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that intrigue and n anagement, in whatever mapner practised in the council on appointment, will bereafter be without influence in appointments made by the governor and senate.
Gen. TALLMADGE thought the gentlemen who had spoken on this subject, did not perfectly understand the nature of the proposition which he bad offered. It did not go, as had been stated, to undo that which had been aiready established ; he had been an advocate for the principle of dispersing the appointing power into the several counties of the state ; and he appealed to the candour of the Convention if that had not been the case. He had unfortunately found himself in a minority, when endeavouring to support that principle, at an early period of this session : and gladly would he now go back to support a plan which should have for its object the giving of this power to the people ; but as that could not be rationally anticipated, be was willing, as one, to make a provisiou by which the legislature might hereafter alter the mode which had been adopted, if experience should show that it was not calculated to promote the welfare and prosperity of the people, whose happiness we are endeavouring to advance and perpetuate. By the plan which he recommended, no alteration could tako effect till two years after its passage, during which time there would be two elections, and one for governor. This would be a sufficient check against the heat of party, by placing it beyond the period for which the majority of the legislature are elected, and affording ample time for an investigation of the plan recommended. It was his hearty wish, and he believed it to be the wish of many others in the Convention, that ihe election of county and town officers might be given to the people ; and as the plans heretofore agrced to in the committee of the whole, had not been tried, he was unwilling to fix it beyond the power oi the legislature to amend, if it should be found dot conducive to the good interest of the community.
It could not be denied, that the plan which he proposed was marked with prudence in every step. It provides for a compromise of the various opinions which have been expressed by the Convention on this subject; but this was not the most important consideration in favour of it; nay, it was one of the most insignificant arguments in its favour. This plan shakes no principle which has been established, although it is considered so bold an attempt at this late period, to offer a proposition which is new to the Convention. It is a mistake that the principle is a new one. It has been before presented, in sub. stance, to the consideration of this Convention ; but at no time has there been an opportunity, till the present, lo obtain a decision on it.
We have been told all along, that the intention was to disperse this powe? ; that there was no danger on this head; and we have been thus brought to acquiesce in the belief that all would be right; but how beve we descended into details in dispersing this power? Look at the appointments for the city of New-York, which are left uaprovided for; and the immense number of appointments which are thrown upon the serate. Where are the health oflicers of New York, inen ihom, as the President vad stated in a former debate, can make fortunes of 70 or 80,000 dollars, in the course of a few years? On looking over the list of oficers in this state, it will be found that one thousand are to be appointed by the senate ; and this is not the worst, two thousand more are to be left to the discretion of the legislature, and many of them are far from being unimportant in their character. Where are all these to be disposed of: Shall they be put upon the other branch of the legislature? This surely can. not be the intention.
The honourable gentleman from Queens bas claimed to be a witness in favour of the propriety of vesting this power in the hands of the senate; and as a proof of the correctness of that principle, he has referred us to the experience of the senate of the United States, where, he stated, party considerations had no operation. Mr. T. was willing to bow with all deference to the experience of that honourable gentleman, as far as it extended; but when he travelled out of the sphere of his personal acquaintance with a particular subject, he must beg leave to dissent from his conclusions, when they were palpably erroneous. He would call the attention of that honourable gentleman to the circumstances attending the appointment of General Armstrong, and sce whether it supported the evidence of this willing witness, that party considerations did not operule
in the senate of the United States, which had only a negative upon the nonination of the president. Was noi General Armstrong appointed a minister to France by the president in the recess of the senate; and after he bad sailed, upon bis nomination to the senate, did not that body make an effort to reject his nomination on party grounds, to disaffirm his appointment, procure his immediate recall, and disgrace the president and the administration, which would not confirm and support the nornination? Was not this project acted over in the senate of the United States, defeated by the casting vote of the venerable George Clinton, who now sleeps in peace ?-and the administration of the Union, and indeed the honour of the nation, saved from disgrace in such a party triu.nph and party measure? And does the recollection of this witness fail him in all these circumstances ? Other instances of party efforts in that senate could be detailed, but it cannot be necessary. That the senate of the United States is not free from party influence, cannot be denied; and will the honourable gentleinan, whose fortune it has been to walk in the exalted spheres of life, and to act in that senate, so much elevated above the character of the senate of this state, reason from thence that the proceeding in the latter will not be more or less governed by the influence of the lobby? This witness is entitled to every degree of credit
, when integrity and purity of intention are the criterion; bui thiese, without experience of those scenes acted over in yonder lobby, inay lead to inferences not warranted by fact, and inapplicable to the nature of the case before us.
Mr. T. said, he did not consider it necessary to defeat the argument, that thirty-two men were better adapted to the exercise of this power, than eight; his object was to show the importauce of preserving, as much as possible, the purity of that body, in whose hands are placed our property, liberty, and lives. Let us not have our faith and our hope shaken, by a cession of so great a share of this contaminating power to our senate, and to our superior and last court, the court of errors. His fears were not, that the appointing power would be improperly exercised by the senate, but that the more important duties of legislaturs and judges would be lost sight of in the contentions for office. He disclaimed all solicitude where, when, or by whom, officers were appointed; his solicitude rose to higher objects. It was to guard the purity of the senate, and by the wisdom of its legislation, and the impartial and unsuspected administration of justice, to secure the prosperity and bappiness of the state.
Ile would not be understood as proposing this plan for a council, as the best which human wisdom could devise, but as the best which he could hope to obtun, after knowing the sentiments of the Convention upon the question of electing officers in the several counties; and gladly would he have raised his voice in support of that plan which would give to the people the privilege of electing tieir own council in the eight districts, independently of either branch of the legislature. But knowing that that could not succeed, he had embraced this plan as the next best which he could rationally hope to obtain ; and he should be sufficiently gratiled, if, in the result, he could effect the primary object-of preserving from the danger of corruption, so important a branch of our governinent as the senate and court of errors, even without proving that eight are better than thirty-two, as an appointing power.
The great and leading object was to avoid the borrid consequences, so frightfully depicted by the honourable gentleman from New-York, (Mr. Radcliff,) of commiogling with the legislation of your state, the contemptible and disgraceful squabbles for office. The honourable gentleman from New-York had portrayed those hidden scenes with great success and reinarkable accuracy ; be would certainly be entitled to full credit upon these matters, when it should be recollected, that he had spoken from so much learning and so much actual erperience in those transactions. Ile has told us, that we might as well, indeed. take the old council of appointment.
We have heard of the ghost of that old council, and we are now told, that this is oot its ghost, but the original in more terrific form. But, said Mr. T., the ghost of that council will never haunt me: my fortune has never depended. directly or indirectly, upon the good or ill will of that council. I have had no interconrse with it. . Jis good or evil genius launts me not; and, therefore, I
do not fear to make, what the gentleman from New-York (Mr. Radclut) is pleased to call “ a bold proposition,” to create another council. It is necessity, and not choice, which drives me to the measure. No possible mode is so bad as the unclean connexion with legislation. To justify this connexion, and frighten us with the very name of a council, we have been told that that council of appointment forced through the legislature the Cherry Valley bank. I speak not, said Mr. T., of any personal knowledge of these matters, but as deriving my knowledge from declarations made, in a former debate, by gentlemen now on this floor. We have also heard of the hard and untimely fate of the Franklin bank, whieh was rejected in committee of the whole on one day, and of its sudden resurrection, by the kind assistance of an honourable gentleman, who voted for its rejection, but whose mind had, during the night, undergone a revolution, and who on the next morning, moved a reconsideration, and the bank went smoothly and quietly through the house. Fame and fortune attended its progress; and, in due time, the council was not unmindful of its patron. But, wby waste our time in detailing facts which are yet so fresh in the recollection of all, and in which some were actors who now hear me ?
With so much history, and with such a volume of experience before you, wbs will you suffer the continuance of this illicit connexion between legislation and the appointing power? You must have an appointing power at the seat of government, to provide those offices which cannot be sent to the people for clection.
You shrink from the responsibility of creating one. You pull down the old council, because of its corruption, and yet you impose upon the senate a portion of its load, and you give over the residue to the buffettings of party legislation. Be not alarmed at the name of council. It was the connexion with the branches of your legislature which ruined the present. It was chosen by the assembly, from the senate. It was the source and life of party. It gave character to your elections. The members of assembly were more often selected with views to control the choice of the council, than with regard to their fitness as legislators. When chosen, it was in that body where corruption was most active; where the wisc workers of party most successfully managed to procure a selection for a council, of such individuals from the senate, as would best subserve the private objects of the principal workers of the machinery. But the proposed sem council is subject to none of those evils. I would gladly bave it elected by the people, and for no other purpose. But despairing to succeed in such a plan, the first eight senators annually elected, can make a good and safe council. They come fresh from the people. Elected as senators in the several districts, they are not committed to private views, and are not selected by direction of leaders. The assembly will be left to be chosen, without other motive than a fitness for their duties.
Let me not be accused of a desire to bring this power back to the seat of government. Far be it from me to wish it, if any other mode can be adopted. Disperse is my motto, and disperse my maxim ; but when I see a system going into operation, which is calculated to burst asunder the bands of society, by bringing strife and contention into the local concerns of every county, and controling the choice of the supervisors by converting them into political in6truments, rather than using them as they now are, as the faithful seatinels of the people's interest-and, and to these evils, the making your county judges, parties in these political strises, and unftting them to compose the members of an impartial and unsuspected court, and yet having them eligible to become members of the legislature, and, perlaps, commanding their elections by an inproper use of their appointing power-I feel myself authorised to endeavour to establish any other plan than one so pregnant with every evil. Could the plan proposed by hiin be adopted, whereby provision would be made for the benefit of experience, as circumstances may require, and yet guard against the operations of party, we should unite prudence with safety ; but by the plan proposed, what will be the result? Your governor nominates to the Senate five judges for each county in the state, and these same judges constiinte, in their respective counties, a political caucus to further the views of the executtive, whether they be salutary or pernicious ; and upon these samo judges depend all your inferior magistrates, for their appointment and contipparce in
office. The power of these judges is under no control, and it may be again brought to bear in the legislature. If these evils shall be found to exist, ought we not to provide against their continuance, by giving to the legislature a power to remedy the plan proposed by the constitution? If they are not evils, experience will demonstrate it; and the constitution will continue, as we shall leave it, to govern the mode of appointments.
It was not, as had been suggested before, anticipated, that we shall, in this way, procure a better appointing power : but it is to keep from an immediate connexion with the legislature, these two hranches of your judidicial establishment, that they may not destroy the usefulness of each other, and subvert the best principles of our republican institutions. If the power of appointment is vested in the Senate, may not a majority of that body, in party times, differ in political character from the executive, and in the conflicts arising from such a difference, may not the course of legislation be influenced, or even stopped ? Have there not been instances where the Senate of this state have differed from your chief magistrate, and when all official communication between these two branches of your government was suspended? Is it to be expected, that this body of men will, at all times, be willing to obey tho dictation of the executive? Can they always concur in the nominations which he shall please to make ? Is it necessary to tell you, tbat unless his nominations are such as they shall be willing to approve and sanction; they will take advantage of their pow er and stop the wheels of government ? Party will support them in such a mcasurc.
How easy will it be for this body of men, by varying the salaries and jurisdiction of officers, to train them to the most submissive obedience in promoting their political or party views; and again, may not these same men possess nerve enough to force through the legislature any favourite object, by means of this complicated political machinery ?
Experience has shewn, that the difficulties here suggested may arise, and. that the men in our government are not wanting for nerve of this kind, and to avail themselves of such occasions. There were men wbo now heard him, who had been actors in such scenes, and which had given rise to a former con: vention; and should the plan continue, as at present adopted, the extent to which these evils may be carried, is not easily anticipated. We have heard much of the wise and discreet exercise of this kind of power, in the senate of the United States. But are gentlemen aware of the manner in which it is there exercised ? Whenever executive business was announced, the galleries were emplied, the house was cleared, the doors were shut, and all the business was done in private. Was this Convention ready to adopt a measure which had to establish such a usage ? He did not think the people of this state were yet prepared for such a state of things. The learned gentleman from New-York (Mr. Radcliff) has feelingly deprecated the horrors of the proposed council, and has declared he never will consent to establish another conclave. Does that gentle. map wish or expect the senate to execute this new portion of executive duties, wbich we are about to impose upon them, before the public and with open doors ? Will he again solicit the honour of a noinination from the governor, to some high office, and when his name is sent to the senate, will he hold his place in the lobby of that house, and, in mute silence, listen to a public discussion of bis fitness, and have some senator, perhaps some personal foe, tear asunder his reputation, and drag to public view the foibles of his life? And yet this gentleman abhors a conclave. "If such discussions of character are intended to be al. lowed, timely provide by another article in this constitution, for the personal protection of the senators, and their freedom of speech. And if not to be allowed, all inquiry, and all communication of information is shut out, and the senators will become, on this point, useless members. Is it not, therefore, more discrect, more fit and proper, that the performance of these delicate duties should be confided to a few men who can assemble for consultation, without public observation? The senate are now made tbe removing body, and where the causes for removal are to be discussed, would not this critical duty be more carefully and temperately performed by eight than by thirty-two ? and when it is recollected that these eight are to be the first class of senators, elected with
out concert in their sereral districts, and bringing with them the public sent ment, can there exist apprehensions for much cause of danger; and should conflicts ever arise between the executive and these eigbt sepators in council, may we not yet hope that those conflicts would not be suffered to interrupt the progress of legislation, and those higher duties of a court of appeal? There was no system without its inherent difficulties ; but, to his mind, the sepale was the most objectionable.
Another, and an important consideration is this: whilst you leave with your senate the appointment of one thousand officers, and to the disposal of the legislature two thousand more, you are perpetuating the seeds of discord, and heaping up fuel to increase the flame of future disagreement and controversy. These difficulties will always exist till the emoluments of office are diminished, and they can never be diminished till the legislative and appointing powers are separated. Let one body have the appointing power, and another the legislative, and the emoluments of office would soon be so reduced, that strife and ambition for office would be done away ; but whilst the two powers are exercised by the same hands, the case is remediless; the people can never hope for relief.
Here Mr. T. read from the constitution of Vermont, “ If a man is called into public service, to the prejudice of his private affairs, he has a right to a reasonable compensation, and whenever an office, through increase of fees, or otherwise, becomes so profitable as to occasion many to apply for it, the profits ought to be lessened by the legislature.”
This, said Mr. T. is a sound political doctrine, and worthy of all imitation.
It is due to the honourable gentleman from Queens, to acknowledge, that there never has been a government established, in which the different branches have been kept distinct. History records but few instances where the legitimate despot would suffer himself to be encumbered with any other departicot which dared to think or to speak. But the patriots of all ages, who have laboured to ameliorate the condition of man, have placed their bope for the persection of government, in the separation of its executive, legislative, and judicial departments. It is the fortune and the honour of our country, that we can boast, here were the principles of rational liberty first put into form and practice. Those immortal patriots, who had the honour of adjusting and combining the component parts of our government, were obliged, by way of com. promise, to commingle the conflicting interests with which they had to deal. Assailed by a monarch and an hereditary nobility on the one hand--and on the other, alarmed with the terrors of democracy, they did much more than any other portion of the human race ever dared to do; but we, with the benefit of experience from their works, now tremble not to extend the plan which they so gloriously commenced. We have extended the rights of suffrage, and pras. traied those distinctions which the influence of property had hitherto sustained Let us proceed and consummate that perfectability in the condition and government of society which our fathers so nobly dared.
The question on inserting Mr. Tallınadge's amendment to the second section, was then taken by ayes and noes, and decided in the negative as follows:
NOES-Messrs. Bacon, Baker, Barlow, Birdseye, Briggs, Brinkerhoff, Brooks, Buel, D. Clark, R. Clarke, Clyde, Collins, Dodge, Dubois, Duer, Dyckman, Edwards, Fairlie, Ferris, Fish, Frost, Hallock, Hees, Hunter, Huc. tington, Hurd, Jay, Jones, Kent, King, Lawrence, Lefferts, M'Call, Millikin, Moore, Park, Paulding, Porter, Fadcliff, Reeve, Rhinelander, Rogers, Rose, Rosebrugh, Sage, Sanders, N. Sanford, Seaman, Seely, Sharpe, R. Smith, Spencer, Stagg, I. Sutherland, Sylvester, Townley, Tripp, Van Buren, Van Fleet, Van Ness, J. R. Van Rensselaer, S. Van Rensselaer, Van Vechten, Verbryck, Ward, Wendover, Wheaton, E. Williams, Woodward.-68.
AYES—Messrs. Beckwith, Breese, Burroughs, Carpenter, Carver, Case, Child, Cramer, Eastwood, Fenton, Hogeboom, Howe, Humphrey, Hunt, Hunting, Knowles, Lansing, A. Livingston, P. R. Livingston, Nelson, Pike, Pitcher, Price, Pumpelly, Richards, Rockwell, Root, Ross, Russell, R. Sandford, Schenck, Sheldon, I. Smith, Starkwcather, Steele, Swist, Tallmadge, Tar