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Mr. DOBSON. Before we leave this place we will have to designate the number of the districts, and we may as well do it now as at any other time. If the matter were left to the Legislature, we might insert these words, but at the first election under the new Constitution they are to be elected as we district the State. I think, therefore, that we may as well leave the amendment as it is. Very well; I with
draw the amendment. Mr. BORDEN moved to amend the section by adding the following proviso: "Provided, That every organized county shall be entitled to elect at least one member of the House of Representatives."
In support of his amendment, Mr. B. addressed the Convention as follows:
Mr. PRESIDENT: I have considered this question as being one of great importance, and as I have desired to submit my views upon the subject to the Convention, although it is near the hour at which we usually adjourn, if no other gentleman desires to continue the debate, I will proceed to state those views as briefly as I am able, consistently with the nature and importance of the question. The report made by the Chairman of the Committee on the Legislative Department (Mr. Bright) proposes to empower the General Assembly to reduce the House of Representatives to sixty members, and also that the Senate may be reduced to not less than one-third of the number of the House. Now, sir, to this reduction of the House of Representatives, I am utterly opposed; and so far from desiring to see that body reduced below its present number of one hundred, I would much rather see it increased to one hundred and fifteen or a hundred and twenty members, and a provision inserted that would secare to each county in the State at least one Representative. On this question, I consider myself bound by instructions.
At the Convention at which I was placed in nomination for a seat in this body, the following, among other propositions, was laid down:
"The division of the State into single districts for the election of Representatives; but each county to have at least one member of the House of Representatives."
And, sir, I stand here to defend, to the utmost of my power, both of these principles. Should we. as proposed in the proposition I have just read, give to each organized county in the State one member of the House of Representatives, we could then reduce the Senate to thirty-four members, which would be a reduction in that body of sixteen members from the number of which it is at present constituted. Add these sixteen to the present number of the House of Representatives, and it would make that House consist of a hundred and sixteen members. There are now ninety or ganized counties in the State, and it would of
course take ninety out of the hundred and sixteen members to represent these counties. That would leave an excess of twenty-six members to be distributed among the largest counties. This arrangement would give two members to every county having the number of 2500 free white male persons, over the age of twenty-one years, and would include one of the counties which I represent (Allen) which has 3214 free white male citizens, as returned by the Auditor of State. But, sir, if the Convention is not prepared to go that far, let us provide that any county having one-half of the ratio, shall be entitled to send one member. This would secure to all the counties numbering over 2000 free white male persons, two Representatives; and would allow to all the counties having one thousand such persons, one Representative.
Sir, I cannot but think that some concession should be made by the large counties to the smaller counties in the northern part of the State.
The gentleman from Switzerland (Mr. Kelso) has said that we must either take territory or population as a basis of representation, and I understood him to say that if we take one of these principles, we shall be necessarily compelled to abandon the other. Now, sir, with all deference to that gentleman, I do not see that any such necessity follows at all. Allow me to ask him why we may not unite both of these principles? I am decidedly of opinion that the Senate should be based upon the whole number of inhabitants; but I am for basing the House of Representatives on the whole number of free white male persons, over the age of twenty-one years; and then taking into view in the apportionment of the House of Representatives that each county, as a political organization, is entitled to be represented, I think the uniting of all these elements in the apportionment will, in my opinion, not only. be productive of the most beneficial results, but be entirely satisfactory to a great majority of the people of the State. If we look at the House of Representatives of the United States, we there see that each State has at least one
Representative in Congress; and all men admit that it is a correct principle. It works well in the National Government, and I can see no reason why the same principle should not operate equally well in a State Government.
Sir, it has been said in this debate that those of us who are disposed to stand by the small counties in this, the severest hour of their trial, are disposed to introduce the odious principle that property and not numbers should be represented in the popular branch of the Legisla ture. Let me here say, sir, once for all, that this charge is without the slightest foundation, and that nothing can be further from the truth than such an imputation. No, sir; it is because we think that property should not have a pre