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whleR1 we- arc confronted. Surely it is a grave problem when our
judicial system cannot promptly and satisfactorily meet those im
portant demands, involving, as'they do, the constitutional rights
arid liberties of our citizens.
Under these circumstances I would respectfully recommend that
the Act providing for Social Courts be abolished, and that at lea?t
two additional judicial circuits be established.
Without making further specific recommendations, I beg to
present for your careful consideration the fact that the Courts of
General Sessions now encroach t^po much upon the Courts of
Common Pleas, subordinating entirely civil to criminal business.
This is an injustice to the rights of property, but i shall not attempt
herb to suggest the proper remedy. I believe, however, this to be
???matter well worthy of your consideration and trust that you
wilMncHtde this in your deliberations.
I am also constrained, because of the great importance of this
ntatter to the people of our State, to make one other reconuncn
d?tion^-this with a view to the establishment of County Courts
in dur Urge and more populous counties. In most of our counties,
with-the increased facilities which will be afforded by two addi
tional circuits, sueh Courts would be unnecessary and burdensome.
In huger counties; however, the situation is quite different, and 1
believe it would be wise to amend the law relating to County Courts
s? thai the larger counties not now included in this law might, by
a majority vote, establish such courts whenever they deemed it
? In t he consideration of this subject I have not overlooked the
question of expense. I am convinced that your deliberations will
rfcVeal the fact that the necessary expenditures involved will he a
wise economy. Furthermore, the admithstrnlion of justice will
not be temporary and uncertain in any measure, but will be more
firmly established upon the strong and lasting foundations upon
which should ever rest this department of our government.
LYNCHINGS AND LAWLESSNESS.
The occurrence of lvnchings from time to time in our State is
deplored by all believers in law and order. Such deeds seem out of
place in our civilization. Thinking nun, however, must realize the
fact that on account of conditions existing in isolated communities,
lynchings for certain crimes?while always deplorable?are not
restricted either to race or geographical limits. They will never
entirely cease until the crime ceases. Theoretically speedy trials
offer the best remedy, but smarting under the horrors of the out
rag? even the most law-abiding communities may hesitate to ex
pose to further indignity the shrinking victim.
While this is all true, crime in any form cannot be extenuated.
The State has provided tribunals for the trial and punishment of
all offenses against the law, and in these tribunals even such crimi
nals should be tried and punished. There is no ?langer that those
guilty of unspeakable crimes may escape just punishment in the
special courts, which afford as early trials as the law permits. To
follow this course upholds the majesty of the law; the other alter
native shakes the very foundations ipon which our government rests.
Lynching for one crime will inevitably lead to lynching for another.
Under our law an attempt to commit rape is punishable by im
prisonment for a period not longer than ten years. This, in my
judgment, should be changed, and the penalty inflicted should he
imprisonment for life. There must be respect for law and this must
be taught. The safety of every citizen depends, at last, iqxm the
proper enforcement of law, and this fundamental principle should
be. cherished by the courts and thus become ingrafted upon the
hearts and minds of our citizens. It is of the utmost importance
to Us, as individuals, and also to the good name, welfare and pros
perity of our State, that lawlessness, under all forms, should be
made to cease by the proper enforcement of law and by the up
building of public sentiment in South Carolina.
THE DISPENSARY LAW.
Tins law, in nearly all of its salient points, is one which is pe
culiar to South Carolina. It has attracted considerable attention
throughout the United States and some of its features have been
adopted by other States. In spite of the opposition which was
encountered from its incipience, it is favored by a large majority
Of the citizens of South Carolina. The enforcement of tin's law
devolves primarily upon the Governor, by means of a constabulary
force which he appoints. In many counties very little work is ie
quired upon the part of the constabulary, local sentiment being so
Strong in favor of the law, that, when violated, convictions are
readily secured in the courts.
In a few other sections, however, were it not for the work of
this force, violations of this law would be more open and frequent
than they are. . Frequent attempts to evade the law and the constant
effort to carry on the illegal sale of whiskey, in violation of the
provisions of the Dispensary Law, devolve an onerous re
sponsibility upon the Governor. This is especially true when
? is the desire of those to whom the enforcement of
the law is intrusted to see that it is properly enforced,
without undue friction. Realising, as an Executive must, that the
open disregard of any statute law must bring demoralizing results
to the people of a State, and being, as in this case, especially charged,
and looked to for the enforcement of this law, 1 have sought to
measure up to the responsibilities which I feel are mine. That this
could not always be done without friction I sincerely regret, but
I am glad to say that during the past year there has been compara
tively ;very little friction.
While I realize the fact that there are infractions of the law,
yet: 5 am sure that during the past year its enforcement has been
more satisfactory in every respect, and I believe that continued
effort will result in further improved conditions. The Dispensary
Law has many desirable features in regulating the sale and use of
Utjbor, and the sentiment in favor of restricting sales within the
provisions of this law is commending itself to the people more and
more each year. Taking the State as a whole it is evident that this
system is considered the best solution of the question when properly
regulated and enforced.
At your last session you passed an Act providing for the ap
pointment of a Chief Constable, and I am glad to say the officer
apoplnted under this Act has rendered me invaluable services. The
Chief Constable assumed charge of his duties on March i, 1903,
and the following summary will show the status of affairs since that
date to November 30, 1903. The figures given cover a period of
nine months and show increase over the same period for the pre- /
Total increase in cost of constabulary.$7.7*9 24
Total increase in value of seizures. 3.586 88
Total increase in value of fines collected.1.659 00
Total Increase in dispensary sales for twelve months. .$411,785 27
*T*have thought it best, in giving this brief summary, to refer to
the increased sales of the dispensary, because these increased sales
show?not that there is more liquor drunk in the State?but that
more of the amount ordinarily consumed has been purchased through
dispensaries, thus proving a better enforcement of the law.
tn reference to the business transacted during the past fiscal year
and the condition of th<7 State and local dispensaries, I would re
spectfully refer you to the annual reports of the State Board of
Directors and the State Commissioner. These icports will set bp
fore you fully the details of the dispensary management, and I con
mend them to your consideration.
The following figures will appear in the report of the Hoard of
1 )irectors :
Net profits to towns and counties, 1903.$512,216 35
Not profits to State ( School Fund).126.266 00
Total net profit for 1903.$638,482 35
Net profits to towns and counties. 1902.$443,198 76
Net profits to State.123.699 57
Total net profit for 1902.$5(16,898 33
Total increase over [902. 7'.5^4 02
Total gross sales for 1903.$2,817,998 77
Total gross sales for 1002.2.406.213 50
Total increase over 1902. $411,785 27
STATE BANK EXAMINER.
During the past year my attention was called to an Act passed
by the General Assembly in 1896, creating the office of State Hank
Examiner, and I was requested to appoint such an officer. Investi
gation revealed the fact that no such appointment had ever been
made, though this law has been on the statute books for seven years.
The law provides "for an Advisory Board, consisting of the
Governor as president, the Comptroller-General, the Secretary of
State, the State Treasurer and the Attorney-General." I called
this Board together, and after full discussion the Board declined to
take any action, but requested me to call your attention to what
appeared to be defects in the law. and to await action by your body.
The law is detective, first, in that there is no provision made as
to what officer shall pay the salary of the Examiner, the State
Treasurer being authorized to pay only his actual railroad fare.
The provisions of the Act require that the State banks should be
responsible for the payment of the salary of such an olficcr, but
the law is further defective, in that there is no summary process
to compel the hanks to pay assessments for this purpose. An
insuperable difficulty?one that renders the law inoperative?is that
no appropriation has been made for this purpose, and the Con
stitution specifically requires that money shall be drawn from the
treasury only in pursuance of an appropriation made by law.
While I do not believe in the principle of taxing corporations
to pay the salaries of State officers whose duty it is to examine and
control them, still, should you, gentlemen, deem it wise to perfect
the Act as it now stands, 1 would respectfully offer the following
suggestions: hirst, that the salary named he increased to an amount
sufficient to command the services of a capable man, who is also
an expert accountant. This should be done both for the protec
tion of the depositors and for the safety of the banks, for only
such an one should undertake these responsible duties. I would
suggest secondly, should this appointment bo made, that rules and
regulations for State banks be fixed by statute, similar to those
legal restrictions governing the duties of a National Bank Examiner.
OUR PHOSPHATE INTERESTS. _
The last decade, I 1 egret to say, has witnessed the passing of a
great industry which once yielded a large revenue to the State?
namely, the mining of phosphate deposits found in the beds of some
of our rivers. The truth of this cannot be better shown than by
the following statements: For the year ending August 31, 1893, the
revenue of the State from this source amounted to $249,338.02,
whereas for the past year ending October 31st, it received only
$15,815.22. Ten years ago there were ten prosperous companies
engaged in this business?there were about twenty large dredges
at work, and Coosaw River and the vicinity of Beaufort presented
one of the busiest scenes to be witnessed anywhere in the State.
Today only two companies are struggling for existence, while dis
mantled and sunken dredges, and deserted and decaying buildings,
alone tell of an indstry which once, besides employing a large
amount of labor and realizing handsome profits for those engaged
in it, paid to the State, as has been estimated, $1.33 for each work
ing minute of the day.
It is unnecessary here to refer to the variety of causes which have
brought about this condition. Suffice it to say that although the
Board of Commissioners have twice reduced the royalty, with a
hope of reviving the industry, it has been ineffectual, for, as I have
already stated, there are only two companies at work, and these
companies claim that on account of the scarcity of available rock
mining cannot be carried on with profit at the present low prices.
At your last session your body saw fit to abolish the office of
Phosphate Inspector and to devolve the duties pertaining to that
office upon the Board of Commissioners. Since the expiration of
the term of that officer the companies have been reporting monthly
to the Comptroller-General and myself. While 1 am satisfied that
these reports are correct, still there is now no one who can officially
visit the locality where the work is carried on and look after the
interests of the State, the annual visits of the Board being, of
necessity, merely superficial. Under these circumstances I would
recommend that the State Geologist be made a member of the
Board, and that, as far as praclicahle, the duties of the Inspector
be devolved upon this officer. The former importance of this
business reminds us that it is our duty to use our best endeavors to
make it again, if possible, a source of revenue to the State, and
expert supervision and study of the natural conditions will tend to
accomplish this result.
THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION.
At your last session a bill to appropriate $25,000.00 for a State
exhibit at the Louisiana Purchase Kxposition, to be held this year
in the city of St. Louis, passed the Senate, but failed of passage in
the Mouse. Shortly after the close of the session $89,000.00 was
adcKl to our State Treasury through a settlement made with the
United .States Government, as lias been mentioned in this Message.
Thinking that, with this money in the treasury, the fate of the Act
might have been different, I took the liberty of writing each mem
ber of your body, asking if you would favor an appropriation for
this purpose at th is session. Although many replies were favor
able and the count was close. I deemed it wise to defer further action
until the present time.
It was a matter of sincere regret to me that some appropriation
was not made at your last session, and I hope it is not yet too late
to remedy, to somcextcnt at least, the situation. Many of the States,
Missouri especially, contributed handsomely to the South Carolina
Interstate and West Indian Exposition, and it appears that we
would be injured, in a negative manner certainly, to take no part
in this great World's Fair. This will be truly a World's Fair, in
volving the expenditure of many millions of dollars and affording
such an opportunity for displaying the material advantages of a
State as is rarely given. South Carolina never had more to offer
nor more to gain than by proper use of this opportunity.
From a business standpoint, the importance of this occasion cannot
be overestimated, and I again ask your consideration of this matter.
It is too late now to have a general exhibit of our resources, but
not too late to prevent our being loft out entirely. If no more can
be done, would it not be wise to erect a State building, have this as
headquarters for a bureau of immigration, and thus reap some
share of the benefit of such an exposition? In another part of this
message I recommend; the establishment of a Bureau of Commerce
and Immigration, and it seems to me that the duties of the com
missioner could not be better inaugurated than for him to begin
this most needed work at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. I
recommend this plan for your favorable consideration.
W hile I do not desire you to think that I am looking up subjects
to bring to your attention, still there are some matters of impor
tance to the future welfare of our State which I cannot refrain from
urging upon your consideration. Most important among these is
the subject of our rapidly disappearing forests, which are, beyond
question, one of our great natural resources, and would SO remain
with proper care and protection. At present we arc giving them
absolutely no attention, and if the reckless waste continues with no
effort to replace them, the destruction will be complete, the loss
irreparable. Our past ncglc in this matter now makes it a neces
sity that some systematic effort should be made regarding the pres
ervation of our forests. The destruction of forests is in large
measure responsible for continued lights, wdiile, on the other
hand, it is claimed that the rapid awJ destructive Hoods, such as
that in the Pacolet valley last summer, are made more disastrous
because of the clearing up of the forests bordering these streams.
From a financial standpoint great interests are involved in his
matter, to say nothing of the many comprehensive blessings and ben
efits that are inseparably connected with the more material aspects
of the case. 1 realize the fact that perhaps not much can be at
tempted now, but I deem it wise that a beginning should be made,
and hence it is that I invite your consideration of this question.
A process of gradual protection and replenishment will bring
incalculable benefits not only to us. but to the generations that are
to follow. The. sooner a beginning is made the better, for our
people do not realize the value of the little limber that is left. In
many of our States and in most of the older countries, the govern
ment takes an active interest in forest preservation, and until we
can do something belter 1 would like to see Arbor Day observed
in every comity in South Carolina, when trees would be planted
in parks, around public buildings and on every roadside. This
would be a beginning, and an important one, in the right direction,
and I sincerely trust that we are now thus to inaugurate this im
portant work. In connection with this subject, I should be glad
to see our State House grounds systematically beautified on some
artistic and developed plan. They are now well kept and the officer
in charge is interested and would glatt.y sec that this improvement
THE FISH AND OYSTER INDUSTRY.
Another subject of equal importance, and one which we ha^e
allowed to drift into similar conditions, is the fish and oyster inter
ests of our State. In my judgment it should be the policy of the
State to legislate upon this subject, with a view first to protect and
develop the industry, and. secondly, to make it a source of revenue
to our State. The former consideration is most desirable and
necessary and the latter is practicable and just. Other States sim
ilarly situated upon the coast derive large revenues from this source,
that of V irginia being more than a quarter of a million dollars,
while Maryland's yearly revenue is about a half million dollars.
With us. Beaufort county alone derives a revenue from this source,
while shipments are annually made from the State aggregating
several hundred thousand dollars, for which we receive no equiva
lent, depleting and destroying the supply.
There is positively no reason why this condition of affairs should
be allowed to continue, and . .ccommend that a license system, with
regulated fees, \rc adopted, requiring all persons who fish or gather
oysters for market to procure such a license. Let it be distinctly
understood that this is to apply to those who go into this occupation
as a business, and not to those who engage in it for their own use
or pleasure. The fund derived from these licenses should be equally
divided between the State and the county where the licenses are
granted. In my judgment this is equitable and will tend to the
better enforcement of the law. In addition to this, such a system
will be more efficient than any other plan in regulating and enforc
ing the operations of the law in regard to the '"closed days," thus
removing the dissatisfaction which has arisen because of the non
observance of such days.
There are now a number of oyster canneries in our State, doing
a large business, and, of course, these should be specifically included
in any license system. The conveying of oysters beyond the bor
ders oi the State for canning purposes should be prohibited, and
this should, therefore, be included within the provisions of the Act.
Our present law allows one to reserve certain territory for the pur
pose of cultivating oysters, but affords no protection for this. If
we wish our citizens to engage in this industry it is only just that
they should he protected, and 1 recommend that legislation with
this purpose in view he adopted.
As 1 have already said, this industry should be fostered and pro
tected, which is not being done, and, in addition to this, we should
receive from it a substantial revenue. For these reasons it is of great
importance, and I invite your careful consideration, trusting that
you will enact laws with such purpose in view.
111EN XIA L SESSION S.
A Bill to amend our Constitution, providing for biennial sessions
of our General Assembly, at your last session; was passed by the
Senate, and is now pending in the House. This Bill will no doubt
receive your careful consideration at this session, and I am sure that
you will act upon it with due regard for the best interests of the
State. It appears to me that the adoption of biennial sessions would
result in a considerable saving to our State, and our finances require
that economy, wherever practicable, should be considered. In very
few States of the Union now do the Legislatures meet annually, and
I know of no peculiar condition in South Carolina that requires our
General Assembly to do so. This is a very important business
matter, involving, however, more than financial considerations, and
1 trust and believe it will have your full and careful attention.
Before concluding this message I wish to make personal acknowl
edgment of my appreciation of the services of my associates who
hold the various State offices. In tendering this expression of
thanks I need not remind you that the State has been also the
recipient of their faithful labors.
The honor and dignity of South Carolina will not suffer in your
keeping; the prosperity and advancement of her interests will have
your zealous care and will be promoted by your wise deliberations.
We will unite in the hope that we may prove ourselves worthy
of the trust and confidence of our fellow citizens, whose servants
we are. May the blessings of an All-Wise Providence rest upon
us, that our labors may be acceptable to all, creditable to ourselves
and beneficial in bringing peace, prosperity and happiness to us and
to those who follow. D. C. HEYWARD,
. . Governor.