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The joint resolution directed the Geographer of the United States to ascertain the boundary line between the United States and the States of New York and Massachusetts, agreeably to the deeds of cessions of those States.

Jefferson continued the practice of Jay.


To the Governors of the several States.

NEW YORK, March 31st 1790. SIR

I have the honor to send you herein enclosed two copies, duly authenticated, of the act providing for the enumeration of the inhabitants of the United States ; also of the act to establish an uniform rule of naturalization; also of the act making appropriations for the support of Government for the year 1790; and of being with sentiments of the most perfect respect &c.


It was Jefferson's opinion, however, that some of the correspondence with the governors of the States might be carried on directly with the President. He wrote to the President November 6, 1791:

I have the honour to inclose you a draught of a letter to Governor Pinckney, and to observe that I suppose it to be proper that there should,

I on fit occasions, be a direct correspondence between the President of the U. S. and the governors of the states; and that it will probably be grateful to them to receive from the President answers to the letters they address to him. The correspondence with them on ordinary business may still be kept up by the Secretary of State in his own name.36

There was no doubt, however, that the Secretary of State was to be the sole intermediary of correspondence with our agents abroad and the agents of foreign governments to the United States. The rule was laid down before Jefferson's appointment, when Washington declined direct correspondence with Moustier, the French minister.

American representatives continued to serve abroad without in all cases receiving new commissions. Jefferson wrote to Washington February 4, 1792:

34 Dept. of State MSS., American Letters, Vol. IV. 88 Washington Papers, Record Book, Vol. 20.

The laws and appointments of the antient Congress were as valid and permanent in their nature, as the laws of the new Congress, or appointments of the new Executive; these laws & appointments in both cases deriving equally their source from the will of the Nation: and when a question arises, whether any particular law or appointment is still in force, we are to examine, not whether it was pronounced by the antient or present organ, but whether it has been at any time revoked by the authority of the Nation expressed by the organ competent at the time. The Nation by the act of their federal convention, established some new principles & some new organizations of the government. This was a valid declaration of their will, and ipso facto revoked some laws before passed, and discontinued some offices and officers before appointed. Whenever by this instrument, an old office was superseded by a new one, a new appointment became necessary; but where the new Constitution did not demolish an office, either expressly or virtually, nor the President remove the officer, both the office and the officer remained. This was the case of several; in many of them indeed an excess of caution dictated the superaddition of a new appointment; but where there was no such superaddition, as in the instance of Mr. Dumas, both the office and the officer still remained: for the will of the nation, validly pronounced by the proper organ of the day, had constituted him their agent, and that will has not through any of its successive organs revoked his appointment. 36

The complete power of the Executive over the transaction of business pertaining to foreign countries is illustrated by —

The opinion of the Secretary of State on the construction of the powers of the Senate with respect to their agency in appointing Ambassadors & and fixing the grade.

The Constitution having declared that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls,” the President desires my opinion whether the Senate has a right to negative the grade he may think it expedient to use in a foreign mission, as well as the person to be appointed?

I think the Senate has no right to negative the grade.

The Constitution bas divided the powers of Government into three branches, Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, lodging each with a digtinct magistracy. The Legislative it has given completely to the Senate and House of Representatives : It has declared that the Executive powers shall be vested in the President, submitting only special articles of it to a negative by the Senate: and it has vested the Judiciary power in the Courts of Justice, with certain exceptions also in favor of the Senate.

The transaction of business with foreign nations is Executive altogether. It belongs then to the head of that department, except as to such portions of it as are specially submitted to the Senate. Exceptions are to be construed strictly. The Constitution itself indeed has taken care to circumscribe this one within very strict limits: for it gives the nomination of the foreign Agent to the President — the appointment to him and the Senate jointly; and the commissioning to the President. This analysis calls or attention to the strict import of each term. To nominate must be to propose ; appointment seems to be the act of the will which constitutes or makes the Agent; and the Commission is the public evidence of it. But there are still other Acts previous to those not specially enumerated in the Constitution ; towit 1. the destination of a mission to the particular country where the public service calls for it: and, 2nd. the character, or grade to be employed in it. The natural order of all these is 1. destination. 2nd grade. 3d nomination. 4th appoint

36 Washington Paper3, Record Book, Vol. 20. Writings of Jefferson (Ford), V, 438.

. ment. 5th commission. if appointment does not comprehend the neighboring Acts of nomination or commission, (and the constitution says it shall not, by giving them exclusively to the President) still less can it pretend to comprehend those previous and more remote of destination and grade. The Constitution analyzing the three last, shews they do not comprehend the two first. The 4th is the only one it submits to the Senate, shaping it into a right to say that “A. or B. is unfit to be appointed, but the grade fixed on is not the fit one to employ " or "our connections with the Country of his destination are not such as to call for any mission.” The Senate is not supposed by the Constitution to be acquainted with the concerns of the Executive department. It was not intended that these should be communicated to them: nor can they therefore be qualified to judge of the necessity which calls for a mission to any particular place or of the particular grade, more or less marked, which special and secret circumstances may call for. All this is left to the President. They are only to see that no unfit person be employed.

It may be objected that the Senate may, by continual negatives on the person, do what amounts to a negative on the grade: and so indirectly defeat this right of the President. But this would be a breech of trust, an abuse of the power confided to the Senate, of which that body cannot be supposed capable. So the President has a power to convoke the legislature; and the Senate might defeat that power by refusing to come. This equally amounts to a negative on the power of convoking. Yet nobody will say they possess such a negative, or would be capable of usurping it by such oblique means. If the Constitution had meant to give the Senate a negative on the grade or destination, as well as the person, it would have said so in direct terms, and not left it to be effected by a sidewind. It could never mean to give them the use of one power thro' the abuse of another.




1790 April 24

37 Washington Papers, Record Book, Vol. 20. (Ford), V, 161.

See also Writings of Jefferson

The arrangement of compensation for officers in the foreign service was left to the President, but the act of July 1, 1790, limited the whole amount to be expended to $40,000 per annum, and specified the maximum salaries. The President was authorized

To draw from the treasury of the United States, a sum not exceeding forty thousand dollars, annually, to be paid out of the moneys arising from the duties on imports and tonnage, for the support of such persons as he shall commission to serve the United States in foreign parts, and for the expense incident to the business in which they may be employed. Provided, That, exclusive of outfit, which shall, in no case, exceed the amount of one year's full salary to the minister plenipotentiary or charge des affaires, to whom the same may be allowed, the president shall not allow to any minister plenipotentiary a greater sum than at the rate of nine thousand dollars per annum, as a compensation for all his personal services, and other expenses; nor a greater sum for the same, than four thousand five hundred dollars per annum to a charge des affaires; nor a greater sum for the same, than one thousand three hundred and fifty dollars per annum to the secretary of any minister plenipotentiary. And provided, also, That the president shall account, specifically, for all such expenditures of the said money as, in his judgment, may be made public, and also for the amount of such expenditures as he may think it adviseable not to specify, and cause a regular statement and account thereof to be laid before congress annually, and also lodged in the proper office of the treasury department.

SECT. 2. And be it further enacted, That this act shall continue and be in force for the space of two years thereafter and no longer.

Jefferson submitted the following to the President: Observations &c respecting Diplomatic Matters, and the allowances made

by Congress. The bill on the intercourse with foreign nations restrains the President from allowing to Ministers Plenipotentiary or to Chargés des Affairs more than 9000 and 4500 dollars for their personal services and other expences. This definition of the objects for which the allowance is provided, appearing vague, the Secretary of State thought it his duty to confer with the Gentlemen heretofore employed as Ministers in Europe, to obtain from them, in aid of his own information, an enumeration of the expences incident to these offices, and their opinion which of them would be included within the fixed salary, and which would be entitled to be charged separately. He therefore asked a conference with the Vice President, who was acquainted with the residences of London and the Hague, and the Chief Justice who was acquainted with that of Madrid, which took place yesterday.

The Vice President, Chief Justice, & Secretary of State concurred in opinion that the Salaries named by the Act are much below those of the same grade at the Courts of Europe, and less than the public good requires they should be, consequently, that the expences not included within the definition of the law should be allowed as an additional charge.

1. Couriers, gazetts, translating necessary papers, printing necessary papers, aids to poor Americans; all three agreed that these ought to be allowed as additional charges not included within the phrase “his personal services, and other expences.” —

2. Postage, Stationary, Court-fees. — One of the Gentlemen being of opinion that the phrase “ personal services & other expences,” was meant to comprehend all the ordinary expences of the office, considered this second class of expences as ordinary, and therefore included in the fixed salary the 1" class before mentioned he had viewed as extraordinary. The other two Gentlemen were of opinion this 20 class was also out of the definition, & might be allowed in addition to the salary - one of them particularly considered the phrase as meaning “personal services personal expences,” that is, expences for his personal accommodation, comfort & maintenance. This 20 class of expences is not within that description.

3. Ceremonies; such as diplomatic and public Dinners, Galas & illuminations. One Gentleman only was of opinion these might be allowed.

The expences of the 1st class may probably amount to about 50 Dollars a year; that of the 24 to about four or five hundred dollars. Those of the 3d are so different at different Courts, & so indefinite in all of them that no general estimate can be proposed.

The Secretary of State thought it his duty to lay this information before the President, supposing it might be satisfactory to himself; as well as to the Diplomatic Gentlemen, to leave nothing uncertain as to their allowances ; & because too, a previous determination is in some degree necessary to the forming an estimate which may not exceed the whole sum appropriated. Several papers accompany this containing former opinions on this subject.

The Secretary of State has also consulted on the subject of the Morocco consulships, with Mr. Barclay, who furnished him with the note of which a copy accompanies ibis. Considering all circumstances M'Barclay is of opinion we had better have only one consul there; and that he should be the one now residing at Morocco, because, as Secretary to the Emperor, he sees him every day & possesses his ear. He is of opinion 600 Dollars a year might suffice for him ; & that it should be proposed to him, not as a salary, but as a sum in gross intended to cover his expenses, & to save the trouble of keeping accounts; that this Consul should be authorised to appoint Agents in the Seaports, who would be sufficiently paid by the consignments of vessels. He thinks the Consul at Morocco would most conveniently receive his allowance through the channel of our Chargé at Madrid, on whom also this consulate had better be made dependent for

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