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HUNTINGTON — HASKELL.
population should be reckoned at about 42,000, and of 1840, and was adopted by almost unaniinstead of 34,000, in determining her proportion
I think it will fully secure the of representation. Hampden has about 70,000, smaller towns in their rights. While the large instead of 50,000 ; Franklin has about 43,000, towns and cities have increased in wealth and instead of 30,000 ; Berkshire has 68,000, instead numbers, they have, most of them, remained staof 48,000, expressing it in round numbers. Take tionary, and thus fallen behind in the race. Our the tables as furnished us yesterday by the gen Commonwealth, like the solar system, has been tleman from Lowell, (Mr. Butler,) and apply the advancing towards some distant and unknown principle. Reduce the population in your large centre of centres among the constellations, but cities and counties by that scale, and you leave a the smaller planets have been somewhat thrown basis for a fair representation. You may give Bos from their orbits. I would restore them to their ton a representation of one for every 6,000 of appropriate paths and balance-power in our popopulation. Based on voters, it would be one litical system. Give them full, and ample, and for about 4,815. Where is the great injustice and generous security on the old recognized and estabinequality in that? Above all, considering the other lished basis of twelve hundred, but below that great interests which predominate and prevail in the basis, in my judgment, we should not go. country, I submit that we should be doing ample As to towns entitled to more than one reprejustice to Boston and the large towns, by putting sentative, I submit, the ratio ought to be increased, them upon this basis of 6,000 as to population. to meet the additional strength gained by the gen
It is to be borne in mind also, as to much of eral ticket system, so far as it is adopted, so that this floating population in large cities and towns, if 3,000 is the additional number required for one that it is made up of transient persons,-emi- representative, four thousand should be the addigrants, foreigners not naturalized, male and tional number required for two, and five thousand female operatives,-persons whose interests can for three. be as well protected, and as rightfully belong to Then, beyond that, I would adopt the district the country, as to the city.
system, on a basis still higher, for the reasons alThe country is quite as much interested as the ready assigned. Such a system of corporate repcity, in a cargo of destitute emigrants just landed, resentation, with a limit as to the number of when the question arises as to what almshouses representatives, and a proportionally advancing shall receive those that cannot take care of them ratio that shall not affect small towns, I can selves.
defend here, or before my constituents, and the For no other purpose, unless it were to swell people. and inflate the basis of population, would the Mr. HASKELL, of Ipswich. Notwithstandlarge cities be likely to claim them as their pecu- ing the diversity of opinion, upon the subject liar constituency
now under consideration, I suppose we shall all This excess, therefore, of population, found in agree to one proposition, that unless some plan cities and large manufacturing towns, beyond the may be devised, which shall be more just, equal, healthy and legitimate ratio of population and and more acceptable to the people than the presvoters, should, for the purpose of determining the ent system, it will be better for us to retain the representative basis, be distributed among all the old system as it is. Most of the gentlemen who cities and towns of the Commonwealth.
have addressed the Convention, seem to have To recapitulate, then, in conclusion. As to a taken it for granted that the present system is basis of 1,200 population for the small towns, to obnoxious, in a great degree, to the people, and entitle them to an annual representation, I am that there is no danger of our framing a worse willing to adopt it as a compromise, if you please system. I do not concur in that view, or in the to call it such, already sanctioned by the people, opinion which has been so frequently expressed, as it was in 1840. I am willing to agree, that the that there is great injustice and inequality in that smaller towns shall be secured there. As expe system. I propose now to make a very brief exrience shows, that these smaller towns do not in amination of the plan proposed by the gentleman crease as the large towns and cities do, and as a from Lowell, (Mr. Butler,) compare it with the constant and advancing ratio is to be applied to existing system, and see if it obviates any of the them, I am willing that every town up to 1,200, objections which have been urged by the gentleshall be secured in having one representative every man for Erving, (Mr. Griswold,) against the year, and that they shall stand as well as ever existing system. The first objection to the presthey stood. This is the basis which was sanc ent system, which was suggested by the gentletioned by the Convention of 1820. It had the man for Erving, if I recollect aright, was, that it sanction of two-thirds of the legislatures of 1839 was too complicated. Is it as complicated as the
proposition now submitted by the gentleman | found that it might be adjusted,” (not proporfrom Lowell, (Mr. Butler)? I contend that it tionately increased,) as “in the manner before is not.
specified," so as to present very different results. By the present basis, one sum is given as the There are two or three other elements which number to entitle a town to one representative; must always enter into the apportionment of the another sum is fixed as the mean increasing ratio | House, upon the plan proposed by the gentleman for additional representatives, and another sum is from Lowell. The date of the incorporation of a given, by which the population of towns not en town must be ascertained ; the population of titled to one representative, is to be divided, and towns subject to loss, on their representation, the quotient thus obtained determines the num- must be computed, so as to have the ratio increased ber of representatives they are to be entitled to in to such an extent as to keep the number below each ten years. We have, then, three fixed or the maximum. It is more complicated-infinitecertain numbers given for these purposes, and the ly more so, than any system we have yet had, as provision is, that for every 70,000 increase in the experience will show, if it is adopted, and depopulation of the State, (10 per cent. on the cen- cidedly more complicated than the present syssus of 1840,) 10 per cent. is to be added to each tem. of these given numbers. I submit, there is not Again, it is suggested by the gentleman for any great complication in this matter, and that Erving, that there is a great loss by fractions any man can sit down with the census and Con- under the present system. He made out the loss stitution of Massachusetts before him, and oper to be 140,000. Now, I take it for granted, that ating with the simple rules of arithmetic, can we do lose by the present system, and I am apportion the representation in a very short time. willing to take the estimate at 140,000. I have Can it be done as easily by the plan of the gen made an estimate of the loss by fractions under tleman from Lowell? I must confess that I the system proposed by the gentleman from Lowhave given this subject a careful and candid at- ell, and I find that the loss by fractions is nearly tention, and I am hardly able to see the results, double what it is under the present system. I which the gentleman from Lowell is inclined to have all the details, and they are more surprising think will be realized, from the adoption of his than the aggregate. I find that, according to the system. The provision of the first resolution in proposition of the gentleman from Lowell, the his plan is, that every town of a less number loss, in the aggregate, will be 277,060, nearly than one thousand inhabitants, shall be entitled double the loss by fractions under the present to five representatives in each ten years, &c.; system. then there are four degrees of the sliding scale in But I ask the attention of the Convention for the ratio of increase, by which the representation a moment or two to the details of this compariincreases, not by any regular percentage, accord son. Where does the loss chiefly fall under the ing to the increase of population in the State, but system now proposed ? In general terms, I may by an arbitrary rule, in which the town is in say that two hundred and eleven towns, entitled some measure deprived of its power in propor to one representative each will lose in the aggretion to the increase of its population.
gate 205,089, making a fraction of nearly one The second resolution in the plan of the gen thousand on an average, for each town; while tleman from Lowell, (Mr. Butler,) is a very com the city of Lowell, which sends eight representaplicated one indeed, and I would defy any gen- tives, loses only a fraction of six hundred and tleman of this Convention, except the gentleman twenty. If this is equal representation I must from Lowell, to sit down and tell me what the confess I have not been able to understand it. result will be ten years hence, of the sliding-scale Lowell seems to be entitled to the lion's share in part of the basis laid down there. It provides, the system proposed by the gentleman from Lowthat " in all apportionments after the first, the ell, as the county of Franklin was in that pronumbers which shall entitle any city or town to posed by the delegate for Erving. Lowell loses two, three, four or more representatives, shall be by a fraction, only 620, while the two hundred so adjusted in proportion as hereinbefore provid- and eleven towns which send only one represented, that the whole number of representatives, ex ative each, lose nearly one thousand each, or clusive of those which may be returned by towns almost double what is lost by Lowell, which of less than one thousand inhabitants, and towns sends eight. incorporated after this provision shall be adopted, To carry the matter further ; shall never exceed three hundred and seventy.”
Now, Sir, there are various ways in which this Boston, having 28 Reps. has a fraction of 1,788 apportionment may be “adjusted.” I have Lowell,
Salem & Roxbury, 5 Reps. each have 3,264 | but it was under a sort of necessity and as a matFive cities, having 4
15,877 ter of compromise. I am not now prepared to Seven towns,“ 3
11,635 | vote for any system, either that proposed by the Thirty towns, 2
38,787 gentleman for Erving, or that proposed by the Two hundred and eleven towns one each, 205,089 gentleman from Lowell, which shall deprive any
portion of the Commonwealth of representation 277,060
every year. I think the basis of represertation The Convention will see that the middle sized ought to be so arranged, that the right of every towns, sending but two representatives, and those person to representation, every year, shall be sesmaller, sending only one, lose almost the whole. cured. They lose, in the aggregate, more than 240,000, The proposition of the gentleman from Lowell, more than 100,000 above the amount lost by the does, in a measure, correct that evil in the prespresentsystem, in allthe Commonwealth, according ent system ; but it still leaves some 45,000 inhabto the statement made by the delegate for Erving. itants unrepresented half the time. The same And yet this plan is put forth on the ground objection exists, then, to the proposition of the that there is a great loss by fractions under the gentleman from Lowell as to the present system, present system. Gentlemen will see that there is and I do not see that the amendment is any betnothing gained by the system proposed by the ter in principle, in this respect, than the present gentleman from Lowell, in respect to losses by system. fractions. Nearly all the loss will fall upon the Another objection is, that the votes of the peosmall towns, and it will greatly exceed the pres- ple do not have an equal force. The same reent loss. I submit, that it is no improvement marks, just now made, with regard to the objecover the present basis in this particular.
tion that all are not represented, apply here. The Then there is another objection to the present amendment now proposed, contemplates that there plan, suggested by the gentleman for Erving. I shall be a provision in the Constitution by which refer to his objections because he stated them with one man may vote for two or three representatives, more particularity than other gentlemen have and another, in the small towns, may vote for stated their's. The objection is, that all the towns only one, and that a citizen of a fractional town are not represented. This, I think, is a very se shall only vote for a representative once in two rious objection to any system. I agree in what years, or for half a representative each year, if the has been said as to the right of every portion of power is distributed over a term of ten years. It the community to be represented every year. I seems to me there is an inequality here; and believe it is their right, and I think it is the duty though the proposition submitted by the gentleof this Convention to make such a provision, that
man from Lowell, lessens this evil in some deevery portion of the Commonwealth shall be rep gree, it is still permitted to remain. He proposes resented on the floor of the House of Representa that in the cities districts shall be formed, and the tives every year. I do not know by what right voters have the right to vote for two or three repthe majority of this Convention may prescribe resentatives. Under this system, as now, there that any portion of the people shall not be repre will be a very unequal power exercised by the sented half the time. I do not see the philosophy voters. One person will have a right to vote for of the principle, or the justice of the doctrine upon three representatives, another for two, and anowhich such a system is supported. But does the ther for only one, and another for one every other proposition, submitted by the gentleman from year. I think the present system is obnoxious Lowell, obviate the objection to the present sys to this objection, and that a citizen of Boston tem entirely, in this respect : I do not know the ought not to have a right to vote for forty-four precise number of the towns which are entitled representatives, while I have the right to vote for to representation by their fractions; I know, how
but one. I know of no rule of logic or matheever, that under the present system it is larger matics by which these capacities can be reduced than it would be under the system proposed by to an equal power. But the objection applies to the gentleman from Lowell. But, if the principle one system as well as the other, and if the princiis bad in one case it is just as bad in the other. ple is wrong in the present Constitution, it is The plan submitted by him docs, perhaps, obviate equally wrong in the system proposed by the genthe evil in a measure, but it permits the pernicious tleman from Lowell; and, although his plan reprinciple still to remain as a ortion of the Con duces the evil, it is still objectionable in principle. stitution of the Commonwealth. As a member Then, again, it is objected that by the present of the legislature in 1839, when the present sys- basis all the power will be absorbed by the large tem was discussed and adopted, I voted for it; towns and cities. Why so ? Not because the
principle is wrong? The gentleman from North on. Thus, by a sliding scale and different ratio ampton, (Mr. Huntington,) and others who have for the small and large towns, the disparity of stated this objection, have complained of the representation increases, to the disadvantage of result, but have not objected to the principle or the large towns as the population increases. claimed that it is not equal, for if it is unequal it It starts with a disparity of 1,200 to 3,600, (one is clearly so to the disadvantage of the large towns to three,) and these numbers are to be increased only; and, Sir, when it was adopted in the legis- together by a uniform percentage. It must follow, lature of 1839, the gentleman from Boston, whom that as these numbers of 1,200 and 3,600 are augI do not see in the hall, (Mr. Gray,) objected that mented the disparity increases. it was prejudicial to the rights of the city.
Suppose that in 1860, or 1870, or 1880, the But it is said that the results are different from population of the State should be double the what was contemplated, and that its operation amount that it was when the ratio was fixed in was not understood by its framers. I believe the 1840. Then twenty-four hundred will be the legislature that passed it discussed it for a long number which will entitle any town to one repretime, and I think that they understood it as well sentative every year, and seventy-two hundred to as gentlemen here who have condemned it so send a second representative. The small town severely. It was before that legislature for several must gain 1,200 to retain its one representative, months and thoroughly considered ; and it was and the large town must gain 3,600 to retain its finally carried, as the gentleman from North two representatives, and so on. That is the only ampton (Mr. Huntington) has said, as a compro- inequality after all. A large town will have to mise between the opinions and wishes of the city gain two inhabitants to get an additional repreand country members.
sentative, or hold its number; whereas a town But it is said that, by the present system, the which has only one representative, or a fractional large towns will absorb all the electoral power. representation, has to gain one inhabitant only to Why so ? How? Only by the increase of popu- retain its representation. The large towns and lation. Well, ought not the power to go where cities will have to increase twice as fast as a small the people go? I have been used to hearing the town to maintain their relative position. How doctrine taught, and especially by the teachers of is this objection, as to the absorption of power, democracy throughout the Commonwealth, that obviated by the proposition of the gentleman from the power resided in the people, that it is inherent Lowell : He limits it so that there is no danger in the people, and derived from the people. I do of the large towns gaining too much power. not know what consistency there is in conduct That is effectually guarded against. But the which undertakes to exclude the people from the predominance of the small towns is just as effecexercise of that power, or how the action of any tually secured. The proposition as to the large political party, which professes to act in accordance towns is, that “ in all the apportionments after the with this principle, can prevent the power from first, the numbers which shall entitle any city or going where the people go. If it is inherent in town to two, three, four, or more representatives, the people, it must go where the people go, and shall be so adjudged, in proportion, as hereinbedwell where they dwell, whether it be in town or fore provided, that the whole number of represencity. By the very great increase of population in tatives, exclusive of those which may be returned the cities and large towns, it seems to be feared by towns of less than one thousand inhabitants, that they will absorb all the political power in the and towns incorporated after this provision is Commonwealth, and acquire a majority of the adopted, shall never exceed three hundred and representation in the House of Representatives. seventy." There is a limit to this. Boston cannot double Now, Sir, what will be the effect of this proher resident, domiciled population. Her limits vision ? Will it prevent the accumulation and forbid it. Already she begins to overflow. A absorption of power in some portions of the Comlarge portion of her population is already seeking monwealth, at the expense of other portions? I its abode in the surrounding towns, not only in find, upon the basis submitted by the gentleman the suburbs but in more remote localities. from Lowell, that forty-six cities and towns, en
Almost all the future increase of the population titled to more than one representative, will send in the Commonwealth must be in the middling one hundred and forty-seven representatives, acsized and small towns. By the basis adopted in cording to the first apportionment; and there are 1839 there is an inequality, and it is against the sixty-four towns which will, at first, be entitled cities. By the basis then adopted, a town of 1,200 to but thirty-two representatives, but which will, inhabitants was entitled to one representative; one undoubtedly, become large enough in population, of 3,600 inhabitants was entitled to two, and so before long, to entitle them to one representative
each; which result will take them from the ex in which I reside, both of the large towns and ception as to the maximum, and it will require the small towns, as well in the rural districts as thirty-two representatives more to supply their in the cities; and although I do not wish to make constitutional quota; and then there are seven any prediction with regard to the matter, as towns, incorporated since 1850, for which no pro the gentleman who sits near me, (Mr. Keyes,) vision is made, as I understand, in the proposition often does -- and if I could succeed in making submitted by the gentleman from Lowell, and predictions as well as he does, I certainly would which are not in the exception as to the maximum make the attempt - yet I may be permitted of three hundred and seventy. That will make to express the opinion, that whatever basis of thirty-nine rights of representation hereafter to representation may be adopted by this Convenbe provided with representatives, and the repre- tion, and submitted to the people, if it does not sentatives to supply which, must be taken from reduce the number of the House materially, it the three hundred and seventy now granted to will be rejected by them. I think there is danthe large towns and cities. But the provision is, ger that we shall lose other desired reforms in that they must be taken from towns entitled to our Constitution, if we adcpt some of the propotwo or more, and these thirty-nine must therefore sitions which have been submitted here, by a be taken from the forty-six towns and cities hav- failure to meet the expectations of the people ing one hundred and forty-seven representatives ; upon this point. I must confess, Mr. Presiand that will cut down the number, one hundreddent, that I have been surprised by the remarks and forty-seven, to one hundred and eight, leav which have fallen from some gentlemen here, ing to such towns and cities, having more than as to the advantage of having a large number of one-half the population, but little more than one members in the House of Representatives. I fourth of the representation. The large towns
think that those gentlemen who express that and cities will then, in the course of time, and opinion, cannot have been here when we have that not far distant, be deprived of a large amount had such large houses, as I have sometimes seen ; of their representation, and it will be awarded to for, on some occasions there has been a great deal the smaller towns which have succeeded in mus- of inconvenience experienced from this cause, tering one thousand inhabitants. The objection upon this floor. I have been here when there of the gentleman for Erving, that by the opera were five hundred and thirty-nine members in tion of the present system, the power is to go to the House, and I would not want to come here the large towns and cities, where the population again, if I come at all, to sit in a House of that has been tending for many years past, is, after all, size. There has been a change in the accommomore than counterbalanced by a similar objection dations since that time, and the seats have been to the proposition of the gentleman from Lowell. enlarged and widened, so that gentlemen do not The political power, by that system, is going to now sit so close and crowded, by a great deal, as the small towns, and the injustice will be done to they did then. As to the despatch of public busithe large towns and cities, which may have in ness, I cannot agree with those who think that it creased in a greater proportion than the small was more expeditiously or properly performed in a ones. I submit, that there is no improvement | House consisting of five or six hundred members, here; that the political power is going from the than it would be in a House of only half that many to the few, from the large towns to the rural number. I think, Mr. President, that it is a very districts, and the very small towns, which contain serious objection to the proposition now before only one thousand inhabitants. It is more un the Convention, that it increases the number by equal, in my opinion, than the present basis can reducing the basis. By the present existing proever be.
visions of the Constitution, the number is necesBut, Sir, the objection that the amendment sub- sarily limited; I do not mean that there is any mitted by the gentleman from Lowell, will be in- express provision on the subject, but as the ratio effectual to obviate the difficulties which exist in is fixed, it is impossible that the number should the present system, is but a small part of the ob- exceed certain limits. The ratio will increase jection which I have to this amendment; this is a just in proportion to the increase of population, trifling objection, compared with the objection which must necessarily keep it down to just about which, to my mind, will be, of all others, the one the existing number. Or, if anything, it tends to that will have most influence against that propo- keep down the size of the House, because, as the sition in the minds of the people; and that is, it ratio entitling a town to representation increases, does not reduce the size of the House. Now, Sir, the fractions may be larger, so that under the exI think I know something of the desire and ex isting system the tendency is to reduce the House. pectation of the people in that part of the country | But the proposition now submitted will increase