Message of Governor James S. Hogg to the twenty-fourth legislature of Texas Page: 40 of 48
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MESSA;E OF GOVERNOR HOCGG.
of this municipal question in all its plhases, if judicious action is taken,
must result in great public good.
ESTABLISH FINANCIAL RECTITUDE.
As tlhe State, by suitable legislation, has placed the stamp of honesty
upon all municipal and railway bonds so that their contamination by the
hand of fraud is no longer permitted. it is well now for the Legislature
to take one more step on the line of financial rectitude, to the end that
the work may become more complete.
By this it is meant respectfully to suggest that a law should be passed
prohibiting any debtor from giving preference to any creditor when he
makes an assignment. It should be made plain by legislatiye enactment
that every assignment made by an insolvent, or in contemplation of insolvency,
shall be for the benefit of all creditors in proportion to their
respective claims, without reference to their locality or the amounts due
them. Contention that the citizen should have the right, when he fails
in business, to give advantage to his local creditors or friends or neighbors
over non-residents or others, in the distribution of his assets, is offensive
to the ear of Justice. The money of all creditors has been used
by or invested in the assets of the failing debtor; and in the proportion
that their claims respectively bear to those assets, a distribution, and the
expenses incidental thereto, should be shared and borne without favoritism
or discrimination. In other words, the law, in a spirit of justice and
equity, sliould speak and demand that all creditors shall have and receive
a due proportion of the assets of the bankrupt debtor, without consulting
his wishes at all. The advantage given, under the present assignment
laws, to preferred creditors shakes the confidence of all creditors,
and produces a suspicion that should not be cast upon the business dealings
in our State. It would be well also to permit all creditors to share
in a division of the assets of every debtor who may become insolvent
and be closed out of business by reason of any attachment that may be
levied on his property. With the abuses, arising from a custom that has
grown up under the assignment and attachment laws, corrected by suitable
legislation, so that all creditors may know that in Texas no tricks or
frauds can be practiced upon them by the countenance of law, the people
may expect that degree of confidence and friendship that should prevail
between a debtor and creditor will be re-established to the benefit of
every material interest in their government.
PASS A STAY LAW.
Under the present financial depression known to exist everywhere, it
is but just for the Legislature to vest the equity of redemption in every
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Hogg, J.S. (James S.). Message of Governor James S. Hogg to the twenty-fourth legislature of Texas, book, 1895; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5862/m1/40/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .