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ple, was the more beneficient in his work, may be open to discussion. Whether Nero, setting fire to Rome for the amusement of an emperor, or Robespierre, cutting off the heads of his enemies in the name of the populace, was the more harmful, is equally uncertain. In France, the efforts of the Bourbons to concentrate power was followed by the Revolution, and that again by the empire of Napoleon. In England, the arbitrary exercise of authority by the Stuarts was followed by the establishment of the Commonwealth under Cromwell, and thereupon succeeded the restoration and the limited monarchy of 1688. So far as we can gather light from the experience of the past, the concentration of power seems to be the more dangerous. There have been few instances of such dissemination of power as to lead to anarchy, and these, like the revolt of the Anabaptists of Munster, and the French Revolution, have been of brief duration, but instances in which all authority has been grasped by individuals to the public disadvantage have been very numerous. Pope sought a solution of the problem by writing:
"For forms of government let fools contest,
That which is best administered is best." In this country the opposite currents of thought have been in existence, and have alternated in control ever since the adoption of our national constitution. The efforts of Washington, Hamilton and Adams to concentrate executive authority led, in a few years, to the overthrow and destruction of the Federalist party. The Democrats and Jefferson, advocating the other view, then came into power and for fifty years, in the main, had control of the government. For the last forty years the drift has been in the opposite direction; but who can say that we have reached a final solution of the problem? At the present time the tendency in the national government is toward a concentration of power, and in the different state governments the current is running in the direction of entrusting executive authority to the representatives of the people. The most thoughtful observers and those most familiar with the practical difficulties of the subject would probably concede that it would be better for the administration of public affairs in Philadelphia if the power, which is given by existing laws to the mayor, could be, in certain directions at least, lessened. He has, in effect, absolute control over the contracts for all the public work, over an army of police and attendants, and over all the affairs of the municipality. He, in substance, has the appointment of officials, of greater or lesser importance, estimated to be in number from seven thousand to twelve thousand. If this great authority could be exercised in
telligently, and only as a trust for the good of the people, it would undoubtedly be the best system of government; but if unfortunately, it should fall into corrupt or even incapable hands it would prove to be the very worst. One of the most important principles of all good government is the proper maintenance of the distinction between legislative and executive functions, and one of the gravest dangers to be feared is the absorption through encroachment of the functions of one department by the other.
Such encroachment may come from the executive as well as from the legislative branch of government. The authority of the mayor can be exercised in such a way as not only to be felt in the legislation of councils, but to dominate them. The seat of the councilman, which he holds for a very brief period, is dependent upon the good will of the mayor, and he can hardly be expected to resist the influence when called upon to legislate. The power of the mayor, should he fail to exercise conscientious self-restraint, may be used also in politics. In this aspect of the matter, the bills are of importance to the whole Commonwealth, for the reason that Philadelphia, with its large delegation in the legislature and in political conventions, has a great influence in determining questions which affect the State. Since the passage of the Bullitt Bill, one mayor of Philadelphia sought to become the President of the United States. Another was selected for the special purpose of overthrowing the then existing political control of the Commonwealth, and the effort very nearly succeeded. Such condi tions and such possibilities certainly give rise to proper apprehension. While there is great difference of view as to the propriety of the proposed legislation, undoubtedly many of those most capable of judging correctly are of the opinion that the present system has not proven to be, upon the whole, advantageous to the municipality. The most influential political leader in Philadelphia is of the opinion that it has proven to be harmful. Since he has had long experience, and the opportunity for close observation, his conclusions are, at least, entitled to careful consideration. Many of the most competent lawyers are in accord with this view. It has been announced far and wide over the land, and is believed by many good people, that, under the succeeding mayors, contracts for public work have been awarded to corrupt favorites, that the police have been in league with the keepers of dives and bawdy-houses, and that these improper relations have been supported by those in authority. However much we may disbelieve these charges, and however much we may deprecate their inconsiderate publication, they nevertheless indicate
a dissatisfaction, upon the part of those who make them, with existing conditions. Upon this important subject, upon which men may well differ in their conclusions, the Governor is urged to reverse the deter mination of the Senate and House, in which all of the representatives of Philadelphia, in both Senate and House, participated. The Constitution gives the Governor a power of veto, but it was never intended to be an absolute veto. If he disapproves of a measure it may nevertheless become a law by a vote of twothirds of the members of both Senate and House. It is true that after adjournment of the Assembly he may disapprove of the bills which then remain, but this provision was intended only to prevent the manifest inconvenience of inaction. It was supposed by those who drafted the Constitution that bills would be considered by the Assembly during its session, that few would be left at its close, and for them it would be necessary to make some provision. The effect of leaving the mass of legislation until the closing days of the session gives to the Governor an absolute power of negation which was never intended, and, incidentally, it may be said that at some time great harm will result to the Commonwealth because of this practice. We must not, however, lose sight of the principle that the Govenor's reto was expected only to extend to those measures which might not re. ceive a two-thirds vote of the Senate and House. For him to exercise his power arbitrarily with respect to the question raised by these bills, would be indeed to assume an unusual and illogical position. This question is not one of ordinary legislation, but it goes to the very foundations of government, involving all the interests, not only of this municipality, but the principles which affect all civilizations. For the change of the method of government in this municipality much more than two-thirds of each House have voted. If the absolute control of affairs in Philadel. phia by an individual were to be preserved, over the almost unanimous rote of the Assembly and of the representatives of Philadelphia to the contrary, by the autocratic exercise of the incidental power of the Governor, it might well be a cause both for uneasiness and for complaint.
Having now reached a decision as to the line of thought which ought to determine the action of the Governor upon the main question, this qualification yet remains to be made. Whatever system of government may be the better, it is certainly true that a radical and sudden change from one plan to another is always accompanied with disturbances and disadvantages. In my view it would be wiser to lessen the power of the mayor. It would be wiser not to take
it away. There is a certain propriety in having the Director of Public Works, who has charge of the contracts for which councils make the appropriations, subject to the control of councils. There is also a certain propriety in having the Director of Safety, who has charge of the police and the maintenance of the peace, appointed by the mayor, who is responsible for good order. Had there been four separate bills, one for each department, this thought could have been enforced, but in the shape they have come to me it is impossible to secure such a result. Nevertheless a modification of the proposed plan it is possible to make, by approving the bill which changes the method of selecting the Directors of the Departments of Public Works and Public Safety, and disapproving the two bills which change the method of selecting the Directors of the Departments of Supplies and of Public Health and Charities. The maintenance of a prop er conservatism in the conduct of important affairs is a different proposition from an interference with the determination of a fundamental principle of gov. ernment by the Legislature. Should further changes in the method of appointing directors prove by experience to be necessary or advantageous, they can be made at some future session.
For these reasons I approve Senate bill No. 441, and disapprove of Senate bills Nos. 479 and 480, the 5th day of May, A. D. 1905.
SAML. W. PENNYPACKER.
To appropriate the sum of three hundred and seventy-five
thousand dollars ($375,000), for the deepening and improving of the channel of the Delaware river, between the city of Philadelphia and Delaware bay.
Whereas, The Government of the United States is Preamble. at the present time engaged in the work of deepening and improving the channel of the Delaware river, be. tween the city of Philadelphia and Delaware bay, now therefore:
Section 1. Be it enacted, &c., That the sum of three Appropriation hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars ($375,000) be and the same is hereby appropriated to the city of Philadelphia, out of any moneys in the Treasury of the Commonwealth not otherwise appropriated, for and toward the said deepening and improving of the channel-way of the said Delaware river, between the city Delaware river
channel-way. of Philadelphia and Delaware bay.
The sum hereby appropriated is to be paid into the
Treasury of the said city of Philadelphia, and is to
SAML. W. PENNYPACKER.
Making an appropriation for salaries of officers and employee of the Pennsylvania Reform School, at Morganza, Pennsylvania, and to pay for permanent improvements, et cetera.
Section 1. Be it enacted, &c., That the sum of one hundred and ten thousand and eighty-eight dollars and three cents, or so much thereof as may be necessary, be and the same is specifically appropriated to the Pennsylvania Reform School, for the two fiscal years commencing June first, nineteen hundred and five, for the following specific purposes:
For the payment of salaries of officers and employes, the sum of seventy-two thousand dollars.
For insurance, the sum of four thousand three hundred and thirty-eight dollars and three cents.
For painting, glazing and repairing, the sum of six thousand dollars.
For steam-heating improvements, the sum of fifteen hundred dollars.
For equipment and instruction in industrial school, the sum of ten thousand dollars.
For outside fire-hydrants and fittings, the sum of seven hundred and fifty dollars.
For one duplex pump for water supply and foundation, the sun of twelve hundred dollars.
For one fifty-horsepower water-tube boiler, chimney and brick work, the sum of one thousand dollars.
For one electric-plant, the sum of twelve thousand dollars.
For library books, the sum of three hundred dollars.