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FRANCIS C. BARLOW, SECRETARY of STATE,
By FRANKLIN B. HOUGH.
The act providing for a Convention to revise and amend the Constitution, passed on the 29th of March last, conferred upon that body the power to call upon all public officers, Boards and Commissions, for such information, papers, statements, books or other public documents in their possession, as the said Convention might order or require for its use, from time to time while in session. It also made it the duty of the Secretary of State, Comptroller and Attorney-General, to cause to be prepared in readiness for the Convention, at the commencement of its session, a suitable Manual, two copies of which were to be furnished to each member and officer.
After due consultation, it was thought expedient to ask from the Legislature, the authority necessary for the performance of this duty, as, without the means for defraying certain incidental expenses, or power to call for information that must be procured, the State officers from whom this duty was required, would be quite unable to meet the expectations of the Convention, or to Satisfy the conditions of the law.
A bill was accordingly introduced, investing the Secretary of State, Comptroller and Attorney-General with the same powers to call for information from all Civil and Military officers, Boards and Commissions, as had been previously conferred upon the Convention itself, and providing that the expense of obtaining this information should be audited and paid under their direction. This bill did not become a law until the 19th of April. On the same day, the Commission named in the act, appointed Dr. FRANKLIN B. Hough as their Secretary, and authorized him in his own name, and on their behalf, to apply for information, and to collect, prepare for the press, and direct the printing of the Manual required to be published under their direction, for the use of the Convention.