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of the Senate and of the country strongly to this part of the case. I say again, therefore, that when this vote for the three millions was proposed to the Senate, there was nothing before us, showing that the President recommended any such appropriation. You very well know, sir, that this objection was immediately stated as soon as the message from the House was read. We all well remember that was the very point put forth by the honorable member from Tennessee, (Mr. White,) as being, if I may say so, the butt-end of his argument in opposition to the vote. He said, very significantly, and very forcibly, "It is not asked for by those who best know what the public service requires; how then are we to presume that it is needed?" This question, sir, was not answered then it never has been answered since; it never can be answered satisfactorily.

But let me here again, sir, recur to the message of the President. Speaking of the loss of the bill, he uses these words:

"This failure was the more regretted, not only because it necessarily interrupted and delayed the progress of a system of national defence projected immediately after the last war, and since steadily pursued, but also because it contained a contingent appropriation, inserted in accordance with the views of the Executive, in aid of this important object, and other branches of the national defence, some portions of which might have been most usefully applied during the past season."

Taking these words of the message, sir, and connecting them with the fact that the President had made no recommendation to Congress of any such appropriation, it strikes me they furnish matter for very grave reflection. The President says that this proposed appropriation was "in accordance with the views of the Executive;" that it was "in aid of an important object;" and that "some portions of it might have been most usefully applied during the past season.

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And now, sir, I ask, if this be so, why was not this appropriation recommended to Congress by the President? I ask this question in the name of the Constitution of the United States; I stand on its own clear authority in asking it; and I invite all those who re-, member its injunctions, and who mean to respect them, to consider well how the question is to be answered.

Sir, the Constitution is not yet an entire dead letter. There is yet some form of observance to its requirements; and even while any degree of formal respect is paid to it, I must be permitted to continue the question, why was not this appropriation recommended? It was in accordance with the President's views; it was for an important object; it might have been usefully expended. The President being of opinion, therefore, that the appropriation was necessary and proper, how is it that it was not recommende to Congress? For, sir, we all know the plain and direct words in

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which the very first duty of the President is imposed by the Constitution. Here they are:

"He shall, from time to time, give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."


After enumerating the powers of the President, this is the first, the very first duty which the Constitution gravely enjoins upon him. And now, sir, in no language of taunt or reproach, in no anguage of party attack, in terms of no asperity or exaggeration, but called upon by the necessity of defending my own vote upon the subject, I now, as a public man, as a member of Congress here in my place, and as a citizen who feels as warm an attachment to the Constitution of the country, as any other can, demand of any who choose to give it, an answer to this question: may NOT THIS MEASURE, WHICH THE PRESIDENT DECLARES THAT HE THOUGHT NECESSARY AND EXPEDIENT, RECOMMENDED TO CONGRESS?" And why am I, and why are other members of Congress, whose path of duty the Constitution says shall be enlightened by the President's opinions and communications, to be charged with want of patriotism and want of fidelity to the country, because we refused an appropriation which the President, though it was in accordance with his views, and though he believed it important, would not, and did not, recommend to us? When these questions are answered, sir, to the satisfaction of intelligent and impartial men, then, and not till then, let reproach, let censure, let suspicion of any kind rest on the twenty-nine names which stand opposed to this appropriation.

How, sir, were we to know that this appropriation "was in accordance with the views of the Executive"? He had not so told us, formally or informally. He had not only not recommended it to Congress, or either House of Congress, but nobody on this floor had undertaken to speak in his behalf. No man got up to say, "The President's desire is, he thinks it necessary, expedient, and proper." But, sir, if any gentleman had risen to say this, it would not have answered the requisition of the Constitution. Not at all. It is not a hint, an intimation, the suggestion of a friend, by which the Executive duty in this respect is to be fulfilled. By no means. The President is to make a recommendation; a public recommendation, an official recommendation, a responsible recommendation, not to one House, but to both Houses; it is to be a recommendation to Congress. If, on receiving such recommendation, Congress fail to pay it proper respect, the fault is theirs. If, deeming the measure necessary and expedient, the President fail to recommend it, the fault is his, clearly, distinctly, and exclusively his. This, sir, is the Constitution of the United States, or else I do not understand the Constitution of the United States. Does

not every man see how perfectly unconstitutional it is that the President should communicate his opinions or wishes to Congress on such grave and important subjects, otherwise than by a direct and responsible recommendation-a public and open recommendation, equally addressed and equally known to all whose duty calls upon them to act on the subject? What would be the state of things, if he might communicate his wishes or opinions privately to members of one House, and make no such communication to the other? Would not the two Houses be necessarily put in immediate collision? Would they stand on equal footing? Would they have equal information? What could ensue from such a manner of conducting the public business, but quarrel, confusion, and conflict? A member rises in the House of Representatives, and moves a very large appropriation of money for military purposes. If he says he does it upon Executive recommendation, where is his voucher? The President is not like the British King, whose ministers and secretaries are in the House of Commons, and who are authorized, in certain cases, to express the opinions and wishes of their sovereign. We have no king's servants; at least we have none known to the Constitution. Congress can know the opinions of the President only as he officially communicates them. It would be a curious inquiry in either House, when a large appropriation is moved, if it were necessary to ask whether the mover represented the President, spoke his sentiments, or, in other words, whether what he proposed were "in accordance with the views of the Executive." How could that be judged of? By the party he belongs to? Party is not quite unique enough for that. By the airs he gives himself? Many might assume airs, if thereby they could give themselves such importance as to be esteemed authentic expositors of the Executive will. Or is this will to be circulated in whispers ? made known to the meetings of party men? intimated through the press? or communicated in any other form, which still leaves the Executive completely irresponsible? So that while Executive purposes or wishes pervade the ranks of party friends, influence their conduct, and unite their efforts, the open, direct, and constitutional responsibility is wholly avoided. Sir, this is not the Constitution of the United States, nor can it be consistent with any constitution which professes to maintain separate departments in the Government.

Here, then, sir, is abundant ground, in my judgment, for the vote of the Senate, and here I might rest it. But there is also another ground. The Constitution declares that no money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law. What is meant by "appropriations"? Does this language not mean that particular sums shall be assigned, by law, to particular objects? How far this pointing out and fixing the

particular objects shall be carried, is a question that cannot be settled by any precise rule. But "specific appropriations," that is to say, the designation of every object for which money is voted, as far as such designation is practicable, has been thought to be a most important republican principle. In times past, popular parties have claimed great merit from professing to carry this doctrine much farther, and to adhere to it much more strictly than their adversaries. Mr. Jefferson, especially, was a great advocate for it, and held it to be indispensable to a safe and economical administration and disbursement of the public revenues.

But what have the friends and admirers of Mr. Jefferson to say to this appropriation? Where do they find, in this proposed grant of three millions, designation of object, and particular and specific application of money? Have they forgotten, all forgotten, and wholly abandoned, even all pretence for specific appropriation? If not, how could they sanction such a vote as this? Let me recall its terms. They are, that "the sum of three millions of dollars be, and the same hereby is appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to be expended, in whole or in part, under the direction of the President of the United States, for the military and naval service, including fortifications and ordnance, and to increase the navy; provided such expenditures shall be rendered necessary for the defence of the country, prior to the next meeting of Congress."

In the first place, it is to be observed, that whether the money shall be used at all or not, is made to depend on the discretion of the President. This is sufficiently liberal. It carries confidence far enough. But, if there had been no other objections, if the objects of the appropriation had been sufficiently described, so that the President, if he expended the money at all, must have expended it for purposes authorized by the Legislature, and nothing had been left to his discretion but the question, whether an emergency had arisen, in which the authority ought to be exercised, I might not have felt bound to reject the vote. There are some precedents which might favor such a contingent provision, though the practice is dangerous, and ought not to be followed except in cases of clear necessity.

But the insurmountable objection to the proposed grant was, that it specified no objects. It was as general as language could make it. It embraced every expenditure that could be called either military or naval. It was to include "fortifications, ordnance, and increase of the navy," but it was not confined to these. It embraced the whole general subject of military service. Under the authority of such a law, the President might repair ships, build ships, buy ships, enlist seamen, and do any thing and every thing else touching the naval service, without restraint or control.

He might repair such fortifications as he saw fit, and neglect the rest; arm such as he saw fit, and neglect the arming of others; or build new fortifications whenever he chose. But these unlimited powers over the fortifications and the navy constitute, by no means, the most dangerous part of the proposed authority; because, under that authority, his power to raise and employ land forces was equally absolute and uncontrolled. He might levy troops, imbody a new army, call out the militia in numbers to suit his own discretion, and employ them as he saw fit.

Now, sir, does our legislation, under our Constitution, furnish any precedent for all this?

We make appropriation for the army, and we understand what we are doing, because it is "the army," that is to say, the army established by law. We make appropriations for the navy; they, too, are for "the navy," as provided for and established by law. We make appropriations for fortifications, but we say what fortifications, and we assign to each its intended amount of the whole sum. This is the usual course of Congress on such subjects; and why should it be departed from? Are we ready to say that the power of fixing the places for new fortifications, and the sum allotted to each; the power of ordering new ships to be built, and fixing the number of such new ships; the power of laying out money to raise men for the army; in short, every power, great and small, respecting the military and naval service, shall be vested in the President, without specification of object or purpose, or the entire exclusion of the exercise of all judgment on the part of Congress? For one, I am not prepared. The honorable member from Ohio, near me, has said, that if the enemy had been on our shores he would not have agreed to this vote. And I say, if the proposition were now before us, and the guns of the enemy were battering against the walls of the Capitol, I would not agree to it.

The people of this country have an interest, a property, an inheritance in this INSTRUMENT, against the value of which forty Capitols do not weigh the twentieth part of one poor scruple. There can never be any necessity for such proceedings but a feigned and false necessity; a mere idle and hollow pretence of necessity; least of all, can it be said that any such necessity actually existed on the 3d of March. There was no enemy on our shores; there were no guns pointed against the Capitol; we were in no war, nor was there a reasonable probability that we should have war, unless we made it ourselves.

But whatever was the state of our foreign relations, is it not preposterous to say, that it was necessary for Congress to adopt this measure, and yet not necessary for the President to recommend it? Why should we thus run in advance of all our own duties, and leave the President completely shielded from his just responsibility?

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