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bills were pending before the Legislature two years before, the Executive Board of the Asiatic Exclusion League, through O. A. Tveitmoe and A. E. Yoell, respectively President and Secretary-Treasurer of that organization, and prominent in San Francisco Union Labor party politics, had sent a communication to the Legislature praying that no further action be taken on Alien Land bills. At any rate, immediately after Finn's question to Birdsall, both Birdsall and Thompson announced their willingness to postpone action. Curtin's motion to let the bill go over until the next day in this way prevailed.
The outcome was regarded as a winning for the Curtin-Wright group.245 Whether or not the measure could pass the Senate began to be questioned. The bill's proponents had given evidence of weakness. Their position was regarded as uncertain and insecure. Large land-holding interests were said to be opposed to the plan to stop land leasing to Asiatics. In fact, the measure was the first of its kind which failed to provide by specific provision or by implication for land leasing to aliens. The Assembly bill which had passed the Lower House permitted leasing for periods of five years. It was held that the Heney-Webb bill could not
245 To meet possibly unfavorable action in the Senate, Bloodgood of Los Angeles introduced in the Assembly an Alien Land bill (Assembly Bill 2119). This measure, except that it provided for the leasing of land by aliens for a period not to exceed three years, was a reproduction of the Heney-Webb bill. The measure was reported out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee the following day, with recommendation that it be enacted. But the passage of the Heney-Webb bill in the Senate, on the day the Bloodgood bill came from committee, made further action on the Bloodgood measure unnecessary.
pass the Legislature unless a leasing provision were added.2
This position was given support the following day, when the bill came up for final action. Boynton offered an amendment under which Asiatics were granted the privilege of holding land under lease for periods not to exceed three years. The amendment was finally adopted by a vote of 25 to 13.247 But before the vote was taken, Caminetti apparently objected to the leasing clause. Boynton turned to him and announced that if the Democrats objected to the leasing clause, the Progressive leaders would not press it. Boynton was insistent in his demand of open expression of opposition from Caminetti. But this expression he could not get. Caminetti was one of those who finally voted for the amendment.
The bill, reprinted with the leasing provision added, got back from the printer that afternoon. When it came up for action, Senator Curtin moved that its con
246 The story was circulated that Washington suggested the leasing provision. The writer has it on high authority, however, that Washington did no such thing.
The amendment permitting leasing was decided upon after the initial defeat which the proponents of the bill suffered on Thursday when they failed to pass the measure without a leasing clause, because they could not count enough dependable votes on the floor of the Senate to pass the bill unless the leasing clause were inserted.
Very frankly, genuine proponents of the measure did not like the leasing clause, which, to secure any alien land legislation at all, they were compelled to accept. But they had to deal with the situation which confronted them.
247 The vote by which the three-years leasing provision was put into the bill was:
For the leasing provision-Anderson, Avey, Boynton, Breed, Butler, Caminetti, Campbell, Carr, Cogswell, Cohn, Curtin, Flint, Gates, Hewitt, Jones, Juilliard, Kehoe, Larkins, Mott, Owens, Rush, Strobridge, Thompson, Tyrrell, and Wright-25.
Against the leasing provision-Beban, Benson, Birdsall, Brown, Bryant, Cartwright, Finn, Gerdes, Grant, Lyon, Regan, Sanford, and Shanahan-13.
sideration be continued until his joint resolution, declaring such a measure should not be passed at the 1913 session, had been disposed of.
The fight over Curtin's motion occupied the Senate for the balance of the afternoon. Curtin was finally defeated by a vote of ten to twenty-six.248 This left the way clear for consideration of the amended HeneyWebb measure.
Amendments were offered by Wright, Sanford, Caminetti, and Shanahan.249 The amendments were one by one refused adoption, although they occasioned hours of debate.
The measure was then put to final vote. It was passed. Thirty-five Senators voted for it. Two onlyCartwright and Wright-voted against it."
248 The vote by which Curtin's motion to postpone consideration of the Heney-Webb bill until the Curtin resolution should be disposed of, was as follows:
For Curtin's motion and postponement-Caminetti, Campbell, Cartwright, Cohn, Curtin, Jones, Owens, Sanford, Shanahan, and Wright-10.
Against Curtin's motion and against postponement-Anderson, Beban, Benson, Birdsall, Boynton, Breed, Bryant, Butler, Carr, Cogswell, Finn, Flint, Gates, Gerdes, Grant, Hewitt, Juilliard, Kehoe, Larkins, Lyon, Mott, Regan, Rush, Strobridge, Thompson, and Tyrrell-26.
249 The effect of the Shanahan amendments was that no lease to Asiatic aliens made under the law should be made, extended or be in effect, after three years from and after taking effect of the act. They were defeated by a vote of nine to twenty-three, as follows:
For the Shanahan Amendments-Bryant, Caminetti, Campbell, Cartwright, Cohn, Curtin, Owens, Sanford, and Shanahan-9.
Against the Shanahan Amendments-Anderson, Avey, Beban, Benson, Birdsall, Boynton, Butler, Carr, Cogswell, Flint, Gates, Gerdes, Grant, Hewitt, Jones, Juilliard, Kehoe, Larkins, Mott, Strobridge, Thompson, Tyrrell, and Wright-23.
250 The vote by which the Heney-Webb bill passed the Senate was as follows:
For the Heney-Webb_bill-Anderson, Beban, Benson, Birdsall, Boynton, Breed, Brown, Bryant, Butler, Caminetti, Campbell, Carr, Cogswell, Cohn, Curtin, Finn, Flint, Gates, Gerdes, Grant, Hewitt, Jones, Juilliard, Kehoe, Larkinsl, Lyon, Mott, Owens, Regan, Rush, Sanford, Shanahan, Strobridge, Thompson, and Tyrrell-35.
Against the Heney-Webb bill-Cartwright and Wright-2.
The bill passed the Senate on Friday, May 2. It passed the Assembly the next day.
It is interesting to note in this connection that Bryan had reached Sacramento the previous Monday, April 28. The day following, the bill embodying Heney's idea of basing the anti-alien land law on treaty provisions, was practically introduced in the Senate, although officially it came as an amendment to the Birdsall bill. By Saturday night, it had passed both Houses and had been sent to the Governor for his signature. All this in less than six days.
The bill reached the Assembly Saturday morning. The State constitution provides that a bill, before it may become a law, must be read on three several days in each house. In cases of emergency, however, this provision, by a two-thirds vote in the House where the measure is pending, may be dispensed with.251
The Assembly by a vote of fifty-seven to five, declared the Heney-Webb bill to be an emergency measure, suspended the Constitution, read the bill the three times on one day instead of on three several days, and put it on its final passage.252
251 See Article IV, Section 15 of the California State Constitution (1879). Fifty-four constitute a two-thirds vote in the Assembly and twenty-seven in the Senate.
252 The vote by which the Constitution was suspended, thus making the passage of the bill on Saturday possible, was as follows:
To suspend the Constitution-Ambrose, Benedict, Bloodgood, Bohnett, Bradford, Brown, Bush, Byrnes, Canepa, Cary, Chandler, Clarke, Geo. A.; Collins, Cram, Dower, Ferguson, Fish, Fitzgerald, Gabbert, Gates, Green, Guiberson, Guill, Hayes, Hinkle, Inman, Johnson, Geo. H.; Johnston, T. D.; Johnstone, W. A.; Kingsley,, Kuck, Libby, McDonald, Moorhouse, Mouser, Nelson, Palmer, Peairs, Richardson, Roberts, Ryan, Scott, Shearer, Simpson, Slater, Smith, Strine, Stuckenbruck, Sutherland, Wall, Walsh, Weisel, Weldon, White, Woodley, Wyllie, Young-57.
Against suspending the Constitution-Alexander, Beck, Bowman, Schmitt, Shannon-5.
But before the bill could be passed, its proponents had to make the same fight for it that had been made in the Senate.
Shearer introduced the same Joint Resolution which Curtin had offered in the Upper House, declaring it to be the sense of the Legislature that in deference to the President's wishes, Alien Land bills should not be enacted at the 1913 session.2 253
The debate on this resolution occupied the Assembly during the entire afternoon. It was finally defeated by a vote of twenty-one to forty-nine.254 This left the way clear for consideration of the bill.
Chandler of Fresno offered an amendment which brought the Assembly squarely to the question whether its support was to be given a bill applying to all aliens, or applying to Asiatics only.
It will be remembered, that on April 15, a fortnight before, the Assembly by a vote of sixty to fifteen,25 had passed an Alien Land bill applying to all aliens, except in cases of land-holding corporations, where it applied to those ineligible to citizenship only. Chandler
253 Assembly Joint Resolution No. 34. This resolution was identical with the second resolution introduced by Curtin, Senate Joint Resolution No. 37.
254 The Shearer resolution was defeated by the following vote: For the Shearer resolution-Bagby, Beck, Bowman, Dower, Finnegan, Gates, Griffin, Guiberson, Guill, Hinkle, Killingsworth, Libby, Murray, Palmer, Shannon, Shearer, Simpson, Slater, Weldon, Woodley and Wyllie-21.
Against the Shearer resolution-Alexander, Ambrose, Bloodgood, Bohnett, Bradford, Brown, Bush, Byrnes, Canepa, Cary, Chandler, Clarke, Geo. A.; Collins, Cram, Ellis, Emmons, Farwell, Ferguson, Fish, Fitzgeráld, Ford, Gelder, Green, Hayes, Inman, Johnson, Geo. H.; Johnston, T. D.; Johnstone, W. A.; Kingsley, Kuck, McDonald, Moorhouse, Mouser, Nelson, Nolan, Polsley, Roberts, Ryan, Scott, Shartel, Smith, Strine, Stuckenbruck, Sutherland, Tulloch, Walsh, Weisel, White and Young-49.
255 See footnote 213, page 241.