« ZurückWeiter »
Colonel Mason liked the section as it stood. It was a middle way between two extremes.
Mr. GORHAM was opposed to the motion for allowing a single member to call the Yeas and Nays, and recited the abuses of it in Massachusetts ; in stuffing the Journals with them on frivolous occasions; secondly, in misleading the people, who never know the reasons determining the votes.
The motion for allowing a single member to call the Yeas and Nays, was disagreed to, nem. con.
Mr. CARROLL and Mr. RANDOLPH moved to strike out the words, "each House," and to insert the words, “the House of Representatives," in Sect. 7, Article 6; and to add to the section the words, "and any member of the Senate shall be at liberty to enter his dissent."
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS and Mr. WILSON observed, that if the minority were to have a right to enter their votes and reasons, the other side would have a right to complain if it were not extended to them: and to allow it to both, would fill the Journals, like the records of a court, with replications, rejoinders, &c.
On the question on Mr. CARROLL's motion, to allow a member to enter his dissent,-Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, aye—3; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, Georgia, no—8.
Mr. GERRY moved to strike out the words, “when it shall be acting in its legislative capacity,” in order to extend the provision to the Senate when exercising its peculiar authorities; and to insert, except such parts thereof as in their judgment re
quire secrecy,” after the words "publish them.”—(It was thought by others that provision should be made with respect to these, when that part came under consideration which proposed to vest those additional authorities in the Senate.)
On this question for striking out the words, “when acting in its legislative capacity,”—Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—7; Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, no—3; New Hampshire, divided.
SATURDAY, August 11th.
In Convention, -Mr. Madison and Mr. RUTLEDGE moved, “ that each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and shall publish the same from time to time; except such part of the proceedings of the Senate, when acting not in its legislative capacity, as may be judged by that House to require secrecy."
Mr. MERCER. This implies that other powers than legislative will be given to the Senate, which he hoped would not be given.
Mr. MADISON and Mr. RUTLEDGE's motion was disagreed to, by all the States except Virginia.
Mr. GERRY and Mr. SHERMAN moved to insert, after the words, "publish them,” the following,
except such as relate to treaties and military operations." Their object was to give each House a discretion in such cases. On this question,-Massa
chusetts, Connecticut, aye_2; New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no—8.
Mr. ELLSWORTH. As the clause is objectionable in so many shapes, it may as well be struck out altogether. The Legislature will not fail to publish their proceedings from time to time. The people will call for it, if it should be improperly omitted.
Mr. Wilson thought the expunging of the clause would be very improper. The people have a right to know what their agents are doing or have done, and it should not be in the option of the Legislature to conceal their proceedings. Besides, as this is a clause in the existing Confederation, the not retaining it would furnish the adversaries of the reform with a pretext by which weak and suspicious minds may be easily misled.
Mr. Mason thought it would give a just aların to the people, to make a conclave of their Legislature.
Mr. SHERMAN thought the Legislature might be trusted in this case, if in any.
On the question on the first part of the section, down to "publish them,” inclusive, -it was agreed to, nem. con.
On the question on the words to follow, to wit, except such parts thereof as may in their judgment require secrecy,”—Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, aye-6; Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, no_4; New Hampshire, divided.
The remaining part, as to Yeas and Nays, was agreed to, nem. con.
Article 6, Sect. 8, was then taken up.
Mr. KING remarked that the section authorized the two Houses to adjourn to a new place. He thought this inconvenient. The mutability of place had dishonored the Federal Government, and would require as strong a cure as we could devise. He thought a law at least should be made necessary to a removal of the seat of government.
Mr. Madison viewed the subject in the same light, and joined with Mr. King in a motion requiring a law.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR Morris proposed the additional alteration by inserting the words, “ during the session, &c."
Mr. Spaight. This will fix the seat of governnent at New York. The present Congress will convene them there in the first instance, and they will never be able to remove; especially if the President should be a Northern man.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. Such a distrust is inconsistent with all government.
Mr. Madison supposed that a central place for the seat of government was so just, and would be so much insisted on by the House of Representatives, that though a law should be made requisite for the purpose, it could and would be obtained. The necessity of a central residence of the Government would be much greater under the new than old Government. The members of the new Government would be more numerous. They would be taken more from the interior parts of the States; they would not, like members of the present Congress, come so often from the distant States by water. As the powers and objects of the new Government
would be far greater than heretofore, more private individuals would have business calling them to the seat of it; and it was more necessary that the Government should be in that position from which it could contemplate with the most equal eye, and sympathize most equally with every part of the nation. These considerations, he supposed, would extort a removal, even if a law were made necessary. But in order to quiet suspicions, both within and without doors, it might not be amiss to authorize the two Houses, by a concurrent vote, to adjourn at their first meeting to the most proper place, and to require thereafter the sanction of a law to their removal.
The motion was accordingly moulded into the following form: “the Legislature shall at their first assembling determine on a place at which their future sessions shall be held; neither House shall afterwards, during the session of the House of Representatives, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days; nor shall they adjourn to any other place than such as shall have been fixed by law."
Mr. GERRY thought it would be wrong to let the President check the will of the two Houses on this subject at all.
Mr. WILLIAMSON supported the ideas of Mr. SpaiGHT.
Mr. CARROLL was actuated by the same apprehensions.
Mr. MERCER. It will serve no purpose to require the two Houses at their first meeting to fix on a place. They will never agree.
After some further expressions from others deno