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sliould be extended to small and comparatively unimportant particulars. The example is exceedingly pernicious, and the reputation for integrity of public servants, cannot long survive a gross misapplication of legal enactments, or a careless indifference, where a degree of discretion is allowed in the disposal of the public money.
We have no statutory regulations as to the manner in which the debenture of the Senate shall be made, in what way our compensation shall be drawn from the treasury, and what shall be a proper voucher for the Treasurer, except in these very general terms, “a certificate of debenture.” It has been usual for the President to furnish the certificate. This is obviously improper in relation to the items of mileage and attendance of any except himself. The Secretary takes the mileage from Senators rather early in the session, and in making the debenture, sets it down opposite to each name. The number of day's attendance he finds by computing the whole number, from that on which the session commenced, to and including the day fixed for adjournment. Whether there may not have been days and even weeks of absence of individualş he has no means of knowing, except where leave has been granted by the Senate, which of course brings the fact upon the journal. The amount of compensation to which each is entitled is ascertained from the law and these data, and that each receives without making any enquiry whether absences, known probably to none but himself, are deducted, and he signs a receipt for the money. After all are paid off, the President is called upon for his official signature, which is necessary to pass the document at the treasury. In justice to the Secretary, this can hardly be withheld. The presumption is that all is correct; but the proper evidence of it is wanting. If the rule, which restricts Senators to absence on leave, was strictly regarded, some of the evils arising from this loose practice might be obviated.
Another practice has occasionally been exhibited, somewhat analagous to the foregoing. Leave of absence, for the remainder of the session, has been granted from and after a day named, which may be two, three or more days after that on which the application is made. An individual so situated, if pressed with anxiety on account of friends or business, might be tempted to draw his pay and immediately retire, and thus secure his per diem for some days after his arrival at home. Whether frauds have actually been committed under this practice, is not now the object of inquiry; if, in fact, it offers facilities for their commission, it should be promptly reformed. Should leave of absence be always so restricted as to have its commencement from the day on which it is granted, and should the debenture be so formed as to contain from each individual a certificate of mileage and attendance, a remedy for these evils would probably be attained.
These suggestions, gentlemen, are not made in consequence of complaints or accusations from any quarter, nor for the purpose merely of saving to the state a few dollars of expense; but rather because important principles, as well as the reputation of this body and that of the individuals composing it, are believed to be somewhat involved. I would have the character of the Senate of Vermont not only pure, but unsuspected.
I congratulate you, gentlemen, upon the prospect of a short, a harmonious, and I trust profitable session. The labors of your predecessors the last year, so incessant, só fatiguing and so happily conducted, seem to have left but little, comparatively, now to be done, aud the condition, habits and feelings of your constituents, indicate the propriety of husbanding
the resources of the state, in some measure committed to your care, so far as will consist with a faithful performance of duty. I flatter myself that every Senator, anticipating but a brief absence, has so arranged his domestic concerns as to obviate the necessity of a single day's absence from his place until the final adjournment, and thus we may furnish an example worthy the imitation of our successors in all future time. It will be my constant endeavor, so far as ability and opportunity permit, to aid you in the performance of your labors, and if practicable, bring them to a speedy and profitable conclusion.
On motion of Mr. Wooster, The Senate adjourned.
FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 1840. A resolution from the House of Representatives :
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives, That both houses meet in joint assembly on Saturday next, at three o'clock in the afternoon, for the purpose of electing judges of the supreme court for the year ensuing. Which was read.
On motion of Mr. Foster,
On motion of Mr. Miner,
The ballots having been taken and examined, DeWitt Clinton Clarke was duly elected; and thereupon was duly sworn and entered upon the duties of his office.
On motion of Mr. Wooster, Ordered, That the Senate proceed to the election of a Chaplain for the year ensuing.
The ballots having been taken and examined, the Rev. Buel W. Smith was found to be elected.
The following communication was received from His Excellency the Governor: To the Senate :
Having taken the oaths prescribed by the constitution, and entered upon the duties of Governor of the state for the year ensuing, I have the honor to inform, that George B. Manser, of Montpelier, is appointed Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs, and that I propose making the annual Executive communication at ten o'clock to-morrow morning.
SILAS H. JENISON.
Oct. 9, 1840. 3
On motion of Mr. Eaton of Franklin, The Senate proceeded to the election of the standing coinmittees, agreeably to the rules of the Senate.
The ballots having been taken, the following persons were elected members of the standing committees :
On Finance.—Messrs. Adams, Norton, and Fletcher.
Mr. Butler moved to be excused from serving on the committe on Claims.
The Senate refused to excuse Mr. Butler.
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives, that a joint committee, consisting of three members of the Senate and three members of the House of Representatives, be appointed by their respective houses, to report such joint rules as may be deemed expedient, for the action of the General Assembly.
The resolution was ordered to be laid on the table.
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives, That the joint resolution, passed on the eighth instant, in the following words:
“ Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives, That the “members of both houses meet in county convention, on Friday next, at “three o'clock in the afternoon, for the purpose of making nominations of "county officers, and that both houses meet in joint assembly, on Satur6 day next, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon, to elect such officers," be rescinded, and that the members of both houses meet in county convention on Tuesday next, at three o'clock in the afternoon, for making nominations of county officers, and that both houses meet in joint assembly, on Wednesday next, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon to confirm such nominations.
On motion of Mr. Short,
On motion of Mr. Clark,
Mr. Eaton of Franklin, called up the resolution, stated on the journal of this forenoon, relating to the appointment of a committee to report joint
rules to the two houses, and the question, Shall the resolution pass ? being taken, was decided in the affirmative.
So the resolution passed.
On motion of Mr. Wooster, the Senate took under consideration the resolution, stated on the journal of yesterday, relating to the sale of bank charters, and the said resolution was read and passed.
On motion of Mr. Wooster,
SATURDAY, Oct. 10, 1840. A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. Merrill, their clerk:
MR. PRESIDENT: The House concur with the Senate in passing a resolution relating to the appointment of a committee to report joint rules to the two houses, and have on their part appointed Messrs. Swift, Chandler of Woodstock and Vilas, to join the committee appointed by the Senate. Mr. Adams introduced the following resolution:
Resolved, That one Senator from each congressional district in this state, be appointed to join such committee as the House of Representatives may appoint, to receive, sort and count the votes for members of Congress in the several districts, and that said committee be appointed by the chair.
Which was read and passed. .A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. Wasburn, assistant clerk :
MR. PRESIDÈNT: The House have passed a resolution for a joint assembly to elect commissioners of deaf and dumb, and a superintendent of the Vermont state prison, and also a resolution for a joint assembly to elect a Secretary of State, in which they ask the concurrence of the Senate.
On motion of Mr. Wooster, Ordered, That the Senate proceed to the election of an assistant secretary of the Senate for the year ensuing.
The ballots having been taken and examined, Edward A. Stansbury was found to be elected, and thereupon was duly sworn and entered upon the duties of his office.
Mr. Clark introduced the following resolution :
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives, That both houses meet in joint assembly, on Tuesday next, at ten o'clock in the forenoon, for the purpose of electing a reporter of the decisions of the supreme court. Which was read,
On motion of Mr. Wooster,
On motion of Mr. Miner, Ordered, That the committee of the Senate to join the committee of the llouse, to report joint rules to the two houses, be appcinted by the chair.
The President announced the appointment of the following committees:
Committee to join the committee of the House to report joint rules to the two houses,
Mr. Miner, Mr. Townsley and Mr. Wooster.
Cemmittee to join the committee of the House to canvass the votes for members of Congress,
For the first district-Mr. Miner.
The following written message was received from the Governor, by Mr.
and of the House of Representatives : Again it becomes my duty to address you upon our public concerns. Our official duties are various and responsible, and we shall best subserve the object of our appointment, and most effectually promote the prosperity of our country, by an honest, faithful and wise discharge of them. All legislation, having in view the virtue and permanent happiness of the people, will ultimately result in the common welfare.
Under our happy form of government, the rights of the humblest citizen are as sacredly secured as those of the most favored ; and every act, which shall, unnecessarily, limit or abridge those rights, is a positive contravention of the letter of our constitution and in direct violation of the spirit of our civil institutions. To encourage the practice of virtue, to prevent the commission of crime, to foster the interests of education, to promote the industry and improvement of the country, and to proiect the personal liberty and rights of our citizens, are among our legitimate and proper duties, as legislators.
In popular governments, law depends, for its efficacy, mainly upon the convictions of the people of its necessity and expediency. Without public opinion in its favor, legislative enactment becomes a dead letter upon our statute book, and is not only disregarded of itself, but in some measure weakens