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not convenient. We have now got a House of Lords which is to originate money bills. To avoid another inconvenience, we are to have a whole Legislature, at liberty to cut out offices for one another. He thought a self-denying ordinance for ourselves, would be more proper. Bad as the Constitution has been made by expunging the restriction on the Senate concerning money bills, he did not wish to make it worse, by expunging the present section. He had scarcely seen a single corrupt measure in the Legislature of North Carolina, which could not be traced up to office hunting.
Mr. SHERMAN. The Constitution should lay as few temptations as possible in the way of those in power. Men of abilities will increase as the country grows more populous, and as the means of education are more diffused.
Mr. PINCKNEY. No State has rendered the members of the Legislature ineligible to offices. In South Carolina the Judges are eligible into the Legislature. It cannot be supposed, then, that the motion will be offensive to the people. If the State Constitutions should be revised, he believed restrictions of this sort would be rather diminished than multipled.
Mr. Wilson could not approve of the section as it stood, and could not give up his judgment to any supposed objections that might arise among the people. He considered himself as acting and responsible for the welfare of millions, not immediately represented in this House. He had also asked himself the serious question, what he should say to his constituents, in case they should call upon him to
tell them, why he sacrificed his own judgment in a case where they authorized him to exercise it? Were he to own to them that he sacrificed it in order to flatter their prejudices, he should dread the retort -did you suppose the people of Pennsylvania had not good sense enough to receive a good government ? Under this impression, he should certainly follow his own judgment, which disapproved of the section. He would remark, in addition to the objections urged against it, that as one branch of the Legislature was to be appointed by the Legislatures of the States, the other by the people of the States ; as both are to be paid by the States, and to be appointable to State offices; nothing seemed to be wanting to prostrate the National Legislature, but to render its members ineligible to national offices, and by that means take away its power of attracting those talents which were necessary to give weight to the Government, and to render it useful to the people. He was far from thinking the ambition which aspired to offices of dignity and trust an ignoble or culpable one. He was sure it was not politic to regard it in that light, or to withhold from it the prospect of those rewards which might engage it in the career of public service. He observed that the State of Pennsylvania, which had gone as far as any State into the policy of fettering power, had not rendered the members of the Legislature ineligible to offices of government.
Mr. ELLSWORTH did not think the mere postponement of the reward would be any material discouragement of merit. Ambitious minds will serve two years, or seven years in the Legislature, for the
sake of qualifying themselves for other offices. This he thought a sufficient security for obtaining the services of the ablest men in the Legislature; although, whilst members, they should be ineligible to public offices. Besides, merit will be most encouraged, when most impartially rewarded. If rewards are to circulate only within the Legislature, merit out of it will be discouraged.
Mr. MERCER was extremely anxious on this point. What led to the appointment of this Convention ? The corruption and mutability of the legislative councils of the States. If the plan does not remedy these, it will not recommend itself; and we shall not be able in our private capacities to support and enforce it: nor will the best part of our citizens exert themselves for the purpose. It is a great mistake to suppose that the paper we are to propose, will govern the United States. It is the men whom it will bring into the Government, and interest in maintaining it, that are to govern them. The paper will only mark out the mode and the form. Men are the substance and must do the business. All government must be by force or influence. It is not the King of France, but 200,000 janissaries of power, ern that kingdom. There will be no such force here; influence, then, must be substituted; and he would ask, whether this could be done, if the members of the Legislature should be ineligible to offices of State; whether such a disqualification would not determine all the most influential men to stay at home, and prefer appointments within their respective States.
Mr. Wilson was by no means satisfied with the
answer given by Mr. ELLSWORTH to the argument as to the discouragement of merit. The members must either go a second time into the Legislature, and disqualify themselves; or say to their constituents, we served you before only from the mercenary view of qualifying ourselves for offices, and having answered this purpose, we do not choose to be again elected.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS put the case of a war, and the citizen most capable of conducting it happening to be a member of the Legislature. What might have been the consequence of such a regulation at the commencement, or even in the course, of the late contest for our liberties?
On the question for postponing, in order to take up Mr. PINCKNEY's motion, it was lost,-New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, aye—5; Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, no—5; Georgia, divided
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS moved to insert, after "office," "except offices in the Army or Navy: but, in that case, their offices shall be vacated.”
Mr. BROOM seconds him.
Mr. RANDOLPH had been, and should continue, uniformly opposed to the striking out of the clause, as opening a door for influence and corruption. No arguments had made any impression on him, but those which related to the case of war, and a coexisting incapacity of the fittest commanders to be employed. He admitted great weight in these, and would agree to the exception proposed by Mr. GouvERNEUR MORRIS.
Mr. BUTLER and Mr. PINCKNEY urged a general
postponement of Article 6, Sect. 9, till it should be seen what powers would be vested in the Senate, when it would be more easy to judge of the expediency of allowing the officers of State to be chosen out of that body.
A general postponement was agreed to, nem. con307
Article 6, Sect. 10, was then taken up," that members be paid by their respective States."
Mr. Ellsworth said, that in reflecting on this subject, he had been satisfied, that too much dependence on the States would be produced by this mode of payment. He moved to strike it out, and insert, “that they should be paid out of the treasury of the United States an allowance not exceeding
dollars per day, or the present value thereof."
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS remarked that if the members were to be paid by the States, it would throw an unequal burthen on the distant States, which would be unjust as the Legislature was to be a national assembly. He moved that the payment be out of the national treasury; leaving the quantum to the discretion of the National Legislature. There could be no reason to fear that they would overpay themselves.
Mr. BUTLER contended for payment by the States; particularly in the case of the Senate, who will be so long out of their respective States that they will lose sight of their constituents, unless dependent on them for their support.
Mr. LANGDON was against payment by the States. There would be some difficulty in fixing the sum; but it would be unjust to oblige the distant States