Telephone conversation with Dr. M. Visscher 5/18/66
Dr. Dennis: Hello.
Dr. Visscher: Hello Clarence
Dr. Dennis: Tell me what's cooking, Maurice.
Dr. Visscher: Well, as of yesterday morning the Commerce Committee had a meeting Senator Magnusom said that he wanted to
postpone action on the
Committee draft bill because of the very large number of telephone calls, telegrams and letters that he had received from
the academic community and especially from some people whose judgment he trusted to indicate it that the Bill, particularly
with the Monroney amendment would do great harm.
Dr. Dennis: What's the Munroney amendment, that's one that I had not come across yet.
Dr. Visscher: Well, this is Mike Mulroney's intention to put the licensing and regulations of housing and care of animals
in Research Laboratories under the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture.
Dr. Dennis: Oh boy, that would never pass, would it?
Dr. Visscher: Well, I don't think so.
Dr. Dennis: No.
Dr. Visscher: And he said, that he was calling a limited public hearing for a week from to-day, and he was going to invite
particular people to come to give the Committee some advice. Now, off the record, his Committee Staff indicated that he would
appreciate having some suggestions from us as to persons who might be able to testify, both objectively And I was not in Washington
but Harry King, (Kingman) our new Executive Director called me and I made suggestions, particularly of Deans, and Vice-presidents
and Presidents of Universities whom I knew had knowledge of the situation and could be counted on to give the right sort of
testimony. I mentioned for example, Clark Wes . . . who is at the University of Kansas. I mentioned Herb Longenecker, who
is President of Tulane. Now Longenecker is a biochemist himself and I've talked to him about the problems over the telephone
. . . in fact I got him to get to work on the members of the Senate Commerce Committee a couple of weeks ago myself and he
sent me copies of letters that he had sent to various people and he got the land grant college association and so forth involved
Dr. Dennis: Good.
Dr. Visscher: So, I know that he is alright, then I thought I would suggest that Mr. Bronck at the Rockefeller, a person I
know you haven't paid too much attention to this but recently, he himself has called me and wanted to do something and
I think he does understand it now but the reason for doing this is that Bronck who has had a great deal of contact with Magnusom,
and he told me that he had done many things for Magnusom and thought he could influence him directly. As a matter of fact
I wouldn't be surprised if it was partly Bronck's influence that changed Magnusom's views. I think his views
Dr. Dennis: You think they have, good.
Dr. Visscher: Now, let's see, who else, oh I thought Albert Sabin. You know, Albert Sabin?
Dr. Dennis: No.
Dr. Visscher: Well, of course, you know who he is?
Dr. Dennis: Yes.
Dr. Visscher: He is taking a very active part in Indiana and the Committee staff felt that Albert Sabin would have a great
deal of influence with several members of their committee. Incidentally, the Committee staff there in Commerce is quite sympathetic
with our viewpoint, Clarence.
Dr. Dennis: Is that so. How did you ever get that kind of a show set up before if that's the case, anyway.
Dr. Visscher: Well, I'll tell you, they are ordered to do things, but that doesn't mean that they really approve of
everything they are ordered to do. That's the situation with regard to this hearing. We are not going to be allowed to
volunteer and no one, and that is I am not going to try to testify and I don't want Harry Kingland to try to testify because
this will be just discounted as the voice of the same old record, you see? You know of course that Hill has introduced after
S3332 and there are 12 senators including Senator Kennedy and his brother among the 12 who joined in introducing that administration
bill. We think that was in very good hands, and, with that number of co-sponsors it will get along pretty well.
Dr. Dennis: If we could get both senators Kennedy on it, you are probably alright.
Dr. Visscher: Well, that's my feeling. And after that lead we have Neuburger on it.
Dr. Dennis: No, he's come all the way around. I'll be darned. What about Javitz? Is Javitz with it?
Dr. Visscher: Beg pardon.
Dr. Dennis: Is Senator Javitz on it too?
Dr. Visscher: No, but I think that he has been out of the country, hasn't he?
Dr. Dennis: Yes. He was in Puerto Rico or some place.
Dr. Visscher: I don't think that means that he will go . . .
Dr. Dennis: He backed the O'Brian Bill, as I recollect in New York.
Dr. Visscher: But that doesn't mean he can't also put his name on this because the risk . . . any very important reason
why he shouldn't.
Dr. Dennis: A copy of S3332 available now?
Dr. Visscher: Yes, they are, not in my office.
Dr. Dennis: I'll write down to the Senate office building, I can get some.
Dr. Visscher: Oh yes.
Dr. Dennis: It would be the Commerce Department, I suppose.
Dr. Visscher: Yes, no, it's not the Commerce. Lister Hill is Chairman of the Committee of Labor and Public Welfare,
Dr. Dennis: They why are we fussing with Magnusom for?
Dr. Visscher: Because, he's still got this other . . . damn bill that he's trying to
Dr. Dennis: Yes, I see, O.K.
Dr. Visscher: Yes, this is the trouble. They are really messing things up for us pretty badly, but you can't help this.
Now, the thing that has bothered me very greatly, is, and this is a little bit confidential, use it with discretion. Robert
Burson, you know who he is?
Dr. Dennis: No, I am not sure.
Dr. Visscher: He is Director of the AAMC, Association of the American College. Under date of May 14th, a statement about
the current situation that isn't really quite correct. He says that the Magnusom Bill S8322, I think is the Magnusom Bill,
Dr. Dennis: I think that's right.
Dr. Visscher: Without the Mulroney Amendment is comparable to the Poage Bill, now it isn't. And this is quite an unfortunate
Dr. Dennis: Can't we get him to change it?
Dr. Visscher: I've called him on the telephone and have written him a letter asking him to do so, to send out. Unfortunately,
he sent this out to 2,000 people, including all the Deans and the damn thing is just wrong. Now, what do you do about a thing
Dr. Dennis: Does he refuse to do it?
Dr. Visscher: He didn't say. I don't know just what to do.
Dr. Dennis: Well, if you were to send one to all the Dean's, wouldn't that
Dr. Visscher: But he says for us not to communicate with the Deans. He wants to do this.
Dr. Dennis: Well, if he is incompetent, I wouldn't depend on him.
Dr. Visscher: Well, that's my feelings. I just don't know what to think. Well, be that as it may, we are in a little
trouble there with this misinformation he has given, because I am afraid some of these Deans are going to wire or write to
Members of the Commerce Committee telling them to pass S2322 without the Mulroney Amendment, and this wouldn't be good
at all. Because, for example, in its present form S2322 includes other animals than cats and dogs and so forth.
Dr. Dennis: You are going to have to tattoo all the fish.
Dr. Visscher: Yes, but we haven't got fish yet. But, be that as it may, we don't want the thing muddied.
Dr. Dennis: Well, I would think the thing to do was to pin dawn Burson, or do you know somebody who knows him well enough
to do it?
Dr. Visscher: Well, I don't know. I think the person who ought to do it is the President of the AAMC.
Dr. Dennis: Who is that?
Dr. Visscher: Well, let's see, I got the officer listed in the book . . .
Dr. Dennis: Well, I got it here someplace or other too
better contact with such a man than I. The President-Elect is Thomas B. Turner at Johns Hopkins. I've got the 1965-66
directory. I wonder when they change officers.
Dr. Dennis: That's what I have too on the shelf.
Dr. Visscher: George Wolf of Tufts is the current president in that book. The president-elect is Thomas B. Turner.
Dr. Dennis: Turner, as I recollect, was a consultant here at one time for some teaching session that we have and I have an
idea that Bob Moore knows him pretty well. I would suspect it would be a little more potent, if you would, if you'd call
Bob Moore and I'll call him also, and get him to call Turner and get him to put the heat on Burson and get this straightened
out before it's too late.
Dr. Visscher: OK. I will call Bob Moore. I'll do it now.
Dr. Dennis: Do it right now. I'll wait a little while and then I'll call. Is there anything I can do other than
Dr. Visscher: I don't think so.
Dr. Dennis: They don't want communications sent in for the record, do they?
Dr. Visscher: No. I don't think so.
Dr. Dennis: There's no point in extra people showing up?
Dr. Visscher: I don't see why.
Dr. Dennis: You don't see that there's any point in it?
Dr. Visscher: No.
Dr. Dennis: Did you talk to Alton Ochsner?
Dr. Visscher: Yes, I did.
Dr. Dennis: Did it do any good ?
Dr. Visscher: No. I talked not only to Alton Ochsner, I talked with Mike DeBakey himself and he didn't agree to say anything,
and he didn't say anything.
Dr. Dennis: There was one comment from him in the New York Times this morning.
Dr. Visscher: I know.
Dr. Dennis: That's the only thing I've seen.
Dr. Visscher: He was asked by the NIH to do this yesterday and he made a good
statement and told, I didn't hear it and I haven't seen it anything in the newspapers here, but Harry Kingman tells
me that he made a good statement yesterday. But this was under pressure from NIH. He didn't do it for Alton or for
me. It corresponds with your predictions.
Dr. Dennis: That isn't a prediction, that's looking back, If there's anything I can do please let me know. I've
got some mail on the way to you. Maybe it's arrived already, I don't know.
Dr. Visscher: No, it hasn't.
Dr. Dennis: It might help that Joel Baker apparently got hold of Senator Magnuson, and I've got copies of Baker's
letters that he wrote to me about it afterward.
Dr. Visscher: I'm sure that would do good.
Dr. Dennis: I think he's got it organized so that several people are approaching him from Washington State, which should
Dr. Visscher: Yes, OK Clarence,
Dr. Dennis: Alright, good luck. Let me know if there is anything I can do,