[Previous Day][Next Day][Back to Menu of Days]

NOTE: You may notice textual errors throughout this document, many of which have been left intact from the original text. Should you want to investigate the integrity of the original report, please refer to the original two printed volumes containing the official report of the proceedings and debates.


SATURDAY, April 13th, 1895.

The Convention was called to order at 10 o'clock a. m, by President Smith.

Roll call showed a quorum present.

Prayer was offered by Delegate Hughes, of Cache County, Utah.

Journal of the fortieth day's session was read and approved.

The following petitions were presented, asking that the question of woman's suffrage be submitted as a separate article to the vote of the people:
File No. 284, from citizens of Salt Lake City, in mass meeting assembled, to the number of 500, signed by J. H. Bacon, chairman.

File No. 285, signed by John L. Bartow and 41 others, from Provo, by Thurman, of Utah.

File No. 286, signed by J. W. Dunn and 70 others, from Frisco, by Anderson, of Beaver, by request.

File No. 287, signed by C. H. Valentine and 46 others, from Brigham City, by Gibbs, of Box Elder, by request.

File No. 288, signed by J. E. Pike and 66 others, from Salt Lake, by Button, of Salt Lake.

File No. 289, signed by S. G. Stookey and 54 others, from Salt Lake, by Eichnor, of Salt Lake.

File No. 290, signed by Jacob Johnson and 56 others, from Spring City, by Page, of Sanpete.

File No. 291, signed by A. Johnson and 148 others, from Mt. Pleasant, by Page, of Sanpete.

File No. 292, signed by Amos H. Neff and 44 others, from East Mill Creek, by Cannon, of Salt Lake.

Ordered filed.

File No. 293, signed by O. N. Stohl and 558 others, from Box Elder, asking that a clause be placed in the Constitution for woman's suffrage, by Peters, of Box Elder.

Ordered filed.

Mr. CANNON, Mr. President, I have a petition here from H. Smith and forty-four others, asking that the question of woman's suffrage be submitted to the people in a separate article. I also had

handed to me this morning a letter from Murray, in which the writer states that at a meeting in South Cottonwood the other day the question was submitted, that between three and four hundred persons were present, and that they were unanimously in favor of inserting it in the Constitution and not as a separate article.

Mr. HAYNES. Where was the meeting held in Murray?

Mr. CANNON. This was held, as I stated, in South Cottonwood ward. I would also state that in this communication it is stated that two meetings were held, at one of which Mr. Haynes was present, and the question was not presented to the people there. That one of the parties present declared that he requested it to be presented, but it was not presented to a vote of the meeting. I do not know why, or anything about it.

Mr. HAYNES. For the purpose of putting myself right on this question I wish to say that I have been at no meeting of the citizens of South Cottonwood or Murray for or against it since the meeting of this Constitutional Convention. That part of it that refers to me is not true, whoever the author of that letter may be.

Mr. BOWDLE. Mr. President, I move that the communication be returned to the gentleman.

Mr. CANNON. Mr. President, I wish to state that the meeting was called for the purpose stated, but I stated that the meeting was held and that at that meeting the question came up. One party said he requested that a vote be taken upon it. That is the way the matter was sent to me. The meeting, as I understand it, was called to consider the irrigation article.

The PRESIDENT. This is all out of order.

The committee on judiciary reported as follows:

Committee Rooms, April 12, 1895.

To the President of the Convention:

Your committee on judiciary beg, respectfully, to present herewith an article for the consideration of the Convention. The effort has been to provide with the utmost economy, an efficient system. The various papers submitted have been carefully considered; from them much information has been obtained and many of their suggestions have been adopted. An expense of $10.40 was incurred in preparing papers. The article as presented bears the endorsement of the full committee.

With great respect,


Mr. GOODWIN. Mr. President, I wish to state that since the paper was completed, two members of the committee are not quite satisfied and they reserve the right to either offer amendments or file a minority report.

The PRESIDENT. What will you do with the question of expense here, gentlemen?

Mr VARIAN. I move it be allowed.

The motion was agreed to.


Mr. VARIAN. Are we now properly under the head of special order?

The PRESIDENT. Yes, sir. The motion to reconsider is the motion properly before the house.

Mr. VARIAN. Mr. President, as I desire to close the discussion, if there be one, I shall only make a preliminary statement. It was quite proper I thought on yesterday that a motion to reconsider should be made in order that every member of the Convention should have an opportunity to express his views upon this very important matter. In my judgment, it is the most important or at least one of the most important matters that will be presented during this session or can come before this body. Particularly was this true because I had cut off debate by moving the previous question. I did that because my amendment, or my section was coupled with an amendment, which I supposed had been disposed of on the day before, and I did not think the Convention was in a temper or frame of mind to discuss that further. Now, the question is before this house practically just as it was when it was presented yesterday, that is to say, the house can determine the question upon this motion to reconsider. I do not think it necessary, if the majority of this house are in favor of that section tion as it stands, or the principle embodied in it, to go through the form of reconsidering and then take another vote to vote it in. The whole matter is open for debate and the vote can be registered and recorded here upon this motion. I am not in favor of keeping it out of the Constitution, and although I made the motion for reconsideration, I shall of course vote against it. If there shall be a majority of the members voting in favor of reconsideration, of course that will be an indication that the section is to be stricken out of the Constitution. Having said this much, and defined the position of the mover of this motion for the consideration of the Convention, I give notice that when the discussion shall cease, if there is to be a discussion, I will say what I have to say upon the merits in its closing.

Mr. THURMAN. Mr. President and gentlemen of the Convention, when this motion was made last evening, I moved that it be made the special order for to-day, for the reason that I hoped the Convention would be in a better frame of mind this morning for the consideration of this important question than they would have been last evening under the heat of the discussion upon the parliamentary question. I view it as a matter of grave importance, and I think that one matter is very important to be settled this morning. In order to do what is right, and reach a just conclusion, we should eliminate from this discussion everything that does not properly pertain to it. I am at a loss to know upon what theory and for w hat reason gentlemen consider this a partisan question. And it is because men have wrongfully considered it as a partisan question that we have not been able to view it from that standpoint that the importance of the question demands. If this question as to whether or not this is a partisan question was to be determined by the politics of the states that have adopted provisions similar to this, I think it would be

determined to be a republican proposition, rather than a democratic one. Out of the thirty states that have provisions of this kind, similar in some {978} respects, at least seventeen of them were republican at the time they framed their constitutions and five or six of them, judging by the latest vote, have become republican since. And, gentlemen, I think we ought not to inject into the consideration of these constitutional questions a partisan feeling, unless it is demanded by the subject matter under consideration. I will admit that the question before the Convention day before yesterday was a partisan question, and the discussion before the Convention upon the substitute offered by the gentleman from Salt Lake, Mr. Richards, was also a partisan question, and for my part, I could not expect, and I did not expect, that any republican on the floor of this Convention would vote for the substitute offered by Mr. Richards. That could riot be hoped for. It would have been to violate every pledge that you made to your constituents in the campaign in which you were elected as a delegate to this Convention. But when it came to vote upon the proposition presented by the gentleman from Salt Lake, Mr. Varian, a man who I suppose never imbibed a democratic sentiment in all his life, who has never been known to utter one, I will confess that I was surprised that gentlemen on this floor should conceive that the proposition that he advanced here was partisan and democratic. Gentlemen, let us look at this question as reasonable men.

Let us consider this question as we would if it were an individual affair, and I tell you this morning that you have no right, you have no power to deal with the credit of the State in any manner that you would not use your own credit, if it was an individual affair. It has been one of the maxims of the founders of the Territory of Utah, “Keep out of debt; pay as you go.” And up till very recent years, such a thing as a territorial indebtedness was unknown to our people. It was only when the boom idea struck the people of the Territory of Utah that we found representatives of the people that had the moral courage to stand up in their places on the floor of the Legislature and vote that the Territory might become indebted even for its own obligations, much less to guarantee the debts and obligations of private individuals and corporations. I do not say that the founders of the Territory pursued a policy that was absolutely wise in every respect. I sometimes think they drew the line a little too tight and too closely upon these questions, and that the Territory would have been justified in incurring some indebtedness, in order that we might have necessary public institutions. But, gentlemen, that is not this question. We are here now today laying the foundation of a commonwealth. We are just in the same position with reference to the State that we are trying to form as the father is when he laying down maxims for the guidance of his boy in the business affairs of life, and if your boy was starting out in life, and you his parents, giving him counsel as to what he should do in business affairs, what would you advise him to do? I take it that you would tell him, “so far as possible, pay as you go; so far as possible, keep out of debt: and in every case avoid mortgaging the roof above your head to pay the debt of someone else.”

Do you know, gentlemen, the effect of taxation upon a commonwealth and upon the people of the commonwealth? It is to lay a mortgage upon every vestige of property in the State. When I tell You that when you are taxed your home is mortgaged and that there is no power on earth that can defeat a foreclosure of that mortgage, except a payment of the debt, I tell you what is literally true, and I ask you this question to-day, if your neighbor should come to you and ask you for your endorsement upon his note for some speculation, mark you_for some enterprise that he was about

to embark in, would {979} you endorse his note and in addition to endorsing his note, would you mortgage the roof above your family in order to guarantee the payment of his debt? I take it, gentlemen, that if every man in this Convention should ask himself the question this morning, “would I do that?” the answer would be no. There is not a man here that would mortgage his home and property, in order to endorse his neighbor's note for some sort of a speculation. If you would not do that in your individual case, if you would not do that in a mat ter that concerns you individually, I ask you what right have you, as a trustee of the State, to do it with money that does not belong to you? If you had money in your possession as a trustee, as a guardian for a ward, would you feel that you had a right to pledge that money for the debt of some one else_some private enterprise, some private corporation? I take it that every man would answer at once, “No, I would have no right to do anything of that kind with money that belongs to someone else.” And yet when it comes to dealing with the public money_when it comes to dealing with the funds of the State, then it seems that men take a different view of the question. Now, I concede to the republicans on this floor that according to the principles which you believe to be correct, if you, representing the State, found that the State had money to spare and you wanted to aid some home industry_some enterprise that you believed would be for the public good, you would believe you had the right and that it would be your duty to make an appropriation to aid and assist that enterprise. I concede to you this morning, gentlemen, that in doing that, you would be acting in line with your principles as members of the republican party, and while I do not believe myself it would be right, I concede that I believe you think it right and just, and if you were elected here by the people to the Legislature, you would have the power and the right to do that thing. But that is not this question. This question is more far-reaching than that. It is not a question of the State being permitted to make donations and give bonuses from time to time of the money that the State has in hand and under its immediate control, and that too for purposes which the State believes to be a public benefit, but it is a question of mortgaging the State, not for the payment of its own debt, but for the payment of the debt of another. And I will tell you, gentlemen, this morning, that the party who stands upon this floor and asks that this power be given unto the Legislature in the Constitution will find in the years to come, to use the language of the president of this Convention, that it will return to plague you.

When the day comes that the people of this Territory find themselves burdened with debt, when they find themselves involved to the tune of millions of dollars, when they find that all that they have left to show for that are some wildcat propositions that they thought at the time they guaranteed the payment of them would turn out for the public good, then the people of this Territory will begin to dive into the records of this Convention to find out who it is that is responsible for that condition of things that has been saddled upon the people of the State. Then gentlemen, the people will begin to examine the ayes and the noes in detail upon these questions that we are voting on here, and I say to you that so far as I am concerned on this question of giving the Legislature power to mortgage the State, my vote shall be found recorded no, and wo be unto him whose vote is recorded aye. I care not whether he is a democrat, I care not whether he is a republican. I have taken the position that it is not a party question. My friend here who frequently quotes the Washington constitution, if he will do that upon this question this {980} morning, we may expect that he will be found on the Lord's side, voting aye to insert this in the Constitution. I do not think that Washington has ever been considered anything but a republican state and yet its constitution declares in unequivocal terms that the state shah not lend its aid to

any individual, corporation, or association. To the same effect is the republican state of Colorado. To the same effect is the republican state of California. To the same effect is the state of Minnesota. To the same effect is the state of New York. And as I said before, of those states that have spoken upon this question, at least seventeen out of thirty have declared in favor of a proposition similar to this that we are contending for here this morning, And, gentlemen, I implore you to stop and reflect, and think of what you are about to do in the reconsideration of this question. Leave it in the article. Let it stand as a safeguard which cannot be beaten down, protecting the people of the new State all through the years to come against the abuse of power. And it will be abused. Temptations will come. We are living now in a crisis. We understand what it is to be in debt. We are groaning under the burdens of indebtedness, and we are paying interest for the fun we have had in the past. We may eventually pull through the conditions that we are now passing under, but the time will come that a boom idea will seize upon some Legislature in the future State, not realizing what it is to be plunged in debt, and they will imagine, just as we did here a few years ago, that every proposition any one advances in relation to the development of certain great resources here is a feasible proposition, and we will find the Legislature ready to go forth and guarantee the bonds of any corporation that will undertake it, upon certain conditions, and the first thing you know, that which looked feasible in the time of boom, when the crisis, which ever succeeds the boom, has come, will be found that it was an airy scheme that has vanished, and then, gentlemen, the State of Utah will find that the debt it guaranteed has fallen upon its own shoulders to pay. Let us guard against that. Here is the place and the only opportunity that we will ever have to do it. Let us place this limitation upon future legislatures and the people in generations to come will rise up and call us blessed.

Mr. CHIDESTER. Mr. President, as the gentleman who has just spoke suggested that it would be a bad thing for any one to have his vote recorded against this proposition, I believe that I should give a reason why I will vote against it. I do not like the proposition any way it can be put I think it is the same proposition that was brought in the minority report in section 3, and that was voted down for the reason that the Convention thought that it was not expedient to curtail the Legislature to that extent. Now, I submit that this proposition is similar to it, if not fully as strong as the other. In my way of thinking, that comprehends a good deal and it is a question in my mind whether the condition that we are in to-day, as a Territory, that we could carry on the State government without lending its credit, and I do not consider that it is a dangerous thing altogether to trust the Legislature. I presume that my friend who just spoke understands that part better than I do, for he has served in the Legislature and I never have, but I believe that the people send as a rule men whom they are willing to trust, and I am willing to trust them in that regard, and I believe that they will look after the interests of the State just as well and with just as good motives as this Convention will, and I believe that if we should pass this we would tie them up in such a way that they would be hampered in passing the necessary measures that would be for the benefit of the {981} State. I believe that it is necessary at times. While I do not believe in running in debt any more than any other member of this house, I believe in keeping out of debt, but at the same time, I know that there are times when every man will have to have credit, and to tie up the Legislature in that kind of a way does not appear to me to be wise in any sense. I think it is the same proposition that was introduced in section 3, though not in the exact language, but in the spirit and in effect, it is the same thing, and for that reason I shall vote against this measure.

Mr. BOWDLE. Mr. President, I remember of reading somewhere about an old gentleman that sat down and cried and cried over the woes that had befallen Jerusalem. The only difference between that gentleman and the gentleman that has recently taken his seat on this floor is this, that the one is crying out of the diseased imagination of his mind over terrors and woes and sorrows that are in his imagination supposed to be hanging over our heads, while the other one had a bad case of liver complaint and was blue generally and woebegone in the extreme.

Mr. THURMAN. Let me ask you a question. Was that Chidester_you are talking of Mr. Chides ter?

Mr. BOWDLE. No, sir. [Laughter.] I always did believe that the democrats were afflicted seriously with liver complaint, and that it affected their view upon many subjects. This morning, I am more than ever confirmed in that belief; “but,” says the gentleman, “this comes from the other side of the house and therefore there is nothing partisan about it.” Gentlemen, it is the hand of Jacob, but it is the neck of Esau all the same, and you cannot divorce one from the other. Lending the aid of the State to a proposition differs in what respect from the State giving a bounty? Where is the difference? Is it not a distinction without a difference? It seems to me so. Now, the gentleman tells us that there are thirty states in which this is the law. There are two states in which this law pertains to the extent sought to be engrafted as it is here. The state of California, in its recent constitution, is one to about the same extent. The state of Colorado is another. Outside of those two states, I do not know of a single state where it goes as far as it is sought to go here. Some places it goes far enough to say that the state shall not loan its credit; but take some of the recent states in that regard. Washington has been referred to. The Washington constitution says the state shall not loan its credit, but it does not tie up the municipal corporations and the counties. It is simply a state proposition.

Mr. VARIAN. Yes, it does.

Mr. BOWDLE. Well, I failed to find it, Brother Varian. If I do, I will take it all back.

Mr. VARIAN. Section 7.

Mr. BOWDLE. I looked over the constitution this morning and I failed to find it. The State of Wyoming precludes it so far as to affect railways and telegraph companies, but this is for all purposes. It is proposed by this bill that no subdivision of the State shall ever aid any enterprise that it is not the sole owner of. Now, I submit to you, gentlemen, that there is not a single constitution from which you have quoted or which you will quote from, that around the elective franchise are thrown such restrictions as are thrown around the elective franchise in this coming State.. We say here that in all local taxation there may be a property qualification for the voters. In these other states, I think, without a single exception, there is no property qualification. Here comes up a proposition, some enterprise is wanted, a municipal corporation believes that that would be a good thing, it proposes that it will aid that by voting bonds or whatever it may be; to do that, they must have a special election; at that special election, {982} who will vote? Nobody but what has a property qualification, as we propose in this Constitution. You cut off from that vote all persons who have no property. You simply give to the persons who pay the tax the power

to say whether or not they are willing to contribute to that. Now, isn't it perfectly fair, if the men wish to reach down in their pockets that way and aid an enterprise, that they should be doing it? Some say, “Oh, but the power of taxation is a great sovereign power.” It is the sovereign power, I grant you that, but I think that when the sovereign wants to tax himself he has the right to tax himself. Therefore, gentlemen, I am opposed to this proposition. It is the same old thing dressed up in different clothes and put here before us with a proviso that the State shall not lend its aid. It means the same thing, and I am opposed to the proposition.

Mr. IVINS. May I ask the gentleman a question? I just want to ask the gentleman if those disasters that were predicted in regard to Jerusalem by this garrulous individual that has been referred to, were fulfilled or not?

Mr. BOWDLE. Well, I think that the democratic party fulfilled them on that occasion.

Mr. MURDOCK (Beaver). Mr. President, as has been said, this is a very momentous question before us this morning, and as has been said also, I can not see that it is a partisan principle that is set forth, for if it is good for one it is for another. I wish I was a good deal better speaker than I am, but you will have to put up with just such men as I am. I have got some ideas, but I tack sometimes language, and perhaps my voice is considerably impaired. Of course every man in his business erects a standard to walk by in regard to his business. Now, I am just as tenacious in regard to any agency that I might accept from individuals or from the State. If I should happen to be a member of a legislature, I should be just as tenacious in guarding the rights of the people, as I would in my own interest, and I think every man should be, and should act prudently and wisely when they come to act in the interests of the people. That is what legislatures are for. Men are sent there as agents of the people, and I do not wish to tie them up so close that they cannot move, no more than I believe in hobbling a horse so close that he cannot get any grass. I do not believe in that. We are in a Territory. We will be, if we should be so fortunate as to become a State, an undeveloped country and there are many enterprises that necessarily will rise up from time to time.

While I believe in being very careful in regard to allowing the Legislature to use their power in regard to extending credit, I should be very careful. All men may not be so careful, and I think it is very necessary that wise provisions should be made to prevent any recklessness in regard to their course. At the same time, I do not believe in tying them up so that they cannot do anything that would be absolutely necessary to the interests of the people. There are many public interests that, although they may start out in a corporation, that prove to be a great benefit to the people indirectly, benefit the country_not only directly, but they may indirectly. I do not believe in taking money out of one man's pocket and putting it into another's unless that man should have a proper remuneration in an indirect manner. Now, while I believe to an extent_and do not wish that the Legislature shall be curtailed in regard to a bounty, or to start up some improvement_something that would be beneficial, I do not believe that it would be prudent to debar them that privilege. Now, my feelings are not partisan in regard to the labors that I am doing here, and I have yet to learn that I have even made a friend, or made an enemy of any man. I work in {983} the interest of the whole and for that reason I believe that we should work to the general good.

Mr. THURMAN. I will ask the gentleman, whom I know to be a prudent, careful business man, if he would mortgage his home to endorse for a friend in a speculative scheme in private business?

Mr. MURDOCK (Beaver). No, sir; I would not.

Mr. THURMAN. Would you then give the power to the State to do it as a representative?

Mr. MURDOCK (Beaver). No, sir; I would not. I believe that this principle that has been set forth, as has been said, is made more palatable by being to some extent disguised. Now, gentlemen, if we could have the construction of this principle, as has been construed by my friend from Utah County, it would be very acceptable, but here comes in the difficulty hereafter. That construction may not be put upon that provision. Consequently, there is a danger of a stringency placed upon it, that would debar that privilege, and for that reason, I should be opposed to that, but if that construction is put upon it, I would always be ready to accept it. I believe in guarding the interests of the people as sacredly as I would my own, and I have carried out this principle in my lifetime, but I cannot guide or mark out what other men shall do. Of course we all have to take chances when we call upon individuals to be agents, or to act in the interests of the people. We are the people called together as a legislative body, there to act for the people, and a man that does not act wisely in their interests, perhaps, would be greatly censured, but to put a barrier around them that would prevent them from doing many things that will bring that which would be beneficial to the people, I am opposed to it. I believe in giving them a reasonable scope in regard to using their power, and I think there will be enough men that will look at these matters
wisely and would prevent any extravagance in the matter. Failures that have occurred around us at different times_why, they are only way marks that we may be able to shun and avoid such ideas as have been advanced and practiced, But I conceive it in this light, that this is the same principle that we have been contending over for a couple of days and it is made a little more palatable. Emphatically, I believe in guarding the rights of the people and preventing, if we have got a set of novices as legislators, why then they want to be strongly guarded against_their actions. But if we send wise men, men that know how to use their own means, and use that that they are entrusted with, why I am certain that they will be wise enough to do a proper thing in the interests of the people. We must recollect that we are not an old State, that we shall be a new State and a new Territory to-day compared to others, and our country is full of resources of various characters, and they want developing, and we have got to take hold as a people and develop this country and bring it out, but if men get wild and crazy_these booms never disturb me. While I was here at the time it commenced, yet it did not affect me. An expression that I use sometimes is this, “it takes a great deal of fuel to keep up a big flame,” I predicted that years ago, that they could not hold the matter as it stood then. I knew it was false and there are many other things that men perform that I know are false and I object to it, but I, of course, can be no pattern for other men to walk by. I believe in paying as I go. That has always been my method, and if I was a member or acted in the interests of the people or an agent for an individual I should caution him to not go into any wild speculation, but to conduct his course in a way to be perfectly safe, and for that reason, I am opposed to in anywise trammelling the Legislature, but to give them sufficient grounds {984} that they may in their judgment develop the country.

Mr. CANNON. Mr. President, I am certainly in favor of reconsidering this question, and would like to have seen it brought to a vote without any extended speech making. I believe it would have been better to have reconsidered it and made speeches for or against the proposition after a vote had been taken to reconsider it. That which has been said against leaving this out of the Constitution and providing for its insertion is to my mind far fetched. In many cases we have been told by the speakers who have favored the insertion of this proposition in the Constitution of the evil of debts and what a disadvantage it is to any man to go into debt. My business has been such that I have seen probably as much as any man upon the floor of this Convention the evils that attend going in debt. I believe that it is a positive injury to any man or to any community to go into debt. I think that wherever it can be avoided it should be avoided; that no man is justified under ordinary circumstances in borrowing money and becoming financially involved, but there are times in the history of men as there are in the history of people when circumstances justify that which is done, and when it is justifiable in my opinion in incurring indebtedness. We have been told that it is not right to take the strong hand of the law and exact from the poor taxes, and with those taxes pay for something that has been pledged for the credit of the State or of the municipality for the benefit of private enterprises.

We find that it is not particularly the poor who object to a thing of this kind, but it is the wealthy. It is those who have the most property who are most anxious that nothing shall be done in the way of pledging the credit of the State or in the way of granting bounties or anything of this character. I claim that the poor are not so much afraid of this matter as those who have large capital, and the reason is that capital is affected more by it. I think that if the power is given to the State as it would be given by leaving out all restrictions upon it, that that power should be used very carefully. I do not think that it would be right to pledge the credit of the State for anything unless the enterprise for which that credit is pledged will be a benefit to the people, but at the same time I think that under some circumstances it would be right to pledge the credit, to pledge the credit of a town, of a city, of a municipality, for an enterprise that would be a direct benefit to the people and would bring to them more benefits than the amount that would be involved. Our friend from Utah County appeals continually to different men and asks this question, “would you mortgage your home for the benefit of a neighbor? Would you go into debt and mortgage the roof over your head to benefit some man in his private enterprise?” But he does not tell you that when you do that, when you pledge the credit of the State, that it binds equally upon your neighbor and upon yourself, that if it is to benefit both, it is not binding upon you any more than it would be upon that other man. I say there are times in the history of men when they should pledge their homes, when they should pledge all that they have of an earthly character, in order to carry out enterprises that may be necessary for them to live. There are men, who during the year past have scarcely had food enough to eat. There are men who are honest, willing to work, anxious to work, and who cannot find employment. I say under those circumstances, if my neighbors were to come to me, and I was in that position, and say, “let me join you in an enterprise; we will have to mortgage our homes, for we are in a starving condition; we have no work; we must procure capital with which to enter into some enterprises, and if we place a mortgage upon our property we can go on {985} and procure for our families the necessaries of life.” I say under those circumstances, it is the part of wisdom, it would be the part of manhood to mortgage the home over your head and to go into the enterprises by which you would furnish employment for your family and your neighbor, that you would be justified in joining with him

and the two together in risking that which they had in order that they may stop the stagnation that exists and start out with something that would bring benefit to the people. We are appealed to continually as if this were for the benefit of the rich, as if it were for the benefit of the classes, as if this provision would hamper men of that character.

I call your attention to the fact that a short time ago in California, when Los Angeles desired her representatives to have power to create certain indebtedness or to have the power to issue bonds_I do not know the exact form in which the question was presented_the vote was very even in that legislature for and against the proposition that was presented. I claim that it would have been a positive advantage to the people of Los Angeles, had the money been invested wisely, to have had that power granted to them, because they could have gone on with the enterprise and given to their people employment. It is not sufficient that men might be educated. It was stated by one of the gentlemen upon the opposite side, the other day, that it was proper to educate men with public funds, because, said he, by so doing you insure the stability and safety of the state. I say that it is proper also when you have the means, when you have the credit, to give men employment, because it is as much a necessity that men should have work as that they should have an education. What will you do with a man who has an education if he has not the the means by which he may earn that upon which he may live? An education will not keep him. As our friend from Uintah County said the other day, it would be very poor food_a very slim article of diet indeed, if you were to try to subsist upon this. I claim that the credit of the people belongs to the people and that if they choose to use that credit they have the right to use it, and there is no reason why we should limit and place here in the Constitution a provision which would prevent them at any time from using that which they have, In many cases poor people have nothing particularly except that which by combination and communions they can produce, This is more sweeping in its terms. I call your attention to the language. (Reads.)

I claim that under that, if a hundred men to-day were to say, “We will go out and found a city,” all of those men having an equal interest in it, I claim that if they were to go out and attempt to pledge their corporate credit for the building of a railroad, the building of a canal, the building of any public enterprise, that they might unitedly feel that was for their good, they would not be permitted to do it. I claim that they should not be hampered in those circumstances. There is a growing spirit of freedom in the people that has been growing for hundreds and thousands of years, that after awhile it will be be found that the people have the right_those who produce the wealth of the country and the benefit of that which comes from their exertion, and from their existence, that they have the the right to use it to build themselves up, to build their communities up and to do that which will be for their benefit.

This is a provision, I claim, that if eliminated, would leave the Constitution in favor of the people, who would have the right, through their representatives, to direct whether or not they wished the credit used for any purpose. I claim that certain enterprises require the credit of nations, that they require {986} the credit of the state, that they require the credit of municipalities. We will take the instance of the Suez canal, which cost millions and millions of dollars. The credit for that was to a great extent pledged by the government of France. The people of France directly obtained a benefit greater than the amount that was pledged from the day that that was built to the present time. They have had the benefit that has come from it.

Mr. CORAY. Was not that the Panama canal?

Mr. CANNON. The Panama canal is being built, and the fact of dishonest men being engaged in the Panama canal does not make any difference as to the righteousness or unrighteousness of the proposition before us. If you wish to refer to that, go to New York City and you might just as well attribute to the democratic party there the corruption which existed there and the ring that existed there as to attribute the Panama swindle to the principle that I have been speaking upon. I claim that the state has the right to use the credit that belongs to the people for the benefit of the people. I claim that it has the right to build railroads and use the credit for that purpose where the people will be directly benefitted by it. I claim that to-day, if the United States could go ahead with the project that is on foot by which the canal could be constructed at Nicaragua, the people of the United States would be benefitted more in dollars and cents directly than the government will have to pledge itself for in order to secure the building of that canal. I agree with my friend from Beaver County that the condition which exists in this Territory and in some of the states and territories is entirely different. I desire to call attention to the fact, as stated and acknowledged by every speaker upon this floor, we are a community that needs wealth_needs capital to develop resources which we have, while in the older communities there is a superabundance of wealth. Their resources have been largely developed; they are over-crowded, and they did not have the same difficulties to contend with that we have. Take the case of New York, which has been cited here, and what is the condition there? Why, we find about a year ago now they had in New York, in the banks of the city of New York alone, over seventy million dollars in excess of the legal requirements of their reserve, and their reserve amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars more. That was the condition that existed there, and in that case I believe it is a wise provision to prohibit the state from lending its credit, yet under certain circumstances and conditions the people of this country in Utah Territory, it is wise to leave to them and to their representatives the right to pledge their corporate credit, if they see fit so to do, or to pledge the credit of the State, if they see fit so to do, in order that internal improvements may go on. I believe that it should be done wisely. I believe that it should done carefully and that nothing should be done that would be liable to place them in a perilous condition so far as their credit is concerned.

The gentleman from Utah County said that the record that is made here will be one which will come back to vex the delegates upon this floor. So far as I am concerned, I am willing that my record shall be made upon that point. I do not vote now for giving the credit of the State or of any municipality of the State to any enterprise, but I say I am willing to leave it to the people and to their representatives that they may do as they see fit, and if the people do not believe that that is correct, am not a candidate for any office. I may never be a candidate, but if I am a candidate, it will be upon the ground that the people have the right to use the credit that belongs to them for their good and for building up any enterprise they may see fit to endorse.
Mr. JAMES. Mr. President, this matter is in a little different form from what many here are aware of. had no idea when this discussion began that it would take so wide a scope, and I am afraid it will only just cause going over all the ground again.

Mr. ROBERTS. Mr. President, when my friend from Utah County was so quietly discussing the question this morning and the spirit of peace seemed to be moving over this assembly, I sincerely

trusted that he was right and that this was not and would not be made a party question. I remember a few days ago asking the gentleman from Iron County_indeed I think it was only yesterday, if the question of loaning the credit of this State in aid of private enterprises was made a party issue in the campaign last fall, and I received a statement from him to the effect that it was not and I really hoped that it would not be now made a party question upon
he floor of this Convention. But, sir, my hopes and wishes, I believe are to be disappointed. I notice that in the efforts that were made, I presume by party whips, to bring in absent members last evening, in the minds of gentlemen upon this floor there was a party question at issue and all the forces must needs be present in order to carry a party measure. Bad as I believe republican doctrine to be, I could not bring my mind to the conception that it is as bad as it is, if my republican friends are not only in favor of paying money out of the treasury in aid of private enterprises, but are also determined to have the credit of the State at their command for the same purpose. As I stated yesterday, I am of the opinion that if that issue had been thrown in sight in the last campaign, the results of the election, sir, would have been somewhat different. Not only the action of members upon this floor yesterday and this morning proclaimed that this is a party issue, in the eyes at least of the majority of the republicans upon this floor, but in the estimation of the organ of that party in this Territory, it must be a party question. An editorial in that paper of to-day's issue says:

We regard the re-opening of the bounty fight yesterday as exceedingly ill-advised and unfortunate. It came, too, from a source least to be expected_a republican delegate. It is impossible to see anything to be gained in a movement like this, except to play into the hands of the democracy. No possible protection is to be had in this move.

Mark you this:

It is a clear abandonment of the republican position on the question and an indefensible attitude to take before the party. The object sought to be obtained is chimerical anyway, and could not be reached by any sort of prohibition. It will be the part of wisdom to allow this question to remain settled on the basis of Tuesday's vote.

Now, sir, I think from the attitude of members on the floor of this Convention, the statement made by the organ of the republican party, that hereafter the people of this Territory will know that not only is the republican party in favor of paying out money from the public treasury in aid of private enterprises, but they want to have at hand the entire credit of the State to be used, if they think proper, for the same purposes. I am exceedingly glad that that fact is now clearly to be developed and that there will be no opportunity of dodging the issue from henceforth. And I take it, sir, that in the forum of the people there will accrue from this attitude a very great advantage to the party I represent. The day when some bold, war-like chieftain could call around him spirits of a like disposition, and invade some neighboring state, enslave the inhabitants, and parcel out their lands, the larger portion to himself, and the rest to his retainers, has gone by. But, sir, that disposition of making conquests over his fellowmen has not been eliminated from the human {988} breast. In this particular as in many other particulars,

Our polished manners are a mask we wear, and at the bottom barbarous still and rude,

We are restrained indeed, but not subdued.

And this determination to feed upon the labors of the masses and to prosper at their expense is still in the human breast, only it makes its appearance in our age and in our civilization under new forms. Men possessed of great wealth and feeling the power that wealth gives them forget right and are determined to increase that power, even if it be at the expense of the masses, and hence, sir, with eagle eyes, these men associating together in companies look the whole land over where they may launch enterprises, and in addition to the advantages of entering a new country and monopolizing its resources_not satisfied with the advantages that can come from that alone, they seek the state governments as allies to their enterprises and make the people, through the agency of the government, contribute to the amassing of still more and more wealth. These, sir, are some of the principles and some of the facts that need to be taken into account when we are dealing with so important a question as that now before us, and I want to call attention to what has been called upon the floor of this house the trend in modern constitution making. And I take it, sir, that the spirit as exhibited in the formation of our late constitutions is exceedingly instructive. It gives evidence of an evil from which the people are seeking to free themselves. My friend from Utah County noted the fact that thirty states in this Union had substantially this provision in their organic statement. The gentleman from Salt Lake (Mr. Bowdle), however,
questioned his statement on that subject, as I remember his remarks, claiming that there were only two states that went so far as this proposition before the house proposes to go, citing as I remember it, California and the state of Wyoming. I will call the gentleman's attention at least to one other state that goes quite as far and indeed I think farther than this proposed section goes. In article seven of the New York constitution, lately revised, it is stated that the credit of the state shall not in any manner be given or loaned to or in aid of any individual, association or corporation, and then in article 8, section 10, it goes on to say that no county, city, town, or village shall give any money or property, or loan its money or credit to or in aid of any individual, association, or corporation, or become directly or indirectly the owner of stock in or bonds of any association, or corporation, nor shall any such county, city, town, or village, be allowed to incur any indebtedness, except for county, city, town, or village purposes.

I take it, if I can remember the scope of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Salt Lake, it falls very short of going so far as the provision in the state of New York goes. I have not been able of course in the short time that we have been assembled this morning to go through all the state constitutions, but since the gentleman is so very widely mistaken, at least so far as the state of New York is concerned, I confess that I have but little faith in the carefulness of his examination of all these matters, and if I am not mistaken he will find the provisions as stated by my friend from Utah County substantially the same in thirty of these states, seventeen of which are republican states and but thirteen democratic states. But, sir, what I want to call attention to is the formation of the last four constitutions, that of North Dakota, South Dakota (both of which are republican), Montana, (that I believe was a democratic convention that formed that constitution,) and Washington (also republican).

Now, sir, the reason why provisions {989} limiting the power of the Legislature in these particulars of which we are speaking, are not to be found in the old constitutions, is that the people were not then grappling with corporate power as they are to-day. Their liberties were not endangered by those powers, as the liberties of the people are endangered to-day by them. And

hence, you do not find these provisions against using the credit of the state in the older constitutions, but you do find them in all the constitutions of recent formation. It is a grand spectacle that that we may observe in this Territory. A people just emerging from territorial vassalage to the prominent and proud position of a sovereign commonwealth in the American Union. The people, however, are scarcely enthusiastic at the prospect. You may almost see them shrinking from taking on the larger obligations, and that chiefly because of the increased burden of taxation that will come to them by reason of this change in their government. Their treasury will contain no revenue upon which you may place your hand to pay bounties in aid of private enterprises. It will require all the revenue that can be raised by reasonable taxation to meet the increased expenses of the new government. You bounty favoring gentlemen, tell me, do you see that? And seeing that you have no way of spending the public moneys in aid of private enterprises, which shall result in the building up of private fortunes, do you see that, and seeing that you are now determined to have the credit of the State in aid of such purposes? If so, you shall at least find a strong minority at the threshold of the new common wealth beating back the invading host that would fatten upon the labors of the people. [Applause.]

The air is full of schemes for the use of the public money, and for the very reason that we are a new country, and our resources unappropriated as yet, should be the very reason why we ought to be careful that we do not make it possible for foreign corporations_people living outside of our boundaries, to organize associations and companies that will come here and place their hands upon the resources of this Territory and leave the bona fide citizens thereof no opportunity in which to develop the splendid sources of wealth in our country hereafter. Slower growth, more permanent and the blessings thereof more equally distributed among the people, is the thing for which I would contend. My friend from Utah County this morning called attention to the fact that it has been the policy of the leaders in the Territory in the past to be conservative in regard to indebtedness. I can easily demonstrate the truth of it if it needed demonstration. In 1880 the public debt, state, county, and municipal, amounted to but eighty-one cents per capita, in 1890 it amounted to $3.69 per capita. But, sir, we have been lunging and plunging during the last four or five years in the combined debt, of State or Territory, county, and municipal, according to statements made a few days ago upon this floor, until it amounts to nearly four millions of dollars in this Territory. I am informed by my friend from Weber that if you add to this indebtedness our annual interest, which is a burden upon the people of this Territory, already amounts per annum to about five hundred thousand dollars.

Mr. MORRIS. Has any of that indebtedness ever come from assisting any private enterprise or any corporation?

Mr. ROBERTS. No, sir; and I do not speak of it as resulting from that, but I speak of it, sir, as I think that the people will look at it, and they will be loth to leave it possible to increase that indebtedness. They will shrink from it, being a conservative people, and that is the point I wish to call your attention to. That is a burden that we already have. And now our burden is to be increased by the new government. No {990} one disputes that. And then in addition to that, you want to leave the Constitution in such a shape that every company that chooses to launch an enterprise in our land can go to the Legislature of the State and ask, and perhaps obtain, the endorsement of the State upon its bonds, and it is an iniquity_an evil against which I wish to raise

my voice and if possible pursuade enough of our republican friends to join with us in warding off the blow that threatens the prosperity of the State. Why, gentlemen, let me appeal to you from another direction. If you insist on keeping out this provision from the Constitution, you are only serving notice upon the people of the proposed new State that the only safety for them will be to entrust the government of the State to the democratic party, who will not use the credit of the State in aid of building up private enterprises. Our friend here yesterday wanted us to defer this discussion until we should get upon the stump next fall, and in dramatic tone informed us that he would say then, “Lay on, Macduff, and damned be he who first cries hold, enough.” Now, sir, the business life I lead has precluded me from refreshing my memory in the English classics, but as I remember the story of Macbeth from my schoolboy reading, I think the gentleman was exceedingly unfortunate in assuming the character of Macbeth in that connection, for the reason, sir, I believe Macduff did lay on. That desperate language, sir, did not come from re-enforcement born of sweet hope, it was rather resolution that the bloodstained king had gathered up from despair. He had listened to that voice which deceives us in honest trifles to betray us in deepest consequences. He had allowed himself to think. sir, that the devil could speak truth. He had been deceived in every promise made to him by the false spirits whose counsel he had followed. And now. at last, confronted by the man whom he had most wronged, he defied fate and said, “Lay on Macduff.” Macduff did, with sturdy blows, till the blood-stained tyrant, usurping king of Scotland, lay helpless a corpse at his feet. Is the language of the illustration prophetic of the next campaign? [Applause.]

Why, sir, you refuse to engraft into the Constitution this provision, I tell you in answer to some gentleman who whispered Waterloo a few days ago that we have been fighting no Waterloo. It was the first battle, or the first part of the battle at Marengo. You remember, gentlemen, how the French columns, hour after hour, were hurled upon the Austrian forces and how they were broken and driven back until the first consul of France, seeing his broken columns all around him turned to the dauntless Desolles. “General,” said he, “what do you think of the battle?” “Why,” replied Desolles, “it is lost completely. But,” said he, “it is only 2 o'clock, we can win another before the day closes.” And with that he led his corps in the attack. Another general, Kellermann, charged at the right moment upon the flank of the enemy. The Austrian line was broken and victory was once more faithful to the flag of Arcola. So, sir, it shall prove in this issue. You shall find a Marengo and not a Waterloo that we have been fighting, and before the campaign closes, in another issue you shall find that by 5 o'clock, the democrats have gained a victory and a democratic State will appear in prospective. [Applause.]

Mr. EICHNOR. I would like to ask Mr. Roberts two questions. First, is this not a partisan question?

Mr. ROBERTS. I think, sir, that it ought to be. I have tried to think it was not, until the organ of the party announced that, “it is a clear abandonment of the republican position on the question, an indefensible attitude to take before the party.” And especially the partisan movements that were {991} made last night to get in enough republicans to change the result of the vote.

Mr. EICHNOR. The second question is, did you discuss it from a non-partisan standpoint?

Mr. ROBERTS. I could not discuss it from a non-partisan standpoint for the reason that our friends have made it partisan question.

Mr. EICHNOR. Then do you expect the republicans to vote for it?

Mr. ROBERTS. I hope, sir, that there will be enough republicans who will have patriotism at heart to guard the State against future evils that they will vote for this measure.

Mr. GOODWIN. Mr. President, day before yesterday we had a roaring lion here. We downed that lion. caged him, and thought we were done with him. Yesterday a tiger was presented, but he was assailed and we were called upon to see that he had no claws. He had them concealed in the cushions of his feet, that he had the most delightful stripes in ihe world, and that his purr was precisely like that of the house cat. There could be no harm in him. Mr. President, this is simply a partisan question. I do not mean it in any small or offensive sense. There is no democrat can present anything here that seems fair, even if it is democratic, that shall not have my hearty support, but you can see by the whole tenor of the argument, that this is considered a party question. The only thing that astonishes me is that a gentleman like the last speaker is so fearful if this goes on, as it ought to, it will result in making this a democratic State. I did not expect so much candor from him, as to intimate to us in advance the calamity that that would be. [Laughter.] We are told that thirty states have this in their constitutions, and that seventeen of them are republican. Why? For just exactly the same reason that if 5 or 6 or S republicans join the democratic votes here, and put it into the Utah Constitution, and next week or next year New Mexico has the making of a constitution, gentlemen of the same school will rise up and point to eighteen republican states that have put it in their constitution. When constitutions are made, the majority of one or the other of the great parties is always small, just as we have it here, and if four or five men break away from the organization and join with the other side, they carry a majority, and the party that is in the majority has the credit for it. Mr. Thurman, my particular friend from Utah, drew a picture of the sufferings of those who under this would certainly mortgage their homes, that almost made me weep. He told of what had already been done in this Territory and saying we were paying for the fun we had had. How are we paying? Let us get down to actual facts. In this city the entire city tax for all purposes, conducting the government, paying interest, etc., except the schools, is six and one-half mills, that is six dollars and a half on a thousand dollars. The death rate has been reduced because of that more than fifty per cent. The death rate from diphtheria and scarlet fever have been reduced seventy per cent.

If the gentleman was living here, would not he mortgage his home to be insured exemption or two-thirds exemption from those two diseases, where his little children were playing about him? If he had a homestead worth a thousand dollars, would not he pay $6.50 insurance on that? See what all this buncombe amounts to when you come down to actual facts. But there is another point_a very grave point. I am not opposing this new proposed section because I am in favor of this State, when it shall become a State, mortgaging itself to increase the riches of private corporations, but I take higher grounds. I say that this Convention has no right or business to impeach in advance the integrity of the {992} Legislatures or the intelligence of the people, I say it has no right to say that the State Legislature shall have the power to say to Salt Lake City, “you shall not use your money for any public or private purpose. You shall not join in any enterprise

that you want to, because in the old states, where all improvements are made, where all resources are developed, they have got so that they are afraid of corporations.” That is why I am opposing this measure. If it was confined to the State itself loaning its credit, there is but one thing that would prevent my supporting it.

I see a possible time in the future when it will be necessary for this State in order to give its poor employment possibly to lend its aid, under proper safe guards, to establish reservoirs, or canals, to give land that is now a barren waste the vitality which comes of water, and give the poor employment and at the same time to add to the taxable property of the State. My friend from Weber yesterday drew a pathetic picture of the awful loss which the United States has sustained because of the Pacific railroad debt. I did not look for that. The property is still good for the debt. The government can get even on their settlement, but suppose that it were a loss, what then? The government has already received back five times that investment. It has received it back in the decreased expenses in carrying the mails and army and munitions of war of the nation. It saved it in a hundred Indian wars that would have been. It saved it in twenty shapes. But that road was built for a double purpose. The first was to hold this Union together. Some of us have been in the west for years and years. We could not receive a word from home oftener than once in two weeks. There was a universal demand from Oregon, from California, and from Nevada, for that road. The government gave away lands which were worthless to it. They also guaranteed a loan and what is the result? This building that we are in to-day is one of the results. The fact that all across this continent the frontier has been pushed away to the seashore is another of its results. Of all the comparisons, except when men want to appeal to the prejudices of unthinking and unreasoning partisan men, they never should bring up the Pacific railroad subsidy as a proof of the soundness of their position.

We were told that yesterday the party whip was cracked. There was no sound in that crack, but there was a democratic crack over in the other corner when this vote was declared carried on this section. I did not see one democratic face that was not smiling. I saw very few democratic hands that were not clapping. That shows whether they thought it was partisan or not. My friend from Salt Lake City, (Mr. Richards) the other day asked me how I knew that a road west to Deep Creek would have held up the real estate in this city and would have benefitted this part of the Territory particularly, and the whole Territory generally. I was sorry that ht, did that, because it confirmed the suspicion, which is more or less prevalent, that sometimes very eminent lawyers forget to inform themselves on outside matters. When he asked that question he gave away the fact that he had not carefully read the papers this last four or five years, and I hold that no public gentleman, no gentleman of any class, can afford to get along without reading the daily papers, some of them for the instruction they contain, some of them for the horrible example they set. But I will ask him a question which will come right within his comprehension. I will ask him if this city ten years ago had had the power and had built a railroad from here to Coalville, and had delivered coal to the people, rich and poor alike, in this city for two dollars a ton, if they would not have had back their money four or {993 - PETITIONS AND MEMORIALS} five times and have owned a property that would have paid them better interest than anything they have got in this city?

Mr. RICHARDS. I will say this, that is certainly true. But I will ask the gentleman how he knows

that if a railroad had been built under the circumstances he suggests, that it would not have formed a combination with some other railroad and eventually the people have been buncoed out of their money, as they have been times innumerable in this country?

Mr. GOODWIN. Mr. President, I heard a story once. I will get to the answer to you in a moment. I heard of a proposition that was made to one of the most distinguished Presidents of the United States that a certain thing should be done, for the protection of men under certain circumstances. His reply was, “I think it would be a good idea because it would be a complete protection in a certain event.” He says, “I never heard of a man having a baby, but he was not assured.”

Now, if the citizens of this State had been going to give a subsidy or subscribe to a railroad, with the experience before them, I presume that they would have fixed it so that it would forever have been under their control, or the provision against fooling with it would have been made so strong that it could not have have been done. Mr. Richards is a lawyer. He could have drawn a contract that would have protected the city and the citizens and all that sort of suggestions are simply giving up the idea that the people have not sense enough to handle their own business unless a provision is put into the Constitution preventing them from doing what they wanted to.

Mr. FARR. If Mr. Goodwin will allow me to make a suggestion, it is this. If the gentlemen here expect to go to Logan this afternoon, it is time they were making a move, and I submit, Mr. Goodwin have the first chance Monday morning to finish his speech.

Mr. GOODWIN. I have got through nearly all I wanted to say, and I suggest that while I believe several of these gentlemen ought to go to Provo instead of Logan [laughter], that this be continued and that it be made a special order for Monday morning.

Mr. CREER. Mr. President, I move that we now adjourn until Monday morning at 10 o'clock.

Mr. JAMES. Mr. President, this very ground is embodied in the report of the committee on incorporations, which will come into this Convention, and if you inject that_

Mr. VARIAN. I object to any such business as that being interjected now.
The motion to adjourn was agreed to.

[Legislature Home Page][Previous Day][Next Day][Back to Menu of Days]