Peabody Discusses Mass. Government
Gov. Endicott "Chub" Peabody gave 200 Young Democrats a whirlwind tour through the confused world of Massachusetts government last night.
He discussed the difficulties of running "the weakest government of any industrial state in the Union," and described his plans for reorganizing the Bay State's executive machinery.
"When I was inaugurated this January, I felt like a prisoner in the corner office of the State House," the governor said. "I had to work with officials who had been appointed by my predecessor or by my predecessor's predecessor. I sometimes got the feeling that I wasn't empowered to do anything."
But he went on to say that he thought Massachusetts had "made quite a number of improvements in its government" since his inauguration. He praised the proposed extension of the governor's term from two to four years, and defended the bill that raised state legislators' salaries.
To Oppose Council
He said he would keep fighting for the abolition of the governor's council and said the proposal was defeated by the legislature this year because "this council presently controls the appointment of judges and other officials, and I think the egislators were a bit hesitant to vote for its abolition."
Peabody charged that "Boston newspapers that become accustomed to reporting all the evil in the state but never the good," had contributed greatly to "Massachusetts' reputation as a corrupt state."
The governor sidestepped the controversial question of whether do facto segregation exists in Boston schools. "I won't use the term myself, because it implies that someone is actively segregating someone else," he said. "I agree that there is a problem, but I think it exists not because of anything our educators do, but because of the housing situation."
During the question period that followed his speech, Peabody said that he would meet with Alabama's Gov. George Wallace when he comes to speak at Harvard in November. "We're not going to solve our problems by not talking to each other," he said. "There's only one way we can get out of our present difficulties and that's by sitting down with each other and working, working, working. . ."