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

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

far as it has wilfully mortified its employees, deserves Governor Gardner's rebuke.

Governor Gardner also understands the predicament of textile capital, the distressing conditions of the industry, which would discourage all but the most enterprising employers from introducing a higher wage scale than the lowest with which the mills could be manned. To bring industry out of the doldrums the governor proposes a conference of trade authorities and industrialists throughout the South. If the conference is conducted under the conservative and informed leadership which Governor Gardner represents it is not unlikely that substantial relief may be produced.

Governor Gardner's criticism of the communist agitators, whose activity has aggravated and complicated the primary problem of a declining industry and its overworked and underpaid employees, is not too severe. "Violence, communism, and class hatred are not going to solve the problem," the governor said. "This applies to all elements responsible for violence.

"Communism, by its violent and venomous propaganda, its obvious attempt to utilize the existing situation for its own ulterior, subversive, revolutionary purposes, has served only to bedevil the issue, to foment high passion, and to interfere with an intelligent and dispassionate approach to the problem."

If Governor Gardner can persuade the strikers that the Reds can do nothing and want to do nothing to improve the industrial condition and the condition of the workers in the South, he will have cleared the way for industrial readjustment and reconstruction. The communists are not true friends of their new converts. The agitators subsist on hard times, and it is their business to prolong hard times. So long as they can divert attention from the real economic problem involved by raising the ogre of capitalization for primitive

-704-

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