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A CONSTITUTIONAL question of the first importance, raised in more or less
acute form in practically every administration from Washington's to Eisenhower's,
is, singularly enough, still wide open. That question is the constitutional
power of the executive to withhold information from the legislature. It
seems to be no nearer settlement today than it was in 1792, when President
Washington announced the right of the executive to exercise its discretion in
communicating executive documents requested by a committee appointed by
the House of Representatives "to inquire into the causes of the failure of the
late expedition under Major General St. Clair."

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