Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

Mr. Wilson. The difficulties and disputes will increase with the attempts to define and obviate them. Queen Ann was obliged to dissolve her Parliament, in order to terminate one of these obstinate disputes between the two houses. Had it not been for the mediation of the Crown, no one can say what the result would have been. The point is still sub judice in England. He approved of the principles laid down by the Honourable President* (Doctor FRANKLIN) his colleague, as to the expediency of keeping the people informed of their money affairs. But thought they would know as much, and be as well satisfied, in one way as in the other.

General PINCKNEY was astonished that this point should have been considered as a concession. He remarked, that the restriction as to money bills had been rejected on the merits singly considered, by eight States against three; and that the very States which now called it a concession were then against it, as nugatory or improper in itself.

On the question whether the clause relating to money bills in the Report of the Committee consisting of a member from each State, should stand as part of the Report -Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, aye—5; Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, no—3; Massachusetts, New York, Georgia, divided.

A question was then raised, whether the question was carried in the affirmative; there being but

[ocr errors]

* He was at that time President of the State of Pennsylvania.

five ayes, out of eleven States present. For the words of the Rule, see May 28th.

On this question,-Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye_9; New York, Virginia, no—2.

(In several preceding instances like votes had sub silentio been entered as decided in the affirmative.)

Adjourned.

[ocr errors][merged small]

In Convention,—The question, shall the clause allowing each State one vote in the second branch, stand as part of the Report,” being taken up,

Mr. GERRY. This is the critical question. He had rather agree to it than have no accommodation. A Government short of a proper national plan, if generally acceptable, would be preferable to a proper one which, if it could be carried at all, would operate on discontented States. He thought it would be best to suspend this question till the Committee appointed yesterday should make report.

Mr. SHERMAN supposed that it was the wish of every one that some General Government should be established. An equal vote in the second branch would, he thought, be most likely to give it the necessary vigor. The small States have more vigor in their Governments than the large ones; the more influence therefore the large ones have, the weaker

will be the Government. In the large States it will be most difficult to collect the real and fair sense of the people. Fallacy and undue influence will be practised with most success; and improper men will most easily get into office. If they vote by States in the second branch, and each State has an equal vote, there must be always a majority of States, as well as a majority of the people, on the side of public measures, and the Government will have decision and efficacy. If this be not the case in the second branch, there may be a majority of States against public measures ; and the difficulty of compelling them to abide by the public determination will render the Government feebler than it has ever yet been.

Mr. Wilson was not deficient in a conciliating temper, but firmness was sometimes a duty of higher obligation. Conciliation was also misapplied in this instance. It was pursued here rather among the representatives, than among the constituents; and it would be of little consequence if not established among the latter; and there could be little hope of its being established among them, if the foundation should not be laid in justice and right.

On the question, shall the words stand as part of the Report ?-Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, aye—6; Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, no—3; Massachusetts, Georgia, divided.*

Mr. GERRY thought it would be proper to proceed to enumerate and define the powers to be vested in the General Government, before a question on the Report should be taken as to the rule of representation in the second branch.

* Several votes were given here in the affirmative, or were divided, because another final question was to be taken on the whole Report.

Mr. MADISON observed, that it would be impossible to say what powers could be safely and properly vested in the Government, before it was known in what manner the States were to be represented in it. He was apprehensive that if a just representation were not the basis of the Government, it would happen, as it did when the Articles of Confederation were depending, that every effectual prerogative would be withdrawn or withheld, and the new Government would be rendered as impotent and as short-lived as the old.

Mr. PATTERSON would not decide whether the privilege concerning money bills were a valuable consideration or not; but he considered the mode and rule of representation in the first branch as fully so; and that after the establishment of that point, the small States would never be able to defend themselves without an equality of votes in the second branch. There was no other ground of accommodation. His resolution was fixed. He would meet the large States on that ground, and no other. For himself, he should vote against the Report, because it yielded too much.

Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. He had no resolution unalterably fixed except to do what should finally appear to him right. He was against the Report because it maintained the improper constitution of the second branch. It made it another Congress, a mere whisp of straw. It had been said (by Mr.

Gerry), that the new Government would be partly national, partly federal; that it ought in the first quality to protect individuals; in the second, the State. But in what quality was it to protect the aggregate interest of the whole ? Among the many provisions which had been urged, he had seen none for supporting the dignity and splendor of the American Empire. It had been one of our greatest misfortunes that the great objects of the nation had been sacrificed constantly to local views; in like manner as the general interest of States had been sacrificed to those of the counties. What is to be the check in the Senate ? None; unless it be to keep the majority of the people from injuring particular States. But particular States ought to be injured for the sake of a majority of the people, in case their conduct should deserve it. Suppose they should insist on claims evidently unjust, and pursue them in a manner detrimental to the whole body: suppose they should give themselves up to foreign influence: Ought they to be protected in such cases ? They were originally nothing more than colonial corporations. On the Declaration of Independence, a Government was to be formed. The small States aware of the necessity of preventing anarchy, and taking advantage of the moment, extorted from the large ones an equality of votes. Standing now on that ground, they demand, under the new system, greater rights, as men, than their fellow-citizens of the large States. The proper answer to them is, that the same necessity of which they formerly took advantage does not now exist; and that the large States are at liberty now to consider what is

Vol. I.-66 *

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »