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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 490   View pdf image (33K)
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fair, just and equitable representation for
all people. That we ask. I urge you seriously
consider leaving this matter where it prop-
erly should be, with your majority elected
THE CHAIRMAN: Delegate Gallagher.
man, and ladies and gentlemen of the Com-
mittee: I want to say that what I have to
say at this time is my personal point of
view, as well as that of the majority of
the Committee. I take pride in the work
of our Committee, and I do not at any
point, having been a member of it, seek
to debate it or to belittle it or to deride it.
I am grateful to the members of my Com-
mittee who worked many hours and put
in many sessions to come to the conclu-
sions that you have before you. I think
the majority of the Committee knows that
a great deal of thought and interest went
into what we did.
I am not one to belittle compromise, nor
am 1 one to suggest that you take the
federal plan and impose it upon the State
of Maryland. I think there is enough in-
dividuality left in Maryland and enough of
the sovereign spirit to have us go on our
own way without having a little House of
Representatives and a little Senate im-
posed upon us from elsewhere. I am glad
that we have a federal govrnment, and I
like a great many of the things this does,
but I do not think we have to do it the
same way, and I am not so enamoured of
the outline and the structure of the federal
government that I believe it has to be
duplicated in fifty states in the union.
Maryland has had a way, it has had a
tradition, and I suggest that we ought to
consider it and consider its value. I am
proud of the Committee, I am proud of
its work, and I thank them all.
Now, turning to the problem we had
before us; this is not a question of a small
county versus a big county fight. This is a
question of deciding whether we want some
minimum efficiency in government. If we
do, we must realize that with what this
amendment would have us do, there would
be no limitation upon the size of the Gen-
eral Assembly. There could not be a hall
big enough in the City of Annapolis to
hold the people who would come into this
General Assembly, and we would have
chaos and an unwieldy state government.
Now, the truth of the matter is that
never in the history of the State of Mary-
land have we adopted the principle which
this amendment seeks to impose upon us
today. In the Constitution of 1776, there
were specifically fifteen senators provided
for, and four delegates from each county:
two from Annapolis, two from the City of
Baltimore. In the 1845 Constitution, there
was a minimum of sixty-five and a maxi-
mum of one senator from each county, or
twenty-one. In the 1864 Constitution again
there was a senate of twenty-one, with
three additional from the Baltimore legis-
lative districts, and an original House size
set at eighty in the Constitution with a
sliding scale, which if every county had
achieved the maximum could have gone
to a figure of one hundred sixty-eight.
Under the 1867 Constitution, again, there
was one senator per legislative district and
county, and the House initially set at
eighty-six members. Under the sliding scale
it was possible, with the addition of Howard
County in 1851, and Garrett in 1872, to go
to one hundred seventy-four members, but
this we did not do because by constitutional
amendment it was frozen at one hundred
twenty-three in 1950, until the nineteen
members were added to the House in 1962
and the additional fourteen members were
added to the Senate.
I say to this house that we have a tradi-
tion of setting at least scales which will
provide maximum limitations, and I say in
all candor that the other forty-eight states
of the union do likewise; and only Montana
allows both the size of the House and the
Senate to be set by law, regardless of the
testimony that you have heard here today.
Now, ladies and gentlemen of the Com-
mittee of the Whole, we had seven mem-
bers, either present or formerly of the
General Assembly, on the Committee of
the Legislative Branch, and these people
are experienced, and we heard from a
great many members of the legislature;
and I tell you unequivocally that it was
the request of the members of the legisla-
ture, by and large, that we set the limit
in the Constitution; that we provide that
there be some maximum, and by and large
most of them said, virtually without ex-
ception, that the House was too large.
This is not a question of pure rampant
democracy. This is a question of trying
to balance representative government with
efficient government, and as I said yester-
day, somewhere there is a happy medium.
But I tell you there is no happy medium
out there in the sky, because what has
experience proven here in Maryland? It
has proven that when reapportionment re-
quired the application of the one man-one
vote principle, the Senate was increased in

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1967 Constitutional Convention
Volume 104, Volume 1, Debates 490   View pdf image (33K)
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