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question and that was, doubtless, the question to which Mr. JEFFERSON intended it to apply. Was it possible we were going to have a rule forced upon us which will give to two gentlemen the privilege of preventing all the other members of the body from offering their views, or their propositions ? The argument of gentlemen was, that if the decision of the CHAIR was not sustained, we would be pestered with amendments forever. Well, if we are pestered with amendments gentlemen can listen to them until they get tired, and then move the previous question, which would close the door upon these amendments. But he had understood the President of the Convention as saying that the previous question would cut off this amendment. This was not the case in his view of the matter, because the vote had been taken on this and the previous question only cut off those amendments on hich no vote had been taken. Gentlemen have said if we have any propositions which we desire to bring forward, we have the liberty to read them in our places. We can do this to be sure, but they must recollect after having read these propositions we are not at liberty to go into an explanation of them, much less can other gentlemen give their views upon them. A proposition may contain sound principles, yet at first sight they may not present themselves to the views of gentlemen. A little discussion might satisfy every one, that the proposition was the best that could be offered, but there would be no opportunity afforded to discuss it. This, then was no cure for the evil. There must be some time and some place where gentlemen can have the opportunity of offering amendments ; and that time, in his opinion, was the present, because they could not be offered when the amendment to the amendment was pending, and they certainly cannot be offered after the final vote is taken This he conceived to be the proper time for amendment because the question was precisely in the same situation as it was after the gentleman from Chester (Mr. BELL) first submited his amendment, and it was now open * for amendment in the same manner as that question was open for amendment. Gentlemen have told us, there is no way of reaching our object but by reconsidering the vote on the amendment. It is true those who voted for the amendment may move to reconsider it, but perhaps, they were of the same opinion now, as they were when they gave their votes; and, if so, it could not be reconsidered. Their being of that opinion now, however, was no evidence that they might not be better pleased with some other proposition which some gentleman might desire to present if he had the opportunity to do so, and express his views on the subject. If the decision of the CHAIR was sustained, and he had any proposition hereafter which he had very much at heart, he would get some gentleman to aid him, and they would first offer some unimportant amendment, and then move the one he desired to have passed as an amendment to it, and if the House prefered the latter to the former of the amendments, gentlemen would be cut off from amending it, and it would be safe. This was a mode of carrying a proposition which he had never dreamed of before. As he had before said, the whole error in this matter was in applying the rule from JEFFERSON's Manual in the wrong place. After the vote was taken on the main question, then he admited the rule applied with full force; then we cannot strike any thing out of the amendment, but at present the question was certainly open to amendment either by striking out or inserting.

Mr. EARLE said the gentleman from Franklin (Mr CHAMBERS) had stated

[graphic]

of understanding this rule, hereafter, and of giving it the most 1 construction, he would go with the gentleman from Susquehanna against the decision of the CHAIR.

Mr. HASTINGS enquired, whether, if the amendment to the amend should be rejected, we should not be back exactly where we starte days ago

The CHAIR answered in the affirmative.

Mr. HASTINGS then enquired, if the amendment was sustained, wh there would not then have to be another question taken upon

it. The Chair said this had, heretofore, been the course pursued.

Mr. HASTINGS said he should then vote to sustain the decision o CHAIR.

Mr. READ: If this amendment which I have proposed, cann moved now, when will it be in order ?

The CHAIR said he had no feeling on this question, and s content himself by merely stating the question to the committee. motion was not decided out of order, because it was proposed amendment to the amendment as adopted, but because it went to de a part of the amendment adopted by the committee. The gentl from Susquehanna had moved to strike out a part of the amend adopted by the committee yesterday and insert the proposition had been read by the Clerk. The CHAIR had decided this to be order, and from this decision an appeal had been taken. The ques then, would be, shall the decision of the CHAIR stand as the judgme the House?

The question was then taken, and the decision of the Chair affirm yeas, 72 ; nays, 45-as follows:

YEAS-Messrs. Agnew, Ayres, Barndollar, Barnitz, Bayne, Biddie, Brown of Lan Brown, of Northampton, Carey, Chambers, Chandler, of Chester, Chauncey, Clarke, of Beaver, Clark, of Dauphin, Cline, Coates, Cochran, Cope, Cox, Craig, Cunningham, Darlington, Denny, Dickerson, Donagan, Fry, Gamble, Gearhart, F Hastings, Henderson, of Allegheny, Henderson, of Dauphin, Hiester, Hopkinson, F Jenks, Kennedy, Kerr, Konigmacher, Long, Lyons, Maclay, Mann, M'Call, M'D M'Sherry, Merrill

, Merkel, Montgomery, Pennypacker, Pollock, Porter, of Northan Porter, of Lancaster, Purviance, Reigart, Russell, Saeger, Scott, Sellers, s Scheetz, Sill, Snively, Sterigere, Stevens, Thomas, Todd, White, Young, Sergeant, sident_72.

Nays-Messrs. Banks, Bedford, Bell, Bigelow, Bonham, Brown, of Philade Butler, Clarke, of Indiana, Crain, Crawford, Cummin, Darrah, Dickey, Dillinger, nell, Doran, Earle, Farrelly, Fleming, Foulkrod, Fuller, Gilmore, Grenell, Ha Hayhurst, Helffenstein, High, Hyde, Krebs, Magee, Martin, M'Cahen, Miller, N Nevin, Read, Ritter, Rogers, Shellito, Smith, Smyth, Stickel, Swetland, Taggart, ver-45.

Mr. STERIGERE then submited the following, to come in at the end o proposition before the Chair : " And provided, that neither paupers, persons who have been convicted of any infamous crime, nor persons have been found by inquest, non compos mentis, or habitual drunka shall be permited to vote at any election. The election laws shal equal throughout the State, and no greater or other restrictions shal imposed on the electors, in any city, county, or district, than are imp on the electors of every other city, county, or district".

28

PROCEEDINGS AND DEBATES.

that an attempt was here made to reconsider the question which had been decided on yesterday, by those who voted against it. Now he would endeavor to show that there had been nothing like an attempt to reconsider the question decided on yesterday. What was the question decided on yesterday? It was simply that the committee prefered the amendment of the gentleman from Chester, on the other side of the House, to the amendment of the gentleman from Chester on this side of the House. What was the essential distinction between the two? It was as to the residence of six or twelve months; and the Convention decided that they prefered the twelve to the six months. Now, did the gentleman from Susquehanna propose to strike out this principle of twelve months which the committee had adopted ? Not at all. He only proposed to carry out in the amendment a matter which the committee had not decided upon. Suppose the gentleman from Chester (Mr. DARLINGTON) had only desired to make a change in the amendment, from six to twelve months, but to do this he had moved to strike out the whole amendment and put it in different words, but to the same effect, excepting that part relating to the six months' residence: Would the adoption of such an amendment preclude all amendments thereafter? We have made but one amendment, yet the rule says we may make the proposition as perfect as we can by amendments. The proposition submited is not the same as the report of the committee, and it is not the same as that of either of the gentlemen who have submited their amendments, and before the question was taken on the report of the committee, he conceived we had the right to amend and make it as perfect as possible. It had been said by the President of the Convention that it was a fixed rule that what had been agreed upon by the body was to stand. This only applied, as he conceived, to the main question, because the rule said you might perfect a proposition, by amendinents; and even says that the Chair shall not decide against an amendment which goes to change the proposition. He was of opinion, therefore, that the proposition of the gentleman from Susquehanna, was in order.

Mr. FLEMING said, if this question had been disposed of, as questions before flaxseed courts generally were, he should have had no difficulty in making up an opinion on the matter; because, in those courts you hear but, one side of a question. If he had heard but one side of this question discussed, he should have had no difficulty in coming to a conclusion ; but having heard the matter discussed on both sides, and turned round in so many different ways, it was a difficult matter for him, in the confusion of the question, to tell what to do. He had merely risen to say, without knowing anything from the rules, as to who was right and who was wrong, that he should sustain the appeal of the gentleman from Susquehanna, because he looked upon it as presenting to us the most liberal and enlarged construction of the rules. It goes to open the door to amendments, which he thought might be proper to be introduced here, and for this reason he should support it. He believed it was the best plan for those gentlemen who were entirely unlearned in matters of rules, to pursue a course which would give every gentleman the opportunity of presenting his views at large, which might otherwise be cut off by some rule which he was not aware of. It did not appear to him to be so much matter what any particular rule was, so that it was properly understood.

of understanding this rule, hereafter, and of giving it the most liberal construction, he would go with the gentleman from Susquehanna, and against the decision of the CHAIR.

Mr. HASTINGS enquired, whether, if the amendment to the amendment should be rejected, we should not be back exactly where we started two days ago

The CHAIR answered in the affirmative.

Mr. HASTINGS then enquired, if the amendment was sustained, whether there would not then have to be another question taken upon

it. The Chair said this had, heretofore, been the course pursued.

Mr. HASTINGS said he should then vote to sustain the decision of the CHAIR.

Mr. Read: If this amendment which I have proposed, cannot be moved now, when will it be in order?

The CHAIR said he had no feeling on this question, and should content himself by merely stating the question to the committee. The motion was not decided out of order, because it was proposed as an amendment to the amendment as adopted, but because it went to destroy a part of the amendment adopted by the committee. The gentleinan from Susquehanna had moved to strike out a part of the amendment adopted by the committee yesterday and insert the proposition which had been read by the Clerk. The CHAIR had decided this to be out of order, and from this decision an appeal had been taken. The question, then, would be, shall the decision of the Chair stand as the judgment of the House?

The question was then taken, and the decision of the Chair affirmed yeas, 72; nays, 45-as follows:

YEAs--Messrs. Agnew, Ayres, Barndollar, Barnitz, Bayne, Biddie, Brown of Lancaster, Brown, of Northampton, Carey, Chambers, Chandler, of Chester, Chauncey, Clapp, Clarke, of Beaver, Clark, of Dauphin, Cline, Coates, Cochran, Cope, Cox, Craig, Crum, Cunningham, Darlington, Denny, Dickerson, Donagan, Fry, Gamble, Gearhart, Harris, Hastings, Henderson, of Allegheny, Henderson, of Dauphin, Hiester, Hopkinson, Houpt, Jenks, Kennedy, Kerr, Konigmacher, Long, Lyons, Maclay, Mann, M'Call, M’Dowell, M'Sherry, Merrill, Merkel

, Montgomery, Pennypacker, Pollock, Porter, of Northampton, Porter, of Lancaster, Purviance, Reigart, Russell, Saeger, Scott, Sellers, Seltzer, Scheetz, Sill, Snively, Sterigere, Stevens, Thomas, Todd, White, Young, Sergeant, President–72.

Nays-Messrs, Banks, Bedford, Bell, Bigelow, Bonham, Brown, of Philadelphia, Butler, Clarke, of Indiana, Crain, Crawford, Cummin, Darrah,Dickey, Dillinger, Donnell, Doran, Earle, Farrelly, Fleming, Foulkrod, Fuller, Gilmore, Grenell, Hamlin, Hayhurst, Helffenstein, High, Hyde, Krebs, Magee, Martin, M'Caben, Miller, Myers, Nevin, Read, Ritter, Rogers, Shellito, Smith, Smyth, Stickel, Swetland, Taggart, Weaver-45.

Mr. STERIGERE then submited the following, to come in at the end of the proposition before the Chair : " And provided, that neither paupers, nor persons who have been convicted of any infamous crime, nor persons who have been found by inquest, non compos mentis, or habitual drunkards, shall be permited to vote at any election. The election laws shall be equal throughout the State, and 110 greater or other restrictions shall be imposed on the electors, in any city, county, or district, than are imposed on the electors of every other city, county, or district".

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