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to the rank of chief magistrate, possessed of but a moderate or slender fortune, and looking forward to a period not very remote, when he may probably be obliged to return to the station from wbich he was taken, might sometimes be under temptations to sacrifice duty to inter est, which it would require superlative virtue to withstand. An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the inter. ests of the state for the acquisition of wealth. Anam. bitious man might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of bis treachery to his constituents. The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted opinion of human virtue, which would make it wise in a nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind, as those which concern its intercourse with the resi of the world, to the sole dis. posal of a magistrate created and circumstanced as would be a president of the United States.
To have intrusted the power of making treaties to the senate alone, would have been to relinquish the benefits of the constitutional agency of the president in the con. duct of foreign negotiations. It is true, that the senate would, in that case, have the option of employing him in this capacity; but they would also have the option of letting it alone; and pique or cabal might induce the latter rather than the former. Besides this, the mipisterial servant of the senate, could not be expected to enjoy the confidence and respect of foreign powers in the same extent with the constitutional representative of the na. tion ; and, of course, would not be able to act with an equal degree of weight or efficacy. While the union would, from this cause, lose a considerable advantage in the management of its external concerns, the people would lose the additional security which would result from the co-operation of the executive. Though it would be imprudent to confide in him solely so important a trust; yet it cannot be doubted, that his participation would materially add to the safety of the society. It must indeed be clear, to a demopstration, that the joint possession of the power in question, by the president and senate, would afford a greater prospect of security,
than the separate possession of it by either of them. And whoever has maturely weighed the circumstances which must concur in the appointment of a president, will be satisfied, that the office will always bid fair to be filled by men of such characters, as to render their concurrence, in the formation of treaties, peculiarly desirable, as well on the score of wisdom, as on that of integrity.
T'he remarks made in a former number, will apply with conclusive force against the admission of the house of representatives to a share in the formation of treaties. The fluctuating, and taking its future increase into the account, the multitudinous composition of that body, forbid us to expect in it those qualities which are essential to the proper execution of such a trust. Accurate and comprehensive knowledge of foreign politics; a steady and systematic adherence to the same views; a nice and uniform sensibility to national character; decision, secrecy, and despatch ; are incompatible with the genius of a body so variable and so numerous. The very complication of the business, by introducing a pecessity of the concurrence of so many different bodies, would of itself afford a solid objection. The greater frequency of the calls upon the house of representatives, and the greater length of time which it would often be necessary to keep them together when convened, to obtain their sanction in the progressive stages of a treaty, would be a source of so great inconvenience and expense, as alone ought to condemn the project.
The only objection which remains to be canvassed, is that which would substitute the proportion of two-thirds of all the members composing the senatorial body, to that of two-thirds of the members present. It has been shown, under the second head of our inquiries, that all provisions wbich require more than the majority of any body to its resolutions, bave a direct tendency to embarrass the operations of the government, and an indirect one to subject the sense of the majority to that of the minority. This consideration seems sufficient to determine our opinion, that the convention have gone as far in the
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endeavour to secure the advantage of numbers in the for. mation of treaties, as could have been reconciled either with the activity of the public councils, or with a reasonable regard to the major sense of the community. If two-thirds of the whole number of members had been required, it would, in many cases, from the non-attendance of a part, amount in practice to a necessity of unanimity. And the history of every political establishment in which this principle has prevailed, is a history of impotence, perplexity, and disorder. Proofs of this position might be adduced from the examples of the Roman tribuneship, the Polish diet, and the states general of the Netherlands ; did not an example at home, render foreign precedents unnecessary.
To require a fixed proportion of the whole body, would not, in all probability, contribute to the advantages of a numerous agency, better than merely to require a proportion of the attending members. The former, by increasing the difficulty of resolutions disagreeable to the minority, diminishes the motives to punctual atten. dance. The latter, by making the capacity of the body to depend on a proportion which may be varied by the absence or presence of a single member, has the contrary eífect. And as, by promoting punctuality, it tends to keep the body complete, there is great likelihood, that its resolutions would generally be dictated by as great a number in this case, as in the other; while there would be much fewer occasions of delay. It ought not to be forgotten, that under the existing confederation, two members may, and usually do, represent a state; whence it happens that congress, who now are solely invested with all the powers of the union, rarely consists of a greater number of persons than would compose the intended senate. If we add to this, that as the members vote by states, and that where there is only a single member present from a state, his vote is lost; it will jngtify a supposition that the active voices in the senate, where the members are to vote individually, would rare. ly fall short in number of the active voices in the existing congress. When, in addition to these considera
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tions, we take into view the co-operation of the president, we shall not besitate to infer, that the people of Ame. rica would have greater security against an improper use of the power of making treaties, under the new constitution, than they now enjoy under the confederation. And wben we proceed still one step further, and look forward to the probable augmentation of the senate, by the erection of new states, we shall not only perceive ample ground of confidence in the sufficiency of the num. bers, to whose agency that power will be intrusted; but we shall probably be led to conclude, that a body more numerous than the senate is likely to become, would be very little fit for the proper discbarge of the trust.
BY ALEXANDER HAMILTON. The same vieto continued, in relation to the appoint
ment of the officers of the government.
THE president is “ to nominate, and by and with 65 the advice and consent of the senate, to appoint ambas66 sadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of " the supreme court, and all other officers of the United 66 States, whose appointinents are not otherwise provi. " ded for in the constitution. But the congress may by " law vest the appointment of such inferior officers as 6 they think proper, in the president alone, or in the “ courts of law, or in the heads of departments. The 6 president shall have power to fill up all vacancies 6 which may happen during the recess of the senate, “ by granting commissions which shall expire at the “ end of their next session.”
It has been observed in a former paper, that “ the “ true test of a good government, is its aptitude and ten
dency to produce a good administration.” If the justness of this observation be admitted, the mode of appointing the officers of the United States contained in the foregoing clauses, must, when examined, be allowed to be entitled to particular commendation. It is not easy to conceive a plan better calculated to promote a judicious choice of men for filling the offices of the union; and it will not need proof, that on this point must essentially depend the character of its administration. . It will be agreed on all hands, that the power of ap. pointment, in ordinary cases, can be properly modified only in one of three ways. It ought either to be vested in a single man ; or in a select assembly of a moderate number; or in a single man, with the concurrence of such an assembly. The exercise of it by the people at large, will be readily admitted to be impracticable; since waving every other consideration, it would leave them little time to do any thing else. When, therefore, mention is made in the subsequent reasonings, of an assembly or body of men, what is said must be understood to relate to a select body or assembly, of the description already given. The people collectively, from their number and from their dispersed situation, cannot be regulated in their movements by that systematic spirit of cabal and intrigue, which will be urged as the chief objections to reposing the power in question in a body of men.
Those who have themselves reflected upon the subject, or who have attended to the observations made in other parts of these papers, in relation to the appointment of the president, will, I presume, agree to the posi. tion, that there would always be great probability of having the place supplied by a man of abilities, at least respectable. Premising this, I proceed to lay it down as a rule, that one man of discernment is better fitted to analyze and estimate the peculiar qualities adapted to particular offices, than a body of men of equal, or perhaps even of superior discernment.
The sole and undivided responsibility of one man, will naturally beget a livelier sense of duty, and a more exact regard to reputation. He will, on this account, feel himself under stronger obligations, and more interested to investigate with care the qualities requisite to the stations to be filled, and to prefer with impartiality the persons who may have the fairest pretensions to them. He
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