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H. OFR.)

Foreign Intercourse.

[FEBRUARY. 1798.

tioned by the mover of this amendment, he was tendency to make one branch of the Government persuaded he only meant to introduce the subject depend on the other. on general ground. The idea, as he understood This spirit of grasping at wealth and power him, was, that all nations and societies were had been so great, that it had even attached itself liable to depart from original principles, to cor- to religious opinions. When the Christian relirupt their Governments, and in the end to sub- gion was first preached, it was of a democratic vert them; and that, in this country, we were spirit; and afterwards it became aristocratic, and subject to an improper connexion of the different then monarchic. When, therefore, this lust after departments. That it was necessary to guard power had been so general, it could not be said against this, if an appearance of such a connexion ihat this country was not liable to the same vices should at any time appear. He thought this was and errors. so obvious that it would be acknowledged by This consideration was also worthy of attenevery one that we were equally liable with other tion. Men of the best private character had been pations to this corruption. With respect to what supporters of these corrupt sysiems. It seemed, had been said respecting appointments to office therefore, as if there should be some line of disbeing confined to men of particular sentiments, it tinction between private character and political had been acknowledged by some gentlemen to conduct. Though a man may possess the greatest have been observed in the choice of men in the private integrity, he may still support such prindiplomatic corps; but others had acknowledged ciples as may lead to arbitrary power. There that the regulation was a general one.

could be no doubt that those persons who mainWas it not evident, Mr. H. asked, that in other tained the divine right of Kings were many of countries, original principles of Government were them men of the greatest integrity; but their docdeparted from? That there was an incessant trines were not the less mischievous on that acdesire after wealth, honor, and power? He never count. In the same way it might be reasoned heard of a Monarchy which did not suppose itself with respect to the United States. Men may be under the necessity of creating a sort of Govern-induced to support opinions which have a tendency ment party, who had the disposal of large sums of to subvert the Government, by placing all power money, which they could distribute among per- in the hands of the Executive, and make the sons who were subservient to their purposes. He Government a sort of four years' monarchy. Yet, believed this disposition had prevailed in all these men may be men of the greatest integrity, ages of the world, and had been the cause of and even patriotic, according to their views of most of the wars and calamities which had rava. patriotism; but if others believe their opinions ged the earth. It must be evident to every one have this tendency, it is their duty to represent that peace, independence, and equality, must con- them to the people of the United States, leaving stitute the happiness of every country; but it was them to decide the point. notorious that the leading men in most countries Mr. H. concluded by observing, he had heard had been opposed to these, for their own ends. no reason suggested for a Minister at Berlin ; por Beccaria, he said, in his Essay on Crimes and could he see any use for one at the Hague. He Punishments, had laid it down as a certain prin- was of opinion that Vienna would be a more fit ciple, that there were in every society such a place for the residence of a Minister than Berlin. class of men.

In England, perhaps, this was We have no commerce with that country; and if more evident than in any other nation. A set of we had any wish to intermeddle in the subject of men appeared early in that country to render the the balance of power in Europe, we might as well Executive power a Government of despotism. send embassies to the Emperors of Germany and The doctrines of passive obedience and the divine Russia. But he believed we had no business with right of Kings, continued to be asserted for one this balance or power. He thought it was possiwhole reign. After the Revolution, the funding ble so to manage our affairs as to have nothing to system was set on foot, which bound men to the do with any of them. Nor did he think we had Executive by interest; in fact, persons were hired anything to fear on the subject of invasion; if to support a certain system of measures. It must there was any danger, it must be from Eogland, appear evident that the great cause of keeping by way of Canada. Besides, if we were to have that country continually engaged in war, had any serious difference with France, he knew of been the host of placemen and pensioners con- no use our Ambassadors could be of. It might, tained in the two Houses of Parliament, who were perhaps, be necessary to have Ambassadors at always inclined to support measures in which London, Paris, and perhaps Spain and Portugal; they found the greatest interest. The Treasury if others were necessary at any time, special must be considered as the head of the body politic; agents could be sent. He hoped, therefore, the and whatever party got into power, they pursued amendment would be agreed to, as he thought it the same course-a course which had now brought was a proper time to make a retrenchment in the that nation to the verge of bankruptcy and ruin. expenses of this department of Government; and,

If this was the constant course in other coun- however small the saving might seem, it was of tries, was not this country, he asked, equally consequence to make every saving possible, whies liable to the same evils? He believed it was. he wished to be applied io the discharge of the He did not say that the evil had gone far; but he public debt. thought it was proper that we should be on our Mr. Williams, of New York, said, that though guard against any doctrine which may have a the present subject had already taken up much

FEBRUARY. 1798.]
Foreign Intercourse.

[H. or R. time, as he considered the question of importance; When the Executive informed the House, seven and, as its decision was connected with a Consti- or eight months ago, that he was about to renew tutional question, he must be permitted to make treaties with Sweden and Prussia, money was a few observations upon it. When the amend- ; appropriated for a Minister for that purpose withment was first introduced, he did not see the ob- out opposition; but it was said he was now to be reject to which it led so distinctly as he now saw called. He would suppose that one of the gentleit. If the object of the gentleman from Virginia men who advocated this amendment had been had been to bring back the foreign intercourse to chosen on this embassy, and he had arranged his the same situation in which it stood in 1796, he business at home, and taken his station abroad, would have passed over the first section of the would he have liked to have been thus recalled ? bill and gone on to the third, because the first is No; he would have said Government was unstathe same as that of the bill passed in 1790. But ble, and not to be depended upon. his object had since appeared to be a total annihi- But it was said by the proposer of the amendlation of our foreign intercourse. He wished to ment that he was devoted to a republican Govdo this, he said, to save expense; but the only ernment; but, to use the language of the good Constitutional ground upon which the House book, "by their works ye shall know them.” If could interfere in this business, was as it related gentlemen can produce proofs of their attachment to salaries; if these had been found too high, he to the republican cause, they will be credited. But should have no objection to lower them. If the the gentleman îrom Virginia had talked of “feeble gentleman had thought that two years was too minorities” governing, which was not consonant long a time to enact this law, he might have to a republican system. The minority he conmoved an alteration in that respect; but he could sidered as a spark of fire, which, if not put out, not consent to doing away the intercourse alto- might consume the whole fabric. But the yeogether, as it would not only be rendering our manry of the country, who were the most virtuaffairs abroad totally inactive, but be arrogating ous and stable men in the community, had been to ourselves a power which the Constitution had the only check on this subject; it was they who placed in another department.

had, by their adherence to the support of good This was the same Constitutional question, in order, saved the Government from ruin. They a different garb, that was agitated six or seven are not like the inhabitants of large cities, who weeks on the British Treaty, and which had also are as changeable as the wind. occupied three weeks of the last session; so that, Much had been said about the political sentiinstead of saving any expense, this debate alone menis of the Executive, and of his choosing offiwould cost more than the foreign Ministers that cers of the same opinion with himself. He was gentlemen wished to dispense with. Besides, the perfectly justified in doing this to a certain depresent situation of things was ill calculated for gree, and that he did not attend to these circumthe introduction of such a question, which served stances in all these appointments was evident only to produce a warmth which tended to ob- from one which had taken place in a department struct the business of the House.

of considerable trust during the present session; He complained that the gentleman from Geor- but that all the heads of departments and the digia had, in his warmth, drawn conclusions from plomatic corps should agree in political opinion ihe President's Speech in the year 1790, which with him is certainly proper, in order to carry on could not be maintained. [Mr. W. read the ex- the business of Government with harmony; othertract alluded to.] The same gentleman had re- wise, said he, there would be a continual jarring, marked, that he was for doing away the hostility and the good book says, “a house divided against which existed between the differeni departments itself cannot stand.” of Government; but, Mr. W. asked, what harmo- His colleague (Mr. Havens) had just now said, ny could exist if the President appointed an offi- if the opinion, which the opposers of this amendcer, the Senate concurred in the choice, and that ment held, prevailed, everything must be done House refused to appropriate for his salary? If according to the will of the Executive. If he this check was to be exercised, it would also be had interfered with their Legislative business, acted upon in the Senate, and might give them said Mr. W., this observation might have been the power, by lowering the pay of members, to just. If the Executive wanted a person to reguprevent any but men of properiy from accepting | late our commerce in foreign countries, would he of seats in that House. Six shillings a day were choose one who had always been opposed to comonly allowed to the members of the House of merce of every kind? Such a choice would be Commons in England, and, he asked, if the Sen- wholly inconsistent. The conduct of the Presiate should reduce, by their check.' the pay of dent, in this respect, was similar to what was members to that sum, whether any man of mode- adopted every day in that House in the appointrate circumstances could attend the duty of that ment of committees, who were always chosen House? This, then, said he, would prevent the from men who were supposed to be acquainted mediocrity from sending the meinbers of their with the business on which they were to act. choice, as no one could attend except those whose Mr. W. denied that an appointment to office proprivate fortunes would admit of it. and this would duced any influence, as he knew from what had cause our Representatives to be the same as the taken place in his own State, the Governor of House of Commons, and an aristocracy would be which was similarly circumstanced in that reproduced.

spect with the President of the United States. 5th Con.-35


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H. OF R.]

Foreign Intercourse.


year 1789.

Where one person was served, twenty were dis- and in the way he thought best. With respect to appointed, and he knew that the Governor of his the appointment to office, when the General ConSlate bad nearly lost his election from the offence vention met for settling the Constitution, they he had given in the election of a sheriff in the had considerable difficulty in this respect; but as

it had been agreed that the small States should be But gentlemen had said that we had no occa- represented in the Senate by as many members as sion for Ministers to foreign Courts; that we the large States, and retain their sovereignty, it ought to be considered merely as buyers and ven- was thought the power of appointing to office, and ders of European manufactures. If this were true, the power to make treaties, would be best lodged no Minister would be wanted. Were we, then, to there. The small States having bad this indul. do nothing with our surplus agricultural produce, gence, could never agree to concede the doctrine with our fish, &c. ? When he thought on this sub- now contended for, as to the power of the House ject. he was surprised at the conduct of some of of Representatives, because it would be doing the representatives of large cities. As he was a away that solemn compact entered into between representative of farmers, he might say that no the large and small States at the forming the foreigo Minister was necessary ; but when he re- present Constitution. Besides, if this doctrine flected that by giving encouragement to com- was adopted, the Government could not operate merce, a competition was produced in the market at all. Suppose the foreign intercourse was done which enhanced the price of produce, he saw the away, and after the rising of the present session, propriety of that encouragement; because, when the Directory of France should so far come to the farmers brought their produce to market for their senses as to be williog to do us justice, by sale, the greater the competition between our making restitution for the spoliations committed merchants and foreign merchants, the greater on our commerce, and paying our citizens what chance of obtaining a ready sale and a higher they had promised them, a new treaty would be price.

necessary—for our present treaty is done away if But it was said the President might abuse the we choose that it should be so, as they have power that was placed in him; but this was to broken it; as, by the law of nations, if a treaty is suppose the people had been so foolish as to elect entered into between two nations, and one breaks a man to this office who was unfit to be trusted. any part thereof, the other is not bound unless it Indeed, all the observations of gentlemen on this chooses. But the President would be unable to head were founded on a supposition that the Pre- appoint a Minister until an appropriation was sident and Senate had views and interests different made, and Congress must be called together for from those of their constituents. If the President the purpose of making it; and if a majority of did act contrary to his duty, he was liable to that House were opposed to such a treaty, the impeachment; and if the Constitution wanted President could not negotiate it. Thus the prinamending, it might be amended. Indeed, amend- ciples of the Constitution would be changed, and ments had been proposed in the Legislature of rendered inactive. Virginia and negatived, but he saw the proposi- The objection which he now made had been tion was again renewed, proposing to alter the realized in the State of New York. The year Constitution with respect to the treaty-making after the Constitution was adopted, two members power, agreeably to the sentiments of the repre- were to be sent to the Senate of the United States, sentatives from that quarter; which was a tacit when, from a difference of opinion between the acknowledgment that the Constitution does not two branches of the Legislature of that State, as support those opinions at present. Let us, said to the men to be elected, no choice was made until he, be contented with the powers given us by the a new election of the Legislature took place, people—the will of the people should be his guide; when both branches being of the same political and when the people thought proper to alter the opinion, the Senators were appointed. Besides, Constitution, he would be sati:fied; but he would this mode would create an enormous expense, benot take power from the people which they cause, in every case where a Minister was wanted, thought proper to withhold.

the whole Congress must be called together, and But it was said. our commerce produced a par- when so called, a majority of the House of Repretiality for Great Britain. If this were so, what sentatives might not agree that a treaty was nethen? If our merchants choose to go to Great cessary, and refuse an appropriation, or they Britain in preference to other countries, ought the might withhold an appropriation, unless the PreLegislature to prevent them? If they were par- sident would nominate such a person as the matial to Great Britain, he supposed it was because jority thought proper. Besides, four States would they found it their interest to go there. The Vir- rule the other twelve, because the States of Virginians, two years ago. sold their horses to Great ginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and MassaBritain, because they gave them a good price for chusetts, had a majority of members. Again, said them, and the members in that House were Mr. W., from the observations of the gentlemen dressed from top to toe in English manufactures, in favor of the amendment, they themselves would because they believed them beiter than any other; not agree to any one object, for one wanted a Minand as the Virginians were permitted to sell their ister, and of such a grade, to this, and the other horses at the best market, he hoped that he, as a to that Court, and another quite different. farmer, might be permitted to sell the produce of Though much had been said relative to our late his farm where he could get the most for it, Minister at Paris, he should not have tuuched


FEBRUARY, 1798.]

Foreign Intercourse.

[H. OF R.

upon it, but from what had fallen from the gen- duct of our Minister at London. This gentleman, tleman from Virginia, who had said that peace he said, had been of the greatest possible advanmight have been secured to this country, but that tage to this country. When any of the commerit had been cast from us by sacrificing that Minis-cial agents applied to him, instead of writiog to ter. If he were sacrificed, he sacrificed himself. the Judge Advocate General a diplomatic letter, If he could not have done the business in which he waited himself upon the Judge; and, in one he was to be employed in an acceptable way to decision alone, he had obtained for damages and Government, he ought to have refused the mis- freight, for one house in this city, £2,750 sterling. sion, as it was said another gentleman had done. He had also obtained the passing of a law to inHe believed that the Executive, in the whole of demnify neutral claims of spoliation, and upwards the business with France, had acted in the most of $3,500,000 were appropriated for that purpose. determined manner to preserve our neutrality, And seeing that the Court of Admiralty there and at the same time our friendship with the was inclined to procrastinate our business, he had French nation. But if they took a view of the obtained by his perseverance a promise that the conduct of the agents of the French Government Court would sit again in November last. So that which had been sent here, it would be matter of it may be fairly said, that our Minister in London surprise that we had been able to keep out of war. has been the means of saving to the citizens of The Government and people of the United States this country more than all the diplomatic expense had assisted France in every way they could, to which it had been put; and though this money though they were frequently charged with in- does not immediately go into the Treasury, yet it gratitude to that country. Mr. W. asked when is the means of enriching our country. gentlemen spoke of the party which supported Mr. W. denied that Consuls do the business of The Executive, whether they did not think the Ministers, as nothing was paid them for their serparty raised against him by means of these French vices. He also took a view of the large sums paid agents and their friends had not been fisty times to British Consuls at their factories in foreign stronger than that occasioned by the funding sys- countries; one Consul, said he, at Elsinore, had tem and the return of disaffected persons during more income than all our foreign Ministers. Beour Revolution ? He believed they did. Let gen- sides, Consuls must dance attendance at foreign tlemen attend to what the sacrificed Minister had Courts, and they cannot do this unless they are done whilst in Paris, or rather to what he had paid; and at some Courts they would not be pernot done. Had any compensation been obtained nitted to do business—and, if they were, Minisfor injuries done to our commerce long before the ters would do more at one visit than fifty visits of British Treaty was formed; or, for the mischiefs Consuls; therefore, there could be no saving of done at Bourdeaux in 1793 and 1794 ? What had expense, but greater delays occasioned, and, in the been done to redress the singular and forced sales end, the business would not be done. of cargoes for non-performance of contracts, &c. ? But it had been said that the Executive had He had heard nothing that he had done to redress greatly raised his influence by the law funding these grievances. But the gentleman from Vir- ihe domestic debt of the United States. This act ginia had said, that he was sorry his friend had passed the 4th of August, 1790, when nine-tenths published the communications which had passed of the paper allowed to be funded was out of the between him and their Government. Mr. W. hands of original owners; so that, if it occasioned believed that the gentleman alluded to, and his any speculation, it was a speculation upon specufriends, would have reason to be sorry that this lators. If the Executive had meant to have inbook had been published. That publication evi- creased his influence by this measure, he would dently showed that he had gone farther than he have recommended the measure when this species was empowered to do. However, the book and of property was in the hands of a number, rather the remarks made and to be made thereon were than when engrossed by a few. Besides, those before the people; they are the tribunal; with called speculators are about equally divided for them he would leave it, as they were the proper and against the Executive. He knew that much judges, and would judge rightly.

had been said about this and other subjects in The gentleman from Virginia had determined Congress about that time, which the people called to preach to the people, but the people ought to "mapeuvering.” Much was said about the “Pehear both sides of the question, and if he preached nobscot expedition, the “South Carolina frigate," on one side, the other ought not io be withheld from the temporary and permanent "seat of Governthem. This preaching was commenced two years ment,” &c. The effect of which, to the State of ago, and gentlemen had preached themselves from New York. had been a loss of the seat of Governa majority of 62 to 37 (which they had in calling ment, and a supposed heavy debt. With all for papers from the President in respect to the which, however, he knew nothing that the ExBritish Treaty) to a majority of 53 to 45 against ecutive had to do in the business; but he knew them, which was the division at the commence the debt was an unjust charge against the State ment of the last session, on a vote in answer to of New York, and he hoped would never again the President's Speech, approving of his conduct. be called for. The next class which had been This change had been produced by the election spoken of as increasing the influence of the Exewhich had taken place in the meantime.

cutive was the disaffected in the cause of the ReHaving touched upon the conduct of our Min-volution-those who were attached to the Govister at Paris, he would contrast with it the con- ernment under which they lived, and refused to

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H. OF R.]

Foreign Intercourse.

[FEBRUARY, 1798.

join in opposing it. This was a high trait in their Spain into a war, by its firmness of conduct; but character, and i hey yet preserved it; and they are this had not been ihe case, the Executive bad now firmly attached to the present Government. spoken a firm American language, and they had

These, then, were the supporters of Govern- heard it; and, if the same one had been observed ment-he wished to know who were its opposers? toward France, that country must long since have When the Government first went into execution, heard it. But the cry of the people are with the people were nearly divided for and against it. us” had done the mischief. Persons, however, crowded from every quarter to Mr. W. said, he was informed, and believed it be appointed to office under it; so that ten appli- to be true, that a company of persons had fitted cations were made for one office, and those per- out four privateers, which had captured sixty-one sons who had been disappointed had ever since of our vessels, and only three of the English. By remained the opposers of Government, and he these means, the honest merchant, who would doubted not the present amendment was produced not be seen in carrying contraband goods, had by the same cause.

been ruined, and innumerable failures had been Soon after this, followed the French Revolu- the consequence. The farmers had credited the tion, when our citizens employed in the carrying merchants with their produce, until the return trade brought the rich produce of the island of St. cargo arrived; but, alas! it had been captured; so Domingo into this country; but as the French that in numerous instances the farmer had lost would not admit of this in time of peace, the all, which by the sweat of the brow had been English now disputed that right, and because our raised, in order to fulfil his contracts. These Executive had refused to interfere, but was deter- failures had filled the courts of law with suits for mined to preserve our neutrality, it had raised up breaches of contracts, and been the ruin of numa powerful party against him. At the commence- bers, so that our prisons are filled with debtors, ment of the Government, three-fourths of the in- and the money gone out of the country. The habitants of the large cities were in favor of the "feeble minorities," and "the people are with new Government; and those of the country, nearly us," have been the reason why the resources of in the same proportion against it. But after the our country were not called for seven or eight revolution which he had mentioned had taken years ago; and, if called for then, our debt might place, the inhabitants of the large commercial have been paid, and luxury and dissipation precities became opposed to the Executive; and when vented, which have outrun our population. the yeomanry saw this, and that it was the object The yeomaory of this country, Mr. W. said of the Executive to preserve the peace of the wished the French nation success in the estabcountry, they became united in its support. Their lishment of their Government; they wished to be love for order and liberty, religious as well as at peace with them and all the world, and they civil, made them the firm supporters of it, under would be heavily drawn into a war with any the protecting hand of Providence.

country. But the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. The gentleman who brought forward this Gallatin) had declared, “The people are with amendment had concluded his observations with us." This and the "feeble minorities” was the what he was glad to hear—that, if there was a source, he believed, from whence sprung all our necessity, he would turn out in defence of his difficulties. Who told the Freneh nation in 1793 country. He hoped every true American would that the people of this country were with them ?" do so. But he did not believe any nation would Who encouraged the Ministers of France in this have the hardihood to attack us. We had a milcountry to make their appeals to the people ? lion of men, who, possessed of the spirit of 1776, Were these the friends and supporters of Govern- would come down like a torrent against any atment? If the Ministers of this country had acted tack which might be made upon the country. in France as those of that country had acted here, The retrenchment of our expenses was certainly would they not have been long since guillotined, a desirable object; but the support of our Govand that without the shadow of a trial ? And ernment, and the maintenance of its rights and would those Ministers ever have acted as they privileges, were of still higher importance. Let did, if they had not known there was a party in us reason together, and act as guardians of the this country who approved of their measures? people ought to do. Let us coolly and deliber

The British, observing this favorable disposition ately reflect on our situation as a nation, and forof the people of this country towards France, de- get any misunderstanding which we have allowed termined to take time by the forelock, and issued to harbor in our breast. When party distractions the order which had been so much complained of are wrought to an extreme height, when jealfor capturing our vessels; so that this country had ousies and suspicions universally pervade pot only lost five or six millions of dollars from the cry of ourselves but ihe community, however interest"feeble minorities," and "the people are with us." |ing the subject, however necessary the duty, it But when the English saw ihai the Executive will be a difficult task to arrest either our own or was firm, and could not be driven from its neu- the public attention by an impartial inquiry into trality, but would go to war with them unless the true interests of the country; for, when the they desisteil, they forebore, and made overtures mind is heated, it is not in a state to listen to the for compensating the injuries they had done us, dictates of reason. And when we shall have and are now making payments therefor.

traced the wisdom which directed, the firmness It had been said that ihe Executive was driving which effected, the Revolution, and seen that we

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