Page images
PDF
EPUB

MARCH 4, 1830.)

Mr. Foot's Resolution.

(SENATE.

predicated. When Mr. Monroe nominated Gadsden as be made, a future day shall be assigned, unless the Senate adjutant-general, and Towson and Fenwick as colonels, unanimously direct otherwise, for taking them into consithe Senate looked behind the nominations, and took cog; deration; prescribes the form of arrangement, when the nizance of the fact, that other officers were superseded President shall meet the Senate to give or to receive inand disbanded as supernumeraries; and although, as ap. formation, and even directs their own attendance at any pears by the able reports of the committee which investi- other place where he may convene them for such purpogated the causes and the legality of the arrangement, they ses. With this history of that rule, which has been caredid ample justice to the merits of these gallant officers, fully preserved by all our predecessors, but appears now and admitted them to be fully competent for the stations to be forgotten, who can doubt that, in their opinion, the to supply which the President had named them to the utmost latitude of inquiry was to be allowed to the SenSenate, yet the nominations were not confirmed. Gads- ate on all Presidential nominations? We have high auden and Towson were rejected here, on the 16th of March, thority in favor of our constitutional right to inquire, in 1822, and the nomination of Fenwick was then with the report of the Committee on Executive Patronage, drawn. The President afterwards re-nominated them to made in this body on the 4th of May, 1826—a committee the Senate, when the same investigation was again made; which then thought, as they informed the world, that they the committee called on the War Department for more were “acting in the spirit of the constitution, in laboring full information; the President assigned all his reasons into multiply the guards, and to strengthen the barriers, an elaborate message to the Senate; the committee re- against the possible abuse of power. The second secported against those reasons, with a full argument to refutetion of the second bill reported by that committee prothem, and the Senate a second time rejected all these ap- vides, “That, in all nominations made by the President to pointments, on the ground that other persons were enti- the Senate, to fill vacancies occasioned by an exercise of ied to them. Here was no cry of inquisitorial power; the President's power to remove from office, the fact of nor did the Senate consider, as the gentleman from Ten- the removal shall be stated to the Senate, at the same nessee now does, that their power was confined to the time that the nomination is made, with a statement of the question of fitness or unfitness of the nominces. On the reasons for which such officer may have been removed.” 10th of April, 1822, the Senate, by resolution, instructed Now, sir, would that committee* have reported an unconthe Secretary of the Navy, among other things, to com-stitutional provision for the adoption of the Senate? The municate to them, in Executive session, “in what situa- proposition in it was to exercise the right of inquiry in tions, and for what reasons, acting appointments for offi- every case, and thus by one sweeping clause to supercers were made in the Navy Department.”. It will not sede the necessity of any future resolutions for that purbe pretended that the mere fact that the call was not di- pose in particular cases. Why now consider the docirine rectly on the Chief Magistrate, impairs the force of the unconstitutional which was thus supported? So highly precedent, as a demand of the causes of Executive ac- were the principles of this report then approved, that tion. Cases in which the Senate has inquired into the six thousand copies were ordered to be printed, and the causes of appointments have often occurred. On the 4th arguments contained in it were then declared to be unanof January, 1826, the Senate, by resolution, called “ for swerable.f These inquiries were all right, then, and the any information tending to show the propriety of sending thought that it was wrong “ to establish a court of inquiministers to Panama;" and it does not appear by the Jour- ry" did not occur to the committee. So, too, the House nal that the majority, so much reproached for their de- of Representatives, in the exercise of its legislative powfence of the then administration, made any objection to ers, bas scrutinized the notives of the heads of Executhe resolution; but it does appear that the resolution was tive Departments. That House demanded, by resolution, on that day offered by Mr. Macon, and was immediately on the 8th of May, 1822, from the Secretary of the Treaadopted. In the case of William B. Irish, who was nomi- sury, “a particular and minute account of each transfer nated by Mr. Monroe as marshal of the Western district of of the public money from one bank to another, which Pennsylvania, the Senate called, by resolution, on “the had been made after the 1st of January, 1817, and the reaPresident of the United States, to cause to be laid before sons and motives for making the same;" and in March, them all such letters and petitions, or other papers, as 1822, they obtained the information demanded, in a rewere presented to him, relative to the appointment, asport. By us the right to look into the causes of Execuwell those which opposed his appointment, as those tive action is not claimed as an incident of the mere legiswhich requested it," and the President complied with the lative power of the Senate, but of its Executive authori. call, without complaining against the Senate for having ty, and therefore stands on much stronger grounds. erercised power unconstitutionally or improperly. The In 1821, the Senate, thinking a chargé des affaires rot first President of the United States, who was also the a proper representative of this Government at Rio JaneiPresident of the convention that made the constitution, ro, interfered to recommend the appointment of a minisconsidered the Senate as entitled to the utmost latitude ofter. Their opinion on that subject had not been requestinquiry. When they rejected his nomination of Benja-led, when, by their resolution of the 3d of March of that min Fishbourne, for the place of naval officer of the port year, they advised the President to appoint such a minister. of Savannah, Washington, in his message, nominating The act was voluntary and gratuitous. They did not then Lachlan McIntosh for the place, says, “Permit me to sub- regard it as an objection that their advice was unasked, nor mit to your consideration, whether, on occasions where the consider themselves confined to the fitness or unfitness of propriety of nominations may appear questionable to you, the chargé des affaires. They did not feel bound to reit would not be expedient to communicate that circum- main silent, like the slaves around the throne of a despot, stance to me, and thereby arail yourselves of the informa- and answer only when spoken to. And it appears to me, tion which led me to make them, and which I would with that on subjects connected with either treaties or appoint. pleasure lay before you.” A conmittee was then ap- ments, before the election of the present Chief Magispointed to wait on the President, and confer with him on trate, they have considered themselves, in the spirit of the the mode of communication proper to be observed be constitution, and under the solemn obligation to advise the tween him and the Senate, in the formation of treaties President which it imposed upon them, equally bound to and making appointments to offices. This committee, by their chairman, Mr. Izard, on the 21st of August af • The names of those who composed the Conimistee on Executive ter, reported the very rule of the Senate now to be found latronages are, Messra. Benton, (chairman,) Macon, Van Buren,

White, Findlay, Dickerson, Hulnies, Hayne', and Johnson, of Konto in our Manual as No. 36, which, with a view to give time ineky. for these inquiries, provides that, when nominations shall † By Mr. RandolphNotes by Mr. S.

SENATE.]

Mr. Foot's Resolution.

[March 4, 1830.

warn bim of approaching danger to the country, and to will sound the tocsin of slander, and if the press has been consult with him on the means of averting it; equally generally subsidized by the Government, surmises of othbound to give him information which could tend to in- cial delinquency will be carefully propagated, as “proved crease the welfare and prosperity of that country, and to on file,” until the victin loses character as well as office, discuss with him the means of securing and promoting it, by the action of Executive vengeance. To what tribunal whether he had or had not first asked their advice. Would then should he appeal for justice? I answer, to the Senyou, sir, regard him as a faithful adviser, anál a true friend, ate of his country--a party to the contract by which he who should never warn you of danger, or give you infor- was employed; and which, by fairly showing the causes of mation until you asked him to do so? And if not, are we his dismissal, may repel the imputations resting on his reacting in the spirit of the constitution, when we restrict putation, and “set history right;" tus forming a barrier our advice to the President to the mere fitness or-unfit-against i!ie influence of the spirit of malevolence, which, ness of his nominee?

in these latter days, as we have seen, can pursue a inan lo The treaty making, as well as the appointing power, is his grave for vengeance on his posterity. No good op vested in the President and Senate. The advice and con- honorable man will dismiss a faithful servant from his prisent of this body is an indispensable prerequisite to the vate employment, without furnishing him at his request ratification of all treaties, and is an essential component with a certificate of his fidelity. The same justice, which part of the power to make them. , It necessarily looks is we dispense in private life, should be yielded to a faithful well to the annulled as to the annulling stipulations with public servant, when dismissed from public employment; other nations; has always rejected new treaties, when and unless is public men we intend to abandon those prin preferring old ones; and though: indulging the utmost lati- ciples which govern us in our social and domestic relations

, tude of inquiry into all the reasons, and all the facts con- we are, in my humile julgment, bound to entertain these nected with both, it has never yet met with objections to inquiries. They can do no injustice to the Executive. If the most ample exercise of these powers.

its power has not been wantonly abused, the conduct of It is well understood, sir, that, within the year of which the Government will be presented to the people in an un. this day completes the circle, a great revolution has been exceptionable point of view. But, on the other hand, if effected in the public offices, by the discharge of the the President's authority has been perverted entirely 10 former incumbents, and that the Representatives of many party and personal purposes, are we not bound to correct of the States are anxious to spread upon the records here, the evil? And, should we refuse to present him to this na. for the benefit of posterity, as well as of the present tion in his proper character, at the expense of the reputa: age, the latent cause of this great Executive reforin. We tion of all our fellow-citizens, who have been trampled have another motive to make the effort to effect this. We under foot by the arbitrary and despotic exercise of pow. desire that the simple facts should appear, in justice to all er, will it not be said, that, by shrinking from the investhose who have been dismissed from the public service tigation, we have distrusted his integrity, and have shown without charge or accusation against them. We consi- a belief that his security was in concealment? If all has der this necessary as an act of justice, not only to the suf been rightly done, do we not treat him ungenerously by ferers, but to their families, their friends, and their posteri- refusing him an opportunity of presenting the evidence ty, We seek to distinguish the innocent from the guilty; 10 for his acquittal at the bar of public opinion ?-ay, sir, at exhibit to public view, among the searching operations of the bar of public opinion: for at that bar he must stand this Governinent, how many have been removed on the and await his sentence; and his direst foe could not representations of secret foes, or vindictive political op- him a more certain condemnation than inevitably awaits ponents; how many have been dismissed on suspicion, him, unless lie is heard in his defence. and how many without suspicion; and how many have If I am right in my views of the constitutional powers been condemned without having been suffered to learn of the Presicient and Senate, thus far presented, the forthe nature of the accusations against them. If rumors, mer can never properly remove an officer before the ex founded in many cases on the statements of the victims piration of his term, but for cause connected only with of the proscriptive system, be true, many have been the public interest; while the latter can investigate that hurled from stations which they have filled with honor to cause, and ascertain by the facts how far the constitution themselves, and with advantage to the public, without the has been complice with; and, if this authority has been assignment of any reason for the act; and in many in- abused, or extended beyond its constitutional limits

, the stances, it is said, the files of departments here have been House may impeach the author of such abuses before the filled with foul calumnies, by aspirants to office, and their Senate, and the Senate may remove him and all his nisecret agents, without giving the accused even the for- nions. An impeachment, however, requiring a majority mality of a trial. If this be so, here is a real inquisition, of tlic House to prefer it, and two-thirds of the Senate to to rack and torture, not the bodies indeed, but the chirsusiain it, can rarely, perhaps never, prevail against the acters of men. Is it more than an act of justice to the exercise of Executive patronage directly on Congress and victims, that the truth should appear? The accusations the influence of party spirit

. "Then suppose that a Presi: against then, though strictly ex parte, are yet the avowed dent, regardless of luis duty, and of the consequences foundation of official acts of departments here, and are either of exposure or impeachment, should remove all matters of record on file, in those departments, which our public servants who would not consent to his usurpå. may be resorted to, by all future generations, to blacken tion of the sovereignty of the people, and fill their places the memory of these men, and to disgrace their families withi favorites and parasites who should seek to robe win when they shall be laid in their graves. In a government with the imperial purple? We have been told that such of laws properly administered, the discharge of a public a case may occur; that Aaron Burr was once on the verge servant, without any assigned reason for the act, must or- of this high office, and it has been said that he would have dinarily cast some imputation upon his character. No filled every office in this way. I do not say so myself

, nor matter how innocent he may be, no matter whether any do I pretend to decide upon that. But the question now charge has or has not been preferred against him, yet the arists, what checks have the people upon an

usurper, existence of such charges will be presumed. Under stich should do these things for his own advancement, immedcircumstances, the breath of calumny is sure to stain his ately after his accession to the Presidency? It is certain reputation, even though acquired by a long life of faithful that, until the expiration of his four years' term, a period public service, and exemplary private conduct. The long enough for the achievement of a revolution, the peohireling libelier, the prostituted wretch, who inay have ple have no check upon him except through the instrugained the very office from which he has been removed, mentality of the Senate; and in such a case the question,

who

[ocr errors]

MARCH 4, 1830.]
Mr. Foot's Resolution.

(SENATE. What control has the Senate upon this power? becomes co-operation with the President, when they approve of the one of intense interest to the American people.

administration of his co-ordinate powers, or in opposition We have seen that, by the terms of the constitution, the to, and as a salutary check upon him, when he has abused President is authorized to fill up all vacancies happening such powers; and that, as officers of a certain grade canin the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions, which not be appointed without their advice and consent, so, if shall expire at the end of their next session. When a va- those officers be removed to reward partisans, or for any cancy is created by a removal, the question arises, Can the other unjustifiable purpose, the Senate can reject nominaofficer removed be reinstated by the direct action of the tions to supply the vacancies thus occasioned, and thus Senate?

either compel the President to reinstate those removed, There are many who maintain the affirmative of this or leave vacancies which he cannot supply after the expiquestion. Some for whose judgments I feel great defer- ration of their session. If this view be sound, the Senate, ence, and with whom I usually act here, have so express- by its legitimate, though indirect action upon every removed themselves; and there are certainly strong opinions to al, has a check upon the abuse of power, which, if exersupport them. That of Alexander Hamilton, expressed cised when the public interest really demands it, will dein the 77th number of the Federalist, is urged with much stroy the motives for that abuse, and may hereafter save force 23 being in accordance with this construction. Af- the republic in her hour of greatest peril. The objects ter enumerating there, as one of the advantages to be ex- to be attained by an ambitious and designing President, pected from the co-operation of the Senate in the business through the instrumentality of these removals, will be to of appointments, that it would contribute to the stability displace the real friends of the people, and to fill up the of the administration, he adds, “the consent of that body vacancies with his own creatures, subservient to his will, will be necessary to displace, as well as to appoint.” It is and independent of all other control; and if the Senate insisted that the displacing, here referred to, is inuicated have the virtue to reject his propositions to effect these by the context to be, nut a temporary removal by a tem- ends, he may be compelled to retract his removals, or to porary appointment, amounting only to an “attempt to leave the places vacant. This right of rejecting appointchange,'' but that the power denied by him to exist in the ments, with the express design of acting upon the remo. President alone, was such a displacing power as could de- vals, should be exercised whenever the removing power fr tire “discountenance of the Senate," and that, there has been abused--because every such abuse is an act of fore, this great statesman pressed it upon his countrymen tyranny, and the first approaches of usurpation, or oppres. as one of the highest recommendations of the constitution, sive and arbitary power, should be repuised by those who that “a change of the Chief Magistrate would not occa- ought to stand as the most vigilant and intrepid among the sion so violent or so general a revolution in the officers of sentinels of liberty. Ordinarily, he who accepts an apGorernment as might be espected, if he were the sole pointment to fill a vacancy occasioned by such an abuse of disposer of offices. Where a man in any station has given power, is cognizant of the facts, and consenting to the satisfactory evidence of his fitness for it, a new President abuse. Moreover, this check should be interposed whenFould be restrained from attempting a change in favor of erer the public interest demands the restoration of a mea person more agreeable to him, by the apprehension that ritorious officer, whether removed through inadvertenterthe discountenance of the Senate might frustrate the at- ror or intentional injustice. The Senate thought it importempt. Those who can best estimate the value of a steady tant to exercise this right in the cases of the military no. administration, will be the most disposed to prize a provi- minations in 1822; but the privilege becomes inestimably con which connects the official existence of public men valuable whenever the removing power of a President is with the approbation or disapprobation of that body, which, exerted for the purposes of personal ambition, and in utfrom the greater permanency of its own composition, ter contempt of the public interest. It is infinitely bet. Fill, in all probability, be less subject to inconstancy than ter to go without an officer than to submit to "an act of any other member of the Government.” The weight of tyranny" in any shape. We have no right to originate Hamilton's opinion is here set in full array against the ad- bills for raising revenue—we cannot nominate or propose Focates of constructive power; and it is true that his ex- in the first instance the sums to be levied on the people; position of the constitution was cotemporaneous with its but when the other House sends here such bills, we can Fatification; that it was then given to, and pressed upon, amend or reject them. Now, whenever we believe that our countrymen, for the purpose of effecting that ratifica- the sum to be raised is destined for any purpose which is tion; that it was viewed at the time as obviating all objec. tyrannical or oppressive, or not really necessary for the tions to the extent of Executive influence; and that, per- public interest, we are bound to negative the whole bill, haps, the only censure which has ever been cast upon his if we are not allowed to amend it to suit that interest. political writings, charges that he was too much disposed We should, doubtless, refuse any appropriation of public not to curtail, but to extend and increase the powers of money if we believed it destined to advance the interests the Federal Government. Yet, his doctrine, at least to of an usurper, although satisfied at the same time that a the extent contended for, was not recognized by the House real evil might grow out of the want of funds to disburse of Representatives in 1789; and, if the decisions of that the ordinary expenses of Government. In these and all day, which have been referred to, are to be regarded as similar cases, the question must be weighed and decided, obligatory upon us, the Senate has no direct action upon whether the objeci to be achieved is worthy of the sacrithe removals of the President. The question recurs, then, fice it may occasion; and so long as the spirit of our anby what constitutional mode can it maintain any check up. cestors dwells within these walls, we shall rarely think any on these abuses of Executive power?

sacrifice too great, if made in a successful resistance to the I take the true difference, between the present advo. oppressive exercise of arbitrary power. cates of that power and myself, to consist in this—they But there are some here who maintain that we have no consider the Senate as standing in the relation of a qucsi such check on the Executive, and that the President is privy council to the President, who may or may not abide authorized to fill all vacancies existing in the recess of the by their advice, as to him shall seem most expedient. They Senate; so that, when we have rejected such appointments deny the doctrine of Hamilton, that “ the constitution as have been proposed to us, and, having been informed coniiects the official existence of public men with the ap- by the President that our services are no longer necessary probation or disapprobation of the Senate. They deny here, shall have adjourned without day, he may fill the die whole and every part of it. They deny it is every vacancies then existing. If this be true, he can fill such view which can be taken of it. I consider the Senate as vacancies as well with one person as another, and of course possessing certain Executive powers, to be exercised in can, and will generally, re-appoint the very man whom we

Sexate.)

Mr. Foot's Resolution.

[Marcu 4, 1830.

have rejected; or, he may entirely dispense with future port of the committee appointed to examine it, sets forth, nominations to the Senate, granting, on the day after each that a Senator from that State resigned his seat upon the session, commissions, which shall expire with the next, and 18th day of September, 1793, and during the recess of thus take away from this co-ordinate branch of power the Legislature; that the Legislature met in January, and even the miserable subordinate privilege of the old French adjourned in February, 1794; that, upon the 19th day of Parliament, whose only glory was to register the mandates March, and subsequently to the adjournment of the Le. of the sovereign.

gislature, another was appointed by the Governor 10 fill The commentator on Justinian, who has been alluded the vacancy occasioned by the resignation. With these to, as a jurist, in terms of high commendation, in the facts, a resolution was reported by the committee, and range of this debate, (Mr. Cooper) after animadverting adopted by a vote of twenty to seven, that the appointee upon the removing power as formerly exercised by the was not entitled to a seat here, “because a session of the Governor of Pennsylvania, says, the analogy between the Legislature of the said State had intervened between the rights of thie Governor and those of the President, in this resignation and the appointment;" and among those who respect, will not hold, “considering that, under the con- sustained this resolution, we find the names of Langdon, stitution of the United States, the exercise of the right of King, Ellsworth, Martin, and Butler, who had been memremoval is subject to the formidable check of the Senate's bers of the convention. Such was the determination on concurrence in the successor of the President—a differ- this question, going the whole length of the principle we ence so important as to destroy the force of all reason- seek to establish. ing from the one to the other. A power, in every instance In the case of Mr. Lanman, a Senator from Connecti. controlled in its exercise by the Senate, cannot be com- cut, the Senate, on the 7th of March, 1825, went still farpared with a power in every instance uncontrolled, and ex- ther. His term expired on the 3d of March, 1825; after ercised as the caprice of the Governor for the time being, which, he produced here a certificate of appointment by heated by recent opposition, and goaded by revenge, may Oliver Wolcott, then Governor of the State, dated the 8th dictate." The distinction lies here: every vacancy exist- of February, 1825; and although the Legislature of the ing in the recess is not a vacancy happening within the State was not in session at the time, and did not sit until true construction of the second article. The appoint- May, yet the Senate decided that there was not in this ments to supply such vacancies must be made “ by grant- case a vacancy happening by any casualty not provided ing commissions, which shall expire at the end of the next for, and therefore Mr. Lanman was not entitled to a seat. session,” not after the expiration of that session. The We find among the distinguished names then recorded in commissions granted during the last recess expire, eo in favor of this construction, those of Messrs. Benton, Berstanti, with the termination of the present session; and if rien, Dickerson, Eaton, Gaillard, Hayne, Jackson, (now the offices are not filled by the concurrence of the Sen-President) King, Lloyd, of Maryland, Macon, Tazewell, ate, vacancies will exist at the moment we adjourn, not in and Van Buren. It is not for me to proncunce upon the the recess for that moment can with no more propriety correctness of a decision thus established; but if it was be said to be recess than session; and those vacancies will right, it not only covers, but goes beyond my position. It not exist by reason of any casualty or happening not pro- is true that, in some similar cases, Senators have been pervided for, but by the expressed will of a co-ordinate branch initted to sit here, but they all passed without consideraof the appointing power. It has never been pretended tion, except that of Mr. Tracy, who was held entitled to that the President alone could fill, by one of these tempo- a seat, by a party vote, in a period of high excitementrary appointments, a vacancy happening during the ses- all those who were called federalists voting for, and all those sion. In the celebrated report of the Committee on Mili- who were called democrats against him. °Tempora mutan. tary Affairs, made here on the 25th of April, 1822, which, tur. However we may be branded as the federalists of as I have already stated, met with the sanction of the Sen- this day, our doctrine appears to have been the republic ate in the rejection of the military appointments

, it is can doctrine of that period. The constitutions of each of urged that “the word “happen' relates to some casualty not the States, in the cases referred to, provided that their provided for by law. If the Senate be in session when Governors should see that their laws were faithfully exe.. offices are created by law which were not before filled, cuted; and their laws directed those Governors * to fill and nominations be not made to them by the President, he up all vacancies, happening in the recess" of their re: cannot appoint after the adjournment of the Senate, un spectives Legislatures, by temporary appointments; so that less specially authorized by law, such vacancy not happen there exists no ground upon which to build up a construcing during the recess.” The same construction was evi- tion in favor of the power of the Federal Executive, which dently adopted by Congress, and by the President him- does not equally sustain that of the State Executive, in self, when, in the act of the 22d of July, 1813, they thought each of these instances. Without further discussion of the it necessary to insert an express provision in the second principles connected with this subject, we might regaril it section, to confer upon the President the power to appoint as never to be shaken while the constitution lasts, that the collectors of direct taxes and internal duties during the President alone cannot fill any vacancy occasioned by the recess, if not before made by and with the consent of the refusal of the Senate to concur in his nominations; and Senate. Every vacancy existing in the recess is not there that if he, having had a fair opportunity. to consult his fore a vacancy happening in the recess.” In the third constitutional advisers, should refuse or neglect to do so in section of the first article of the constitution, touching any case where their consent to the appointment is requirthe appointment of Senators, it is provided that, “if va-ed, he has no power to supply the vacancy existing at the cancies happen by resignation or otherwise, during the expiration of their session. recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive there. Before I close my remarks upon the constitutional rights of may make temporary appointments, until the next of the President and Senate, suffer me to say, sir, that meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such va- there cannot be, in a free Government, a more dangerous cancies.”

principle than that of implied Executive power. To conThese temporary appointments by the State Executive trol it, we cannot keep too steadily in view, that delegatare analogous to temporary appointinents by the National ed authority should always be either strictly construed, Executive. How, then, has this clause in the constitution or distinctly defined, and that, by the terms of the constibeen construed? The first case which occurred, to test tution, power, not expressly ceded, is reserved to the peoits construction, was decided on the 28th of March, 1794, ple or the States. I shall be gratified to see some farther on an appointment by the Executive of Delaware, which evidences than any yet developed, to make good the reappears to have undergone a full investigation. The re- mark of the gentleman from Tennessee, when

he express

Marcu 4, 1830.]

Mr. Foot's Resolutions

(SENTAE.

ed his pleasure at beholding the administration major.ty correct those abuses which, it was then charged, had of the American Senate "contending against all those brought the patronage of the Federal Government into doctrines which are calculated to increase the authority of conflict with the freedom of elections, and counteract men in office.” We have also been informed, that we live those causes which had placed or continued power in unin an age wlien State rights are the great objects of re- faithful or incompetent' hands. The lateness of the gard; when a predominating party has taken them into its hour warns me that ought not to trespass on your at. especial keeping; when the President himself is their tention, by inquiring how fir all these pledges have been grand protector; when our hearts shall be gladdened, and redeemed; and the examination of all the topics presentour eyes blessed, with the glorious vision of a party in ed by such a general inquiry might lead me beyond the power no longer warping the constitution from its legiti- "exiguo fine," within which I am admonished that an Amemate construction, to increase the strength of the Federal rican Senator should confine himself, when speaking of an head, but paring down all forced implications of authori. American President. But it is true, and ought to be ob ty, and restoring to their pristine purity and vigor the so- served on this day, that our public officers are increased vereign and independent powers of the twenty-four States. in number, and not diminished in salary; that the pro

Such, we are told, sir, is the primary object of modern mised retrenchment has terminated in a recommendation reform. But the example of this administration is a sad to establish additional bureaus, with more public agents, commentary on so fine a text; and the principles advanced and increased demands on the treasury, to swell to an alin this debate to sustain it, sap the whole foundation of most boundless extent the influence of the Executive by, these lofty pretensions. Reverencing, as I sincerely do, a general extension of the law which limits appointthe constitutional rights of the States, I view the avowed ments to four years, and by the establishment of a Goprinciples of the Executive as subversive of the most im-vernment bank; and that a general system of proscripportant powers of that very body where alone the States, tion for a manly exercise of the right of opinion, under as such, are represented. Rob the Senate of these, and the pretence of rotation in office, has brought the paof what availis their mere legislative authority, when the tronage of the Executive into full conflict with the freeFery laws themselves are to be passed upon by judges, dom of elections. Turning from the investigation of miand executed by officers, in whose appointment they have nor subjects, which might by possibility be considered as substantially no concern? An English King boasted that, mere topics for partisan effect, and with a nobler pur. while he could appoint the bishops and judges, he could pose than to subserve the petty interests of any sect, or have what religion and laws he ; leased; and it was the any party, our attention is forcibly arrested by some inopinion of Roger Sherman, in adverting to that remark, stances, in which these pledges have been so violated that that, if the President was vested with the power of appoint- their tendency, if not immediately, at least conscquening to and removing from office at his pleasure, like the tially, and by the force of example, is subversive of the English monarch, he could render himself despotic. A dearest interests of our people, and of the most sacred blow at the rights of the States is a blow at the liberties institutions of our republic. of the people; and whenever the period shall arrive for de When we look to the manner in which the pledge to stroying the latter, the first aim will be to prostrate the observe a strict and faithful economy has been redeemed, porters of the former, in the Senate. Those who framed we find the expenses of Government increase, through the constitution foresaw this, and, so far as human wisdom the instrumentality of these rewards and punishments for crald guard against the evil, they provided for it, by or- political opinion. Outfits, salaries, and all the incidental dering that no State shall ever be deprived of her equal expenses attending the recall of nearly the whole of our safrage

, in this body, by any change of constitution. "Hic diplomatic corps, and the appointment of others to sup0735 akenèus esto. Here lies the bulwark against con- ply their places, have caused large drafts upon the treasalidation of the Government-the barrier for the protec. sury, and laid the foundation for increasing demands up-, Lou of the States against the encroachments of Executive on it. But without dwelling to estimate how many tens power, and the American who shall succeed in breaking or hundreds of thousands of dollars have been expended own this defence will bury in its ruins

the liberties with in punishing opponents, or inquiring how profusely the che constitution of his country. The effort to destroy it, public bounty has been lavished upon favorites, we have a order to be successful, will never be made in open and something more important to consider. We know that, svowed hostility ; but the first approaches of the enemy ir funds for such purposes have been taken from the vill be gradual, crafty, and

disguised. Many a Sempro- strong box, without appropriations, the President must is will thunder "war to the knife's blade" against the have dipped his hands into the nation's treasure in oppoise whom he secretly encourages, until, by successive re-sition to the constitution, which it is our duty to support. strictions upon the rights of the Senate, the salutary pow. Money cannot be drawn from the treasury except in èrs of the States are stolen imperceptibly away, and most consequence of appropriations made by law; and the raprobably under this very pretence of enabling the Execu- dical act of the first of May, 1820, after limiting the pow. uve to see that the laws are faithfully executed.

ers of the President in relation to transfers of appropriaLet us now, sir, briefly, in conclusion, while we com- tions in the army and navy, provides, in the fifth secDemorate the day which inducted our Chief Magistrate tion, “ that no transfers of appropriation from or to other office, review his administration of the past year, ap. branches of expenditure shall thereafter be made." May ply to it the test of these principles, and calmly inquire we not inquire now, from what fund the money has been Shether any constitutional interposition of the Senate be drawn to defray the greatly increased expenses of our requisite to check the abuses of power. This anniversary foreign missions? These expenses were not provided for, recalls the pledges of the inaugural address: to keep during the last session of Congress, by any law: for they steadily in view the limitations as well as the extent of were not foreseen or anticipated. If then the diplomatic the Esecutive authority; to respect and preserve the fund was insufficient for these purposes, either the nation rights of the sovereign members of our Union; to manage, has been brought in debt to accomplish them, or the conby certain searching operations, the public revenue; "to stitution and the law have been violated by unauthorized Observe a strict and faithful economy; to counteract that drafts on the treasury. It is certain that we are now called tendency to private and public profligacy which a pro- upon to appropriate largely, either to pay a debt incurred, fuse expenditure of money by the Government is but too or to supply a deficiency in some other fund not appro. apt to engender; to depend for the advancement of the priated for these expenses. If the Executive can recall public service more on the integrity and zeal of the pub- our foreign agents for party purposes, or to promote lic officers than on their numbers; and particularly to friends, even

where no legislative appropriation has been VOL. VI.-31

« PreviousContinue »