–the place where there’s nothing new, as we were reminded the other day while doing some research with microfilmed newspapers.
This article appeared a century ago in the weekly Cassville Republican. It was on page one. Newspapers then did not identify wire service stories but this probably was from the Associated Press. It happened in the temporary capitol where lawmakers met until the current capitol was completed.
Jefferson City, Mo., March 3—Lieut. Gov. Crossley, moved by the bitter personalities which have been indulged in this week by several senators, in a speech today, served notice he would call a half to such proceedings, even if it became necessary to summarily adjourn the Senate. Crossley said that the conduct of some of the senators would not have been tolerated in a well-regulated barroom.
Crossley’s warning was issued in the following statement:
“Senatorial dignity has been dragged into the dust, and the reputation hitherto borne so proudly by this distinguished arm of state government has been tarnished, even blackened, not by outsiders, but by your hands.
“Senators have forgotten, in their selfish zeal, that respectful attitude they should hold toward one another within this chamber; senators have violated the rules of decorum and debate; senators, representing a sovereign constituency of righteous, God-fearing Missourians, have not only been guilty of unseemly conduct and intemperate language, but have hurled epithets and insulting charges across the floor of this Senate, which would not be tolerated in a well-ordered barroom.
“The motives of senators have been impugned, their integrity assailed, their characters attacked by innuendo, and more than one senator without being called to order has demeaned himself in a manner unworthy of the position he holds.
“Such scenes as we have witnessed here, language as we have heard, are impossible, intolerable, and will be permitted no longer. I am your servant, senators, but I am the servant of the people, responsible to a large extent for the conduct of the Senate, and the enforcement of its rules, and I say to you now, that patience with me has almost ceased to be a virtue. We are here for deliberation and decision, not for vituperation and delay.
“We have a program before us, including the great constructive measures of the administration, and the time is short. Henceforth, so far as in my power, acting within the rules, the real business of this Senate will be expedited, even though we brush aside with this gavel, as a practical, potential argument, many technicalities, obstructions, tactics, obvious and palpable suggestions for delay. We will consider the measures that come before us, and our work shall be done in an orderly manner.
If disorder prevails, I shall use the authority given me under the constitution and the rules of this Senate, and failing in gentler means, if ugliness and rude behavior again lift their heads during the sittings of this Senate, this gavel will strike them down, under the power of adjournment possessed by the presiding officer.”