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

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

of the State to assure impartial justice is sufficient to the particular case in hand. His pronouncement on conditions in the textile industry goes far beyond the problem of immediate justice. His words will not please that unreasonable employer class which is concerned only with getting as much work and as large profits as possible at the lowest cost. They will please neither the Communists nor the North Carolina natives who have resorted to violence of speech or action in an attempt to solve the social-economic problem. But they will decidedly please the great and preponderant middle public group which is interested in good citizenship and decent living conditions and coöperation between the classes in industry. The governor's rehabilitation program of high wages, shorter hours, and abolition of the compulsory housing system with its paternalistic wage reduction plan, is as progressive as social workers and economists could ask.

Governor Gardner is in accord with the public- spirited observers at the University of North Carolina--with such men as Professor Knight--when he describes the present troubles as the growing pains of a region changing from agriculture to industry. As the governor says, and as Professor Knight has written in The Outlook, other parts of the United States have gone through the same experience, with worse incidents. North Carolina is a poor field for communistic propaganda because of the ancient state of its domestic civilization. Under such political philosophy as that enunciated by its governor its economic readjustment should be steady and broadly peaceful.

Fair words before this have been uttered by mayors and governors in similar circumstances. But there is one passage in the governor's statement which lifts the whole document above the usual plane. Not only does this passage lend sincerity to the context: it reveals the governor as one gifted with insight in the

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