Continued Discussion in the Upper Branch.
Caption Meigs Issues an Appeal to the Senators to Give Him Fair Play.
Two or Three Days More to be Taken
Up in Debate of the Bill.
"A very lively and interesting discussion occurred in the Senate yesterday when the elevated road bill was taken up. Senator Baldwin of Essex opposed some amendments to the bill, which were intended to meet the objectives on the score of damages. He decided to have the amendments printed and the further consideration of the matter deferred till next week. This motion was defeated, and on motion of Senator Allen of Middlesex the vote was verified by the yeas and nays, as follows:
Yeas—Allen of Middlesex, Baldwin, Barton, Bowley, Bruce, Cummings, Cutter, Drake, Freman, Galvin, Loring, Parker, Risteen, Sayward, Sherburne, Sparhawk—16.
Nays—Allen of Plymouth, Barnes, Bates, Gerry, Gilmore, Haile, Hitchcock, Johnson of Worcester, Johnson of the Cape, pact Locke, Lowell, McFarlin, McGeough, Pratt, Randall of Bristol, Randall of Middlesex, Seeley, Tufts, Wells—20.
Senator Bruce asked Senator Baldwin to explain his amendments. Senator Baldwin of Essex then went into an elaborate exposition of the amendments—how they would cover any possible damages, direct or indirect, or consequential. He concluded by moving a reconsideration. Senator Sherburne spoke in favor of reconsideration. Senator Wells of Middlesex opposed delay, though he was in favor of the bill.
The motion to reconsider was carried, and then Senator Locke of Norfolk moved that a vote be had on the bill at 4.30 on Monday. President Crocker decided that this motion took precedence of the one to postpone Senator Allen of Middlesex said the motion looked a little like a trade. Senator Cummings of Bristol reiterated this suspicion of a trade. Senator Locke repelled any such insinuation in the most emphatic manner. He had never had a vote to trade at this board, and he wanted the Senate to understand that his vote was not now to be traded. "I recognize no man as master, but I shall vote upon this as upon all questions, upon my conscience." After some remarks in favor of giving plenty of time to discussion of this bill by Senators Sayward and Baldwin of Essex, Senator Locke withdrew his motion to close debate on Monday. The whole matter was then passed over until Monday.
On motion of Senator Sherburne of Suffolk, the Senate voted to adjourn to 2 p.m. on Monday.
The following are substitutes for Sections 7 and 8 offered by Senator Baldwin of Essex on the elevated railroad bill:
Section 7. The owner of any land or other property taken for such railway shall be compensated and therefor by said corporation, and if unable to agree upon the amount of such compensation the same shall be determined in the manner provided by law with reference to land taken for highways, and said corporation shall not acquire title to any person's land, nor making any adverse entry thereon, until it shall have paid for the same or secured the damages for the seizure thereof in a manner satisfactory to the owner, or to be fixed by the Supreme Court, in equity for the county where the land lies, upon petition of either party in summary hearing.
Section 8. The compensation received by any person for land is taken under the provisions of Section 7 shall not be construed to be in full satisfaction other [f]or consequential damages which the owner of such land may sustain by reason of the construction and operation of said railroad, and any person suffering such damages may have an action of tort against said corporation thereof, and the directors of said corporation shall be jointly and severally liable to the extent of capital stock as fixed by this act is paid into the Treasury and a certificate of that fact is signed in sworn to by the president, treasurer, clerk and a majority of the directors, and filed in the office of the secretary of the Commonwealth.
Those in favor of the road felt very much pleased in carrying their point for postponing until Monday, in order that there might be fuller discussion. It would not be surprising if the
debate continued for several days."
CAPTAIN MEIGS' PLEA.
Asking the Legislature to Give Him a
Chance to Show His Invention.
The following extract is from a circular sent yesterday to every member of the Senate by Captain Joe V. Meigs, inventor of the Meigs system of elevated railways:
"The bill now comes to you. It is evidently misunderstood. Because my invention comes in conflict with the interests of existing railway corporations whom you have created, who have formed a combination to destroy my rights utterly, I beg you not to cause me, a mechanic, to lose my birthright—to lose my benefits of the power which has been given to make my invention. Can you not frame a bill which will be just to me and just to all? Am I to be outlawed? I believe the bill which has been presented to you to be just. It was drawn to place me and my associates on the footing of all other people; to wit, within the gauge laws of the State for both surface and street railways. Where can an inventor turn his face if, in the nineteenth century, Massachusetts refuses him the rights of the general railroad laws that all others enjoy, because his invention, in its sweeping changes, competes with existing railways? Because he has no gauge to his safe and rapid transit system of railway, will you refuse to amend the gauge law so as to permit me to live, which is all my bill does, as I am informed by legal advisers."
Source: Boston Globe, April 20, 1883