As a result of the conversation which you and I had by telephone on Wednesday, May 10, 1967, I made the following statement
to the business meeting of the American Surgical Association on May 13.
The National Society for Medical Research is relieved that legislation resulting from the 89th Congress is no worse that 89-544,
but is acutely aware that the antivivisectionists, with what several congressmen consider the most powerful lobby of the past
decade, do not intend to stop short of severe restrictions on our use of experimental animals. It is the opinion of Dr. M.
B. Visscher, President of the National Society for Medical Research, that we shall have perhaps a year of grace before momentum
will develop toward attempted passage of such legislation and that this period of grace be used for careful education of all
citizens, but especially of congressman and legislators, concerning the importance of animal experimental work for clinical
It is the consensus of the Board of Directors that the Rogers-Hill-Javits bill, while containing no single items to which
we can take vigorous exception, nonetheless requires the establishment of such a complex committee system as to take so much
time of investigators as to pose an obstacle to research. In other words, it is regarded as harassment of the scientists and
as such should not be passed.
The National Society for Medical Research requests the following:
1. That the American Surgical Association make public its support of the National Society for Medical Research and the National
Society for Medical Research's objections in regard to public education through mention whenever news releases are appropriate
and through communications to congressmen and state legislators.
2. That the American surgical Association and its membership use every possible opportunity to educate the public and lawmakers
as to the fundamental humanity of animal research and as to the importance of such research to clinical progress.
3. That the membership list of the American Surgical Association be placed upon the mailing list of the National Society for
Medical Research in order that all of us may receive current information of value in such pursuits.
I was hesitant to include the matter of an increase in the American Surgical Association's contribution for fear that
it might stir up enough opposition to defeat the whole business and therefore asked Dr. George Clowes if he would make such
a proposal at a later stage of the business meeting. Dr. Clowes, at my suggestion, proposed that the contribution of the American
Surgical Association be increased from $300 a year to $600 a year.
Both of these measures passed without objection.
As a beginning, I am sending a copy of the list of members to Dr. Kingman for addition to his mailing list. I suspect there
may be some overlap between this list and some previous ones which I have sent to Dr. Kingman that will need to be crossed
out to avoid duplication.