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settled, then, as I stated, it would be of great benefit to our section. A party who wanted to move to that section and who wanted to buy land there would know that he was getting a good title, and it would be a great inducement to purchasers and settlers. In view of these reasons and the great harm done by unsettled titles, and in view of our situation there, I have given this subject some thought and no little investigation, and I have reached the conclusion that the only salvation for our section is in the adoption of the Torrens System or some similar system recommended by this committee.
Mr. Dessau: I wish to state again that this report is only the individual opinion of the writer as expressed in the report made by me as the Chairman of the committee. My own opinion is, the adoption of the system would give more value to the present title by prescription than anything that could be done in Georgia by way of legislation. I state that in order that there may be no opposition to the proposed legislation from any one of that class. The reason for it is obvious. Title by prescription, as we all know, is a question of possession and the difficulty rests very largely in obtaining evidence of it. Under this system of registration when you have this test of title, and it is found in favor of one who claims by prescription, then that absolutely settles his title for all time to come; hence it gives it value. One who claims title by prescription now may have a good title to land of great value, but parties do not care to purchase that kind of title which rests largely in parol. Therefore I say that the practical effect of this system, so far as all present title or claim of title by prescription is concerned, would be to enhance its value.
There was one other thing that I desired to say, and that is this: it is a question of such vital importance to the State; we will all be so much benefited by it throughout the entire State, that I do not think that any suggestion which has been made which looks to delay ought to be countenanced by the Aissociation, but I think the recommendation made by the committee as to a commission ought to be adopted, or some kind of machinery set in motion at once in order to secure the necessary legislation.
Mr. Arnold: I do not think that even yet we fully understand my Brother Dessau's very able paper. As I understand it the question of registration settles the title up to the point of registration. You take into consideration twenty years' possession, you take into consideration seven years' possession under color of title, you take into consideration everything, every deed, mortgage, will, every extrinsic fact that goes to make title. I don't see much difference between that and the present law. It is just the difference between one tribunal and another. You would go before a special commission and now you go before a judge and a jury, but I don't understand distinctly whether it would eliminate prescription under color of title in future as a method of acquiring title. I hesitate to give any voice I have for a measure of that sort, because it seems to me that is one of the strongest means by which we could acquire title. I am in favor of this report, but it seems to me that the same things which go to make up title now should go to make up title in the future, including twenty years' possession and seven years' possession under color of title. In other words, I don't think that we ought to advocate such a radical departure from the old law we have had for years and years and abolish the statutes of limitation as to lands. I move, Mr. President, that the President appoint two members to go before the Legislature to aid in carrying out the recommendation of the report. As I understand it, the report suggests that we pass a resolution asking that three members from the lower house and two from the upper house be appointed to consider this matter. I suggest that the Chair be instructed to appoint Mr. Dessau as one of the members to represent this body on that committee.
Mr. Miller: As a substitute for that motion I move that the Chair appoint a committee of three, Mr. Dessau, Chairman, Judge Van Epps, and Judge Sweat, to draft a resolution memorializing the present Legislature to appoint a committee as provided and suggested in the report of this committee. I think that will be sufficient to begin with. The point I seek to reach is to bring the matter before the present Legislature which has been in session only a few days and which will probably continue in session until the 25th of August. My motion is that the Chair appoint this committee of three to draft the resolution memorializing the present Legislature to appoint a commission as suggested in the report of the committee, and that committee report back to this body.
Mr. Arnold: I accept the substitute.
Mr. Miller: When this committee makes it report here that the recommendations have been adopted, then the President of the Association can appoint two members from this Association to act with the Legislature in case the Legislature shall appoint the commission.
The motion received a second and was adopted.
Mr. Miller: I will also make a motion that the report of this committee be printed in pamphlet form in sufficient quantity to be distributed among the members of each house of the Legislature.
Mr. Meldrim: It has got to be printed for our own records.
Mr. Miller: If it is going to be for this Legislature it will have to be done immediately.
The President: That can be accomplished. It can be hurried up for them.
The motion received a second and was adopted.
The President: That completes the program for this afternoon. Judge Beck will announce the program for to-night.
Mr. Beck: We have two papers for to-night. The first is an address, “Sunday as Viewed by American Laws,” by R. D. Meader of Brunswick. The second is "Cicero,” an address by Mr. Peter W. Meldrim of Savannah.
The Association adjourned to meet at 8:30 p.m.
FIRST DAY'S PROCEEDINGS-EVENING SESSION.
The Association met at 8:30 p.m., the same day, pursuant to adjournment, and was called to order by the President."
The President: Judge Beck, the Chairman of the Executive Committee, requests me to announce that the first paper on the program for this evening is “Sunday as Viewed by American Law," by Mr. R. D. Meader of Brunswick. We will have the pleasure of hearing from Mr. Meader.
(For Mr. Meader's paper see Appendix D.) Mr. Persons, Second Vice-President (who had assumed the chair): The next paper is “Cicero," by Mr. P. W. Meldrim.
(For Mr. Meldrim's paper see Appendix E.)
On motion, the Association adjourned to meet at 9 a.m., Friday, July 3, 1903.
SECOND DAY’S PROCEEDINGS-MORNING
TALLULAH LODGE, July 3, 1903. The Association met pursuant to adjournment and was called to order by the President.
Mr. Beck: There is a further list of gentlemen whose names have been sent in who make application for membership. They
have been reported by the Executive Committee with the recommendation that they be elected.
The Secretary read the following list:
. Atlanta. Cobb, A. Ward ...
...... Atlanta. Fielder, W. K...
... Cedartown. Hill, Harvey ........
. Atlanta. McClelland, John E..
. Atlanta. McClelland, L. F.. Mundy, W. W .........
Cedartown. Roberts, Luther........
... Lavonia. Swift, Charles J.
Columbus. Westmoreland, George ......
.... Atlanta. Mr. Beck: I move the election of these members and that the Secretary be authorized to cast the ballot of the Association for them.
The motion received a second and was carried.
The Secretary announced that he had cast the ballot of the Association for the gentlemen whose names were read, and they were declared elected by the President.
Mr. Dessau: I ask permission at this stage of the proceedings to interrupt the regular program for a moment for the purpose of offering a resolution.
The President: Is there any objection to the request of Mr. Dessau? In the absence of objection the Chair will hear the resolution.
Mr. Dessau: We miss this morning from our meeting the presence of a gentleman who has long been a devoted member of this Association, and who is now detained at his home by reason of illness. I feel that any token of remembrance of him in this hour by this Association would be exceedingly gratifying to him, and I therefore offer the following resolution:
The Georgia Bar Association at this its Twentieth Annual Session sends a greeting of affectionate remembrance to Mr. Presiding Justice Lumpkin in this hour of his physical affliction, with the earnest hope that he may soon be restored to health.