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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1318   View pdf image (33K)
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branch of the general assembly. At any
rate it certainly can do no harm.
And it strikes me with surprise—I do not
like to allude to that sort of thing in argu-
ment—that any gentleman upon the major-
ity side of this house should have any objec-
tion, particularly at this time when they
may think they have a chance to put their
friends in office, to hiving this office created.
Mr. SANDS. I have not declared any hostil-
ity to this section, by a great deal.
Mr. STIRLING, I did not refer to the gen-
tleman from Howard (Mr. Sands') he only
asked a question. But there was a motion
made on our side of the house to strike out
this section. As I said, the expense is very
slight, I really can see no objection to it.
And it strikes me that there are substantial
benefits to be derived from it, I think upon
principle that the idea of giving the people
this chance to elect two officers in this man-
ner, is the grand feature which recommends
this proposition. It is in accordance with
the provisions of the federal constitution ;
and it is, I think, in accordance with the
customs of a majority of the States in both
sections of the country. There is a lieuten-
ant governor in Kentucky; one, I think, in
Virginia; one in most of the Western States,
and in all the New England States.
Mr. SANDS. I am so well satisfied with
the reasons presented by the gentleman from
Baltimore city (Mr. Stirling,) in support of
this section,, that I shall most certainly vote
for it, I merely rise now to ask whether
we cannot lessen the number of officers by
providing that the lieutenant governor shall
discharge the duties of secretary of State?
In the twenty-third section of this report we
provide for the appointment of a secretary of
State. May not one individual— I put it to
the. judgment of the house—very properly
discharge the duties of both of these offices?
If we can consolidate them, I think we ought
to do so. I shall favor doing so if possible.
Mr. KING. I can see no reason for this
section in relation to lieutenant governor,
except it be to create a new office. The gen-
tleman from Baltimore city (Mr, Stirling)
says it will be merely a complimentary office.
Now I am opposed to all these things, if they
are to cost more money.
Mr. SMITH, of Carroll. I had not de-
signed making a single remark upon this
question. I submitted the motion to strike
out, because I supposed the convention de-
sired to vote directly upon this question.
And I wanted them to vote without debate,
because I supposed they had made up their
minds upon the subject. But as the gentle-
man from Baltimore city (Mr. Stirling) has
alluded to me, and has expressed his surprise
that any member of the majority should make
so impolitic a motion, I will respond to
I think, in the first place, the office of lieu-
tenant governor is totally unnecessary. It is
a useless expense, and will amount to no
practical good. I am opposed to farther ex-
tending the elective franchise, to further
extending the power of the people to elect
officers. The last convention carried that
principle to an extent beyond which I am
not willing to go. I rather think that justice,
propriety, and the public welfare require that
that privilege should be abridged, rather than
I think that the argument made use of by
the gentleman from Baltimore city (Mr.
Stirling) that this will give the present ma-
jority in the convention and in the State, an
additional member of the senate, and an ad-
ditional officer, is of no practical importance,
because in the changes which are constantly
occurring in politics, it may be a double-
edged sword cutting against us the next
It is an unnecessary office. The senate
has been organized without it since the formation
of the government, of this State.
There has been no difficulty for the lack of
such an officer. The people do not want.
him; there has not been a single expression-
in favor of it from any part of the State.
And as it is violating a principle which I be-
lieve ought to be fundamental in our action
here, and is extending the elective power
farther than I think it should beextended,
1 must oppose it. And as I have no good
reason from the gentleman from Baltimore
city, or from any gentleman upon this floor,
1 shall vote against it.
Mr. THRUSTON. I think if there is any
office which should be filled directly by the
people, it is certainly that of governor of the
State. And this provision is giving the peo-
ple the assurance that they will have the se-
lection of that officer under contingencies that
may happen, I think the arguments of the
gentleman from Baltimore city (Mr. Stirling)
ought to be satisfactory to this convention,
as they are satisfactory to me. With some
gentlemen the expense is a terrible thing.
But with me the great thing is the secur-
ing to the people, in contingencies that
may happen, a governor of the State of their
own selection; the officer above all others
whom the people ought to have the opportu-
nity to select. Should you take away from
the people the right to select all officers but
one, you certainly would leave to them the
selection of the governor of the State. That
would be the last officer whose election by
the people you would take away. This is a
very small expense indeed, in assuring to
them the right to select that officer, even in
the contingency of death, resignation or
other disqualification of the one elected gov-
ernor. I think the arguments in favor of it
are satisfactory, particularly in the present
crisis of our national affairs.
Mr. ABBOTT. I shall rote against striking

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 1318   View pdf image (33K)
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