Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 7 of 263
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then forming with little material wealth and a total population of only a
few thousands, with its then perplexing problems, we must say that the
genius of Texas has gone a long way.
Truly then, our six million people with billions of wealth in oil, cotton,
timber, cattle, and natural resources should have nothing to fear today.
We are ready for a new cycle of progress. It shall be my concern that
that progress may be directed primarily in the interest of Texas' six
millions. This great State, with its unbounded resources and a citizenship
in whose veins still flows the achieving blood of pioneers, can lead the
nation in its recovery march.
We can, we must, restore opportunity, vitality and hope to our distressed
people. It can be done. If we can be but furnished with the type of
patriotic leadership Texas needs, if the natural resources and the wealth
of Texas are properly developed and distributed, if greedy privilege is
kept out of government and legislative halls-in short, if Texas is properly
governed by all of us who have been honored by the people-then the
task so boldly begun by our great National leader can be completed.
The program of the Federal government now recognizes that "charity
is a poor substitute for justice." Too many of our fine citizens now
upon relief do not belong there, did not want to be there, and were
placed there by circumstances utterly beyond their control. So far as
it is within the power of Texas to do so, we must dedicate ourselves to
the task of restoring them to their normal walks of life. The New Deal in
Texas must be no mere phrase-making. For these worthwhile but unfortunate
citizens, it must be also a "Fair Deal."
As a Texai, I am proud of the fact that the "new order" program of
the National government, proposing to substitute work for direct relief,
follows almost verbatim the State Democratic platform adopted in Galveston
last September. As pointed out in that progressive document,
in order to secure the maximum benefits possible under a recovery program,
the State should coordinate its efforts with those of the National
government. This I propose, in public works projects, in old age pensions,
in soil erosion prevention and in every other worthwhile manner.
My friends, there is another field of public welfare in which we must
stage a big recovery. No citizenship can be happy, no benefits in government
can be worthwhile in a state where that government is not respected.
Perhaps the saddest feature of the past few years in Texas, even sadder
than that of relief rolls, is the wholesale flaunting of the law by a
dangerous minority which does not typify Texas. The reports of the
Senate Investigating Committee contain startling revelations of conditions
in some communities which bring shame to every true Texan.
Almost fifty years ago when the great Jim Hogg relinquished the
Governor's office to Charles A. Culberson, he closed with this admonition:
"Legal science, political philosophy, and experience teach us that the
greatest imperfections of human government can be traced to the failure
to impartially and faithfully enforce the laws. Completeness of the
law must not be expected, for the perfection of civilization can never
be reached; but the tranquillity, safety and happiness of the people may
be assured by strict obedience to their will in the faithful execution of
such laws as their duly constituted representatives shall adopt. The
germ of discontent lying in the hearts of Americans was placed there
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Allred, James V. Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939, book, 1939; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth3899/m1/7/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .