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PRESIDENT GENERAL. If there are no objections, this will be so incorporated. Order of the day is called. Shall the order of the day be now taken up? All in favor of the order of the day will please say "aye;" opposed, "no." It is carried. The Chair will have to state to the members on the floor that if any member sends a resolution or proposed amendment to the platform, it cannot be read until that member has had recognition from the Chair, so that it is necessary for her to rise and get recognition from the Chair and ask the Reader to read her resolution.
A MEMBER from New Jersey. Will you allow the Official Reader to read my resolution?
PRESIDENT GENERAL. The order of the day has been called. It is important that this notice should be read.
(Reader reads notice concerning lost railroad ticket, and other announcements.)
Mrs. BAKER, of Illinois. Am I in order?
PRESIDENT GENERAL. Proposed amendments are before the house.
Mrs. BAKER. Madam Chairman, I move to amend Section 1, Article VI, by adding after the words annual meteing, the words Vice State Regent. Said officer not to be represented on the National Board.–Mary E. Baker, George Rogers Clark Chapter, Illinois.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. Do you wish to give notice that this is to be offered next year?
Mrs. BAKER. This is to be voted or acted upon next year.
Mrs. WARREN, for Mrs. Alexander. Proposed amendment to the By-Laws of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution. Offered by Mrs. Henry C. Griggs, Regent Melicent Porter Chapter, of Waterbury, Connecticut.
Amend Article I, which refers to election of officers, making it read:
“The State Regents assembled in Washington for the Daughters of the American Revolution Congress shall constitute a nominating committee to nominate the Vice-Presidents General.
They shall present upon a printed ballot, the names of not less than thirty or more than forty, candidates to be voted
for at the regular election for National Officers."-Mrs. L. D. Alexander, Connecticut.
This is presented to the Congress for action next year. You all understand why it is done, I presume, to save the time that we have taken up this year as you all know, and certainly the delegations that come to this Congress ought to know through their State Regent what Vice-Presidents General they want.
Mrs. THOMPSON. I rise for a parliamentary inquiry. Does not every parlimentary authority, in providing for nominating committees, say that they should not be composed of officers ?
Mrs. WARREN. I have never seen anything to that effect.
Mrs. THOMPSON. I have, in several. I do not know how it is in Roberts, I have not consulted that, but I have seen it in several. If it is not parliamentary, it should not go in, even for next year.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. Debate is not in order on these; they are simply presented.
Miss DUTCHER. The following amendment to Article XIV of Constitution and By-Laws, and which Article relates to the Insignia of the Society, is offered :
After the word “ribbon," line 3 of said Article XIV, page 21 of By-Laws, add the following: "or a copy of the insignia printed or otherwise impressed on material enclosed in a gold or other rim.”
Mrs. CHARLES SMITH, of Minnesota (recognized by Cha'r).
READER. Notice is given of the following proposed amendment to the Constitution, offered by Mrs. Charles E. Smith, Regent of the Distaff Chapter, of St. Paul :
Amend Article VI, Section 1, by omitting the words ‘at the annual meeting.”
Mrs. CRESAP, of Maryland. There has come up a point of interpretation of our Constitution, and it is causing confusion; I don't know whether I should present it at this time or not. The Congress alone can decide the matter, and it is causing confusion, and I want to know if my motion in connection with that can be read, as it is hard for us to know what to do in the ensuing year.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. The order of the day is the presentation of amendments.
Mrs. CRESAP. This may be an amendment to the Constitution; it is a matter of interpretation, some think that it is in the Constitution and some think not. May I send the motion up?
PRESIDENT GENERAL. Does the house wish to suspend the order of the day for a moment? (Cries of "Yes!")
PRESIDENT GENERAL. It takes a two-thirds vote; will you please rise, those in favor? those opposed the motion is carried.
Mrs. CRESAP. May it be read? Will you please have the Official Reader read it?
READER. That whereas, the National Board of Management has given as their opinion that a Chapter cannot have a Constitution conforming with our National Constitution (as well as By-Laws), and whereas, this opinion has created great confusion in the Chapters, I move that this Congress decide the question as to whether a Chapter may or may not have a Constitution as well as By-Laws, provided that said Constitution conform and in no way conflict with our National Constitution.
PRESIDENT GENERAL. This is a question of interpretation. It is for you to decide.
Mrs. CRESAP. That is just what I want.
Mrs. BROCKETT. May I read the section from the Constitution which says, “The local Chapters may enact By-Laws for their own government, in harmony with the Constitution of the National Society." The Board of Management felt that as the Constitution said what Chapters could have, we would be very queer to go ahead and say what they could have and could not have when the Constitution said what they could have.
Mrs. CRESAP. This is very true, what Mrs. Brockett says, and I do not want to place myself in opposition to the Board, which I honor; but there is no doubt in my mind that this question ought to be decided by this Congress. Our National Constitution is silent on this question. It says we may have By-Laws, but it does not say that we cannot have a Chapter Constitution. Now let me say, first, that in speaking of a Chapter Constitution it must be understood that that Chapter Constitution conforms in every way, and does not conflict as my motion is worded, with the National Constitution; but I want to raise one point here. Every State has its Constitution, and it does not conflict and must not with the National Constitution. Now, if a Chapter is formed the first question that arises is the Constitution. We cannot form and name our Chapter, we cannot select our officers, unless we put them down and make a record of them, and that cannot be put under the head of a By-Law. Now turn to our National Constitution. It says first the name of the Chapter, it tells us why and how we should name our Chapter, but it does not give to that Chapter its name. That we take ourselves. It is a constitutional thing, and should come under the name Constitution. And that is one reason why a Chapter, in my mind, should have a Constitution, for it must be recorded. Then take our officers; we turn again to the National Constitution. There we find that a Chapter may have a Regent, a Secretary, a Registrar, and such other officers as may be required. Some localities, some Chapters, require a Vice-Regent and some do not wish one. Some wish a Recording Secretary General and a Corresponding Secretary General, and some do not wish them, and it is according to our National Constitution that we should do as we choose in the matter. And also a few of us have a Chaplain. Now that is a constitutional fact and should be put under the head of Constitution and not By-Law, for a By-Law is a very slight thing and can be easily changed, and a constitutional thing is a constitutional thing, I take it. There is another reason why we should have a Chapter Constitution, to record the officers we choose. Then there are two or three other requirements in a Constitution which I could only see from Roberts' Rules of Order, but I do not like to take your time; they come under the same head. As it is, some of the Chapters do have Constitutions, and they will have to do away with them.
Mrs. BROCKETT. I beg your pardon; they do not have them.
Mrs. CRESAP. They do: for until 1895 there was no question about this, and Constitutions did exist in our Chapters.
That is a fact, because I did belong to one that had one. It was not questioned until 1895; so that there are Chapters that have Constitutions. Then I would say this right in connection, that as our Constitution is silent in the matter, it is for the Congress to decide whether or not they are going to let the Chapters have it; and I want also to say that, if they did not know it, these manuscripts should be submitted just as our papers of application are submitted to our Board; and when a Chapter is formed the manuscript can be sent on to a committee so appointed, and then they are sure that there is no trouble in the matter, but it is a question of right reversed.
Mrs BROCKETT. This committee exists, and they are all sent.
Mrs. CRESAP. May I ask the Regents to rise who have Chapter Constitutions?
PRESIDENT GENERAL. A request has been made that the Regents rise who have Constitutions in their Chapters. (Quite a number rise.)
Miss BENNING. It seems to me that the Chapters may have Constitutions. The National Constitution says that they may enact By-Laws, but it does not say they may not have Constitutions. If a man does not want a person to hunt on his farm he has got to post it and say, "No trespassing on this land!" or his child's trap may be broken up by hunters. He has got to do that to keep the hunters off. He has got to say they may not do it in order to keep them from doing it. Our Constitution does not say they may not do that. The Oglethorp Chapter, of which I was founder and feel responsible for, has a Constitution and By-Laws, and when they made it they thought they were complying with the wish of the National Board, and that everything was as it should be. The Federal Constitution is the first law of our land; the States have their Constitutions; cities may have Constitutions. The Federal law is the highest; the State law must give way to the Federal law where it conflicts, and the city laws must give way to the Federal and State; and of course where Chapter Constitutions conflict with the National Constitution they must give way. I do not think any of them wish to conflict. They are as