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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 68   View pdf image (33K)
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68
Mr. SANDS. Perhaps it would be proper to
refer this subject to the Committee on Ac-
counts. There is only a definite sum of
money to be expended here; and I under-
stand that this will be a matter of some cost.
Mr. MARBURY. I do not know what clause
of the Constitution is referred to; but I do
not consider this Convention debarred from
adopting any rules or order necessary to
frame a Constitution, or to aid them in the
prosecution of their work. I understand we
have unlimited power to do anything that is
necessary to perfect this Constitution; and
I consider this as one of the means necessary
to give us the information which we require
from every part of the State. It is certainly
very desirable, and I think it is necessary
that we should have that information.
Mr. BERRY of Prince George's. I think,
from reference to the constitutional provision
that it does not apply. I understand the ob-
ject of the order to be to procure these papers
for the benefit of the Convention, to furnish
us with statistical and other information
from all parts of the State, upon matters that
may come before the Convention for their
action. The provision of the Constitution
which is referred to, is Art, 3, Sect. 20 :
" No money shall be drawn from the Treas-
ury of the State, except in accordance with an
appropriation made by law, and every such
law shall distinctly specify the sum appro-
priated and the objects to which it shall be
applied; provided, that nothing herein con-
tained shall prevent the Legislature from
placing a contingent fund at the disposal of
the Executive," etc.
A provision has already been made by the
last Legislature for the purpose of defraying
the expenses of this Convention. This infor-
mation is for the purpose of enabling the
Convention during its session to get at the
public opinion on the various questions
which shall be considered here.
The PRESIDENT. The chair will call the
attention of the gentleman to the 30th Sec-
tion of the same article:
"No book or other printed matter not
appertaining lo the business of the session,
shall be purchased or subscribed for, for the
use of the members or be distributed among
them, at the public expense."
Mr. BERRY of Prince George's. This ap-
plies merely to the Senators and Members of
the House of Delegates, and has no applica-
bility at all to members of this Convention.
Mr. DANIEL. I concede that there is noth-
ing in the Constitution prohibiting this, if
the Convention deem it necessary to forward
their deliberation here in any way; but I
shall vote against it because I think It is
wrong in principle and would be a bad prece-
dent. I think that the members will gener-
ally obtain their own papers; and I take it
for granted that nearly every member of the
Convention has subscribed for papers, which
they will receive either at their homes or
here. I think it is wrong in principle to
make this a charge upon the State; and
therefore although there is nothing in the
Constitution forbidding it, I shall vote against
it. I disagree with the gentleman from
Prince George's that there is nothing in the
Constitution that binds us at all, for we have a
right to do as we please and submit anything
we please. Certainly I think it is an errone-
ous idea that until we make a new Constitu-
tion we are not bound by the one that is
made; and the new Constitution is not only
to be made but to be ratified by the people of
the State.
Mr. MARBURY. I intended to say that the
Convention has unlimited power to do any-
thing to perfect the Constitution.
Mr. DANIEL. I referred to your colleague,
who sits next to you, (Mr. Clarke.)
Mr. ABBOTT. I move to amend by allow-
ing each member to subscribe for one copy
of such paper as he may desire.
Mr. MARBURY. In that way we should lose
the advantage of having the papers collected
in the Library where each member can go
and obtain a correct ideal of what public
opinion is throughout tire State. One mem-
ber will subscribe for a paper representing
certain views, and another member for a pa-
per representing different views, and each will
read only one side. My object in making a
general provision was that we might ascer-
tain the public opinion allover the State, and
learn what the people think of our proceed-
ings here, what suggestions they have to make.
I think it is very necessary to enable us to
prove such a Constitution as the people will
adopt. How can we ascertain what they do
sire in any other way except through the
press of the State. If a gentlemen takes a
newspaper representing only certain views,
which may not be the views even of a major-
ity of the people of that county, how is he to
ascertain the real sentiments of the people. I
can think of no other way than this to get at
the public opinion of the State.
Mr. MILLER. I think the question is wheth-
er the Comptroller of the Treasury or the
Treasurer himself, will pay the money on the
order of this body; whether they will deem
themselves authorized to pay it or not.
Whether we are silting under and bound by
the provisions of the present Constitution or
not, undoubtedly the officers of the State, the
Treasurer and the Comptroller, are bound to
act under the provisions of the present Con-
stitution and the present laws. The bill
which authorized the calling of the Conven-
tion, fixed the per diem of the members at
"$5 per day, and the mileage allowed to the
members of the General Assembly of this
State, and the said Convention shall have pow-
er to appoint such clerks and other officers as
may be deemed necessary to facilitate the
transaction of the business of the Convention,


 
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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 68   View pdf image (33K)
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