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I believe that for that reason, and that alone, the Senate ought to 
send this conference report back to the conference committee and 
let them bring back a provision for a tax of not more than a dol- 
lar a head. The truth is, that with the wealth that has been accn- 
mulated in this great country of ours I have begun to believe and to 
feel that to collect a tax from a man who has no property, simply 
because he breathes the air of this free Republic - a tax of even $1 
a head - is wrong; that it ought not to be tolerated. None of our 
States, so far as I know, collect more than a dollar a head of poll 
tax, and that is enough in all conscience. That is one which has 
been sanctioned a long time, and I would make no special objec- 
tion to it. though I would very much prefer to have none. When 
the proposition is that we shall pass a law here that shall impose 
a collection of $5 per head of poll tax, I for one am not willing to 
submit to it under any conceivable circumstances.
Mr. CULLOM. The Senator gets very much excited about a 
small thing.
Mr. JONES of Arkansas. Five dollars a head is no small thing 
for a poor man.
Mr. CULLOM. I never thought much of a poll tax; and when 
that poll-tax provision was stricken out, I supposed, as a matter of 
fact, that the people there who are entitled to vote would prob- 
ably have no tax to pay at all; that if they do not own anything 
they would not have to pay a tax; and if they do own anything 
on which they should pay a tax, they ought to pay it. That is all 
there is of that.
Mr. JONES of Arkansas. Yet the Senator admits that there is 
a poll tax of $5 a head on all those people, as was read from the 
law here. This is a proposition to keep that in force.
Mr. CULLOM. But it remains for the legislature to wipe that 
poll tax out, and any other tax that is burdensome to the people.
Mr. JONES of Arkansas. When you allow a handful of men 
who own the property and are interested in making the poor peo- 
ple pay a poll tax to select a legislature, it is something like sub- 
mitting the lamb to the tender mercies of the wolf.
Mr. CULLOM. The Senator goes on the theory that if a man 
owns anything, he is bound to oppress somebody. I do not be- 
lieve in that doctrine myself.
Mr. TELLER. I wish to ask the Senator from Illinois, if it is 
agreed that this principle shall be applied only to taxes on prop- 
erty, what is the objection to letting the report go back and have 
the poll-tax provision stricken out?
Mr. CULLOM. I would abolish the poll tax if I did anything 
with it. I do not believe in it.
Mr. TELLER. I do not, either. I do not believe that anybody 
ought to be compelled to pay a tax before he votes. I do not 
think anybody ought to buy his suffrage in that way.
Mr. CULLOM. The Senator is aware that in some of the States 
they have a poll tax, and probably the Senator knows how it 
works. The politicians or candidates run around and try to find 
everybody who is not able to pay the poll tax to vote for them, 
and they offer to pay the poll tax.
Mr. TELLER. I want to say to the Senator that is the only 
objection I have to a poll tax. Since I have been a member of the 
Senate I was told by a man in public life, holding a high office, 
that he had bought $40,000 worth of poll taxes in his State. Now, 
that is an indirect way of purchasing votes.
Mr. CULLOM.   Exactly.
Mr. SPOONER.   It is not so very indirect, either.
Mr. TELLER. Well, it is just about as direct as when a can- 
didate pays any indebtedness. If a man owes $5 and some candi- 
date desires his vote and pays it and gets his vote, that is a pur- 
chase of that vote. I say it is absolutely inconsistent with the 
principle of good government to make the suffrage conditioned 
upon paying taxes. I am in favor of striking out all that provi- 
sion, and I think the Senate would be in favor of it if we could 
get a vote on that proposition. It certainly is not a wise thing to 
do. A man may have but little property and not be able to pay 
the tax. Should he be deprived of his citizenship?
Mr. SPOONER. If the Senator will allow me, we struck out 
the property qualification.

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