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

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

dition of North Carolina passes in review before the governor's office every day. I meet it in the regular routine of administration, in attempting to formulate a policy with respect to the State's institutions. I meet it each day as the torrent of tragedy pours into my office from all classes of our citizenry. The present economic situation in North Carolina is a challenge that will annihilate the winnings of a quarter of a century, unless we are able, coöperatively and determinedly, to face the issues as they actually are, and with intelligence and courage fight our way back to solid ground.

At the present prevailing prices of tobacco and cotton, the cash income of the farmers of North Carolina for these two crops will amount to $40,000,000 less this year than was received from cotton and tobacco in 1929. In 1929, the cash income from these crops was $42,000,000 less than in 1927. The effect of cutting off $80,000,000 from the productive gross income of the two big agricultural crops of North Carolina in three years means something--and means something big--to every citizen, institution, occupation, and profession in this State. A decrease of $40,000,000 in the gross income of the most prosperous business and the most prosperous individuals in this State represents a staggering blow, not only to them, but to all the rest of us; but the damaging effect of a $40,000,000 loss in the cash income of the farmers of North Carolina is a devastating blow that takes its toll not alone from the landowner and the tenant but from the State itself. As governor, nothing gives me graver concern than the problem of attempting to adjust the public service of North Carolina to the economic conditions today confronting our State.

This year, at the prevailing prices, it is estimated that the cotton crop will lack $24,000,000 bringing as much as in 1929, and that the tobacco crop will lack

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