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State bosses had been furnishing it irres- increase the price of the things of which it ponsibly long enough. There was revolt, produces more than it consumes. The not merely against their dictatorship, but whole people want economy, but each against the rule of the self-seeking special part wants appropriations. interests which that dictatorship had rep
"DIRTY WORK" IN THE U. S. SENATE resented. The increasing complexity of life made necessary an enormous ex
FAMOUS Western legislator anpansion of the functions of government. nounced: “I always vote in favor of Bosses did not understand, or did not every appropriation, and against every sympathize with
tax.” He knew, of these new move
course, that no such ments; chaotic, un The Executive Initiates policy could be carled mob-legislatures
ried out, but he Legislative Policies were merely bewil
passed the respondered when con The President's "legislative powers have sibility of balancing fronted with them; not been less than those of a prime minister; appropriations and and it was the they have, indeed, been greater. But they taxes to the govchoice of executive have been subterranean and irresponsible.
ernor. It was ConAnd herein lies the only menace of this leadership or none.
gressman Garner, growing executive leadership. It has proved In more than one
of Texas, to whom in practice the most useful and popular state, the governor
was attributed the power in America. Its danger is that it became the govern
remark: “I'll tell will become autocratic; that it will suborment-and the
dinate the legislature, as it has already done you right now, people, if he was
in such other countries as have copied this every time one of a good governor, feature of our system.
those Yankees gets liked it.
"We have conferred on the executive all a ham, I'm going The executive, functions of a prime minister-except the to do my best to whether President only one which makes that power safe.
get a hog.” Other We do not dare go backward. The leaderor governor, had
and greater men certain qualificaship of the executive is too useful, and we
have confessed to have no substitute for it. The only way tions for this leader
the same policy. out is forward-to equip the executive to ship which the
“What have you do in the open, with the responsibility of legislature, under publicity and the weapons of leadership and
been doing?" an our discrete system, argument, what is now done in secret and
eminent Senator could not get. He often coercive ways."
was asked. “Dirty alone represented
work-getting the whole people.
higher tariffs for my The legislature merely represented the state.” When William S. Holman, the sum of all their parts. To the evil of famous “watch dog of the Treasury,” legislative inefficiency had been added the supported for Indianapolis an appropriavice of legislative log-rolling. Each legis- tion which he had opposed for other lator conceived himself as representing places, Dockery of Missouri killed the the separate interests of his particular dis- proposal with a laugh by quoting: : trict or state, while nobody represented
'Tis sweet to hear the honest watchdog's bark the common good.
Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near The people found within themselves no
home. remedy for this evil. The first concern of each district is for its local interests. The This log-rolling is by no means an whole people may want lower taxes, but American invention. It is a universal each locality wants more money spent on
nuisance in France, and is prevented in itself. The whole people, as consumers, England only by the peculiar device rewant lower prices, but each community ferred to in the second article of this wants whatever of tariff or other laws will series. The writer recalls conversations
The Danger of Executive Autocracy
the state the governor, and in the nation The
a few years ago with the then Prime cabinet of unofficial advisers and introMinisters of Brazil and of Australia. duced into the legislature as the ostensible Each of them vividly described a situation productions of members who usually had exactly like the familiar one in America, had nothing to do with their preparation and complained of it as if it were the pecu and sometimes had very little idea of their liar invention of his own country.
contents. Everybody remembers the Since each constituency, under this in- “My Policies” of Roosevelt, and the corrigible local psychology, requires its famous cartoon in which Taft was reprepresentative to vote for policies which resented as keeping his agreement to would be impossible if applied to all dis- “carry out” those policies by doing it on a tricts, while no district has any separate shutter; but few could recall the names interest in the necessary general measures of their putative sponsors in Congress. for the common good, it became necessary In everything but the physical forms, we to find some one who could represent, have long since come to look on the execuas the disintegrate legislative body did tive as a member of the legislative branch not, the whole people. This representa -at least to the extent of being the tive, in the parliamentary governments, actual author of the principal bills therein. was already the Prime Minister. In
CONGRESS THREATENED BY THE PRESIDENT America the only possible person was, in
HIS is distinctly a function, not of the President.
the chief of state, but of the prime Gradually there has grown up the habit minister. Of the prime minister's characof looking to the executive, rather than to teristics the President has lacked only the private members of the legislative branch, vital features of direct contact and refor the initiation of legislative policies. sponsibility. He and his Cabinet had to In spite of our traditional theories to the slip their bills into Congress under the contrary, this was natural and inevitable. door, and had to trust to quite other It is a function already required by law of methods than open, personal advocacy the executive in other countries, and it is to get them passed. Their legislative incumbent on him by obvious necessity powers have not been less than those of a here. The development of “administra- prime minister; they have, indeed, been tion bills” and of executive leadership in greater. But they have been subterrapushing them through is scarcely an in nean and irresponsible. And herein lies novation, even in America, though its the only menace of this growing executive recent revival has been spectacular, and it leadership. It has proved in practice the is certainly in accordance with sound most useful and popular power in Amertheory, as well as with good practice in ica. Its danger is that it will become government.
autocratic; that it will subordinate the We have as yet few legal provisions for legislature, as it has already done in such the direct introduction of such bills, and other countries as have copied this feature none for their face-to-face public ad of our system. vocacy. The fiction is that the bills are This danger is the greater by reason of the spontaneous proposal of a private the weapons of aggression over Congress member; but actually there is no conceal which our system puts into the hands of ment of their origin. The "Mellon Plan" the President. Not merely has he that never went by any other name; the “La access to publicity which Congress has Follette policies” in Wisconsin are known lost, with which to mobilize public sentiby that name everywhere, though La ment to the more or less legitimate intimiFollette was never a member of the legis- dation of Congress, but he has a direct lature and had no power to introduce or club over the individual congressman pass any bill; and the “Ten Command personally. “Patronage" is the circulatments” of Johnson, in California, were ing medium of practical politics; the curbills drawn at his suggestion by a kitchen rency in which its obligations are incurred
and paid. Until forty years ago, the grown up the additional executive instituwhole vast civil service of the United tion of a cabinet or ministry, as the chief States was in the direct power of the Presi- organ of administration, and also, in most dent, and the custom was to "turn the countries, as the bridge between the rascals out" with each change of party executive and legislative branches. control. The Civil Service Reform Laws There are three forms of cabinets, of now limit that, as to the great army of which the American is the most curious routine employees, but there are still and the least developed. thousands of important offices, and a
THE CABINET IN GREAT BRITAIN multitude of smaller posts, with which political services can be rewarded. The HE typical “” cabinet Congressman who these appoint of course the British Ministry, on ments to distribute among his supporters which, more or less directly, all other can get them only through the President. cabinets have been modeled. And Presidents, even the most idealistic The development of the British Cabinet of them, have not hesitated to use this makes too long a story to tell here. In its club to drive members into line on their present form it consists simply of the
leaders of the majority party in ParliaAdministrative favors other than ap ment. These ministers, without losing pointments, distributed by the heads of their seats or activity in Parliament, bethe executive departments, are another come also the heads of the executive depotent means of discipline. A large part partments of the Government. It is as of a congressman's work consists of run though the Chairman of the House Comning errands to the departments for in mittee on Appropriations were made also dividual constituents or local community Secretary of the Treasury ex-officio. A interests. Even a little more attention to few "without portfolio" have only parliathe member who has been “good” and a mentary functions, and all of them are little more red tape in the way of the chosen with prime regard for their parliamember who has been unruly, may make mentary usefulness.
mentary usefulness. They are rarely the difference between their respective experts on the detailed administration of success or failure.
their particular departments. They be
come responsible for its major policies, REMOVE THESE BACK-STAIRS!
and especially for leading upon those HIS is not leadership; it is bossism. policies in Parliament; but in actual ad
And to the extent to which the execu ministration, according to Lloyd George, tive is tempted to resort to these means, they personally make only one decision his power over Congress, even if exercised in ten thousand. All the rest is done by for good, is a menace to the structure of permanent under-secretaries. our institutions. We have conferred on But that ten-thousandth decision is the the executive all the functions of a prime one which determines the policy of the minister-except the only one which Empire. It is made before Parliament, makes that power safe. We do not dare and subject to its approval. "Dear go backward. The leadership of the Henry,” wrote Robert Lowe to his executive is too useful, and we have no brother in 1868, “I am Chancellor of the substitute for it. The only way out is Exchequer, with everything to learn.” forward-to equip the executive to do in Sir Edward Carson, when appointed First the open, with the responsibility of publi- Lord of the Admiralty, said: "My only city and the weapons of leadership and qualification is that I am absolutely at argument, what is now done in secret and
We have had Secretaries of the often coercive ways.
Navy similarly qualified. The chief of state and prime minister The Cabinet's prime functions are to head the executive branch of government, legislate. It is "the Government." Its but throughout the world there has also duty is to introduce the major measures,
Other Countries Avoid Legislative Deadlocks
to sustain them on the floor, and to resign their number during the term. There is and give way to the leaders of the Opposi- constant temptation to personal and faction when it can no longer hold a majority tional intrigue to bring this about. The of the House of Commons for its policies. minister introduces the bills of his own
. It is a collective body; each member pre- department, but these bills, especially
, sides over a particular department and the budget measures, are freely made over represents it on the floor, but the policies in committees, and the rapporteur (not are those of the Cabinet, and not those of the chairman) of the committee frethe individual minister. If there are quently appears as a rival to the minisdifferences of opinion, as there must be ter's leadership on the floor. Both the even in a body chosen as representative of office and the leadership of the minister a common policy, these differences are are much more precarious than in Great threshed out in private, inside the Cab- Britain. French ministers are usually, inet, and the dissenting minister either but not necessarily, members of the yields or resigns. Before Parliament Senate or of the Chamber of Deputies, and the nation they present a united but whether members or not they have front. If the Cabinet is defeated in the seats and the right to speak in both ChamCommons on any matter of importance, bers. In England they must be members it either resigns at once or asks the King of one House, and can speak only in that to dissolve Parliament and call a new House. election. This is the way most general It would be tedious to describe the elections in Britain are called and held. cabinets of other countries having a reThen the people decide. There can be no sponsible parliamentary ministry. They such thing as a deadlock.
vary much in detail, but are essentially The governments of the British Dom- one in principle. Most observers would inions follow in general the model of the agree that their variations from the parent country, with the addition, British model are generally not improveCanada and Australia, of a Federal sys- ments. tem, with state parliaments and minis- There is a second or intermediate systries.
tem, in which the members of the cabi
net may not be members of the legislaON THE CONTINENT
ture or responsible to it, but nevertheless THER responsible
. parliamentary vary Most , but detail. On the Continent there is never Switzerland and the Argentine, and the a party majority in the lower house. short-lived Confederate States of AmerThere are eight major parties in France ica, are good examples among republics. and twelve in Germany, besides innumer
LEGISLATURE HEARS THE CABINET able minor parties. The majority is always a coalition, determined, not by the N Switzerland the seven members of the people at the election, but by political Federal Council, who constitute the trades among the party groups in the executive branch, are not members of the Deputies afterward.
Assembly nor responsible to it. They do In France the ministry can be over- not resign if their measures are defeated thrown not merely on a major legislative or contrary measures are passed, but policy, but also on a minor administra- loyally carry out the legislative mandate tive criticism. There is no appeal to the -as President Coolidge, for instance, is people, and the new ministry is quite as doing in America with the bonus law. likely to represent the same or a similar But they have seats in both Houses of the party grouping as it is the Opposition. National Assembly and freely take part The Deputies sit their four years without in its debates and introduce measures. risk of dissolution, but they usually see Bills introduced by private members are several ministries in power from among commonly referred to them for report, and
O Thalia memuatries withieses panzibie hause seats ihese aade theoriarthies speaker
often, instead of introducing a bill, a old German Constitution which operated member will move that they be requested in the direction of democracy rather than to formulate and introduce it. The whole of autocracy. In the new German Rerelation is cordial and cooperative, and public, the ministers are responsible to the there is none of that spirit of antagonism Reichstag. manifest in France between Ministers and Even the ill-starred Russian Duma had Deputies or in England between Govern as its chief, and only valuable privilege, ment and Opposition. Switzerland's ex the presence of the ministers and the perience indicates
right to question that the presence
them. of executives in The President of the United
In India, in the Parliament may
majority of the work all the better
functions of govif they are not "As leader of the people he has no com ernment, ministers members of the
petitor. While what little is left of debate are in no sense legislative body nor in Congress is ignored, the President's every responsible to the responsible to it. word reaches practically every person in Legislative CounAmong monarch the nation. He is the only individual all of
cils, nor dependent ies, the best example whose speeches and messages are printed in
Neverof this intermediate full by every newspaper and are generally
theless, they are system is the presread by all the people. If he speaks over
subject to the radio, every broadcasting station on the
quesent transitional continent is hooked up or silent, and every
tion” at all of the situation in Japan. receiving set is tuned-in to listen. He can
meetings of the Japanese cabinet in a day set the whole people to thinking of
Council. The ministers need not one thing, and so can promptly crystallize a
writer can testify, be members of the public sentiment, to which, to be sure, he from personal obDiet, and rarely are must himself finally yield if it is adverse, servation, that this of its lower house. but to which also he can finally compel is one of the most They have, how Congress to yield if it is favorable. He
important and useever, seats, a voice, can, by inspiring 'feelers,' quietly sound out
ful functions in the and the right to public opinion in advance of taking a
beginnings of selfintroduce bills, in
personal position. He can instantly com-
government in Inboth Houses. A
dia. number of experts, on any subject. All Japanese ministry knowledge is at his disposal, for the asking.
Thus it does not is not yet responsi He need make no hasty, unconsidered, or
at all follow that the ble to the Diet, ignorant decision, and yet he can decide physical presence of though it may quickly. He is equipped as no one else cabinet ministers in eventually become could be to achieve and to exercise popular the legislative body SO. leadership."
involves their selecIn the old Im
tion from its memperial Government
bership, or their reof Germany, the Chancellor, the sole Im- sponsibility to it. To add this feature to perial Minister, was responsible only to our American system would not commit the Emperor; the Prussian ministers of us to adding later the other f atures of the state were responsible to the King, and
British system. the members of the Federal Council to Only in the United States, and in a their respective state sovereigns. They few Latin-American paper constitutions were not under any obligation to resign copied directly from ours, does the third if their measures were defeated by the system, of complete aloofness, prevail. Reichstag or the Prussian Diet, but they The curious thing about the American had seats and the constitutional right to Cabinet is that it is not a cabinet at all. unlimited debate. Experience showed It is not so even in law. It has no collecthat this was one of the few features of the tive or corporate existence, legal or actual.