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emphatically, the minority. He even voted against his own favorite project of giving the election to the people, and in the imposing minority of one. Why does he charge the minority with hurrying or obstructing the business of the House, when he is always the minority ? Every member could point his finger at the minority which harrassed this House, and by the indulgence and courtesy of the House he was permited to harrass it as much as he pleased. Why, then, does the gentleman talk of minority, when he is himself
, alone, obnoxious to his own determinations; the most continued minority, if not the profoundest he had ever heard of ? As to himself, (Mr. D. said) he had been a week at a time without speaking a word, except for the purpose of mere explanation, in the hope that his example might be followed by others, as little likely to instruct the body as himself—but in vain. The very men who are constantly calling "question”, upon others, are those who are most eager to occupy the time, if not the attention of the Convention; and after a long harangue they sit down and call for the question, and if it is not taken, they next move the previous question. He had all along cherished the hope that we might get through our business during the present sitting, but he believed it now impossible. Thirty members were now absent, and it would be out of our power to keep members here during the harvest season particularly. Many would go home with or without leave, and those who remained would be as we now see them, listless and indifferent to what was passing. The subject in hand was one of too great and abiding interest to the people of the Commonwealth, to be disposed of under such circumstances. In this view, he thought we ought to adjourn to a season more congenial to deliberate consideration. But there was another reason which he wished to bring to the attention of gentlemen ; before we went on any further, he hoped the people would be made acquainted with the expenses of this Convention, in order that they might compare the value of the amendments which we might make to our present admirable Constitution, with their cost. If the people had any idea of our expenses it was more than he had had within a few days past.
He hoped the proposition intended to be offered by the gentleman from Adams, would be connected with the present motion to adjourn, and it was in that view that he advocated it. That is to submit the amendments already passed upon to the people, and the further question to be left to their vote at the next October election, whether the amendments which were yet desired, were worth the expcted cost. If the probable expenses of the Convention will be half a million of dollars, and if we have already expended $75,000, he insisted that the question as to the further sitting of the Convention ought to be submitted to the people, so that their vote might be taken
it. For the purpose of showing our daily expenses, he would now submit a statement, prepared by one of the Secretaries of the body, viz: Daily pay of members,
$400 00 Printing Debates, Journals, &c.,
100 00 Daily Chronicle,
92 00 Ascertained contingent expenses,
112 00 Stenographers,
30 00 Socretaries,
Total, per day,
$957 50 To this daily expense, of nearly a thousand dollars, was to be added the mileage of the members, which was estimated at four thousand dollars, or about thirty-three dollars on an average for each member. To this ex. pense, was also to be added, the printing of the reports of the debates and proceedings; and if we sat six months longer, and continued to make speeches at the same rate we have done heretofore-and an adjournment would, no doubt, bring us back with renewed ardor, and a new stock of matter for debate our volume of reports would, hereafter, go by the name of the Constitutional Encyclopedia.” He would propose to print it in quarto, like the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, in order that the work might be brought within a reasonable number of volumes.
Mr. Shellito here interposed, and called the gentleman to order.
Mr. Dunlop proceeded. He had said nothing about the fly question. If the gentleman would let him alone, he would not oppose his proposi. tion to keep the flies in Crawford county from biting the cattle ; for that, he understood, was the only amendment to the Constitution which the gentleman desired.
At a moderate calculation, the expenses of the Convention would be a thousand dollars a day; and there was, probably, not a man in the State, out of this body, aware of this fact. What the minority would say to this statement, he did not know, but if we went on at this rate, the Convention would cost the State two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. It had already cost seventy-five thousand dollars, and upwards, and what have we done? Changed the day of the meeting of the Legislature, and of the annual election, which the people would probably put back again. In fact, there had been nothing acted upon conclusively. All that had been done, was the passing of certain amendments through committee of the whole, and they would yet have to pass two readings. If, too, he was not very
nuch mistaken, we would have to go into committee again, on some of the amendments which we have now made. We have spent day after day upon articles of the Constitution, which the people never thought of altering or amending. We have changed the day of meeting of the Legislature from December to January, and every person he had heard speak on the subject, was hostile to it. He himself thought it was right, and voted for it; but he now intended to move to put it back where it stood before, if he was supported in that measure. We have changed the time of holding the general elections, from the second to the third Tuesday in October, at a cost of about ten thousand dollars ; and he would ask any reformer in his county, whether he would be willing to give this sum out of the public treasury for this change. He believed many of them would be glad if it was put back again to the second Tuesday. When he went home a few days ago, he thought he would be pleasing the people very much by telling them that we had made an amendment, changing the day of meeting of the Legislature, and of holding the elections; but they asked him what
were the use of such amendments as these; and said, that if we could do nothing better than this, we had better ailjourn and go home. He thought he had done great things, by telling the people that we ha I made these amendments, and this was the way he was answered by them. The fact was, the people were disgusted with the course of proceeding here. We have passed upon a section in committee of the whole, giving the people the right of electing their county officers, which section was so confused, and perplexed, that we would have to change the language from one end to the other; and, perhaps, in doing so, we will be compelled to go again into a discussion of the principles of the amendment. The other amendments which we have made, are those in relation to the right of suffrage, and changing the time of residence, to entitle to the exercise of that right, from two years to one. Now, he asked, whether it was not proper that these matters should go before the public, so that the people might take the subject into consideration; because, if this little had cost seventy-five thousand dollars, what would it cost to pass upon the whole Constitution? If it had cost this immense sum, to get these few amendments through committee of the whole, what would it cost to get all the amendments proposed to be introduced by various gentlemen, through two several readings? He would ask whether it was not worthy the serious consideration of the people of this Commonwealth, whether they would spend three hundred thousand dollars to obtain these amendments. He believed seriously, if the people had ever thought that it would cost such a sum, or any where near such a sum, there never would have been a majority in favor of calling a Convention; not but what some of them might be anxious for some changes, but, considering the prosperous condition of the Commonwealth since the adoption of the present Constitution, he questioned whether any person would
urge these amendments at the price which they would inevitably cost. Certainly, during the present condition of the moneyed concerns of the State, no gentleman could desire to force this additional tax upon the people. He could see no plausible reason for sitting here longer at present. We cannot possibly get through the Constitution in committee of the whole, during the month of July, much less finish our labors. It had been said that the judiciary article itself would consume a month's time which would bring us into the hot weather in August, when it was not to be expected that gentlemen would be in a condition to deliberate upon a subject so all important to the people of the Commonwealth. He was fully of opinion, that if we adjourned over until the cool weather, that we would be able to do more business in one day than we could do now in two, and he was also in favor of adjourning over until after the elections, so that there might be something like an expression of the people on the subject. This he conceived, would have a very salutary effect upon all parties. As to the occupation of the time of the Convention in debate, he cast no reflections upon any gentleman on this floor, because he was equally obnoxious to the charge, if it was made, as he had occupied the attention of the Convention his full share, and he would continue to occupy it so long as duty called him to do it, and whenever it did, he should make no excuses for performing that duty. This he should do fearlessly and faithfully, let what would be said about it by gentlemen here. Would his constituents place confidence in him, when duty called him to express their opinions, or his own, if he was to say he could not do it, because he
would not be listened to by this body. This would not be a sufficient apology for him, and it was one that he should never avail himself of.He imagined, however, that all gentlemen would be listened to with attention, if they spoke well and to the purpose. Then let every gentleman speak good sound sense ; let him study well what he was going to say, and give all subjects he intended to discuss, a previous examination, and he would be listened to, and his arguments would have their full weight. He would take this occasion to say, that it gave him great pleasure to find that there were so many gentlemen on the floor of the Convention, who were so able to do honor to themselves, and to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the way of debate. It was with pride, that he looked around and saw so many gentlemen capable of introducing arguments so logical, and expressions so beautiful as we have heard on this floor; and this he looked upon as one of the strongest arguments in favor of a republican government. He hoped gentlemen might consider this question well, and make up their minds to adjourn over until a time more propitious for deliberation than the present, for it was very evident that the body was in no condition now, to deliberate upon the various important subjects which would be brought before it.
Mr. Earle said, if the friends of reform had doubted, for a moment, of the propriety of voting down this resolution, the speech of the gentleman from Franklin must convince them, that it ought to be negatived. The gentleman had told us, what we knew, from the beginning of his remarks, that they were not intended for this Convention, but for the people. Now, the gentleman is for making reform unpopular, and he had openly declared that the best way of effecting this object, is to get an adjournment, which will increase the expenses of the Convention. He has told us that the people are dissatisfied with the expenses of the Convention, yet he endeavors to make them doubly great, by getting an adjournment over to some future day, when he and others will come back with fresh materials, and doubly laden with speeches, so that we will never be able to get any question. He had never yet seen the gentleman ready to take a question ; and whether he mighi be called a big lawyer, or a little one, he was always ready to make two or three speeches on every subject, and sometimes that many in one day. The gentleman wishes to make reform and reformers unpopular, so that he may get the next Legislature elected for the purpose of repealing the Convention law; and he wishes to adjourn over, to give them the opportunity of doing this. It must be apparent to every gentleman, that a plot has been formed on the part of some gentlemen here, to baffle all attempts at reform, by the prolonging of our debates, and the wasting of our time.
The Chair said, it was not in order, to say that any gentleman was concerned in a plot.
Mr. EARLE then wished to know, if it would be in order to state a fact. The gentleman from Franklin had stated, in relation to his (Mr. E's.) course, what was not a fact, and he now wished to know whether it would be in order to state what was the fact, in relation to that gentleman. What he wished to state was, that that gentleman had endeavored, by all the arts in his power, to prevent as from getting a question settled on last Friday, and it was the same case on Saturday; and he had heard that gentleman congratulate one of his friends, in having succeeded in keeping off the question until they got an adjournment.
The Chair said, it was out of odrer to introduce personal difficulties here; and it was entirely improper for a gentleman to bring into a debate on this floor, any thing which he had overheard in another place.
Mr. EARLE said, we had got the previous question on this subject lately under discussion, and carried it, but it was not with the consent of the gentleman from Franklin. The reformers were anxious to adopt the measures of resorm proposed, speedily, and then adjourn and go home; but the gentleman talks of expenses one minute, and the next, he proposes to double the expenses, for the purpose of making reform unpopular. Mr. E. was in favor of, at least, passing through the Constitution in committee of the whole, and then we could go home to our constituents with the consciousness of having done something, and he thought with the assurance that the people would be satisfied with our labors; but if we now adjourned, he feared it would not be satisfactory to the people. A great deal had been said about the healths of members, and of the danger of contracting disease in Harrisburg, by those gentlemen who were in favor of an adjournment; but he believed there was nothing in it, and that it was all for mere effect. There never was less disease in this place than at present; and during the sitting of the Legislature in the winter season,
there were almost always more members on the sick list, than there were at the present time in this Convention. All this discussion in relation to health, expense, and all that sort of thing, was for sheer effect, and ought not to weigh a feather with the reformers of this body. The gentleman from Franklin, (Mr. DUNLOP) had personally attacked him, (Mr. E.), and said that he gave a vote solitary and alone, against the election of certain oficers by the people. If he had done so, he had not done as the gentleman from Franklin had done, made four or five speeches against an amendment, and then voted for it. Mr. E. had spoken against the amendment, and he voted against it; and it was not a fact, that he had voted against it because it went to give the election of those officers to the people. He had voted against it, because it contained matters which he was opposed to, and not because it went to give the election to the people. The report of the committee proposed to give the elections to the people, and so did all the other amendments which had been brought to the notice of the Convention, and no man had a right to say that he voted against giving those elections to the people, as it was not the fact. But the gentleman had seen proper to say this, and no doubt to place him in an unfavorable position before the public, as he had called upon the stenographers to take down what he said, as it was intended for the public. Now, he would ask that gentleman, whether he had not made a motion to adjourn over from Friday to Monday, and whether that motion did not create a great deal of debate, which led to a useless expenditure of the people's money; and he would furthermore ask him, whether ne had not given as a reason why he desired that adjournment, that he wanted time to read and inform himself on the subject then before the Convention ; and, whether he had not been seen walking the streets all afternoons, instead of being at home, reading, as he said he desired to.
The Chair said, it was entirely out of order to be introducing here oc: curences elsewhere,