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The present constitution was adopted in 1850,-nearly a quarter of a century ago. Our only State Institutions at that time were the State Prison and the University. The receipts and disbursements of the State Treasury were less than $400,000 per annum, while to-day they are nearly $2,000,000. Almost every State officer at that time received in fees more than his salary. No money was paid the State by its Treasurer for interest on deposit of State funds. To-day no State officer receives a single fee of any kind. From table "N." in the Auditor General's Report for 1873, you will learn that the payments into the Treasury of the State for interest on public deposits, and fees from the State officers from 1854 to Sept. 30, 1872, were $291,435.47, and the receipts from the same sources for the year closing Sept. 30, 1873, were $39,160.58. From 1838 to the year 1855 not a dollar was received from any of these sources. I fail to find in the financial reports of other States any such aggregate of receipts as this,-in many of them none at all,-from similar sources. I call your attention to these figures, for, though often published, I believe they are not often read.

These facts show very plainly that whatever may have been the intention of the framers of our present constitution, the greater portion of the State officers received in fees each year more than their salary. The practice of paying the deputy State officers a greater salary than the principal would seem to indicate that it was expected that the deputies should do the work, and the principals bear the responsibilities, draw the fees, and wear the honors. The business of the State has grown into such volume that any State officer who faithfully performs his duty (if he does it personally and not by proxy), must give to it his entire time and attention. That they do not, is simply because some time and attention must be given to some pursuit or occupation by which they can live. Ought we not in lieu of this pernicious system to say to our public officers: "Your salary shall be a reasonable one; you shall have such assistants as the business of your office demands; but we expect and demand of you, your personal attention and your individual care of the duties of your position." This is the straight, plain, and economical way. I do not believe in high salaries for public officers. A salary that will induce men to seek position for the sake of the salary would tend to deteriorate the public service. It is not pleasant to reflect that the best men often cannot afford to serve the State, and that a private fortune must be an indispensable condition in filling certain important public positions. This, too, will deteriorate the public service. We all have an earnest and commendable desire to procure economy in administration, and patterns of republican simplicity in public life; we can do this, not by parsimony nor by extravagance, but by occupying a common ground of common sense that lies between the two. I have said that an educated, intelligent people are abundantly qualified to elect their own officers. I also believe they are willing to pay their public servants decently and fairly as they would do in their private affairs.


The article on Corporations other than Municipal" contains some new provisions, and makes changes in existing provisions, all of which I think are improvements. But I refer to this article not so much for the purpose of calling your attention to what it contains, as for what it does not contain.

Sec. 11 of this article is left to stand as in the present constitution. It is apparent, that the sole and simple purpose of the first paragraph of this section, is to secure and preserve to the public the benefits which come from competi

tion of railroads in the carrying business; there is no other thought or idea in it. And it is equally apparent that the provision as it stands will fail of this purpose.


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Consolidation of stock" is only one of the modes by which "parallel or competing lines may combine and become one in interest. A very common method of effecting the same result is for one of the competing companies to lease the road of the other. Another is to acquire the controlling interest in the stock of the competing company, and thus secure control of the road. There are also other devices for securing the same result. If it be conceded that the policy of advantages of competition in railroad transportation is wholesome and just, as I think it must be, then this provision should be so altered and amended as, if possible, to accomplish this end. Upon reference to the proceedings of the Commission it will be seen that the section as reported by the committee on corporations reads as follows:

"No railroad corporation shall consolidate its stock, property, or franchises with any other railroad corporation owning a parallel or competing line; and in no case shall any consolidation take place, except upon public notice given, of at least sixty days, to all stockholders, in such manner as shall be provided by law.

"Nor shall any such corporation lease any parallel or competing line of road, and no two or more parallel or competing lines of railroad shall be run or operated, directly or indirectly, wholly or in part, under the same management or supervision, or under or subject to any arrangement, agreement, or understanding with reference to rates of fare or freight to be charged, or for the division of earnings."

If any attempt to preserve the advantages of railroad competition is to be made at all in the constitution, it should be broad enough to do it well.

The issue of stock, bonds and certificates of indebtedness by railroads, except for value received, is alike an injury to the honest stockholder or creditor and to the people. The practice is wrong, and is universally condemned in individuals. The State should, if possible, put it beyond the power of these beings which it creates to practice it. I suggest the propriety of requiring all corporations organized under the laws of this State, to maintain an office therein, where its books shall be kept, showing the amount of capital stock subscribed and paid in, the names of its stockholders, and the amount owned by each. Such books should be kept in the State for the inspection of stockholders, and for the benefit of creditors. It frequently becomes the duty of the State to investigate the affairs of corporations within it, when such books are absolutely necessary; indeed, the State is largely interested in requiring every tax-paying corporation to keep and maintain within the State such books, not only, but in addition thereto, books showing fully its financial condition.

This, together with the other matters referred to in connection with this article, I beg to commend to your most careful consideration. These suggestions are made from no spirit of hostility to corporations. Every citizen of this State must appreciate the value of railroads in developing our natural resources and in promoting our prosperity. They can only be constructed and operated in the future, as in the past, by means of corporate existence. In all their rights and in their legitimate interests they deserve, and I have no doubt will receive, as they heretofore have done, the fostering care and protection of wholesome laws. Unjust legislation against them would have the effect to cripple their powers for usefulness, and this, in its effect, would reach and injure us all. The self-interest of the people of the State is, therefore, alone sufficient to prevent such legislation.

But, on the other hand, no undue sensitiveness should deter us from imposing upon them such restrictions and regulations as are demanded by the inter

ests of the people, and are of such a character as furnish to the corporations no just cause of complaint, and are equally a protection for the corporators. There is no State in the Union in which the rates of freight are lower than in this, nor in which the roads are managed. more directly for the interests of the people. Competition is the chief cause of this condition of things, while the fact that the managers of most of our roads are our own citizens, and interested in the prosperity and welfare of the State, also has much to do with it. The more roads we have the more competition we shall have, and liberal legislation invites the building of roads, and thus competition is kept up. The propositions above enumerated are proposed in this spirit of liberality, and should have a place in the organic law as safeguards for the people, the roads, and the stockholders.

There are many other provisions in the report of the committee that are important and worthy of mention, but I fear that I may have already trespassed upon your time and patience in what I have said. I do not forget that I have no voice in the building of the constitutional fabric, except through the ballot-box. My pride in our State, my hope that its legislation shall be equal, just, pure, and wise, is my only excuse for the suggestions I have ventured to make.

In considering the question of remodeling the organic law of the State, I presume no one of you, nor any citizen, expects you to adopt an instrument that will suit each individual mind. Sincere beliefs and decided opinions may often have to be given up, that the greatest good to the greatest number may be accomplished. I trust that this is the spirit in which you have come together, and that from it you may create a Constitution that will meet the approval of your own judgment and that of the people, whose representatives you are.


The President announced the following:

Detroit, February 17, 1874.

Hon. H. H. Holt, Lieutenant Governor of Michigan and President of the Senate:
SIR-Owing to continued indisposition, and acting under the advice of my
physician, I hereby tender my resignation of the office of Senator of the 1st
Senatorial District, of this State.

I notified His Excellency, the Governor, of this determination early in the present month.

I have the honor to be very respectfully, your obedient servant,


The communication was laid on the table. Mr. DeLand, by unanimous consent, offered the following concurrent reso-lution :

Resolved (The House concurring), That a special committee of five, on the part of the Senate and eight on the part of the House, be appointed to report upon a division of subjects and reference of the message of the Governor,. including the revision of the Constitution, submitted for the consideration of this Legislature.

Mr. King offered the following as a substitute for the above concurrent resolution:

Resolved, That a select committee of three be appointed by the Chair, whose duty it shall be to designate and recommend for reference to the proper com

mittees, the different amendments to the Constitution proposed by the late Commission, and submitted in the message of the Governor.

Mr. McGowan moved that the concurrent resolution and substitute be laid on the table.

Mr. Dewey called for the yeas and nays;

The motion prevailed by yeas and nays as follows:

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Mr. Dewey moved that the Senate adjourn until to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock.

Which motion did not prevail.

Mr. McGowan offered the following resolution :

Resolved, That the amendments to the present Constitution, as recommended by the Commission, be referred to the committee of the whole, and taken up section by section.

Mr. Sparks moved that the resolution be laid on the table;

Which motion did not prevail.

The resolution was then adopted.

Mr. Crosby offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the resident clergymen of this city be invited to officiate at the opening of the morning sessions of this body, and that the Secretary be instructed to transmit to each a copy of this resolution.

Which resolution was adopted.

Mr. Crosby also offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the Secretary be and he hereby is directed to procure for the use of the Senate, five hundred copies of the daily journal.

Mr. Brewer moved as an amendment to the resolution that the Secretary be directed to procure, for the use of each member of the Senate, two copies of the daily journal;

Which was not agreed to.

The question being on the adoption of the resolution, pending the taking of the vote thereon,

Mr. DeLand moved to amend the resolution by striking out the word "five," and inserting in lieu thereof the word "two."

Mr. Crosby accepted the amendment.

Mr. King moved to amend the resolution by striking out the word "two," and inserting in lieu thereof the word "four."

Mr. Cook called for the yeas and nays.

The amendment was not agreed to, by yeas and nays as follows:

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Mr. Gray moved to amend by striking out the word "two" and inserting 66 one" in lieu thereof.

Mr. Dewey called for the yeas and nays.

The amendment was agreed to by yeas and nays as follows:

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The resolution as amended was then adopted.

Mr. Richardson offered the following resolution:

Resolved, That the regular session of the Senate shall commence at nine o'clock A. M., and that when the Senate adjourn it be until nine o'clock tomorrow morning;

Which resolution was adopted.

On motion of Mr. Dewey,

The Senate adjourned.

Lansing, Wednesday, March 4, 1874.

The Senate was called to order by the President at 9 o'clock A. M.

Prayer by the Rev. Mr. Taylor.

Roll called: a quorum present.


Mr. Dewey offered the following concurrent resolution:

Resolved (The House of Representatives concurring), that the State Printer be and he is hereby instructed to transmit to the publisher of each newspaper in this State, to each of the judges of the Supreme, Circuit, and Probate Courts, State Officers, the members of the Constitutional Commission, and to the clerk of each of the several counties in this State, one copy each of the daily journal of the Senate and House of Representatives, during the present extra session of the Legislature.

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