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essary that the United States should take a part. Now there are thirty-four States. The territories populated by American citizens stretch from the States on the Atlantic to those on the Pacific. There is a population of thirty million souls. At the present moment the United States are employing more soldiers than any other nation, and have acknowledged the necessity of maintaining a large army even when the present troubles shall be over. In addition to this the United States have occasion for the use of statecraft with all the great kingdoms of Europe. That theory of ruling by little men will not do much longer. It will be well that they should bring forth their big men and put them in the place of rulers.
The President has at present seven ministers. They are the Secretary of State, who is supposed to have the direction of Foreign Affairs; the Secretary of the Treasury, who answers to our Chancellor of the Exchequer; the Secretaries of the Army and of the Navy; the Minister of the Interior; the Attorney-General; and the Postmaster-General. If these officers were allowed to hold seats in one House or in the other,-or rather if the President were enjoined to place in these offices men who were known as members of Congress, not only would the position of the President's ministers be enhanced and their weight increased, but the position also of Congress would be enhanced and the weight of Congress would be increased. I may, perhaps, best exemplify this by suggesting what would be the effect on our Parliament by withdrawing from it the men who at the present moment, -or at any moment,-form the Queen's cabinet. I will not say that by adding to Congress the men who usually form the President's cabinet, a weight would be given equal to that which the withdrawal of the British cabinet would take from the British Parliament. I cannot pay that compliment to the President's choice of servants. But the relationship between Congress and the Presi. dent?s ministers would gradually come to resemble that which exists between Parliament and the Queen's ministers. The Secretaries of State and of the Treasury would after a while obtain that honour of leading the Houses which is exercised by our high political officers, and the dignity added to the posi. tions would make the places worthy the acceptance of great men. It is hardly so at present. The career of one of the President's ministers is not a very high career as things now stand; nor is the man supposed to have achieved much who has achieved that position. I think it would be otherwise if the ministers were the leaders of the legislative Houses. To Congress itself would be given the power of questioning and ultimately of controlling these ministers. The power of the President would no doubt be diminished as that of Congress wouid be increased. But an alteration in that direction is in itself desirable. It is the fault of the present system of government in the United States that the President has too much of power and weight, while the Congress of the nation lacks power and weight. As matters now stand, Congress has not that dignity of position which it should hold; and it is without it because it is not endowed with that control over the officers of the government which our Parliament is enabled to exercise.
The want of this close connection with Congress and the President's ministers has been so much felt, that it has been found necessary to create a medium of communication. This has been done by a system which has now become a recognized part of the machinery of the government, but which is, I believe, founded on no regularly organized authority. At any rate no provision is made for it in the constitution; nor, as far as I am aware, has it been established by any special enactment or written rule. Nevertheless, I believe I am justified in saying that it has become a recognized link in the system of government adopted by the United States. In each House standing committees are named, to which are delegated the special consideration of certain affairs of state. There are, for instance, committees of foreign affairs, of finance, the judiciary committee, and others of a similar nature. To these committees are referred all questions which come before the House bearing on the special subject to which each is devoted. Questions of taxation are referred to the finance committee before they are discussed in the House; and the House, when it into such discussion, has before it the report of the committee. In this way very much of the work of legislation is done by branches of each House, and by selected men whose time and intellects are devoted to special subjects. It is easy to see that much time and useless debate, may be thus saved, and I am disposed to believe that this system of committees has worked efficiently and beneficially. "The mode of selection of the members has been so contrived as to give to each political party that amount of preponderance in each committee which such party holds in the House. If the democrats have in the Senate a majority, it would be within their power to vote none but democrats into the committee on finance; but this would be manifestly unjust to the republican party, and the injustice would itself frustrate the object of the party in power; there
goes fore the democrats simply vote to themselves a majority in each committee, keeping to themselves as great a preponderance in the committee as they have in the whole House, and arranging also that the chairman of the committee shall belong to their own party. By these committees the chief legislative measures of the country are originated and inaugurated, -as they are with us by the ministers of the Crown, and the chairman of each committee is supposed to have a certain amicable relation with that minister who presides over the office with which his committee is connected. Mr. Sumner is at present chairman of the committee on foreign affairs, and he is presumed to be in connection with Mr. Seward, who, as Secretary of State, has the management of the foreign relations of the Government.
But it seems to me that this supposed connection between the committees and the ministers is only a makeshift, showing by its existence the absolute necessity of close communication between the executive and the legislative, but showing also by its imperfections the great want of some better method of communication. In the first place the chairman of the committee is in no way bound to hold any communication with the minister. He is simply a senator, and as such has no ministerial duties, and can have none. He holds no appointment under
. the President, and has no palpable connection with the executive. And then it is quite as likely that he may be opposed in politics to the minister as that he may agree with him. If the two be opposed to each other on general politics, it may be presumed that they cannot act together in union on one special subject. Nor, whether they act in union or do not so act, can either have any authority over the other. The minister is not responsible to Congress, nor is the chairman of the committee in any way bound to support the minister. It is presumed that the chairman must know the minister's secrets, but the chairman may be bound by party considerations to use those secrets against the minister.
The system of committees appears to me to be good as regards the work of legislation. It seems well adapted to effect economy of time and the application of special men to special services. But I am driven to think that that connection between the chairmen of the committees and the ministers, which I have attempted to describe, is an arrangement very imperfect in itself, but plainly indicating the necessity of some such close relation between the executive and the legislature of the United States as does exist in the political system of Great Britain. With us the Queen's minister has a greater weight in Parliament than the President's minister could hold in Congress, because the Queen is bound to employ a minister in whom the Parliament has confidence. As soon as such confidence ceases, the minister ceases to be minister. As the Crown has no politics of its own, it is simply necessary that the minister of the day should hold the politics of the people as testified by their representatives. The machinery of the President's Government cannot be made to work after this fashion. The President himself is a political officer, and the country is bound to bear with his politics for four years, whatever those politics may be. The ministry which he selects on coming to his seat will probably represent a majority in Congress, seeing that the same suffrages which have elected the President will also have elected the Congress. But there exists no necessity on the part of the President to employ ministers who shall carry with them the support of Congress. If, however, the ministers sat in Congress,-if it were required of each minister that he should have a seat either in one House or in the other,
- the President would, I think, find himself constrained to change a ministry in which Congress should decline to confide.
a It might not be so at first, but there would be a tendency in that direction.
The governing powers do not rest exclusively with the President, or with the President and his ministers; they are shared in a certain degree with the Senate, which sits from time to time in executive Session, laying aside at such periods its legislative character. It is this executive authority which lends so great a dignity to the Senate, gives it the privilege of preponderating over the other House, and makes it the political safeguard of the nation. The questions of government as to which the Senate is empowered to interfere are soon told. All treaties made by the President must be sanctioned by the Senate; and all appointments made by the President must be confirmed by the Senate. The list is short, and one is disposed to think, when first hearing it, that the thing itself does not amount to much. But it does amount to very much; it enables the Senate to fetter the President, if the Senate should be so inclined, both as regards foreign politics and home politics. A Secretary for Foreign Affairs at Washington may write what despatches he pleases without reference to the Senate; but the Senate interferes before those despatches can have resulted in any fact which may be detrimental to the nation. It is not only that the Senate is responsible for such treaties as are made, but that the President is deterred from the making of treaties for which the Senate would decline to make itself responsible. Even though no treaty should ever be refused its sanction by the Senate, the protecting power of the Senate in that matter would not on that account bave been less necessary or less efficacious. Though the bars with which we protect our house may never have been tried by a thief, we do not therefore believe that our house would have been safe if such bars had been known to be wanting. And then, as to that matter of state appointments, is it not the fact that all governing powers consist in the selection of the agents by whom the action of Government shall be carried on? It must come to this, I imagine, when the argument is pushed home. The power of the most powerful man depends only on the extent of his authority over his agents. According to the constitution of the United States, the President can select no agent either at home or broad, for purposes either of peace or war, or to the employment of whom the Senate does not agree with him. Such a rule as this should save the nation from the use of disreputable agents as public servants. It might, perhaps, have done more towards such salvation than it has as yet effected;-and it may well be hoped that it will do more in future.
Such are the executive powers of the Senate; and it is, I think, remarkable that the Senate has always used these powers with extreme moderation. It has never shown a factious inclination to hinder Government by unnecessary interference, or a disposition to clip the President's wings by putting itself altogether at variance with him. I am not quite sure whether some fault may not have lain on the other side; whether the Senate may not have been somewhat slack in exercising the protective privileges given to it by the constitution. And here I cannot but remark how great is the deference paid to all governors and edicts of Government throughout the United States. One would have been disposed to think that such a feeling would be stronger in an old country such as Great Britain than in a young country such as the States. But I think that it is not so. There is less disposition to question the action of government either at Washington or at New York, than there is in London. Men in America seem to be content when they have voted in their governors, and to feel that for them all political action is over until the time shall come for voting for others. And this feeling, which seems to prevail among the people, prevails also in both Houses of Con