Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

could he hazard such nonsense? But into what absurdi. ties will not the zeal of partizans betray them? When men sacrifice principle on the altar of prejudice, they are not only blind themselves, but they really appear to believe that no one else can see! The fact is, that in all representative governments, where the public will is ge. nerally declared by a concurrent and not a joint act of diffe. rent branches, of either the legislative or executive de, partments, great, injury may result from the perverse obstinacy of any one branch of either. No free constitution can be formed at least none has been formed, which the public functionaries may not perhaps totally destroy, if they are treacherous: the only security yet suggested by the wisdom of man, is, after taking wise precautions to elect safe and proper characters; to ren. der them responsible to their constituents for their conduet. Such precautions and responsibility have hitherto preserved, and we trust in God will long preserve, the United States and the state of Massachusetts, from all the horrors painted by Republicanus, although the right of nomination is confined by the express words of their constitutions, to their chief magistrates; and they have heretofore protected the state of New-York from injury and inconvenience, although the governor exercised that right, without the word nomination being used in their constitution at all.

From these constitutions we are authorised to conclude that a right of nomination expressly confined to the chief magistrate, is perfectly consistent with the right of the senate and council to advise and consent to his appointment; and that the word nominate has been introduced ex abundanti cautela to avoid such disputes as had recently arisen, will be evident when we examine the construction of that part of the constitution of the United States, which authorises the president, by and with the advice and consent of two thirds of the senate, to make treaties : under this provision, although no previous right of proposal is expressly vested in the president, yet he only submits the treaties, after they are negoti. ated, to the senate for their approbation or rejection How different is this from the construction or effect of

!

those words, now contended for by the council and Res publicanus? The words advice and consent must certainly authorise two thirds of the senate to perfect a treaty without ever consulting the president, if they authorise the council to appoint officers without consulting the governor.

According to this sagacious writer, if the governor has a veto on the appointment of the council, he would also have a veto in the appointment of a register of wills made by the legislature; the language being in the one case he shall and in the other he may commission; can this unpopular term veto, used for such execrable purposes in France, be introduced here with similar designs? Or is it only another sound, intended to vary the charges already rung on the word nomination? In fact, the whole position has assumed as granted the only point in question : The governor has constantly denied that the council have any right to appoint at all except in one instance: having shewn that the general right is expressly vested in him; he has only asked, where is it even impliedly granted to the council? Instead of any part of the constitution directing that the governoj may or shall commission any person appointed by the council, there is not a shadow of authority given to them, to appoint any officer except their clerk, who is never commissioned at all: the abo surdity of their being expressly authorised to appoint him, when empowered by the same instrument to appoint every officer in the state, has been already remarked, but the ordinary rule of construction, that a grant of a particular excludes a general power of the same nature, seems to have shared the fate, of all other rules of com. mon sense, with Republicanus. By a separate article, section 57, all commissions, (military excepted,) are to be signed by the governor, and attested by the chancellor; this, like his signature of the laws, is merely a formal and not a discretionary act; nothing can justify the governor more than the chancellor in withholding a commission, unless when claimed by a person, who to his knowledge has not been constitutionally appointed. But surely a mind of ordinary construction would draw an inference from the 41st section, respecting the appointment of register of wills, directly the reverse of this writer's; by that clause the governor's sole duty is simply to commission whomever the legislature recommend, he has nothing to do with the appointment unless in case of vacancy during the recess of the legislature; then he is expressly authorised, by and with the advice and consent of the council, to appoint as well as commission until the meeting of the general assembly. Surely Republicanus has cited this clause under the immediate pressure of lu. nar influence.

In fact, this right as it is called of nomination, where distinct authorities, (call them by what names we please,) are brought to act together, and must concur in making appointments, is in reality a nugatory thing, unless to fix the responsibility where to appointments shall be made at all: men so circumstanced must freely bring into view and discuss different characters until they can mutually agree in a choice. But where a president ne ver personally meets a senate, by whose advice and consent he must appoint, nomination becomes substance instead of form, and is invariably essential; different from this is the situation of a governor who presides in council, whose advice and consent are necessary to enable him to appoint; personal conference supersedes in a great measure the necessity of formal nomination; which therefore appears to be a right or a term unknown and un'notieed by our constitution and our laws. ,

These observations, calculated to shew that the powa er of appointment must necessarily include the inciden-, tal right of nomination under our constituțion, would of themselves be conclusive as to this writer's remarks on that part of article 38, where certain powers are enumerated which the governor is to exercise alone; and also his illustrative observation that the power of nomia nation not being one of those enumerated, he cannot exercise it alone, but it must belong equally to the council. Republicanus cannot certainly be the Friend to Candour, or having that article under his view, he must have proceeded to state, that if nomination is an executive power at all, it must be exercised by the governor solely, for this very

article expressly declares, that he, the governor, may dlone exercise all other the executive powers of govern-, ment, where the concurrence of council is not required by the laws: no law requiring the concurrence of council in making merely a nomination does exist, or tan exist-such a law being in its nature a palpable absurdity:

So much in reply to this constitutional medley of Republicanus; and here this address would close but for the base suggestion that the governor has been influenced by ünworthy and dishonourable motives in this difference with the council on a point of construction—a difference which it has been shewn actually commenced with their earliest official intercourse. The imputation will not be treated with silent contempt. His life we hope is une stained by duplicity or intrigue, and he has ever avowed a readiness to submit his most confidential disclosures to the severest public scrutiny; if what concerns an individual can be thought any way interesting to a state. He is charged with having acted on this occasion from á. personal resentment against. Mr. Montgomery, after a vain attempt to corrupt by allurements the inflexible in tegrity of that gentleman, to vote for him as a sènator of the United States against general Smith-The governor, we trust, will never suffer any provocation to convert a públic question into a private dispute. It is firmly believed that he never felt a sentiment towards Mr. M. but what was sincerely friendly, and that he never allowed himself to speak of him unless he could do so with commendation and respect, until informed of very intem perate and disrespectful language used towards himself, and we believe that he still feels a confidence that Mr.' M. is incapable of having countenanced this infamous aspersion; as we are authorised to say that he had both before and during the session declared to this gentleman, personally, that he had no desire whatever to be elected the sea nator ; that the situation was incompatible with his most interesting object in life-the education of his children : and during the session he had positively told him that if then lected he certainly could not accept the appointment :

, in saying this he had taken occasion strongly to express his high sense of the pretensions of general Smith to any favours, his country should bestow on him: and in return he certainly received from Mr. M. an assurance, which was considered as authorised, that if he really desired the appointment, the present senator would not allow his name to be used against him: It is true that after the previous disqualifying declaration of the governor, such complimentary language could mean but little ; it was regarded as one of those decencies of intercourse between public men; which tending to soften the asperities that may arise from political rivalship, is an honourable oblation at the shrine of private feeling. But it must satisfactorily prove how utterly groundless this calumny has been.

Equally malignant and untrue is the other insinuation of private motives having influenced the conduct of the governor respecting the canal company, That he recommended the proposals of the company to the legislature, is as certainly true, as the assertion of Republicanus that they were rejected by a majority of the delegates is untrue ; they were withdrawn to make way for different substitutes, against the last of which the company them. selves entered a protest. The governor never had the remotest private interest in this canal; he is intimate with but few of its proprietors, the bulk of whom he has considered as rather unfriendly to him from a difference of political sentiment; but these inferior motives of the man were lost in the duty of a public officer, who con. siders the internal improvements of our domestic inter. course, as the first of national objects : Canals particu. larly have always engaged his warm but disinterested support: The partial hand of nature has overspread our country with navigable streams, far surpassing those of any other district of the globe, and requiring but moderate efforts of art to free them from their natural obstructions: Among our great watercourses the Susquehanna takes the lead, from the number and extent of its own navigable branches above tide-water; exclusive of which, it is perhaps the only rival the United States.can successfully oppose to the St. Lawrence, in all that wa

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »