Public Papers and Letters of Oliver Max Gardner: Governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933

By Edwin Gill; David Leroy Corbitt | Go to book overview

way open, and the going comparatively easy; again he is faced by obstacles which appear to retard his progress for the time being but which, once surmounted, not only serve as milestones of achievement, but tend to strengthen the courage and enhance the self-confidence necessary to further successful effort.

North Carolina has experienced difficult going these past months and we must face the fact that the future is beclouded with problems which will test our energies, our patriotism, and our social stamina as they have not been tested in this generation. A general return of prosperity will of course help matters, as will a scientific reorganization of our governmental machinery and services with a view to bring about a more efficient and a more economical administration. But even these things, vital as they are in their ultimate effect upon the future growth and development of this State, will not bring us immediately to that fair prospect and open ground which we may describe as a normal increase in revenues sufficient to take care of the normal demands of an enlightened and progressive government. The central fact which we must keep constantly in mind at this time is this, that North Carolina is at the end of the period of borrowing and at the beginning of a period of paying back, and that this necessity applies to the state government itself as well as to its smallest county and municipal sub-divisions. For the first time in ten years we must think of immediate progress in terms of this margin of revenues over and above that necessary for the payment of existing obligations and in terms of present ability of the people to pay. In other words, ladies and gentlemen, North Carolina's joy-ride is over!

I tried to analyze this situation and to suggest some helpful legislation in my message to the General Assembly last Friday. I tried in this message to face with sincerity and frankness the facts as I saw them and to

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