Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

329

land, Virginia, aye-5; Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no—6.

Mr. PINCKNEY then withdrew his proposition.

The first clause of Article 7, Sect. 1, being so amended as to read, “ The Legislature shall fulfil the engagements and discharge the debts of the United States; and shall have the power to lay and collect taxes; duties, imposts, and excises,” was agreed to.

Mr. BUTLER expressed his dissatisfaction, lest it should compel payment, as well to the blood-suckers who had speculated on the distresses of others, as to those who had fought and bled for their country. He would be ready, he said, to-morrow, to vote for a discrimination between those classes of people ; and gave notice that he would move for a re-consideration.

Article 9, Sect. 1, being resumed, to wit: “The Senate of the United States shall have power to make treaties, and to appoint Ambassadors, and Judges of the Supreme Court”

Mr. Madison observed, that the Senate represented the States alone; and that for this as well as other obvious reasons, it was proper that the President should be an agent in treaties.

Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS did not know that he should agree to refer the making of treaties to the Senate at all, but for the present would move to add, as an amendment to the section, after “treaties," the following : “but no treaty shall be binding on the United States which is not ratified by law.”

Mr. Madison suggested the inconvenience of re

quiring a legal ratification of treaties of alliance, for the purposes of war, &c. &c. &c.

Mr. GORHAM. Many other disadvantages must be experienced, if treaties of peace and all negotiations are to be previously ratified; and if not previously, the ministers would be at a loss how to proceed. What would be the case in Great Britain, if the King were to proceed in this manner? American ministers must go abroad not instructed by the same authority (as will be the case with other ministers) which is to ratify their proceedings.

Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. As to treatics of alliance, they will oblige foreign powers to send their ministers here, the very thing we should wish for. Such treaties could not be otherwise made, if his amendment should succeed. In general he was not solicitous to multiply and facilitate treaties. He wished none to be made with Great Britain, till she should be at war. Then a good bargain might be made with her. So with other foreign powers. The more difficulty in making treaties, the more value will be set on them.

Mr. Wilson. In the most important treaties, the King of Great Britain, being obliged to resort to Parliament for the execution of them, is under the same fetters as the amendment of Mr. MORRIS's will impose on the Senate. It was refused yesterday to permit even the Legislature to lay duties on exports. Under the clause without the amendment, the Senate alone can make a treaty requiring all the rice of South Carolina to be sent to some one particular port.

Mr. DICKINSON concurred in the amendment, as

most safe and proper, though he was sensible it was unfavorable to the little States, which would otherwise have an equal share in making treaties.

Doctor Johnson thought there was something of solecism in saying, that the acts of a minister with plenipotentiary powers from one body should depend for ratification on another body. The example of the King of Great Britain was not parallel. Full and complete power was vested in him. If the Parliament should fail to provide the necessary means of execution, the treaty would be violated.

Mr. GORHAM, in answer to Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, said, that negotiations on the spot were not to be desired by us; especially if the whole Legislature is to have any thing to do with treaties. It will be generally influenced by two or three men, who will be corrupted by the ambassadors here. In such a government as ours, it is necessary to guard against the Government itself being seduced.

Mr. RANDOLPH, observing that almost every speaker had made objections to the clause as it stood, moved, in order to a further consideration of the subject, that the motion of Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS should be postponed; and on this question, it was lost, the States being equally divided,

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, aye—5; Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no—5.

On Mr. GOUVERNEUR Morris' motion,

Pennsylvania, aye—1; Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, no—8; North Carolina, divided.

The several clauses of Article 9, Sect. 1, were then separately postponed, after inserting, “and other public ministers," next after“ ambassadors.”

Mr. MADISON hinted for consideration whether a distinction might not be made between different sorts of treaties; allowing the President and Senate to make treaties eventual, and of alliance for limited terms, and requiring the concurrence of the whole Legislature in other treaties. 230

The first Section of Article 9, was finally referred, nem. con., to the Committee of five, and the House then

Adjourned.

FRIDAY, August 24TH.

In Convention,-Governor LIVINGSTON, from the Committee of eleven, to whom were referred the two remaining clauses of the fourth Section, and the fifth and sixth Sections, of the seventh Article, delivered in the following Report:

" Strike out so much of the fourth Section as was referred to the Committee, and insert, 'The migration or importation of such persons as the several States, now existing, shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Legislature prior to the year 1800; but a tax or duty may be imposed on such migration or importation, at a rate not exceeding the average of the duties laid on imports. '

"The fifth Section to remain as in the Report. "The sixth Section to be stricken out."

[ocr errors]

Mr. BUTLER, according to notice, moved that the first clause of Article 7, Sect. 1, as to the discharge of debts, be reconsidered to-morrow. He dwelt on the division of opinion concerning the domestic debts, and the different pretensions of the different classes of holders.

General PINCKNEY seconded him.

Mr. RANDOLPH wished for a reconsideration, in order to better the expression, and to provide for the case of the State debts as is done by Congress.

On the question for reconsidering,

Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Dela-
ware, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—7;
New Hampshire, Maryland, no—2; Pennsylvania,
North Carolina, absent.

And tomorrow assigned for the reconsideration.
The second and third Sections of Article 9, being

taken up, —

Mr. RUTLEDGE said, this provision for deciding controversies between the States was necessary under the Confederation, but will be rendered unnecessary by the National Judiciary now to be established; and moved to strike it out.

Doctor JOHNSON seconded the motion.
Mr. SHERMAN concurred. So did Mr. DAYTON.

Mr. WILLIAMSON was for postponing instead of striking out, in order to consider whether this might not be a good provision, in cases where the Judiciary were interested, or too closely connected with the parties.

Mr. Gorham had doubts as to striking out. The Judges might be connected with the States being parties. He was inclined to think the mode

pro

« ZurückWeiter »