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COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE-PROVIDING FOR AP
POINTMENT AND SUBSEQUENT ELECTION.
An Act to create the office of Commissioner of Agriculture and to provide for
the appointment and election of such officer, and to define his powers and duties, and to provide for his compensation, and for the expenses of his office, and to require all county tax assessors to collect and report to such Commissioner certain information under certain penalties, for failure to do so, and to provide the venue of and for the institution and prosecution of suits for the recovery of such penalties, and to make an appropriation to meet the requirements of this act, and declaring an emergency, and repealing all laws and parts of laws in conflict with this act.
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas: That the office of Commissioner of Agriculture be and it is hereby created, which office shall be filled by an officer to be known as the Commissioner of Agriculture, who shall have a knowledge of agriculture, manufacture, and general industry, shall be an experienced and practical farmer, and shall be elected by the people at the same time and in the same manner, and shall qualify and assume office as all other State officers.
Sec. 2. The term of office of said Commissioner shall be two years, and until his successor shall have been elected and qualified. Any vacancy occurring in said office shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment of the Governor.
SEC. 3. Immediately after the approval of this act the Governor shall appoint a Commissioner of Agriculture who shall hold office until his successor is elected and qualified.
SEC. 4. Before entering upon the duties of his office, the Commissioner of Agriculture shall take the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution, and shall execute a bond in the sum of five thousand dollars, with two or more good and sufficient sureties, payable to the State of Texas, to be approved by the Governor, and conditioned for the faithful discharge of the duties of his office, which oath and bond shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State.
SEC. 5. The Commissioner of Agriculture shall receive an annual salary of two thousand five hundred dollars, payable monthly, and in addition thereto his actual personal traveling expenses when actually engaged in the duties of his office shall be paid by the State; provided, that such expense shall not exceed $600 per annum, and provided further, that he shall file with the Governor on or before the 1st day of November of each year an itemized sworn statement of such expenses during the fiscal year preceding, which statement shall be transmitted by the Governor to the Legislature.
SEC. 6. The office of the Commissioner shall be located in the city of Austin.
SEC. 7. Said Commissioner shall appoint one chief clerk, who shall possess a practical knowledge of agriculture, horticulture, manufacturing and kindred industries, and the proper methods of marketing the products of said industries. He may appoint such other clerks as the labors of his office may require, and all clerks shall be removable at the pleasure of the Commissioner.
SEC. 8. The chief clerk shall possess all the powers and perform all the duties attached by law to the office of Commissioner during the necessary or unavoidable absence of the Commissioner, or his inability to act for any cause. The Commissioner shall be responsible for the acts of his chief clerk, who shall, before entering upon the duties of his position, take the oath required of the Commissioner, and shall enter into bond in the sum of three thousand dollars with two or more sureties to be approved by the Governor, and payable to the State of Texas, conditioned for the faithful performance of his duties.
SEC. 9. The said chief clerk shall discharge such duties as may be prescribed by the Commissioner; his annual salary shall not exceed fifteen hundred dollars per annum, payable monthly on certificate of the Commissioner, and his expenses while traveling on the business of the office, under the direction of the Commissioner, shall be paid by the State.
SEC. 10. The said Commissioner of Agriculture shall have and may use a seal of office the design of which shall consist of a star with five points, surrounded by a wreath of olive and live oak; said seal shall not be less than one and a half and not more than two inches in diameter, and on the margin thereof around the wreath shall be inserted the words, “Commissioner of Agriculture, State of Texas," or some intelligible abbreviation thereof.
SEC. 11. The duties of the Commissioner of Agriculture shall be as follows:
1. He shall cause to be executed all laws in relation to agriculture.
2. He shall encourage the proper development of agriculture, horticulture and kindred industries.
3. He shall encourage the organization of agricultural societies, and for the benefit of the agricultural communities he shall cause to be held farmers' institutes at such times and at such places throughout the State as will best promote the advancement of agricultural knowledge and the improvement of agricultural methods and practices. He shall publish and distribute such papers and addresses read or delivered at these institutes as he shall deem to be of value to the farming interest.
He shall investigate the subject of sub-soiling, the problems of drainage and of irrigation, their relation to agriculture with a view to extending the area of the same, and the best modes of effecting each in the different portions of the State.
5. He shall investigate and report upon the question of broadening the market and of increasing the demand for cotton goods and all other agricultural and horticultural products, both in the United States and in foreign countries.
Further, it shall be his duty to compile the statistics showing from abroad the number of bales of cotton consumed by the spinners, and demands for out cotton, the methods and course that sales to foreign countries now take, showing the purchasers, brokers, etc., through whose hands the cotton largely passes after leaving the producers, likewise showing in what countries an increased trade could be worked up and thereby giving a better outlet for the trade and the best method to bring consumer and purchaser together, and all other information beneficial to farmers.
6. He shall cause to be investigated the diseases of grain, cotton, fruit, and other crops grown in this State, with a view to discovering remedies for such diseases. He shall also investigate the habits and propagation of the various insects that are injurious to the crops of this State, and the best methods for their destruction. The protection of fruit trees, shrubs and plants as provided for in Chapter 121 of the Acts of the Twenty-ninth Legislature shall be under the direct supervision and control of the Commissioner of Agriculture, who shall have and exercise all the powers and perform all the duties thereby conferred or imposed upon the Commissioner of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics and History.
7. He shall investigate the subject of grasses and report upon their value and the cultivation of the varieties best adapted to the different sections of the State. He shall also collect and publish information relating to forestry, tree planting, the best means of preserving and replenishing forests and shall encourage the planting and culture of nut trees and recommend such legislation as may be necessary for the protection, restoration and preservation of the forests of this state.
8. He shall enquire into the subjects connected with stockraising, dairying and poultry; the obtaining and rearing of such domestic animals and fowls as are of most value; and the breeding and improvement of the same. He shall encourage the raising of fish and the culture of bees.
9. He shall investigate and report upon the growing of wool, and the utility and profit of sheep raising; he shall also enquire into the culture of silk, its preparation for market and its manufacture.
10. He shall correspond with the department of agriculture at Washington, and with the departments of agriculture of the several States and Territories of the United States, and at his option, with those of foreign countries, and with the representatives of the United States in foreign countries, with the view of gathering facts and information that will aid and advance the interests of agriculture in Texas. He may also, for the same purpose, correspond with such organizations, societies, associations and individuals in the State as he may choose, having for their object the promotion of agriculture in any of its branches.
11. He shall collect and publish statistics and such other information regarding such industries of this State and of other States as may be considered of benefit in developing the agricultural resources of this State. He shall cause a proper collection of agricultural statistics to be made annually, and to this end he shall furnish blank forms to the tax assessors of each county before the first of January of each year, including forms as to the acreage in cotton, grain and other leading products of the State, to be filled out by persons assessed for taxes, together with such instructions as will properly direct said assessor in filling them out. It is hereby made the duty of said tax assessor to return said blanks, with accurate answers to the Commissioner of Agriculture on or before the first day of June following. It is further made the special duty of the said tax assessor to forward by registered mail to the Commissioner of Agriculture lists of the names and addresses of all ginners within their counties when asked to do so by the Commissioner. Failure upon the part of any county tax assessor to make such reports as are required shall be deemed a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof such tax assessor shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars, nor more than two hundred and fifty dollars. It shall be the duty of the Commissioner to furnish to every ginner blank forms for reports, which forms shall be filled out by said ginners as the Commissioner may direct, and returned by them to the Commissioner. In order to facilitate the collection and collation of accurate information concerning the various subjects treated of in this act, the heads of the several State departments, and of the State institutions are hereby required to furnish accurately such information as may be at their command whenever called upon for same by said Commissioner. In the prosecution of his work the Commissioner is hereby empowered to enter manufacturing establishments chartered or authorized to do business in this State, and said corporations shall furnish such information as said Commissioner may request of them.
12. He shall make and publish such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this act.
SEC. 12. The Commissioner of Agriculture shall be ex-officio a member of the Board of Directors of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State, and he shall be such member of said board in lieu of the Commissioner of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics and History, and shall be allowed all necessary expense in attending the meetings of said board.
SEC. 13. The Commissioner shall make and submit to the Governor on or before the first day of November of each year a full and comprehensive report showing the work and expenditures of his office during the fiscal year preceding, which report shall be transmitted by the Governor to the Legislature.
SEC. 14. Under the direction of the Commissioner the public printer shall print annually not to exceed ten thousand copies of the annual report of said Commissioner, said report to be distributed to the farmers through the farmers' institutes and other agricultural organizations or otherwise at the discretion of the Commissioner; provided, that the first annual report shall not contain more than five hundred pages, one hundred copies to be bound in cloth and the remainder to be bound in paper covers.
SEC. 15. No provision of this act shall be construed as to in any way conflict with the scope and character of the work of the Agricultural and Mechanical College or of the Agricultural Experiment Stations, but the said Commissioner shall co-operate with the said Agricultural and Mechanical College and said Agricultural Experiment Stations in all lines looking toward the agricultural and horticultural interest of the State.
SEC. 16. All the powers and duties concerning agriculture, horticulture and kindred industries now conferred or imposed by law upon the Commissioner of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics and History, are hereby transferred to and conferred and imposed upon the Commissioner of Agriculture; and all provisions concerning same in Title LII, Chapter 6, of the Revised Statutes of Texas, are hereby repealed and the Department of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics and History shall hereafter be denominated the Department of Insurance and Banking, and the head of that department the Commissioner of Insurance and Banking.
Sec. 17. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed.
Sec. 18. The fact that no adequate provisions have been made by law for the advancement of the agricultural interest of this State, and the further fact that the making of such provisions therefor is a platform demand, creates an emergency and an imperative public necessity requiring that the constitutional rule providing that bills be read on three several days be suspended that it is suspended and that this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage, and it is so enacted.
Approved April 4, 1907.
COURTS-DEFINING THE LIMITS OF FOURTEENTH AND
FORTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICTS.
An Act to define the limits of the Fourteenth and Forty-Fourth Judicial Dis
tricts, and to repeal all laws or parts of laws in so far as they may conflict with the provisions of this act.
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas: That Dallas County shall constitute the fourteenth Judicial District.
SEC. 2. Dallas County shall constitute the forty-fourth Judicial District.
Sec. 3. All laws and parts of laws, in so far as the same may be in conflict with the provisions of this Act, are hereby repealed.
SEC. 4. The fact that the present division of the Fourteenth and Forty-fourth Judicial Districts is a cause of great inconvenience to the people of those districts, and the near approach of the end of the session creates an imperative publie necessity and emergency which requires that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days be suspended, and that this act take effect and be in force from and after its passage, and it is so enacted.
Approved April 4, 1907.