Constitutional Convention. Remarks in
Opposition to the Payment of Members of
the National Legislature by the States1
[Philadelphia, June 22, 1787]
Mr. Hamilton renewed his opposition to it.2 He pressed the distinction between State Govts. & the people. The former wd. be the rivals of the Genl. Govt. The State legislatures ought not therefore to be the paymasters of the latter.
Hunt and Scott, Debates description begins Gaillard Hunt and James Brown Scott, eds., The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Which Framed the Constitution of the United States of America. Reported by James Madison (New York, 1920). description ends , 148.
1. Robert Yates’s version of H’s second speech of June 22 reads:
“It has been often asserted, that the interests of the general and of the state legislatures are precisely the same. This cannot be true. The views of the governed are often materially different from those who govern. The science of policy is the knowledge of human nature. A state government will ever be the rival power of the general government. It is therefore highly improper that the state legislatures should be the paymasters of the members of the national government. All political bodies love power, and it will often be improperly attained.” (Yates, Secret Proceedings and Debates description begins Robert Yates, Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Convention Assembled at Philadelphia, in the Year 1787, For the Purpose of Forming the Constitution of The United States of America (Albany, 1821). description ends , 153.)
2. Following H’s first remarks on this date (“Constitutional Convention. Remarks on Wages to be Paid Members of the National Legislature,” June 22, 1787), James Wilson made a motion that the salaries of the members of the first branch of the proposed national legislature “be ascertained by the National Legislature.” After the Convention defeated Wilson’s motion, a motion made earlier by Oliver Ellsworth providing that the members of the lower house of the legislature be paid by the states was discussed. It was to this motion by Ellsworth that H “renewed his opposition” (Hunt and Scott, Debates description begins Gaillard Hunt and James Brown Scott, eds., The Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787 Which Framed the Constitution of the United States of America. Reported by James Madison (New York, 1920). description ends , 148).