Message of Governor O. B. Colquitt to the thirty-second legislature of Texas. Page: 6 of 24
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given both in a constitutional way and by party right, and it
being in conformity with the platform adopted by the Democratic
party in convention assembled at Galveston on August 8th last, I
believe it is the duty of the members of the Legislature to carry
out the instructions of their people and submit this question to be
voted on at the earliest date consistent with fairness to those differing
in opinion over the principle of Prohibition.
In the campaign last summer submission of a Prohibition amendment
was conceded to include all kindred legislation. The agitation
was in the main for constitutional prohibition, even those advocating
it differing widely in their views as to the constitutionality
of legislation proposed by disputants, or by the various candidates
and their friends. Now, however, it comes to me from various
sources that it is the purpose of some to seek the passage of bills by
the Legislature which, upon one hand or the other, were denounced
last summer by "submissionists" and by "Prohibitionists" as unconstitutional.
The object, I am told, is to force an issue upon the
Governor, for political use. If this is the program and it meets the
approval of a majority of the Legislature, I hope no time will be
frittered away in discussing it. If the issue is thus tendered it will
be met. Such bills will be promptly returned to the House in which
they may originate, with the Governor's objections to them clearly
stated, where they can be further considered in the manner provided
for by the Constitution. I can see no good purpose in wasting the
people's money and consuming valuable time in prolonging a debate
over Prohibition or kindred matters with the issue thus squarely
joined. I deem it advisable to thus make known my position with
regard to these issues, if they should arise, and hope these matters
may be either promptly acted upon or allowed to drop altogether.
In view of the fact that the whole question, in the form of a Prohibition
amendment, is to be submitted to a vote of the people of
the State, they have a right to expect prompt action on the part of
the Legislature in this regard, thus referring the whole agitation
to them at a special election. If there is faith in its adoption by
those who advocate it, they should be content to await the result and
not consume valuable time and money to make a political issue
which will remain even if Prohibition is defeated.
It is claimed that much effort and some money has been expended
to suppress so-called "Social Clubs," chartered under Chapter Eleven
of Title Twenty-one of the Revised Statutes. It seems to me a foolish
waste of effort and inconsistency in the law to authorize the Secretary
of State to issue charters to so-called "Social Clubs" without
restrictions as to their purpose. The law should be so amended as
to make it the duty of the Secretary of State to require a full statement
of the purpose of forming social corporations and require the
trustees or directors to make oath that it is not the purpose to allow
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Colquitt, O. B. Message of Governor O. B. Colquitt to the thirty-second legislature of Texas., book, 1911; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5834/m1/6/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .