July 5, 1789

The Senate proceed in a few days to the discussion of the Bills, establishing the Grand Departmts.-- the Clause, vesting in the Presidt. alone, without the advice & consent of the Senate, the removal of the heads of those departmts. at pleasure, will occasion warm debates & probably [typed from printed copy from here] be rejected. On counting noses, those in favor of the Clause are Morris, Carrol, Strong, Elsworth, Patterson, Read, & Henry. Against it Langdon-- R. H. Lee, Grayson-- Izard, Butler-- Maclay, Elmer-- Wingate-- Dalton, Gunn, Few, Johnson, & Basset.

It was carried in our house by a small majority-- I take the numbers [to] be, were all the members present, about 35 for it & 24 against it: [On one] of the divisions, the numbers were, ayes 29-- noes 22-- Should the senate [stand firm], we must give way or lose the Bills.

The Principle of a strong government is carried to extremes by some persons here, especially those who expect either to be in high offices themselves or to be the cabinet council of the President. I conceive the Constitution intended the Senate to be the constitutional council of advice to the President. These high-flyers want to depreciate the Senate & substitute a privy council, behind the Curtain.

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February 3, 2010 at 2:29 PM  

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