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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 973   View pdf image (33K)
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Can they not report on anything they please?
May they not make a majority and minority
report upon every section of the whole ar-
Mr. STOCKBRIDGE. They may be instructed
to report upon that article and nothing
Mr. MILLER. I have prepared an order
that will obviate the difficulty, that a select
committee be appointed by the President to
take into consideration the propriety of sell-
ing the State's interest in the works of inter-
nal improvement and in banking corpora-
tions and report thereon.
The PRESIDENT. The legislative article is
before the convention and must, be disposed
of. It can be passed over informally.
Mr. SANDS. What is the utility of refer-
ring to a committee of five a proposition
which has already been passed upon by a reg-
ular committee of nine members of this
body? Is it to be supposed that the report
of the committee of five is to be conclusive
upon members of the convention? Not at
all. The same discussion, the same diver-
gence of views will follow the report, and
the whole debate will berepeated.
Mr. NEGLEY. I withdraw the resolution
and offer the following order :
Ordered, That a select committee be ap-
pointed by the President to take into consid-
eration the propriety of selling the State's in-
terest in the works of internal improvement
and banking corporations, and report thereon.
The PRESIDENT That is not in order.—
Nothing can be considered by the convention
until they dispose of the pending amend-
ment, either by voting upon it, postponing
the report informally, or by some other mo-
tion which will dispose of the report of the
legislative committee.
Mr. ABBOTT. I move to informally pass over
the 39th section.
Mr. DANIEL. I hope that motion will not
prevail, I think we ought to meet this question,
and can meet it just 'as well now as at
any other time. We have already had sev-
eral days' discussion upon it. I really think
we are uselessly consuming the time of the
convention upon this question. The more we
hear upon this subject among members of the
convention, the more diversity of opinion we
find we are coming to. Instead of approaching
a definite conclusion, we are varying
wider and wider, every speech that is made,
When this proposition was up on Saturday
for discussion, I voted for the proposition of the
gentleman from Baltimore county (Mr. Ridge-
ly,) believing that the better proposition of the
two, in comparison with the report of the
legislative committee. I still believe that if
either is to be adopted, I would prefer that
But after grave consideration I have come to
the conclusion that it is better to let this
whole thing alone, and let it stand just where
It stood in the old constitution. I am pre-
pared therefore to take a different ground
from what I took there.
I find there is great diversity of opinion in
the community. I find that this subject has
been agitated before the legislature. I find
in the city of Baltimore among the largest
business men, those who are very largely in-
terested in the Baltimore and Ohio railroad,
who are stockholders in the company, they
are very much opposed to our interfering at
all with this question. I think upon a ques-
tion of this sort, when the convention is so
little aware of the practical effect of interfer-
ing with these great financial measures, we
would better let them alone, and go on with
our legitimate business before the convention,
and end this protracted discussion. If we
have a committee that very committee may
be influenced by private—I will not say cor-
rupt—influences, and perhaps every member
of that committee will have some peculiar
views derived from influences in the commu-
nity; and when their report comes before the
convention, members will have their peculiar
views, and you will find it just as difficult to
reconcile conflicting views or to come to any
conclusion upon that report, as upon the re-
port of the committee of nine which has al-
ready had the subject under consideration
and upon whose report we have had days
upon days of discussion, varying wider now
than we did when the subject first came up.
As my colleague (Mr. Thomas) put the
argument from the comptroller's report, I do
not see how we can get over it. I do not see
why, in the face of the fact that we have more
money now from the sinking fund than we
know what to do with, as reported by the
comptroller, we should throw all these works
of internal improvement into the market, and
increase that amount of money, with this de-
preciation of currency, not knowing whether
we can buy up this interest or not. I think it
would be a very hazardous arrangement for
us to undertake. The comptroller has told
the convention that we have more now than
we can invest, while stocks are high; and yet
you are asked to sell out the whole, and in-
vest the money you know not how. I say
that until we can see how we can make a
more profitable investment for the State, it
would be better to let this remain as it is. I
am therefore in favor of putting into this con-
stitution the same proposition as we now
Mr. STIRLING. I shall vote against inform-
ally disposing of it, for I think we may as well
dispose of it now. If it is not postponed I in-
tend to call the previous question and bring
the house to a vote upon the pending propo-
sitions. I think it very dangerous not to de-
cide upon this matter definitely and settle our
policy at this time. The reason why I ac-
quiesced in this report of the committee,
though I had nothing to do with preparing
this section, was that it prescribed the general

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1864 Constitutional Convention
Volume 102, Volume 1, Debates 973   View pdf image (33K)
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