« ForrigeFortsett »
tlemen may laugh at the idea of its being a com- having grown till the present time, when to get promise. In reply to that, I will say that I think a representative it is necessary to take a populait meets every argument I have heard made on tion of 1,560. I propose to start with that number, the floor of this house, against the district system the number which the gentleman from Millbury, as based upon equality, fully. Now the propo- (Mr. Waters,) suggested. I take for the second sition, which I will read, and which I intend to representative, 3,120, making 4,680 entitle a town offer when the proper time arrives, is as follows: to two representatives, thus far I follow the present
rule. I then take for the third, the number proResolved, That it is expedient so to amend the prosed by the majority of the Committee, to wit, Constitution as that the House of Representatives 5,000, making 9,680. To retain that number shall consist of members, to be elected from
would make the House of Representatives larger single districts, as nearly equal as may be conveniently made, based upon legal voters.
than it appears to me desirable that it should be.
I therefore increase the next to 6,000, making Mr. CHAPIN, of Springfield. I do not rise, 15,680 necessary for four representatives. I Mr. Chairman, after the able manner in which again, for the next representative, increase the this subject has been presented to the Committee, ratio to 7,000, making 22,680, and I make 7,000 with any expectation that any argument from me the mean increasing ratio which shall entitle a will influence the vote of a single individual of town or city to another representative. That will this Committee; but simply to state the reasons make a House of Representatives of 328. which will influence me' in giving my vote upon By this plan, there will be one hundred and the proposition now before the Committee, so that thirty-eight towns which will average seventyI may not be misunderstood, and that I may not three and seven-tenths of a representative; one be supposed, in voting against the proposition, to hundred and forty-eight towns with one cach, be in favor of districting the Commonwealth. As making one hundred and forty-eight; twentyto the propositions brought in by the Committee three with two each, making forty-six; four with on this subject, I consider one of them based upon three each, making twelve; five with four each, a principle, and the other devoid of principle; and making twenty; and one entitled to six, and one were I obliged to accept one or the other, I would to twenty-one. to-day, take the town representation, although I
If I do not suit the small towns, I am sure, I do increased the ratio ten thousand for an additional not the cities, so that I shall at least have the representative in any town in the Commonwealth. credit of getting between the two. The manner But we are not driven to that necessity. I in which I had proposed to perfect the arrangefind that the representation in Massachusetts from ment, I will read also: its earliest history has been apportioned, not upon Every town containing 1,560 inhabitants will numbers, but upon towns and numbers collec- elect one representative; an increase of 3,120 will tively; and I think there is the principle upon entitle the town to two representatives; 5,000 which we have got to act; and that principle I additional will entitle a town to three representarecognize in the proposition of the gentleman from tives ; 6,000 additional will entitle a town or city, Lowell. I do not, however, feel willing to go to to four representatives, and 7,000 inhabitants that extent to which he goes in the matter, and I shall be the mean increasing ratio which shall will simply give to the Committee my ideas upon entitle a town or city to an additional representathis subject, which I had prepared several days tive. Every town containing less than 1,560 ago, to show, that in my opinion, we should inhabitants, shall be entitled to elect a represenadopt, or we should perfect, I may better say, the tative as many times within ten years as the numsystem under which we are now acting.
ber two hundred and eight is contained in the I do not propose to offer any amendment, Mr. number of inhabitants in said town. Such towns Chairman, for I perceive by the apparent feeling may also elect one representative in the year in of this Committee, that it would be of no service; which the valuation of the estates within the Combut I propose simply to state the proposition monwealth shall be settled. which I have prepared. Perhaps other gentle- It will be seen that I propose that all the inmen may make some use of it; or, perhaps, at a crease shall be taken from those towns having future day, I may offer it to the Committee as an more than one representative, so that no town amendment.
shall have any chance of ever being deprived In the first place, I may be allowed to say of her representation. For the information of that I take the present system of representa- the Committee, I will read the number of reption as the basis, and that having been resentatives to which each county will be ensettled as a matter of compromise in 1840, and titled.
BUTLER — Thompson.
Suffolk County will have 23-4 Representatives. | fair expression of the sense of the House. I put Essex, 38-7
the time thus early in the week because I know Middlesex, 51-4
that the necessities and duties of some gentlemen Worcester, 54-6
will require them to be absent in the latter part Hampshire,
of the week; and I think that between this time Hampden,
and Tuesday at eleven o'clock, all the various Franklin, 16-2
propositions being now before us as I suppose, Berkshire, 21-9
there will be sufficient time to consider the subject Norfolk, 26-0
in all its bearings, and the Committee can then Bristol, 24-5
come to a definite conclusion. I trust that this Plymouth, 21-4
motion will not be regarded by any gentleman as Barnstable, 13-3
an endeavor to choke off discussion and debate, Dukes,
for I have no such intention. Some gentleman Nantucket,
stated that we should come to the period of taking
the question much sooner, if no time was preTotal, 328.7
viously fixed for that purpose; and upon that I do not offer this as an amendment, neither do suggestion I withdrew the motion which I subI, at this time, say that I shall offer it at all. I sim
mitted on a former occasion. But, Mr. President, ply suggest this plan and hope that gentlemen
we must remember that we have first got to take will take it into consideration, and, as far as they the question upon all these propositions in Comsee fit, adopt its features. There is one thing in
mittee of the Whole, and we may then find ourmy plan which I think will commend itself to
selves without the possibility of agrcement, and their favorable consideration ; that is, that it
be obliged to reconstruct a scheme in a different leaves and secures the towns in the same position
manner. Now, Sir, time is rapidly flying. The in which they are now. I like the republican sim- waning days admonish us that we must advance
with our business; and I trust, Sir, that no one plicity and equality of the towns. I cannot, for a moment, consent to give a vote by which the State
will look upon this motion as an attempt to stifle of Massachusetts is to cut up and divide, upon the
discussion. same principle that the treasurer of a corpora
For one, Sir, confining myself to the single tion divides the profits among the stockholders.
purpose of answering any objections which may Mr. CROWELL, of Dennis, moved that the
be made to the proposition that I have laid before Committee rise, report progress, and ask leave to
the Committee, and giving a single statement of sit again.
the results of the system which I propose, in The motion was agreed to, on a division; ayes,
order to show its practical effects, I am content to 106, noes, 62. The Committee accordingly rose,
leave the debate to others who may wish to take and the President having resumed the Chair of
part in it. I will say no more in advocacy of
my motion, but I hope it may meet the general THE CONVENTION,
concurrence of the Convention. The Chairman, Mr Wilson, of Natick, reported Mr. THOMPSON, of Charlestown. I should progress and asked that the Committee have like to know whether the gentleman means to leave to sit again.
include in his motion merely the debate upon the Leave was granted.
various propositions now before the Convention Mr. BUTLER, of Lowell. I now move that in Committee, or whether he refers to those which the question upon the various propositions in may ultimately come before the Committee. relation to the basis of representation, which are Other very important propositions may come in, yet undisposed of before the Committee, be taken and if the gentleman's motion will apply to them, on Tuesday next, at eleven o'clock, A. M. ; and it appears to me that the time is altogether too the reasons which induce me to make this motion limited. Upon looking over the Orders of the are these. In the first place, it is quite evident Day, I find that there are now some ten or fifteen that we must hasten on with our business as propositions before the Committee which have not much as is consistent with our public duty. yet been touched, and there are yet more to come Another reason for assigning Tuesday for that in. I have one which I intend to offer, and shall purpose, is, that on Monday there is not usually move to have it printed ; and perhaps, if the Conso full an attendance as on other days; and I vention should have time to consider it, they think it best that the question on these various might make up their minds that it was worthy to propositions should be taken in a full Convention, be adopted. It does seem to me, that the time 80 that after this long discussion we may have a which the gentleman has fixed for taking the Saturday,]
BRADBURY - HOOPER — BUTLER.
question, on Tuesday next, is altogether too lim- | gentleman from Lowell has made; for under the ited for a fair consideration of the various propo- circumstances, I think that the matter cannot be sitions now before the Committee, to say nothing settled by that time. We have a proposition now about those which may yet come in. I am op- before us, and I should like to know what will be posed to limiting the discussion upon this subject, its operation when it shall be carried into effect. which I conceive to be one of more vital import- I asked the gentleman who moved that proposiance, and one upon which the results of this tion to give a statement of figures to show the Convention will hinge more than any other. I result of it; and he told me to-day that he has trust it will be kept open for debate as long as two men now employed in his office, figuring gentlemen wish to debate it, even if it be to the this up; and I want to know how we can be 10th of July or the 10th of August. I do not expected to pass upon it and understand it when think anything is gained by attempting to crowd these results are not yet laid before us. The or to hurry business, before gentlemen have had gentleman thinks that he can have a sufficient time to form and express their opinions. There amount of debate upon this question between this is an old axiom, which will apply here as well as time and eleven o'clock on Tuesday; but he also elsewhere, that business to be well done should tells us that he thinks the House is going to be not be done hastily. I hope, therefore, that the thin on Monday, and therefore he wants the quesmotion to limit debate will not be sustained by tion taken on Tuesday. Now, I should like to this body--at any rate, not until some other know how those gentlemen, who are not going to propositions have been handed in and considered. be here on Monday, are going to be prepared to
Mr. BRADBURY, of Newton. The gentle- vote understandingly on Tuesday: or does he man from Charlestown has anticipated me, and expect that they are going to act blindly! I am has presented to the Convention some thoughts of the opinion that it is far better to have the which I have before presented, but which were whole matter discussed until it is well understood, in my judgment worthy to be presented again. and then let the propositions be taken up and I would not complain at all, if the gentleman's disposed of, one after another. We have already motion had been more comprehensive, and I disposed of several, and probably we shall do the desire, to have it made consistent, that there should same on Monday; and we should do so until we be no debate after a certain hour. I think it is arrive at something that shall suit the ideas of the like the previous question. You cannot move majority of the body. I believe I am the only the previous question in the Committee of the member from the section from which I have come, Whole, but you can move it in the House. I who has addressed the Committee upon this quespresume that is the object of the gentleman's tion; but there are others from that section who motion, to supply the want of the previous ques- design to do so, some of whom have been pretion in the Committee of the Whole ; but the vented by indisposition from being here. This is inconsistency of the matter is, that under our a question which affects us as much as any portion rules, any member may, if he chooses, introduce of the State; and it seems to me that it is imposany proposition after this time, and the Committee sible to give this amendment a fair discussion if will be obliged to listen to it, and to vote upon it. the gentleman's motion should be adopted. It is I would not object to his motion at all, if he a proposition which was unexpected, and I think would only move that debate shall cease, and that it is important that we should understand it that no motion shall be made after a certain hour; before we act upon it. I therefore hope that the for then it will operate precisely like the previous motion will not prevail. question. This would then supply wh it is want- Mr. BUTLER. I have listened to most of ing in our usage from the lack of the previous these objections before, and I yielded to them the question in Committee of the Whole. There is a other day, out of courtesy to members for whom practical inconsistency to my mind in the motion I had a regard, but I cannot now yield to them. as it is made by the gentleman from Lowell, for If the Convention differ from me in judgment, if that is passed the debate will go on until a they must vote against the proposition. I cannot certain hour arrives, and the gentleman can sub- withdraw it, and, more than all that, I have mit new propositions, perhaps of more importance steeled my heart against any modification of it, than any which we have been discussing, and the although some very warm personal friends have question will have to be taken without an oppor- asked me to modify it. It commends itself to tunity to have one word said in explanation of my judgment, and therefore I have offered it. them.
Here are ten hours, long enough for any day's Mr. HOOPER, of Fall River. I regret that I work, between the hour when we come together feel myself bound to oppose the motion which the on Monday, and the hour when the vote is to be
BUTLER — WESTON — STETSON.
taken on Tuesday, if my motion shall prevail. Mr. WHEELER, of Lincoln. If the gentleIn these ten hours we can have ten speeches of man from Lowell will demonstrate, how we are one hour each; and, if gentlemen will hold back to have ten hours for discussion between this their propositions until the last hour, they must and eleven o'clock on Tuesday, I will vote for not expect that they will be very well under. his proposition. stood. If the gentleman from Charlestown, and Mr. WESTON, of Duxbury. I think, Mr. any other gentlemen, have any propositions President, there is no gentleman upon this floor ready, they can submit them and have them who is more desirous than I am, of bringing our printed by Monday, so that we can examine labors to a close, and adjourning; but, Sir, I am them and be ready to vote upon them by Tuesday opposed to the motion of the gentleman from morning. I do not see any difficulty in the way Lowell. I have been in my seat every day, durof this arrangement. Gentlemen seem to talking the time that this Convention has sat, ready as if it will be impossible to come to an under- to act upon every subject as it comes up here, standing of this subject, unless we sit here and many times neglecting my own business for the discuss it till next August. In my judgment, purpose of shortening the session of this conMr. President, if we are going to sit here until vention. I have not asked for subjects to be laid the tenth day of next August, we might as well upon the table from day to day, to lie there waitgo home now. What shall we accomplish by ing till I got ready to act upon them. As I said our labor? If we cannot get a Convention of before, I have been here constantly, ready to act four hundred men to agree upon a plan before upon every question that came up. that time, how can we expect that a million of Now, Sir, I believe that the subject before us inbabitants in this Commonwelth will agrce upon at this time, (the question of the basis of repreit before the tenth day of November. It is sentation,) is one of the most important questions time, Sir, that we were up and doing. That is upon which this Convention will have to act; what my constituents say to me when I go home. and I know of no other subject that will be Now we shall have been a fortnight next Tues- likely to detain us here more than a week or ten day, discussing this question, and some of the days, except this one; and I therefore trust that newspapers have been making remarks about the gentlemen who are desirous of speaking upon it length of time that it has occupied, and I cannot will have the amplest opportunity, and that the consent that the debate shall be prolonged be- time will not be limited. As the gentleman from yond that time. I may be wrong, but I must Charlestown has said, there are many questions follow the dictates of my own judgment, how- here which we have not had an opportunity of ever it may clash with the judgment of others. taking into consideration, and I very much doubt I shall be taught, by the vote of the Convention, even if we can get them printed by Monday, whether I am right or wrong. If they sustain and say, after we have compared them, the one me, I shall know that I am right; and if not, I with the other, which presents the most fair and shall be content to yield to their better judgment. equitable and satisfactory system. For these reaThe gentleman from Fall River, says that he sons, I trust that the Convention will not agree could not figure out the results of my proposi- to the motion, or that the gentleman from Lowtion, and that I told him that I had men to work ell, (Mr. Butler,) will not persist in it. on it. I will have those figures here on Monday, Mr. BUTLER. I should like to accommodate and will give him all day to read them. I have the gentleman from Duxbury, but I feel it a already stated the general result, that there will duty incumbent upon me, to take the sense of be three hundred and ninety-one representatives the Convention now, upon this proposition. in the whole, and I have mentioned how it will The question was then taken, and, on a dia affect the towns throughout the Commonwealth. vision, there were—ayes, 72; noes, 104. I propose, hereafter, simply to give the figures, So the motion was rejected. showing how it will affect the counties, for some gentlemen think themselves bound to take good
Motion to Reconsider a Vote. care of their counties, and see that their county Mr. STETSON, of Braintree. Yesterday mornlines were suitably preserved. I have known ing I submitted a plan to the Convention, which gentlemen, before now, who could not find their was received and ordered to be printed. I undercounty lines—but leaving that now, for that is
stand by the newspapers that the Convention not the question, I believe every member of the passed upon it directly after dinner yesterday, Convention will have time to look over the figures and rejected it. My purpose in speaking of this on Monday, at which time I shall have all the in
matter now is to move for a reconsideration of formation here which I propose to lay before them. the vote by which the proposition was rejected.
BEACH — BUTLER - HATHAWAY – HUNTINGTON.
The PRESIDENT. It is not in order to move wish the gentleman had seen fit to propose his for a reconsideration of a vote in Convention motion when we had a larger House, so that we which was passed in Committee of the Whole. might have got at the sense of the body on this The gentleman can attain his object when the subject. Gentlemen having perfectly satisfied Report is again under consideration in Committee themselves that they can come here next week of the Whole.
and make their speeches, have gone home to at
tend to their business, and hence we are left with Basis of Representation, Motion to Recommit to
a remarkably thin house. I trust, therefore, that a Special Committee.
the gentleman from Springfield will not press his Mr. BEACH, of Springfield. I hardly know motion at this time, because I feel pretty well whether it will be in order to make the motion satisfied that it will not commend itself to the which I was about to submit, but it seems to me judgment of the Convention as a whole. This that, considering all these various propositions on proposition I am sure will not facilitate the dethis representation question which are now be- cision of the question ; for all that will be done fore the Convention, and none of which seem very will be to organize the committee, and then sixlikely to meet with general approbation, and as it teen gentlemen, myself among the number, will is obvious, notwithstanding all the discussion come in with sixteen propositions, and the discuswhich has been had upon these various proposi- sion will all be gone over again, because every tions that, unless some other plan be resorted to gentleman will feel bound to discuss his propothan that which we are now pursuing, there will sition. be great difficulty in arriving at any conclusion ***MIHATHAWAY, of Freetown. I am not which will be satisfactory both to the Convention sure but that I would go with the gentleman and to the people of the Commonwealth, I would from Springfield if there was a full Convention move that all the propositions that have been
present, but upon looking round I see that there hitherto offered, together with the whole subject is but a small majority of the number necessary of the basis of representation, be referred to a to do business here, and hence, under these cirspecial committee of one member from each cumstances, I am inclined to think that the propcounty. I think that such a committee might osition, at this immediate time, is hardly proper. perhaps, agree upon some plan that, if it did not I mean, it is perhaps premature in consequence of meet the wishes of all, in every respect, might be the thinness of the Convention. Under the acceptable in the main. It is evident that we
present circumstances I am under the necessity shall have to have a compromise.
of saying to the gentleman, that I shall be comThe PRESIDENT. The gentleman must first pelled to vote against his proposition for the move that the Committee of the Whole be dis
reason I have assigned. But, although I may vote charged from the further consideration of the against the proposition now, because of the thinsubject.
ness of the House, I do say to the gentleman Mr. BEACH. Then I move that the Commit
that I am aware that a majority of its members tee of the Whole be so discharged.
here represent not more than two-fifths of the Mr. BUTLER. I am sorry to be under the Commonwealth, and when I yield to them in necessity of differing from my friend from Spring- these matters I go with them; and therefore I do field in regard to this matter. I do not believe beg them not to press upon us hereafter in regard that any good object can be obtained by taking to the discussion of this subject. And I would this subject from the Committee of the Whole further beg of them to remember that, although and referring it to a special committee. I do not they may possess the most numerical strength understand what proposition among all that have here, yet any proposition they may force through been offered is likely to be one that will be agreed this Convention is not to be eventually decided upon by any special committee. If the gentle- by the two-fifths of the people whom they repman from Springfield thinks he can find one that resent, but by the three-fifths, who will have to will bring together all parties, why does he not vote it in or out; and therefore I think it would propose it, and let us see what it is? Why delay be quite as well for them to give us a hearing the action of the Convention on this question, as before they talk of fixing a time for the limitation will certainly be done if this subject is referred to of debate. a new committee? Why should we loose all the Mr. HUNTINGTON, of Northampton. I advantage of all the debate we have had, and have rise while this motion is made, merely to take the to start again from the beginning; and why, opportunity to say to the Convention, that in above all, when we have hardly a quorum in the Document No. 69, there are certain mistakes hall, should that motion be made at this time? I which have been made either by myself or by the