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corn as I plant. I should hardly want to go to the expense of having my whole crop inspected, or even my seed corn. But I can conceive how this law might be of great benefit. Those dealers who sell large quantities of seed, and are willing to go to the expense, might bave their seed inspected; and those of us who are willing to pay for the trouble and expense of that inspection would know where to go to secure seed, we should know when we purchased that seed that it had the germinating power in it. The dealer in seed would be responsible to that extent, but he would not be responsible for the result if you or I planted that seed, in perfect ignorance of the nature of the plant, where it would be impossible for it to germinate. Now, I suppose that that is the extent of the intention of the resolution. If it be so, I think we ought cheerfully to support it.

Secretary SESSIONS. Allow me just one word. I suppose our experiment stations are equipped with facilities for proving the power of germination in seeds. We are not framing a law here, gentlemen. We might take ever so much pains, and fix up a law just exactly as we want it, with suitable penalties and with necessary provisions for its enforcement; but it would have to go before a committee of the Legislature, and be dissected there; and then it must go into one branch and stand the fire of opposition there, and then into the other branch, and pass the same ordeal. Then, if it passes both branches of the Legislature, it is looked over with reference to its constitutionality by the Governor. We simply propose to recommend to the State of Massachusetts, by the passage of this resolution, the enactment of such a law; and it strikes me, if the resolution accords with your idea, we shall accomplish about all we want to do by its passage. I bought some seed oats two years ago, very fine-looking ones indeed, of a wellknown seed dealer. I sowed them, and not one in ten came up. I wondered what was the trouble. The dealer being a friend of mine, I went to him and stated the case. He said: “I bought a car-load of oats that came from the West; thought they were very nice oats, and winnowed them over and sold them for seed. I suppose thase oats had heated in an elevator, and the germinating power was destroyed.” That is one sort of trouble we want to avoid.

Mr. KINNEY of Worcester. I think it would give better satisfaction, and would be more to the point, if we should simply vote that we approve of having an inspection of seeds. I think that would be a grand thing; but when we ask seedsmen to sell on a guarantee, it is a very hard thing to do. Many seeds are put into the ground at a bad time, when the ground is in a bad condition; and the fact that those seeds had been in a greenhouse under the most favorable circumstances, and made a good start, would be no proof that they would do well under other circumstances. There would be a great many objections to such a law as is proposed. But, if we called for a law authorizing the appointment of a State inspector of seeds, then the seedsmen and the farmers could meet together, and arrange the details. I think that might be very desirable.

Mr. STOCKWELL. The idea of an inspection of seeds I suppose is that the seeds should be given a trial in which their germinating power should be properly and thoroughly tested under favorable circumstances.

It is not for every farmer to do this. The farmer sends his seed to the inspector just as you send your fertilizer to the fertilizer inspector, and there the seed will be tested, and that test will be the dealer's commendation or condemnation. It is a very simple thing. All fertilizers are inspected and sold under a guarantee, and the State inspector sends agents about, to take fair samples of fertilizers; they are analyzed, and then a certificate of that analysis is given to the dealer. Some arrangement of this kind could be made with regard to seeds.

Mr. Bill of Paxton. I came in a little late, perhaps, to grasp

the whole situation; but this question of the inspection of seed is really importani. It has been said that that people is the best governed who are least governed. I think that is true; and it is desirable to have as few commissions in the Commonwealth as possible; but we can stand one more in the way of an inspector of seeds. If the resolution was confined to the one article of grass seed, if we could have an inspection in this Commonwealth of that seed alone, it would be of immense value to the farmers of this State. It is not long ago that I ordered some oats with the purpose of using part of them for feed and part for seed; and I was surprised to find, when I opened the bag, that there was a large percentage of Canada thistle seed. Now, if that seed had got into my ground, my whole farm would have been ruined, or at least it would have taken a long time to eradicate the Canada thistle. My case is only an illustration of many others. The inspection of grass seed alone would be worth all that such a commission would cost.

The question was then put, and the resolution was adopted.

The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, you are now entitled to ask any questions of the lecturer.

Mr. Cusilman. I was particularly interested in the paper read this afternoon. Many practical points were brought out, but none more practical than the matter of taxation. It is well kuown that considerable attention was given to it last winter in our Legislature. We are honored this afternoon with the presence of the chairman of the committee on taxation on the part of the House in the last Legislature, from whom I hope to hear in the course of this discussion. It seems to me that we as farmers suffer as much injustice in the matter of taxation as any. It was brought out last winter before the committee that from one-half to one-third of the personal property of the Commonwealth escapes taxation in one way and another. As it was justly remarked in the paper, the farmer's property as a whole is visible to the tax-gatherer; his houses, his lands and his stock are all in sight, and are taxed not only for their full value, but in many cases fiir in excess of their market value. The lecturer this afternoon touched upon the justice of those receiving salaries paying in proportion to the income of the farmer. The moment we attempt to grapple with such a question as that, innumerable obstacles arise. I thought that perhaps the essayist of this afternoon had given this matter mature deliberation, and would be able to give us more light than he did in his able paper. I have thought more or less upon that question, and I presume you all have; and I can hardly see, if we tax a man on the first of May who has been receiving about twenty-five hundred dollars a year salary and living right up to his income, spending it from month to month, - I hardly see, I say, how we

I shall collect that tax in the fall, when he has spent every dollar of his income. I should be glad if the lecturer would tell us how we shall collect the tax of a salaried man who has already spent his income.

Mr. GOLD. I plead off from going into these particulars. I tried to present in my lecture some general considerations that should set us thinking, and by which the men who are familiar with legislative matters should work out a reformation upon some of these points. But, as for knowing how to get over all these knotty questions to which Mr. Cushman alludes, I confess that, while I have met them, I am very much in the dark still with regard to how the thing is to be accomplished. But, when we know that a work of this kind is required, after it becomes apparent to the community, I believe a way will be opened to us to accomplish our purpose

We shall not go on eternally under the present system.

Mr. Edson of Barnstable. I have been very much instructed and entertained with the essay of the afternoon, and, when the lecturer touched upon the question of taxation, I was all ears, for it has been a hobby of mine for several years. He stated that the Connecticut law had recently been changed, and that the taxation upon notes and bonds and that kind of property that is easily hidden from the eyes of the assessors had been fixed at one per cent for five years. I want to ask the gentleman from Connecticut what the law was with regard to the taxation of that kind of property in that State before this new law was passed. If it was not taxable before, the State has done a good thing. If it was taxable before, what has she done? She has compromised with thieves. That is all there is to it. Where before they would have got one per cent a year, they have said to those people, “We know you are rascals, we cannot trust you ; but, if you will be one-fifth part honest, we will let you off.” I do not know that the law taxed that kind of property in Connecticut before. I would like to know whether that was the case, or not.

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Mr. Gold. The law taxed it, but there was a habit of evading the law. It was a habit that people got into, as the old farmer said with regard to a kicking cow that he sold. When the man who bought her complained of his purchase, the old farmer said, “It must be a habit she has got, habit she has got."

Mr. Edson. Then the habit of the people of Connecticut is to evade taxation. Let us look at it in our own Commonwealth. All of that kind of property is taxable here. A ten-thousand-dollar bond is just as much taxable as a tenthousand-dollar farm. Is it taxed ? Not at all, not in one case in fifty. The valuation of this Commonwealth is about two billions. Is there a man within the sound of my voice who does not know that the personal property of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is three or four times the amount of the real estate? That everybody acknowledges. Why, it appears that $55,000,000 worth of property that had not been taxed was brought out in Connecticut, because its owners got off by paying one-fifth of what they ought to pay. Now, we ought to have a law in this Commonwealth that shall uncover this personal property. The farmers of this good old Commonwealth of Massachusetts are paying the tax of the capitalists. Their tax is more than double what it would be if we could get hold of the personal property. It is said we cannot get hold of it. I know better. I have been an assessor in the town of Barnstable for seven years. The law in this Commonwealth is all right and proper. What does it say? It


that the assessors shall - it does not say, “ You may,” or “ It is best for you to do

“ so” – but “ You shall put every man under oath in regard to his personal property.” Do they do it? We had over forty assessors before our committee on taxation last winter on this very question. Not one in ten of them put people under oath. It is a very delicate thing for an assessor to go to one man and say, “I am going to put you under oath in regard to your personal property.” “Why,” says the man, “ do you suspect me to be a rascal?” That is the first question. That law is a dead letter on our statute book. a

I attempted, as a member of the committee on taxation, to put some life into that law. I proposed to pass a law that would

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