Слике страница
PDF
ePub

DEBATES

OF THE

Convention to Amend the Constitution.

ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTH DAY.

and nays.

MONDAY, May 26, 1873. the House. What action will it take: The Convention met at half-past nine concerning it? o'clock A. M., Hon. Wm. M. Meredith,

Mr. DARLINGTON. I move that we President, in the chair.

proceed to its second reading and consid

eration. The Journal of Friday last was read and approved.

On agreeing to this motion, a division

was called, and less than a majority of a PETITIONS AND MEMORIALS.

quorum voted in favor thereof. Mr. PATTON presented a memorial of

Mr. DARLINGTON. I ask for the yeascitizens of Bradford county, asking for the acknowledgment of Almighty God

The PRESIDENT. The call is too late. and the christian religion in the Consti- The question is decided. The House retation, which was laid on the table.

fuses to order the resolution to a second Mr. J. N. PURVIANCE presented three

reading. petitions of citizens of Butler county of like import, which were laid on the ORDER OF ARTICLES ON SECOND READING table.

Mr. D. N. WHITE submitted the followHe also presented three petitions of citi. ing resolution, which was read twice: zens of Jefferson county of like import, Resolved, That on second reading the which were laid on the table.

several articles of the amended ConstituHe also presentece petitions of like im- tion as reported from the committe of the port from citizens of Mithin county, from whole, be numbered, namod and taken citizens of Montour county, and from up for consideration in the following or-citizens of Huntingdon county; which der, to wit: were laid on the table.

First. Preamble.

Second. Art. 1-Declaration of Rights. COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS.

Thirdi Art. . 2-Legislative DopartMr. DARLINGTON. I offer the follow ment: to include the report of the Coming resolution :

mittees on Legislature and on Legislation Resolved, That the resolution of last

Fourth. Art. 3—Executive Department. Thursday, fixing the compensation of the

Fifth. Art. 4-Department of the Judimembers of the Convention at $2,500, be

ciary. rescinded.

Sixth. Art. 5–Suffrage, Election and Mr. LILLY. Mr. President: I rise to a Representation. point of order.

Seventh. Art. 6-Taxation and Revea The PRESIDENT. The question is not nge. yet debatable. The resolution is before Eighth. Art. 7-Education.

Ninth. Art. 8-Public and Private Cor- and Adjustment to report afterwards porations.

upon the order in which they shall finally Tenth. Art. 9– Impeachment and Re- be placed. I trust the Convention will moval from office.

pass this resolution, with whatever modi. Mr. D. N. WHITE. Mr. President: This fications delegates may desire, so that resolution does not include the reports as we may proceed understandingly on secto all the departments, as we have not act- ond reading. It is not a question of this ed on some of them. My view in offering it particular order, but of some order, any is that we may commence in order on the order that may be most agreeable to a second reading, so that when we pass on majority of delegates. any article and get through with it, we Mr. KAINE. If I am mistakon I havo may not enact the same thing over again failed to understand the reading of it bein some other article; that we may go on in cause the resolution itself expressly proorder, and when we get through one ar- vides that the Bill of Rights shall be the ticle that it will be almost a finality, and first article in the Constitution. when we come to another article, em

Mr. WHERRY. That it shall be taken bodying the same ideas and the same principles, we may strike it out; and up first for consideration ; that is all.

Mr. LILLY. I move that the resolution when our work is conclnded on the sec

be referred to the Committee on Revision ond reading, it will be as near perfect as

and Adjustment. probably we can make it.

Mr. KAINE. That is the motion that I Mr. KAINE. Mr. President: I hope made, and it has been seconded. this resolution will not pass. The subject

The PRESIDENT. The Chair will state contained in it perhaps would be a very that on referring to the rules he is of opinappropriate matter for the consideration ion that the order of considering articles of some standing committee of this body; it is made a rule of the House. but for the Convention this morning,

Subdivision six of rule seven proupon the mere offering of a resolution to

vides for the consideration of articles in fix the entire proceedings of this Conven- the following order: Lion hereafter on second reading, I think,

First. Those on which the Convention to say the least of it, is premature. The has made progress on second reading. resolution at once proposes to change the

That regulates the order on the second arrangement of the present Constitution. reading. It will require, therefore, the In place of leaving the Declaration of resolution to lie over for one day or to be Rights as the ninth article of the Consti- converted into a resolution of inquiry to tution, as it has been in the Constitution the Committee on Revision and Adjustof 1790, and in the Constitution of 1838, the ment. As no such motion is made, the resolution proposes to make it the first resolution will lie over under the rules. article of the Constitution. That may be

Mr. D. N. WHITE. Let it lie over. proper and right, but I do not think the Convention this morning ought to determine on so important a matter as that. I Mr. J. N. PURVIANCE. I rise to a pertherefore move to refer the resolution to sonal explanation. the Committee on Revision and Adjust- When the proposition was before the ment.

committee to give to each county of a The PRESIDENT. The question is on population of thirty thousand a judge, the motion to refer.

the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Mr. WHERRY. Mr. President: I think Lawrence) remarked that he did not say the gentleman from Fayette (Mr. Kaine) that if the amendment prevailed, increasentirely misconceives the purpose of this ing the number of judges, it would cost resolution. It is not for the purpose of the State annually $320,000; that he only tixing the Convention to this schedule, to repeated the expression of some one bethis order of the articles of the Constitu- hind him, that that would be the annual tion. If I rightly apprehend the resolu- cost of the judiciary. The gentleman tion of the gentleman from Allegheny, made this explanation after I had read (Mr. White,) the design of it is that the from the Auditor General's report the Convention may know what articles will cost as therein stated. I desire that the come up at specific times, the order in record may be set right in regard to this which it is proposed to proceed with fact, because as it stands it places me in them on second reading; and it will still rather an unenviable position. Therefore remain for the Committee on Revision I desired to make this explanation.

PERSONAL EXPLANATION.

OFFERING OF RESOLUTIONS.

[ocr errors]

Mr. LILLY. I move to amend, if it is in Jr. Mann. I move that the Conven- order, that no resolution relating to the tion proceed to the consideration of the hour of meeting or hour of adjournment

shall be oftered. resolution that I offered on Friday last, changing the seventh rule.

Mr. MANN. I will modify the amendThe motion was agreed to, and the Con- ment so as to meet the view of the Chair, vention proceeded to consider the follow- to make it read "that original resolutions ing resolution:

in writing shall be offered on Monday Resolved, That rule seven be and is only." hereby amended so as to read : “Original Mr. Lilly. I think the resolution had resolutions offered on Monday only." better be in the shape I suggested. Mr. Manx. I ask the Clerk to read the

Mr. KAINE. I inquire whether it will rule as it will stand if amended.

not require a two-thirds vote to pass the The CLERK read the second subdivision resolution ? of rule seven, as follows:

The PRESIDENT. No; it will only ro“Leave of absence may be asked, and

quire a majority, original resolutions offered on Monday only, and on motion considered.”

Mr. KAINE. One of the rules, rulo Mr. Mann. The intention simply was forty, provides that any change in the in amend the rule so as to confine the of- rules can only be made by a vote of two

thirds. fering of original resolutions to Monday only. If the word “Monday” is trans- The PRESIDENT. It would be strange posed so as to follow the word “and” in if the rules could not be altered without the first line, it will make the rule as I a majority of two-thirds. A resolution to intended to have it. It will then read: change the rules is required to lie over "and on Monday only, original resolutions one day ; but when it has laid over, it may be offered.” I hope the Convention can be adopted by a majority. The genwill amend the order of business in that tleman from Potter proposes to amend way. It seems to me that at this stage of his resolution so as to make it apply to our proceedings one day is entirely suffi- resolutions in writing. The gentleman cient for the offering of original resolu- from Carbon moves to amend the resolutions. In the early sessions of the Con- tion so as to contine it to resolutions in vention the rule was entirely proper as it regard to the hour of meeting and adstands. We then needed perhaps an op- journment. The question is on that portunity daily to offer resolutions. That amendment to the amendment. time has passed away, and there is now The amendment to the amendment no occasion for the daily offering of reso- was rejected. lutions.

The PRESIDENT. The question is on I ask to have the amendment modified the amendment of the gentleman from so as to make the words “on Monday Potter. only" come in after the word "and" in

The amendment was rejected; there the first line of the second subdivision of

being on a division—ayes, twenty ; less the rule.

The PRESIDENT. The resolution will than a majority of a quorum. be so modified. The question is on the

The resolution was rejected. resolution as modified. Before the ques. tion is taken the Chair desires to ask the

Mr. PATTON asked and obtained leave gentleman from Potter what he includes of absence for Mr. Biddle for a few days in the term resolutions ?”

from to-day. Mr. MANN. "Original resolutions;" just

Mr. SIMPSON asked and obtained learo what is included in the present rule.

of absence for Mr. Baker for a few days The PRESIDENT. Every motion is an

from to-day. original resolution. The gentleman will

Mr. CHURCH asked, and obtained leave find in that rule nn provision for making motions, because they are all in the nature of absence for Mr. Reynolds for a few of resolutions. When they are reduced days from today, to attend the session of to writing they are put in the form of the Supreme Court at Harrisburg. resolutions. The Chair would desire that Mr. HANNA asked and obtained, leave that should be clearly expressed before of absence for Mr. Littleton for a few the vote is taken.

days from to-day.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE.

to:

COUNTY OFFICERS.

DISPENSING WITH FIREMEN.

The motion was agreed to. The comMr. Hay subnitted the following res.

mittee rose, and the President having reokntion, which was read twice and agreed sumed the chair, the Chairman (Mr. J.

W. F. White) reported that the commit'Resolved, That the Chief Clerk be di- tee of the whole had had under considerarected to discontinue the employment of tion the article reported by the Committee the fireman and assistant fireman, their on County, Township and Borough Offiservices being no longer required.

cers, and had instructed him to report

progress and ask leave to sit again. Mr. BROOMALL. I move that the Con

Leave was granted the committee of the

whole to sit again to-morrow.
vention resume in committee of the
whole the consideration of the article re-

FUTURE AMENDMENTS.
ported by the Committee on County, Mr. TEMPLE. I move that the House
Township and Borough Officers.

resolve itself into committee of the whole The motion was agreed to, and the Con

on the article reported by the Committee vention accordingly resolved itself into on Future Amendments. committee of the whole, Mr. J. W. F.

The motion was agreed to, and the ConWhite in the chair.

vention accordingly resolved itself into The CHAIRMAN. When the committee committee of the whole, Mr. Kaine in the of the whole ruse on Friday last, the chair. question was on the amendment of the

The CHAIRMAN. The committee of the gentleman from Columbia (Mr. Bucka- whole have referred to them the article tow) offering a new section. The sec- (No. 16) reported by the Committee on tion will be read..

Future Amendments. The first section The CLERK read as follows:

will be read. "RECTION --. In elections of county com- The CLERK read as follows: "missioners and county auditors, each elec- SECTION 1. At the general election to tor may cast all his votes for a smaller be held in the year one thousand eight number of persons than the whole num- hundred and ninety-four, and at the geneber to be chosen, and candidates highest ral election held every twentieth year in vote shall be declared elected. Three thereafter, the electors of this Commoncommissioners and three auditors shall be wealth shall vote for or against a Convenchosen in each county at the general elec- tion to amend the Constitution, and whentlon in 1875 and every third year thereaf- ver at any of said elections a majority of ter, whose terms shall commence on the the votes cast shall be in favor of such tirst Monday of January next following Convention, then the same shall be held their election; and the terms of commis and the Legislature shall provide for sioners and auditors bereafter elected prior carrying out the provisions of this secto 1875 sball expire with that year. Casual tion." vacancies in the office of county commis Mr. BRODHEAD. Mr. Chairman: I besioner and county auditor shall be filled lieve I am the only surviving member of by the courts of common pleas of the re- the Committee on Future Amendmente. spective counties in which such vacancies (Laughter.) We were only enabled to sball occur by the appointment of an elec raise three at our meeting; and we adopttor of the proper county, who shall have ed but one new section. This section was voted for the commissioner or auditor agreed to by the committee unanimously. whose place is to be filled.”

The second section is almost an exact Mr. 8. A. PURVIANCE. As the chairman copy of the corresponding section in the of the committee, I will state that as the old Constitution. We deemed it proper gentleman who offered this amendment to submit this first section to the Convenis not present, it occurs to me that some

lion for its action, thinking that the peo unavoidable occurrence has preventod ple should have this matter of calling a Mr. Buckalew's attendance this morning; Convention in their own hands; and that and as the proposition offered embodies a they sbould be enabled, at some time, to very important principle and one upon have a Constitutional Convention without which he ought to be heard, I move you, the intervention of the Legislature. Froni sir; that the committee rise, report pro- the spirit which has been exhibited at gress, and ask leave to sit again, so as to Harrisburg, I do not think the people will give Mr. Buckalow an opportunity of be- have the opportunity of calling another ing heard.

Convention very soon, unless something

[ocr errors]

of this kind is adopted. As I remarked Mr. DARLINGTON. Exactly. Now, inbefore, the section was adopted by the stead of that, I would prefer that we committee unanimously, and I hope the should allow the Legislature to provide Convention will pass it.

means for proposing amendments, whether Mr. DARLINGTON. I hope the Conven

it be by Convention or commission, and tion will not pass it. I think a much bet- let them propose amendments or changes ter plan has been suggested and acted up to be submitted to the people. I do not on in several of the other States of this hesitate to say that I want to get rid of ConUnion. It strikes me that the plan of a ventions, especially Conventions constiConvention periodically to amend the tuted as this was, and in the manner. in Constitution is entirely uncalled for by which this was. If a Convention is ever any necessity of the people. If a revision to be called again, I wish it to be a Conof the Constitution should become neces- vention voted for by the people as memsary, is not the plan adopted by the State bers of the Legislature are voted for. I of New York and the State of New Jersey do not want the matter left to the Legis. far better than ours? There, as I under- lature to prescribe a new and revolutionstand, the Governor and the Senate ap- ary mode of constituting a body to revise point a commission, in New York, of the Constitutior. I would agree to the apthirty-two gentlemen, selected from the pointment of commissioners who should best men of the State, whose duty it is to be authorized to propose amendments, come together when required, and pro- and let those proposed amendments be pose such amendments to the Constitu- improved and made right by the Legislation as in their judgment and wisdom ture and submitted to the people, so as to seem to be necessary; and when report avoid the necessity of a Convention. See thereof shall be made to the Legislature, what we are doing now. Here we have they shall say whether they are proper to

one hundred and thirty-three gentlemen be submitted to the people, and when in session for more than six months, and submitted to the people and voted upon probably we shall be in session for months by them, they become a part of, or the more, at an expense to the State of half a new Constitution. That plan strikes me

million dollars or inore if we go on in the favorably. That is a better arranged way we are going. I want to avoid this body for business than a body of one hun- in the future. Although but few of us . dred and thirty-three gentlemen. Thirty. may live to see it, under this provision two members, such as were selected in

a Convention will be called whether it is New York, or fourteen, as selected in New wanted or not, and wben a Convention is Jersey for the same purpose, have a better called the danger is that more mischief chance to maturely consider, and careful. than good will be done. ly report to the Legislature, and through

Mr. Hay. · Mr. President: As I underthem to the people, what amendments stand it, the question involved in the should be made.

consideration of this section is simply Now, sir, in providing for future aiend- whether we shall now say that it will be monts, if we choose to provide anything at

wise and proper to vote upon the quesall in addition to what the present Consti- tion of holding a Convention to amend tution contains, I suggest that something the Constitution of the Commonwealth similar to that adopted in New York is at regular and stated intervals of twenty

whether

shall leave far preferable to the present mode of call- years, ing a Convention, far better than the sug- the discretionary action of the Leg

the matter as' it is now left, to gestion of the committee.

islature. That body

bas the Mr. BRODHEAD. How is that commis- power, as I have no doubt everybody will sion to be called ?

admit, to submit to the people the ques-, Mr. DARLINGTON. By the Governor tion whether or not there shall be a whenever the Legislature provide that it Convention called to amend or to procan be done. This section provides for pose amendments to the Constitution, calling a Convention such as we have whenever, in its judgment, it is necessary here.

and proper to do so, and I can see no proMr. BRODHEAD. It does not provide priety in, and no necessity for, the adopfor the calling of a Convention, but it pro- tion of this first section. poses to allow the people to vote at stated The second section, I believe, is in the periods on the question whether they exact language of the present Constituwill have a Convention or not.

tion, and if so, supplies ample provision

or

we

now

« ПретходнаНастави »