« ZurückWeiter »
offices to which they related. To be appointed to a place may be matter of indifference. To be incapable of being appointed, is a circumstance grating and mortifying.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. The lesson we are taught is, that we should be governed as much by our reason, and as little by our feelings, as possible. What is the language of reason on this subject ? That we should not be polite at the
prudence. There was a moderation in all things. It is said that some tribes of Indians carried their hospitality so far as to offer to strangers their wives and daughters. Was this a proper model for us? He would admit them to his house, he would invite them to his table, would provide for them comfortable lodgings, but would not carry the complaisance so far as to bed them with his wife. He would let them worship at the same altar, but did not choose to make priests of them. He ran over the privileges which emigrants would enjoy among us, though they should be deprived of that of being eligible to the great offices of government; observing that they exceeded the privileges allowed to foreigners in any part of the world; and that as every society, from a great nation down to a club, had the right of declaring the conditions on which new members should be admitted, there could be no room for complaint. As to those philosophical gentlemen, those citizens of the world, as they called themselves, he owned, he did not wish to see any of them in our public councils. He would not trust them. The men who can shake off their attachments to their own country, can never love any other. These attachments
are the wholesome prejudices which uphold all governments. Admit a Frenchman into your Senate, and he will study to increase the commerce of France: an Englishman and he will feel an equal bias in favor of that of England. It has been said, that the Legislatures will not choose foreigners, at least improper ones. There was no knowing what Legislatures would do. Some appointments made by them proved that every thing ought to be apprehended from the cabals practised on such occasions. He mentioned the case of a foreigner who left this State in disgrace, and worked himself into an appointment from another to Congress.
On the question, on the motion of Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, to insert fourteen in place of four years,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-4; Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, no—7.
On the question for thirteen years, moved by Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, it was negatived, as above.
On ten years, moved by General PINCKNEY, the votes were the same.
Doctor FRANKLIN reminded the Convention, that it did not follow, from an omission to insert the restriction in the Constitution, that the persons in question would be actually chosen into the Legislature.
Mr. Rutledge. Seven years of citizenship have been required for the House of Representatives. Surely a longer time is requisite for the Senate which will have more power.
Mr. WillIAMSON. It is more necessary to guard
the Senate in this case, than the other House. Bribery and cabal can be more easily practised in the choice of the Senate which is to be made by the Legislatures composed of a few men, than of the House of Representatives who will be chosen by the people.
Mr. RANDOLPH will agree to nine years, with the expectation that it will be reduced to seven, if Mr. Wilson's motion to reconsider the vote fixing seven years for the House of Representatives should produce a reduction of that period.
On the question for nine years,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—6; Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, no—4; North Carolina, divided.
The term "resident” was struck out, and "inhabitant” inserted, nem. con.
Article 5, Sect. 3, as amended, was then agreed to, nem. con.
Article 5, Sect. 4, was agreed to, nem. con.
Mr. Madison and Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS moved to strike out, “each House," and to insert, "the House of Representatives;” the right of the Legislatures to regulate the times and places, &c., in the election of Senators, being involved in the right of appointing them; which was disagreed to.
A division of the question being called for, it was taken on the first part down to " but their provisions concerning,” &c.
The first part was agreed to, nem. con.
out the remaining part, viz., “but their provisions concerning them may at any time be altered by the Legislature of the United States."
The States, they contended, could and must be relied on in such
Mr. GORHAM. It would be as improper to take this power from the National Legislature, as to restrain the British Parliament from regulating the circumstances of elections, leaving this business to the counties themselves.
Mr. Madison. The necessity of a General Government supposes that the State Legislatures will sometimes fail or refuse to consult the common interest at the expense of their local convenience or prejudices. The policy of referring the appointment of the House of Representatives to the people, and not to the Legislatures of the States, supposes that the result will be somewhat influenced by the mode. This view of the question seems to decide that the Legislatures of the States ought not to have the uncontrolled right of regulating the times, places, and manner, of holding elections. These were words of great latitude. It was impossible to foresee all the abuses that might be made of the discretionary power. Whether the electors should vote by ballot, or viva voce; should assemble at this place or that place; should be divided into districts, or all meet at one place; should all vote for all the Representatives, or all in a district vote for a number allotted to the district,—these and many other points would depend on the Legislatures, and might materially affect the appointments. Whenever the State Legislatures had a favorite measure to carry, they would
take care so to mould their regulations as to favor the candidates they wished to succeed. Besides, the inequality of the representation in the Legislatures of particular States would produce a like inequality in their representation in the National Legislature, as it was presumable that the counties having the power in the former case, would secure it to themselves in the latter. What danger could there be in giving a controlling power to the National Legislature? Of whom was it to consist? First, of a Senate to be chosen by the State Legislatures. If the latter, therefore could be trusted, their representatives could not be dangerous. Secondly, of Représentatives elected by the same people who elect the State Legislatures. Surely, then, if confidence is due to the latter, it must be due to the former. It seemed as improper in principle, though it might be less inconvenient in practice, to give to the State Legislatures this great authority over the election of the representatives of the people in the General Legislature, as it would be to give to the latter a like power over the election of their representatives in the State Legislature.
Mr. King. If this power be not given to the National Legislature, their right of judging of the returns of their members may be frustrated. No probability has been suggested of its being abused by them. Although this scheme of erecting the General Government on the authority of the State Legislatures has been fatal to the Federal establishment, it would seem as if many gentlemen still fost ter the dangerous idea.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS observed, that the States VOL. I.-81