Front Page Titles (by Subject) SENTIMENTS EXPRESSED BY THE PRESIDENT TO THE COMMITTEE FROM THE SENATE, APPOINTED TO CONFER WITH HIM ON THE MODE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND THE SENATE RESPECTING TREATIES AND NOMINATIONS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. XI (1785-1790)
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SENTIMENTS EXPRESSED BY THE PRESIDENT TO THE COMMITTEE FROM THE SENATE, APPOINTED TO CONFER WITH HIM ON THE MODE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND THE SENATE RESPECTING TREATIES AND NOMINATIONS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. XI (1785-1790) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. XI (1785-1790).
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SENTIMENTS EXPRESSED BY THE PRESIDENT TO THE COMMITTEE FROM THE SENATE, APPOINTED TO CONFER WITH HIM ON THE MODE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT AND THE SENATE RESPECTING TREATIES AND NOMINATIONS.
August 8th, 1789.
In all matters respecting Treaties, oral communications seem indispensably necessary; because in these a variety of matters are contained, all of which not only require consideration, but some of them may undergo much discussion; to do which by written communications would be tedious without being satisfactory.
Oral communications may be proper, also, for discussing the propriety of sending representatives to foreign courts, and ascertaining the grade, or character, in which they are to appear, and may be so in other cases.
But it may be asked where are these oral communications to be made? If in the Senate-chamber, how are the President and Vice-President to be arranged? the latter by the constitution being ex-officio President of the Senate. Would the Vice-President be disposed to give up the chair? If not, ought the President of the United States to be placed in an awkward situation when there? These are matters, which require previous consideration and adjustment for meetings in the Senate-chamber or elsewhere.
With respect to nominations, my present ideas are, that, as they point to a single object, unconnected in its nature with any other object, they had best be made by written messages. In this case the acts of the President and the acts of the Senate will stand upon clear, distinct, and responsible ground.
Independently of this consideration, it could be no pleasing thing, I conceive, for the President, on the one hand, to be present and hear the propriety of his nominations questioned, nor for the Senate, on the other hand, to be under the smallest restraint from his presence from the fullest and freest inquiry into the character of the person nominated. The President, in a situation like this, would be reduced to one of two things; either to be a silent witness of the decision by ballot, if there are objections to the nomination, or in justification thereof (if he should think it right) to support it by argument; neither of which might be agreeable, and the latter improper; for, as the President has a right to nominate without assigning his reasons, so has the Senate a right to dissent without giving theirs.
SENTIMENTS DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT AT A SECOND CONFERENCE WITH THE COMMITTEE OF THE SENATE, AUGUST 10, 1789.
The President has the power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties and to appoint officers.
The Senate, when this power is exercised, is evidently a council only to the President, however its concurrence may be to his acts. It seems incident to this relation between them, that not only the time, but the place and manner of consultation, should be with the President. It is probable, that the place may vary. The indisposition or inclination of the President may require, that the Senate should be summoned to the President’s house. Whenever the government shall have buildings of its own, an executive chamber will no doubt be provided, where the Senate will generally attend the President. It is not impossible, that the place may be made to depend in some degree on the nature of the business. In the appointment to offices, the agency of the Senate is purely executive, and they may be summoned to the President. In treaties, the agency is perhaps as much of a legislative nature, and the business may possibly be referred to their deliberations in their legislative chamber. The occasion for this distinction will be lessened if not destroyed, when a chamber shall be appropriated for the joint business of the President and the Senate.
The manner of consultation may also vary. The indisposition of the President may supersede the mere question of conveniency. The inclination or ideas of different Presidents may be different. The opinions, both of President and Senators, as to the proper manner, may be changed by experience. In some kinds of business it may be found best for the President to make his propositions orally and in person, in others by a written message. On some occasions it may be most convenient, that the President should attend the deliberations and decisions on his propositions; on others that he should not; or that he should not attend the whole of the time. In other cases, again, as in treaties of a complicated nature, it may happen, that he will send his propositions in writing, and consult the Senate in person after time shall have been allowed for consideration. Many other varieties may be suggested as to the mode by practice.
If these remarks be just, it would seem not amiss, that the Senate should accommodate their rules to the uncertainty of the particular mode and place, that may be preferred, providing for the reception of either oral or written propositions, and for giving their consent and advice in either the presence or absence of the President, leaving him free to use the mode and place, that may be found most eligible and accordant with other business, which may be before him at the time.1
[1 ]“In Senate, August 21st, 1789.