|1. Facility of hearing for the members.|
|2. Facility of seeing for the president.|
I can discover no good reason for this secresy. If publicity be dangerous, it appears to me that there is least danger for the peers, who are the least exposed to the danger of popular ambition.
Non-publicity+ appears to me particularly disadvantageous to the peers. They require publicity+ as a bridle and a spur; as a bridle, because in virtue of their situation they are thought to have interests separate from the body of the people--as a spur, because their immoveability weakens the motives of emulation, and gives them an absolute independence.
I suppose that the Chamber of Peers is considered as being, or about to become,+ eminently monarchical, as being the bulwark of royalty against the attacks+ of the deputies of the people. But in this point of view, is not the secresy of their deliberations a political blunder?+ Public discussion is allowed to those who by the supposition are enemies of the royal authority, or at least too much inclined to democracy; and those who are considered the hereditary defenders of the king and his dominion,+ are shut up to secret discussion. Is not this in some manner to presume that their cause is too feeble to sustain the observation of the nation, and that to preserve the individuals from general disapprobation, it is necessary they should vote in secret?
When a proposition in the Chamber of Deputies has obtained great popular favour, is it not desirable that the arguments by which it has been opposed should be known? that the body which has rejected it should have the right of publicly justifying its refusal? that it should not be exposed to the injurious suspicion of acting only with a view to its own interest? that it ought not to be placed in so disadvantageous a position in the struggle which it has to sustain? The body which speaks in public, and whose debates are published, possesses all the means of conciliating to itself numerous partisans, whilst those who deliberate in secret can only influence themselves. It would therefore seem that this secresy, so flattering to them,+ had been invented as a means of taking from their influence over opinion, more than was given to them in superiority of rank.+