, the Revised Statutes prescribed the is used in the law relative to a State Printer. { duties of this officer, viz.: that he should execute Neither would our entire population, if now as- the printing of the two Houses of Assembly sembled en masse to remodel their organic law, and of the principal officers of the State-but be the State in any such sense. It is the gov-nowhere was it stated that his duties extended ernment proper which represents the State, and it is the printing for that government, which the State Printer is appointed to do.

Suppose the Legislature at its last session, had

any further. The office of State Printer was created seven years ago, and the duties that devolved upon him were clearly laid down by the State Legislature. Inasmuch, then, as the

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