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Ballard, of Cortland, until Tuesday morning. He years; a Lieutenant-Governor shall be chosen at was called away last evening by a telegram after the same time and for the same term. the session was closed.
Mr. C. L. ALLEN-As I had the honor of subThere being no objection leave was granted. mitting this report, perhaps it is incumbent upon
Mr. GROSS — I ask leave of absence for next me to state to the Convention, concisely as I can, week, on account of ill health.
some of the reasons which operated on the comThere being no objection, leave was granted. mittee in making the report it did. I am happy
Mr. STRATTON — I ask leave of absence for to be able to state that the committee, after maMr. Rogers until Wednesday next, on account of ture deliberatiou, were unanimous in the concluillness in his family.
sion to which they arrived, as stated in the reThere being no objection, leave was granted. port of the committee. It is as follows:
Mr. PRINDLE-I ask leave of absence for "They prefer to use language, as far as pracnext week.
ticable, which has been settled and approved by There being no objection, leave was granted. long and well-established usage and judicial con
Mr. HAMMOND - I ask leave of absence for struction, rather than to adopt a new and unsetnext week, on account of illness in my family. tled phraseology which would not be so well cal.
There being no objection, leave was granted. culated to secure the continued existence of pro
Mr. LARREMORE -I ask leave of absence visions which they have unanimously approved." for Monday evening.
In the first place, as to the term of office of the There being no objection, leave was granted. Governor. We did not believe that any change
Mr. FLAGLER – I ask leave of absence for was demanded by the people in that particular. Monday evening and Tuesday next.
Suggestions were made to the committee to conThere being no obiection, leave was granted. sider the propriety of shortening the term of that
Mr. SEAVER — I do not know that I really officer to one year. The committee were not of shall want it, but fearing that I might, I ask leave that opinion. By the Constitution of 1777 the of absence until Wednesday next.
term of office of the Governor was fixed at three There being no objection, leave was granted. years. This continued, of course, down to 1821;
Mr. MASTEN - I ask leave of absence for when, after a spirited and learned debate in the Monday evening. I have a special term of court Convention of that year, in which such men as to hold.
James Hunt, Ambrose Spencer, Martin Van There being no objection, leave was granted. Buren, Abraham Van Ruyter, Erastus Root, Sam.
Mr. BOWEN – I ask leave of absence until uel Young, Elisha Williams, Peter W. Livingston, Tuesday morning.
and a host of other worthies of that day, particiThere being no objection, leave was granted. pated, it was altered and fixed at two years.
Mr. BERGEN -I ask leave of absence until Many of the delegates were in favor of the Tuesday morning.
shorter period of one year, and among them was There being no objection, leave was granted. the celebrated Erastus Root, who, for a long
Mr. HITCHMAN– I ask leave of absence un period of time, was a distinguished light among til Tuesday morning.
the able politicians of his day, and to his aid camo There being no objection, leave was granted. Peter W. Livingston. On the one hand it was
Mr. T. W. DWIGÁT - I ask leave of absence urged that the Governor should be more immeuntil Tuesday morning.
diately under the control of the people, in order There being no objection, leave was granted. that they might be insured against the improper
Mr. FARNUM - I ask leave of absence until execution of the trust committed to him; and Tuesday next.
that if he executed the duties promptly and with There being no objection, leave was granted. ability, he would be re-elected. That if a bad
Mr. ALVORD — Would it be in order for me man succeeded him, he would be fastened on the to inquire whether we will have a quorum pres- community for a long period, and could not well ent on Monday evening, after granting the leaves be got rid of ; but if he was settled with oftener of absence ?
and made accountable to the people annually, he The PRESIDENT– The Secretary informs the would be more likely to discharge his duties with Chair that only twenty-three or twenty-four have fidelity. The check was in the virtue and moralbeen granted so far.
ity of the people. “A corrupt people would not Mr. SCHELL-I ask leave of absence until choose a virtuous Governor; nor a moral people Wednesday morning. I have an engagement in a vicivus one." On the other hand it was urged by New York.
such men as Mr. Van Buren and his associates, There being no objection, leave was granted. that a one year term would cause too frequent
Mr. VAN COTT – I ask leave of absence excitement and agitation in the community; that for Tuesday and the morning session of in a territory so widely extended as New York, Wednesday.
biennial elections would excite sufficient agiThere being no objection, leave was granted. tation without too many additions to rouse The Convention resolved itself into Committee the feeling which would unavoidably preof the Whole on the report of the Committee on vail; that year would not enable the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor, etc., Mr. Governor to carry out any plans of great public KÐRNAN, of Oneida, in the chair.
benefit; that no man of ability would willingly The SECRETARY proceeded to read the first put himself in a position which would be liable section, as follows:
to be so shortly disposed of. It was said, that it SECTION 1. The executive power shall be vested was necessary that the Governor's power should in a Governor, who shall hold his office for two exist long enough to survive that temporary
excitement which a measure of great public | Because you deem experieuce to be of the greatest importance must occasion, and also to enable the importance. In short, every reason points to an people to detect the fallacy under which the acts increase, instead of a lessening of the term. of the government might be veiled, as to their Were it not for the belief that a change is not real motives. It was asked, “ Can a fair judg. demanded, and is perhaps not expected, the comment of the motives, or of the effect of measures, mittee would have deemed it advisable to have be made in a few months or a year ?" Surely extended the term to three or four years, as most not, and a term of three years would even be conducive to the best interests and welfare of the sometimes necessary, to enable the people fairly State. As to the Lieutenant-Governor, it was to judge of the effect of many measures. But it suggested to us by a few members of the Con. was argued that extremes must not be resorted vention, to consider the propriety of abolishing to, and jealousies would be aroused on the part that office, and devolving its duties upon the of the people, by weakening the responsi- President of the Senate. A few of the States bility to them of their public officers. have such a provision in their Constitution, but These and various other reasons, not neces- they are mostly of the smaller States in point of sary to detail, operated upon the minds of territory and population. In most of the States the framers of the Constitution of 1821, and they that officer is retained. With us it was thought adopted the term of two years. This was again advisable not to make an alteration in that par. confirmed by the action of the Convention of 1846, ticular. The Governor is elected by the whole and has thus continued to the present time. After people, and represents and takes care of the interdue reflection, the committee have concluded potests of the whole State; 80 should the Lieutenantto recommend an extension of the term in the Governor, who, in case of the resignation or death proposed new Constitution. If they had deemed jof the Governor, is to fill his place and discharge it advisable they certainly would have recom- his duties. The President of the Senate is a Senmended an increase, instead of a decrease, in the ator elected by a district, and represents the imterm of office. Our State has vastly increased in mediate interests of his own constituency, who point of consequence, wealth and resources since would be deprived of their representative for the the days of the Constitutions referred to. With time being, when he acted as Lieutenant-Gova populatiou of 4,000,000, and rapidly increasing, ernor. In such capacity he would not be a State its wants and interests need the most careful ex-officer elected by the whole people, and not a ereise and vigilance of executive power and in- proper representative of their interests. It is fluence. The single clause that the Governor true, in case of the occurrence of the unusual and must take care that the laws are faithfully exe- improbable contingency of a vacancy occasioned cuted, is of itself of the utmost importance. In by the death or disability of both Governor and order to discharge this duty correctly, the incum- Lieutenant-Governor, he would then act as Gov. bent must be well acquainted with the laws of error; but this would only ariso under the absothe State and the various and almost innumerable i lute necessity of such a peculiar case, which has statutes bearing upon his duties. He is to com- never yet, I believe, occurred. So much for the munica:e to the Legislature at every session the first section. The second section, which is also condition of the State, and recommend such mea copied from the Constitution of 1846, I pass ove: sures as he shall deem expedient. In the report as needing no comment. It has, I believe, of the committee they say: "He shall communi- met with universal approbation, and needs cate by message to the Legislature at every ses no observation. So likewise with the third sion the condition of the State, and recommend section; it needs no comment or explanation. such measures to them as he shall judge expe- The fourth section is like the present Constitution, dient. He shall transact all necessary business with but few amendments, and I will ask the with the officers of Government, civil and mili. attention of the committee for a short time tary. He shall expedite all such measures as may to it. We recommend that the compensation of be resolved upon by the Legislature, and shall the Governor be first fixed by the Legislature at take care that the laws are faithfully executed." its first session after the adoption of the proposed He is to correspond with the general government Constitution. The reasons for this provision, I and the government of the several States. He believe, are sufficiently stated in the brief preface must be well acquainted with our criminal code. which the committee have appended to their His duties, in short, are numerous and compli- report. They have said there as follows: "While cated, requiring the utmost sagacity, care and your committee are fully of the opinion that the vigilance. Men competent for this station are not present compensation is far less than the Chief to be found in every place, and when selected Magistrate of the Empire State should be entitled they would not be likely to accept the office if to receive, they believe it not wise or expedient limited to a single year, and hardly for two years, to name or determine its amount in the Constituand the office might be brought into disrepute if tion, but have proposed that it be first fixed by the the term was too short. Again, time for the Legislature at its first session after the adoption calming down of excitement and prejudice would of this Constitution, in order that it may not be afford the people an opportuuity of judging dis- subject to the caprices and temptations of legislapassionately. Experience, too, is of the greatest tive enactment after the election of the successful importance in discharging with ability and success candidate or during his continuance in office." No the duties of the office. You elect your Senators one will be likely under these circumstances to for two years, and by the motion adopted yester- seek the office in reference to the salury, nor can day for four years. You elect your judges for a any individual be corruptly or desiguedly apperiod of eight years and four years, and why? 'proached by reason of its proposed increase, in
order to obtain the sanction f the Executive in doubtedly favor us with a report doing ample favor of any improper O. odious measures,justice to that subject. The sixth section, which for a reward to be giver by an increased is the fifth in our report, relates to impeachment, salary. The committee di i not deem it and describes the powers and duties of the Gov. expedient to name or determi..e the amount of ernor and Lieutenant-Governor. We come now the salary in this section, as the currency, particu to the section fixing the compensation of the larly at the present period, is s.) constantly and Lieutenant - Governor. This we have recom. greatly fluctiiating. It would, in many respects, mended should be determined in the same man. have been unwise to do so. We were finally of her as that of the Governor, and we have added opinion that it was most advisable to leave the the clause, that he shall be entitled to receive no sum to the wisdom and discretion of the Legisla- other or further fees or compensation. Under ture. We have ventured the remark, however, the present law he receives as Lieutenant-Govthat the present compensation is far less than the ernor six dollars per day and mileage, while actChief Magistrate of the Empire State should be ing in that capacity. He is, however, by virtue entitled to receive, in the hope and belief that it of his office, would carry with it the weight of the Conven 1. A commissioner of the canal fund. tion and perhaps exert a favorable influence on 2. A member of the canal board. the future deliberations of that body on this im. 3. A commissioner of the land office, and cusportant subject. It is well known, indeed univer- todian of the old State hall. gally conceded, that the present salary does not 4. Trustee of the State capitol. approach to a payment of the expenses of the 5. Trustee of the new State hall. Executive. It is not honorable to the great For all the services which he performs in these State of New York, nor, it is believed, gratifying several departments, it has been deemed that he to the pride of lier people, that her Governor shall is entitled to receive a per diem allowance and be obliged to defray, in a great measure, his own traveling fees, and it has been the practice for him expenses. No one but a wealthy citizen can to charge and receive these several allowances. afford to assume the high and responsible duties Under these circumstances, it has been one of the of her chief magistracy; and it is not commenda- best paying offices in the State, and has amounted ble to our public reputation or standing that this to a sum far exceeding the compensation of the current and standing reproach should be con. Governor, without incurring the great expenses tinued and constantly thrown upon us-that we vecessarily charged upon that officer. In the do not support our Goverlor. In the war case of one incumbent of that office, the records of 1812, while our State was under the di. show that he received a compensation not far rection of Daniel D. Tompkins as Governor, short, if not exceeding $10,000, in a single year, it is well known that he expended a fortune and yet it was deemed advisable to pay the in defraying the expenses of his office. I recur to charges, inasmuch as he was constructively enA more recent instance, of the late lamented titled to them. This, it is believed, was never the Silas Wright; who was obliged to trench upon intention of the Legislature, and yet as the per ois own purse
not very well filled, upfor. diem as Lieutenant-Governor was only placed at tunately for him and his family--in supporting six dollars per day, it was perhaps thought that hat dignity of station and respectability of office he would receivo something in addition to that which I believe he ever sustained. I am proud, sum, as payment for the discharge of his duties in is a citizen of this State, to recur to the manner other relations to the government. This should in which the diguity of that office was sustained not be-a fair, full and ample compensation by him. We should make all due haste to remedy should be fixed by law, beyond which he should the evil and right the wrong. Our population is not be remunerated, nor should he be left to the more than the whole number of the United States calculation of constructive mileage and per diem at the organization of the general government. allowance, in so many different phases. It is The President at the time was entitled to $25,000. hoped that the Convention, and the people There are niany presidents of corporations, where through it, will correct the evil. I have now their duties are small and not at all as onerous as reached the last section of the article which we the duties of the Executive of our State, and in-propose, and that in many respects is perhaps tho stonces are not rare where they receive salaries most important one of any that we have proposed often and fifteen thousand dollars a year, to amend. It is that in relation to the veto while our own Executive, burdened with services power. It may have been supposed that this the great duty of sustaining himself as Gov. branch belonged to another committee, who are ernor of the great State of New York, is to define specifically the powers and duties of left with a pittance which is almost nameless. the Legislature. We, however, concluded that it But enough on this subject. I have put forth was a part of the duty assigned to us, and we these remarks, not, perhaps, as exactly applica- were strengthened moreover in that conviction ble, except so far as to express the sense of the when we were presented with two different reso. Convention, and to express their belief that the lutions on this subject, referred to our committeo Legislature will take ample care of a matter so for consideration, and on which we were inimportant. The fifth section of the present Constructed to report. As we remark in our report, stitution relates to the pardoning power, which "this amendment your committee believe that has been referred to another committee, and they cannot recommend too strongly to the favor though somewhat connected with the matters re- of the Convention. It is unnecessary to enter ferred to us, we have not thought it advisable to into details of the reasons for its expediency or treat of it in our report. That committee will un- I propriety. They will readily commend them.
selves to the minds of the Convention. The re-forced upon my mind that the idea which prevails quirement will not only serve as a more sure among the people is true. In a couversation that protection against all fraud and corruption which I had not many years since with a member of the may be attempted on the part of those interested House of Assembly, representing one of our first in the passage of the bills, but will no doubt counties, he gave me a piece of information which greatly relieve the Executive from ceaseless I will impart for the benefit of two or three gentleand incessant importunities and temptations, to men who ask these questions. I inquired of himn which the unscrupulous and designing are ever how it was possible that the minds of men who are ' ready to resort." Again, sir, they say, “ By the known to be opposed to bills on their passage
existing Constitution no bill can be passed unless before his body had become suddenly converted, by the assent of a majority of all the members He said: “It is a matter of almost every day elected to each House; and yet, if the Governor occurrence. There is one case within my own shall object, each House, on a reconsideration, may knowledge where a member was approached by a approve of such bills, by a vote of two-thirds of person interested in the passage of a bill, in all the members present." Thus, for instance, the these words: “Now, here I am, very anxious to objections of the Governor may go back to the secure the passage of this bill by the LegislaSenate, and seventeen of that body constitute a ture. It is a matter of minor importance and quorum for the consideration of bills which are personal interest. It is a matter in which the objected to by the Governor. Two-thirds of that interests of the State are not very deeply conquorum-less than a majority of all which will he cerned, and I should like very much to have your required to pass a bill originally-may override vote in favor of its passage. There certainly can the Governor's veto, and send the bill to the House be no harm, You will not affect the interests of for coucurrence. We supposed, in the first in your constituency at all, or those of the State. stance, that the Convention of 1846 had over. I shoul1 be very much pleased if the looked this inccnsistency, and that it had inad. passage of the bill could be effected." Nothing vertently bien suffered to remain in the Constitu- more was said, but the next morning very mystetion, but on looking at the debates and proceed- riously that member found in his post-office box ings of the Convention, we find that it was the an envelope, inside of which was a one hundred subject of much discussion. While all intention to dollar greenback, without a word of explanation destroy the veto power was denied, and it was upon the subject. Nothing was said whence is conceded that it should be rolained to prevent ill- came, or for what purpose it was intended. But, considered and hasty legislatiou, it was thought said my informant, the mind of that individual advisable to permit the Legislature to override it, became suddenly converted, and in two or three after receiving the objections, by a two-thirds vote days, when the bill came up for the third reading, of those present. Yet the majority differed from he voted for its passage. I said, "Why was not the views of the minority, and it was finally that man exposed ?" He said that the member adopted as it exists now in the present Con informed him of the fact of his having received stitution, thus leaving the inconsisiency which the one hundred dollars, and asked him for adI have endeavored to expose, to prevail as it now vice as to what he should do upon the subject, does. I believe the amendment that requires a and that he advised him to bring it to the attenvote of two-thirds of all the members elected to tion of the Speaker of the House, in his place, the each House ought to prevail, and I trust it will next morning. The gentleman thought it was not prevail in the minds of this committee. If ever advisable to do so, but that he would have the it was necessary as a safeguard, it surely is at privilege of sending it to a religious institution. the present day. It has been remarked that there it was accordingly so done, and the gentleman's has been corruption; it has been frequently re-conscience, if it was affected at all, was salved marked apon the floor of this Convention, during over by the remedy which he provided. If its sittings, and I sincerely believe such is the the gentlemen want another instance I will prevailing opinion throughout the length and give one more without delaying the committee breadth of this State, that there is corruption, too long. It was asked during the last session that there has been corruption, among our public of the Legislature how a certaiu Senator was as officials and members of the Legislature of the to his integrity and morality, and whether it State. Is there not great reason for entertaining was believed that by tying $5,000 over his eyes, such a belief? "By their fruits ye shall know it would enable him to see more openly the prothem" is an old sentence which commends itself priety of overriding the Governor's veto to a to us all and which has been approved ever since certain railroad bill. The question was asked ; it was uttered by Him who spake as never said my informant, “ I told him he must answer man spake. Look at our mammoth and huge his own questions." Whether the attempt was corporations at the present day, which can ex- made or not I am unable to determine. One genpend any amount of money to secure the passage tleman remarked yesterday that in case these of bills. Gentlemen on the floor very gravely great corruptions were going on, why should not and seriously, when they have been talking about the Governor prorogue the Legislature as was these charges of corruption, ask for the evidence. doue during the session of 1812, and when the Why, the evidence exists, sir, in such a manner enormous frauds elicited on that occasion, certainly that he who runs may read. Do the gentlemen who entitled the Governor to use that power. Why, ask these questions ask any proof from me upon this does not my friend remember, or had it escaped him subject. It is a subject on which I do that by the Constitution of 1777 the Governor had not willingly enter. It is an unpleasant mat- the power to prorogue the Legislature for a ter to me, but at the same time the conviction is period not exceeding the term of sixty days, that
Daniel D. Tompkins, by virtue of the power, rise above all partisap considerations and above given by the Constitution of 1777, prorogued that all party feelings, and do what I might in unison corrupt Legislature, and for which he has been and in connection with my brethren to make a thanked a great many times. By the Constitution Constitution which shall redound to the benefit of 1821 that power was withheld from the Gover- and good of the whoie people. Let us, then, so nor, and again by the Constitution of 1846 it was act in reference to the provisions which we will withheld from him, and he has 10 power to pro-adopt as will enable us to reflect and say that we rogue the Legislature. You have got to protect are not ashamed to have been a member of the this power in some other way-by this veto Convention of 1867, power which the committee recommend. Now, Mr. S. TOWNSEND — The suggestion of the sir, the propriety and safety of this veto power committee in favor of proposing to give more was demonstrated during the last session of strength to the veto power, is an admirable one. the Legislature. Look at the pile of bills wish the committee had gone further, and inthat
the tables of our members stead of saying two-thirds, had required three. during the last year. But for the timely fourths of the members elected to pass a bill over interposition of the Governor's veto the peo- the Governor's veto. people of the State of New York to-day would A DELEGATE — The gentleman from Queens have been living under a State tax of more than (Mr. S. Townsend) is referring to a subject emten mills on the dollar, while even now it will braced on the eighth section-not the one under exceed the sum of seveu mills. We should look consideration. to it to see that the interests of our State are pro Mr. S. TOWNSEND-I shall speak of the
that our own individual interests are pro- first section. The committee will remember that teçted, and protected by the timely exercise of the Convention yesterday agreed, by a very con
But, sir, it is not this alone. The siderable majority, to extend the term of office for alarıniny state of public morals at the present day State Senators to four years. We have an calls upon us to guard well this veto power. We analogy then in the term of office of United need but to take up the papers of the day to read States Senators being six years, and the chief evidences of the declension of public morals. executive office of the United States being four The standard of public morality has long been years. I would amend this first section by insert irailing in the dust. Officers in high stations of ing in lieu of the words "two years" the words trust and responsibility are continually proving three years," so that the term of office of the criminals, and destroying the confidence and Governor shall be three years. There is no occaproperty of thousands and thousands of those sion to dilate upon the reasons why the principle who have placed confidence in them, and de- of a farther extension of the time of service posited their little all for safe keeping, in would add to the importance of the ofice. Yet, their hands, and many a widow and orphan if the propriety of devolving upon local boards has been reduced to poverty in the last ten years of county, town and city officers is not adopted who had a competency which would have taken under the action of some appropriate committee, care of them for life and solaced their declining I should then favor a shorter term than four years years to the grave, and have been cast upon the for Senators, and I should also favor a two years' cold charities of a heartless world for the bread service for Governor. It would be better that necessary for their support. I am no alarmist or the election of Governor, and the election of propliet of evil, but I may be permitted to remark Senator, should take place at different times, and that if as a nation or a people we are to pursue the for periods of office. This idea of separating in same downward course which has characterized us as nany distinct questions and different issues as for the last ten years, we shall approach the fate possible, is a favorite one to my mind, and one which befel the republics which have preceded that I have attempted often to sustain. With
Let us endeavor to profit by past experience reference to the difficulty of the submission of and by the lessons of history. Let us endeavor various points, I think we should endeavor to to guard well our public and private institutions thus prepare and submit them to the consideraand our public morality. Let us do what we can tion of our constituents. A gentleman stated on lo stem the tide which is rushing upon us with a this floor that in another State (Masaachusetts) velocity calculated to endanger and destroy us as nine separate propositions were thus presented. a people. Let us preserve this safeguard against What was valuable in them we could succeed in the corruption of inconsiderate and unprincipled preserving. From the first day of October to the legislation. Let us stay it by every means in our November election would give ample time for the power.
I came here, sir, as a member of this electors of intelligence in the State of New York, body for that purpose; and came here to do what who I believe are daily advancing in their knowlI might, in connection with those with whom I edge and fitness to discuss and decide questions act, to correct the evils which prevail in our State. of large importance. We have the advantage of · As regards myself, sir, and some other members of education, the dissemination of knowledge, the this Convention, we have passed the meridian of electric telegraph, and above all the newspaper life; we have no aspirations but to do our duty press, affording the means for much more than for the benefit of those who come after us. usual opportunity for reflection and consideration For myself I feel as if the few declining years on the part of our constituency than has over that are left to me should be devoted not to my before existed in our State. I say that I should self, not for myself, nor for my own interests, but be willing, even if we rise from our deliberations, for the interest of posterity. It is for that reason having succeeded with fifteen different proposi. I came here as a member of this body, resolved.to/tions as the result of our labors, if we adjourn at