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be made by petition of at least 5,000 voters, without party desig
nations on the ballot. Vote on Plans
“ Plan 2" received 39,175 votes against 35,306 1 and 2, 1909
for “ Plan 1.” The per cent. of interest shown by the voters of Boston in the referendum of November 2, 1909 was 69.02, as but 74,418 out of 107,918 registered voters voted on the referendum. On the same day the vote for governor was 76,190, or 70.06 per cent. of the number registered. The vote on the referendum amounted to 97.75 per cent. of the vote for governor, while the vote for
equaled 56.60 per cent. of the total vote on the referendum.
The per cent of interest shown in the referendum of 1909, viz., 69.02 per cent., considerably exceeded 59.33 per cent., which was the mean for the 13 questions specially referred to the voters of Boston in the period 1890-1909; but it should be noted that in three instances in that period, the per cent. of interest exceeded 69.02. In 1899 that per cent, was 75.63 on the question of preventing the street railway company from relaying its tracks on Tremont street; and was 73.21 on establishing the eight-hour day for city workmen. In 1902, on the question of establishing district local option regarding the sale of liquor (which was negatived), 73.30 per cent. of the registered voters voted.
The Second Amendment of the Constitution passed in 1821 authorizes the Legislature to grant city charters, with the proviso that “all by-laws made by such city government shall be subject, at all times, to be annulled by the General Court.”
The amendment was ratified by a bare majority of 62 in a total vote of 28,674; so prejudiced were the rural voters of Massachusetts against the incorporation of cities. Under the Constitution all original city charters must be referred to the towns concerned for acceptance or rejection.
Boston's charter has been revised three times, viz., in 1854, 1885, and 1909, and a large number of special amendatory acts have been passed, and a considerable number of them have been submitted by the Legislature to the voters. As a rule, the revised charters of Massachusetts' cities are submitted to the voters for acceptance or rejection. But distrust of the voters of
Boston seems to have become a fixed idea with the law-givers; and Boston has to have its revised charters prescribed for it by the General Court, as in 1885 and 1909. As the case stands at present, Boston is not allowed to vote on the acceptance or rejection of its frame of government in its entirety, but the other 32 cities of the Commonwealth are allowed so to vote. Inspection of the tables I-III seems to show, however, that the votes of Boston on referenda, in the period 1780-1907, have evinced quite as much intelligence and discrimination as have the votes of the rest of the state on the same referenda.
The Inhabitants of the Commonwealth have materially altered the Constitution of 1780 by the 37 amendments which they have
ratified since 1820. They have annulled the Change in Constitution
power of the Legislature to require towns to pro
vide means for the support of any kind of clergymen or to require the “subjects” of the Legislature to attend upon the instructions of ministers of religion. They have forbidden the expenditure of public moneys for the support of sectarian schools. They have abolished religious tests and property qualifications that originally restricted the right to hold office or to vote for State officers. They have reduced the number of sessions of the Legislature, although they have refused to change from annual to biennial elections. Whereas the apportionment of senators was originally based upon the amount of taxes paid in the several senatorial districts, it is now based upon the number of legal voters found by the decennial census, and is changed every ten years. The apportionment of representatives is based upon the same principles as that of senators, instead of upon the number of ratable polls. Councillors, the secretary, the treasurer, the auditor and the attorney-general of the Commonwealth are no longer chosen by the Legislature but are elected by the people. Imprisonment for debt has been abolished, and “ the president, professors and instructors of Harvard College" have been granted the right to hold a seat in the General Court if they can secure one. These changes have been wrought by the people with deliberation and generally as the result of careful consideration and prolonged discussion.
I must confess that the evidence that the voters of Massachu
setts have shown wisdom, intelligence and discrimination in their votes on referenda is much more ample and convincing than I anticipated when I began this study. To my mind the conclusion of the whole matter is: that the referendum has proved to be a reasonably effective instrument for determining the mind and will of the voters of Massachusetts upon constitutional questions.
The Associated Harvard Clubs' Report on
A. JULIUS FREIBERG, Esq., Cincinnati. The Associated Harvard Club is an organization federating the clubs of Harvard graduates, which exists in nearly all of the cities and states in the United States. The object of the Association is the promotion of all matters pertaining to the welfare of Harvard and the establishment of closer relations between Harvard and its Alumni. The Association meets once a year, usually in one of the larger cities of the middle west. The meetings are very well attended by Harvard men from all over the Union, including representatives from the faculty of the University, and often including the President.
President Eliot, so long the leader of Harvard, early in his career made the study of secondary schools, and schools subsidiary to the college in general, a vital part of his business as President of Harvard College. What more natural then than that Harvard men should be imbued with the importance of a proper administration of the common school system of the country and should regard an interest in such matters as a part of their loyalty to Harvard ?
At the meeting of the Association in Philadelphia in 1908, at President Eliot's suggestion, reports were submitted by the various constituent clubs of all the large centers. These reports consisted of answers to a set of questions previously sent out, bearing upon the organization and control of the common schools. The questionnaire embraced an analysis of school laws, the metliod of election of school boards, the amount of tax levy for school purposes, the question of the school board's connection with partisan politics, etc. The reports were so comprehensive and so carefully drawn that the Association proposed for its next meeting a consideration of all the information thus gathered, with a view to outlining a model system of school administration so far as is possible. A committee was appointed to
make a report with this end in vicw. Naturally it devolved upon this committee to embody the results of their own study and of the ripest experience they could find recorded, in the conclusions which the Association as a whole was to be invited to approve. The committee's report was presented to the meeting of 1909, and was adopted by the Association as the latest work on the subject in the light of the experience of the cities and of the leading thinkers in education in the country. As such, the Associated Harvard Clubs now offer the report to the National Municipal League, and I have been asked to outline the findings of the committee for that wider dissemination which the facilities of the League offer.
What I have to say, therefore, is not mine. It is simply a report of the study made by the committee above mentioned condensed for this purpose. The members of the League will therefore place mental quotation marks about nearly everything that I shall have to say.
The old idea, supposed to inhere in our democratic form of government, of selecting large boards of education consisting
of representatives from every ward or section Large Boards
of the city, was up to a few years ago so fixed of Education
in the minds of the people that it seemed well nigh impossible to effect a change. Suffice it to say that in many of the cities of the United States the change has come. The merits of the small board, with centralized responsibility, as opposed to the large board with its numerous committees, may be said to furnish no longer an open question. But inasmuch as there are notable exceptions, and for the reason that the public has not as yet been made sufficiently acquainted with this allimportant subject, it has been thought wise to keep the question alive until all specious opposition shall liave been eradicated.
Politicians are everywhere opposed to small school-boards chosen from the community at large. The reason is that the schools, with their large armies of teachers and other employees, furnish orchards of persimmon trees of the most luxuriant growth. From that quarter, therefore, come the arguments that the schools should be kept close to the people and that every section of the city should have its representation in the central