The One Talent Candidate
(Continued from Page 1)
of state funds under reasonable safeguards and in the exer
cise of ordinary prudence and good judgment.
So, when Mr. Johnson pleads the absence of specific man
date, he passes over entirely too hurriedly his own failure to se
cure this mandate if he felt it were required. As the chief fis
cal officer of the state, he not only had the power and the pres
tige, but he had a specific, positive duty tp direct the attention
of the lawmakers to any deficiency under law which would re
quire the continued idleness of enormous accretions of state
In his recent radio speech on the matter, he makes much of
the fact that Kerr Scott has been a member of the council of
state. He makes no mention of the fact that he himself was the
chief fiscal officer of the state and charged with full responsi
bilities for the intelligent administration of fiscal affairs; that
Scott was charged primarily with a full time responsibility for
the administration of the department of agriculture; and that
the Governor of the state was charged with onerous burdens
as the chief administrative and excecutive officer of the gen
eral affairs of the state.
In the very nature of things, it was the duty, the right, and
the inescapable obligation of the treasurer of the state to initi
ate and carry through sound fiscal policies. At no time has he
stated that he called the attention of the council of state to the
fact that these enormous sums of money were lying idle.
There was, therefore, nothing that other members of the
council could do except assume that the treasurer was discharg
ing the duties of his own office and that he would call to their
attention those matters dealing with state finances which should
be acted upon by the council. This matter of idle funds is not
the responsibility of the commissioner of agriculture; it is
not the responsibility of the Governor of the state. The full and
final responsibility rests squarely upon the treasurer of the state.
In Mr. Johnson’s speech, he says: “My books have been
audited fifteen consecutive times without the disclosure of a
single irregularity. Every dollar of state money entrusted to my
keeping is either invested in strictest accord with the law or is
on deposit in the more than 200 banks of North Carolina, amply
secured by legal collateral.”
This statement by Mr. Johnson almost inescapably raises
the specter of the one talent man so known in the New Tes
tament parable. The man given one talent counted it carefully
at the beginning of his charge. When called upon to render ac
counts to his lord, he again accounted for every cent. There
was not the slightest suggestion of an irregularity.
Yet the very fact that he accounted so neatly that he made no
effort to earn a reasonable increment was 'considered ample
reason to deprive him of the one talent and turn the money over
to somebody else who would make a reasonable use of it.
The lord of the one talent man promptly discharged him and
sent him out into the by-wavs to earn his own living by other
means than accounting scrupulously for the one talent that had
been so smothered with care that it never had a chance to grow.
Mr. Johnson protests that in order to make investments he
would be compelled to purchase long term bonds of the United
States. In making this protest he is either astoundingly innocent
of the most elementary financial knowledge or deliberately con
fusing the issue.
The very statute from which he 4ias quoted at great length
carefully points out Treasury notes as one of the approved in
vestment media. As every bank messenger knows these Treas
ury notes are bought on subscription made in advance. They run
for short periods of time and bear interest at one-half percent or
better. Any person with as much as SIOOO.OO to invest can go
into the open market and buy United States Bonds maturing in
from one to 5 years at prices which will have a net earning to
the investor Who holds them to maturity of 3-4 to 1 3-4 percent.
Mr. Johnson’s statement that he would be criminally and
civilly liable for a paper loss shown at any time as a result of a
drop in the market price of bonds is utterly absurd. He would
be liable for actual losses only and by actual losses we mean
the loss of money actually paid out. Such a loss would be in
curred only upon default by the United States Government by
failure or refusal to pay the face amount of the bonds at matur
The Zebulon Record
Ferd Davis Editor
Barrie Davis Publisher
Entered as second class matter June 26, 1925, at the post office
at Zebulon, North Carolina, under the act of March 3, 1879.
Subscription rate: $1.50 a year. Advertising rates on request
The Zebulon Record
ity; or by the incompetence of a State Treasurer who would
•stupidly invest short-term funds in long-term obligations.
Mr. Johnson protests that he could not make investments
between 1944 and 1948 without jeopardizing the operating funds
of the state. Yet the inescapable fact that even after he had
split his funds into 234 separate bank deposits there still was
an ample margin for bankers to make enormous profits from
the very same funds and yet keep enough money on hand at
all times to meet every requirement of the state government.
In fact no less than 180 of these banks seen never to have
been called up to participate in any sort of financial opera
tion of the state beyond the bare receipt of enormous deposits.
Bank owners expect the managers of the banks to earn at
least 1 per cent annually on demand deposits. Is it unreason
able for the taxpayers of this state to expect equally sound
business capacity of the State Treasurer in handling the money
entrusted to him?
We have had a one talent man for State Treasurer. Do we
want the same one talent man for governor.?
TELEPHONE ZEBULON 5401
! LOVE REDDY kiuowatt!
YeS, Reddy Kilowatt, who
typifies your electric service, is a popular
character with the youngsters . . . and with
.... Electricity does a lot for
children as well as grown ups. It protects
„ their food in refrigerators and storage lock
ers and preserves its goodness by modern
electrical cooking. Good lighting protects
young eyes that must do homework. But of
more importance, in the all-electric home
everybody is more comfortable .. . they live
better from day to day. Mother is relieved
ot old fashioned household drudgery and
has more time with the children . . and
she is not too tired to play with them.
. /*i , T he Youngsters understand
most of these things ... so they love Reddy
POWER & LIGHT COMPANY^
F r iday, May 14, 1948
Teddy and Lynne Davis visited
their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs.
Theo B. Davis over the weekend.
Floors Sanded and Finished
No Job Too Large and None
Too Small *
Upstairs over City Market
WARNER’S SINCE 1902
Visit our show yard on Hillsboro
Road, near State Fair Grounds.
Come, see what you buy
and be better satisfied.