Debates in the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, 1917-1918

Debates in the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, 1917-1918

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Debates in the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, 1917-1918

Debates in the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention, 1917-1918

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The Convention directed its Committee on Rules and Procedure to publish a report of the Debates. At the request of the Committee its ranking member undertook the oversight of preparation and publication. He was of the belief that the convenience of legislators, lawyers, historians, students, and others who might have occasion to consult the report would be subserved by departing from the customary method of arrangement, which has been purely chronological, strictly consecutive. Under that method it is often hard to find all that has been said on any given topic; and there must be much waste of time in the use of the index, with some degree of uncertainty as to the result of search. Therefore it was determined to make the arrangement topical, with the attempt to group allied topics and to secure a sequence in general conformity with the order followed in the Constitution itself. If this occasionally brings comment or allusion in advance of the subject thereof, it is hoped that any inconvenience will be more than offset by the advantages of systematic arrangement.

The directions given by the Convention permitted the omission of so much of the debate as related to matters of procedure, and only that has been retained which is necessary to an understanding of the main argument, or throws desirable light on the circumstances of the case any reader should have occasion to determine whether relevant matter of consequence does not here appear, he may consult the verbatim transcript of the stenographic notes, which has State Library.

After the first session (June-November, 1917) it seemed desirable to publish at once the debate on the Initiative and Referendum. This was of suitable lenght for a volume by itself; and with the hope that it might prove to be in logical order as Volume II., Chapter XVI., was so printed. The course of debate in the following session (June- August,1918) has made it possible to devote Volume I. in the main to topics concerning the Bill of Rights, with the probability that the . . .

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