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Index to the Debates of the Constitutional Convention of Maryland, 1967-1968
Volume 85, Page 10   View pdf image (33K)
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cover format for ready reference in libraries, law offices, and public and govern-
ment institutions and agencies. References found in the index could be consulted on
the microform edition of the Debates, with the records of the commission and con-
vention available for consultation, as before, in the public search room of the Hall
of Records in Annapolis.

This alternative proved acceptable, and the work proceeded under the aegis of
the office of the secretary of the Board of Public Works and the Hall of Records.
While this volume was at the press being printed in a conventional format, the Hall
of Records was filming the typeset pages of the Debates of the Constitutional Con-
vention of 1967-1968 on 16 mm microfilm. Information on purchasing the micro-
form edition of the Debates, and on alternative microform formats if required, may
be obtained by writing to the Maryland Hall of Records, P.O. Box 828, Annapolis,
MD 21404.

Given the length of the Debates, stringent guidelines were adopted for prepar-
ing the index. The goal was to provide access to all major topics without encumber-
ing the index with trivial detail or minute subcategories. The index does not, for
example, cite each time a delegate spoke. Only substantive comments were indexed,
with questions asked for clarification, parliamentary inquiries, items of personal
privilege, and casual remarks being ignored. Delegate proposals were indexed only
wnen tney elicited debate or comment, and discussions about punctuation, phrasing,
and other stylistic considerations, which dominated the last days of the convention,
were generally passed over.

Users of the Index should be aware of the format of the Constitutional Conven-
tion. The Debates include both the 11 July 1967 organizational meeting and the full
transactions of the Constitutional Convention itself, which convened on 12 Septem-
ber 1967 and adjourned 10 January 1968. During the convention proper, the
chronology of debate covers the introduction of delegate proposals and the discus-
sion of first reader reports of the various committees, followed by second and third
reader reports. Most of the debate occurred on first readings, although with some
provisions considerable discussion ensued at the second reader stage as well. After
adoption of the proposed constitution, provisions to facilitate a smooth transition
from the old constitution to the new were presented, debated, and adopted, and a
schedule of legislation was approved. The schedule of legislation constituted pro-
posals for the next General Assembly that would help resolve, by law, certain
anomalies and lapses that would occur with the adoption of the new constitution.

Reading the Debates of the Constitutional Convention today, nearly a decade
and a half after the proposed constitution was rejected by the voters of the state, one
is still impressed by the tremendous accomplishments of the men and women who
devoted so much time and energy to the task. True, the constitution failed, and the
roots of failure are apparent throughout the Debates—rural delegates would have
lost much of their voice in the proposed new General Assembly, collective bargain-
ing did not achieve the constitutional status accorded to "natural beauty" and a
variety of other concepts, the goal of streamlining government by increasing the
powers of the three branches of government, especially the executive, were achieved
to the distress of many voters. Still, the voluminous research that was conducted at
the behest of the commission and convention, the assembling at one place and time

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Index to the Debates of the Constitutional Convention of Maryland, 1967-1968
Volume 85, Page 10   View pdf image (33K)
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