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The first question that is before us is to ascertain the sense of this meeting as to whether a foreign correspondent in Paris should be appointed. If it is decided that one should be appointed, then the matter is referred to the Executive Committee with power; the next question that comes up, is to make an appointment. Taking the first question before the Association, shall a corresponding member, a foreign correspondent, be appointed in Paris for the ensuing year?
John I. Gilbert, of Malone:
It seems to me the whole question whether we have one at all or not, and then who shall he be, is worthy of more consideration than we have given to it. It seems to me the whole matter should go to the Committee, as to whether we have such a correspondent and who he shall be. It seems to me the motion of Mr. Lincoln is a wise one to adopt, with the modification as the President suggested.
I should say, without passing upon the matter, technically according to the rules of parliamentary law, the motion of Mr. Lincoln would come up first; that is, the whole subject-matter of this resolution be referred to the Executive Committee with power.
Louis Marshall, of New York:
For the purpose of raising the question of power I rise to a point of order, that there is nothing in our Constitution or By-Laws that forbids the appointment of an officer of this character, and that by submitting this matter with power to the Executive Committee we are tacitly recog
nizing the existence of an officer as to whose existence the By-Laws and Constitution are entirely silent.
Having said what I did, permit me to add this word. That I concur with Mr. Marshall. When I spoke, it did not occur to me it was to be referred with power. I think that we ourselves should decide whether such an officer, or agent, or whatever you call him, should be appointed, so that the whole matter should go to the committee. It seems to me that would be the wiser course.
We are here and we can vote and let us decide that question, whether we want a corresponding member, that is the question.
I desire a ruling on my point of order, Mr. President. The President:
With the examination that I have been able to give to the point of order, I should say that the Constitution does not provide for any such office or position; and that, it is one of sufficient importance if it had been contemplated that the Association was going to appoint such an officer, provision would have been made in the Constitution. I should myself hold, subject to the opinion of the Association as a whole, that there is no power at the present time to appoint a corresponding secretary and I shall so rule; but I should much prefer to have the whole matter, with the point of order, referred to the Executive Committee, so that it could report in the future as to what amendments are necessary to the Constitution, if amendments are necessary. Let them consider it and report on it at a future meeting.
Henry L. Bogert, of New York:
Why may that report not be made to-morrow?
Will that be satisfactory, Mr. Marshall?
I have no wishes in the matter. If my opinion is asked I might say this is a question of policy. Why should somebody be appointed correspondent in Paris who would have authority over all Europe and to whom all Europe must report? If we have a correspondent in Paris, why should we not have one at London, St. Petersburg, Calcutta or elsewhere? It seems to me it is giving a great deal of dignity to this position. It gives to him the indorsement of the power of the Association of the State of New York, which may be valuable or valueless as the case may be, and yet it seems we are called upon in a rather hurried manner to take action on a proposition which we should not be in great haste to determine. So far as the selection of the correspondent is concerned, that is also a matter that requires some thought. There may be half a dozen candidates for that position. We may have a correspondent in London whom we might favor for such a position. Why should the matter be sent to the Executive Committee, in the first place, to determine as to what form the amendment shall be and how the position shall be filled? Why is it not a matter of sufficient importance to have it submitted in the ordinary way, so that there may be amendments proposed to the proposed amendment to the Constitution, and the matter then receive such thought as it deserves? I do not think there is any immediate haste for the appointment of such an officer, and there are methods whereby we, who are here in America,
may find out something about things that are going on of great importance in the European capitals, in regard to matters of jurisprudence. Perhaps there are too many improvements in American jurisprudence at the present time which will occupy our attention during the next year without our engaging in European matters.
Worth Chamberlain, of Canton:
Mr. President, I move to lay the resolution on the table.
Henry L. Bogert, of New York:
Is that debatable?
I think not. The motion before the house is to lay the whole matter on the table. The motion was duly seconded and carried.
Frank Harvey Field, of Brooklyn:
Mr. President, I want to propose as members of the Association Hon. J. Edward Swanstrom, of Brooklyn, and Hon. Martin W. Littleton, of Brooklyn.
There being no objection, they will be referred to the Committee on Admissions.
I have a matter which I would like to bring before the Association. It will be remembered that last year we had as our guests several members of the Bar of Montreal. After the banquet, or about February fifth, I received the following communication from the Secretary of the Bar of Montreal:
"Extract from the minutes of a meeting of the Bar of Montreal, held on the 4th of February, 1902. Moved by
Mr. E. Lafleur, K. C. Seconded by Mr. P. Demers, K. C., and
"Resolved, That the Council having heard the report of the Batonnier as to his recent visit to Albany to attend the annual banquet of the New York State Bar Association, desires to record its appreciation of the courtesies extended to the representatives of the Bench and Bar of this District by His Excellency Governor Odell, Chief Judge Parker and the New York State Bar Association. "ROBERT FASCHEAU,
The communication will be received and filed. Have you any other business this morning?
I have nothing else this morning, Mr. President.
Has any gentleman present any business to bring before the Association?
There is action to be taken upon the amendments to the Constitution.
Mr. Secretary, will you read the first amendment?
The first amendment is to Article XVIII of the Constitution. Perhaps this should be deferred until Mr. Jones. from Rochester is here. He may be here to-morrow. It was his amendment, and I think he has indicated his intention to be present.