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treaty, would be a source of so great inconvenience and exponse, as alone ought to condemn the project.
Thu only objection which remains to be can'rassed, is that which would substitute the proportion of two-thirds of all the members composing the senatorial body, to that of two-thirds of the members present. It has been shown, under the second head of our inquiries, that all provisions which require more than the majority of any body to its resolutions, have a direct tendency to embarrass tho oporations of the government, and an indirect one to subject the sense of the majority to that of the minority. This consideration seems sufficient to determino our opinion, that the convention have gone as far in the endeavour to secure the advantage of numbers in the formation of treaties, as could bave boon reconciled either with the activity of the public councils, or with a reasonable regard to the major sense of the community. If two-thirds of the wholo number of members had been required, it would, in many cases, from the non-attendance of a part, amount in practice to a necessity of unanimity. And the history of every political establishment in which this principle has prevailed, is a history of impotence, perplexity, and disorder. Proofs of this position might be adduced from the examples of the Roman tribuneship, the Polish diet, and the states general of the Netherlands; did not an example at home, render foreign precedents unnecessary
To require a fixed proportion of the whole body, would not, in all probability, contribute to the advantages of a numerous agency, better than merely to require a proportion of the attending members. The former, by increasing the difficulty of resolutions disagreeable to the minority, diminishes the motives to punctual attendance. The latter, by making the capacity of the body to depend on a proportion which may be varied by the absence or presence of a single member, has the contrary effect. And as, by promoting punctuality, it tends to keep the body complete, there is great likelihood, that its resolutions would generally be dictatod by as great a number in
this caso, as in the other; while there would bo much fewer occasions of delay. It ought not to be forgotten, that under the existing confederation, two members may, and usually do, represent a state; whence it happens that congress, who now are solely invested with all the powers of the union, rarely consists of a greater number of persons than would compose the intended senate. If we add to this, that as the members vote by states, and that where there is only a single member present from a state, his vote is lost, it will justify a supposition that the active voices in the senate, where the members are to voto individually, would rarely fall short in number of the active voices in the existing congress. When, in addition to these considerations, we take into view the co-operation of the presi- , dent, we shall not hesitate to infer, that the people of America would have greater security against an improper use of the power of making treaties, under the new constitution, than they now enjoy under the confederation. And when we proceed still one step further, and look forward to the probableaugmentation of the senate, by the erection of new states, we shall not only perceive ample ground of confidence in the sufficiency of the numbers, to whose agency that power will be intrusted; but we shall probably be led to conclude, that a body moro numerous than the senate is likely to become, would be very little fit for the proper discharge of the trust.
NEW YORK, APRIL 1, 1788.
THE SAME VIEW CONTINUED, IN RELATION TO THE APPOINTMENT
OF THE OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT.
The president is “to nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the senate, to appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the supreme court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not otherwise provided for in the constitution. But the congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper, in the president alone, or in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments. The president shall havo power to fill up all vacancies which may happen during the recess of the senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.”
It has been observed in a former paper, that “the true test of a good government, is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.” If the justness of this observation be admitted, the mode of appointing the officers of the United States contained in the foregoing clauses, must, when examined, be allowed to be entitled to particular commendation. It is not easy to conceive a plan better calculated to promote a judicious choice of men for filling the offices of the union; and it
will not need proof, that on this point must essentially depend the character of its administration.
It will be agreed on all hands, that the power of appointment, in ordinary cases, can be properly modified only in one of three ways. It ought either to be vested in a single man; or in a select assembly of a moderate number; or in a single man, with the concurrence of such an assembly. The exercise of it by the people at large, will be roadily admitted to be impracticable; since, waving every other consideration, it would leave them little time to do any thing else. When, therefore, mention is made in the subsequent reasonings, of an assembly or body of men, what is said must be understood to relate to a Aelect body or assembly, of the description already given. The people collectively, from their number and from their dispersed situation, cannot be regulated in their movements by that sygtematic spirit of cabal and intrigue, which will be urged as the chief objections to reposing the power in question in a body of men.
Those who have themselves reflected upon the subject, or who have attended to the observations made in other parts of these papers, in relation to the appointment of the president, will, I presume, agree to the position, that there would always be groat probability of having the place supplied by a man of abilities, at least respectable. Promising this, I proceed to lay it down as a rule, that one man of discernment is better fitted to analize and estimate the peculiar qualities adapted to particular offices, than a body of men of equal, or perhaps even of superior discernment.
The sole and undivided responsibility of one man, will naturally beget a livelier sense of duty, and a more exact regard to reputation. He will, on this account, feel himself under stronger obligations, and more interested to investigate with care the qualities requisite to the stations to be filled, and to prefer with impartiality the persons who may have the fairest pretensions to them. He will have fewer porsonal attachments, io gratify, than a body of men who may each bo supposed to
have an equal number, and will be so much the less liable to be misled by the sentiments of friendship and of affection. There is nothing so apt to agitate the passions of mankind as personal considerations, whether they relate to ourselves or to others, wło are to be the objects of our choice or preference. Hence, in every exercise of the power of appointing to offices by an assembly of men, we must expect to see a full display of all the private and party likings and dislikes, partialities and antipathies, attachments and animositios, which are felt by those who compose the assembly. The choice which may at any time happen to be made under such circumstancos, will of course be the result either of a victory gained by one party over the other, or of a compromise between the parties. In either case, the intrinsic merit of the candidate will be too often out of sight. In the first, the qualifications best adapted to uniting the suffrages of the party, will be more considered than those which fit the person for the station. In the last, the coalition will commonly turn upon some interested equivalent, “Give us the man we wish for this office, and you shall have the one you wish for that.” This will be the usual condition of the bargain. And it will rarely happen that the advancement of the public service, will be the primary object either of party victories, or of party negociations.
The truth of the principles here advanced, seems to have been felt by the most intelligent of those who have found fault with the provision made, in this respect, by the convention. They contend, that the president ought solely to havo beon authorized to make the appointments under the federal government. But it is easy to show, that every advantage to be expected from such an arrangement would, in substance, be derived from the power of nomination, which is proposed to be conferred upon him; while several disadvantages which might attend the absolute power of appointment in the hands of that officer would be avoided. In the act of nomination, his judgment alone would be exercised; and as it would be his solo duty to point out the man, who with the approbation of the