Imágenes de páginas

of it, he may throw it aside altogether. If he approves it, or is in doubt whether he should approve it or not, he submits it to the Senate for its advice. Thirdly, the treaty is now wholly in the Senate's hands, except that the President may at any time that he chooses withdraw it from the Senate's further consideration. The Senate may approve or disapprove the treaty as a whole, it may propose amendments, or it may refuse to act at all. If the Senate amends the treaty it is practically a new one, and both the President and the foreign power must assent to it in its new form. The fourth step is an exchange of ratifications. This is a formal act by which the powers concerned signify that all the steps required to make the treaty binding have been taken. Finally, the President publishes the treaty and by proclamation declares it to be a part of the law of the land. The Senate considers treaties in executive session, and its advice and consent in most cases is merely approval or disapproval of what the President has done. A twothirds vote of the Senate is necessary for the ratification of a treaty.

415. Appointment of Officers. The President nominates, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States that are provided for by law, unless the Constitution itself provides for them. Congress may, however, place the appointment of such inferior officers as it thinks proper in the President alone, in the heads of Departments, and in the courts. The President appoints his private secretary and clerks. The appointment of a somewhat larger number of officers is placed in the courts, while the appointment of a very great number is vested in the heads of the Executive

Departments. Thus, the appointment of all postmasters whose salary is less than $1,000 is placed in the hands of the Postmaster-General. When all these exceptions have been made, a large number of appointments still remains to be made by the President and the Senate.

416. Mode of Appointment.-The first step to be taken in filling an office is for the President to make a nomination in writing to the Senate, specifying the office and naming the officer. The Senate refers the nomination to its proper committee, as of a judge to the Committee on the Judiciary, or of a foreign minister or consul to the Committee on Foreign Relations. The committee investigates the subject and reports the nomination back to the Senate, either with or without a recommendation that the nomination be confirmed. The Senate then grants or withholds its confirmation, as it is called. The Senate acts in such a case, as in the case of treaties, in executive session. If the Senate refuses to confirm, the President makes a second nomination, and so on until the place is filled. The Senate sometimes refuses to confirm a nomination if the Senators from the State where the office is, or one of them, objects to it. This is especially the case when the Senator or Senators belong to the political party that for the time has a majority of the body. This custom, which is wholly without support of law, is known as the courtesy of the Senate.

417. Ambassadors and Other Public Ministers.Public ministers are representatives that one state or nation sends to another to look afte its interests. Ambassadors are the highest rank of ministers. The other grades are envoys extraordinary or ministers plenipotentiary, ministers-resident, commissioners, and chargés d'affaires. The United States now have ambassadors at the capitals of England, France, Germany, and Italy, and represent

atives of inferior grade at many other capitals. The salaries paid these representatives, who are collectively called the diplomatic service, range from $5,000 to $17,500. The duties and rights of ministers are defined by the Law of Nations, called also International Law.

418. Receiving Ministers. It is the duty of the President to receive ambassadors and other public ministers sent by foreign powers to our Government. This ceremony involves the recognition of the power from which the minister comes, and also his own recognition as a man acceptable to the United States. The President can refuse to receive a minister because he is personally objectionable, and can dismiss him for the same reason.

419. Consuls.-The duties of consuls are fixed by treaties and by the municipal law of the nation appointing them. In general it may be said that they look after the commercial interests of the country at large, and assist their countrymen in obtaining commercial rights and privileges. They also perform many other duties. They are business agents and do not rank as ministers. Sometimes, however, diplomatic duties are entrusted to them. A consul-general exercises supervision over the consuls of his country within the country to which he is sent, or within some designated portion of it. The President appoints about 30 consuls-general and about 300 consuls. The highest consular salary is $6,000. Many consuls receive their compensation in the form of fees.

420. Military and Naval Officers.-Unless otherwise provided by law, military and naval officers are appointed in the same manner as civil officers. Still the President, as commander-in-chief, has exclusive control of the commands to which they are assigned. He assigns officers to their places of duty, and removes them for what he deems sufficient reasons. Since 1866 the law

has been that no officer in the military or naval service shall, in time of peace, be dismissed from service except upon, and in pursuance of, the sentence of a court-martial, or in commutation thereof.

421. Removal from Office.-The President has the power of removal as well as of appointment. When the Senate is in session a removal is made in the following way: The President sends to the Senate a nomination, just as though the office were not already filled. If the Senate confirms this nomination, the President then commissions the officer and he enters upon the duties of his office. The former incumbent holds the office until the last of these steps has been taken. If the Senate refuses to confirm, the President must send in a second nomination or allow the incumbent to remain undisturbed. In a recess of the Senate a removal is made

in a somewhat simpler way. The President now appoints directly, and at the same time gives the appointee his commission, who enters upon his office at once. When the Senate meets at its next session, the President must send to that body, for its action, the name of the appointee. If the Senate confirms the nomination, that is the end of the matter. If it refuses to confirm, the President must then make a second nomination. In either case the removal of the former incumbent is final and absolute.

422. Vacancies.-When a vacancy in any office occurs while the Senate is in session, the President makes a nomination, and matters proceed just as explained in the last paragraph. When the vacancy occurs in a recess of the Senate, the President appoints and commissions the officer, and the Senate acts on the nomination at its next session just as in the case of a removal made in the


423. The Civil Service.-The persons who serve the Government in civil or non-military capacities are collectively called the civil service. They are divided into two classes called officers and employés. The two classes are not separated by any consistent rule or practice. Officers, who are much inferior in numbers to employés, are appointed and removed. Employés are employed and discharged, not appointed and removed. Laborers in the navy yards, arsenals, and the like are employés; so are many persons in continued service at custom houses and in other offices as well as many clerks. In 1893 the civil service consisted of about 200,000 persons. Of these 69,000 were postmasters and 40,000 others served in the Post-office Department. Twenty-two thousand were workmen. The others were distributed among the other Departments of the Government.

424. Civil Service Reform.-Until a short time ago it was the custom for the President and others who were clothed with the appointing power to make appointments and removals of officers for political reasons. The same practice prevailed also in respect to employés. On a change of the administration, and especially when it involved a change of party, great numbers of officers and employés would be removed or discharged to make room for others. A Democratic administration was expected to turn out the Republicans, and a Republican administration to turn out the Democrats. This was called the spoils system. Soon after the Civil War the civil service began to attract the attention of the country. Men saw that the spoils system was accompanied by great abuses and corruption. In 1882 an act was passed under which the service has been materially reformed. This act does not apply to any office where the joint action of the President and

« AnteriorContinuar »