Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

proposed to amend the Heney-Webb bill by substituting for its provisions, the provisions of the Assembly bill, which the Assembly had already passed by a four-toone vote. Chandler made one important change in the bill, however. He made his substitute apply to corporations as well as individuals. Under this Chandler substitute, no alien, Asiatic or European, as individual, or as corporation, the majority of whose capital stock was owned by aliens, could hold title to the soil of Cali

fornia.256

Such a bill, with the exception of the provision regarding corporations, had already passed the Assembly by overwhelming majority. The Senate Judiciary committee, after weeks of consideration, had presented such a bill to the Senate.

Chandler made a strong plea for his amendments.

"You know," he insisted, "that the policy of this Legislature has been to pass an out and out Alien Land law. You have turned a somersault. I want to know why. This is not a question of dollars and cents but of civilization. These amendments should be adopted.”

But the argument was advanced that a general Alien Land law could not pass the Senate. The Chand

256 The demand for such treatment of the problem was indicated by the character of the communications received at Sacramento. Resolutions adopted at a mass meeting held at Fresno on the evening of May 1, requested the Legislature to enact a law to apply to all aliens alike, and to make citizenship the basis of land ownership. These resolutions were sent to Sacramento by former Assemblyman A. M. Drew, of Fresno. Mr. Drew, at the 1909 session, introduced the first important alien land bill to be considered in this State. See “Story of the California Legislature of 1909," page 203.

ler amendments, by a vote of twenty-six to forty-three, were defeated.257

Other amendments were offered by Inman and Shannon, only to be voted down by substantial majorities.

When the final vote was taken, three members only -Gates, Guiberson and Woodley-voted against the bill. Seventy-two voted for it.268

Governor Johnson signed the bill.259

257 The Chandler amendments were defeated by the following vote:

For the amendments-Alexander, Bagby, Brown, Cary, Chandler, Dower, Finnegan, Ford, Griffin, Guiberson, Guill, Inman, Killingsworth, Kingsley, Libby, Palmer, Polsley, Shannon, Shearer, Simpson, Slater, Stuckenbruck, Tulloch, Walsh, Weldon and Wyllie 26.

Against the amendments-Benedict, Bloodgood, Bohnett, Bowman, Bradford, Bush, Byrnes, Canepa, Clark, Wm. C.; Clarke, Geo. A.; Collins, Cram, Ellis, Emmons, Ferguson, Fish, Fitzgerald, Gabbert, Gates, Gelder, Green, Hayes, Johnson, Geo. H.; Johnston, T. D.; Johnstone, W. A.; Kuck, McDonald, Mouser, Murray, Nelson, Nolan, Peairs, Richardson, Roberts, Ryan, Scott, Smith, Strine, Sutherland, Wall, Weisel, White and Young-43.

258 The vote by which the Heney-Webb bill passed the Assembly was as follows:

For the bill Alexander, Ambrose, Bagby, Beck, Benedict, Bloodgood, Bohnett, Bowman, Bradford, Brown, Bush, Bryrnes, Canepa, Cary, Chandler, Clark, Wm. C.; Clarke, Geo. A.; Collins, Cram, Dower, Ellis, Emmons, Farwell, Ferguson, Finnegan, Fish, Fitzgerald, Ford, Gabbert, Gelder, Green, Griffin, Guill, Hayes, Inman, Johnson, Geo. H.; Johnston, T. D.; Johnstone, W. A.; Killingsworth, Kingsley, Kuck, Libby, McDonald, Mouser, Murray, Nelson, Nolan, Palmer, Peairs, Polsley, Richardson, Roberts, Ryan, Schmitt, Scott, Shannon, Shartel, Shearer, Simpson, Slater, Smith, Strine, Stuckenbruck, Sutherland, Tulloch, Wall, Walsh, Weisel, Weldon, White, Wyllie and Young—72.

Against the bill-Gates, Guiberson, Woodley-3.

259 Soon after the Legislature had adjourned, and before Governor Johnson had signed the bill, the Governor received the following communication from Secretary Bryan, requesting that he veto the measure:

“Washington, D. C., May 11, 1913. "Hon. Hiram W. Johnson, Governor of California, Sacramento: The President directs me to express his appreciation of your courtesy in delaying action on the land bill now before you until its provisions could be communicated to the Japanese Government and considered by it. His excellency, Baron Chinda, has, on behalf of his Government, presented an earnest protest against the measure. As you have before you but two alternatives, viz: to approve or to veto, it will avail nothing to recall to your atten

From the beginning of the session until after the Heney-Webb bill had been signed suggestions were made, that in the event of such a measure being enacted, the referendum would be invoked against it. President Moore of the Panama-Pacific Exposition Company made this threat early in January. Bryan strongly hinted that the referendum could be resorted to. After the bill had gone to the Governor, there were reports that the Asiatic Exclusion League, consistent with its course on former occasions, would invoke the referendum against the bill. Labor Union politicians who are identified with the League endeavored to create opposition to the measure. Theodore A. Bell was identified with a similar movement. For some weeks, there were rumors that Bell would take steps to have the measure put to referendum vote. But Bell and the San Francisco Union Labor politicians received little encourage

the

tion the amendments suggested to the Legislature, and as President has already laid before you his views upon the subject, it is unnecessary to reiterate them. He passed over questions affecting treaty rights for two reasons, first, because the bill passed by the Legislature is avowedly intended to conform to treaty obligations, and, second, because any conflict complained of would be a matter for the courts, but the President feels justified in expressing again his desire that action on the subject be deferred for this session, and he expresses the desire the more freely because the Legislature can be reconvened at any time if the welfare of the State requires it. He is fully alive to the importance of removing any root of discord which may create antagonism between American citizens and the subjects of Oriental nations residing here, but he is impelled by a sense of duty to express the hope that you will see fit to allow time for diplomatic efforts. The nations affected by the proposed law are friendly nationsnations that have shown themselves willing to cooperate in the establishment of harmonious relations between their people and ours. If a postponement commends itself to your judgment, the President will be pleased to cooperate in a systematic effort to discover and correct any evils that may exist in connection with land ownership by aliens.

W. J. BRYAN.” Governor Johnson's reply will be found in the appendix.

ment and some criticism.260 The referendum was not invoked. The Heney-Webb law remains a statute of the State.

260 The Fresno Republican, in commenting upon Mr. Bell's attitude (issue of May 15, 1913), said:

"It is most earnestly to be hoped that Theodore Bell's foolish proposal to subject the Alien Land bill to a referendum petition will receive no support from any respectable source. The result of such a referendum is of course a foregone conclusion. The vote of the people would be practically as unanimous as was the vote of the Legislature. This is conceded even by so reactionary an observer as the San Francisco Argonaut, which is itself bitterly opposed to the Alien Land bill, but which, for that very reason, objects to renewing the agitation on the subject before the irrevocable tribunal of the people, where the Argonaut estimates the action of Governor Johnson and the Legislature would be sustained by the vote of ten to one. The scheme of Theodore Bell to play the radicals and conservatives against each other by presenting two alternative initiative proposals, one more radical and the other more conservative than the enacted law, is too transparent a piece of cheap politics to deceive the people. They would simply sustain the law as it stands and would thereby put it practically beyond repeal or amendment and beyond the pale of National or international discussion."

“Let the voters beware,” said the Sacramento Bee in its issue of May 10, 1913, "of signing any petition that would have the effect of nullifying for at least eighteen months to come the good work already accomplished by the Legislature with regard to land acquisition by aliens incapable of becoming citizens.'

CHAPTER XXI.

THE OIL PIPE LINE BILLS.

Without opportunity for preparation, the Legislature, late in March, was confronted with a problem upon the solution of which depends the future of one of the State's greatest assets, the petroleum fields.261

Before the constitutional recess, Sutherland in the Assembly and Hewitt in the Senate had introduced a measure making pipe lines common carriers.262 The bills attracted little attention until late in March when they came up before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Assembly Committee on Corporations for consideration. Then began one of the most extraordinary and most important contests of the session.

One group of oil men appeared before the committee contending that unless the pipe lines were made common carriers, the California oil industry would fall into the grip of the Standard Oil.

Another group of oil men contended as insistently that if pipe lines were made common carriers, the

261 Statistics presented before Senate and Assembly committees set forth that in 1912 California produced 90,000,000 barrels of oil, valued at $44,000,000. This was more oil than produced by any foreign nation: it was one-fourth of the total oil supply of the world; and two-fifths of the total oil supply of the United States.

262 Assembly Bill 1480 and Senate Bill 1253.

« AnteriorContinuar »