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

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

the leadership of the University of Virginia. It is a happy manifestation of what I have always conceived to be the spirit of the place, and I know it is in harmony with those fine traditions of public service of which Jefferson was the first and foremost exponent and champion. I have gone over your program rather carefully and I find no subject included which is not, in my opinion, both timely and of present acute concern to the thoughtful people of this country.

In opening this discussion on the reorganization of state government, I shall offer no detailed plans or blueprints. This is in any case a task for the expert and, with the exception of a few fundamental principles of universal application, is not susceptible to standardization. It can be approached effectively only in the light of the prevailing conditions, peculiar needs, and the historic traditions of the individual commonwealth. In North Carolina, where a somewhat comprehensive and far-reaching reorganization is contemplated, our first step, as was the case here in Virginia, was to make a thorough study of the present organization, and this study is now under way.

It shall be my purpose, therefore, in opening this discussion, to place the general subjects of efficient state government in its setting of contemporary conditions and life; and to suggest, within the limits of the time at my disposal, an approach to some of the problems that must be solved as a requisite to further progress. It is my thought that the task of actually planning and erecting the structure of an efficient governmental organization requires the advice and services of a trained architect in modern public administration, which, in the element of time, is nevertheless secondary to a thoughtful consideration of preliminary matters. The purpose the house is to serve, the restrictions under which it must be erected, and the personal tastes and desires of the owner must be determined before

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