M’Laurin in Race to Make Speeches on the Warehouse

John L. McLaurin, state warehouse commissioner, at an executive session of the Warehousemen’s Association yesterday afternoon, announced his intention of running for lieutenant governor in the coming primaries in order to wage an education campaign in behalf of the ware house system before the people of the State in the county to-county canvass.

The convention yesterday adopted a resolution endorsing an educative campaign and designating commissioner McLaurin as the proper man to wage it; and called on the State Democratic convention to allow the former senator one hour at each meeting of the campaign to speak on the warehouse system. Relative to the adoption of this resolution, the report of the secretary of the association says:

“At a largely attended meeting of the South Carolina Warehouse association, held in the office of the State Warehouse Commission today, pursuant to the call recently issued by President J. Arthur Banks, it was unanimously expressed as the sentiment of the meeting that there should be a campaign this summer in the interest of the system, and it its further enlargement and developments, and the at the State Warehouse Commissioner, John L. McLaurin, was the proper man to make it. The action of the association was embodied in na resolution introduced by Hon. E. W. Dabbs, former president of the State Farmers’ Union, requesting the State Democratic convention, which meets next, Wednesday, to grant Senator McLaurin an hour’s time at each of the regular campaign meetings this summer. The resolution was signed by those present and will be formally presented as a memorial to the State convention.

The resolution follows:

“Resolved, That the State Democratic convention be requested to provide that State Warehouse Commisoner John L. McLaurin be permitted to attend the State campaign meetings as a regular speaker this summer, to present the great economic question involved in the State warehouse system, and that he be given one hour’s time at each meeting.”

“People Kept Ignorant.”

“There is a studied attempt to prevent information from reaching the people,” stated Commissioner McLaurin in his address to the warehousemen yesterday. “Every effort has been made to poison the public mind and destroy confidence in me. They allege that the whole thing is politics. I tried to go before the people fourteen years ago, and the politicians changed the party rules to shut me out. The intervening time has been on of prepartation.

“After being re-elected last winger, I asked the legislature to put this office in the primary. It refused, so we will give the people a chance, anyway. Unless I have the backing of the people, there is no use in expending my energy, wasting my time, and disbursing my income. A campaign of education is an absolute necessity.”

“I cannot go before the people under the rules a candidate for an office,” he continued, as he reached the climax of his speech. “To be candidate for a lucrative office would weaken me, and do incalculable harm to the cause. I will therefore announce for lieutenant governor – an office no grown man wants and no live man would have. The test will not be my election, but the legislature.”

“Conspiracy In Columbia.”

In stating that there is a conspiracy in Columbia, “which formented the withdrawal of the companies,” he said that his conspiracy should be exposed and can be from the records in his hands. He was of the opinion that the federal government should make the insurance companies either do business in Columbia or get out of the United State. In further attacking the special interests, he said that “these interests want factional strife and will use every effort to promote it, so that voters will forget economic questions affecting their daily interests.”

In advocating control of governmental activities by the agricultural interest, Commissioner McLaurin said:

“We are in a majority – why not take the reins of government from the hands of spoilsmen, and see to it that there is equality of opportunity for all white men, insofar as rights, privileges and opportunities are concerned? It is time the real wealth producers of South Carolina took charge of this government from top to bottom.”

Insurance Written.

The only direct reference made to the insurance problem by Commissioner McLaurin was as follows:

“In the insurance matter, I advocate an amendment to the warehouse law permitting the commissioner, under proper restrictions, to carry a portion of the risk and re-insure the balance, as I am now doing. I have paid out over $50,000 in premiums, and had less than $1,200 of losses. By a proper distribution of risks, we can carry state cotton, and in a few years have a reserve fund sufficient to make the cost of insurance almost nominal.”

Senator J. A. Banks of St. Matthews, president of the Warehousemen’s association, called the organization to order with a short, snappy speech and he was followed by W. A. Stuckey of Bishopville. Commissioner McLaurin was introduced by E. E. Rembert of Sumter county.

The following, according to the report of the secretary of the association, signed the petition to the state Democratic convention:

Signers of Petition.

T. H. Griffin, Lynchburg; C. G. Rowland, Sumter; R. B. Joyce, Lynchburg; R. B. Belser, Sumter (Mr. Belzer qualifies his signature by asking for “at least enough time to properly present matter”); D. McQueen, Dunbar; J. A. Banks, St. Matthews; R. M. Jenkins, St. Charles; D. L. Shaw, St. Charles; J. S. Dunn, Camden; J. P. Kirven, Darlington; S. F. Moore, J. H. Claffy, Orangeburg; S. M. McCoy, Oswego; D. W. McLaurin, Columbia; J. G. L. White, JamesA Drake, A. J. A. Perritt, Lamar; J. L. Beasley, Lamar; E. W. Dabbs, Mayesville; A. G. Wise, Prospertiy: W. B. Shealy, Little Mountain; J. B. Ashe, Cope; M. C. Dantsler, Orangeburg; W. D. Banks, St. Matthews; A. K. Smoak, W. A. Stuckey, Bishopville; J. W. Irby, Jno. K. Aull, Edward E. Rembert, Rembert; W. L. Pursley, Filbert; Earl H. Bowen, Blaney; Newton Kelly, Lugoff; Thos. A Huckabee, Bennettsville; T. B. McLaurin, Bennettsville; Geo. W. Thomas, Dentsville; Dr. C. H. Bowen, Blaney; T. C. Chevis, Bennettsville; J. B. Thomas, J. M. Malpass, Batesburg; J. A. Johnson, Bishopville; E. T. Bowen, Blaney; C. R. Bowen, Blaney; W. E. Hall, Gassett; B. B. Williams, Norway; J. W. Rabon, Lugoff; J. V. Miles, Lugoff; B. L. Shirley, Camden; M. D. Scarboro, Bishopville; L. M. Hall, Camden; L. I. Guion, Lugoff; I. J. McKissic, Camden; J. M. Martin, Lugoff; J. A. Daniel, Darlington; L. H. Jennings, Bishopville; S. J. Scarboro, L. W. C. Blalock, Goldville; J. R. Paulling, St. Mattews; A. W. Scarboro, Summerton; G. W. Dukes, Rowesville; C. G. Moneyham, Elliott; Willis Turlington, Bennettsville; J. D. Bailey, Blaney; T. B. Glenn, Tirsah; L. D. Welsh, Elliott; J. L. Hinson, Lugoff; E. E. McGill, Florence; P. M. Crosland, Bennettsville; W. P. Beard, Abbeville; E. L. Moore; W. J. Dunn, Camden; R. M. Claffy, Fort Motte; S. L. Austin, Lee county; J. H. Hennegan, Lee county; E. Gettys Dunn, York; Dr. L. H. Jennings, Lee county; R. M. Cooper, Wisacky; C. W. Suber, Columbia; H. C. Leland, Charleston county; J. T. Kinard, Pomaria; T. A. Huckabee; Geo. W. Collins, Columbia; P. W. McKenzie, D. V. Keels, Rembert: O. C. Scarborough, Summerton; E. W. Dabbs, Mayesville; J. J. M. Graham, Cades; Hugh C. Haynesworth, W. A. Stuckey, G. A. Guidnard, S. M. McKeown, S. T. McKeown, L. I. Guion, Lugoff; T. C. Matheson, Cheraw; W. P. Odom, Chesterfield; Chas. B Pate, Lucknow; J. B. Lane, Bishopville; W. T. Jones, W. M. Mobley, A. J. Smith, Greenville; R. G. Gaines, Central.

May 4, 1916  Columbia Record (published as The Columbia Record)  Columbia, South Carolina
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