Newspaper Page Text
GOV. VARDAMAN’S MESSAGE
Jackson, Jan. J. — Following is a synopsis of Csov. Vardanian's message, which was read in both houses of the Legislature today: To the Senate and House of Represent atives: Profoundly grateful to the beneficent Being whose sieepless eye and tireless hand guides the bird in its pathless course, makes plain the proper ways of men, and shapes the destiny of nations, for the unprecedented material pros perity enjoyed by tne people of Missis sippi for the two years just passed, 1 congratulate you, my countrymen—the immediate representatives of tlie peo- Sle —upon the favorable auspices un er which you reassemble to perform the functions of the important offices which you hold. The people of Missis sippi have not only enjoyed most mar velous material prosperity, but ip edu cation and thought there has been marked progress, and in matters politi cal great ethical growth. This latter 1 attribute largely to the transference of political power and authority from the boss-dominated convention to the patriotic white suffragist who rules the State with his ballot, deposited at the primary election. A great deal is expected of Hi is leg islature. The character of the men who compose it justifies that expec tation, and the exigencies of tlie situa tion demand that that expectation be fulfilled; and also, that every hope en tertained or prediction made of your wise action during this session shall be realized. The work to be done is both remedial of existing conditions and an ticipatory of future necessities. One is just, as important; as the other. The failure to provide for either w r onld be extremely unfortunate and mark a de gree of recreancy, which a true Missis slppian is incapable of. The responsi bilities devolving upon a legislator are far-reaching in their consequences ana varied in their character, affecting vi tally the weal or woe of the people whose commission he holds. Financial Condition. The Slate Treasurer’s report discloses an unsound condition in the Slate’s finances and emphasises the necessity for immediate remedial legislation. The obligations of the State must be promptly mot and tlie public faith sa credly preserved. Scientific financier ing and the broader statesmanship con demn the policy of borrowing from the fund collected to defray the expenses of the State government for the year 1906, to pay the current expenses of the government for tlie year 1905. Thai policy has been in vogue for Hie past three or four years. It was resorted to for the purpose of overcoming a defi cit in the treasury brought about by file failure of the last administration to issue bonds, authorized by an act of the Legislature, approved March 2, 1900, to "raise money for the purpose of erecting a ne\f State House.” That act authorized the issuance of one mill ion dollars of thirty-year 4 per cent, bonds. Instead of issuing the million dollars of bonos to pay for the new State House, the cost of erecting the building ami furnishing it ware paid out of funds intended to be devoted to the payment of the normal current ex penses of the State government. The deficit, therefore, which confronts us Is not altogether chargeable to the pres ent administration, but it comes to u* as a legacy from our predecessor. To supply in part that deficit the Legisla ture. by an act entitled “an act to au thorize tlie issuance of State bonds for the purpose of defraying tlie expenses of the State government. approved March D. 1904,” authorized the Gov ernor to issue five hundred thousand •dollars of bonds. In pursuance of said act. in the manner and form prescribed therein. 1 so id at par to N. W. Harris & Cos., of Chicago, 111., “live hundred thou sand dollars of thirty-year bonds of the State of Mississippi, payable in ten years or any time thereafter at the op tion of the State, bearing interest at the rate of three and one-half per cent, per annum, interest payable semi-an nually.” The proceeds from this bond sale were covered into tlie Treasury, as will be show'n by the records of that office. Fearing that that amount would not. meet the demands upon the Treas ury for tlie year 1905, tlie Legislature, by an act entitled “an act to raise revenue to carry on the State govern ment oC Mississippi for the years 1904- 05, approved Marcli 22, 1904.” author ized the Governor to "borrow when ever m cessary during the year 1905, three hundred thousand dollars at a rate of interest not to exceed five per cent, per year, payable on or before January 15, 1906.” In pursuance of that act, and by the autnority thus con ferred upon me, 1 borrowed three hun dred thousand dollars from the Missis sippi Bank and Trust Company, of Jackson, Miss., for which amount 1 gave eight notes for $25,000 each, and two notes for $50,000 each, dated July 1, 1905, payable January 15, 1906. anu bearing interest at the rate-of five per cent, per annum. I trust that you may provide for the payment of those notes at maturity, and thereby avoid any possible inconvenience to the bank which handled the matter for me upon exceedingly favorable terms to the State. I might have been able to have borrowed this money at four and one lialf per cent, interest, but in order to have done so would have been forced to have taken it for a longer time than six months. Confronted, as we are, with a deficit in tlie Treasury, let us consider the remedies at hand. In my judgment there are but two ways out of the trouble. Either issue bonds to pay for building the Capitol and fur nishing it. which cost in round num bers $1,200,000, or increase the tax levy. I think the former the wiser course to pursue. There is no justice in making the present generation pay with money worth ten per cent, for building the Capitol and furnishing it. when the State can borrow the money at three per cent., and thereby put a portion of the burden upon the coming genera tions who are to enjoy tlie use and ben efits of the Capitol. The condition of the State’s finances calls for prudence, wise economy, deep concern for the honor of tlie State, ana Invokes the higher order of statesman ship to handle the situation properly. Everything that savors of extravagance or prodigality should be avoided, as we should also avoid everything 'that smack® of the niggardly and parsimoni ous. The people of Mississippi are able to bear any burden of taxation or do anything that may be necessarv for the moral, educational and material pros perity of the people of Mississippi. The amount of money invested for the good of the people is of no concern, if we art sure that the money thus invested will yield profitable returns and that the people will be made better and richer for the investment. I submit the matter to your greater wisdom, confident that you will do that which is best. The Penitentiary. In my inaugural address, delivered before the joint session of the Legisla ture of Mississippi, January 19, 1904, <Jiscuaang the penitentiary manage ment’ I recommended the “abolition or the Board of Control and substituting therefore a department of the State government to be under the direction and control of one capable man, select ed as the Legislature may provide, whoes duty it shall be to direct and supervise the working of the convicts s th<* law may prescribe.” The it a sons then urged for the proposed change in the penitentiary management are equally cogent now, and applica ble to present conditions. I said: “The disadvantages of the present system are that the responsibil ities are divided among five men, whose other official duties, if properly per formed, will consume all of their time. It presents a case where no one man responsible for the acts of five.” An other reason: “The duties of the office of superintendent of the penitentiary call for special qualifications and train ing. which tlie Governor, Attorney Gen eral and members of the Railroad Com mission may not possess—in fact, they do not possess. Whore something is to bo done my observation is that boards are awkward, slow. Inefficient. One responsible, capable head is worth more than a dozen hoards of control*, After two years of earnest, sincere and patriotic service to the State as a mem ber of the Board of Control, 1 am thor oughly convinced that the interest or tlie public service demands a change in the penitentiary management; and I am also convinced that if.the recommenda tions made by me two years ago had been adopted it would have redouudeef to the pecuniary interest of the State and of the moral and phvscial* well-be ing of the convicts. While the State has realized a very considerable reve nue from the work of the convicts, it has also contributed a very large reve nue—the products of the convicts’ tort —to swell the fortunes of favored pri vate individuals. It is an easy matter tii make money planting cotton in the Yazoo-Mlsslssippi delta, when you own the labor, pay no taxes or interest, and Him products sell for a good price. The business methods of the Board of control are illustrated by one nr two acts, which I shall iiention. In Sep tember. 1903, the Board of Control had under its management about 20,000 acres of land belonging to the State. On the Parch man place, in Sunflower county, there were about 5.0Q0 acres open or cleared, with S.OOO acres to be cleared. This cleared land originally, like the uncleared land, was heavily timbered with the finest oak, ash and gum timber, the greater portion of which was deadened and permitted to rot on the land. The timber alone was worth as much as the land originally cost the State, if it had been cut and marketed by the convicts, instead of uwauLg them on the land of private in dividuals. There were 1,200 acres of cleared land on the Belmont place; 600 or SOO acres cleared on the Rankin farm, with TOO or SOO acres more of splendid land on that farm to be cleared, and 1,500 acres of cleared land on the Oakley place, the greater portion of the latter being leased to the people around in the neighborhood for one and two dollars per acre. With all of this land cleared and to be cleared, improvements to be made, ditches to be ting and houses to be built, we find the Board of Control con tracting with a State Senator to work his delta plantation on shares. We find tlie Board of Control contracting with a member of the legislature to work his plantation on shares. We find tlie Board of Control contracting with the nephew of the then president of tho Board of Control for a plantation be longing to this nephew, for which the Hoard of Control paid $6 per acre, twelve months in advance. We find the Board of Control, at the same time, contracting with two oilier distin guished gentlemen, prominent in poli ties. for their delta* plantations to be worked on shares. The Board of Con trol made money after giving half of the products of tlie convics’ toil to these private individuals thus contracted with, but it was money coined out of the blood and tears of tlie unfortunate convicts. It was money made in a way which every sense of humanity revolts at. It involved the violation of the law and tlie betrayal of a sacreu trust. But, if money-making were tlie sole aim and end of tlie penitentiary, the leasing of the lands of private individ uals was a mistake. If the State can make money working a private Indi vidual’s land and giving that private individual half of the products of. the convicts’ toil, I cannot understand why it cannot make more money working its own land and keeping tlie entire products of tlie convicts toil, ii all the convicts had been concentrated and worked upon the State’s land in 1903, and a capable officer had been placed in charge of the penitentiary, every acre of the State’s land susceptible of culti vation would now be cleared and capa ble of yielding annually six or eight thousand bales- of cotton and ample corn and food products to maintain the convicts and live stock. In December, 1904, the present Board of Control made some very commend able reforms, as far as It went. All plantations belonging to private per sons were discarded save only the one belonging to State Senator H. J. Mc- Laurin, wlfose “fertile land,” hypnotic power, political pull and long enjoy ment of a robust share of the revenues arising from convict labor seems to have clothed him with the modern brand of divine right to the perpetua tion of that special privilege. I hoped, however, that that was the last eifort the Board of Control would make to lease tlie land of private individuals, or lease the convicts to private individ uals, but in that I was disappointed. At the December meeting, 1905, the board undertook to enter into another contract with State Senator ri. J. Mc- Laurin, which was so flagrantly a vio lation of the law that I felt it to be my duty to appeal to the courts to pre vent the execution of the contract. The Chancellor held the contract void and tlie case was appealed to the Su preme Court, where it is now pending. In all essential respects, the prime purpose of tlie penitentiary has been overlooked by the Board of Control. Instead of being conducted for the ben efit of the criminals —a kind of moral hospital, where llie moral cripples could be treated —tlie question of making money for the State and favored few, has been the end sought to be attained. The State of Mississippi cannot afford to profit by crime. It is an unprofitable Industry, it matters not how much money the State may derive from it. The penitentiary should be self-sus taining. It is capable of being made a source of great revenue—but humanity demands that everything should be done by tlie management of the peni tentiary which tends to correct the moral obloquy in the convict by im proving his physical and mental condi tion. There is no objection to making money, unless it shall be done at the sacrifice of the man. lam more inter ested in the salvation Of men than I am in hording gold. If we could only understand that it is more difficult for some men to do right than for others to do wrong—that our acts are often the result of influences set in motion by the unconscious deeds of some forgot ten ancestor, we would be more chari table in our judgment and more hu mane in our treatment of the poor fel low* who. burdened with the accumu lated infirmities of others, falls by the wovsido of life. If the convict lie a low-bred, vulgar creature, congenitally corrupt, inured to physical and moral filth, brutal and inhuman treatment, so much greater the necessity that he should be given kindly treatment, a decent bed to sleep on, and sanitary surroundings in the penitentiary. Be is there to be im proved and not degraded. Dot the light within his benighted brain be bright ened: let this piece of humnnitv, ”plun dor*4, profaned ami disinherited,'' *>* made to feel that the State Is his friend and is willing to correct, as far as it can, the “perildlous wrongs and immedicable woes” which brougnt him to the miserable thing he is. Man Is the creature of heredity and environ ment, and the influence of the latter is more potential in the formation of character than the former. Therefore tlie environment of the convict in the penitentiary should be so ordered and colored that the unfortunate individual would be better for having suffered im prisonment there. Punishment under our system Is not inflicted in the spirit of revenge, but rather for correction—- in love rather than hate. I believe the penitentiary management should be au thorized and empowered by the Legis lature, with large discretion, to use a portion of the products of the convicts’ toil over and above the cost of convic tion, keeping and maintaining him, for the use of his family, if they be needy and deserving, or if he has no family, or someone dependent upon him, let it be reserved in the Htate Treasury to bo given to hi in when he shall have served out his term of sentence. If there is any doubt about the worthi ness of the convict or his ability to rightly appreciate this special favor, if the management in its wisdom think it wise to give it to him at all. let the money be disbursed under the direction of the Chancery Court of the county of the convict’s residence. No one knows, save those who have experienced it. how hard it is for a poor fellow, crushed and spiritless, to come out of the penitentiary penniless, friendless and almost hopeless, to get a start in the world. The brand is upon him, and the hack of the world’s hand is against him, even God’s Providence seems estranged. But if the State would only give this poor creature a portion of the money which he by his own labor has made during his term of Imprisonment, it might give him hope; it might afford him an opportunity and stimulate him to go and try again to retrieve that which he had lost by his own Indiscretion. It might lie the means of giving him a start upward and of enabling him to become a useful citizen. Whereas, if left unaided by the State, the current of his own im proper life might irresistibly carry him back to the maelstrom of crime and end his sad career in a felon’s grace. I say it with profound regret, but without fear of successful contradic tion, that for many years the peniten tiary has been the one festering sore upon the body politic—poisoned by the virus of private personal cupidity—the most corrupt and corrupting influence in State politics. Votes were controlled in conventions and nominations made with the sole end in view of leasing some political dictator’s delta planta tion. If you question that statement, read the history of the penitentiary of Mississippi. I make no charge of per sonal dishonesty. They may have been the victim of a nefarious system or pol icy of long standing. The penitentiary property has greatly enhanced in value. Including lands, live stoek, farming implements, etc., to gether with the labor of the convicts, it represents now a capital invested of nearly two million dollars. To manage an enterprisee of that magnitude and at the same time to do justice to the convicts calls for the highest order of intelligence, integrity and business ca pacity. Tiie penitentiary farms should be the model farms of the Slate. They should be used to demonstrate upon a large scale the advantages to the farm ers of experiments made at tin* Agricul tural and Mechanical College on a small scale. Scientific agriculture, tile drain ing, fertilization of soil, growth of plants should be the lessons taught upon the State’s plantations. Intelli gent direction, with the absolute con trol of the labor, wmild’miiko that easy of accomplishment, and at the same time pecuniarily profitable to the State, and also instructive to the convict, which lessons would be of use to him in after life. Public Education. Public education is a matter of pro found and abiding interest to the peo ple of Mississippi and the maintenance of a system of free public schools, has become a fundamental tenet in our po litical creed. But people have fads about education, as they do about everything, and are liable to go to un profitable extremes. The enthusiast weaves a most alluring fabric of glit tering theories; in his hands he holds tiie panacea for all the social ills—and to carry out his world-saving plan he would spend sill the money in Christen dom and mortgage the future. Where tiie supply of money is limited it is well for those charged with the dis bursement of the State’s revenues to be careful that the money appropriated for school purposes shall be invested so as to bring the largest educational returns. I believe a dollar invested in the development of the mind of the white child and the cultivation of the mind of tiie white man and woman is the best investment the State ever made. On the other hand, I believe every dollar invested for negro educa tion under our present free school sys tem is an indefensible and unwarrant ed prodigality of cash. It is a crime against the white man who furnishes tiie dollar and a disadvantage to the negro upon whom it is spent. Discuss ing the question of education in my in augural address, delivered to the joint session of tiie Senate and House of Rep resentatives January 19. 1904, I said: “One of the most rational and profit able duties of a free government, it seems to me, is to educate its children. Education means only the development of the good there is in man, the vitaliz ing of those dormant forces which build and complete that potential moral enti ty called character. It is a wise econ omy in this, that if a man or a citizen be made better by education the gov ernment will share his improvement, and the enlightened moral sentiment will write the laws of the land. But when I speak of the government edu cating its children I wish it under stood that Ido not mean,it is the duty or the hope of the State to give every boy and girl a technical education or a course at college. That is practical ly impossible. We have colleges and universities which tiie State must main tain, and maintain properly, but the first, the paramount duty of the State, is to provide means for giving instruc tions, at least in the rudimentary branches, to those children whose pe culiar environment and impecunious condition render it impossible for them to get it any other way. If the State will place at the door of all of her chil dren an opportunity to obtain even a common school education, such as is given in the best graded public schools, she will have done well. I w*ant to impress this truth as I see it: That it is of much more importance to start the child on the road to an education— to lay the foundation in a well-directed common school —than it is to finish it in a government-supported university or college. If the foundation be prop erly laid, and there is any merit in the child, it will complete the superstruc ture without governmental aid. It should be the policy of the State to do for the citizen only that which the citizen cannot do for himself. The best type of man is the self-developed man.* I am deeply interested In the beginning. Like the acorn shaken from the twig by the passing breeze it falls into the dust below, and while it contains with in its little shell the germ of the great oak. it remains an acorn still, until the rain falls and moistens the earth, the life-giving ravs of the sun pierce its mold, and. bursting open tiie door of its prison cell, the stimulating air fans its folded leaves to life, it rears its infant head to the light and sends forth its ramifying roots to gather material with which to build the giant of the forest. A lew years of cultivation and direction and it will care for itself. Ho it is with the sturdy boys and girls of the rural districts of Mississippi. They need only the sunlight of an opportu nity to awaken the sleeping genius, one draught from the Pierian spring will create a thirst for knowledge that will remove mountains of obstacles to gratify it. But without that oppor tunity, without the whetted thirst for knowledge, the glorious possibilities of that mind would never be developed. “How many a rustic Milton has passed by, Stifling the speechless longings of his heart In unremitting drudgery and care! How many a vulgar Cato has compelled His energies, no longer tameless then. To mold a pin or fabricate a nail! How many a Newton to whose passive ken Those mighty spheres that gem infinity Were only specks of tinsel fixed in heaven To light the midnight of his native town—” all because of the want of opportunity —the necessary climate to germinate the seeds of genius which had fallen in the sterile dust of adversity. Yes. my fellow citizens, the first duty of the State is to provide schools, improved facilities for the instruction of the masses in the rudiments of an educa tion. especially those of her citizens who live in the country districts. The city schools are good enough. Until that can be done, until the children liv ing away from the towns and cities in t lie backwoods are given the same op portunity to acquire a common school education that is enjoyed by the chil dren resident in the city, let us not es tablish any more institutions lor high er education than those we already have. Thus far what I have said on the subject of education litis been witli reference solely to the white children. What shall wo do with the negro? Cer tainly the education suite*] to the while child does not suit the negro. This has been demonstrated by forty years of experience, and the expenditure in the Southern States of nearly three hundred millions of dollars. It was natural and quite reasonable, immediately after the civil war, especially by those who had made hut a superficial study of the ne gro, to expect that freedom, equal edu cational facilities and the example and precept of the white men, would have the effect of improving his morals and make a bettor man of him generally. Hut it has not, lam sorry to say. As a race he |s deteriorating morally every day. Time has demonstrated that he is more criminal as a free man than as a slave, that he is increasing in crimi nality with fearful rapidity, being one third more criminal in IS9O than he was in ISSO. The startling facts re vealed by the census show that those who can read and write are more crimi nal than the illiterate, which is true of no other element of our population. I am advised that the minimum of illite racy among the negroes is found in New England, where it is 21.7 per cent.; the maximum is found in the black belt—Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina—there it is fi3.7 per cent. And yet the negro in New England is four and one-half times more criminal, hun dred for hundred, than he is in the black belt. In the South, Mississiupi particularly. 1 know he is growing worse every year. You can scarcely pick up a newspaper whose pages are not blackened with an account of an unmentionable crime committed bv a negro brute, and this crime I want to impress upon you. is but the manifesta tion of the negro's aspiration for social equality, encouraged largely by* the character of free education in vogue, which the State is levying tribute upon the white people to maintain. The better class of negroes are not respon sible for tiiis terrible condition, or for the criminal tendency of their race. Nor do I wish to be understood as cen suring them for it. lam not censuring anybody, nor am I inspired by ill-will for the negro, but I am simply calling attention to a most unfortunate and unendurable condition of affairs.” Taxation. There is no question in which the people are so universally interested as the question of taxation. It is the one thing which affects every class of the people. Placing ttie burdens of gov ernment upon all men and forms of property alike in the proportion that they are able to bear it, it is the great desideratum in government. Money, notes and similar forms of property should be taxed and made to bear its part of the expense of maintaining the government. Railroads, the great manufacturing enterprises, telephone and telegraph lines and similar forms of property, should be taxed upon their real values and worth in the market, just as the farmer's home is taxed. I commend for your consideration the enactment of laws bringing about that result. Public Health and Quarantine. The invasion of the Slate by yellow fever last summer and tae probaoie re currence of the disease next summer renders it necessary for tli protection of the people from this dread maiady that the Legislature should make some changes in existing laws and ample provision for the possible emergency. 1 submit for your consideration the fol lowing sunggestions: First —Invest the State Board of Health, or some similar organization, with plenary power to regulate and control by rules promulgated, all in fected localities. Second —Empower the Governor, act ing in conjunction with the health au thorities, to use the Slate militia as quarantine guards. Third—Let the State bear all ex penses of maintaining the quarantine. Fourth —As it requires active co-op eration of all practicing physicians in the infected localities to fight success fully the yellow fever, the State Board of Health should be vested with au thority to revoke the license of any practicing physician who refuses jo obey and carry out the rules promul gated by the said Board of Health in infected localities. Fifth —There should be created an of fice to be filled by an honest and cap able man, learned in the science of medicine, to be known as field officer of the Board of Health, who should be paid a salary sufficient to command the services of a capable physician, and whose duty It should be, under the di rection of the State Board of Health, to go to infected localities to take charge of and inaugurate a campaign for the extermination of the disease. This of ficer might be used during the yellow fever season to watch all the southern ports and look out for the appearance of the fever in South and Central Amer ica and Cuba, and sound the note or warning at the approach of danger. I think it would bo wise to have him spend a good deal of his time between April and October in the city of New Orleans, La.; Mobile, Ala., and along the coast of Mississippi, Our experi ence with New Orleans last summer renders it imprudent for ns to depend upon, the health authorities there to announce the appearance of fever. If the State had had an officer of this character last summer I am confident that the yellow fever wmiild not have gotten Into the State at all. Leaving out the question of health, the loss sus tained by the State of Mississippi ou account of the epidemic, all due (o our failure to have someone announce the appearance of yellow fever in New Or leans, cost the people of Mississippi for maintaining quarantine guards and other expenses about $43,000, aaJ dc 1 predation of property several mlllioa dollars. I feel quite sure that. If had been advised of the existence of fever In New Orleans thirty days before It was announced there, we would not ' have had a single case In the State of i Mississippi. Every necessary precau ' tlon was taken as soon as the fever was discovered in New Orleans, to pro tect the people of Mississippi; but to our great disappointment wo discov ered that the enemy had appeared in our midst before the health authorities of New Orleans announced to the world that that city was honeycombed with the disease. The failure of the Legis lature to make an appropriation to de fray the expenses of maintaining the quarantine made it necessary for the Governor to borrow the necessary money with which to pay the expenses. Lunatic Asylum. One of the beneficent results of civ ilization is the rare and attention given *, by the government to the unfortunate members of society. The weak and afflicted of every race and condition I in life are a charge upon the more ■ fortunate members of society and have j a vested right in the products of every I man’s toll to the extent of maintaining 1 life and insuring humane treatment, j There is no class of the unfortunate ! members of society that appeals to mo quite so much as the insane. The loss of one’s reason is the closing of the window of the soul, the shutting out of * all that is beautiful, good and true— a calamity more to be dreaded than ! death itself. Mississippi is not as gen -1 crous in her treatment of the insane or 1 mentally sick as she hould be. I call your attention to the report of the special commission appointed by j me to make an investigation of the in sane hospitals of the State, and to re j port their findings “with such recom mendations as their judgments might 1 dictate.” You will find in this report strong food for profitable thought, and i I trust that after investigating the j matter thoroughly you may see fit to * vote the necessary money to make tho ; improvements so much needed in this ; hospital. Soldiers* Home. The home for indigent Confederate | soldiers, established two years ago by 1 the State at Beauvoir, the home of tho i late President of the Confederacy, Jef- Lferson Davis, will doubtless command j a continuation of your favorable con sideration. It has in truth and in fact proven an ineffable blessing to tho homeless and penniless ex-Confedcrato soldiers of Missisippi who have taken refuge in it. Under the term of the bili making an appropriation by the last session of the Legislature, the trustees of thoTiome were unable to use about six thousand dollars of the amount ap j preprinted. The capacity of the homo I is limited and new cottages should bo i built in order that all deserving .and needy applicants may be permitted to share the benefits of this benefaction which the State has vouchsafed to them. State Bank Inspectors. j There are no institutions in tnls State I In wnlch there is more conndence rt>- ; posed and greater interest intrusted to i than the banks. Tney arc often tho i custodians oi ttie net earnings of a life time of toil and self-abnegation, it is tne duty of the State in all matters within tne province of the government to give care and protection to the iater i eats of the citizens ot the State. It is also the duty of tiie State to protect the j legitimate business enterprises from ! competition with unreliable and illcgit ! Irruue business enterprises. The banks ; doing a safe and conservative business will not object to the creation of tiiis office. It cannot possibly do them any harm. The banks conducting an un safe business need the watching which this law will provide, and the patrons i of such banks are entitled to protection i against them. With that end in view, j i recommend the creation of the office | of State Bank Examiner, whose quali : flcations, duties and term of service and ' the general functions of the office to ; be prescribed by the Legislature. Pension of Confederate Soldiers. I deem it a matter of supererogation to call your attention to the obligation of Mississippi to maintain a system of liberal pensions to indigent and needy ex-Cont ederate soldiers. The care and maintenance of the remnant of that gallant band who sacrificed so much in defense of their country’s honor forty years ago is an obligation resting upon every citizen of this State, and one which he should thank God for the privilege of absolving. I trsut that a broad liberality, coupled with a deep sense of personal obligation, guided by a wise prudence, may characterize your action upon this matter. Public* Roads. A good public road is one of the ad vantages and conveniences concomitant with the higher civilization in rural communities. The improvements of the public roads by taxation, or work ing them with convict labor under th direction of competent State and county officers, is one of the pressing necessi ties of this State. There is no matter in which the people living in the rural districts are more materially interested than in the improvements of the public highways. It is indispensable to their welfare and to the development of the material, mental and moral possibilities of the State. I submit this question for your con sideration. Oyster Commission. I call your attention to the report of the Oyster Commission and invoke your immediate consideration of the question of reimbursing the banks of Biloxi, from whom we borrowed the necessary funds to pay the expenses of the Oyster Commission. The Legislature, under a. misapprehension with reference to the law, failed to make an appropriation at the last session. And as there was no money available it became neces sary to borrow it from private institu tions. The fees collected by the com mission have been turned into tho treasury and tho report shows that they are largely in excess of tho amount dis bursed by the commission for the past two years. I trust you will make the necessary appropriation at once. State Boundary Suit* , The Legislature, at its last session, failed to make an appropriation to pay the necessary cost incident to the prop er management of the case now pend ing in the Supreme Court of the United States to determine the boundary lino between tho States of Louisiana ana Mississippi, but with tho use of the ex ecutive contingent fund 1 managed to keep the mill grinding. The question involved in this controversy was of such importance to the people of the State that 1 could not permit the State's interest to suffer on account of the failure of the Legislature to provide for the employment of attorneys to pre sent tho State’s side of the contro versy. I therefore employed the Hon. Monroe McClurg, ex-Attorney General of Mississippi, and the Hon. Hannis Taylor, of Washington, D. C., to repre sent the State of Mississippi, and agreed with them that I would recom mend the payment of a fee of $15,000. which I think quite reasonable. The case has been argued and submitted to the Supreme Court of the United Statet and a decision is exoected very soon. JAMES K. VARDAMAN. Gash for Cotton. The State treasurer last week receiv ed $70,000 in cash, the proceeds of a re cent sale of 939 hales of cotton from the Parchman place. The selling price* was in cents a pound, to New Orleans paiUttf.