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JOURNAL OF THE SENATE.

Jefferson City, June 5, 1889.

To the Secretary of State:

Sir-I have the honor to forward to you herewith, without my approval indorsed thereon, the following bill, which reached me within the ten days next before the adjournment of the 40th General Assembly:

Senate bill No. 422, entitled

"An act to amend article 2, chapter 89 of the Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri, of 1889, by adding thereto a new section, to be known as section 5857a.'

This bill provides for annual cash surrender values, payable on demand, or loan values on all life insurance policies, to be issued after January 1, 1900.

It is clearly shown to me that the practical result of such a law would be to convert life insurance companies into savings banks. No life insurance company can do a savings bank business in my judgment, and the same time furnish absolutely safe insurance at reasonable figures. It cannot be a good life insurance company and at the same time a good savings bank.

If life insurance companies were compelled to pay cash values on demand, equaling in amount nearly the full net value of other policies, they would be compelled to keep their assets invested in such securities which could be converted into cash upon short notice, or take the serious risk of being sometimes forced to default upon their obligations. Such securities are now paying about 2 per cent. annual interest upon their market values, whereas the present investments of life insurance companies which largely consist of real estate loans. produce from 4 and 5 per cent. They would be debarred from investing to any great extent in real estate mortgages, city or farm, for the reason that they would be liable to run, and in such cases could not covert such securities into cash without sacrifice and great loss.

It may be argued that a company may avoid the requirements of this bill by attaching to its policies a table of cash or loan values so small in amounts that it could pay them at any time without trouble or loss. I do not believe that company could afford or would dare to adopt a schedule of cash values which would be merely nominal or much less than those in use by other companies furnishing cash surrender policies. Such action would subject them to much more injurious criticism by their competitors than if cash or loan values were omitted altogether.

Life insurance is a great benefit to the people of the State. It helps to protect and maintain the family, and prevents poverty, pauperism and crime. Men should, therefore, be encouraged, if not required to take and maintain life insurance, and no action of the lawmaking power should tempt them to sacrifice their interests by compelling companies to give them cash values for their policies obtainable at their pleasure.

The people ought to be permitted to exercise their own judgment in buying insurance to protect their families, and if they desire to purchase policies without annual cash values, they should be allowed to do so. If this bill should become a law, all would be required to patronize annual cash value companies, or do without insurance, and there would be alternative.

A great many companies now issue policies with a cash surrender value, but there are many which do not. If a person wants to take out life insurance in a company whose policies have a cash surrender value, he is privileged to do so, but if another person wants to make a permanent insurance for his family so that he himself cannot afterwards revoke it, then he should be allowed to insure in that kind of a company. There is no law to compel a person to take a policy in the old line insurance company, but he ought to be allowed to do so if he chooses. There is no hardship in a company refusing any surrender value because the insured enters into the contract with his eyes open, and if he wanted a policy with a cash surrender value, he could very easily insure in such a company. There is no justice in compelling a company to adopt the cash surrender value system against its will.

No state in the Union has done what is proposed by this bill. Only one, the state of Massachusetts, has any such statute, and it only ap plies to companies chartered in that state, and it is a matter of fact that companies of that state are so restricted in their operation that some of the most desirable forms of policies have been abandoned by them on account of the law.

Believing the law would be of no benefit to policy holders-that there is no necessity nor demand for it, and that it would work a hardship and prove a great annoyance to the life insurance companies doing business in Missouri, I return same without my approval.

Respectfully,

LON V. STEPHENS,

Governor.

Jefferson City, June 19, 1899.

To the Secretary of State:

Sir-1 have the honor to forward to you herewith, without my approval indorsed thereon, the following bill, which reached me within the ten days next before the final adjournment of the 40th General Assembly:

Committee substitute for House bill No. 785, entitled

"An act to amend an act entitled 'An act to create a board of election commissioners in cities now having or which hereafter may have over one hundred thousand inhabitants, to provide for the appointment of the same; to define the duties of such board; to provide for the registration of all voters in such cities; to govern elections therein, defining offenses and providing punishment thereof; prescribing penalties for violating the provisions of this act; and abolishing the office of recorder and deputy recorder of voters,' approved May 31, 1895, as amended by session acts approved March 8, 1897, and March 23, 1897, and March 26, 1897."

House bill No. 760, entitled

"An act to provide for the registration of voters in cities now having or which hereafter may have three hundred thousand inhabitants or more; to provide for the creation of a board of election commissioners, provide for its appointment and define its duties; to govern elections in such cities, defining offenses and providing penalties there

JOURNAL OF THE SENATE.

for, and to prescribe rules and regulations governing registration and elections therein, and to repeal all acts and parts of acts in conflict or inconsistent herewith."

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Jefferson City, June 19, 1899.

To the Secretary of State:

Sir I have the honor to forward to you herewith, with my approval indorsed thereon,

Senate bill No. 112, entitled

"An act to repeal section 7755 of article 9 of chapter 138 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri of 1889, and to enact a new section in lieu thereof, to be known as section 7755 and to take the place of said section in said article 9 of said chapter 138 and relating to the taxation of bridges and telegraph and express franchises."

Respectfully,

LON V. STEPHENS,

Governor.

Jefferson City, June 19, 1899.

To the Secretary of State:

Sir-I have the honor to forward to you herewith, without my approval indorsed thereon, Senate revised bill No. 8, entitled "An act to revise and amend chapter 155 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, 1889, and the amendatory acts thereto, entitled 'Street railroads.""

This bill was presented to me on May 20, 1899, within ten days before the final adjournment of the 40th General Assembly, and is therefore, forwarded to you in compliance with section 12 of article 5 of the constitution of Missouri, 1875.

That section of the constitution does not make it obligatory upon me to give any reason for my action in approving a bill, as is the case when I disapprove one, but it does not forbid me doing so, and I therefore take this opportunity to express the reasons which impelled my action.

This bill passed the Senate by a vote of 23 ayes to 7 noes, there being 4 absentees, and it passed the House by a vote of 91 ayes to 37 noes, there being 11 absentees, and with one exception all the members from St. Louis voted for the measure. The consensus of opinion of so large a proportion of all the members of both branches of the General Assembly in favor of the bill, while not of controlling power over me, is entitled to great consideration and to proper respect, as it must be taken to reflect the sentiments of their constituents. less, therefore, the bill or some of its essential elements, conflicts with the organic law or contravenes a principle or established policy of the dominant party in our state, to whose partiality I am indebted for the power to act in this matter, and whose interest, under the law, it is my pleasant duty to foster and guard, I should hesitate long before withholding my approval or setting up my opinion against the judg

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ment of the many able and brilliant members of the General Assembly who voted to make this bill a law.

The policy of the Democratic party has ever been to grant “home rule” to every locality as far as it can be done consistent with a proper regard for the sovereignty of the state, and with the state's obligation under the constitution of the United States. This is exemplified by section 20 of article XII of the constitution, which prohibits the General Assembly from granting the right to construct or operate a street railway within any city, town or village or on any public highway without first acquiring the consent of the local authorities having control of the street or highway. Prior to the adoption of this provision the General Assembly was importuned at every session for grants of such franchises, and some of those granted did not properly guard the public welfare; so much so that the localities have ever since been embarrassed in dealing with companies holding these state charters. This bill contains a prohibition against granting a right to construct or operate a street railroad on any street without the consent of the property owners owning a majority in front feet of the property fronting on the street where the street railroad is to run. This is an invaluable safeguard to the property owners, and under the conditions. now existing in nearly all large cities is necessary to preserve the privacy and quiet on residence streets, and to secure safety of travel in private vehicles to the public.

Under our constitution all corporations must be organized under general laws, and the General Assembly is charged with the duty of providing general laws adequate to cover all kinds of corporations. Heretofore we have had no distinctive statute applicable to street railroads, and they have been organized under the general statute relating to steam railroads, which is manifestly not designed to cover street railroad companies, or else under the statute relating to business and manufacturing companies, which is not suitable to street railroad companies. This bill supplies this heretofore uncovered field and makes special and suitable provision for the organization of street railroad companies.

This bill authorizes a street railroad to purchase, lease or acquire and to hold and operate any other street railroad. It is to this grant of power that the opposition to the bill has been directed, and it is claimed that it creates or makes possible a trust or monopoly. If the objection was well taken it would be my duty and my especial pleasure and pride to veto the bill, for the blighting consequences that are incident to and follow upon the formation and maintenance of all pools and trusts and monopolies beggar description, and wither the growth of manhood and sap the foundations upon which free government rests. To such unholy combinations is directly attributed the crumbling, decay and destruction of all republican governments that have ever been attempted in the history of the world, prior to the organization of our government, and it has been solely owning to the unflinching and incorruptible opposition of the Democratic party, that our government has been preserved, unstained and unsullied by the practices and consequences of such organizations and combinations. In fact, opposition to trusts and monopolies is one of the corner stones of Democratic creed, as the freedom, equality and absence of caste of the people is the keystone of the arch of Democratic faith, and so great is my belief that upon the unswerving observance of

these cardinal tenets of good government, depends the perpetuity of our institutions and the welfare and happiness of our people, that I would consider myself recreant to the trust of our people and to my own manhood if I did not promptly and emphatically set the stamp of my disapproval upon any measure that conflicted with these principles and doctrines, and this would have been the fate of this bill if I had found it tainted or tinctured with the slightest tinge or resemblance to a trust or monopoly.

But the powers conferred by this bill are no greater than those now possessed under our statutes by steam railroad companies (Sec. 2567, R. S. 1889), and by telegraph and telephone companies (Sec 2724, R. S. 1889.) These provisions have been on our statute books more than twenty years, and no one has in all that time suggested that they made trusts or monopolies even possible, and our experience has not shown any operations under those provisions which militated against the interests of the people or the welfare of the state. They have undergone scrutiny by two revisions of our laws made by Democratic legislatures, and so I must believe they meet the requirements. of the Democratic creed.

A trust or pool or a monopoly, in its very nature and object, makes it possible to increase the price the people inevitably must pay for the commodity or service covered by the trust, pool or monopoly. This bill does not fall within this definition, for the consolidated street railroads cannot charge the public any more than they can now severally charge under existing conditions, while on the contrary, it secures a system of transfers which the people do not now enjoy and could never acquire or enforce as long as the lines are owned or operated separately. A system of transfers is of small benefit to those who own their own vehicles or who have fixed places of residence and of business, but it is of incalculable benefit to the workman, the mechanic, the stonemason, the bricklayer, or the artisan whose residence is fixed but who must move from one locality to another as he can find work to do. This class of our people is the hardest worked, the poorest paid and the least able to protect itself of any body of our fellowcitizens, and the benefit this bill confers upon them, strongly appeals in favor of the bill, and was a potent influence upon my action in approving it.

Neither does this bill create a monopoly, for under the laws a rival street railroad can be authorized to be constructed and operated at any time, and so guarded is the law that a new and rival street railroad can be given the right to run over and use the tracks, in whole or in part, of any existing railroad or of any created or organized under this bill, and the amount the new company must pay the old company must be settled by arbitration between them, subject to review by the courts. A monopoly, therefore, under these provisions of the law is an impossibility.

I think the provisions of the bill have been misapprehended by many. It seem to me that it does not in any way violate the principles upon which the anti-trust laws are based. I noticed in the papers a few days ago an abstract of recent statutes of the state of Texas upon the subject of "trusts." It said that this is the most drastic legislation that has ever been enacted upon the subject. Yet everything permitted under the street railway bill might be done, and not a single section of the Texas anti-trust laws would be violated.

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