GOVERNOR DURKEE'S MESSAGE
Governor Charles Durkee, delivered his annual Message to the Legislative Assem-bly of Utah, Jan. 13. The most remark-able feature of it is its brevity. The Governor abstains from any suggestions touching the "relic," and the Mormon press accordingly commend him and the message. Governor Durkee is fully aware of the constant and defiant vio-lation of the law of Congress regarding polygamy; of the manner in which the government is swindled by the local statutes exempting church property; of the election laws rendering selections of officers in the Territory the merest sham as an expression of the choice of the people ; of the military organization and power of Utah being wholly in the hands of Brigham Young and inimical to the United States ; of the puissance of the church in controlling every branch of the Territorial government, Legisla-tive, Judicial and Executive, rendering the authority of the general government nugatory or at least secondary to that of the church. Under these circumstances, notorious and so flagrant in their chrac-ter, that a bill, necessarily a statutory straight jacket, for the unruly inmates of the theocratic asylum, has been intro-duced in Congress and its passage de-manded by the people of the United States. We think that the Executive of Utah would have been but doing his duty as the representative of the gene-ral government to call attention to these facts, urging a reform, and that he could have well sacrificed the adulations of the Mormon press for the consciousness of having performed an imperative duty. The ignoring of existing evils of that character by an Executive in a message to the Legislature, may be dictated by controlling prudential reasons, but they do not manifest themselves to those who regard Utah Mormonism as a vitalized, growing sin against God, the govern-ment and humanity. Regarding the condition of the country he speaks hope-fully. Regarding national finances he favors the currency contraction and says the country has fully demonstrated its capacity to cancel its debts. As a sub-ject of congratulation he announces that Utah is entirely free from indebtedness ; condemns the working of Territorial prisoners with ball and chain on the highways, as calculated to deaden the sensibilities, and defeat the principle end of punishment, the reform of the prisoner, but sustains the policy of compelling them to labor within the walls of their place of confinement. He recommends action to give legal titles to real estate owners, and advises the passage of a statute of limitation. He declares against any laws establishing a general rate of interest, and thinks it should be left to the universal law of supply and de-mand, but recommends that a rate should be fixed for instances where no specific agreement is made between the parties. A corporation act is also recommended, and the passage of an act regarding limited partnerships, whereby the lia-bility of any party to a firm shall be lim-ited, due notice of the amount having been given under the statute; also, a bill to give mechanics, merchants and others, a lien upon buildings and lands, and in view of the approach of the Un-ion Pacific railroad and the consequent influx of population and capital, a more complete Civil Practice Act is regarded as important. The statute in regard to divorces is regarded as an objectionable one, the proceedings now being only re-quired to be ex parte and no notice re quired to be given the defendant. It is recommended that Congress be memor-ialized for the establishment of a land office, and the repeal of the obnoxious portion of the Postal law. As this ap-plies equally to Montana as Utah, we give it, the concluding portion of the message, entire:
“Congress should also be again memorial-ized for the repeal of that most oppressive law compelling the people of this and ad-joining Territories to pay letter postage upon all books and transient newspapers forwarded by mail.
"The near approach of the Pacific Railroad would seem to have already removed all ap-parent reasons which ever existed for dis-crimination against settlers upon the frontier. It would surely seem that Congress, instead of restricting the privileges of these settlers upon the Pacific Slope, who by their toils and sacrifices have founded a magnificent empire, should make them even greater than those enjoyed by citizens of the Eastern States, as a partial recompense for their life long bat-tles with the regions, to some extent, of an inhospitable climate and desert soil.”
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