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had not be po med have been Through thereth the meer hy by the State Bano enhang
last winter had not been vetoed by the companies who were, by that means, make, and thereby enhance the value of Governor, the result would have been enabled to go on and finish them. their lands, twenty-five, fifty, or one very disastrous to the people of this Through that loss on the part of the hundred per cent. Now, would it be State. And I think that a large ma- State, through the means which were unjust to make these persons pay their jority of the people of this State con- thus contributed indirectly by the State proportion of the tax which will result cur in the propriety of those vetoes, to construct these roads for the benefit in enhancing the value of their lands? and now see that they were right of the older counties of the State, Or if you adopt the principle of the
Mr. CHAPIN. I wish to make a those counties are to-day enjoying the gentleman from Cass, and say we have remark or two on the proposition now blessings and the prosperity which is no right to impose this tax for this before the committee. I shall vote for the result to them from those great purpose, then what will be the result ? the 'amendment of the gentleman from means of communication. But we in the citizens residing there must take Tuscola (Mr. HUSTON) to the amend the newer portions of the State are their last penny to make these improvement offered by the gentleman from still in the woods; we have no such' ments, and thus enhance the value of Kent, (Mr. M. C. WATKINS;) not so means of communication. Now, we the lands held by these other persons, much in the hope that the amendment do not ask you to do anything for us; without any sort of remuneration from will pass, as for the purpose of ex- we simply ask that you will allow us them for that benefit. There is where pressing my views in regard to what to do for ourselves." We ask that you the injustice is; there is where the should be the limitation in this section. will allow us to tax ourselves to a wrong exists. I apprehend the true question before reasonable extent to promote our own. But adopt the principle recognized : the committee is merely the question improvement. Is that unreasonable? by the section as reported by the comas to the amount which these munici- I ask gentlemen if there is any danger mittee, to allow these townships and palities shall be permitted to vote to be apprehended to the rights of the other municipalities to tax themselves, for the purpose of aiding railroads, older counties, or to the rights of any- to impose this burden upon the tax . plank roads, and other roads in their body, if we are thus permitted to tax able property of the townships, for this: respective localities. The gentleman ourselves for our own benefit, and for purpose, and you will do justice to all. from Kent (Mr. M. C. WATKINS) has our own improvement ? I really hope Every man's property will be enhanced argued that five per cent. Was suffi- that the committee of the whole will in value, and every man will contrib. cient for this purpose; that it would not adopt the amendment of the gen- ute in proportion to the value of his raise an amount amply sufficient. I tleman from Kent, (Mr. M. C. War- property towards that which will en have a very high respect for the opin- KINS.) The five per cent which his hance its value. No injustice is done,
permitted to differ from him now. I have already remarked, would not be citizens, but a great good is accomthink five per cent. would be an entirely worth the trouble it would take in our plished.
: inadequate amount. I think that in new counties to assemble together as I really hope this body will take no our new counties that amount would township organizations and vote. back action upon this subject. I feel be next to nothing; it would not be The gentleman from Ingham, (Mr. a deep interest in this question; my. worth the trouble of voting it; it would LONGYEAR,) in the very able argument constituents feel a deep interest in it. do nothing toward the improve- which he made upon this subject, illus- It is a matter of vital importance to all. ments which it is the object of trated it in the proper way. He showed the new counties of the State. We are this section to authorize townships to my mind conclusively, and I appre- struggling there for existence; we have and other municipalities to aid. I hend to the minds of this Convention, every obstacle to overcome. I ask in must say that I should be ashamed that every aid that is voted for these God's name that this Convention will to go home to my constituents, and improvements is paid back treble and not throw any additional obstacle in say that this Convention had restrict- quadruple into the pockets of those our way, will not hamper us by this ed them in this respect to the paltry who vote. There can be no possible kind of legislation, for it is legislation, sum of five per cent. upon their as- danger that we will be injuring our- and a kind of legislation that should sessed valuation. I believe that the selves by voting this aid. We will be not be permitted to go into the Conadoption of a provision of that kind enhancing the value of every man's stitution of this state. This Convenwould do more to organize opposition to property, besides obtaining for him tion is asked to go aside from its the new Constitution, and to defeat its and for ourselves the benefit of these proper course, for the purpose of hamadoption, than any other one provision improvements which we thus propose pering these new counties, and tying we could insert in it. I should feel to aid.
their hands, throwing obstacles in constrained myself to vote against it; If you adopt the principle so ably their way, to prevent their improveand I believe my constituents would argued by the the gentleman from Cass, ment and development. : I ask you not vote against it with such a provision. |(Mr. VAN RIPER,) to which I cannot to do this; if you cannot do anything
It would be unjust to us, who are la- subscribe, in what position do you for us, at least do not prevent us from boring under every difficulty, to say place the new counties? In those doing something for ourselves. * that we shall raise only the paltry sum new counties from one-third to Mr. W. A. SMITH. If the princiof five per cent. upon our assessed one-half of the real estate is to-day ple is correct that the majority has the valuation, in order to secure the means owned by speculators, men who are to- right to tax the minority to aid in the of communication between our region day holding possession of those lands, construction of railroads, then I hold and other portions of the State.' When who stand there like dogs in the man- that there should be no limit upon that .: you look at the previous history of this ger, and will neither sell nor permit power. If the principle be correct, State, you must see that it would be anybody to occupy or improve those then why not permit the townships and unjust for gentleman to take that posi- lands, nor do it themselves. And why the municipalities to raise any amount tion in reference to us. Two great do they follow this course? It is in that they may think necessary to aid railroads were constructed, or partially the hope that the public spirited citi- the railroads which they need in their constructed, by the means of the State. zens of the locality where their lands vicinity? The same amount that would After a time these railroads were sold lie, will make these improvements be adequate for the wants of one secfor much less than their actual cost to which we now ask to be permitted to ition of the State, would not be sufli
raise upozocure the regionele imbo and to occhi hiemaseburgerited cita
cient for another. In the counties of Mr. BURTCH. I propose to make increased by the advantages that he
Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, and oth- a few remarks upon the question be- now possesses. By means of prevent: er old counties, where there is three fore the committee, and I hope that ing: us from having similar advantages,
times the amount of property that the committee will indulge me just a he can always hold us in his political there is in any of the new counties, few minutes in some preliminary re- grasp. By cutting off the right of the there could be raised by any percent- marks...
people to make these internal improveage a much greater amount in the ag- The CHAIRMAN. The question is ments, we would be left a sparsely setgregate than could be raised in the upon striking out “five," and inserting tled community, and the southern porback counties and townships. But I "twenty," in the amendment of the tion of the State would always have do not hold that the principle is a cor- gentleman from Kent, (Mr. M. O. control over the northern part. rect one, that a bare majority in one WATKINS.)
The interests of townships in conof the towns or cities of this State has Mr. BURTCH. Yes, sir; I know nection with this matter are varied, the right to bind the minority, and to that. It has been said by some that I according to the circumstances which take from them their property for that was a “come-by-chance," so far as surround them. Take for instance one purpose.
being a member of this Convention is township which has in itself resources But we are told that there will be concerned. Now, I hold that a “come- which other townships have not. For no rights taken from the minority in by-chance." is just as good as a legiti- the purpose of developing those resourthis way. Now how would this propo- mate person, at least so far as he him-ces it may be a very great advantage sition operate? A majority of but one self is concerned. It was stated that I to that township to make large expendin a township or city might control was opposed to railroad interests, itures for the purpose, because it the entire property of that township and therefore a very scanty vote would by that means develop its hidden or city for this purpose. But gentle- was given to me. Now I am in treasures, and it perhaps could develop men claim that the majority have the favor of railroads, and in favor them by no other means. The townright to judge for the minority in such of the right of the people to ship where I reside is an illustration of a case. Do you not permit the minor- build railroads. I propose first, to that fact. In it are hidden treasures; ity to have any rights? Would you speak of the right in its legal sensē; there is deposited there a large amount not permit the minority to say whether the right of the majority of the people of building sandstone as good as any they were ready to build a railroad or to tax, the minority for that purpose. to be found in any other place. There not, as much so as in relation to any That question has been mooted here; are hundreds and thousands of tons of other matter that pertains to their and although I may not be regarded as good paint there; there are hundreds interest ? Sir, the idea is an absurdity, speaking to the question now pending, and thousands of tons of coal there, that the majority can and should rule I think it best to answer the objection, of a quality not surpassed anyin all cases. We know that in our po- if I am able to do so. Now, the same where, as far as I know, within litical affairs the majority do rule; but arguments which have been used here the borders of the State of Michigan. so far as pertains to taking a man's to show that the majority have no right Now, I hold that the interests of the private property for public use, I hold to control the property of the minority, township of Oneida would be enthat the majority have no such rights. apply to the building of highways and hanced, if a railroad could be brought I presume I could get up a petition, bridges, and to the promotion of the there to develop these resources, short with a little manæuvering, to have the educational interests of the community of an outlay of fifty per cent. of all its gentleman hanged. Yet that gentle- My friend from Cass, (Mr. VAN RIPER,) taxable property. It would even then man, having committed no crime, I said that it was for the purpose of sav- be of great advantage to make such an hold that in such a case the majority ing the people from doing wrong that investment. After we had made that should not rule.
t h e urged his proposition. As an indi-outlay we would then be richer by I know that we are an excitable peo- vidual, I have a right to save myself; fifty per cent than we now are. I find ple; sometimes we have a plank road and as an individual, I have no right that, instead of the people being too fever; sometimes we are willing to in- to destroy myself, nor have I a right to lavish and free in opening their pursevest our all in shanghae chickens; some-destroy my neighbor. Where there is strings for the public welfare, they are times it is one thing, sometimes an- a train of circumstances that renders it too parsimonious and penurious. I other. Now, the railroad fever rages; necessary in order to make public im- have known men in a township where and when that fever is at its height, I provements, in order to save some rusty it was proposed to raise a sum by know you might get a majority in a old fogy, and make him rich by thou- tax, merely for the purpose of great many instances to vote away, not sands, when he is now only rich by getting dockets for the justice of only the rights of the minority, but hundreds, it is my right, in saving my- the peace, vote against it year even their own rights. How many self, to save him also.
after year. I have seen them vote plank roads built in this State when Now, I am for the greatest possible against a proposition to buy a chain the plank road fever rages, have latitude, so far as the rights of com- which was necessary for the commis-. met the expectations of those who con- munities are concerned. When you sioners of highways to measure out the structed them? Not more than one come to townships they are the small- work which had to be done. After out of three has done it. And so it may est communities recognized as a port having been driven out of the township be with railroads. You may in this tion of our government, under the where I formerly lived, because of the Way encumber the property of persons Constitution. A township is a commuparsimony of those there, I now have in the townships, so that they never nity of so limited a: character, that no an utter abhorrence of this idea of can rid themselves of the burden. I great internal improvement can be per- taking away from the people the right hold to the doctrine, that if men wish formed in it without inuring largely to to save themselves, and to build up to invest all the property they have in the benefit and interest of the entire and promote their own interests. I railroads, they can do so. Let them township. My friend from Cass, would saw something of this during the war. subscribe all they please; let them aid wind himself up of course, until he The people had their hands tied, and and assist so far as they please. But was satisfied that he had all the bene- if their throats were to be cut from do not compel anybody to do it, who fits and privileges of railroads that any ear to ear, they could not get their sannot see thatit is going to be a bene-man desires. His political influence is hands loose to prevent it. They could ..." fit. That is my doctrine.
rond business other day that I was But under consideLENICE. I do not or parte a farm
not raise a single dollar for the pur-| the frontier settlers are in a bad condi- residents of this state. They have no pose of getting men for the army, only tion in that regard. Hence, I would interest in the prosperity of the par as they importuned the Legislature to go as high as ten per cent., although I ticular localities, where these lands are. grant to them what they should have said the other day that I would not go lexcept in the enhancement of the value possessed of their own right. I do for more than five per cent. I'think of their lands. But the people who hope that the members of this Conven-| that probably the people in the new reside there are suffering for the want tion will take a more enlarged view of counties of the State would raise ten of proper communication between this subject, and leave the people more per cent., and a portion of the tax those localities and the markets of the free; leave them to judge for them- would come from those who held State. The question arises whether. selves of their own interests. Let us these lands, and thereby they there is any injustice done by levying a respect thật great and fundamental would be made to assist in these tax upon the property of the township, principle, that a free people are capa- improvements. I am willing to vote consequently levying it upon these ble of self-government.
for any provision to restrict the Legis- lands, which will be enhanced in value Mr. SHEARER. I have but one lature hereafter from going beyond by the imposition of this tax for this word to say in relation to this subject. certain bounds. I know the difficul- purpose. So far as I am acquainted, I have heard it mentioned by several ties which were experienced here last the people of the State ask for this gentlemen that it would be necessary winter. Millions and millions of dol- provision in the Constitution; or rather to restrict the Legislature in its action lars would have been thrown to they ask that there shall be no provishereafter, by naming in the Constitu- the winds, if it had not been for the ion inserted here in regard to the mattion a certain per centage, beyond vetoes of our venerable and excellent ter, because they believe it can be which the Legislature should not allow Governor. I hope that gentlemen of properly left to the Legislature to say any township or city to go, in levying the committee, when they come to vote what shall be done in the premises. taxes for this purpose. I believe that on this question, will restrict the Leg- For my own part, I believe it could be is wise. I know that during last win-islature hereafter to a certain per cent safely left to the Legislature. If any ter, when the railroad interest came up age. I will go as high as ten per cent; portion of the people of this State feel in the Legislature, it made considerable I would not be willing to go any that it would enhance the value of their difficulty and caused many vetoes. I higher; I think twenty per cent. would property and be beneficial to them if am for restricting the Legislature here- be too much. I wish to be consistent; they are allowed to aid in the construcafter in relation to this subject. That that is why I speak now. I thought tion of railroads, then let the Legislaseems to be the main point; to adopt the other day that five per cent. would ture pass a special enactment for their some principle in this Constitution, be enough. However, I am impressed special benefit. whereby the Legislature hereafter shall to think that if these improvements If you should carry out to its legitinot be allowed to run wild in the rail- should be made by the State itself, and mate consequences the principle which road business; that is the main point. bonds issued, it would probably be some gentlemen advocate here, then
I said the other day that I was wil- better. But that is not the subject you would say to a man that he should ling to go as high as five per cent. But under consideration.
not be allowed to change the business I am convinced that if we set the princi- Mr. LAWRENCE. I do not expect in which he is engaged. For instance, ple at ten per cent. it would probably be to occupy much of the time of this a farmer looks over all his affairs, and all that is necessary. I would not be committee in this discussion, as my concludes that it would be better for: willing to vote for a proposition to go sentiments have been placed before this him to change his business and go into as high as twenty per cent. Hence I Convention by others in a much better the mercantile business. But accordwill vote for the five per cent., and if way than I could do it myself. Did I ing to these gentlemen, this Constituthe question should then come up on not represent a portion of the people tional Convention should say to him---the ten per cent., I would be willing to of this State who were looking with “My dear sir, you have not the qualigo for that. I think there should be most intense interest to see what dis- fication necessary for a man to go into something in the Constitution to pre- position we will make of this matter, the mercantile business; you are . vent the Legislature from going here. I would not now trouble this commit- not acquainted with that kind i after to extremes in railroading busi- tee of the whole, with a single word of business, and if you gộ into ness. I think probably, as the gentle- upon this subject. I must say that I it you may lose all the property you man from Gratiot (Mr. CHAPIN) has cannot see the force of the argument now have. You never could compete said, ten per cent. would be nothing made here, that the people of the State with the sharp business men of the . more than right for the newer regions should not have the right to impose State; you are not competent for it, of the State, from the fact that the as- burdens upon themselves, when they and you will find it to your disadvansessed valuation of property in those conceive it to be for their interest to tage. Therefore, we will insert a pro- . counties is not equal to that in the do so. The strongest argument that vision in the Constitution of the State older counties; hence, ten per cent. has been adduced here on the other prohibiting you from obtaining perwould probably not be too much, es- side, I conceive has been presented by mission to go into such a business; you pecially as the most of the land in the the gentleman from Cass, (Mr. VAN must remain a farmer all the days of new counties is held by speculators, RIPER,) notwithstanding his youth. your life; there is no choice left for and this might induce them to allow And this argument was presented in a you." And you might carry the prinactual settlers to purchase their lands, very modest manner for the considera-ciple still further, and say that the and go into that part of the State. tion of this Convention, although I investment of money in railroad stocks
I know something about the trouble may not view the subject in the light was a hazardous experiment for any which our friends are in there. They that he does .
man to make, who was not a ráilroad are, obliged to go into the woods, where. As the gentleman from Gratiot, (Mr man of long experience, or a man of they find themselves surrounded by CHAPIN,) has stated, the people along capital. You might as well insert in lands owned by men from the east and the routes of proposed railroads are this Constitution a provision prohibitelsewhere, who will not sell any of the surrounded by immense quantities of ing any individual, unless he had a lands, but keep them for the occupation land owned by persons who do not re- certain amount of property, from in- : of the wild beasts of the forest, while side there, and who perhaps are not vesting it in railroad stocks, for féar le
of propel that incent. 19
: . .
would hazard his property for all future township to say that your property, or locality require or justify the constructime. .
::: my property, or any other man's prop- tion of a railroad, there a railroad, *. Why should a Constitutional Conven- erty shall take such a direction as the properly constructed, is a great public tion assume the guardianship of the majority of the electors of that town- blessing to the community. But, citizens of this state, and dictate to ship shall determine, then I say that we where it is not authorized by the nethem what kind of property they shall have entirely mistaken the office of cessities of the community, then, like invest their money in? I do not pre- that township, when we have given it any other unfortunate adventure, it is tend to deny but what sometimes the the general impress which has been not a blessing, but a curse. case might arise where some minority put upon it here, or the general im- Now, how shall these railroads be . would be injured by allowing à tax of press which it has received from the constructed ? It is proposed by this this kind to be imposed. But is there various statutes of the State.
section to let the credit of townships 'any general law upon the statute books You might just as well assume that be pledged to aid in the construction which does not at some time or other it is the office of the electors of the of railways. This, in my judgment, give some persons reason to complain township to determine what particular means debt. It means debt with all of its operation? I do not think any business shall be done in the township. its blessings and with all its curses. one will claim but that this is the case, There are gentlemen upon this floor Now, I do not believe very much in and with these few remarks I will con- who, I have no sort of doubt, are exer- the blessing of debt. It is the easiest clude what I have to say. . cising various functions in these town- thing in the world to run into debt;
Mr. LOTHROP. I do not feel very ships. Why should not the electors of anybody can do it. I can do it myself; able to discuss this question this morn- these townships determine just as well and I never saw a neighbor who could ing, not feeling at all well physically. what part of their capital shall be de- not do it; I never saw a community i But I desire to submit to this commit- voted to farming in these townships ? that could not do it. It is one of the tee some few ideas on this subject. I I take it there is no question that there most delightful operations in the am an earnest and sincere friend of is a great deal of bad farming, and if world. A friend near me suggests internal improvements in the form of we could have all farming done well, it that there are some men who cannot railroads. If it rested at all with me, would improve the whole property of. be trusted to any great extent; but I I would bring a railroad to every man's the town. What right has my neigh- never saw a man in my life who could door. But there are very many bless- bor to conduct his farming interest not run into debt to a certain extent. ings that I would be glad to enjoy my- poorly? Do not my interests require There is not a township in this State self, and there are many which I would that his farming shall be done well? that cannot run into debt to a certain be very glad to impart to others, which Will not gentlemen say that it is for extent. But you must recollect that it would be perfectly utopian to expect the public interest that all the farming when you run into debt, that debt that either I myself, or my neighbor in any town should be done well? means debt. :) should enjoy.
And, therefore, why should not a tax I regard this matter of indebtedness, This matter of building railroads is be levied to provide each farmer with whether National, State, city or town, a matter of great interest, both to the capital, in order that he may do his as one of the most serious questions public and to individuals. It is a farming well? For the reason that that is likely to be pressed upon us matter of great financial concern, be- that is not the object of that municipal now or hereafter. It is one of those cause no railroad can be either built or organization.
great questions that are going to tax operated, unless it stands on a sound I have a profound conviction that the master minds of the community: financial foundation. I do not suppose the financial and general well-being of It will tax them to prevent that indebtthe question before this committee is a town depends largely upon institu- edness, whether National, State or múat all whether railroads are desirable tions of a religious character. Yet, nicipal, from bearing down the interor undesirable. But the specific ques- we all agree that it is no part of the ests of the country. And he who shall tion is, what part shall the primal object of a municipal organization to solve that great problem which lies bemunicipalities of this State take in construct churches, or to aid in sus- fore us, he who will be able to bear them? I think there is a very pro- taining them. :
our interest safely through the crushfound fallacy in the assertion that the Yet, some of our friends have said ing weight of debt, will be the great question is, whether individuals shall upon this floor that a railroad is like a statesman to whom the people should be permitted to invest their money as highway; and the construction and erect a column higher than any other they may desire. I would allow men maintenance of highways and bridges that shall be erected to any other name. to invest their money just as they are left in charge of the township I look at this matter of the indebtedplease, wherever they live, or whatever authorities. Sir, a railway has no ness of townships with still more anxpursuits they follow. But the question more relation to an ordinary highway iety, for this reason. A township in here is, what is the proper office of than a banking institution has to the my judgment is a community the least townships in our political organization? common conduct of a man's own pri- well adapted to contract a debt wisely; Is it the proper office of our townships vate financial operations. A banking the least well adapted to bear that into build railroads? Is it the proper institution is a piece of private prop-debtedness safely, and to discharge it office of our townships, or of the elec- erty, and, although it may have an in- honorably. A township is a small tors in the townships, to vote at their fluence upon the interest of townships, community made up of a limited numpleasure, at the pleasure of the major- yet it is a matter of private concern, ber of persons. In order to have a ity, the property of those who own and must be so conducted.
township a safe political organization, property in those townships for this I have been interested for upward of its functions should be limited, and it purpose? If that is their function, twenty years in railway matters, and I should have but a few things in its then not only you and I, but every agree most cordially in what has been charge. One of the last things that member of this Convention who has said here in regard to the value of a should be committed to it is the power done one single thing towards fram- railway to a township or city, when it of contracting debt for any purpose. ing the organization of a township, has can be properly constructed. Let me The construction of highways, the entirely mistaken the nature of that state the proposition in another form. building of school houses, and the adtownship. If it be the office of the Wherever the business interests of a ministration of simple justice should .
live, or any question than aon conditoperatione private an in commu
belong to a township. While it should investigate this matter-it has been ought to confine its attention to matbe left free to pay anything that is declared that it was competent for the ters of strictly municipal concern. But really needed for that purpose, it Legislature to clothe any subordinate in matters of railroading it can no more should not be allowed to contract debt municipal organization with authority participate properly, or understand in those cases. Allow me to say that to pledge its credit, or become å stock- them, than it can understand the busiin my judgment, when you come to holder in aid of any work of internal ness of general banking or general contract debt for a railway, there is not improvement. We must, therefore, manufacturing...... . ... ...: ordinarily in the townships the neces- recognize that as the law of the I repeat again, in order that gentlesary information to determine whetherland. In my judgment, however, I men may be impressed with the asserthat indebtedness can safely be con- | were the question to arise now, tion, if there is anything in it, that the tracted. How many men are there in as a new question, it would be ground of objection in all of these any ordinary township who know any- / decided directly the other way. I cases is, that the township organizathing about railways or the cost of their I think there is a very strong im-tion is not fitted for this kind of busi. construction and maintenance, and the pression upon the judicial mind of ness, and, therefore, it should not en.. means of efficiently supporting them? the country, that those decisions ré- ter into it. The eccentric and very
The cost of building and maintain-ceived an erroneous impulse at the shrewd John Randolph once said, ing a railway is very great indeed; and beginning, that it was overlooked that starting up one day in the House of there are but few communities, and the organization of the town and of the Representatives, and pointing that finonly limited lines of railway in any county, was in its very nature, limited ger of his from which the electricity communities, in regard to which they to other purposes, and not adapted to seemed to stream, “I have found the
these great works of internal improve-l improvements. This authority came And to the township I would say, “ you · ment.
1. originally from the Legislature. If have found the philosopher's stone, if I undertake to say that I could go there were no provision on the subject in all these things you will pay as you into almost any township in this State, in our Constitution, then I would be go.".. and propose to the electors of that of the opinion that the townships and Mr. DANIELLS. Will the gentle township to aid in the construction of the counties would have no authority man allow me to interrupt him à moà railway, however impracticable it upon the subject, except by a grant of ment? might be in the eyes of a railway man, power from the Legislature. But by Mr. LOTHROP. Yes sir. . and obtain the votes of a town for fif- placing a provision in the Constitution Mr. DANIELLS. Does not the law teen or twenty per cent. of their prop-| declaring that the Legislature shall not now compel the townships to run into erty for it, when a railway man would authorize cities and townships to go debt? repudiate it at once as a perfectly beyond a certain extent, I should fear Mr. LOTHROP. I am büt. little worthless scheme. A township is not that it would be implied that the Con- familiar with the ordinary township constructed or organized for any such stitution gives them the authority to organization; but my answer would be purpose as this. Why shall we clothe pledge their credit to the extent here at once, if the law compels the townthe township with authority to do named. I do not, however, give any ship to run into debt, then it is an exthis? Remember, Mr. Chairman, and positive opinion on that point. tremely bad law, and the Legislature gentlemen of this committee, I am not Now, I say that in my judgment the that shall follow us would do the very opposing railways; I am in favor of township is the last organization in the best thing it can do to repeal such a railways wherever they can be con-State that should be vested with this law. And if instead of that it should structed and supported
power. Its very organization is not compel all townships to pay as they go, Mr. BILLS. Will the gentleman financial in its nature, and, therefore, it would lay down a good principle. allow me to ask him a question ? it is not qualified to enter into these There may be bad laws upon the
Mr. LOTHROP. Yes sir, with very schemes. If the organization of the statute books. And that reminds me; great pleasure. .
township was financial in its nature, allow me to say here, that this ConvenMr. BILLS. I desire to ask the then it should be allowed to carry on tion and the people of Michigan, are gentleman whether he construes this banking. If it is industrial in its na-extremely anxious to have railroads, section twenty-seven, as clothing a ture, then the township ought to be and as I understand it, desire to possess township with authority to raise this allowed to establish cotton, wool, such a system as will induce them to.. tax; or does he regard it as a pro- silk and iron mills and manufactories be built. Yet the law-making power vision to limit their authority in that of every description. There should be of the State has, within the year, acrespect? I ask the question for the no limitation whatever upon the town- tually put upon the statute book such purpose of obtaining the views of the ship; it should be left like an individ- legislation on the subject that I do not gentleman on that point.
ual to look over the field, and to em- believe there is a right judging railMr. LOTHROP. I have not scru- brace every invitation to become stock- road man in the United States, who tinized the language of this section in holders in railroads whether they run understands his business, who would that respect with any particular care. through the town, or city, or anywhere invest a dollar of his capital under But I have supposed that it might be else in the Union.
those laws. There are certain railroad open to the construction that the. But the unanswerable objection to organizations in the State that cannot :: township itself, by virtue of this sec- the whole scheme is that the township be reached by those laws. But I do tion, would be deemed to have the organization is not in its nature ar or- not believe there is a sound judging
tent named in the section. There is ness of internal improvements. It laws put a single dollar of his capital . & prohibition that the Legislature cannot conduct such matters wisely in future railroads in this State. But
shall not authorize a township to go and well. The township ought to con- these inconsistencies are not surprisbeyond that amountAs a legal ques- fine its operations to schools and to ing, whether in public bodies or in iná. tion, I will say that by a series of de- highways over which its inhabitants dividuals. Legislatures are liable to cisions of perhaps sixteen or seventeen carry, in their wagons, their wheat and inconsistencies, and if there is such å of the States-I once had occasion to corn and other produce to market. It law as the gentleman from Olinton,