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shall have a high school education, or its equivalent, and shall have studied law for a period of not less than two years in some reputable law school or in the law office of some reputable attorney, who has been a member of the Supreme Court Bar for at least five years."
The statute, Gentlemen of the Association, which enables the Supreme Court to control this matter, is the Act referred to in the report which has just been referred to the Associa tion providing for the admission to the Bar under the supervision and control of the Supreme Court. It enables the Supreme Court to make rules and regulations in reference to the admission and enables the Supreme Court to appoint our Board of Law Examiners, which have been appointed and are now in active operation, and it is only through the examination by these commissioners, or law examiners, appointed by the Court, in their report to the Supreme Court, that a man can now be admitted to the Bar of this State. I should add that this resolution requires a committee to be appointed, and so on, to present this matter to the Supreme Court.
The President of our Association appointed on that Committee T. A. Wright, Robt. F. Spraggins, and your speaker. When the Supreme Court met last December I wrote to each of these gentlemen, and asked them if it would be convenient for them for me to meet them at Nashville some time soon, and for us to present the matter to the Supreme Court, and they replied that it would. I therefore saw the Chief Justice of the Court and asked him to appoint a time when it would suit the convenience of the Court for this matter to be presented, say ing to him that it was necessary for me to notify the other members of the Committee to meet me there for that purpose. He readily assented, and said that he would consult the other members of the Court and fix a time. However, it so happened that Judge Neil, the Chief Justice, was taken sick, broken down from over-labor, and disease, and he was compelled to leave the bench, and went to Florida, as was stated in the papers, for a vacation. I thought of course that he would probably be back in time to take the matter up again, but he wasn't. He came back during the last week or two or three
of the session of the Court, and he never took the matter up; for that reason, therefore, this Committee never appeared before the Supreme Court, to ask its action in accordance with the Bar Association's instructions. My brother Evans, who was the draftsman of our report on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, and which is signed by him as Chairman, Judge Burroughs and myself, did not know at the time he drafted the report the facts that I am now developing before the Association. But this is the explanation, gentlemen, and along with the action of the Association on that report of ours that we have submitted, I ask the Association to continue this Committee for the next meeting of the Supreme Court, under the authority herein contained, that we may perform the pleasure of this Bar in that behalf.
MR. PERES: I move that the Committee be continued, with directions to pursue the line suggested at the last meeting.
This motion was seconded, and upon being submitted to à vote was unanimously carried.
THE PRESIDENT: What is the further pleasure of the Association with respect to this matter of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, particularly with reference to the report made by the regular committee?
MR. JORDAN STOKES: I move the adoption of the report, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: And the acceptance of the recommendations.
This motion was duly seconded, and upon being submitted to a vote was unanimously adopted.
THE PRESIDENT: Another Committee report required to be presented this afternoon is that on Constitutional Amendments. Judge J. H. Malone is unavoidably absent, and the President has requested Judge Pitts, being present, to read that report prepared by Judge Malone.
The report was thereupon read by Judge Pitts, as follows: To the Honorable Joseph C. Higgins, President of the State Bar Association:
The undersigned, Chairman of the Committee on a Constitu
tional Convention and Amendments to the Constitution, begs leave to make the following report:
That the Legislature of 1917 passed Chapter No. 23, authorizing the people to decide by vote whether they would call a Constitutional Convention and named July 28th as the date upon which the vote was to be taken on the referendum; and also passed Chapter 24 to provide for the election of delegates to a Constitutional Convention in case one was called.
I deem it unnecessary to here recite the contents of those acts. Suffice it to say that the election was held upon the day desig nated, and while the returns have not been published, yet it is stated in the public prints that the movement was defeated by a vote of about two to one, the vote therefor being one of the smallest cast in the State upon a question of such great public importance.
When the question was submitted for the holding of a Convention, in 1897, it was defeated by about 100,000 majority; but when it was again submitted and voted upon in 1916, it was defeated by only 3,300 votes.
With a few distinguished exceptions, officialdom and other interests which desire no change have always been and always will be against the holding of a Convention; but they do not come out into the open and state their real reasons. Fortunately for the opposition this year, this country was drawn into the European war after the passage of the Acts, and this furnished the secret enemies of the Convention with a weapon which they placed in the hands of well-meaning citizens, to the effect that the time was "inopportune," and that all of the energies of the people should be centered upon the prosecution of the present war.
Using this as a shield and as a sword, the interests, by vociferation and misleading statements, succeeded in deluding the people, with the result as indicated above.
MISREPRESENTATIONS THAT WERE MADE.
In a recent letter to the writer from Hon. Lon A. Scott, a member of the present Legislature and an ardent advocate for a Convention, he sets out in a few words the methods used in his county, and which is as follows:
"I was more than disappointed in Hardin County. The fact is a number of advocates reversed on election day and most actively opposed the proposed convention.
The members of the County Court had unanimously endorsed the convention, but some infamous politician had doped them with the argument that the County Court would be abolished, and they thereby would lose their honorable positions.
All kinds of misrepresentations were made at the polls. It seemed to be a great scheme of the Republicans to charge that it was a Democratic trick; and the Democrats to charge that it was a Republican trick. One of the most effective misrepresentations was that the Convention was to make legal the conscription draft.
This was preached all over the county the day of the election, and was accepted as true, since the State Constitution provides that a citizen can hire a substitute for war. The people are absolutely absorbed in the war, and believe every move is to use them as an instrument to perpetuate same.
I sincerely regret the results of the election; but its failure cannot be laid at the feet of any particular person or party. It must be accepted as the fate of an honest nonpolitical effort, due to various and sundry reasons, which apparently were inevitable and unharnessable. I want to congratulate you on your most gallant and patriotic fight. Your efforts, though at present seemingly in vain, will bear fruit in the near future.
I most earnestly hope that Tennessee will soon awake from her peaceful slumber and shake from her antiquated shoulders the shackles of retrogression, and draw about her the robe of progress, that she may be able to challenge her sister States to behold her reformation and up-to-dateness." It is probable that Mr. Scott had never heard of the subterfuges used by the opponents of a Convention in 1897; but in the State Bar Association proceedings of May, 1911, Chancellor John Allison, of Nashville, had this to say:
"Mr. President: I am not going to discuss the question, but I desire to ask the members of the Bar present if you
have ever gone out to make a speech in favor of a Consti tutional Convention? Do you recall one who has? You remember, some eight or ten years ago and I say this in view of the fact that you talk about efforts to amend the Constitution-we had a question submitted to the people as to whether the Constitutional Convention should be called, and I went out through the counties to make speeches. I met a friend of mine and said, 'Bill, how is it out here?' He said, 'Four to one against it.' I said, 'What is the matter? How do you explain it?' And he said, 'I am against it,' and I said, 'Upon what grounds?' He said, 'I have an office that goes on for four years or six years, and I don't want to be turned out.' I said, 'That is a good reason for you what about the other folks?' He said, "The Prohibitionists are against it,' and I said, 'Why?' And he said, "They are afraid the liquor people will get it,' and he said, "The liquor people are against it, for they are afraid the Prohibitionists will get it,' and he says, 'I am working on both ends.' And he says, 'The railroads are against it, for fear the people will get it, and the people are against it, for they are afraid the railroads will get it,' and he says, 'I am working on these two ends, for I tell the railroad men they are right, and I tell the Prohibition folks they are right, for the liquor people will sure get it, and I tell the liquor men the Prohibitionists will get it,' and when the vote came in from his county it was a little over four to one against it."
In the years to come Tennesseans in looking over the history of their State, as well as the erudite scholar of the future, will doubtless be astonished to read of the methods used to mislead the voters of Tennessee and to learn how easily they were victimized; nevertheless such is the truth.
ALL ADMIT THE CONSTITUTION SHOULD BE
That the organic law urgently needs to be amended in many respects has so manifested itself that no thinking man of intelligence will deny the proposition. The interests that want no change and are beneficiaries of the distresses of Tennessee have