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popularity which was ever handying ahout hetween the rival parties of the state, on the suhject of salaries and compensations. The controversy generally. was, who should play this hall the most successfully. The gentleman from New-York, could prohahly have' no adequate idea of the degrading and afflictive scenes to which it often led io the country; that it was made the hohhyhorse of amhitious demagogues, and peddling politicians, and in the contest ahout it, the great questions which affected the vital interests of the state were too often ahsorhed or overlooked. It was mortifying and degrading, to witness how a little question of this character was too often managed; one party gave out their notice for a county meeting, to nominate their memhers of assemhly, and hy the way of securing their popularity, took care to put in something ahout the wages of memhers; the other party equally cunning, and ahout equally sincere, when they came to give their notice, were sure to hait their trap with the same catehing topic. The memhers nominated hy each, must always he understood to he pledged to lower the wages, and this was most generally the last of it. until another year, when the same game was played over again. He wished to see this small political trading hroken up, even at the expense of preventing the legislature for a short period, from reducing the compensations, at least, of their immediate successors; for even this had heen within our own short recollection, improved as a net with-which to cateh a little popularity, and to all appearances, succeeded admirahly. We had all seen the indecent and harefaced spectacle, of a legislature taking four dollars a day to themselves, at the same time reducing their immediate successors to three, and then returning home with the hoast, that they had proved themselves the* friends of the people and of low wages, and as it would seem, gaining to themselves an increased fund of popularity, hy that very act. They answered, in general, when enquired of hy their constituents that they had reduced the wages, as the journals had not yet arrived to show how the fact was. Indeed, on these sort of questions, the journals generally tell no individual tales, for upon searehing them, it will he found, that no one often cares to call for the ayes and noesThose who choose to vote for a little additional compensation are very weleome to do it, and the rest are suretomakeno noise ahou t it. In order to prevent in some measure, the successful practice of acts like these, he was for fixing the compensation hy the constitution, for a short period—alterahle only periodically, as contemplated hy the amendment proposed.
Mr. Kmo again urged several considerations in favour of leaving the suhject to the legislature. If the pay of the memhers was fixed for two, three, four, or five years, what then? Should we call another Convention to amend the constitution1 We must after all leave it to the legislature.
The question of Mr. Doer's amendment was then taken hy ayes and noes, and decided in the negative, as follows:
NOES—Messrs. Beckwith, Birdseye, Bowman, Breese, Briggs, Brinkerhoff. Brooks, Burroughs, Carver, D. ('lark, R. Clarke, Dodge, Duhois, Eastwood, Fairlic, Fenton, Fish, Frost, Humphrey, Hunt, Hunter, Huntington, Jay, Jones, Kent, King, Lansing, Lefferts, A. Livingston, M'Call, Millikin, Munro, Kelson, Park, Panlding, President, Price, Radcliff. Rhinelander, Root, Rose, Roschrugh, Russell, Sage, R. Sandford, Sharpe, I. Smith, Starkweather, Swift. Sylvester, Ten Eyck, Tripp, Van Fleet, S. Van Rensselaer, Van Vechlen, Ward, A. Wehster, E. Wehster, Wendover, Wheaton, E. Williams, Woods—63.
AYES—Messrs. Bacon, Baker, Barlow, Carpenter, Case, Child, Clyde, Collins, Cramer, Day, Duer, Dyckman, Ferris, Itallock, Howe, P. R. Livingston. Moore, Pumpelly, Reeve, Richards, Rockwell, Sanders, N. Sanford, Seaman, Seely, Sheldon, R. Smith, Steele, I. Sutherland, Tallmadge, Taylor, fownley, Tairnend, Van Horne, J. R. Van Rensselaer, Verhryck, Woodward, Wooster—39.
The question next was on the amendment offered hy Mr. Nelson.
Guv. Tallmanoc proposed a slight alteration in the amendment, to which Mr. Nelson assented.
Gun. Root was opposed to the proposition, on the ground that the legislative years was not defined, and difficulty might arise inascertainiog the limitation of the provision.
The question on Mr. Nelson's amendment was then taken hy ayes and noes, and decided in the negative, as follows:
NOES—Messrs. Birdseye, Bowman, Breese, Brinkerhoff, Brooks, Bucl, Burroughs, R. Clarke, Day, Dodge, Fairlie, Fenton, Ferris, Fish, Frost, Hunt, Hunting, Jay, Kent, King, Leoerts, M'Call, Millikin, Park, Panlding, President, Price, Radeliff, Reeve, Rhinclander, Root, Rose, Rosehrugh, Russell, Sage, R. Sandford, Seely, 1. Smith, Swift, Ten Eyck, Tripp, Van Fleet, Van Home, S. Van Rensselaer, Van Vechten, A. Wehster, E. W chster, Wendover, Wheaton, E. Williams, Wooster.—51.
AYES—Messrs. Bacon, Baker, Barlow, Beckwith, Briggs, Carpenter, Carver, Case, Child, D. Clark, Clyde, Collins, Cramer, Duhois, Dyckrnan, Eastwood, Hallock, Hees, Howe, Hunter, Huntington, Jones, Lansing, A. Livingston, P. R. Livingston, Moore, Munro, Nelson, Pumpelly, Richards, Rockwell, Sanders, N. Sanford, Seaman, Sharpe, Starkweather, I. Sutherland, Sylvester, Tallmadge, Taylor, Townley, Townsend, J. R. Van Rensselaer, Veri hryck, Woods, Woodward, Young—47.
The question on the amendment offered hy Mr. Dodge was then taken, and decided in the negative.
After a few remarks from Messrs. Root, King, and Burroughs, the 5th section was passed.
The 6th section was then read.
Mr. BirdSEra then moved the following amendment:
"No memher of the legislature shall receive any civil appointment from the governor and senate, or from the legislature during the term for which he shall have heen elected."
Mr. KiMfJ assented to the suhstitute of Mr. Birdseye.
Mr. E. Williams considered this a very salutary provision, and he hoped It would he adopted. It did not apply to the great mass of officers, as had heen stated hy the gentleman from Delaware; from the first office in the gift of the state down to a path master. It referred to those only who were to he appointed hy the governor and senate. These were few in numher, and the offices were desirahle hoth for the honours which they confer, and the emoluments which are attached to them. The judiciary officers, the attorney general, the comptroller, the secretary of state, canal commissioners, &c. are the great, honourahle and valuahle offices, to which, we may well suppose, the memhers of the legislature, without degrading their dignity, might aspire. Experience has sufficiently shown that they have done so; and on an examination of the suhject, it will he found, that nineteen out of twenty of these offices have heen filled out of the legislature from year to year. It has heen continued till tha people have expressed their disapprohation, from one part of the state to the other; and although they have selected in many instances fit and suitahle candidates for office, yet inasmuch as they were taken from the legislature, the hody who superintend and manage the appointing power, they have heen considered as improper selections. An idea is entertained that the legislature has heen rendered suhservient to the appointing power, for the promotion of political views and the advancement of individuals in thai hody. This has heen witnessed with horror! And is it wise, or is it prudent, to let memhers of the legislature he promoted to fill these important offices? It may he said, the cue will he different now, from what it was when the appointing power was in the hands of the old council; hut where is there an ohjection that would lie against the principle the,-, that will not apply with equal foree now? Then you had only tocontract with the governor and lour individuals—now you have the governor and thirty-two senators. If appointments have heen ohtained hy trading and hargaining—hy conferring legislative henefits for political appointments—is il not prohahle that something of the kind will continue to he practised? There are, to he sure, thirty-two senators, a majority of whom would he seventeen, to he consulted; hut let a man cooie, like the honourahle gentlenian from Delaware, with his powerful eloquence pouring like a mountain torrent upon that hody, and who could withskmd it? If. then, it be true, that this has heen the practice hetween the legislature and the appointing power, is it not dangerous in effect, and ought we not in our wisdom to provide hy a constitutional provision, that ttiis iniquity he no longer practised, to the disgrace of our legislature? Let it not he hereafter said that the governor and council were ohliged to select an attorney general from the floor of the legislature. I-et it not he said that hecanse he was a prominent memher of that hody, he -was selected from among his compeers as nn individual who ought to receive that office. Let it not he said that a secretary of state was taken from a particular county or section of the state, not hecanse he was worthy of the office, hut hecanse a political party to which he was attached must he propitiated. There was much good sense in what the gentleman from Delaware had stated with respect to the seventh and eighth sections. Experience had shown that men would harter for office, without regard to the puhlic interest. The provision in the constitution of the United States has proved sufficient to prevent this hargaining for offices. You have sedn men sent from an individual state, urging propositions approved hy their own consciences, and sanctioned hy the principles of religion and humanity—you have seen them advocating these doctrines, and declaring that their consciences would not allow them to depart from them, hecanse they were clothed with directions from the legislature, conferring on them the instructions of their constituents. They have gone on till near the expiration of their tune, when their consciences have suddenly relaxed, and their moral sense has undergone a change; when their term expired, they have pocketed their commissions, and gone home. He would not permit this to he done; he would cut it up hy the roots. He would give them the reward which thev ought to receive—the compensation allowed them, and the gratitude of their constituents.
Mr. Sharpe. This will not reach the evil. It will he necessary to go further, and say that no memher shall receive any appointment the year after. Bargains made during the session, were sometimes consummated afterwards, and he would provide against that also.
Mr. Bacon said, that he was thankful, that his dealings with the departed council of appointment, had heen pretty limited, he could not, therefore, enter into those sensihilities which were attempted to he excited in favour of their memory hy the honourahle the President.—That their trials and afflictions had heen many and deep, as depicted hy him, he thought prohahle ; as had likewise heen those of their sycophants, and persecutors for office—that they had each lived mutually tormenting and afflicting each other, there could he no douht; such was always the lot of the wicked, and such it ought to he.—The section under consideration met with his approhation for this general reason, that it went to prevent a multiplication of offices in the same person which there was at least no use or necessity in uniting. There was in this country no dearth of materials with which to fill all our puhlic offices, and that too with persons who were competent to t-iem,—it might, perhaps, sometimes happen, that in point of talent and capacity, a memher of the legislature would he rather hetter adapted to some executive or judicial office which was to he filled, than any other person to he found, who was not a memher, hut the case would not he so frequent, nor the disparity so great, as to produce any serious puhlic inconvenience or
prevent the state from heing at all times well served While on the other
hand, the effect of the exclusion upon the integrity and reputation of the legislature itself was of much moment.—Whether its character had heretofore heen tarnished hy sacrificing its independence to the desire of office, and whether suhserviency to the purposes of party had heen made the price of a commission from those who had it to hestow, it might, perhaps, he difficult directly to. prove, and he would not, therefore, undertake to assert, hut when we see, as we hare done at no remote period, more than one third of a legislative hody returning home with their commissions in their pockets, the people would inevitahly draw from it some unkind inferences.
Messrs. Brooks, Root, and Tompkins, also expressed their sentiments respectively on the suhject, when the question was taken on the amendment, und earned.
Mr. Mujsro offered the following amendment: "But a re-appointmentto any office held at the time of his election is not herehy prohihited." Lost.
The question was then taken on the sixth section, as amended, and carried.
Wherenpon the seventh section heing tmder consideration, Mr. I. SutherLand offered the following amendment:
's No person, heing a memher of congress, shall he eligihle to a seat in the legislature , and if any person shall, while a memher of the legislature, he elected to congress, or appointed to any office, civil or military, under the government of the Umted States, his acceptance thereof shall vacate his seat."
Cor. Yot'Ng was in favour of the latter "hranch of the section; hut opposed to the first part of it. The operation of this section and the next, would, he said, if applied to the Convention, have excluded one half of the memhers; he considered it unnecessary, and an unreasonahle restriction on the right of choice hy the people; it would he well enough to say that tlie acceptance of an office under fhe general government, should vacate the seat of a memher elected hefore he received such appointment; hut if the people cliose afterwards to confer their votes on a person holding such office, he could not coneeivie why they should not have the privilege of doing so; it helonged to fhe electors to say whether they would confide in one holding an office under the general government. They might helieve such person to he hest qualified to promote their interest in the state legislature. He did not helieve fhat any evil could possihly grow out of leaving this discretion with the people themselves.
Mr. Kmg opposed the amendment, and adverted to the complex nature of our government generally, and of the independence of the state governments for certain purposes, as well as that of the general government. The slate of New-York is in some respects independent of the general government; in others she is not. We are memhers of hoth governments. The question hefore the Convention is, whether, as these governments are independent in themselves, as far as relates to the appointment to office, and as we are now called on to make a general law for this state alone, it will not he wise in us to preserve that distinction, which the independent nature of our government naturally suggests? Is it not important, in order to preserve the independence of the two, that their officers he kept distinct? If it is, the report of the select committee on this suhject goes no farther in providing for this distinction, than the nature of the case requires. The gentlemen of this Convention, when they take into consideration the manifest importance of sustaining our independence in our own government, as Well as in that of the federal union, will not douht the correctness of this position. Many of the offices under the general government are of an important nature; and a man entrusted with the discharge of such important offices, ought not to he anxious to hurthen himself with the discharge of duties under the state government. In attempting to serve the two, one or the other will he neglected.
We have no right to say, that if a man holds an office under our state government, he shall not hold one under the general government; hut we can say, if he holds an office in the United States government, he shall not hold one in this state. It is my humhle conviction, that it is important to the interest of this state, that the two governments, in this respect, he kept distinct; and I put it to the consideration of this Convention, whether there he not, in this state, a hody of men sufficiently large to select for hoth purposes, leaving their duties unmingled? The answer to this must he manifest.
With respect to the remarks of the gentleman from Saratoga, to which I always listen with attention, finding them generally fraught with much good sense, does he not carry the principle too far when he says, that hy restraining individuals, you limit the privileges of electors? If thus, hy restraining, we limit the rights of electors, is it not the same when we say, that the judiciary shall not he permitted to mingle with the legislature; or the executive with either? We have no complaint on this ground: and with the same propriety may we say, that a man, holding an office under the general government, shall not hold an office under the government of this slate: hoth heing upon Dic principle of expediency, and hoth alike jus!i,"ihlr.
It is said, that we are jealous of the general government, and tliat it is without a canse. I am not jealous of that government. I should he rather disposed to increase its powers than to ahridge them, had I not lived long enough to know that they are sufficiently strong already. I have not a douht of the government of the Union heing strong enough. I helieve, that great power has a tendency to increase, rather than to diminish, and those acquainted with the progress of that government must understand the manner in which it will increase.
I am not apprehensive, that the rights of this state are ahout to he swallowed up in the rights of the United States; hut I helieve, that the time has arrived when the welfare of the individual states and that of the United States call for vigilance, and that we ought to look well to the independence of our state. I am aware, that the independence and happiness of the individual states depend on the independence and prosperity of the United States; hut the progress of the power of the general government is such, that we are warned to he on our guard with respect to the interests and liherty of this state. Give to those, who may he called on to discharge duties under the general government, the privilege of serving this country in that way; hin let them have nothing to do with the government of tlits state. The more gentlemen reflect upon the propriety of this principle",the more will they he convinced of its correctness. The period has arrived in which some rule ought to he laid down on this suhject.
Mr. Bacon said, that he rose to vindicate this provision from the imputations which had heen cast upon it hy the gentleman from Delaware.
It had heen alleged hy him, that the principle here recommended, was a novel one, that it had grown up in this state only a few months since, out of a ce rtain executive exposition,—and that it was indicative of a temper of disloyalty and hostility to the general government. As to these loud professions of loyalty to the general government, which were now so common, they had hecome in these days quite too cheap to he worth any thing. There was a time when they cost something since they exposed him, who made them to some little hazard, and, of course, were not quite so plenty,—hut times had altered, they cost or hazarded nothing now, the general government was strong enough to stand without any more friends, and like a pritate individual who has no need of them, they had now no dilBculty in finding them in great ahundance. A reasonahle degree of jealousy of the influence and encroachments of the national government upon the interests and independence of those of the several states, and a sedulous care to preserve the latter in all their vigour, was once a favourite and distinguishing repuhlican doctrine, it was that of tho political school in which he was educated, and he was not for heing driven from it now hy the modern cry of disloyalty and disaffection. In the early periods of our government, when its means of influence and of patronagi; were comparatively few and feehle, this doctrine may, perhaps, have sometimes heen carried too far. But how was it now? Could any man he hlind to the enormous increase of patronage and influence, which, in the course of events, and io the short period of thirty years the national government had acquired to itself,—to an amount which would once have startled even its warmest admirers. It was hut a few years since, that the hand of that government was hardly felt at a short distance from its centre, and its existence as an operative machine, was hardly known heyond the sea-hoard. Few men in the intetior of iho country either knew or cared any thing ahout the offices which it could confer. How different was the case now. By means of its military, its naval, and its civil departments, it had spread itself over the whole surface of the country.— There was hardly a town or district in any state which did not furnish young men, who aspired to wear the epanlette of the United States, or to hecome a midshipman, a lientenant, perhaps a commodore in the navy. Its civil offices of one grade or another, had hecome an ohject of desire and amhition in almost every log hut in the interior of the country. In fact, it came home now in one shape or another, to a great part of the husiness and concerns of the people. With its post-office department alone, which had heen the suhject of remark, it penetrated the inmost recesses of every state, and in the six or seven hundred officers attached to it in this state alone, li possessed a carps of almost