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FEB. 25, 1831.)
tion, and to add the amount required for the payment of that every negotiation, from its inception to its consumthe commissioners to the sum set apart as the contingent mation, should be made known to, and, to a certain extent, fund for foreign intercourse. The amendment was adopt. be under the control of, the Senate. In the first years of ed without a division, and proved acceptable to the Senate. the Government such seemed to have been the practice. The object was to throw the expenditure upon that fund General Washington frequently presented to this body which was entrusted to the absolute discretion of the Pre- such questions as these: Shall a negotiation be opened sident, to prevent any inferences unfavorable to the con- with such a Power? Shall instructions to this or that effect trolling power of the Senate in confirming appointments, be given? Shall a treaty be formed, if the mutual stipulaand of the House in creating offices. The confidential tions indicated could be agreed on? In this practice agents appointed to negotiate a treaty with Turkey have General Washington did not persist. An event occurred been appointed under the same authority that was exer- in 1795, having no doubt some influence in justifying, in cised in 1818 by Mr. Monroe. If there was any difference the minds of our Presidents, if it did not occasion, this in principle, the difference was in favor of the present change. A subject of vast consequence was subunitted to administration. The commissioners to Spanish America the decision of the Senate in secret executive session, unwere public political agents with fixed salaries, protected der the most sacred obligation not to be disclosed by any by the flag of the United States in their voyage, and by Senator. No sooner had the Senate adjourned, than the the commissions from the Secretary of State, bearing let-whole matter was spread before the public by a Senator from ters to the Governments they were sent to visit, and en- Virginia, (Mr. Mason.] The whole country was thrown titled to respect in their known public political character into confusion; warm, animated, angry discussion followfrom all civilized nations. The agents to Turkey were ed, and all the services, and virtues, and character of secret agents, without salaries, authorized to make a treaty Washington were insufficient to save him from the cenof commerce, if practicable, without letters of credence sure and reproach of a part of the country. Mr. F. did to any Power, and entitled to no peculiar protection ex- not censure that disclosure; those to whom the Senator cept from the Turkish Government, with whose officers was responsible applauded the act; he would not question it was necessary for them to confer, to ascertain the prac- their decision. ticability of effecting the object in view. There certainly It was soon found, as the Government moved on, that if was no course of reasoning that would make Messrs. Rhind, a desire was felt that any subject should be bruted about Offey, and Biddle in the recent, and Messrs. Omey and in every corner of the United States, should become the Crane in the former, effort to negotiate secretly with topic of universal discussion, nothing more was necessary Turkey, officers of Government, whose appointments ought than to close the doors of the Senate chamber, and make to be provided for by law, or subject to the controlling it the object of secret, confidentiat deliberation. Our own power of the Senate, that would not more strongly apply experience shows that, in this respect, there has been no to the case of the commissioners, Bland, Rodney, and improvement; the art of keeping State secrets is no better Graham, and their secretary, Brackenridge, who were understood now than it formerly was. Yet, with these sent to the South American States by Mr. Monroe. facts before the public, the honorable Senator from Vir
Mr. F. said he had hoped that the proposed amend. ginia, nearest to him, [Mr. Tyler,) asserts that the Senate ment of the Senator from Illinois would have met the ap- is a perfectly safe depository for all the secrets of our foprobation of the Senator from Virginia, (Mr. TazewELL) reign diplomacy. as he professed a perfect readiness to pay liberally for the This change in the course of the Executive Department services rendered, if no inference against the power of hal been submitted to without censure or resistance. No the Senate could be drawn from it. He contends, how- individual Senator, even as far as Mr. F. was informed, ever, that such an inference will be justifiable, if the pay- had ever made an effort to drive the Executive into a full ment is not made or the personal application of the per- and frank disclosure of the mysteries of our foreign intersons who rendered the service, by a bill specially report. course, or to sustain a claim to control, by Senatorial aded for their relief, and originating in the House of Repre-vice, the character and extent of the instructions given to sentatives. Mr. F. did not agree with the Senator on this our foreign ministers or agents. Thinking, as Mr. F. did, point. All that could be legitimately inferred from the that the constitution intended the Senate should be preproposed increase of the contingent fund was, that Con-viously consulted on all points of foreign negotiation, he gress decided that the commissioners should be remune- was yet compelled to admit that the usage of the Governrated for services rendered in Turkey. The amendment ment had been uniformly inconsistent with that opinion. proposed by the other Senator from Virginia (Mr. Tv- Upon the question of appointments to new foreign missions LER appeared to be, therefore, unnecessary to the pro- in the recess of the Senate, on which the gentleman from tection of the Senate, and objectionable; as, with the os- Virginia on his right [Mr. TazewELL) had dwelt with so tensible purpose of extracting a conclusion not liable to much zeal and earnestness the right of the President to be drawn, it gave occasion to one, unjustifiable in itself, originate new missions during the recess of the Senate, reflecting up the present administration, and the pre- although exercised in many cases, and asserted on a recent sent administration only. Mr. F., while he believed the occasion by the late President, had not been resisted by present discussion neither called for, nor in place, was the Senate. Individual Senators had condemned, and had not unwilling to express bis opinions on the question sug- asked the Senate to join in the censure of such acts and gested by the Senators from Virginia, or those really in- pretensions; but the Senate had, on every occasion, evaded volved in the appropriation for the payınent of the Turk. la decision. ish commissioners. He coincided in opinion with the Both the great parties into which the people were supSenator on his right, (Mr. TAZEWELL,] that, since the esta- posed to be divided, had united in the expediency of avoidblishment of the Federal Government, the Executive had ing collision with the President on this question of power. gained upon the legislative branches of the Government, The motions of Mr. Gore, censuring the appointment had encroached upon the authority of the Senate; and by Mr. Madison during the recess of the Senate, of Messrs. whenever any Senator presented himself to restore the Gallatin, Bayard, &c., to treat under the Russian mediatrue principles of the constitution to vindicate the powers tion, were laid on the table by the republican votes of the of the Senate, Mr. F. would afford his hearty support, Senate. The motion of the present Secretary of the Nawithout stopping to inquire over whose prostrate fortunes vy, (Mr. Branch,) condemning the pretensions of Mr. Adit was necessary to march, in effecting that great object. ams, that he, as President, was competent to appoint minIn the important business of foreign intercourse, it appear-isters to the Congress of Panama, was laid on the table by ed to him that the framers of the constitution intended the vote of the friends of the late administration. So far
[Feb. 25, 1831,
as a judgment was to be formed of the opinion of the Se- the attack is in the nick of time. Mr. F. thought the exnate, any President had a right to conclude, whatever ecutive session was the true place to vindicate the rights of may be the opinion of his cabinet or of some of his dis- the Senate in its intercourse with the Chief Magistrate—that tinguished friends in either or both Houses of Congress, the judgment of the Senate ought to be distinctly expressed, that his power to make appointments to new missions du- not left to obscure inferences from omissions or expresring the recess of this body was admitted by the Senate sions in appropriation acts—these were proper in the itself. Mr. F. did not impute the failure on the part of the House of Representatives, which could only through apSenate to assert its constitutional rights to party consider- propriations check the irregular or dangerous action of the ations alone; although it had unfortunately happened that Executive, but not in the Senate. Yet he admitted the these questions were always stirred in high party times, propriety of taking any and every opportunity to give warnand pressed with a view to party effect; the subject was ing to the Statesand to the people. This being the avowed one of difficulty; and whenever it is canvassed as it ought object, no allusion to the handwriting on the wall was neto be, with a single eye to the relative constitutional power cessary. The administration was in the balance, and the of the President and Senate, it would be found that a de- people will decide whether it is or is not wanting in fidelicision either in favor of or against the power of the Presi-ty to its trust. Some remarks had been indulged in, on dent alone to appoint to new inissions, would be attended the manner of the Senators from Virginia in their discuswith serious danger to the public interest. He was pre- sion of this subject. Mr. F. was too much in the habit of pared, whenever, in executive session, it was proposed un- speaking freely to find fault with it in others indeed, he connected with party strife, for the expression by the Se- was always like Locksley, the Robinhood of Ivanhoe, reanate of a fixed opinion; and to adhere to that opinion in all vy to add his halo “ whenever he saw a good shot or a future intercourse with the Chief Magistrate.
gallant blow.” If disposed to criticise, he should find the Apart from these questions, the experience of the con- opposite fault with both the Senators—they were far too federation having shown the necessity of secret confidential courtly for the nteridian of the United States. They had agencies in foreign countries, very early in the progress adopted and acted upon the maxim of courtly continental of the Federal Government, a fund was set apart, to be Europe, and of the palace of St. James. The Chief Maexpended at the discretion of the President of the United gistrate can do no wrong—the ministers are responsible-States on his responsibility only, called the contingent fund on them let the weight of public indignation fall; and one of foreign intercourse. The gentleman from Virginia on of the gentlemen (Mr. TAZEWELL) had gone so far as to his right [Mr. TazEWELL) supposed that this fund was for espress the sentiment, that he was willing to have the the payment of spies in foreign countries, who might be maxim universally acted upon, if the cabinet ministers could imprisoned or hung, if detected, with his free will, as the be, as in England, brought to the block for giving unconUnited States were not bound to protect them. This would stitutional advice to the President. Until the constitution depend upon their character; if American citizens, they changes, the Chief only is responsible for Executive acts; would be entitled to protection; and that protection should, he may take the advice of his Secretaries if he thinks proat every hazard, be afforded; but this term spy, to which per; but there is no obligation upon him either to take or to the gentleman chooses to confine the use of this contin- follow that advice; and if he does both, he does not escape gent fund, will not answer his purpose. Foreign minis- the consequences—he is morally, constitutionally, and leters are defined to be privileged spies, sent abroad to lie gally answerable for all Executive acts; and Mr. F. thankfor the benefit of their country, (the last part of this defined God that whenever there should be use for the headsnition Mr. F. hoped was not always accurate.) If the Pre-man's axe, there was no officer of this Government too sident can, on the strength of this contingent fund, appoint high nor too low to escape its edge. The present Chief spies, he can appoint the privileged spies. But on what Magistrate asks not the introduction of this slavish docground does the gentleman narrow down the use of this trine--late discoveries show that he is not willing to ascontingent fund? It was given for all purposes to which sume the obligations of others, but he has never shrunk a secret service fund should or could be applied for the from bis own. If there is one characteristic above all public benefit. For spies, if the gentlemen pleases; for others peculiarly distinguishing the man, it is the fearlesspersons sent publicly and secretly to search for important ness with which he throws himself upon responsibility; information, political or commercial; for agents to carry not with the reckless indifference of a profligate, but with confidential instructions, written or verbal, to our foreign the generous confidenee of an honest mind. Surprised, ministers, in negotiations where secrecy was the element as Mr. F. was, at this unusual effort to strike over the Preof success; for agents to feel the pulse of foreign Govern- sident's shoulders at objects behind him, and sheltered by ments, to ascertain if treaties, commercial or political, his constitutional shield, he was still more struck with the could be formed with them, and with power to form them, distinctions made in selecting points of attack. The Seif practicable. Such uses have been frequently made of nator who led the assault (Mr. TAZEWELL) charged upon this fund; indeed, the propriety of thus using it is now, the four members of the cabinet, who had been formerly for the first time, doubted. Why is it publicly discussed? members of the Senate, upbraided them or the inconsisMr. F. could not probably speak of what the executive tency of the conduct of the Executive with certain opinions journal did, but he was authorized to say what it did not recorded in the journals of the Senate during the Panama contain. The Senate had not censured or doubted the discussions; and with giving to the President advice to viopropricty of the appointment of the agents to make a treaty late the constitution. The Secretaries of State, War, and with Turkey. No committee of that body, no individual Navy, and the Attorney General, were condemned for Senator had proposed to the Senate to express any opinion having advised, or for not having prevented by their adon the subject. But, on this petty appropriation, the grave vice, a violation of that sacred instrument. Why is the constitutional question is stirred bere by both Sepators Secretary of the Treasury excluded? He, too, is a confrom Virginia--the one (Mr. TazEWELL) from despair-- stitutional adviser of the President, under the like obligathe other, (Mr. Tyler,] because an attack ought to be tions to give good counsel, and, by so doing, preventing vioopenly made.
lations of the laws and constitution of the country. . On all To the first Senator, Mr. F. would suggest that patri- the important questions arising out of the Panama mission, otism should never despair of the republic; and that the there was little difference of opinion among the then oppeople might possibly remind him that he should not in-position party, of which the Secretary from Pennsylvania voke Hercules until he put his own shoulder to the wheel. was a most active member; and, although not recorded The other Senator discloses the purpose of his movement; here, his opinions stand upon record elsewhere on those it is an attack. Certainly the place is well chosen, and questions.' Why is he of Pennsylvania excused by the
Fep. 25, 1831.)
Senator, (Mr. TazewELL,) when he of New York, and he ments were in the first days of the Government submitted of Tennessee, and he of North Carolina, and he of Geor- to the Senate, but were soon made at the discretion of the gia, are condemned without scruple or mercy? Even this President or his Secretary of War, without even the cerediscrimination, singular as it is, is surpassed by that of the money of stating to the Senate that they had been made other gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Tylen] He, too, we have foreign ministers and chargés d'affaires apseems to have a favorite in the cabinet, the Secretary of pointed, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate; the Navy, (Branch,) whom he has anxiously sought to and agencies committed to the Secretary of State to make draw out of harm's way from the deadly range of the too treaties while the Senate is sitting, and secret agents to hot fire of his colleague. Cannot our navy stand fire? make treaties abroad; and in neither case is the Senate in. Now this Secretary (Branch) was the author of the reso- formed of the power given until it is executed, the treaty lutions brought up in judgment against the cabinet—the being signed by the empowered agents. appropriation of the other three Secretaries is inferred If these acts are lawless--if these are violations of the from their vote against the motion to lay them on the table constitution, encroachments on the powers of the Senate, -an inference, every Senator knows is not always correct. the remedy should come from Virginia, for Virginia was Yet the author is to be excused, the inferred approvers con- the author of the evil. If the constitution lies suffering demned. It cannot be supposed that the Secretary of under festering wounds, the blows were struck by her the Navy was ignorant of this secret negotiation with Tur- steel, and it is her duty to apply the sovereign balm--the key. By the facts communicated to the Senate, he is the rust of the weapon heals the wounds it bas made. The only one, besides the Secretary of State, who certainly first stab was given by the parental hand of Washington. was informed of it. The expenses of the agency were Jefferson, and Madison, and Monroe, bave each, in turn, advanced by the Navy Department, and repaid out of the struck deep into the vitals of the victim. Ay, sir, if her contingent fund of foreign intercourse.
Senators are right in principle, they can point to as many The commander of the Mediterranean squadron was gashes in the constitution, as Antony bared to the view one of the commissioners, and had instructions from the of the Roman people on the mangled body of their dead Navy Department, about the funds to be used in the ne-Cæsar. gotiation and the movements of his ships, to facilitate its Mr. F. would not fatigue the Senate by bringing again success. Yet, although he did know, and it is uncertain into view all the examples of appointments like those of whether two other members of the cabinet did or did not the commissioners to Turkey. He would touch only two know any thing about it, he is not only carefully moved or three of the most striking; some of the prominent cirout of the way of reproach, but is made the subject of a cumstances of which had escaped the attention of the special eulogium. He from North Carolina is the true gentleman from Louisiana, (Mr. LIVINGSTON, republican of the old democratic principles. He is On the 30th of March, 1795, David Humphreys, miniswho never suffered dim eclipse, nor shed disastrous twi- ter of the United States to Portugal, was appointed by light over half the nations; nor, Mr. F. would add, with General Washington, during the recess of the Senate, a , fear of change, perplexed monarchs--and Mr. F. would commissioner to conclude a treaty of amity and commerce say further, if disposed to indulge in a prophetic spirit, with Algiers. He negotiated a treaty, by his deputy, J. that the honorable Secretary never would. No disparage- Donaldson, jun., in September, 1795, but signed it himment to the worthy gentlemen was intended; the poetry self at Lisbon, on the 28th of November, 1795. This and the prophecy might be applied to all, and to any of treaty was negotiated under a full power, bearing the sign his associates. Those who were disposed to speculate manual of the President, and the broad seal of the United curiously into the circumstances of the hour, might inves- States. It was submitted to the Senate in February, 1796, tigate the causes of these strange discriminations. You and ratified on the 2d of March, 1796, by a vote of'twentyand I, Mr. President, said Mr. F., adopting the habit of three to two. No nomination of Mr. Humphreys was made our New England brethren, might make shrewd guesses to the Senate. The tenth session of the Senate, an extra at the true causes; but whether our guesses would fly at session called by President Washington, began on the 8tb, random, or directly to the mark, is not at present of much and closed on the 26th of June, 1795. Here there was a importance—now, it is necessary only to mark the fact that confidential commissioner appointed under a full power, the discrimination is made. Leaving the favored pair to during the recess of the Senate, not nominated to the Se. rejoice, the one at his perfect, and the other at his partial nate at its succeeding session, and about whose moveimmunity, and the unfortunate triumvirate to repine at ments nothing was known until late in the second session their fate, and bear, with all the grace in their power, the after his appointment; when this power having been sucgalling fire of Virginia's wrath, Mr. F. would proceed cessfully executed by the formation of a treaty, that treaty to consider the attack as if made upon the only responsi- was submitted for approval, and ratified almost unanible officer, the President of the United States. He was mously, without a whisper of disapprobation on the course charged with lawless acts, with the first violation of an pursued by General Washington, or a doubt as to his important provision of the constitution of the United States, right to the exclusive power exercised by him. with a usurpation, into his own hands, of a power confid A like commission was given to Mr. Humphreys at the ed to him conjointly with the Senate.
same time, 30th March, 1795, to make a treaty of amity The Senator from Virginia who first spoke on the sub- and commerce with Tripoli. Joel Barlow was substituted ject, [Mr. Tazewell,] denied the correctness of the dis- the 10th of February, 1796; a treaty was negotiated on tinction between agents and officers of the Government. the 4th of January, 1797, and laid before the Senate on The distinction might not be sound; but one thing was cer- the 26th of May, 1797. Two sessions of Congress intertain, that it had always been made, and always had been vened, and three sessions of the Senate, between the apand was now acted upon. Every head of a departinent pointment of the commissioner and the submission of the occasionally employs and pays agents in the exccution of treaty to the Senate, during all of which General Washingthe duties of his office, on the strength of the contingent ton was President. Mr. Adams submitted the treaty for fund submitted to his disbursement. We have consuls ratification during the third session of Congress succeeding appointed under the constitution, by and with the advice the appointment of the commissioner. No nomination and consent of the Senate: commercial agents selected by was ever made, and the conduct of the Executive in both the President with consular powers, about whose appoint- cases was approved. Mr. F. would not say that what had ment the advice and consent of the Senate is never asked. been done in those days was right, because it was done by We have agents or commissioners to make contracts, trea- the great model for statesmen and citizens; but he would ties they are called, with Indian tribes. These appoint- say that the President could not be justly charged with
[FEB. 25, 1831.
now, for the first time, violating the constitution, when he Here, however, a reliance is placed upon another ground, had taken such examples for his guide, and squared his covering all the appointments made to treat with the conduct by the rule of Wasirington. Mr. F. would not Powers on the Barbary coast. It was said they were Barpress the subsequent appointments made by the succeed. barian Powers, and not to be treated as civilized nations. ing Presidents from Virginia, as all had been alluded to, Indeed! Barbarian Powers! Foreign Barbarian Powers, except the remarkable one made by Mr. Madison in 1816. certainly not dependents on the United States. The William Shaler and Isaac Chauncey were appointed on the treaties formed by the commissioners mentioned made the 24th of August of that year, commissioners to alter the United States, for a time, their tributaries. As this was a treaty then recently made with Algiers by Shaler and grave constitutional question, to be tried by the language Decatur, under a commission to them and Captain Bain- of the instrument itself, Mr. F. would ask, with due rebridge. This alteration was made by treaty on the 23d of spect, why the gentleman travelled out of the instrument December, 1816, and ratified during Mr. Monroe's ad- to look into the character of the foreign Power with whom ministration, 1st of February, 1822: yeas, 42--nays, none. negotiation was directed by the President, and what deMr. F. had both commissions in his hands; they were full gree of civilization in a foreign nation was necessary to powers under the sign manual of the President and broad bring the agents sent to them within the controlling seal of the United States, in all respects like the powers power of the Senate. The honorable Senators did not as granted to Biddle, Offey, and Rhind. In these instances yet affirm that the treaties made with them were not bealso, the Virginia President did not ask the advice and con- yond or below the Senator's orbit. But Mr. F. did not sent of the Senate, and escaped, like his great predecessor, discover any reason for the participation of the Senate in all censure and remark. The honorable Senators, how- the ratification of the treaty, which was not applicable to ever, admit that all these things have been done, and, as the appointment of the negotiators, if they were, as conthey say, rightfully done; and their opinions against this tended for by the gentlemen, officers iv the technical Turkish negotiation rest upon the correctness of certaiit language of the constitution. In their zeal to find them, distinctions they have presented to the Senate. They ad- they have struck upon distinctions much too broad for mit that the former Presidents, beginning with General their purpose. Supposing the distinction sound, the disWashington, have, during the recess of the Senate, right-tinction covers the Turkish negotiation, and upon their fully appointed commissioners to treat of peace and com- own doctrines the administration stands justified. Take merce with the Barbary Powers, whose names were not the Algerines, for example’s sake: how do they differ from sent to the Senate at subsequent sessions. They admit that the Turks? The European would call the Algerines barMessi's. Gallatin, Bayard, and Adams were rightfully ap. barians—so he does the Turks: the Algerines are not pointed during the recess of the Senate to treat with Great christians, nor are the Turks; the Algerines are MahomeBritain under the Russian mediation. They admit that the tans, so are the Turks. In the event of a rupture, the President has rightfully negotiated treaties in Washington Algerines imprison the consuls of the Power with whom during the recess of the Senate, and during the sessions of they are at war, reduce its subjects or citizens to slavery, this body, without asking its advice and consent, by the in- and confiscate all the property belonging to the enemy's strumentality of the State; and, admitting all this, they nation within their power-so do the Turks: on the prinaccuse the President of the United States of disregarding ciple of the lex talonis, the Algerines are not entitled to the constitution, for having negotiated, through the in- the benefits of the rules of honorable war--nor are the strumentality of secret agents, à commercial treaty with Turks. The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. TAZEWELL) Turkey.
says the Turks have been a formidable power before the The honorable Senators unite in resting this apparent American Government had existence—so have the Algeinconsistency of opinion on these grounds:
rines, although their Dey is now kicked about with as First. On the ground that all the previous appointments little ceremony as a Cherokee chief. How long is it since of this kind were made during war. A state of war, in Algiers has made the most formidable nations of Europe their judgment, justifies during the recess the appointment tremble? If antiquity of strength is of any importance in of commissioners to make peace; but does it justify, also, this discussion, the barbarians on the coast of Africa, so the failure to ask a confirmation of the appointment of called while they were teaching Europe civilization, have these commissioners at the succeeding session of the Senate? been terrible for centuries. They foiled, in all the pride It was not so contended when Mr. Gore's resolutions were of his strength, the grandson of that monarch under whose discussed. This resort to the war power is, however, patronage this continent was discovered. He who humcertainly convenient, as carried to its legitimate extent; it bled France, was almost master of Europe, was himself renders any participation of the Senate in the business of reduced to extremity by these now despised Barbarians. re-establishing the regulations of peace altogether super- Mr. F. was unable to discover any tangible distinction beAuous. It proves too much for the gentleman's purpose. tween the Mahometan Powers of Africa, and the MahomeIt involves besides the truth of one of these propositions, tan Powers of Europe and Asia. Turkey was distinguished to both of which Mr. F. expressly dissented. Either from the others in the eyes of Europe, but that distinction that the sole power of the President over the foreign re- was founded solely upon the geographical position of a lations of the United States was enlarged, or the con- part of the Sultan's dominions--a position that could not trolling power of the Senate over those relations dimin- be important in the question before the Senate. Occupyished, by the state of war--propositions far more dan- ing an interesting and imposing position in Europe, the gerous in their consequences than any that could arise from European Governments condescended to consider the the practice of appointing secret confidential agents in ne- Turkish Government as part of the European system. It gotiating treaties of commerce. Mr. F. did not believe that was one of the make-weights in the balance of power any gentleman would risk his reputation as a statesman, that chimera to which millions of lives had been sacrificed (if he might use the term without offence to the Senator —which had enabled the wily diplomacy of artful despobehind him, (Mr. TYLER,] who had honored it with a pe- tism to stay for centuries the onward march of reason and culiar sneer,) seriously contending that either was true; liberty. In no other respect is there a distinction made yet, he submitted with confidence to the judgment of the between the Turks and other Mahometan Powers. War Senators, if one of them was not the inevitable result of and peace, and treaties of commerce, are made with all, the distinction taken by the gentleman from Virginia. and with all the nations of the world regulate their inter
The facts in the cases referred to did not bear the gen- course as if they were christian Powers. Until the gentlemen out, even if their distinction was just; all the ap- tleman can find a stronger distinction than this, it must be pointments made, were not made during a state of war. admitted that the practice of former administrations in their
FEB. 25, 1831.)
[SENATE. intercourse with the Barbarian Powers, covers the case of be accomplished. One of the Senators from Virginia this secret negotiation with the Barbarian Turk.
(Mr. TYLER) had dwelt with strong emphasis upon the The gentlemen had not been more fortunate in main character Mr. Rhind gave himself in a letter to the Secre. taining the other ground chosen by them. Pressed by tary of State. Suppose that the respectable and worthy the force of the precedents urged of treaties made without man had, in the vanity of recent, and, as honestly bethe Senate's knowledge, by the instrumentality of the Se lieved, important success, considered himself as a high cretary of State, during the recess, and during sessions of diplomatic character, his view of it did not determine his this body; treaties of commerce, of indeinnity, of claims character; and that could not, from the papers before the due to and by the United States; for the settlement of dis- Senate, be mistaken. To the often repeated question, of puted boundaries, and for cessions of extensive territory, how did these agents differ from public ministers, Mr. F. the Senators urge that the negotiators acted in these cases saw but one answer--they were not accredited by the as the agents of the President, by virtue of their commis- heads of the foreign Government with whom they transsions as Secretaries of State. What was there in the com- acted business--they carried no letters credential, and mission of the Secretary of State that made him, ex officio, were entitled to no privileges. It was not Mr. F.'s pura negotiator? What was there in the law creating this pose, nor was it necessary for the vindication of the adoffice that warranted this distinction? There was certainly ministration, to sustain the propriety of this distinction nothing, either in the commission or act of Congress. between agents and ministers; he had accomplished his There was a mistake made by the gentlemen destructive object by proving that it had been early and constantly of their conclusion; they assumed as a fact what did not made, and by no Presidents more frequently than those exist. The Secretaries of State, acting as the agents of the who were given to us by Virginia. President, did not negotiate by virtue of their commissions The honorable Senator who led the way in this discusas Secretaries of State—they were appointed by the Pre- sion, (Mr. TAZEWELL,] not satisfied with having charged sidents, under their sign manual and the broad seal of the the cabinet with a palpable violation of the constitution, United States, for the special purpose of making the trea- seemed determined to make the impression that there had ties formed by them severally; they had full powers, such been an insidious design in the manner of asking for the apas were granted to Biddle, Omey, and Rhind. There propriation to pay the Turkish commissioners. He imagined was no difference but this: the Secretaries in Washington, the Secretary of State wished to entrap the Senate into a in the face of the Senate and of the nation, negotiated; sanction of the original appointment of these confidential the Turkish commissioners transacted their business in agents. “ The Secretary knew," the gentleman said, secret at Constantinople. What constitutional principles at the beginning of the session of Congress, that this apjustifies the appointment of an agent here, the Senate sit- propriation would be wanted. The Secretary asked it ting, publicly or privately, to form a treaty with a foreign not of the House of Representatives, where appropriations Power, that will not justify the appointment of a secret ought properly to originate; but, at this late day of the agent to form a treaty, if practicable, in London or Con- Senate, through their Committee of Finance." No desire stantinople? The place where the power granted is to be to receive a sanction of the appointment of these commiscarried, cannot affect the right of the President to grant sioners could exist, after the treaty formed by them had that power. Suppose the Turkish Government had sent been ratified, without the slightest intimation from the a secret and confidential agent to Washington, and a treaty Senate that there had been any irregularity in the manhad been concluded with him by the Secretary of State, ner of appointing them. The history of the transaction as the agent of the President, can it be reasonably pre- is an ample refutation of this ungenerous charge. The tended that the appointment of the Secretary as agent Turkish treaty was not disposed of until the general apwould not have been a constitutional exercise of power propriation bill had passed the House of Representatives; by the President, according to all past usage? If it would the appropriation for the payment of the service renderhave been, casuistry itself could not condemn the appoint-ed could not be asked for until the question on that treaty ment of the secret agents who had been sent to Constan- was decided here; and when it was decided, the approtinople.
priation was requested where only it could properly be Mr. F. believed the conduct of the President strictly made. The assertion of the gentleman, that appropriation correct, if it could be shown that the negotiation with bills ought properly to originate in the House of RepreTurkey ought to have been kept secret. The motives for sentatives, was not American in its character; it was bora secret negotiation were to hiin obvious and satisfactory. rowed from England. The House of Commons of the The United States could have no desire for any political English Parliament asserts its right to originate all money connexion with 'Turkey; a commercial treaty had long bills; the House of Representatives of the Congress of the been considered important, and it had always been deen- United States had no exclusive right to originate any bills ed prudent to seek lo establish coinmercial relations with but those for raising revenue; and recent circumstances that Government by informal secret agents. It has been were well calculated to raise a doubt of the propriety of thought that an informal agency would be more likely to that restriction upon the power of the Representatives of succeed than a public minister; the mission of a confiden- the States. Even revenue bills could be amended in the tial informal agent would not create a belief that we were Senate, and the appropriation under discussion could be too anxious to succeed, while his secret negotiation would properly made if the English rule was to govern our pracnot be liable to be defeated by the influence of the great tice. There was in this case a peculiar propriety in asking Powers who were represented at Constantinople. It was the appropriation of the Senate. When these commisapprehended that some of the European Governments, s'oners were appointed by the President, he might have none of whom dislike to monopolize power and commerce, paid their services out of his contingent fund; but scrumight not be pleased to see Jonathan's long sickle thrust pulously desirous not to use the discretion over it vested into the golden harvests that grow on the borders of the in him, when it was not absolutely necessary, he directed Euxine, and might possibly use some little artifices to pre- the commissioners to be told, “your expenses shall be paid vent it. There was some pride, too, in refraining from out of the contingent fund, and such compensation for a public effort to make a treaty when success was so pro- your services as Congress may allow.” Now, sir, to have blematical, and with this pride was mingled no small asked this appropriation of the House of Representatives portion of Yankee economy. A public mission to the in the first instance, would have been to apply to persons Turkish Government, successful or unfortunate, was al- who had not, and cannot have, until the ratifications of the ways expensive, and there was a wise determination not to Turkish treaty are exchanged, the means of judging expend the public money, if the object in view could not what sum ought to be paid for the service rendered. The