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of the Stadtholder in Holland; and the artifices of the Duke of Marlborough to prolong the war of which he had the management.
Mr. GERRY was of opinion that in treaties of peace a greater rather than a less proportion of votes was necessary, than in other treaties. In treaties of peace the dearest interests will be at stake, as the fisheries, territories, &c. In treaties of peace also, there is more danger to the extremities of the continent, of being sacrificed, than on any other occasion.
Mr. WILLIAMSON thought that treaties of peace should be guarded at least by requiring the same concurrence as in other treaties.
On the motion of Mr. Madison and Mr. BUTLER, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-3; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, no-8.
On the part of the clause concerning treaties, amended by the exception as to treaties of peace, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, aye—8; New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, no—3.
The clause, “and may require the opinion in writing of the principal officer in each of the Executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices,” being before the House,
Col. Mason* said, that in rejecting a Council to
* In the printed Journal, Mr. Madison is erroneously substituted for Colonel Mason.
the President, we were about to try an experiment on which the most despotic government had never ventured. The Grand Seignior himself had his Divan. He moved to postpone the consideration of the clause in order to take up the following:
" That it be an instruction to the Committee of the States to prepare a clause or clauses for establishing an Executive Council, as a Council of State for the President of the United States; to consist of six members, two of which from the Eastern, two from the Middle, and two from the Southern States; with a rotation and duration of office similar to those of the Senate; such Council to be appointed by the Legislature or by the Senate.”
Doctor FRANKLIN seconded the motion. We seemed, he said, too much to fear cabals in appointments by a number, and to have too much confidence in those of single persons. Experience shewed that caprice, the intrigues of favorites and mistresses, were nevertheless the means most prevalent in monarchies. Among instances of abuse in such modes of appointment, he mentioned the many
bad Governors appointed in Great Britain for the Colonies. He thought a Council would not only be a check on a bad President, but be a relief to a good
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. The question of a Council was considered in the Committee, where it was judged that the President, by persuading his Council to concur in his wrong measures, would acquire their protection for them.
Mr. Wilson approved of a Council, in preference to making the Senate a party to appointments.
Mr. DICKINSON was for a Council. It would be a singular thing, if the measures of the Executive were not to undergo some previous discussion before the President.
Mr. MADISON was in favor of the instruction to the Committee proposed by Col. MASON.
The motion of Col. Mason was negatived,
Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—3; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina,
On the question for authorizing the President to call for the opinions of the Heads of Departments, in writing, it passed in the affirmative, New Hampshire only being, no.*
The clause was then unanimously agreed to.
Mr. Williamson and Mr. Spaight moved, “ that no treaty of peace affecting territorial rights should be made without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members of the Senate present.”
Mr. King. It will be necessary to look out for securities for some other rights, if this principle be established; he moved to extend the motion to "all present rights of the United States."
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8TH. In Convention,-The last Report of the Committee of Eleven (see the fourth of September) was resumed.
* Not so stated in the printed Journal ; but conformable to the result afterwards appearing
Mr. King moved to strike out the exception of treaties of peace, from the general clause requiring two-thirds of the Senate for making treaties.
Mr. Wilson wished the requisition of two-thirds to be struck out altogether. If the majority cannot be trusted, it was a proof, as observed by Mr. GorHAM, that we were not fit for one society.
A reconsideration of the whole clause was agreed to.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS was against striking out the exception of treaties of peace. If two-thirds of the Senate should be required for peace, the Legislature will be unwilling to make war for that reason, on account of the fisheries, or the Mississippi, the two great objects of the Union. Besides, if a majority of the Senate be for peace, and are not allowed to make it, they will be apt to effect their purpose in the more disagreeable mode of negativing the supplies for the war.
Mr. WILLIAMSON remarked, that treaties are to be made in the branch of the Government where there may be a majority of the States, without a majority of the people. Eight men may be a majority of a quorum, and should not have the power to decide the conditions of peace. There would be no danger, that the exposed States, as South Carolina or Georgia, would urge an improper war for the Western territory.
Mr. Wilson. If two-thirds are necessary to make peace, the minority may perpetuate war, against the sense of the majority.
Mr. Gerry enlarged on the danger of putting the essential rights of the Union in the hands of so small
a number as a majority of the Senate, representing perhaps, not one-fifth of the people. The Senate will be corrupted by foreign influence.
Mr. SHERMAN was against leaving the rights established by the treaty of peace, to the Senate; and moved to annex a proviso, that no such rights should be ceded without the sanction of the Legislature.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS seconded the ideas of Mr. SHERMAN.
Mr. Madison observed that it had been too easy, in the present Congress, to make treaties, although nine States were required for the purpose.
On the question for striking out, “except treaties of peace,"
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye—8; New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, no—3.
Mr. Wilson and Mr. DAYTON moved to strike out the clause, requiring two-thirds of the Senate, for making treaties; on which, Delaware, aye—1; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no-9; Connecticut, divided.
Mr. RUTLEDGE and Mr. GERRY moved that "no treaty shall be made without the consent of twothirds of all the members of the Senate"--according to the example in the present Congress.
Mr. GORHAM. There is a difference in the case, as the President's consent will also be necessary in the new Government.
On the question,