« ForrigeFortsett »
OLIVER — KEYES — Wilson.
what is in the Constitution now, they will under- dred and eighty-nine lines in reference to the stand the proposition we submit much easier. militia, and that the Report, as presented by the The object of the Committee was to place that Committee to this Convention, contains sixty-nine which is now in a somewhat obscure form--so lines, much so as to call for legal interpretation—in the Mr. KEYES, for Abington. I beg leave to plainest and fullest light. When gentlemen un- make a personal explanation. I stated last evendertake to say that we present to the Convention ing, in a fit of patriotic enthusiasm, that I would a much greater amount in connection with the vote for this resolution. I made this statement militia than existed in the Constitution before, because I supposed the State of Massachusetts with all due respect and deference to the gentle- had something to do with this matter of the milimen who utter these opinions, I wish to say in tia, and therefore I thought it proper to insert in the most guarded manner possible, without injur- | the Constitution a provision assuining the direcing the feelings of any man, that they do not tion of the militia of Massachusetts. I have know anything about it, (laughter,] unless they learned to-day that it is the opinion of this Conhave particularly examined the subject. We are vention that Massachusetts has nothing to do inclined to think, taking in connection the sev- with this matter, and that she cannot even organenth article, upon the powers of the governor and ize a company of militia of her own citizens. commander-in-chief, that we have abridged the | This document assumes that Massachusetts has article upon the militia at least one-fourth. There something to do with this matter. In that respect are some twenty or thirty lines, perhaps forty, in it is a hypocritical doctrine, a false and fallacious the present Constitution, which we have con- idea ; and on the other hand, if it is not that, it densed into the small space of four lines. We strikes me that there is no use at all of having have merely taken the article in the Constitution these resolutions in the Constitution. We have upon this subject, as it stands, and perfected and gone all over them and taken out everything improved that which was somewhat obscure. I which we feared would conflict with the governconfess that during the time I was intrusted with ment of the United States. I think that I must the duties of adjutant-general by a former gov- join with the other party, which is frightened for ernor of the Commonwealth—the gentleman who fear of coming in conflict with the United States. sits in front of me, (Mr. Briggs,)-I was often in I did think of buying a pop-gun for one of my doubt as to what was intended by the language children, but I am afraid it might endanger the used in the Constitution upon this subject. The Union; and lest I may be transgressing, I shall object of the Committee was to remove all doubt vote against the resolution. and difficulty as to what was meant; and I assure The question was then taken upon the resolve, gentlemen of the Convention, notwithstanding and there were-ayes, 173; noes, 35. the eloquent remarks made by my friend who So the resolve was agreed to. served in the Massachusetts militia ten years, that Mr. WILSON, of Natick. I move that the we have put this matter in a plainer form than Committee of the Whole be discharged from the before, so that every-body can understand it. I further consideration of the Report upon the subassure the Convention that to the best of my ject of the governor's command of the militia, ability and knowledge, the whole matter has been with instructions to consider the expediency of condensed and simplified, and when it comes up substituting the following resolution for their in its final form to be presented to the people, it former Report:will occupy a much smaller space than is now occupied by the provisions of the Constitution Resolved, That it is expedient to alter the Conrelating to this subject.
stitution of the Commonwealth by striking out Mr. CHURCHILL, of Milton, moved the pre
the whole of article seventh of section first, chap
ter second. vious question.
The previous question was seconded and the The motion was agreed to. main question ordered, which was upon the final The PRESIDENT. The next matter in the passage of the resolutions.
Orders of the Day is the resolves on the subject of Mr. OLIVER. May I be permitted to say one the Council. They have been twice read, and single word?
the question is on their final passage. The PRESIDENT. It can be done only by Mr. BOUTWELL, for Berlin. I should be the unanimous consent of the Convention.
very happy, for myself, to have the question Leave was granted.
taken. I made the motion, some days ago, that Mr. OLIVER. I merely wish to state that the these resolutions lie upon the table for the accomConstitution, as it now stands, contains one hun- modation of the gentleman from Lowell, (Mr. Wednesday,
KEYES — CHURCHILL
TRAIN – BUTLER.
Butler,) whom I do not now see in his seat. I can speak so much better for himself than I can therefore move, once more, that the Convention for him, I will say no more about it. I had pass over these resolutions, that the gentleman hoped, some time or other, to present some views from Lowell may have an opportunity to speak of my own on the subject. I was not at all aware upon them.
that the matter was coming up this afternoon, The PRESIDENT. If no objection is made, and I do not desire to address the Convention the resolutions will be passed over.
until we shall have the information which was Mr. KEYES, for Abington. I object. attempted to be obtained by an order submitted
The PRESIDENT. The Chair would suggest by the gentleman from Lowell and amended by that the gentleman for Berlin may move that the gentleman for Abington. I think the Conthey be postponed.
vention can never so well judge with regard to Mr. BOUTWELL. I am reluctant to do it, matters pertaining to this subject as they can after but I will move that they be postponed until to the order of inquiry relating to the exercise of the morrow.
pardoning power, has been complied with by the Mr. KEYES. If that be debatable, I wish to Secretary of the Commonwealth; and I hope the state, that I understand the gentleman to give as matter will be allowed to subside until we obtain a reason for the postponement of the question, that information. I impute no ill motives to any the fact that the gentleman from Lowell is member of the Council of this Commonwealth, absent. He has taken a little interest on the one either past or present. I have no doubt they side, and I did on the other; and when it shall have endeavored to perform their duties with come up again, I shall be absent. I do not know, great faithfulness; but I must say—for I have if the reason is found sufficient to defer the ques- had some experience in the administration of tion on his account, why it is not sufficient in my the criminal law in this Commonwealth-that case; but I certainly do not wish it deferred on the Council seem to have set themselves up to my account. It has been long before the Conven- undo everything which the trial by jury has setion; and there is another argument on my side, cured. Now, at the fit time, after having obtained which would not prevail on his. The subject has the proper information, I wish to submit my been fairly and fully discussed, and the question views to the Convention, and for that reason I has been taken over and over again, and the pur- hope the motion to postpone the subject will prepose, I suppose, if there be any purpose, is to vail. reverse the deliberate opinion of the Convention ; Mr. KEYES. I will say that the gentleman and if we offer extra opportunities for that purpose, seems very much disturbed that some have been we may never get through.
pardoned out of prison; but I do not know what Mr. CHURCHILL, of Milton. I sincerely that has to do with the matter. I suppose that hope the motion to postpone, will prevail. It is a vo:e to take away the pardoning powers from now a late hour of the day and the question the Council, would not render the Council altowhich has been taken up, is a very important one. gether unnecessary on that account. These quesI know that the gentleman from Lowell desires tions have been discussed separately, and it seems to speak upon it, as well as many other gentlemen. now that we have to go over the ground again. A proposition was submitted the other day to limit I do not know whether it is proposed to go into the pardoning power, exercised by this Council. it again or not. It strikes me there is a larger I know that very many gentlemen were in favor number of persons present now than we have had of this proposition, but it was voted down by the for several days. We have at least two hours on Convention. I believe there are very many gen- hand. We could sit till seven o'clock last night, tlemen, who wish to look still farther into the puffing up the militia, and I do not see why we necessity for the existence of the Council, and I cannot sit till that time to-night. hope an opportunity to debate the question still Mr. BUTLER, of Lowell. I would hope that farther will be given, and I have no doubt it will this subject may be postponed until the evidence be embraced if it is given.
which I asked for from the office of the Secretary Mr. TRAIN, of Framingham. I hope the of State, and which he is busy in getting out, motion of the gentleman for Berlin will prevail, shall be before the Convention. If there ought partly to gratify the gentleman from Lowell
, who to be any change that evidence will throw light; feels an especial interest in matters growing out and if there ought not to be any change, the of this question, and who is exceedingly able to Council will come cut like those tried in the fire, present his views on this subject, as he is on any brighter than before. Now, gentlemen, I hope other. [At this moment Mr. Butler took his there will be no shrinking from the investigation seat.] But as the gentleman is now here and of the records ; for up to this hour their records Wednesday,]
BOUTWELL — Wilsox
have been a sealed book to every citizen except The PRESIDENT. The Chair is of opinion the members of the legislature of this Common- that that motion is not in order. The Report of wealth. We wish now to get a little light from the Committee, under the order of May 30th, has that source, and their doings shall testify of them, been passed upon. -for good I trust,-for good I hope ; I wish I Mr. WILSON. I suppose that if this Report could say, for good I believe. [Laughter.] But is accepted the seventh article will remain as it I am willing to trust and hope ; and if the Con- now stands in the Constitution, and that we so vention will pass over this, as we have got some decide. We have decided to make an article in six or eight other matters which can be considered, the place of that which is in the Report of the I should be very glad to lay before the Conven- Committee on the Militia. The chairman of that tion what has seemed to be the only ground upon Committee, in discussing that matter, and the genwhich the Council has been advocated, to wit : tleman from Lowell, and also the gentleman from the exercise of the pardoning power. I wish to Freetown, have all so considered it. Now this lay before the Convention these results, and I Committee reported against a change of this think every man in the Convention, as well as seventh article and it seems to me we must strike the people at large, will be able to vote more un- it out. derstandingly after they get the statistics which Mr. ASPINWALL, of Brookline. I rise to a my friend for Abington wants, and which I want, question of order, whether there is any propriety and which I think the whole Convention want. in the Convention considering this article while I hardly think we should have this pressed through the fifty-second rule is not suspended. That rule now. I trust that my friend for Abington, the is as follows: advocate, the Magnus Apollo of the Council, will allow the matter to be passed over; because I “Every order or resolution which proposes an think if he will, all that agree with him in opinion alteration in the Constitution, and all reports of will do so.
committees appointed to consider the propriety
and expediency of making any alteration therein, Mr. BOUTWELL. I moved to take up from
shall be considered in Committee of the Whole the table, these resolutions at a moment when I before they are debated and finally acted upon in was not aware of the effort to obtain the infor- Convention." mation from the Secretary of the Commonwealth, to which gentlemen seem to attach so much
The PRESIDENT. This Report has been importance. Now that this subject may be dis
referred to the Committee of the whole Convencussed, when it is discussed, with all the informa
tion, and the Committee has been discharged from tion before us that we can possibly have, I will its consideration. The gentleman from Natick move that the resolutions lie on the table.
has offered an amendment to the Report, and the The motion was agreed to.
Chair has decided that the amendment is not in
order, and it is not before the Convention in the Commander-in-Chief.
form which the gentleman from Brookline sup
poses. Mr. WILSON, of Natick, moved to take up
Mr. HOPKINSON. I understand that the for consideration the Report of the Committee on
Convention has decided to proceed to the considthe Militia, upon an order of May 30th, instruct
eration of the Report. ing that Committee to inquire into the expediency
Mr. ASPINWALL. I rise to a question of of amending article seventh of section first,
order whether the Convention can consider this chapter second, of the Constitution by substi
Report. tuting therefor the following words : “ The gov
The PRESIDENT. The question is upon the ernor shall be commander-in-chief of the Militia
disposal of the Report. It is competent for the of the Commonwealth, and of the Army and
Convention to do what they choose with it. A Navy."
proposition to dispose of it has not yet been made. The motion was agreed to. The question was stated to be on the accept
The gentleman from Boston has the floor.
Mr. HOPKINSON. I was about to remark ance of the Report of the Committee, which is,
that the chairman of the Committee which reported that it is inexpedient to amend said article. Mr. WILSON offered the following amend
this subject is not now present. I had the honor
to be a member of that Committee, and so far as ment:
I have been able to see, the action of the ConvenResolved, That it is expedient to alter the Con- tion upon the subject of the Report of the Comstitution of this Commonwealth by striking out mittee has settled the whole matter in intention, the whole of Article 7, Chapter 2d.
though not in the form submitted in that Report.
- BOUTWELL - KEYES.
I am not prepared to say that nothing ought to reached, but, on the other hand, a precisely opposite be done upon the subject. It appears to me that decision. These are my sentiments; and this is it may be recommitted to the Committee that re- not the first question which has been decided, not ported it, and I make that motion.
upon the reason and judgment and intellect of the Mr. WILSON. Would it be in order to people here, but upon that of those out of doors. recommit the amendment I have proposed with it? If it is not demanding too much, I would like to
The PRESIDENT. Inasmuch as the Con- have the chairman or some other member of the Tention cannot amend the Report it cannot in- | Committee, state the grounds upon which this struct the Committee to amend it; the resolve Report is presented; and I have no doubt but proposed by the gentleman may be referred to the that they will be able to give some reasons why Committee.
it should be adopted. I wish to say only one The question was taken on the motion to re- word in regard to it-not that I wish to argue commit, and it was decided in the affirmative. here or any where else against an appropriation
Mr. WILSON. I now move to refer to that for the Hoosac Tunnel; but one of the chief obCommittee the amendment which I have proposed. jections to appropriations of that sort grows out of The motion was agreed to.
the fact that such appropriations have been made
to other corporations, and I ask the Convention Loan of the State Credit.
to consider if a great amount of argument has not Mr. BOUTWELL, for Berlin, moved that the proceeded out of this state of things. The State Convention resolve itself into Committee of the of Massachusetts loaned its credit some time ago Whole on the Report of the Special Committee, to the Western Railroad. Now, Sir, another who were appointed to inquire and report to the portion of the community demand, as they say, Convention upon the expediency of so amending the same right and the same privilege, and the the Constitution that the legislature shall have no general argument is based upon this one thing. right to loan the credit of the State to any indi- Do not they claim that aid on the ground that it vidual or corporation, or to contract any debt for has been given to another corporation, and do they any purpose except to carry on the government not say that that corporation is a nuisance? Do and defray its necessary expenses, or to repel in- they not charge that corporation with going into vasion or suppress insurrection.
the legislature and depriving a portion of the The motion was agreed to.
people of their rights—that it is a great monied The Convention accordingly resolved itself into corporation in which the State has an interest,
and that they got this themselves, which is a great COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE,
infliction upon the people of Massachusetts And Mr. Boutwell in the Chair, and proceeded to con- thus they go on with all this long list of charges sider the said Report, which was read by the against that corporation, and then they complain Secretary, and is, that it is inexpedient for the because you will not make another just like it. Convention to act upon the subject.
In these remarks I am taking the representations The question being upon the adoption of said made by the friends of this project-I am talking Report.
about what they say, and not what I say—I am Mr. KEYES. It has been customary hereto- taking it for granted that all their representations fore, I believe, upon the part of almost all the
are true, and I say if they be true, this State will chairmen of the various committees which make
never again grant its credit, because by doing so reports-although sometimes, I confess, it has
it is building up these overwhelming corporations been quite unnecessary–for them to make some which interfere with the rights of the people. If explanation of the grounds upon which the report it were not for the Tunnel, I have no idea that the is made. Now, Mr. Chairman, I do not know Convention or the people would ever agree to put as I have any objection at all to this Report, but a provision in the Constitution by which any the thought has suggested itself to me that this other such monster should ever be built up. I Report has been made with particular reference to may be in error about this matter, but I should one subject which has been before the people of like to have the Committee tell us why they make Massachusetts lately, and which has excited a good such a Report as this. The whole democratic deal of interest. I do not wish to do injustice to party were a few years ago opposed to the approthat Committee or to the Report which they have priation of the State credit to any private corporapresented, but I believe that if the Hoosac Tunnel tion, and the whig party or at least a great portion had never been heard of, that Report would of them, have taken similar ground; and for this never have been made, and the decision to which
reason it appears rather strange that such a Report the Committee have come would not have been should be presented here.
WILSON - KEYES
- STETSON - BRADFORD.
Mr. WILSON, of Shelburne. I do not see the is not just as good as his. I was saying, Mr. chairman of the Committee in his seat; if he was Chairman, that I consider the State to have been here, I presume he could tell the gentleman upon conservative in this matter. I think that she what ground the Committee based their action in may reasonably be supposed to have arrived at making this Report. But, Sir, as I had the honor mature growth, and that she has no need of havof being a member of that Committee, I can speaking a guardian placed over her at this time. I so far as I am concerned, of the reasons for my consider her legislative action to have been judiaction, although I am not much of a speech-maker. cious heretofore, and therefore I am willing to My action was based not simply upon any local leave the legislature to use their discretion in fuidea, but upon general principles. The loan of ture. I admit that this Convention contains a the State credit has been granted heretofore, and considerable amount of wisdom and talent; but I have seen no evil growing out of it; but on the we must not suppose that we have got all the other hand I am convinced that this policy has wisdom which either exists now, or will exist. been attended with beneficial results. I can see We ought to be willing to concede that judicious that certain sections of our country have been men will hereafter take part in administering the enriched by that policy, and I am not aware that affairs of government; and I am decidedly opthe State has ever lost the first dollar in conse- posed to having this Convention tie up the hands quence of the aid which she has thus extended. of the legislature hereafter. I hope we shall I think that those gentlemen who object to the leave it discretionary with them, and leave this loan of the State credit, are bound to show in an open question, at least until a real injury what manner this policy has operated injuriously; shall be sustained. There are gentlemen here, they are bound to show that the nature of the undoubtedly, who are better able to defend this case demands that the gates are to be shut down, Report than I am; and I should not have spoken henceforth and forever. Now, Sir, I think that at all, had it not been for the absence of the chairMassachusetts, in the policy which she has adopted man from his seat. in relation to this matter, has been conservative. Mr. STETSON, of Braintree. I do not rise
Mr. KEYES. If the gentleman will permit to make a speech upon this question at this time; me to interrupt him, I will ask him whether he but I should like to hear the reasons of the chairconsiders that the Western Railroad Corporation, man of the Committee, who, as I understand, which has been assisted out of the State Treasury, is absent, before the Convention take action upon has never violated its duty in regard to the rights the Report. In the mean time, I move to amend of other people, and has always conducted in a the Report of the Committee, by striking out all proper manner?
after the words “In Convention, June 15, 1853," Mr. WILSON. I was not speaking in rela- and inserting in lieu thereof the following :tion to the Western Railroad Corporation, and I
Resolved, That the Constitution be so amended do not know that I am bound to stand up in their
that hereafter no loan of the State credit shall be defence.
given to any corporation or individual, unless the Mr. KEYES. I understood the gentleman to question is first submitted to the people. say that no corporation, which had been assisted by the State, had ever done anything inconsistent Mr. BRADFORD, of Essex. As the chairwith the rights, the liberties, and the privileges of man of the Committee is absent, and as I am inthe citizens of Massachusetts.
formed that the gentleman from Taunton, (Mr. Mr. WILSON. I remarked at the outset, that Morton,) to whom we all look for counsel in imI was speaking of general principles ; and in my portant matters, and who takes a deep interest in action upon this matter I did not look at individ- this question on the side opposite to that of the ual and local cases, but at general principles, as Report, has gone home sick, and cannot be here we are bound to consider them. The gentleman to-day, I move that the Committee now rise, resays that this decision of the Committee would port progress, and ask leave to sit again. never have been made, if it had not been for a The motion was agreed to. The Committee certain project which had attracted considerable accordingly rose, and the President having reattention among the people. I might, perhaps, sumed the Chair of with equal propriety and justice, say that this order would not have been moved at this time,
THE CONVENTION, and that nobody would have thought of having The Chairman, (Mr. Boutwell, for Berlin,) resuch a prohibition inserted in the Constitution, if ported progress, and asked that the Committee it had not been for this project. I can appeal to have leave to sit again. the wisdom of this Committee, if my conclusion Leave was granted.