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TILLMAN DENIES HE
IS VIOLATING LAW
MAINTAINS THAT TRUSTEESHIP
IS NOT AN "OFFICE."
Claims That Intention of Framers is
Not to be Interpreted as Includ
Washington, Feb. 14.-Holding that
the meaning of the word "office"
'where it occurs in the constitution.
of South Carolina does not embrace
that of rustee of a college, and that
therefore he is within both the letter
and the spirit of the law in holding
the office of senator while at the same
time trustee of Winthrop and Clem
son colleges. Senator Tillman today
explained his views of the situation
for the State.
Senator Tillman says he assisted in
framing the section of the constitu
tion regarding the right to hold two
offices at once and that the meaning
,of the term "office" was discussed
at the time with the result that it
w;. held to be not incompatible tol
1old otZc6 ad be a college trustee at
the same time. IIe insists that iti
would have been absurd for him to!
frame any part of the constitution
which would legislate him out of the
trusteeship of a college he loved so
well and had done so much for.
"Inasmudh as Gov. Blease in a spe
cial tustagi'egarding the holding ol
two offices has made specific men
tion of me as one of the law-break
ers," said Senator Tillman, "I feel
willing to make public my position.
Otherwise I would have nothing to
say until the court passed upon it, as
suggested by the joint committee of
T. e legislature.
"'The whole question hinges on the
interpretation that shall be placed
upon the word 'office.' The language
in article 2, section 2, of the consti
tution is plain and simple enough:
'But no person shall hold two offices
of honor or profit at the saine time.'
There is a special exeeption'in the
case of notiriles public and of militia
"Article 3, section 24, of the consti
tution is more explicit:
"'No person shall be eligible to a1
seat in the general assembly while he
- hlds any office or position of profit
er trust unider this State, the United
-States of America, or any of them
or under any .other power, except of
fioers in the militia or notaries pub
"I was a member of the constitu
tional convention and was chairmanI
of the committee which framed the
second article, that dealing with sug
frage. I remember very well that the
question of what econstituted an office
was 'discussed in the convention as
I was then both a trustee of Win
throp and of Clemson. While there'
was no vote, the consensus of opin
ion and the adoption of the article as
we had reported' it seemed to me to
warrant the belief, which I then held
and still hold, that the meaning of
the word 'office' did not embrace that
of trustee of a college.
"This view is sustained by the
knowledge that the chairmen of the
committees on education in both
the house and senate are ex officio!
trustees of Winthrop and -the Uni-!
versity of South Carolina, while the
chairman of the committee on mili
etary is an ex officio trustee of the
"The idea to my mind is absurd.
that as a member of the constitution<al
convention I would legislate myself
out of a position as trustee for a col-'
lege which I had done so much for
and which I loved so well. I do not
know what the opinion of the su
preme court will be, and if it is de-1
cided thrat I am not legally entitled to
sit on the board of trustees for' Win
throp, I shall cheerfully get off it. I.
have given much of my time .and
study toward advancing the interests
of that college and would hate to sev
er my connection with It.
"The legislature elected me such
trustee withi the full knowledge that
I am a United States senator. If there
were no lawyers in that body compet
ent to discover that x was not eligi
ble, it is a sad commentary On our
lawmakers. The legislature has seem
ed all along to take' the view which I
hold to be the correct one, for it has
uniformly elected from its member
ship trustees both to Clemson and
"As for my position as senator dis
qualifying me from acting as truste
for Winthrop, it must be remembered
that the office of senator is not a Stat e
office, but a national one and was
created by the constitution of the
United States. It is filled by the State
and that is all. :
"I was a life trustee of Clemson
when I was elected senator and had
accepted the place under Mr. Ckm-I
son's will even before I was elected
governor. I would not consciousl
act contrary to the, law of my owns
State, and I do not. think I have done
so. The two positions I hold are noj
offices undler the State constitution a sI
I -"!Mond the meaning of th eL
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