Messages of Pat M. Neff, Governor of Texas to the thirty-seventh legislature Page: 5 of 36
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antee the industrial freedom of five million people. It is a clamant
call and a courageous challenge to do our best.
We who serve the State cannot promote the purposes of our government
unless we are true to ourselves in rendering a like service
to all the people-the rich, the poor, the black, the white, the artists,
the artisan, the producers, the consumers-all, from helpless childhood
to feeble age. While only a part of the men and women of Texas elected
me governor, yet as I took the oath of office a few moments ago, I
stepped beyond the narrow and selfish confines of partisan politics
and became the governor of every man, woman and child who lives
within our broad borders. I am the chosen servant of all. Thus it
is with you, the representatives of the people. The past is dead.
No prejudice now should poison our purpose, no bias should warp
our judgment, no personalities should sidetrack our endeavors, no illwill
should cloud our vision, and no petty political bickerings of the
past should stifle our patriotism or divide our energies. All for all,
I trust, will be the gripping thought of this administration.
Politics is not a game. It is the science of public service. It furnishes
a broad field for noble endeavor. In this realm of labor is
finally won the things that make a people great and good. We are
not here to build political fences or to construct political machines.
The work and worth of the representatives of a people is properly
measured by the amount of public good that comes as a result of every
public dollar they spend. To needlessly spend the people's money
is a crime. The world has just emerged from a period of spending.
Wicked has been the waste in both public and private life. Money no
longer is cheap. Necessity now compels us to usher in an era of saving.
The sane and sensible thing to do is to face financial facts as
they are. We should magnify the beauties of hard work. We must
take our heads out of the clouds, in public and private thinking, place
our feet on the solid soil and by honest.dealing, plain living, and becoming
industry, give to the people of Texas the most efficient, economically
administered government she has ever had in all her splendid
The State will always have big problems to solve. No sooner do we
dispose of one question than another arises to test our moral and
mental fiber. Not until all the people become angelic will the fight
for liberty, and learning, and law, and freedom, and civic righteous.
ness be finished. Let it be understood, however, that the government
is not the panacea for all the evils that warp and dwarf the human
race. The people must not look to the government alone, but to themselves
for relief. If the people in private life will practice and proclaim
the old-time, homely virtues of honesty, industry and economy,
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/m1/5/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .