The American Road to World Peace

By Alfred Zimmern | Go to book overview

political party, and the life of the government depends upon its retaining the confidence of the elected assembly. At any moment, Parliament, by a vote of "no confidence," can bring that relationship to an end.

In other states, where the principle of "the Separation of Powers" has been adopted in the Constitution, as in the United States, the legislature, or Congress, has no direct control over the executive, but carries on its functions independently, in the absence of the executive members. This does not mean that the executive and the legislature are entirely separated from one another: in the close interdependence of all public affairs this could not possibly be. It only means that the relationship between these two branches of the government is not organic, in the sense that the control of the executive by the legislature is laid down in the Constitution, but that it is left to be regulated according to the circumstances at any given time or by understandings or other arrangements outside the letter of the Constitution.


CHAPTER 65: The Legislature:
Its Evolution and Membership

THE United Nations Charter, as we shall see, makes ample provision for the legislative process on the international level. Yet it is not easy to discern in the Covenant of the League of Nations the germ out of which all this activity was to spring.

The Phillimore Plan ignored the legislative process altogether: treaties of guarantee belong to a wholly different realm from that of elected parliaments. The Cecil Plan opens the door a little way in a very cautious manner, characteristic of the relations between the chancelleries and popular assemblies in nineteenth-century Europe. "There might," it said, "be a periodical congress of delegates of parliaments of the states belonging to the League, as a de

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