MARCH 24, 1931
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the General
Assembly of North Carolina:
We are met here today for the purpose of making our decision upon one of the most momentous issues that have gripped, divided, and united the people of this State in your lifetime and mine. What that decision will be I do not myself know. Neither do you. Before finally reaching that decision, you have done me the honor of permitting me to express to you my opinion and convictions upon the question it is your duty to solve.
May I say that I do not ask you to accept without critical question the conclusions that I have reached or the advice that I am about to give you. For myself I wish the right to hold and express my opinion on any question that concerns the welfare of my people, and just as sincerely and vigorously do I wish the same right for each and everyone of you. This is not a question of personalities; it is not a question of friendships. The one unpardonable delinquency of you, or of me, would be for any one of you to take a position and vote on this question on any ground other than that which he believes to be right, after he has honestly weighed every issue.
The gravity of the main issue, and the importance of your decision, I fully understand. Such recommendations as I shall make are made in full realization of the importance of these issues, and in full acceptance of the responsibilities that rest on me as the chief executive of the State. I am the governor of all the people. I____________________