« ZurückWeiter »
ought to be answered before the question was put. The case of laws of urgent necessity must be provided for by some emanation of the power from the National Government into each State, so far as to give a temporary assent at least. This was the practice in the Royal Colonies before the Revolution, and would not have been inconvenient if the supreme power of negativing had been faithful to the American interest, and had possessed the necessary information. He supposed that the negative might be very properly lodged in the Senate alone, and that the more numerous and expensive branch therefore might not be obliged to sit constantly. He asked Mr. BeDFORD, what would be the consequence to the small States of a dissolution of the Union, which seemed likely to happen if no effectual substitute was made for the defective system existing ?-and he did not conceive any effectual system could be substituted on any other basis than that of a proportional suffrage. If the large States possessed the avarice and ambition with which they were charged, would the small ones in their neighbourhood be more secure when all control of a General Government was withdrawn?
Mr. BUTLER was vehement against the negative in the proposed extent, as cutting off all hope of equal justice to the distant States. The people there would not, he was sure give it a hearing.
On the question for extending the negative power to all cases, as proposed by Mr. PINCKNEY and Mr. Madison,- Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, (Mr. RANDOLPH and Mr. Mason, no; Mr. Blair, Doctor McClurg and Mr. Madison, aye; General
WASHINGTON not consulted,) aye—3; Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no——7; Delaware, divided, (Mr. Read and Mr. DICKINSON, aye; Mr. BepFORD and Mr. Basset, no).'
On motion of Mr. Gerry and Mr. King, to-morrow was assigned for reconsidering the mode of appointing the national Executive; the reconsideration being voted for by all the States except Connecticut and North Carolina.
Mr. PINCKNEY and Mr. Rutledge moved to add to the fourth Resolution, agreed to by the Committee, the following, viz.: "that the States be divided into three classes, the first class to have three members, the second two, and the third one member, each; that an estimate be taken of the comparative importance of each State at fixed periods, so as to ascertain the number of members they may from time to time be entitled to." The Committee then rose, and the House adjourned.
SATURDAY, JUNE 9TH.
In Committee of the Whole -Mr. Gerry, according to previous notice given by him, moved “ that the national Executive should be elected by the Executives of the States, whose proportion of votes should be the same with that allowed to the States, in the election of the Senate.” If the appointment should be made by the National Legislature, it would lessen that independence of the Executive, which ought to prevail; would give birth to intrigue
and corruption between the Executive and Legislature previous to the election, and to partiality in the Executive afterwards to the friends who promoted him. Some other mode, therefore, appeared to him necessary. He proposed that of appointing by the State Executives, as most analagous to the principle observed in electing the other branches of the National Government; the first branch being chosen by the people of the States and the second by the Legislatures of the States, he did not see any objection against letting the Executive be appointed by the Executives of the States. He supposed the Executives would be most likely to select the fittest men, and that it would be their interest to support the man of their own choice.
Mr. RANDOLPH urged strongly the inexpediency of Mr. Gerry's mode of appointing the National Executive. The confidence of the people would not be secured by it to the National magistrate. The small States would lose all chance of an appointment from within themselves. Bad appointments would be made, the Executives of the States being little conversant with characters not within their own small spheres. The State Executives, too, notwithstanding their constitutional independence, being in fact dependent on the State Legislatures, will generally be guided by the views of the latter, and prefer either favorites within the States, or such as it may be expected will be most partial to the interests of the State. A national Executive thus chosen will not be likely to defend with becoming vigilance and firmness the national rights against State encroachments. Vacancies also must happen. How can these be filled ? He could not suppose, either, that the Executives would feel the interest in supporting the national Executive which had been imagined. They will not cherish the great oak which is to reduce them to paltry shrubs.
On the question for referring the appointment of the national Executive to the State Executives, as proposed by Mr. GERRY,-Massachusetts, Connecticut New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, no; Delaware, divided. 19
Mr. PATTERSON moved, that the Committee resume the clause relating to the rule of suffrage in the National Legislature.
Mr. BREARLY seconds him. He was sorry, he said, that any question on this point was brought into view. It had been much agitated in Congress at the time of forming the Confederation, and was then rightly settled by allowing to each sovereign State an equal vote. Otherwise, the smaller States must have been destroyed instead of being saved. The substitution of a ratio, he admitted, carried fairness on the face of it; but on a deeper examination was unfair and unjust. Judging of the disparity of the States by the quota of Congress, Virginia would have sixteen votes, and Georgia but one. A like proportion to the others will make the whole number ninety. There will be three large States, and ten small ones. The large States, by which he meant Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia, will carry every thing before them. It had been admitted, and was known to him from facts within New Jersey, that where large and small counties were united into a district for electing representatives for the district, the large counties always carried their point, and consequently the large States would do so. Virginia with her sixteen votes will be a solid column indeed, a formidable phalanx. While Georgia with her solitary vote, and the other little States, will be obliged to throw themselves constantly into the scale of some large one, in order to have any weight at all. He had come to the Convention with a view of being as useful as he could, in giving energy and stability to the Federal Government. · When the proposition for destroying the equality of votes came forward, he was astonished, he was alarmed. Is it fair, then, it will be asked, that Georgia should have an equal vote with Virginia ? He would not say it was. . What remedy then? One only, that a map of the United States be spread out, that all the existing boundaries be erased, and that a new partition of the whole be made into thirteen equal parts.
Mr. PATTERSON considered the proposition for a proportional representation as striking at the existence of the lesser States. He would premise, however, to an investigation of this question, some remarks on the nature, structure, and powers of the Convention. The Convention, he said, was formed in pursuance of an act of Congress; that this act was recited in several of the commissions, particularly that of Massachusetts, which he required to be read; that the amendment of the Confederacy was the object of all the laws and commissions on the subject; that the Articles of the Confederation were therefore the proper basis of all the proceedings of