THE PRESIDENT alone," says the Supreme Court, in an opinion heretofore frequently quoted, has, in the vast external realm, with its important, complicated, delicate and manifold problems . . . the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude; and Congress itself is powerless to invade it. As Marshall said in his great argument of March 7, 1800, in the House of Representatives, "The President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations."1 Thus is the actual agency of conduct of international relations within the federal government significantly indicated.
Substantiating its conclusion, the court proceeded to quote from a report of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate, 1816, in making which the Committee was confronted with a proposed resolution recommending certain senatorial activities in the field of international intercourse. After finding that such recommendation would seem to promise no useful result, the report stated certain positive objections:
If it be true that the success of negotiations is greatly influenced by time and accidental circumstances, the importance to the negotiative authority of acquiring regular and secret intelligence can not be doubted. The Senate does not possess the means of acquiring such intelligence. It does not manage the correspondence with our ministers abroad nor with foreign ministers here. It must therefore, in general, be deficient in the information most essential to a correct decision.
The President is the Constitutional representative of the United States with regard to foreign nations. He manages our concerns with foreign nations and must necessarily be most competent to determine when, how, and upon what subjects negotiation may be urged with
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Publication information: Book title: International Executive Agreements:Democratic Procedure under the Constitution of the United States. Contributors: Wallace McClure - Author. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1941. Page number: 300.
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