페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

All that he intended by it was to consider the amendments on second rerding. All the articles had been before the convention, and now the amendments only which have been put in, were to be considered. This, he thought, was necessary in order to remove any ambiguity which might exist. But gentlemen were now wasting more time in discussion relative to performing the object, than it would require to dispose of it. Mr. M. then moved to amend the motion by striking therefrom all after the word “whole,” and inserting in lieu thereof the words “on the amendments heretofore agreed to in the first article."

Mr. Fuller said if the gentleman's motion should prevail the convention would resolve itself into a committee of the whole on the fourth section, and there being no anmendment 10 il, would consequently leave it in the same state it was previously.

Mr. Meridith said, two or three words in reply, (inaudible to the reporter) when

Mr. Denny, of Allegheny, rose and contended that the motion of the delegate from the city, (Mr. Meredith) if acceded to, would be the most satisfactory as well as the shortest course of proceeding. He declared that he did not entertain any of those apprehensions expressed by the gentleman from Chester, and thought they were groundless. He (Mr. D.) had great doubts whether the committee of the whole could alter the fourth section at all, because it had not been reported to the committee. We would not given them any instructions. He was of the opinion that when a section was not amended, it was an easy remedy to strike out the revision.

Genilemen were, however, to bear in mind ihat the committee to whom the article had been referred, took up a section, which was not referred to then for revision, and instead of pointing out incongruities alone, they recommended that the convention should strine out some word which the convention refused or declined to alter, and afterwards pointed out some incongruity. He believed that time and money would be saved by adopting the motion of the gentleman from the city of Phil. adelphia to make such amendments only as were recommended by the committee of revision, and suggested in committee of the whole, and not making any new amendinenis.

Mr. Suytul, of Centre, aster pointing out several slight modifications he desired to have made in various sections of different articles, expressed himself in favor of the course recommended by the delegate from Philadelphia, (Mr. Meredith.)

After a few words from Messrs. CHAMBERS and SMY'TH,

Mr. Dickey, of Beaver, remarked that the convention conld resolve itself into a committee either for special or general purposes.

The object of the gentleman from Chester (Mr. Bell) was a special one; it was to strike out the fourth section. The delegate must obtain a vote of two-thirds, or the convention could not entertain his motion. For, by the rules of the body, the fourth section was already disposed of; and it was no part of the amended constitution. He presumed that all that delegates wanted was to propose nothing more than verbal amendments. He should support the motion of the delegate from the city.

[ocr errors]

Mr. BROWN, of Philadelphia county, disapproved of going into committee of the whole for general purposes. The only question was whether the convention would go into committee for the special purpose of considering if section four of the old constitution should be retained, or made to conform to section five.

He could find nothing in the rules of the convention as to the necessity of there being a vote of two-thirds to authorize the body to resolve itself into a committee of the whole for special purposes. He did not know where gentlemen found the authority.

Mr. DENNY said, if the gentleman would refer to the forty-second rule, he would there find it.

Mr. Brown-trusted that the motion of the gentleman from the city of Philadelphia would be voted down.

I find (said Mr. B.) that the report which committee has made on the fifth section does not cover the whole ground; and it is my intention to propose another amendment. I hope, therefore, that the motion of the gentleman from the city of Philadelphia, 10 go into committee of the whole for general purposes will not be agreed io.

Mr. Earle said, he would inquire of the Chair whether, upon third reading, the question was to be taken on each article separately ; or upon the whole article together?

The Chair said ; that the question was to be taken upon the amendments to the article altogether.

Mr. EARLE said, I ain opposed to the motion of the gentleman from the city of Philadelphia, (Mr. Meredith) because it would not give us the power to alter any of the old sections of the first article which might be incongruous with the amendments which have been adopled, and because it would not secure the object which the gentleman himself has in view--that is to say, that only a few amendments shall be offeredbecause it will be in the power of any one to move an amendment. The proper way to despatch business is the usual way, namely, to go into comunitiee of the whole with instructions. What those instructions shall be is a matter which can soon be decided, and the convention can then go into committee of the whole or out of it, in ten minutes or a still less period of time.

As to the fourth section of this article, I hope to be able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the gentleman from Luzerne, (Mr. Woodward) that there is no difficulty about it; that there is no incongruiiy between the fourth and the Gfih sections—that, in short, the one has no bearing upon the other.

It has been said that the fifih section as it now stands will deprive the small counties of the state of their representation. The gentleman from Luzerne expresses his fears that this will be the result. All I can say is, that I framed the section with a view to secure to the smaller counties their representation, and not to take it away from them; and I ask every gentleman who feels interest in this fifth section, to refer to a resolution offered by me, and which will be found at page seven hundred and seventy-three, volume first of the journal. it was as follows:

Resolved, That the Secretary of this Convention be directed to cause to be prepared for the use of this Convention, a statement showing the number of members of the House

of Representatives which would have been established under each septennial enumeration, if the same had been upon a coustitutional provision in the words following, viz: “The number of Representatives shall, at the several periods of enumeration of taxable inbabi tants, be apportioned in the follewing manner, viz: One hundredth part ef the whole taxable population of the State shall be taken as the ratio of representation ; each representen ative district shall be entitled to as many representatives as it shall contain number of times the representative ratio, together with an additional represntative for any surplus tor fraction exceeding one-half of such ratio; not more than three counties shall be united to form a represrntative district: no counties shall be united to form such district, anleau one of them shall contain less than one-half of the representative ratio; and no three counties shall be united unless two of them combined shall contain less than one-half of such ratio, in which case such county or counties shall be united to such adjoining county, as will by such union render the representation most equal."

It will be perceived, (continued Mr. R.) that this resolution embraces much more than is in this section. I had intended to have included it in the fourth section, but the previous question was called, and I had, therofore, no alternative except to propose a separate section.

Mr. Porter, of Northampton, said he had suggested to the gentleman from Chester, (Mr. Bell) a modification of his motion, and which he (Mr. P.) hoped might meet with the approbation of those gentlemen who wished to limit the power of the committee of the whole. It is, (continued Mr. P.) to go into committee of the whole for the purpose of voting—that is to say, to strike out the fifth section--to amend the fourth section by striking therefrom, in the eighth and ninth line, the words “ each county shall have at least one representative but;" 10 strike out the fifteenth section; and for the purpose of making the alterations in phraseology recommended by the revisory committee.

If the gentleman from Chester will accept this modification, as I hope he may be prevailed upon to do, all trouble and difficulty will be avoided. We may

thus setile in convention exactly what we will do in committee of the whole. Mr. Bell said, I believe we have all the same object in view, though different ways to attain it.

We all wish to get at the amendments to the first article. I have heretofore moved to go into committee of the whole for a special purpose. It is obvious that if that course is pursued, we shall have to go into committee times without number. upon every separate proposition. Much time will be consumed by this ; at the same time, I think we may avoid opening the door, by adopting the proposition suggested by the gentleman from Northampton, (Mr. Porter.)

I therefore modify my motion to read as follows:

" That the convention do now resolve itself into a committee of the whole for the purpose of amending the fourth section of the first article by striking therefrom, in ihe eighth and ninth lines, the words each county shall have at least one representative, but," and by striking out the fifth section of the said article, and for the purpose of making the alterations in phraseology recommended by the committee on the subject of preparing and engrossing the amendments for the third reading."

I have omitted, continued. Mr. B., that portion of the suggestion of the gentleman from Northumberland which relates to the fifteenth section, because that was adopted on my motion. The gentleman from Franklin (Mr. Chambers) can submit that motion, if he thinks proper to do so

we go

1!

[ocr errors]

to

Mr. Porter, of Northampton, said he would then move to amend the motion by adding “and for the purpose of striking out the fifth section of the said article."

Mr. Denny inquired of the Chair whether it was in order to submit any part of the fourth section to the committee of the whole ?

The Chair said, that a motion to that effect must be made, on which an affirmative vote of lwo-thirds would be required.

Some debate followed on the point of order After which

Mr. Mann, of Montgomery, said he hoped the convention would not consent to go into commiitee of the whole for the purpose of general amendment. If the convention did go into committee without limits, it was certain that the chances of getting out again in any thing like reasonable time, would not be very good. Any gentleman might offer all the amendments which his fertile brain might suggest, I think, continued Mr. M. that the verbal amendments suggested by the revisory committee, might be agreed to by common consent. We might try this course at any rate, and after we have done that, any gentleman might submit a motion to go into committee of the whole either for general or special purposes. Although for my own part I shall prefer to go into committee for a special purpose, so as to be confined simply to the object for which we go in.

Mr. STERIGERE thought the proper course would be for the convention go

into committee of the whole for general purposes, since all matters having reference to the amendments might be settled as well there as in convention.

Mr. Cochran, of Lancaster, after recapitulating the circumstances ander which the revisory committee had been appointed, and the pecu. liar duties which had been assigned to them, said he was in favor of the motion of the gentleman from the city of Philadelphia, (Mr. Meredith) though he (Mr. C.). was of opinion that the strictly proper course would be to go into committee of the whole on the report of the revisory committee.

Mr. Brown, of Philadelphia, made some remarks in opposition to the decision of the Chair, that a vote of two-thirds would be required to go into committee of the whole on an unamended section of the constitution.

Mr. DICKEY, of Beaver, Mr. KERR, of Washington, and Mr. READ, of Susquehanna, submitted some observations, addressed mainly to the same point.

Mr. MEREDITH said, he regretted to feel himself under the necessity of adding any thing to what he had already said ; but he must insist on pressing his motion to a decision, if the discussions were much longer protracted.

I shall say nothing (continued Mr. M.) by way of notice of the appeals which have been made about reform. I think that no man who knows me, will suspect me of any desire to stay here a moment longer than I can help. I wish to get through with our business ; but I wish also that such additional amendments as the better reflections of the members of this body have satisfied them ought to be made to the amendments already proposed, may be allowed to be made. I, for one, want no dobate in

[ocr errors]

sommittee of the whole, and if I find that a disposition to debate, manifests itself when we get into committee, I will second a motion to come out again as soon as may be.

But look at the motion made by the gentleman from Chester, (Mr. Bell.) You are to make three or four amendments at once that is, te instruct the committee to make them. And what will be the consequence? The gentleman moves to go into committee to make a certain amendment. There may be a small majority in favor of the motion, and it will be agreed to. Immediately rises up another gentleinan and moves to add another object, and that motion is disagreed to—and so you have to go through three or four, or a greater number of motions, with probably a different vote upon each one of them. Before you can go into committee for any one of these purposes, you must take a vote upon all, and probably at last the whole inotion may fall to the ground. And after all your trouble, you may have to begin again. Is this the way to save time? Not according to my ideas, certainly.

Now, here is a proposition which includes an amendment of the fourth section and the filih section. Upon this you may have two different votes. Then the gentleman from Northampton (Mr. Porter) moves to strike out the divorce section, and there is a different vote upon that. If the convention do not choose to take all these things, we can take none; and so we shall have to commence going round the circle again. It will be an endless, useless, fruitless mode of getting at our business. I have never before seen a body which had that distrust of itself, that when it was apparent that a number of amendments were required, were afraid to trust itself in making them.

His motion was to go into committee of the whole on the amendments made to this article. But, to offer any amendments to the original con stitution would require a different motion, and according to the decision of the Chair it would require a majority of two-thirds. Let gentlemen reflect on what they are about. Here was a motion which included three amendments, that required but a majority to make them. And, one of them, the Chairhad declared would require a majority of two-thirds. If, then, there should not be a majority of two-thirds the whole would fall to the ground. He would not press his motion if he did not sincerely believe the course he advocated was the most satisfactory and expeditious one that could be adopted. He was of the opinion that if it had been agreed to some time since, we should have been at the third reading

now.

The yeas

and nays were required by Mr. DICKEY and Mr. Clarke, of Beaver, and are as follow, viz :

Yeas--Messrs. Agnew, Ayres, Baldwin Banks, Barclay, Barndollar, Barnitz, Bed ford, Bonham, Chambers, Chandler, of Philadelphia, Clapp, Clarke, of Beaver, Clark, of Dauphin, Cleavinger, Cline, Coates, Cochran. Cope, Cox, Craig, Crain, Crum, Cummin, Denny. Dickoy, Dickerson, Donagan, Dunlop, Farrelly, Harris, Hastings, Vays, Henderson, of Allegheny, Henderson, of Dauphin, Hiester, Hopkinson, Kerr, Konigmacher, Maclay, Magee, Martin, M'sherry. Meredith, Merrill, Montgomery, Pennypacker, Porter, of Lancaster, Russell, Saeger, Scott, Serrill

, Snively, Sterigero, Sturda mat, Todd, White, Woodward, Young, Sergeant, President-60.

Nars-Messrs. Bell, Brown, of Northampton, Brown, of Philadelphia, Butler, Clarko, of Indiana, Crawford, Darrah, Dillinger, Doran, Earle, Fleming, Fry, Fuller, Gamble, Gearbart, Gilmore, Grenell, Hayburst, High, Houpt, Hyde, Ingersoli, Koim,

« 이전계속 »