« AnkstesnisTęsti »
ciently limited, and the scope given them be sufficiently ample, they may carry through their work from beginning to end, leaving nothing to seek but the stamp of authority. There are few things more important in the business of the state, than that the results of inquiry and research should be realised by those who have had the conduct of it. B. will never go to work as heartily and competently to give effect to A.'s inquiry as if it had been his own; nor will A. inquire as pertinently and exactly, if he knows that with inquiry his function will cease. A man will inquire to the purpose, and consider the matter with distinctness and directness, then only when he knows that he will have eventually to solve every question that he raises. In general, therefore, a commission which is charged to collect information with reference to the expediency of any measure legislative or executive, should be further charged to conclude for or against the measure, and if con
cluding for it, to draft the bill or instruction by which they would propose that it should be carried into effect.
A commission should seldom consist of more than three members, and in many cases a single commissioner with two secretaries would be better, but for the superior weight and authority which, whether erroneously or not, will attach in the public mind to the judgment of three commissioners as compared with that of Erroneously I believe it to be in all cases where the matter to be judged of by the commission is integral and not separable into portions more or less independent of each other; because in such cases the judgment of the three or more men is almost always determined by the judgment of one amongst
But when the matters in question, though having some mutual relevancy, are susceptible of division in such wise as to admit of different
minds taking different parts, and of different views entering into one general purpose, then it may be expedient that the commission should consist of several members. In truth, the system of governing by a cabinet is founded upon this principle, the cabinet being a board of commissioners for governing the country.
Such boards or other co-operative bodies should be so formed that youthfulness and elderliness may meet in due proportion in their counsels. If any such body be composed wholly of elderly men, it will commonly be found to be ineffective so far as invention of new courses and intrepidity of purpose is required; and perhaps also unequal to any unusual amount of spontaneous activity. If, on the other hand, it be composed wholly of young men, its operations will probably be wanting in circumspection; and the foresight by which it will be guided will be too keenly directed to the objects of a sanguine expectation, too dully to prospects
of evil and counteraction. The respective positions in life of the young and the old operate to these results not less than their temperaments. For the young have their way to make, their reputation to earn; and it is for their interest to be enterprising as well as in their nature: the old have ascertained their place in life, and they have perhaps a reputation to lose.
ON PARLIAMENTARY INTERPOSITION
THE most ordinary case of this interposition is when some civil officer is censured or dismissed by the Government, and a member of Parliament represents the censure or dismissal as unjust.
It can hardly ever be worth while merely for the sake of one individual that the time of Parliament should be thus occupied; but it is well worth while for the sake of such control, from the known possibility of parliamentary interference, as may produce general circumspection and impartiality on the part of the Govern