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APRIL 12, 1911.-Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. RUCKER of Missouri, from the Committee on Election of Presi

dent, Vice President, and Representatives in Congress, submitted the following


[To accompany H. R. 2958.)

The Committee on Election of President, Vice President, and Representatives in Congress, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 2958) to amend an act entitled “An act providing for publicity of contributions made for the purpose of influencing elections at which Representatives in Congress are elected,” having considered the same, beg to report it back to the House with the recommendation that the bill be amended as hereinafter stated and, as amended, that the bill do pass.

The publicity law which this bill seeks to amend was enacted by the Sixty-first Congress, and was known in that Congress as H. R. 2250. As the bill passed the House it contained provisions requiring publicity of campaign contributions and expenditures to be made before as well as after election. Before the bill became law section 5 as it passed the House was so amended as to only require publicity after election.

The purpose of the pending bill is to so amend existing law as to require publicity before election as well as after election. In accomplishing this your committee has retained all the valuable provisions of sections 5 and 6 as they passed the House in the last Congress and have injected new language into said sections which it is confidently believed will more perfectly express the will of the House and more fully meet the demands of the public for legislation to purify elections. This demand is not sectional, nor is it partisan. Good men of all sections

and of all political parties have enlisted in the commendable work of aiding and encouraging the enactment of a fair but rigid statute requiring publicity of moneys received and disbursed by great political committees.

Your committee recommends that the bill be amended by striking out the word “the” in line 13, page 2, and inserting the word “said.'

Amend by adding “g” to the word "statement' at the end of line 16, page 2.



1st Session

No. 2.


APRIL 12, 1911.—Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. RUCKER of Missouri, from the Committee on Election of Presi

dent, Vice President, and Representatives in Congress, submitted the following


[To accompany H. J. Res. 39.]

The Committee on Election of President, Vice President, and Representatives in Congress, to which was referred the joint resolution (H. J. Res. 39) proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizing the election of Senators by a direct vote of the people of the several States, having considered the same, beg to report said joint resolution back to the House with the recommendation that it do pass.

As the joint resolution reported is in the exact words of Senate Joint Resolution 134, reported from the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in the Sixty-first Congress by Mr. Borah, your committee adopts the able and exhaustive report there made, omitting some portions of same.

II. The first draft of the Constitution submitted to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 by Edmund Randolph provided as follows:

Resolved, That Members of the second branch of the National Legislature ought to be elected by those of the first out of a proper number of persons nominated by the individual legislators, etc.”

The draft of the Constitution submitted by Mr. Pinckney was practically the same, to wit: “The Senate shall be elected and chosen by the House of Delegates." The draft submitted by Mr. Hamilton provided as follows:

“The Senate to consist of persons elected to serve during good behavior; their elections to be made by electors chosen for that purpose by the people. In order to do this the States to be divided into election districts."

The 11 propositions submitted by Mr. Patterson do not seem to have covered the subject at all; in fact, Mr. Patterson's scheme was really to strengthen the old confederation.

Gouverneur Morris proposed that the Senators be appointed by the President to serve for life and without compensation.

Mr. Wilson of Pennsylvania urged that the election of Senators be made by the people.

The vote was taken on the election by the lower branch of the legislature and was lost. Dickinson afterwards moved that they be elected or chosen by the individual legislators. A substitute was offered for this referring the election to the people. The substitute was defeated, and the method of choosing through the State legislatures was thereupon adopted.


One can not in reading the proceedings and debates of the convention fail to notice the limited amount of discussion on the subject of the mode or manner of electing Senators. Some of the reasons urged in the debate would certainly not avail at this time, and would not under present conditions and after a century of experience in the rule of the people be advanced by anyone. Gouverneur Morris thought it desirable that the Senate be made up of men of great and established wealth, that thus they might keep down the "turbulency of democracy."

Roger Sherman said:

“The people immediately should have as little to do as may be about the Government. They lack information and are constantly liable to be misled.”

Mr. Gerry said:

"The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots."

Mr. Dickinson states that the Senate should bear as strong a resemblance to the House of Lords of England as possible.

It is a noticeable fact that almost all parties who opposed the election of Senators by popular vote or by the people also opposed the election of Representatives by the people, and assign almost the same reasons.

These fears were not unnatural at that time, and especially in view of the experience of history and our own experience under the Confederation.

Mr. Wilson, of Pennsylvania, was the strongest advocate and practically the sole advocate in the convention of the election of Senators by popular vote. He said among other things:

“If we are to establish a national government, the government ought to flow from the people at large. * I wish the Senate to be elected by the people, as well as the other branch.”

We ought not to overlook, either, a statement by Mr. Madison, although we do not contend that he advocated election of Senators by popular vote.

"The great fabric to be raised would be more stable and durable if it should rest upon the solid foundation of the people themselves rather than if it should stand merely on the pillars of the legislature.”

IV. We do not find any discussion whatever in the State conventions which ratified the Constitution on the mode of electing Senators. It was only referred to once or twice incidentally and seems not to have received any serious or extended discussion at any time. Neither was it discussed in the current literature of the day to any great extent. It was referred to in the Federalist by Mr. Hamilton (No. XXVII), and also by Mr. Hamilton or Mr. Madison in No. LXII. In the last number of the Federalist referred to we find this paragraph:

“It is equally unnecessary to dilate on the appointment of Senators by the State legislatures. Among the various modes which might have been devised for constituting this branch of the Government, that which has been proposed by the convention is probably the most congenial with public opinion. It is recommended by the double advantage of favoring a select appointment and of giving to the State governments such an agency in the formation of the Federal Government as must secure the authority of the former and may form a convenient link between the two systems."

Nothing less could have been said upon the subject if the subject was to be referred to at all.

It is proper to take into consideration the condition of affairs with reference to popular voting at the time of the formation of the Constitution. Very few of the States gave to their citizens the unqualified right to vote, and very few allowed the people the right to elect any considerable number of officials. Most of the offices in the State were filled by appointment, some by the legislature, some by the chief executive. For a number of years the legislature had been practically a gathering of the people; that is to say, the body through which they acted in sundry matters not strictly legislative. A vast change has taken place since then. At the present time practically all the officers from precinct officer to the President are elected, with certain exceptions as to the judiciary. The President, in view of the function now performed by the electors, is in reality elected by popular vote. Manhood suffrage has everywhere become general and practically unqualified.

We do not cite these historic facts for the purpose of in any way seeking to impeach or criticize the remarkable men who framed our Constitution. In the science of government none have ever excelled the men who gathered at Philadelphia for the

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