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in the more sparsely settled sections of the State, and are not upon the lands of the hard-working bona fide settlers.

Again, whenever a man neglects or refuses to pay his just tax, he commits a wrong to his neighbor who pays his, for this tax must be re-assessed upon his neighbor's property unless the realization of the amount be otherwise provided for. Therefore the law fixes these various methods to induce and compel payment. In doing this, expense is incurred at every step, which it is right that the person neglecting to pay should bear. Part of these extra charges are, of course, for that purpose.

Of the money collected, every dollar goes into the State Treasury, and is disbursed to pay the twenty-five per cent to the purchaser, for advertising, and other expenses incident to the return and collection of taxes, and also enables the State to carry the taxes upon the State tax lands. Without it a direct tax for that purpose would be inevitable.

Again, it is claimed, and with truth, too, that many, if not most, of the tax-titles are invalid, and for reasons which it is needless to mention here. Consequently, strong inducements must be held out to those who stand ready to bid in these lands and pay those taxes, the payment of which is a relief to evemanry who willingly pays his tax. By a reduction of the rate of interest and charges, we believe that fewer taxes would be paid, and less lands purchased at the tax sales, and a greater amount of the taxes levied remain unpaid.

Every dollar of unpaid taxes is a loss to the tax-paying portion of the community, and any provision of law which induces the payment and insures the collection of the greatest proportion of taxes, should be retained, unless it most clearly appears that a change would more effectually secure such a desired result.

After a careful investigation of the subject, your committee have come to the conclusion that the provisions of the present law, sought to be amended by this bill, are wise; that they have

accomplished the object for which they were enacted, and that they are for the best interests of the people of the State. They have therefore directed me to report said bill back to the House, without amendment, and recommend that it do not pass.

C. B. GRANT, Chairman. Report accepted and committee discharged. On motion of Mr. Bottomley, The bill was laid on the table. By the committee on local taxation : The committee on local taxation, to whom was referred

A bill to authorize the board of supervisors of Ionia county to apportion and cause to be levied a tax upon certain portions of fractional school district No. 5 of the township of Portland, Danby, Orange, and Sebewa, in the year 1873,

Respectfully report that they have had the same under consideration, and have directed me to report the same back to the House, without amendment, and recommend that it do pass, and ask to be discharged from the further consideration of the subject.

P. MITCHELL, Chairman. Report accepted and committee discharged.

The bill was ordered printed, referred to the committee of the whole, and placed on the general order.

By the committee on roads and bridges :

The committee on roads and bridges, to whom was recommitted

House bill No. 114, entitled

A bill to discontinue that portion of a certain State road known as the “Grand Rapids and Greenville State road," running across the southwest quarter of section twenty-two in township 9 north, of range 10 west,

Respectfully report that they have had the same under con sideration, and have directed me to report the same back to the House, with the accompanying amendment, and recommend that the amendment be concurred in, and when so amended, do pass, and ask to be discharged from the further consideration of the subject.

JOHN WALKER, Chairman. Report accepted and committee discharged. On motion of Mr. Watkins,

The House concurred in the amendments made to the bill by the committee.

On motion of Mr. Watkins,

The rules were suspended, and the bill was placed on th order of third reading.

By the committee on railroads:

The committtee on railroads, to whom was referred a bill entitled

“ A bill to compel railroad companies of the State of Michigan to use air brakes upon passenger trains,"

Respectfully report that they have had the same under consideration. The bill provides that it shall not be lawful for any railroad company to run a passenger train after the first of August next, without having on said train an air-brake. Your committee deem this an additional protection for the lives of the traveling public without material injury to the company, and have therefore directed me to report the same back to the House, without amendment, and recommend that it do pass, and ask to de discharged from the further consideration of the subject.

E. C. WATKINS, Chairman. Report accepted and committee discharged.

The bill was ordered printed, referred to the committee of the whole, and placed on the general order.

COMMUNICATIONS FROM STATE OFFICERS.

The Speaker announced the following: Hon. CHARLES M. CROSWELL, Speaker of the House of Rep

resentatives : In compliance with the following preamble and resolutions :

Whereas, Upon page eight of the Annual Report of the Inspectors of the State Prison, the statement is made that " the average rate now paid for convict labor is fifty-seven cents a day, and this while the common laborer in the streets receives two dollars per day;" therefore

Resolved, The the Inspectors of the State Prison be and are hereby required to inform this House of Representatives, as soon as possible, the reasons for this discrepancy, and suggestions as to the remedy therefor, and to instruct the Agent of the State Prison not to enter into any pew contracts until such report shall be made;

Resolved, That the Clerk of this House be and is hereby required to transmit copies of this resolution to each of the Inspectors and the Agent of the State Prison;

The undersigned Inspectors of the State Prison beg leave to respectfully communicate to the honorable House of Representatives the following as some of the reasons why the average wages received for convict labor at the State Prison is so {mall :

First. Contractors insist that it takes more capital to carry on business in the Prison than on the outside, and that greater risks have to be incurred, as they are required to hire the labor of the prisoners for five years, subject to all the fluctuations in business and variations in prices that may happen during that period; that if trade is dull at any season of the year the labor cannot be diminished according to the demand, as it can on the outside, but the men must be kept constantly at work, the effect of which is to create an accumulation of stock, which often has to be held and carried over for a long time; that from this fact, and the additional one, that the labor of the convicts is not equal to that of men on the outside of the prison, they declare they cannot invest the large outlays required for machinery and tools requisite to carry on manufacturing and business operations within the prison, and make a fair living profit, without the labor of the convicts is let to them at a very small sum per day.

The consequence is that contractors generally make but one bid, and as there is usually a concert of action among them, and but little or no competition, the labor of the convicts is let at very low rates.

Second. It must be apparent to every one that compulsory labor can never be made to realize as much as free labor. In the one case the worker toils reluctantly, because he is forced to, taking no interest in his labor, and sometimes doing it in such a manner as to greatly impair and even destroy the value of the material ; while, on the other hand, the free man works cheerfully, and interests himself to promote and advance the business and prosperity of his employer.

Third. In this, as in all other branches of business, prices are regulated in a great measure by demand. If there is no demand and no competition for convict labor, it must of necessity, if let at all, be let at low rates. The want of competition in our own State is best shown in the fact that while full and ample notice of the lettivg has invariably been given in accordance with the requirements of law, and special pains taken to inform the public thereof, in no instance has the present board received more than one bid for any class of convict labor.

The subject of the prices paid for convict labor, and of the best method for obtaining an increased price therefor, has freqnently engaged the attention of the board of inspectors. It was with this view that they earnestly urged, in conjunction with the agent of the prison, that so much of that provision of law for the letting of the labor of the convicts as required the notice of the letting to contain a specification of the branch of business that the convicts were to be engaged in, be repealed 80 that there might be no limitation, and a more extended opportunity for competition for this kind of labor on the part of all industries. The abolition of this restriction has taken

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