Messages of Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas to the thirty-seventh legislature Page: 4 of 36
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tions of civilization have been dynamited. These are testing times.
Big problems confront us. We, to whom have been temporarily committed
the affairs of state, must have not only the courage to meet
these unsettled conditions as they are, but the ability to bridge the
chasm between age-worn customs and present needs.
Under our Constitution the work of the government is intrusted to
a legislative, a judicial and to an executive department. They are coequal.
While time has demonstrated the wisdom of our fathers in
making these three departments as separate and as distinct as the
waves of the ocean, yet it remains true that they are all one as the
sea. Each must co-ordinate and co-operate with the other as the organized
agencies of the State to administer public service to all. This
government, so organized, represents that crystallized power which
stands as a constant guarantee that every human being who lives be.
neath its protecting wing shall have an open field .and a fair chance to
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are inalienable
rights which the weakest should always enjoy, and which the
strongest should never be permitted to revoke. The highest purpose
of a government is to create such environments as will enable the
new-born babe to grow and develop, with all the freedom possible,
into a real man-clean, cultured and courageous, standing upright
and fearless before the world. We do not diminish property rights by
emphasizing human rights.
To strengthen this constant guarantee and to work out this laudable
purpose, it is a fine thought that you and I, as the representatives
of the people, have the right, unfettered, to fight wrong wherever
it builds its bold and blatant bulwark. Passing bills and approving
appropriations are not the only duties of those who participate
in these inaugural ceremonies. Up and down the line everywhere
we should fight for the things worth while. Not for what we
can get, but what we can give.
I know the people of Texas. I have recently met them face to
face in the fields, the forests and the factories. I have mixed and
mingled with them on the roadside and at the fireside from the banks
of the Red River to the Rio Grande, from the plains of the Panhandle
to the pines of East Texas, and I am here to bear witness that we will
not represent the citizenship of this State if we do not feel the thrill
and throb of that consciously growing pulse beat of the people for
that ;fine, high type of civilization which countenances no dishonesty
in private thinking, no camouflage in social life, and no doubledealing
in public service. We are here to direct the destinies, to lift
high the ideals, to make and administer the laws, to protect the weak
and curb the greed of the strong, to perpetuate the liberty, to guar.
Here’s what’s next.
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Neff, Pat M. Messages of Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas to the thirty-seventh legislature, book, 1921; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5871/m1/4/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .