NEWS CONFERENCE 767
within the laws and the institutions of our democracy lies a meaning-
ful redress of grievances.
As one who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws
of this State I certainly do not intend to countenance or reward those
who would defy them.
Violence, such as we have witnessed in Maryland in recent days,
produces it own tragic answer. The innocent have suffered irreparable
loss and no wrong has been corrected.
There are peaceful, constructive means available to us if we join
together to pursue them. But in beginning such an effort we must
reaffirm our allegiance to only lawful means and reassert our support
of only lawful control and command. This, I believe, is the hope
and the determination of the overwhelming majority of Maryland's
citizens, black and white. I hope that leaders of the Negro community
that I met with are willing to dedicate themselves to such an ex-
clusively lawful effort. I hope that others will come forward, who
have and can share that dedication with me. I will work with them.
Finally, I hold no rancor from the criticism and invective heaped
upon me. The moment has come to move ahead. We cannot afford
the luxury of idle debate. Present problems are too many and too
complex. We must press for progress. Therefore, I do not intend to
enter into further futile controversy by continuing to comment on
We have infinitely more important work to do and positive plans
to prepare plans outside the ken of the preachers of violence. All
week, contrary to what you have assumed, I have been taking steps
to reestablish communication with those who will work exclusively
within the law.
I look forward to the response, to resuming the dialogue and to
getting down to work.
In closing, let me repeat what I said last week to those who stayed
to hear it.
Let us begin to rebuild now to rebuild our City and to rebuild
the image of Baltimore. Let us work together not as black and
white but as responsible citizens of Maryland who uphold the law;
as concerned citizens who are united in their dedication to eliminate
prejudice and poverty or any conditions which create hopelessness