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needless difficulties with that country, our criticism is directed against our President. The share of the executive head is thus a very real one.
II. EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS DISTINCT FROM THOSE AS AGENT
FOR THE LEGISLATURE The chief executive has functions of the greatest importance entirely aside from those which he performs in his primary capacity of administrative agent for the legislative. In actual practice, the duties of the executive as administrative agent of the legislative, important as they are, are largely performed in routine manner by the army of assistants in the executive branch of government, but the powers which we shall outline below are exercised by the chief executive himself.
Function of Recommending Legislation. In his relations with the legislative the chief executive commonly has means of suggesting, initiating, or influencing legislation on matters of general concern. The means by which this end is accomplished differ radically in different states.
Under the English system the ministry, which is the actual executive head, is itself a part of the dominant party in the House of Commons, itself frames legislative measures, superintends their enactment by the lower chamber, and influences in one way or another the considerations of the upper chamber.
In post-war Germany, the executive head (the President) of the republic is a nominal executive, the real executive being a cabinet ministry, wholly responsible to the legislative body.
In France the executive head (the President) is invested with the power to initiate legislation directly, but comparatively seldom avails himself of the privilege. There the real power is in the hands of the ministry, and it is the part of this ministry to prepare, introduce, and defend legislative measures.
In the United States neither the executive head (the President) nor any member of his cabinet is a member of the legislative, nor has the executive head any direct representative in the legislative body. He may, however, have an important part
in initiating and influencing legislation in various ways. For example, under the constitution he is required to give from time to time “to the Congress information of the state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." He fulfills this requirement by regular messages delivered to Congress at the beginning of each of its regular sessions and by such special messages as he may deem needful throughout the sessions. The amount of influence which these messages have upon the legislative body may be great or little, depending upon the political relations between the executive and the legislature, the wisdom of the suggestions, and the personal aggressiveness with which the suggestions are followed up. Furthermore, although the President has no accredited representatives in the Congress, he always has friends of his own party who will introduce measures in just the form he desires.
Veto Power.-In most states a very important legislative power in the hands of the executive head consists in his constitutional right to veto any legislative enactment. Such a veto is commonly under the constitution not final; in other words, provision is made for the passage of legislation over the veto of the executive head, generally by some unusual majority in the legislative chambers. In the United States, for example, the President must give his reasons for his veto, and the Congress must reconsider the measure in the light of the presidential veto, a two-thirds majority in each house serving to pass the measure in spite of the veto. In Germany, the executive is not empowered to veto legislation. He does have power, however, in case of a disagreement between the Reichstag and the Reichsrat, either to annul the proposed legislation by not promulgating it, or to refer it to the people. In case the Reichstag overrules the objections of the Reichsrat by a twothirds majority, the executive no longer has the power of annulment but must either refer the measure to the people or promulgate it as law. The executive head of France has no power of veto upon the laws, but may require the reconsidera
tion of proposed measures. In England the veto of the executive head is absolutely final, thus forming an exception to the general rule, but as a matter of fact the nominal executive head (king) never uses the veto, and the actual executive head (ministry) is the proposer and sponsor of all measures passed by the legislative body. The veto, therefore, has practically ceased to exist in English government.
Ordinance Power for Effecting the Operation of Laws.Another function of the executive head which is legislative in character is the power to make and put into effect such ordinances as are necessary for the execution of legislative measures. Under this power the executive head actually drafts a very considerable amount of legislation. In the United States commonly the legislative measures are framed so as to cover all possible questions and to provide the means for their own proper execution; and yet all the regulations for the army and navy, all the rules governing the postal service, customs service, internal revenue service, civil service, consular service, are ordinances drawn up and promulgated by the executive. In foreign states, where legislative acts usually embody only the essentials, a much greater burden of ordinance preparation for the proper execution of the enactments devolves upon the executive, and this power is correspondingly more important.
Power over Meeting of Legislative Body.-In most states the executive head is invested under the constitution with certain rights relative to convening, adjourning, or dissolving the legislative body. In the United States, and in many of the republics patterned after it, the regular sessions of the legislative body are provided for by the constitution or by statute, and the power of the executive head is confined to convening the legislative in extraordinary session for special business. In other states, especially those in which a monarchical form has been retained, the executive head issues the summons to convene the legislative body and formally opens each session. Thus, in England, Parliament is always summoned by the king (at the direction of his ministry) and
opened with a formal address from the throne (prepared or carefully revised by the ministry). The King of Italy convokes the two houses each year; he also has the power to prorogue their sessions and to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies, provided however he convoke another within four months of the dissolution. In Japan, the Emperor convokes the imperial diet, opens its proceedings and closes them, and has the power to prorogue a session and to dissolve the House of Representatives.
Power in International Relations. In the relations between states, i.e. in international relations, the executive head becomes the representative of the whole state. Through this executive head all communications to and from other states are transmitted. The powers of the chief executive in the matter of treaties and commercial agreements with foreign states are very great. Usually the consent of one or both houses of the legislative body is necessary to ratify a treaty negotiated by the chief executive, but in a few states, as in England, where the ministry is the actual representative of the legislature and is subject to direct control by the legislature, the legislative body has no share except to pass such measures as will make the provisions of the treaty effective. In the United States the Senate has claimed and exercised the right to amend treaties negotiated by the executive head as well as to ratify or reject them, and the House of Representatives reasonably shares in the ratification, rejection, or amendment of certain classes of commercial agreements, as reciprocity bills.
Power to Command Military Forces of the State. The chief executive in all states is in supreme command of the military forces of the state. His right to distribute the forces both of the army and of the navy in such manner as seems most suitable, to choose officers, and, in case of war, to plan and carry through such operations as will bring ultimate success to the state, is unquestioned. The unanimous agreement of the great states of the world in concentrating the military forces of the state in the hands of the chief executive alone is
due to the necessity of having perfect unity in the operations of such forces.
Power in Connection with the Declaration of War.-Together with the supreme command of its military forces, the executive head is in some states, as England, invested with the power to declare war. In most states, however, the consent of one or both houses of the legislature is necessary to a declaration of war. Thus, in France the President must have the consent of both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. In the United States the right to declare war is vested in the Congress.
Pardoning Power.—Lastly, in most states the executive head is invested under the constitution with the power to pardon any one convicted by the courts of the state. Even under a most efficient system of administering justice it is impossible to be sure that no mistakes are committed; the pardoning power exists primarily for the purpose of correcting such mistakes as may be discovered.
Under some constitutions cases of impeachment or convictions for treason are specifically excepted from the operation of the executive pardon. The purpose of these exceptions is to prevent the possibility of an executive conniving with officials in high crimes against the state and using the pardoning power to shield himself and his accomplices from the results of conviction.
Summary of Functions and Powers of Executive Head. From the preceding paragraphs the great importance of the chief executive is manifest. He is the chief of that department which is the agent of the legislative body in the vast and complicated business of administering the laws of the state; he has an important part in the actual framing of legislation, either by direct or indirect initiative of measures in the legislative body, or by his influence upon the legislative body, by his veto, or by the ordinances made to carry into effect measures passed by the legislative body; he has powers relative to the convening, adjourning, or dissolution of the legislative