Report of the Majority of the Select Committee on the Constitution: January 14th, 1850 by House of Delegates

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Report of the Majority of the Select Committee on the Constitution: January 14th, 1850

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Excerpt from Report of the Majority of the Select Committee on the Constitution: January 14th, 1850

The undersigned, a majority of the committee appointed to take into consideration the expediency of calling a convention to reform the Constitution of this State, and to frame a bill for the assembling thereof, respectfully report:

After giving to the subject the best consideration they were able to bestow, they have determined to recommend the assembling of a convention, in the manner prescribed by the bill subjoined as a portion of this report.

They are aware that the whole question referred to them by the House, has been at different periods the subject of grave deliberation: and that hitherto all efforts to secure the desired object, have been utterly fruitless. In the report, which they have the honor to make, they might content themselves with the subordinate duty of again commending to the attention of the House the views submitted to its notice by the advocates of reform in preceding legislatures. But, as it is desirable that the fairest opportunity should be afforded for discussing the question of reform at the present session, they have deemed it just and expedient to state in the fullest manner the reasons which have inclined them to submit the bill, reported herewith, to the consideration of the House.

At December session, 1847, the majority of the committee charged with the examination of the proposals then made for reform, in the conclusion of their report deprecated the idea of agitating a question of such moment, when the State was involved in financial embarrassments of the most serious character. They respectfully asked that the whole discussion might be postponed to a period when it could exercise no injurious influence upon the credit of the commonwealth. The strenuous and able appeal then made to the discretion of the House was heard, and whether for this reason only, or for others of a more particular character, the bills framed for the purpose of calling a convention were all rejected.

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