Governor George E. Chamberlain's Administration

Governor's Message, 1905

Source: Oregon Messages and Documents, 1905, Governor's Regular Session Message, Salem, Oregon, J.R. Whitney, State Printer, 1905.

Message Of George E Chamberlain Governor of Oregon, To the Twenty-third Legislative Assembly 1905

Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:

In compliance with Section 2 of the Article V of the Constitution of Oregon, which provides that the Governor “shall, from time to time, give to the Legislative Assembly information touching the condition of the State, and recommend such measures as he shall judge to be expedient,” it becomes my duty to address you in relation to the several institutions of the State, and to suggest such legislation for your consideration as my experiences as Executive leads me to believe will be conducive to the best interests of the State.

The report of the Treasurer shows an excellent condition of the public funds. It should be particularly gratifying to you to note that while on October 1, 1902, there was in the hands of the Treasurer of the Irreducible School Fund unloaned $729,435.42, there was only $200,361.24 at the close of the last fiscal year. This has been reduced materially since that time. The amount of interest distributed to the several counties at the last apportionment was $239,439.20, the largest of any in the history of the State. The principal of the fund is $4,604,261.27, and its proper investment in interest-bearing securities requires and receives the earnest attention of the State Land Board.

The principal of the Agricultural College Fund amounts to $193,778.51, and that of the University to $103,415.36. only $15,382.45 of the former and $15,975.28 of the latter is on hand and unloaned. On the 3rd day of May, 1904, Mrs. A.R. Burbank, executrix of the last will and testament of her late husband, Hon. A.R. Burbank, forwarded to the Governor, Secretary of State, and State Treasurer the sum of $2,190.37 and a deed to certain lands in Yamhill, Lincoln and Multnomah Counties, estimated to be worth about $10,030.00. This generous legacy was directed to be invested in interest-bearing securities, the revenue derived therefrom to be used for the Orphans’ Home at Salem and Portland. It would be a gracious act upon the part of your body to recognize by concurrent resolution your appreciation, as representatives of the people, of this splendid legacy to the unfortunate orphans of the State, thanking Mrs. Burbank for the fidelity shown by her in carrying out the wishes of her late husband.

The Treasurer’s report is complete in all its details, and shows with great particularity the financial condition and standing of the State.

Swamp Land Warrants Outstanding.
On September 30, 1902, interest-bearing warrants were outstanding, which had been issued in repayment for swamp lands theretofore sold by the State and to which the State could not convey title, amounting to $38,940.08 of principal, on which the interest accumulated and unpaid to April 1, 1903, amounted approximately to $19,018.42. Of the principal $30,925.38 bear interest at the rate of eight per cent per annum, and $8,014.70 at six per cent per annum. Since that time payments have been made on that portion of these warrants which bears the larger rate of interest, out of moneys realized from the sale of swamp lands, whilst the principal of the indebtedness, which bear six per cent per annum, has been increased because of repayments for other swamp lands, to which no title could be conveyed. Reference to the report of the Treasurer discloses that at the end of the last fiscal year there were outstanding warrants on account of swamp lands amounting to $44,203.89 of principal and $15,957.10 of interest. Of the principal $14,925.38 bears interest at eight per cent per annum of $29,278.51 at six per cent per annum. There is no fund out of which these warrants can be paid except as moneys are realized from the sale of swamp lands, and so little of this remains to the State that the interest on the indebtedness is barely kept down by the sales thereof.

An appropriation should be made for the payment of these warrants and your earnest attention is called to the matter, for as a business proposition the State ought no longer to be compelled to pay this enormous interest charge.

Scalp Bounty Indebtedness.
In addition to this, at the last session of the Legislature, claims for repayment of two-thirds of the bounty paid by the several counties of the State under the scalp bounty law of 1901, had been presented and remained unpaid, amounting to $34,298.66. An appropriation was then made to meet this indebtedness, but it was included in a bill which appropriated large sums for other and distinct purposes. This bill was vetoed because violative of Section 29, Article IV of the Constitution and not because of any objection to the particular item now under discussion.

This indebtedness has been increased by the presentation of other claims for repayment and now amounts to $35,881.31, and provision should be made by appropriate legislation for its payment.

The experience of the last Legislature should be warning to this not to attempt too much in the way of amending statutes on the subject of taxation. A general amendatory statute hastily passed then, necessitated the convening of the Legislature in special session to cure defects that invalidated the same.

That the laws of the State bearing upon this subject are badly out of joint and sadly in need of revision goes without saying. There is general lack of system in them taken as a whole, but it is questionable if harmony could be restored if the whole time of this session were devoted to an attempt to bring order out of chaos.

It is possible that if a tax commission were appointed to gather data, and frame a law to be reported two years hence, beneficial results might be attained. This course has been pursued in other states wit partial success, and it might be well to give it a trial here. Much property escapes its just proportion of taxation, and this is particularly true in the case of personal property and money, and improvements on real property. This is susceptible of demonstration beyond any doubt. The summaries of the assessment rolls of the various counties for 1903 as filed in the office of the Secretary of State, show that the value of improvements on deeded and undeeded lands was $9,405,462.00 and on town and city lots was $31,192,221.00, or a total assessed valuation of all improvements $40,597,683.00. The risks written by fire insurance companies on property situated within the State for the year ending December, 1903, amounted to $95,531,484.84. It is safe to say that more than 80 per cent of this insurance is upon improvements upon real property. When it is remembered that a very large part of these improvements carry no insurance, and that property is usually insured for only about half its value, it will be seen at a glance what an enormous valuation on this class of property alone escapes taxation. The assessed value of money for the same year was $1,375,970.00. If any one is interested enough in the subject to give it passing consideration, he will ascertain from an examination of the last reports to the Comptroller of the Currency made by the National banks of the State, that there are many single banking institutions that have on deposit amounts largely in excess of the total assessment on money. Again, a reference to the abstract of the assessment rolls from 1893 to 1903 discloses that money was assessed in 1893 at $3,136,987.00, and in 1903 at $1,375,970.00, a decrease of $1,761, 017, while the total assessed valuation of all property for 1893 was $168,088,905.00, and in 1903 only $173,559,888.00, an increase in ten years of only $5,470,983.00. Every one knows that this is not a faithful index of the growth in wealth in our State in ten years. What is the result of this failure upon the part of county officials to assess the property of the State and to properly equalize the assessments when made? The State has rapidly grown in wealth and population since 1893, and in the next few years will grow with greater rapidity. With an increase of population, the number of inmates in the eleemosynary and penal institutions of the State increases in the same or a greater proportion, while the expense of maintaining them constantly increases in volume. The assessment of the State remaining substantially the same, as has been the case during the last ten years, the rate to be levied for State purposes continues to increase, and the burden on those classes of property which are visible and continue to be assessed from year to year becomes heavier and harder to bear.

It is the condition here outlined which makes levy for State purposes appear larger than it ought to be, and the attention of the Legislature is respectfully called to it in the hope that some plan may be devised now that in the next two years may result in a measure of general relief form conditions which are inequitable, oppressive and unjust.

There are many thousands of acres of land in the State which have never been placed upon the assessment rolls, and which have in consequence escaped taxation. This may have happened through many causes, but mainly for two reasons: First, because grantees from the Government, Federal and State, have purposely withheld their deeds from record; second, because assessors, through lack of present ownership books, fail to find all the property in their respective counties. It is questionable if under our laws, an assessor or sheriff can assess and collect taxes on property for several years antedating their terms of office. Laws conferring this power upon assessors have been sustained by the courts of other States, and I recommend the matter to your earnest attention, and predict that with a law in force authorizing the assessment of property that has escaped taxation for any number of years back, the revenues of the State will be very materially increased.

Taxation of State purposes ought to be divorced as far as possible from that for county and municipal purposes. To that end, in many States, methods have been successfully resorted to for relieving real as well as personal property from taxation to meet the expenses of the administration of the affairs of the State. At the last regular session of the Legislature, progress was made in the right direction by the passage of the Inheritance Tax Law and the Corporation License Law. There may be inequalities in these that will need adjustment, but the general purposes of both are most excellent. During the sixteen months the Inheritance Tax Law has been in force, $6,626.93 has been paid into State Treasury thereunder, while under the latter law $191,615.87 has been collected. These amounts are likely to increase each year as the State grows in population. In addition to the amounts thus realized, insurance companies during the year 1903 paid $7,363.21 license fees and $38,036.19 taxes on net premiums collected, and for 1904 $7,310.51 license lees. The tax for the latter year will not be due until March 1st next. Of the license fees collected forty per cent is paid to the Secretary of State as fees under Section 3724 Bellinger and Cotton’s Code, while only sixty per cent thereof is paid into the treasury.

The taxes realized from these three sources show what is possible to be done for purposes of State other than be levying a tax upon the assessed valuation of the property of the State. But a step further should be taken to reach a class of property that practically escapes taxation. I refer to the taxation of the franchises of express, telephone, telegraph, Pullman Car, and other similar public services companies. Different methods of taxation for these corporations have been resorted to in the several States, but from an examination of the number of statutes, it is impossible to deduce any general principle for adoption. The Secretary of State, who has given the subject much thought, suggest in his biennial report that a tax upon the gross earnings of these corporations might be the simplest form of taxation. I heartily join with him in the recommendation that an act be passed at this session to compel these companies, owning valuable privileges and operating at a large profit, to pay a fair proportion of the expenses of government. A tax upon the gross earnings, as the case of insurance companies, would, as suggested by the Secretary of State, in all probability be the simplest and best method of taxation.

The public schools are in most excellent condition, and their standard should be maintained at all hazards. To them the great majority of our people must look for the education of their children, and statistics show that far the largest number of the school population of the State attend these schools. Taxes for their support are ungrudgingly paid by our citizens of all classes and creeds, and every effort should be made to maintain them throughout the whole school year. In many of the rural districts, especially in those which are thinly settled, schools cannot be maintained for more than three months in the year, and greater efforts should be made to lengthen these terms.

A heavy tax is imposed on the patrons of the school by the large number of books used, and some of those ought to be eliminated. It were better that a few books on a less number of subjects be mastered by the pupils, than that they have confused ideas upon a variety of subjects from a great variety of books. I think it safe to say that those who graduate from the highest grades of the public schools at this time are not as thorough in first principles as were those who graduated from these same schools when there were fewer and a more thorough training in those books which were used. An ex-member of the New York Board of Education recently in discussing the question of the course of study in that city, said:

“A reader of our present course of study would be led to think that pupils of today, in order to be able to do all that is there laid down are far in advance of those of a decade or two ago, and that public school graduates of former days could bear no comparison with those of the present time.

“But what are the real facts of the case? Business men who employ our graduates tell us that they are sadly lacking in the simplest and most commonplace things, that their knowledge is superficial and inaccurate, that they lack the perseverance and application which habits of thoroughness and concentration would foster. Why is this?

“Our system, aiming to do too many things, must necessarily fail in their accomplishment. None but the most capable pupils can do all the work laid down. The large majority, thus accustomed to falling far short of the standard, become indifferent or discouraged. For, instead of repeating a term’s work and doing it well, they are promoted to make room for others. In time all attempts to do the required work properly become utterly hopeless—yet the child must go on.

“Trying to do many things, attempting the impossible, so that nothing can be really thoroughly or well done, will be sure to have ill effects in a moral sense, too. In many cases the wrong thus done to individuals can never be repaid. Are we not creating a race of mental dyspeptics, superficial in character? Why are children not permitted to remain at the elementary work until they have thoroughly mastered it before being advanced to higher grades? Let us have more elementary classes, if need be.

“The most sanguine, the most enthusiastic advocates of the radical changes made in the curriculum within recent years admit that the present course of study is too crowded. Why not cut out the non-essentials and give the child an opportunity to acquire a more thorough knowledge of the essentials? A step is being taken in this direction, but nothing short of a complete change will remedy the evil.

“Education should give pupils the working tools, the ability for future self help. If our schools do not give this they fail in their purpose. If the child finds himself advanced to the upper grades without being able even to add, subtract, multiply and divide with rapidity and accuracy, and to read fluently and comprehensively, when and where will he make up the deficiency? But this is quite a common occurrence. Students of high grades blunder in the simplest figuring, spell poorly and fail to take in the meaning of what they read, so that they are as a rule unable to obtain information from the printed page by their own efforts.”

There is great force in what is here said, and steps should be taken now looking to such a reduction in the number of text books in the public schools that when a pupil finishes the highest established grades it can be safely assumed he has thoroughly mastered every subject taught therein.

The reports of these two institutions of learning are before you, and I invite your careful attention to them and the recommendations therein made. Both are doing most excellent work , and I think it safe to say that while other States are much more liberal in making appropriations in the cause of higher education, these two institutions keep pace with all others. The graduates from them, wherever they go and in whatever they engage, make excellent records and reflect credit upon their instructors as well as upon the State.

The State can well afford to be generous in all that makes for better citizenship, but that liberality should not be so lavish as to encourage habits of official extravagance.
I suggest a careful examination of the demands of these institutions for the ensuing two years, and an appropriation sufficient to make their work most effective.

In may first message to the Legislature I recommended the abolishment of at least two of the Normal Schools of the State. Instead of heeding this recommendation a bill was passed but vetoed by me creating an additional one. If those already established are to remain as fixed and permanent institutions, it is the duty of the State to improve the service which these schools now render to the people by confining appropriations for their support to their legitimate work of training teachers. There is increasing demand for thoroughly trained teachers. The work of Normal Schools could be made far more effective for this purpose by eliminating all preparatory work, and concentrating the labors of their faculties upon a purely professional course of study. There is no economy in taking the time of a State Normal School faculty for teaching pupils in grades that already provided for in the common schools.

An important education reform could be accomplished by the adoption of a uniform course of study for all the Normal Schools of the State, so that persons fitting themselves for teaching could receive the same credit and recognition for work done in any one of them and have better standing at home or abroad. By placing all the Normal Schools under a single board of regents with a uniform course of study for all, and basing appropriations upon the number of qualified students satisfactorily completing a full year’s work in the prescribed and inequalities in the present system.

The affairs of the Home were never in better condition than at present. Too much credit cannot be given to the Commandant and his excellent corps of assistants for the excellence of their work, and the old soldiers and sailors are themselves to be congratulated upon the fact that, though many of them are sufferers from the infirmities of old age, wounds and disease, all show a disposition to cheerfully abide by the rules and regulations adopted for the preservation of discipline and the conduct of the Home.

Since my incumbency the barracks building which was commenced under the preceding administration had been completed and equipped, and a new and sufficient water supply has been installed. The last appropriation made for the maintenance of the Home was based upon an average of from eighty to ninety inmates. The completion of the new barracks opened the way to admit all whose application were on file and who had not been able to gain admission because of lack of room. Although it was feared that a deficit would be created in the maintenance fund by taking in all those whose applications were on file, I instructed the Commandant to admit them in any event. This was done, and the membership at the close of the fiscal year was one hundred and thirty-two, yet so carefully have the funds been handled that there is no deficit in this fund.

Some of the old soldiers at the Home have wives living, yet because of infirmities occasioned by exposure and wounds received in defense of their country they are compelled to seek an asylum at the Home and separate themselves from the companion of their younger and better days. Some provision ought to be made for the construction of small but comfortable cottages on the grounds of the Home have wives living, yet because of infirmities occasioned by exposure and wounds received in defense of their country they are compelled to seek an asylum at the Home and separate themselves from the companions of their younger and better days. Some provision ought to be made for the construction of small but comfortable cottages on the grounds of the Home so that these old veterans may have the companionship of their wives in their declining years. This would not cost the State a very large sum, and surely the services which have been rendered by those who would be blessed and benefited thereby merit the expenditure which is here suggested.

I call your attention to the report of the Commandant for information in detail as to the conduct of the Home.

With the small appropriation allowed him for game protection, the present Warden has done most excellent work. If he has failed to patrol the entire State it is because of the inadequacy of the fund at his disposal for the employment of deputies, but an examination of his report will show a greater number of prosecutions and convictions than were ever had in the same length of time.

In order to fully protect the game, more money must be provided, and the Warden suggests a means of raising a revenue without exacting it from the taxpayers. The recommendations embodied in his report are worthy of your very careful consideration.

This Board has done excellent work since its creation for the protection of the public health. What was to have been expected has happened wherever it has called attention to unsanitary conditions are usually met by protests, but these demands invariably result in good.

The offices of Dairy and Food Commissioner and State Veterinarian ought to be placed directly under the control of the State Board of Health. In no other way can these departments, which ought to act in entire harmony, be brought together. As it is, I fear there is a disposition on the part of each to act independently of the others.

I call your attention to the reports of these departments for a detailed account of the work done by each.

Probably no factor has been more potent than the annual fairs conducted under the auspices of the State Board of Agriculture for improving the product of field and farm and the herds of flocks of the State. Not only the products of the soil, but the livestock as well from Oregon entered into successful competition with all comers at the recent Exposition in St. Louis. This was a source of great gratification to our people, in view of the fact that this State was barely known to many of the exhibitors there. Keen competition at the Oregon State Fair the past few years has been largely instrumental in bringing about these results, and the Legislature cannot do too much in the way of giving encouragement to this important institution. Appeal will be made to you to relieve the State Board of the difficulties which beset it. The President has addressed a communication to each of you, calling attention to the needs of the Board of the difficulties which beset it. The President has addressed a communication to each of you, calling attention to the needs of the Board, and I call your special attention to his address, as well as to the report of the Board. It must be remembered that the indebtedness now existing against the Board is one due the Irreducible School Fund, and really amounts to a transfer from one department of government to another. There should be no hesitation about making the appropriation to meet this and such other demands as are absolutely necessary to place the Board in a position to successfully carry out the purposes of its creation.

A law was passed at the last session of the Legislature regulating the employment of children and appointing a board of inspectors of child labor to carry out the provisions of the act, to serve without compensation. There was not even an appropriation made to defray the actual expense incurred in the work necessarily devolving upon them. Notwithstanding this fact, they have been most diligent in the performance of their duties, and are entitled to the hearty commendation of their fellow citizens for their zeal in this most important branch of the public service.

There can be no rugged, robust citizenship unless the health and morals of the youth are carefully safeguarded. Experience teaches us all that the necessities of the poor employee as well as the greed of the rich employer in various industrial enterprises, are merciless in their demands, and without restrictive legislation rigidly enforced, boys and girls barely in their teens are kept at work day and night in defiance of the laws of health and of humanity. I call particular attention to that report of the inspectors, and earnestly recommend that the amendments to the law as proposed by them by adopted at this session. The amendments are simple, but if adopted will give the inspectors greater power and broader discretion than they now have, and will materially aid them in carrying out the purpose of the law.

A small appropriation ought to be made to defray the expenses of the Board.

The report of the Master Fish Warden shows in detail the transactions of the Department of Fisheries for the past two years, and shows the condition of the industry at the present time.
The recommendations made by him should receive your very carefully consideration.

There is such a diversity of opinion among those engaged in fishing, packing and canning as to what legislation, if any, is most needed for the promotion and protection of the industry in this State, that it is impossible for one not thoroughly acquainted with the subject in all its details to make any specific recommendations. The conflict between the upper and lower river fishermen and packers seems irrepressible and irreconcilable, and besides there is a lack of uniformity between the laws of Washington and Oregon, and these conditions add to the difficulty of arriving at a proper conclusion as to what is best to be done in relation to a most important industry.

Under these circumstances, I suggest the appointment of a commission composed of men in no way connected with the business of fishing to take evidence, collect data, examine our own laws and those of Washington with instructions to prepare a law and the result of their investigations, all to be presented for the consideration of the next legislature. It is my candid opinion that unless this is done, nothing will ever be accomplished in the way of salmon propagation and protection.

Demand has been made in certain quarters for a repeal of the act creating the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inspector of Factories and Workshops. The demand should be ignored. Already thirty-two states have enacted laws providing for the collection of statistics of labor by means of original investigation, and in addition to these, the Federal Bureau of the Census, the Department of Commerce and that of the Agricultural Department are engaged in the collection and publication of labor statistics. These bureaus have been largely responsible for much legislation having for its purpose the protection of the health of the laboring classes generally and of the lives and limbs of those engaged in hazardous occupations.

The first report of the present Commissioner of Labor is replete with useful information. It points out many instances where his timely intercession has resulted in the adoption of safeguards against injury to employees, and contains many suggestions for the betterment of the condition of those who earn their bread by the sweat of their brows. It also contains valuable statistics covering every class of employment. I call particular attention to his report, and suggest that you give it your careful attention.

Many changes have been made in the penitentiary since the last session of the Legislature, all of which have been conducive to bettering the condition of the inmates, without any relaxation in the discipline. Prior to the completion of a common dining hall, the prisoners were fed in their cells, and those who could afford it were permitted to have coal oil stoves and to cook whatsoever they could afford to buy in addition to the prison regimen. With the installation of a new superintendent this system has been entirely abolished, and all prisoners eat in a large dining room, partake of the same prison fare and receive the same treatment. The result has been that the cells are cleaner, and the general health and discipline better than ever before. Flogging has been entirely abolished, and other punishments less brutal installed without in the least disturbing, but on the contrary strengthening, the respect of the prisoners for those in charge.
The prison itself has been much improved from a sanitary standpoint, and the quarters of the officers and guards as well as the cells and corridors have been placed in better condition than ever before. There still remains some work necessary to be done for the prevention of filth diseases, and this is in course at this time. The plumbing is old and decayed, and this is particularly true as regards the south wing of the prison. Escaping sewer gas constantly threatens the health of the institution and to guard against it modern plumbing and ventilation of the cells and corridors must soon be installed.

The appropriation made for the payment of the guards and employees at the last session of the Legislature was on the basis of a small increase in pay per month for the wall guards, and this was rendered absolutely necessary by the higher cost of living and the small pay received by them. Notwithstanding this and a large increase in the number of prisoners over former years, a reference to the report of the superintendent, which gives a detailed statement of the expenditures for the past two years, will show that the cost of maintenance per capita of prison population does not exceed that of former years. The recommendation made by me in my last message that a law be passed requiring the execution within the prison walls of prisoners condemned to death was adopted, and already there has been one execution there and others are soon to follow. This law will, I am sure, be most beneficial in its results.

On the 1st day of February, 1899, the then Executive executed a contract with Lowenberg & Going Company, a corporation, pursuant to “An Act providing for the employment of the convicts in the State Penitentiary,” approved February 23, 1895, whereby he leased to said corporation the labor of 100 convicts from January 1, 1899, to July 29, 1905, for the sum of thirty-five cents per day for each convict, and such further number at the same price per man as said corporation might require, for the manufacture within the prison walls “of stoves, castings and such other commodities of like nature as it may deem expedient.”

The corporation pays $2,000.00 per annum as rental for the foundry plant, and this lease expires at the same time as the contract for the labor of the prisoners.

The report of the Superintendent shows in detail the earnings of the convicts under the contract with said corporation, and I respectfully refer the Legislature to that report for fuller information. It will be noted that both the contract for the labor of the prisoners and the lease of the foundry plant expire July 29, 1905, and some action should be taken by you in reference to the matter. The State owns the plant, with the possible exception of some of the patterns, about which there may be a question, and at one time unsuccessfully attempted to operate the foundry. If you should determine that these contracts should not be renewed at their expiration, some provision should be made by law for disposing of the entire outfit used in the manufacture of stoves.

I suggest that appointment of a committee to inquire and report as to the propriety of renewing the present contract, and if renewal is deemed advisable, what changes if any, should be made in the terms thereof. The price paid for the labor of the convicts seems small, but it is frequently overlooked that the great majority of them are at all times wholly unskilled in the work, and by the time their services begin to be of some value, their terms expire and new men take their places. My investigations into the subject lead me to believe that our convict labor comes less in competition with free labor, in Oregon, at least, under the present system, than in any other form of employment.

Work of some kind must be provided for the prisoners. This is demanded from the standpoint of humanity, as well as necessity. To permit them to remain idle in the prison enclosure, and to congregate and converse with each other, would mean constant plotting for escape, and would endanger the lives of the guards and the property of the State. To keep them confined in their cells would soon necessitate the transfer of many of them to the Asylum and others to the hospital. I trust, therefore, that the consideration of this important question will be taken up by you early in the session, to the end that a proper solution may be arrived at.

At the last session of the Legislature $2,500, in addition to $749.83 unexpended under a prior law, was appropriated for the improvement of certain roads leading from the penitentiary to the several State institution. After consultation with the Superintendent it was decided to improve and rebuild the road leading to the Reform School, a distance of four or five miles. The work was done principally by convicts, though a few teams were hired from farmers in the neighborhood of the road. The amount appropriated was insufficient to finish this piece of road by top-dressing with crushed rock and rolling the same in order to make it first-class in every particular. But it is conceded to be one of the cheapest and best constructed pieces of road in the State, and the attention of the Legislature is particularly called to it. It is to be hoped that as many of the members of the Legislature as can possibly do so will ride out and inspect this work.

What to do with the convicts of the State has been a serious question not only here but elsewhere, and it is one which is easier for the theorist to solve than for the practical man of affairs who comes in actual contact with existing condition. Various expedients have been resorted to in the hope that the product of their labor may compete as little as possible with that of free men. Before becoming intimately acquainted with the kind and character of men confined in the penitentiary in this State I inclined to the opinion that all or nearly all of the convicts might be utilized upon the public highways, and under certain condition, limitations and restriction this might be feasible. In some of the States it has been tried, particularly in the South, but only with partial success. There, those serving sentences for crime are of an entirely different type of criminal from those incarcerated in the Western prisons. They are not of the desperate or dangerous class, but in many instances men who fare as well if not better within the prison walls than they do on the outside, and are not anxious to leave even when their terms have expired. The consequence is that even with a small number of guards and insecure places to house the prisoners at night at long distances from the prisons, there are few attempts at escape. With us, it is safe to say, that a small percentage of those confined in the penitentiary could be entrusted outside the walls without a strong force of well-armed guards and steel portable cells in which to confine them when not at work. A much larger percentage of them are sullen, desperate and dangerous men, who would not hesitate to take life, if the chances were anywhere even for successfully eluding the guards.

I suggested to the last session of the Legislature that the proper steps be taken for securing comprehensive data on this subject as a basis for the enactment of a law adapted to the conditions in this State, but no action was taken in the premises. The subject is one fraught with many difficulties and dangers, and radical legislation should never be ventured upon without thorough investigation and consideration. I have thought it would be wise to appropriate a sum of money as was done two years ago for the improvement of some of the roads in the neighborhood of the State Capitol, utilizing as far as possible convict labor in conjunction with such facilities as the county authorities would furnish. In this way an object lesion can be supplied for future guidance. In addition to this, a law might be passed providing for utilizing some of the convicts upon the public roads on the requisition of any county desiring them, the cost of maintenance to be paid by such county. The cost would not be great, and the results would fully compensate for the outlay. To send a large number of convicts far from the penitentiary would necessitate the construction of portable steel cells where they could be safely confined when not at work, and an appropriation would have to be made for that purpose. To minimize the danger of escape, double time might be given to each prisoner for faithful service while so engaged.

A measure framed along these lines when given a fair trial would test the availability of prison labor on the public highways, and if found feasible and profitable it could be extended to meet conditions as occasion may require.

There are confined in the insane asylum about fifteen insane convicts, who have been transferred from the penitentiary from time to time within the past thirty years. Two at least of these were serving life sentences for murder in the second degree, whilst nearly all of them are hardened criminals. There are serious objections from a sentimental as well as from a practical standpoint to removing the criminal insane to an institution designed for the civil insane, unless some arrangement can be made for their entire isolation from the latter and at the same time so safeguard them as to prevent escape. Humanity dictates that they receive at the hands of the authorities such treatment as is most likely to restore mental equilibrium, and it is impossible to accord this within the walls of the prison without employing physicians and attendants skilled in mental disorders. The small number of convicts thus afflicted will not justify this additional burden upon the taxpayers. The time may come as the population of the State increases when a convict asylum within the prison enclosure may become a necessity, but for the present sufficient money should be appropriated to fit up, with regulation cells to guard against escape and to secure isolation, a portion of one of the wings and enclosures of the asylum.

The suggestion is concerned in by the superintendent of the asylum and penitentiary.

One of the saddest things to reflect upon in connection with prison life is the large number of youths ranging in years from 16 to 25. As will be seen by reference to the report of the Superintendent, 106 out of 332 prisoners, or about 32 per cent are under 25 years of age, and about 12 per cent are under 20 years of age. It is safe to say that in most of these cases the prisoners are serving first terms. About ten per cent of all the inmates are wholly illiterate, whilst a much larger percentage can do little more than read and write, and this percentage will hold good for the youthful as well as the older convicts. I realize that the first purpose of punishment for crime is the protection of society, but there is no reason why strenuous effort should not be made to reclaim at least the younger criminal classes and if possible restore them to useful citizenship. There are two factors which can be made most potent to this end, and these are mental and moral training. The chaplain of the prison ought to be paid a salary commensurate with the service rendered by him, required to devote all his time to the welfare of the prisoners and to maintain a school in the prison chapel or some convenient room within the walls for the benefit of the youths and the illiterate class at such hours as these prisoners can be spared to him without impairment of the discipline of the institution.

The policy has been to permit ministers of the different denominations to hold services in the prison chapel, and nothing should be done to interfere with this plan. If, therefore, a prison chaplain is employed, he should be under the direct supervision of the Superintendent and subject to the same control as other officers and employees of the prison.

If the suggestions here made are favorably acted upon much good will, I am sure, be observable in the disappearance of second-term men among the younger criminals.

The reports of the Superintendents of the Asylum, Reform School, and the Schools for the Blind and Deaf Mutes, are complete in detail and faithfully account for the moneys appropriated for their maintenance, and truly point out the needs of these several institutions.

In company with the other members of the several boards of trustees I have frequently visited them all, and take pleasure in saying to you that they are all under excellent management. Each member of your body should take occasion to visit them during the session and be prepared to pass upon the recommendations of the Superintendents from a personal inspection.

The National Guard of this State has reached the highest State of proficiency. The act of Congress approved January 21, 1903, for promoting the efficiency of the militia has done much to bring about this result, but the high character and standing of the officers and men composing the Guard have played the most important part therein. Representing as they do every trade and calling of our commercial and industrial life, they may safely be relied upon to perform any duty assigned to them by State or Nation. A well disciplined militia in the reserve force for National defense, and under the present system of holding annual encampments in conjunction with regular troops and under command of well drilled army officers, there is no reason why the Guard of the several states should not equal if they do not excel the regulars in the art of war. The Oregon troops gave most excellent accounts of themselves in the Spanish-American War, and the record which they made is and should be a source of pride to our people.

The Adjutant General, who takes great pride in and devotes his whole time to the interests of the Guard, has submitted his report showing in detail the receipts and expenditures of this branch of the public service, and I call your particular attention thereto as well as to the recommendations which he makes for its improvement.

The appropriation made at the last session of the Legislature for the payment of the amounts due the volunteers who served in the Indian Wars of 1855-1856 was insufficient for that purpose. Claims were paid as they were presented until the appropriation was exhausted. Many have been presented since, and to pay them all will require an additional appropriation of about $40,000.00.

These brave old pioneers have waited long to have justice done them by the State for faithful and efficient service rendered in “times that tried men’s souls.” They are rapidly passing away, and if anything is to be done for them it ought to be done now, else it will be too late. Their claims ought to be paid, and the amount appropriated for this purpose should be certified to our Senators and Representatives with the request that they urge Congress to reimburse the State therefore.

At the last session of the Legislature $50,000.00 was appropriated for public printing, paper and binding. This has been exhausted. At the close of the fiscal year there was a deficit of $7,060.72, and this will be increased to about $16,000.00 before the end of the biennial term, and covers paper and binding as well as printing. There are two ways by which this enormous expense may be reduced. First: A lower table of fees should be fixed by law now, to take effect at the termination of the present incumbent’s term. This will, of course, not afford present, but future relief. Second: Much of the printing now required to be done could be lopped off without in any way impairing the public service. This latter course will afford immediate as well as future relief against this exorbitant charge.

It must not be forgotten that the schedule of fees charged by the State Printer was fixed more than twenty years ago, and it is a well known fact that since that time, though there has been no reduction in the wages paid to printers, there has been a decline in the cost of work necessary to be done because of improved machinery and changed conditions.

I earnestly call your attention to this matter, and suggest that some legislation be had at this session to reduce the expense of this department of State.

Health officers are maintained at Astoria, Gardiner, Marshfield, and Yaquina Bay at an annual expenses of $2,700. This might with propriety be save to the State by doing away with these stations. The United States maintains a quarantine station of Astoria in charge of a capable physician, and I have assurances that if the stations at the other points named are abolished they will likewise be placed under Federal control. I renew my recommendation of two years ago for the abolishment of the State Quarantine Service at the points named, because I feel that their establishment and maintenance along the coast comes more properly within the jurisdiction and control of the Federal authorities.

Upon assuming the duties of the Executive office I at once turned my attention to a rectification, so far as possible, of the abuses which have grown out of the methods in vogue for disposing of the public lands, and I feel safe in saying that my efforts in this direction have been measurably successful.

The offices of State Land Agent and Clerk of the State Land Board have been practically consolidated within the last two years, and the State Land Agent has done nothing during this administration that is not to be found of record in the office of the Clerk of the State Land Board. Arrangements are now in progress to have the former move into the office of the latter and rearrange the remnants of records that were found there two years ago so that it will be possible from an inspection of the records to ascertain at a glance the present status of every acre of public land in the State.

The State Land Agent and Clerk of the State Land Board have devoted much of their time to straightening out the tangle into which the records of both offices had become involved because of the lack of unity of action between the two. This task was carefully begun under the administration of Mr. J. W. Morrow, and has been scrupulously and persistently followed up by his successor, Mr. Oswald West, to whom, as well as to Mr. Geo. G. Brown, Clerk of the State Land Board, much credit is due for bringing order out of what first seemed hopeless chaos.

The lands granted to the State upon its admission to the Union for educational and other purposes have been practically all disposed of, and those that remain are of little value as compared with those that have been sold. It might be interesting to review the legislation of the State as affecting those lands which have been sold and to point out how profitable such legislation has been to speculators and how costly to the Irreducible School Fund, but such a review can at this late date do no good, and I content myself with dealing with conditions as I found them and as they are at present.

The grant to the State of the sixteenth and thirty-sixth sections in every township for school purposes did not carry with it the title to those sections which were known to be more valuable for mineral than for other purposes at the date of the survey, and for mineral than for other purposes at the date of the survey, and for every mineral section lost to the State it had the right to select indemnity lands in lieu thereof. Here was a rich field for exploitation by the speculator in mineral base, and it seems to have been farmed out to private enterprise. During the four years prior to 1903, application was made by the Executive to the several local land offices for adjudication of about 90,000 acres of so-called mineral base, about 12,000 acres of which had been sold in place by the State Land Board prior to this attempted adjudication, and title had passed from the State either by deed or certificates of sale. All of these lands were returned as mineral and without waiting for a final determination by the General Land Department at Washington about 70,000 acres so adjudged as mineral by the local land officers were used as bases for indemnity selections and the selections sold by the State at the uniform price of $2.50 per acre. While these adjudications were progressing, and afterwards, about 35,000 acres were sold in place by the State, so that approximately 50,000 acres of the land which was adjudicated as mineral by the local land offices, were sold in place by the State.

Here was the condition of things on the 1st day of January, 1903: About 50,000 acres of land had been sold in place by the State, while the same lands had been adjudicated as mineral by the local land offices, and the Executive of the State, through his State Land Agent, had selected indemnity lands in lieu thereof, and these indemnity lands had been likewise sold, so that the State had practically sold the same land twice. In addition to this, many of the alleged mineral lands had been used twice as bases for indemnity selections, so that in such cases the State had practically sold the same lands as often as three times to as many different individuals. Of the 70,000 acres, therefore, adjudicated as mineral and used as bases for indemnity selection, only about 20,000 acres are in such condition that the State can fairly and in good faith attempt to have the selections made in lieu thereof patented to the State. This condition of affairs was brought about largely because of the fact that when the Executive instituted proceedings for the adjudication of the alleged mineral lands he failed to notify the Clerk of the State Land Board of the fact so that said lands could be withdrawn from sale, and so noted on the plats of the office. It resulted from this neglect that the records of the Clerk’s office would frequently show a section of land as open to sale, when as a matter of fact the same had already been used as a basis for indemnity selections. The Commissioner of the General Land Office, not being satisfied with the rulings of the several local land offices in adjudging the lands above mentioned as mineral, for several reasons, amongst others: (1) Insufficiency of proof as to the mineral character; (2) prior sales of the same land in place; (3) prior use of the same land as a base for indemnity selection; (4) insufficiency of description of the alleged base land, held the indemnity selections to nearly all of this land for cancellation. General W.H. Odell, who occupied desk room in the office of the State Land Agent, conducted the proceedings in adjudicating the 90,000 acres referred to as mineral before the local land offices, and was appointed by the then Executive as agent and attorney for the State to undertake to sustain the indemnity selections in the General Land Department by furnishing the proof required as to the mineral character of the lands in question, and upon my assuming the duties of the Executive office I continued him in the same position for the following reasons: First, He was willing to furnish his services gratuitously and pay all the expenses incurred. Second, Having adjudicated these lands in the local land offices it was presumed he was familiar with all the facts. Third, Having furnished the alleged base to purchasers of indemnity lands for a consideration of from seventy-five cents to $1.50 per acre, no man in the State was more deeply interested than he in establishing said base as mineral. Fourth: To have removed him during the pendency of proceedings in the General Land Department would have furnished ground for the charge in case of decision adverse to the indemnity purchasers that but for Executive interference the decision might have been favorable because of Odell’s familiarity with the facts. The Attorney-General was requested by me to render what assistance he could to General Odell in the trial of the cases before the General Land Office on appeal.

The Honorable Secretary of the Interior has practically held for cancellation every selection made on base furnished and sold by General Odell. As these selections have been held for cancellation, the State Land Agent has notified all the purchasers from the State of the condition of their titles, and of their right under the law to recover back the amounts paid by them to the State as the purchase price of the lands. It will appear from the report of the Clerk of the State Land Board that up to the end of the fiscal year 216 claims have been presented to the State for repayment on 46,868.66 acres of indemnity school lands selected prior to January 1, 1903, amounting to $77,419.70 of principal and interest, while 17 claims for repayment on 3,777.15 acres of school lands have been presented and paid amounting to $5,385.55. The end is arduous employment. A general statute should be passed at this session applicable to all such employments. The laborer in the logging camp and the sawmill, the mine and the smelter has no voice in the selection of those with whom he is compelled to work to earn his daily bread. The careful and competent laborer in all of these and other similar employments assumes the risks incident to the business in which he engages, and one these in the liability of injury to himself through the carelessness of a fellow servant. If he had a voice in the selection of his co-servants, or could without jeopardizing his position, protest against the employment of or retention in service of the careless of incompetent, there might be less reason for suggesting legislation in his behalf. We know from experience that the man who is compelled to seek employment can impose no conditions even for his own protection. If he undertook to do so he would soon be given to understand that he could work or let it alone, and the trend of modern legislation is towards statutory protection. The moral effect of the law modifying the fellow-servant doctrine as applied by the courts is most excellent, for it not only compels the employment of competent men and exacts a penalty in case of failure so to do, but inevitably leads to the adoption of improved machinery for safeguarding the lives and limbs of all employees.

I urge upon your consideration a general law upon this subject, which is all the more needed at this time because our State promises a more rapid development in the near future in all lines of manufacturing enterprise than it has ever experienced before.

The varied conditions of modern life, the rapid growth of corporations and associations of men employing vast numbers of laborers, have very recently resulted in the extension of the insurance principle so as to cover and protect against the legal liability which is ordinarily assumed in becoming employers of others. The employer under the law is liable to his servant for injuries incurred by the latter in the course of service and as a result of the employer’s want of proper care, subject to the qualification however that the servant assumes the hazards which are incidental to his employment, among which are the servant’s contributory negligence and the negligence of fellow servants. It was to lessen this legal responsibility of the employer which give birth to employers’ liability insurance . Contracts of insurance of this class have been assailed from time to time as against public policy in that they virtually lessen the penalties which follow negligence on the part of the insured toward those to whom he owes a legal duty, but unfortunately, it seems to me, this view has not received the sanction of the courts. These contracts of insurance have therefore become a part of our industrial life, and their status for good or evil is being gradually fixed by the courts of last resort. For a consideration paid by the employer (and sometimes it is charged, out of money deducted from the wages of the employee in the shape of his monthly hospital fee) to the insurance company, the latter contracts to discharge the liability of the former for damages sustained by the employee in the discharge of his duties. What is the result in actual practice? The employer is in fact relieved from one of the penalties of his own carelessness, and knowing this, in many instances at least, becomes careless in the conduct of his business, uses antiquated machinery and in many respects fails even in the most hazardous business to afford his employees that measure of protection which in the absence of such insurance common prudence and self-preservation would dictate. Nor is that altogether the worst feature of this new contract of insurance common prudence and self-preservation would dictate. Nor is that altogether the worst feature of this new contract of insurance. When an employee happens to be injured or killed, because of negligence upon the part of the employer, occasioned by the knowledge that in case of being compelled to pay the penalty therefore his contract of insurance protects him, the employer at the instance of the insurance company, refuses to pay the most meritorious claim for damages and resists payment to the last ditch. The employer is the nominal defendant in such actions, the insurance company the real defendant. The attorneys for the employer, the nominal attorneys, those of the insurance company paid by the year the real attorneys. It is the policy of the insurer to keep from the knowledge of the jury the fact that it and not the defendant is the real party in interest, and so strict are the courts in empanelling juries that cases may and sometimes do arise where a stockholder, officer or agent of the insurer itself sits to determine the rights of the injured employee. To meet these new conditions, new legislation is demanded for the protection of those who are engaged in the development of our industries. If the employee is injured because the employer, secure in the knowledge that his policy protects him, is careless in failing to furnish a reasonably safe place to work, and reasonably safe material to work upon, he should be permitted to sue either the careless employer or the insurance company that offers a reward for carelessness, or both as he may elect. Without some statutory provision upon the subject this cannot be done, and I earnestly recommend the passage of an act that will confer this right. But it is said such legislation will drive liability insurance companies out of the State. To this I answer that without such right, it were better for the State that they leave than that the life and limb of the citizen be dependent upon the mercy of such institutions.

Stringent laws should be enacted for protecting those seeking employment against dishonest and irresponsible employment agencies. There are many such agencies in the State, and numerous instances have been brought to my attention where they have not only received money for alleged services, but have sent men out, at great expense, to railroad, mining and other camps, which had no existence in fact, leaving them to get back to the point of departure as best they could. Other States have excellent laws on this subject, and a substantial copy of the California law will be found in the report of the Labor Commissioner, at page 40. The enactment of such a law will afford protection to the many strangers coming to the State in quest of remunerative employment.

The platforms of all parties at the last State election declared in favor of placing all State officers on fixed salaries, and the payment of fees, if any, earned by them into the State treasury. In my last message to the Legislature, I urged as strongly as I knew how the faithful performance of these pledges voluntarily made by party conventions, and impliedly if not expressly assented to by every candidate of every party elected at that election. Several acts were introduced at the last session looking to the fulfillment of these platform utterances, but nothing resulted therefrom, and these pledges remain unperformed. The argument that a law placing the several State officers on salaries is unconstitutional is without merit in view of the fact that the power of the Legislature so to do has received heretofore judicial, executive and legislative sanction. If it be insisted that such legislation is unconstitutional, what is to be said of those statutes which authorize the collection and appropriation of fees by officers who are in express terms inhibited from so doing by Section 1 of Article XII of the Constitution? Truly those who oppose a salary law on constitutional grounds, while they enter no protest to the present system of collecting fees, “strain at the gnat while they swallow a camel.” Any statute which enables a public officers to compensate himself for his services by the collection of fees is liable to abuse, and so well recognized has this fact become that salary laws are rapidly taking the place of those providing for fees in the case of all the county officers. In his message to the present Congress President Roosevelt recognizing the abuses which have grown out of a statute authorizing the Commissioners of Alaska to collect fees for official services, recommends “that a fixed salary be provided for them to take the place of the discredited ‘fee system’ which should be abolished in all offices.” I do not deem it necessary to enter into a discussion of the reasons for the faith that is in me when I express the opinion that there is no question as to the power of the Legislature to place all the State officers, with the exception of the State Printer, on salaries, but content myself with a reference to my message of two years ago, where the subject is fully considered from a legal standpoint. Such a law ought to have been passed then to take effect at once. It ought to be passed now, for it is better late to redeem a promise solemnly made to the people than not to do it at all. Those who persist in the violation of party and platform pledges can rest assured that soon or later will come a day of reckoning at the bar of public opinion.

It at least thirteen States laws have been enacted having for their object the care, control and protection of dependent, neglected and delinquent children. This class of legislation was for a time only made applicable to the larger cities and towns, but it is now being made general in its application. It usually provides for detaining children awaiting examination apart from criminals, for the establishment of separate courts specially provided and known as juvenile courts, and for a system of parole on probation under the supervision of discreet and duly accredited persons. In some cases, parents or guardians are held responsible for acts contributory to the delinquency of the child. After all efforts have failed, the incorrigible are committed to reformatories and given instruction in manual and industrial training instead of being sent to jails and penitentiaries. Colorado has gone farther than any other State in carrying out the principle of the probation system, and a general law covering the subject was enacted at the last session of the Legislature of that State. I suggest it as a model from which to frame a law suitable to conditions that exist here. Investigations by those who have made a study of criminology have led them to the conclusion that as far as practicable a delinquent child should be treated, not as a criminal, but as misdirected and misguided, and as needing aid, encouragement, help and assistance, rather than punishment by imprisonment with hardened criminals.

There are in every prison many convicts suffering long sentences for first offenses who are not criminals at heart, and who, if an opportunity were given them, would endeavor to restore themselves to useful citizenship. It has been proven time and again that these men deeply appreciate any kindnesses shown them by those in authority, and cannot be induced to violate a trust reposed in them. Realizing this, the Legislatures of many States have passed laws providing for indeterminate sentences and for paroling prisoners under certain limitations and restrictions. The Governor should be permitted, on the recommendation of the Superintendent and Warden of the prison, to parole a prisoner for good conduct, and where in their opinion reformation appears to be complete. In addition to this, every sentence of a person to the penitentiary, except of one sentenced to life, should be indeterminate. The term of imprisonment should not exceed the maximum term provided by law for the crime nor be less than the minimum. In cases where the Court has discretion to sentence for life or any number of years, the Court should fix the maximum sentence, and the minimum should not be less than six months. But a prisoner convicted more than one of a felony should be ineligible for either an indeterminate sentence or a parole.

With a law in force embodying substantially these suggestions, there would be some incentive to prisoners to lead better lives in prison, as well as to strive to become useful citizens upon their discharge.

Since the last session of the Legislature, range difficulties in Lake and Crook counties have reached an acute stage, resulting in the willful killing of many hundred sheep, and it is charged, in the loss of one human life in the former county. Appeals have from time to time come to me for Executive interference and protection, but under the Constitution and law I am practically powerless to render assistance. The only arm of the public service subject to my command is the National Guard, and that can be utilized only in emergencies which do not and have not existed in these difficulties. Even if the services of the National Guard were called into requisition, they could not be made effective where all the violations of law occur at points remote from the center of population. I fully appreciate the difficulties of the local authorities in attempting to suppress the prevailing acts of lawlessness. A few men bent upon the ruthless destruction of personal property might travel by night a distance of sixty miles from one county into another, apply the torch, perform their nefarious mission of slaughter and return to the point of departure before the setting of another sun. Under such circumstances it is exceedingly difficult to procure evidence sufficient to convict. But even if the local authorities showed a disposition to neglect their duty, the Executive has no authority to do more than appeal to them. The power of removal from office, a most potent one in such cases, in not conferred upon him in this, as in some other States. If vested with this power, those officials who from selfish, political, or other reasons refuse to do their duty could be replaced by others who would not be deterred therefrom by any considerations.

Rewards were offered by me, subject to legislative approval, for the arrest and conviction of those guilty of destruction of property Lake County, and it probably acted as a deterrent. But these crimes will not cease until skilled and fearless secret service men are sent to ferret out the guilty, collect the evidence and bring them to swift and certain justice. This cannot be done without money, nor can the appointment or names of such men be published for reasons too obvious to mention. If the Legislature will appropriate a sufficient sum of money to be used by me in emergencies like this, I have no fears but that the guilty can be apprehended and punished. I earnestly request that this be done, for it is probably there will be a repetition of these crimes which have brought so much discredit to our State, and which have in some instances in a very few minutes resulted in destroying the earnings of a life-time.

Laws have been passed in many States limiting the amount of money allowed to be spent in elections by candidates and party organizations, and requiring itemized statements containing the names of contributors, amounts contributed by each, amounts expended and to whom paid, to be filed as public records in the offices where the certificates of nomination of the candidates are required to be filed.

Such laws are most salutary in their effect and tend to prevent the debauching of the electoral franchise. I suggest the passage of such a law at this session.

Desertion of wife and family should be made a crime for which the deserted may be extradited from the State in which he seeks an asylum. Investigation will show that of all the families under the care of privates charitable associations no less than one in ten owe their destitution to this cause. The laws for the punishment of this grievous crime are inadequate, and deserters know that they have only to step over the State line to secure immunity. These desertions are, in many instances, for the deliberate purpose of evading the support of wife and children, and the burden of their support is thus shifted from the shoulders of a heartless husband and father to the public. A stringent criminal statute will have a wholesome effect upon these deserters and I recommend the passage of law that will bring them back to the State, if not to discharge their duty, then to be supported by the State within the walls of a prison.

But criminal statutes will not reach the brute who strikes and beats a defenseless woman, the mother of his children. Imprisonment may be a slight punishment for him, but it is a severe one for the helpless wife and children who are dependent upon him for their daily bread. For such inhuman creatures the public whipping-post has been proven to be the most effective punishment, and I recommend such a law for your consideration.

A constitutional amendment should be submitted to the people for adoption which will authorize the Executive to veto any single item in an appropriation bill which meets his disapproval. It sometimes happens that it becomes necessary to veto an appropriation bill because it contains some items that should not under any consideration be inserted therein. It may not of place to suggest to you now that I will it my duty to veto any, even the most important, measure appropriating public money if riders are superimposed thereon in violation of constitutional provisions. If such measures are passed over my veto, the responsibility must rest with the Legislature and not with the Executive.

A Constitution of the State and of the United States guarantees to the accused in all criminal prosecutions and to litigants by a law which requires that all the jurors shall agree upon a verdict. I am a firm believer in the jury system, and hold it to be the strongest safeguard of the rights and liberties of the people, but there is neither reason nor justice in permitting a minority, or even one of twelve jurors, to prevent a verdict either in a criminal or civil case. Under our form of government a majority rules in all other cases, and the same doctrine should prevail in the trial of causes, to the end that there shall be a speedy end the litigation.

It is questionable if the Legislature has power to enact a law embodying this proposed reform in our jury system without amending the Constitution. This has been done in some of the States, and I suggest the submission to the people of a proposed amendment to the Constitution which will authorize the modification of the law regulating trials by jury in both civil and criminal cases.

In his annual report to the Secretary of War, Lieutenant General Adna R Chaffee, Chief of Staff, states that the number of desertions from the army for this year was 5,873. After diligent inquiry he has failed to discover any cause for these desertions not inherent in the men themselves. Trial, conviction, dishonorable discharge and confinement for one or more years of the few deserters who are apprehended or surrender themselves, seem to have but slight influence as a restraining force on the service generally, and the Chief of Staff is of the opinion that public censure, disapproval and means of correction may best be afford by civil laws. He calls attention to the fact that deserters return to civil laws. He calls attention to the fact that deserters return to civil life, and there seek employment and the exercise of civil rights and functions accorded to others. “If,” says the report, “all the States and Territories should by law withhold from deserters exercise of the right to vote at National, State and municipal elections, unless the act of deserted be atoned for by lawful discharge subsequently earned by service, it seems probably that the most healthful remedy practicable would be applied to the evil, and that the result would be surprisingly great. The majority of deserters would return to the colors at their own expense and serve out their unexpired enlistment contracts in order to receive a lawful discharge which would reestablish their civil status.”

I heartily concur in the opinion that the proposed remedy would have a most beneficial result, and I recommend the enactment of a law that will deprive deserters of the inestimable privilege of participating in all elections, National, State and Municipal.

A bill will doubtless be offered at this session having for its purpose the protection of forests. The Bureau of Forestry has been cooperating for the past two years, I am advised, with the State of California in order to determine on a sound State forest policy. The result is a comprehensive forest bill which will be considered by the California Legislature at its present session. A copy of this proposed law may be found in the November number of a magazine entitled Forestry and Irrigation, published monthly in Washington, D.C., under the auspices of the American Forestry Association. I have examined its provisions carefully, and it is subject to the same objections urged by me against the measures passed by the Legislature of this State at its last session, and that is the question of expense to the State for the protection of private interests. As a matter of fact, the State itself owns very little if any timbered lands. What has not, in the past few years, been included in forest reserves, is in the hands of private individuals and corporations, and if these lands are to be protected it ought to be done at the expense of the Federal authorities and the private owners. Agitation upon this subject in Oregon at least is of recent origin and dates from about the time when the State had been practically divested of title to all of its forest lands that were of any value. Practically one-fifth of the area of the State is within forest reservations, and there is no question but that many hundreds of thousands of acres are included therein that ought to be released either for settlement and cultivation or for grazing purposes. This very naturally results in retarding the growth and development of the resources of the State. The basis of the claim for the establishment of these immense reservation is that it is for the conservation of the water supply, but there are those who have lived in the West since its earliest settlement and whose opinions, because of their intimate knowledge of existing conditions are entitled to great weight, who assert that the water supply is not conserved by the creation of reserves. Hon. John Minto, one of the earliest settlers in Oregon, and a man who has been a close observer of conditions and events in the State in his report as Secretary of the Oregon State Board of Horticulture on “Forestry and Arid Land Interests,” 1898, in speaking of these reserves and the policy which has led to their creation says: “The major reasons for its [the executive committee of the American Forestry Association] recommendations are that forests protect the sources of streams in mountain and highland districts, by preserving the snow from melting and impeding the percolation of melted snow or rain from reaching the valleys below. My observation teaches me that mountains and highlands are the attracting causes of precipitation, and trees and brushwood are effects of this precipitation; that all other things being equal, snow melts first in belts of timber of when falling and partly because of the influence of color on solar rays, dark objects absorbing, white reflecting heat. The bulletin (No. 38) of the experiment station of the University of Missouri is now sending out the result of color on peach trees, showing that the simple act of whitewashing this sensitive tree delayed the swelling of the buds twenty-two days later than the unwhitened. This accords with my observations on the Cascade Range, where it is rare to find a patch of snow within the timber after the middle of July, and not then near the trees or brush. Later than that snow is on open ground, generally where it has been laid by drifting. These snow banks on open land, and the water from springs in the valleys below are the sources of rivers after the middle of July.”

This opinion of Mr. Minto is shared by many observant and intelligent pioneers of this Western country where immense reservations have been declared in recent years. In this opinion I fully concur, and if the alleged conservation of the water supply was the only reason for the creation of reserves I would most heartily join in the protest against them. There is one and only one justification for holding of immense bodies of land in reserves, whether temporary or permanent, and that is to protect these magnificent timber belts from being seized by scrip holders and landgrabbers from all over the country, whose purpose is to hold them for speculative purposes only, without any idea of using them for developing the wealth of the State. Congressional action should be taken at once to prevent this, for with Congress rests the sole power of granting immediate relief by amending the lieu land laws. But a still better course for our representatives in Congress to pursue would be to endeavor to secure the passage of a law granting all of these lands to the State for school purposes. If this last alternative could adopted, then it should be the policy of the State to make ample appropriation and pass stringent laws for the protection of forests against fires. So long, however, as all our timbered lands are either within reserves or in private ownership, I can see no good reason why the people of the State should be heavily taxed to protect them. There is no objection to the creation of a commission and the appointment of wardens and rangers with ample power to protect the forests of the State if the corporations and individuals who own them will pay the expenses.

An act was passed at the last session appointing a Board of Portage Commissioners, consisting of the Governor, Secretary of State and State Treasurer, and appropriating $165,000, or so much thereof as might be necessary for acquiring the rights of way, building and equipping a portage railway between the highest and lowest point of the navigable waters of the Columbia River between The Dalles and Ceilio in Oregon. The act in question expressly provided that “no expenditure should be incurred thereunder in excess of the sum appropriated.”

Immediately upon the taking effect of the act, the Board employed Mr. A.E. Hammond as its engineer, with instructions to survey a route for a portage road between the points named, prepare plans, maps and specifications, and as expeditiously as possible to report to the Board, with estimates as to cost of construction, keeping in view the above limitation as to expense to be incurred. Maps of definite location were presented by the engineer September 23, 1903. In the meantime the Board, in conjunction with the Attorney-General, kept up its negotiations for rights of way, and practically arranged terms with all the owners except I.H. Taffe and the O.R. & N. Co. Between these and the Board no agreement seemed possible along the line mapped out by the engineer. The matter of procuring these rights of way was finally placed in the hands of the Attorney-General, and actions to condemn commended by him against both the O.R. & N. Co. and Taffe.

Estimates of cost of construction, exclusive of cost of rights of way, were filed by the engineer November 5, 1903, showing conclusively that a large expense in excess of the appropriation would have to be incurred in order to carry out the terms of the act. When matters had progressed thus far, and while proceedings were still pending to condemn and acquire said rights of way, the Legislature convened in special session December 21, 1903, at which time an act was passed creating a Board of Commissioners of Canals and Locks, with authority to procure rights of way for improving the Columbia River between the foot of The Dalles Rapids and the head of Celilo Falls for the United States, and appropriating $100,000 therefore. This act interposed a temporary delay in the portage construction. In the location of the canal right of way the Board had no voice; that was a matter completely within the jurisdiction of the government engineers, and when the Board was furnished with the descriptions of the rights of way necessary to be acquired for canal purposes, it was ascertained that for a great part of the distance, including that to acquire which condemnation proceedings had already been begun, it overlapped the right of way mapped out for the portage, and as the United States required a grant from the State of a right of way for canal purposes unencumbered in any way, a new survey for the portage became an absolute necessity. This was not immediately attempted because of the fact that the State’s engineer had already reported to the Board that the line which he had located was the cheapest and practically the only one that could be laid out without the expenditure of a sum in excess of the appropriation, though the Board intended to cause a new survey to be made immediately after the canal rights of way had been fully determined upon, procuring plans, specifications and estimates, so as to be able to submit the same to your body for further action. To this end Mr. A.J. McMillan was employed as engineer for the State. These unexpected delays, the probability that as matters then stood work on the portage could not be commenced without an increased appropriation, and the necessity for the regulation of freight charges pending the time which must necessarily elapse before the government could possibly complete the canal, aroused the producers of the Inland Empire, as well as the shippers and commercial bodies of Portland, to the organization of the Open River Association, having for its object the raising of a fund which added to the amount of the appropriation would be sufficient to proceed with the work of portage construction, and to render the State Board its moral as well as its active support in this great public work. Conferences were frequently had between the Board and the executive committee of the Open River Association, which finally and on September 8, 1904, resulted in a contract between said committee and the Board, by the terms of which the Board agreed with the committee that whenever within the period of thirty days from the execution of the contract the latter should designate a responsible construction company satisfactory to the former, it would enter into a contract with such company to acquire rights of way, build, construct and equip a portage railway between the points mentioned in the act, under the supervision of the State’s engineer, and turn the same over to the Board ready for operation for the amount of the State’s appropriation unexpended. This contract was extended from time to time at the request of the committee. On the 3rd day of December, 1904, the committee designated the McCabe Construction Company to the Board, and after agreeing upon the terms of the contract and the cost of the road to the State, the required bond and contract were not executed within the time required, and immediately new bids were advertised for by the Open River Association. These were opened on December 24, 1904, and Nelson & White being the lowest bidders were awarded the contract to build the road for approximately $115,523.16. The State is to furnish the rails and fastenings, and W.J. Mariner, Henry Hahn, and J.A. Smith, of the Open River Association, have contracted to furnish the necessary equipment in accordance with the plans and specifications in consideration of $1 and such additional sum of money as may remain of the appropriation after the payment to Nelson & White, and after the payment for rails and fastenings, rights of way, engineering, and all other expenses incurred by the Board of Portage Commissioners in constructing the road. Nelson & White have executed a bond in the sum of $50,000, and Mariner, Smith, and Hahn a bond in the sum of $20,000, for the faithful performance of their several contracts. I refer you to the contracts and bonds on file with the Clerk of the Board for minute details as to the work to be done by the contracting parties.

All sums in excess of appropriation of $165,000.00 have been or are to be raised by the Open River Association by voluntary subscription of citizens of Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

Too much praise cannot be given the members of the Open River Association, and particularly W.J. Mariner, J.T. Peters, J.A. Smith, Henry Hahn, Allen Lewis, N.G. Blalock, and A.H. Devers, for their efforts in this project, as well as to their attorney, Mr. J.N. Teal, whose attention to the matter has been unremitting and whose services both to his clients and the Board have been invaluable and have made the consummation of this work possible. It is seldom, indeed, that men can be found, who like those named above are willing to sacrifice business interests, time and money for the public welfare.

No one not an active participant can appreciate the difficulties that have beset the Board and the Open River Association in attempting to harmonize the conflicting interests of private owners who possessed valuable fishing interests, the O.R. & N. Co., with its right of way, spurs and switches, and the authorities of the United States in their efforts to have provided a sufficient right of way for a canal, over a distance of about eight or nine miles along a narrow strip of land bounded on the one side by the Columbia River and on the other by precipitous cliffs. All have made concessions and some sacrifices, but the work when completed will amply repay for all these. It must not be overlooked that when the Portage Railroad is completed, the appropriation will be exhausted, and for a time at least, it cannot be expected to be self-sustaining. I therefore suggest that at least $10,000 per annum be appropriated or so much thereof as may be necessary to meet all emergencies and to put the road in full operation as soon as it is turned over to the State.

The right of way for the canal has all been obtained except about three-quarters of an acre owned by I.H. Taffe for which he insists upon being paid more than the Board thinks is reasonable, and for this condemnation proceedings will have to be instituted. Abstracts of title have been furnished the authorities of the United States, and upon advice of the Attorney-General payments are being made to the owners. The cost of the rights of way including all expenses amount so far to the sum of $70,349.75, and there remains to be paid whatever is awarded to I.H. Taffe for the right of way yet to be secured from him.

Major W.C. Langfitt and Captain A. Fries of the United States engineers have done all in their power to assist the Board of Portage Commissioners as well as the Board of Canal Commissioners, and I take this occasion to publicly thank them on behalf of both Boards for courtesies shown, and to express the belief that the canal will soon be an accomplished fact if Congress will give proper heed to their recommendations and requests.

The act of 1870 appropriating money for the construction of the canal and locks at Oregon City, provides that the issuance and payment of the bonds thereby authorized to be issued are upon the express condition that the Willamette Falls Canal and Locks Company shall pay for the benefit of the Common School Fund ten per cent of the net profits arising from tolls collected for passing freights and passengers through said canal and locks. In the subsequent compilations of the code this statute seems to have been omitted. No attempt, so far as I have been able to ascertain, has ever been made to collect anything from this company or its successors in interest, and the only payment ever made to the State was $435 paid in 1873. recently my attention has been called to the matter, and the Attorney-General is diligently at work at this writing endeavoring to ascertain the rights of the State in the premises, and will in due course institute proceedings to test the question as to the liability of the present owners of the canal and locks, and its predecessors in interest, and to ascertain what, if anything, is due the State. A joint committee of the Senate and House was appointed in 1893 to consider a plan for the acquisition by the State of the canal and locks, as well as to consider the use then being made and proposed to be made of the water of the river at the falls for industrial purposes. This committee prepared quite an extensive report with a bill for the condemnation of the property for the use of the State, but nothing came of the report. The right was reserved to the State in the act of 1870, at the expiration of twenty years from the completion of the canal and locks to appropriate the property to its use upon payment of the value thereof. This public highway ought to be owned by the State or the General Government, and the river opened to free navigation.

I suggest that an appeal be made by you, through our Senators and Representatives in Congress, for Congressional action which will place the ownership of this canal and locks in this United States. If the owner and the representatives of the Government cannot agree upon a price to be paid, condemnation proceedings should be authorized or a new canal and locks built on the opposite side of the river. The opening up of the Willamette River is a matter of the greatest importance to the people of Oregon, and the producers and shippers ought to have the benefits that would accrue to them from a reduction in freight charges that would surely follow Government ownership and control.

In this connection I call particular attention to that part of the report of the State Land Board having reference to the loss to the State Land Board having reference to the loss to the State of a large body of swamp lands in Klamath County by reason of a recent decision of the Honorable Secretary of the Interior, and the action of the Board in employing Hon. William B. Matthews, of Washington, D.C., to assist the Attorney General in the contest over these lands in the General Land Department. He rendered faithful service in his service in his efforts to secure a decision favorable to the State, and I hope an appropriate will be made to pay him in accordance with the recommendation of the Board.

If it is possible to present a case to the courts for a determination of the legal questions involved in this contest, the Board intends to make the attempt, and to that end has referred the matter to the Attorney-General.

The report of the State Land Board gives a detailed account of the reclamation projects now under way in the State, the number of acres involved and the progress that is being made. Your careful attention is invited to this report. Many thousand acres of heretofore worthless land are being reclaimed, and it is safe to predict that in a very few years all of it will be occupied by actual settlers and under cultivation.

It is to be hoped that the committee appointed in pursuance of a resolution adopted at the last session will present to you a report of their work, with a bill for the regulation of riparian and water rights. The adoption of a carefully digested measure will do much for the future welfare of the whole State, but more particularly those parts which have been reclaimed and where in the absence of a wholesome statute upon the subject there is constant danger of litigation and strife.

In my message to the last Legislature I called attention to the abuses which existed at the ports of Portland and Astoria, occasioned by interference on the part of sailor boarding house keepers, running and crimps, with seamen on vessels arriving from foreign ports and carrying the flags of foreign powers. As a corrective measure to these abuses, the act was passed creating a Board of Commissioners for licensing and regulating sailors boarding-houses. The act named the Board of Commissioners. This act is the first step in the direction of relieving the ports from abuses which have been in existence for many years, and I have no doubt but that if properly enforced by a fearless commission, it will entirely eradicate the evils which have given said ports an unsavory reputation among ship-owners everywhere. No law of this State has been so thoroughly misunderstood or persistently misrepresented as has the act in question. Its purposes are most excellent; its results, if properly enforced, would be most beneficial, but soon after the act went into effect and the Board of Commissioners had qualified, they undertook to fix an arbitrary rule for the licensing of sailor boarding-houses, without regard to the question as to whether or not the applicants possessed the qualifications prescribed by the act. Whenever an applicant under the statute presents the proof required therein as to his respectability, competency and suitableness of his accommodations, it is the duty of the Board to pass upon these questions of fact, and from their decision in the premises there is no appeal unless they exercise their discretion arbitrarily and in contravention of the terms of the statute. Upon the Board devolves the duty of determining these questions. They can be compelled by mandamus to act, but their discretion cannot be controlled, so that when an applicant presents himself for a license the power of determination rests with the Board, and if he presents the quantum of proof necessary, they shall issue to him a license, but if in their judgment the proof is insufficient, they can withhold it.

The Supreme Court of this State, in the case of White vs. Mears et al. (44 Ore. 215), upheld in its entirety the act in question, and certain it is in the light of the decision referred to, the Board have ample power to regulate and control the conduct of the sailor boardinghouse business in the ports named in the act. Those who are engaged in this unsavory business have but to know that the Board appointed will fearlessly carry out the provisions of the act, and they will obey it. These has been less interference with sailors since the passage of the act than there has ever been in the recent history of the State, and I have no doubt but that its enforcement will be most salutary to the shipping interests.

There are but two amendments that I would suggest. First, that the power of appointment of the Commission should be vested in the Executive of the State, where it is lodged by the Constitution, and, second there should be exempted from the payment of licenses the Seaman’s Institute, or any organization which undertakes, from motives of philanthropy and charity, to find positions for sailors desiring them. The question as to the bona fides of such charitable institutions could be left entirely to the Board, with power to give them a permit to act without the payment of any license, or withhold it, as to them might seem best.

The Secretary of State in his report calls attention to Chapter VIII, Title XXX, Bellinger and Cotton’s Annotated Codes and Statutes of Oregon, relative to the enumeration of the inhabitants and industrial products of the State once in ten years. This enumeration must be made this year under the statute referred to. The law governing the subject was passed in 1864, and as stated by the Secretary, it is entirely out of date and an enumeration under it would be of little if any value.

I therefore heartily approve of his suggestion for an amendment of this law and concur with him the recommendation he makes. I feel it incumbent on me, however, to call attention to a matter in this connection which he does not mention in his report. Pursuant to the provisions of an act of Congress, a census of manufactures will be taken this year under the supervision of the Bureau of Census. (See Report of the Director of Census, October 15, 1904.) A later act was passed by Congress and approved March 1, 1904, authorizing the Director of the Census to cooperate with the Secretary of State of the State of Michigan in taking the census of manufactures and to share the expense thereof, the results of which are to be accepted by the United States as its census of manufactures for that State for 1905. The act further provides that “the Director of the Census may in his discretion cooperate with the officials of other States which take a like census in so far as it may aid in the collection of statistics of manufactures required by existing laws.” Under this law, an agreement was made with the Secretary of State of the State of Michigan whereby the manufacturing schedule of the Census Bureau was accepted for the Michigan census and the correction and compilation of the returns were undertaken by that Bureau. In consideration of the control over the form and character of the returns accorded the Census Bureau, the latter undertook to defray two-thirds of the expense of the field work, the State of Michigan on the other hand affording the Bureau free use of its office facilities and clerical force at the State Capitol. In this way the cost of the canvas was equitably shared, and a considerable sum saved both the Federal and State Governments. Under this arrangement the field work of Michigan was completed in a little over two months. Massachusetts has entered into substantially the same arrangement with the Census Bureau.

I urge therefore that our Midway Census Law be amended and modernized, and that either the Secretary of State or the Commissioner of Labor be authorized to cooperate with the Federal authorities under the act of Congress referred to, to the end that the census of the State, when taken, may be of some value from a statistical standpoint, and time and money saved in the preparation thereof.

Some method should be adopted for improving the country roads. Much interest has been attracted to this subject in the past two years through the efforts of the State Good Roads Association, and it may be that some measure will be presented by this Association for your consideration. If so, I invite your serious attention thereto. There is no question but that through the methods which have been in vogue in this State, results have not been satisfactory, and our roads are in little if any better condition than they were twenty years ago. The value of every acre of farm land would be enhanced by a system of roads which could be traveled the entire year, while the business of the tradesman would correspondingly increase.

This society is doing a grand work for the State in collecting data from which the future historian must write a truthful history of the State from its earliest discovery and settlement. With little other aid than voluntary contributions, this society has gathered from old pioneers and their descendants most valuable data and many historical records, which, with the lapse of a few more years, no amount of money could obtain. Many States contribute most liberally to these historical societies, and I submit that you should be liberal in appropriation a sufficient sum to enable the Oregon Historical Society to carry on its work.

The people of Virginia propose to hold in the year 1907, on the borders of Hampton Roads, a great naval, marine, and industrial exposition, in commemoration of the three hundredth anniversary of the first permanent settlement of English speaking people on American soil at Jamestown.

Each State has been or will be invited to participate in this exposition, and I have already received requests that Oregon make an exhibit there of its resources.

I submit the matter to you, and ask you to consider whether or not an appropriation should be made for that purposes.

I trust that you will not consider it out of place for me to suggest a short session of the Legislature and the early adjournment. There is nothing you could do which would so strongly commend you to your constituents. In order to do this it is necessary to begin your labors speedily and consume as many hours as possible of each working day. Above all things, do not put off until the last days of the session the consideration of important legislation, but take it up and dispose of it deliberately and in order. Measures are frequently passed in the last days of each session that should not find lodgment in the statute books, nor would they if they could be discussed and digested in the opening days. Besides, when innumerable bills are passed at the end of the term, they come into the hands of the Executive with the constitutional mandate that these measures become laws within five days next after adjournment unless he shall within the time interpose his veto thereto. It is impossible within the time thus limited to give any number of laws a very careful consideration, with the result that there is much confusion in existing laws.

Permit me to assure you, gentlemen, of my earnest desire to render you any assistance in all legislation having for its object the relief of our people from oppressive taxation and the betterment of their social and industrial condition. Nor can I close this message to you without taking advantage of the occasion to express my thanks to the Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction and other State officials and employees with whom my duties have brought me into daily and intimate contact, for the uniform courtesy and kindness I have at all times received at their hands.


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