Re: Telephone conversation with Dr. Robert H. Williams 5/26/66
Dr. Dennis: There is a package of things with regard to the Dog Bills, and I have received these, and I think there must be
some misunderstanding some place, because this is not the stand of the National Society for Medical Research, and I called
Dr. Visscher this morning and had a long talk with him. That the original Magnuson Bill is emphatically not acceptable.
Dr. Williams: There is not one at . . .
Dr. Dennis: No. S2322 is the one that's dated July 23, 1965. Let me tell you what is not acceptable to Dr, Visscher and
the NSMR about it. Do you have a copy of it there?
Dr. Williams: Oh yes, I've gone over it in detail.
Dr. Dennis: There is item 2, Section G, which defines a dealer. Now there's trouble with this as they see it. It excludes
farmers who happen to have dogs that they want to sell, and unless those farmers get licenses and it does not clarify the
situation of the dog pounds, and it would be very - no problem at all for me to see exactly what would happen that these people
would point out that this excludes the dog pounds and we would be in a sorry state for instance in N.Y. City where we get
a fair number of dogs from the pounds.
Dr. Williams: Of course this bill has got to be reconciled with the Poage Bill, and I've forgotten whether it was Magnuson
or the Poage where they do make an exception of the pound or the small dealer.
Dr. Dennis: But you see the reason for backing the modified Poage Bill, the new version of the Poage Bill and not the Magnuson
Bill is that this has already been modified in the Poage Bill the way NSMR would like to have it. And the Magnuson Bill
is not that way and the Magnuson Bill is before a Committee which is not very likely to . . . they got some funny people like
Monroney, I don't know what they are going to do. Well, let me go on with a couple of the other items.
The Secretary, Section 5, Dr. Visscher dislikes very much also, because this lets them into the laboratory and the Department
of Agriculture doesn't belong in the laboratory and Orville Freeman doesn't want any part of being into the laboratory.
Dr. Williams: Well, we don't want that either,
Dr. Dennis: Well, that's in the Bill you see.
Dr. Williams: Well, here's the point that we have attempted to get across. The Magnuson Bill needs to be modified, even
the original to some extent. However, it is not too far off as far as the procurement is concerned. This is the part that
we said we would support. Even that has got to be modified to include some of the
small dealers, but now all of the part that has to do with the animals once they reach the Research we don't want in the
Department of Agriculture at all, and in fact, Magnuson has at times intimated that he would be willing to go along with Senator
Hill's Bill on that regard.
Dr. Dennis: This would be fine if he would. At Maurice Visscher's suggestion I wrote to Magnuson and I think I got Joel
Baker to talk to him suggesting that he take only the introductory clauses of the Magnuson Bill S2322 and wipe out all the
rest of the Bill introducing the Poage Bill, lock, stock and barrel but leave his name on it so that that gets him out of
the rather uncomfortable position in which he finds himself at the moment where the anti-vivisectionists have put him unwittingly.
Dr. Williams: That's exactly what I have in mind and in fact I heard Dr. Shannon and the others have that in mind too.
What I think about all those interpretations started came from the NIH. We must realize that in the first place it can't
become law unless the Poage Bill and the Magnuson Bill conform to one another,
Dr. Dennis: But why have the Magnuson Bill at all? Why not have the Poage Bill or a version of it, such as the Mondale Bill?
Dr. Williams: I am working on the same psychology that you mentioned. The part of his bill in there can be stripped so it
conforms to the Poage Bill that's what we have in mind. For the procurement of animals are concerned, now there's
- once to the laboratory, we are in Laboratory, we are in favor of the Hill Bill.
Dr. Dennis: Item 3 that you sent to me says encourage confinement of S2322 to the regulation of sale and transport of laboratory
animals as originally drafted by Magnuson. And you see this is the thing that bothers me.
Dr. Williams: Of course, it is not meant 100% that way because it couldn't possibly be that it still conform with the
Poage Bill. What's really meant here the basic structure of the Magnuson Bill with respect to the procurement of animals
is O.K. It's got to be modified some, but it's not too far off from the Poage Bill.
Dr. Dennis: Yes, but it's got some of the most vicious things still in it and this is what bothers me and people would
write letters that imply to Magnuson that this is alright. Why don't you talk with Maurice Visscher, do you mind?
Dr. Williams: No, I am glad to.
Dr. Dennis: I think it would be very fruitful.
Dr. Williams: I think it would be good if you gave Dr. Shannon a ring on it too, he testified yesterday and he could probably
give you a report.
Dr. Dennis: Well, I have almost word for word what he said from Maurice Visscher - we talked about a half hour this morning
- I am running up a frightful phone bill with the State.
Dr. Williams: What did he tell you was the latest status of it?
Dr. Dennis: Well, just a minute, they got Albert Sabin to talk and I think your Dean talked, (Hogness) and a fellow Shannon
talked. He made a very good presentation for HEW. Philip Lee talked and did very well. A man by the name of Irving from the
Department of Agriculture wasn't quite as convincing as he should have been, but he did make it clear that the Department
of Agriculture didn't want any part of it, and so it went - and this was essentially what it was. It turned out to be
helping Christine Stevens which I don't understand at all, but the general impression that was created was that this was
going our way. Now, Visscher pointed out some other things about this Bill, let me tell you what they are - Section 12 puts
in a perfectly hideous fine which is preposterous and there it is, and I don't think we should have any part in the Bill.
Then we got the Section 16 that to finance the Act, the Administration of the Act, they are going to charge fees sufficient
to do so, now it's going to be a multi-million dollar business - there are only 7,000 laboratories and if one is going
to have to review at the largest, then it is going to turn out that it's going to be a fee for each laboratory in the
neighborhood of a $1,000, that's going to be very costly business and it's going to run most of our animal dealers
out of business because they wont be able to stand this either. But the Poage Bill does not have the costs paid for by the
fees alone, but makes special reference to the allocation of some federal money for the purpose of administration of the Bill.
Dr. Williams: Yah -Well, I say - I am (?) or Shannon and most of the rest of us worked on that and had no notion of leaving
the Magnuson Bill as it originally was per se, but fight with that and having it conform to the Poage Bill and then add the
Hill portion of it. That's what we really have in mind.
Dr. Dennis: Yes, but this is what bothers me, I suspect that's what you had in mind, but the notice that you sent to me,
Item 3 there, talks about approving the Magnuson Bill as originally drafted, and people are going to write letters that way
- Magnuson won't change things at all. Well now there's one other thing that Visscher raised, I am sorry to be picking
bones with you, before I shake hands with you, but anyway there are some items about this that he thought it was well worthwhile
to bear in mind. Senator Mondale from Minnesota is a very savvy individual, and he thinks that right at the moment we should
not bombard the Committee with more telegrams and letters. He said the NSMR is identifying individuals who know the Senators
personally asking them to contact all members of the Commerce Committee, urging them to be present at the Executive Session
which comes up a week from today, and that the worst thing that can happen at the present time is to get these fellows annoyed
with a whole barrage of letters and telegrams, which they have gotten in the past and that they are getting annoyed with -
the barrage and thinking that we don't know anything about it, or a lot of people who aren't hep are snowing them
under with communications, and Visscher thinks it's a mistake to send communications to these people at the present time.
Dr. Williams: Well, I have gotten a certain amount of that too from people who are very close to Magnuson, who called him,
and talked with him, and in fact I don't have any plans for stimulating any more barrage at the present, however a certain
amount of it has been worthwhile because they are getting barraged from the other side, you see, and the one way the politician
is operating to some extent is that they like to think that they are pleasing their constituents. Shannon and Phil Lee and
so forth feel very much the same way. Now, however, I think - or a number of us think - that what's already been done
has been very important to have done.
Dr. Dennis: Yes, but this calls for absolutely immediate activity in sending letters to everybody that's concerned, and
this makes Visscher unhappy.
Dr. Williams: Uh huh - well, I don't enter any plans for stimulating any more barrage unless something else comes along,
And of course Visscher stimulated part of this.
Dr. Dennis: Do you think it would be wise to talk with him and think in terms of possibly a follow-up note with regard to
Dr. Williams: Yeah, I'll give him a ring and see what's a good
Dr. Dennis: I wish you would. I talked with him a little while ago, just let me find out where he was. He must have been
in Washington. Well we just got the Minnesota number here and I guess she got it through them. 612 373-3322.
Dr. Williams: I think you are 100% correct in calling me because of course my whole reason for wanting to get these different
people together, is so we would coordinate our activity. I don't know anything more disconcerting than for us to be pulling
in different directions.
Dr. Dennis: Yes, that's how we lose the battle. I've spent the last month or so being on the Council of both the National
and the State Societies getting them together, you know, they have been pulling in opposite directions, now and again, and
I think we've got all this cemented together, and then it was the AAMC who was out in left field, and we all have got
to be together, otherwise I suspect we are not going to be successful,
Dr. Williams: I'll tell you one thing about the points that I have made that probably is the difficulty, because actually
you and I really see eye to eye, but I figure that some people getting this package will see the tremendous amount of material,
and all I was attempting to do in enumerating those 5 points was to let them know that there are 5 points for consideration,
so that they wouldn't neglect those 5 points, Now, I didn't utilize that as a substitute for going through the other
material, but this was a reminder to pay attention particularly to those 5 points. Of course, in the process of being brief
this misconception could come along, because what you say is 100% in accord with my opinion. I'll say of course I talked
this over with the Dean and Associate Dean and so forth in order to fight for the Magnuson Bill and Poage Bill and so forth,
and the Poage Bill suits us from the point of view of procurement of animals - delivery to the research door. Now, one could
say, "stop there, why bother about the other?" Well, the point is, we are certain sooner or later to get measures
having to do with regulations in the research centers, and I would rather we would take the offense ourselves and come up
with something that is constructive including support of facilities, financial and otherwise, and then we can block some screwballs.
Dr. Dennis: Well, I think the administration bills should do that. S3332. I think that should be there and that's got
a lot of good support.
Dr. Williams: That's what I have in mind, yeah, in other words the Hill Bill. That's why I say - take something like
the Poage Bill for the outside activities and the Hill Bill for the inside,
Dr. Dennis: Yes, that would solve our problem.
Dr. Williams: I had in mind modifying the Magnuson Bill so that it conforms to the Poage Bill for the outside part.
Dr. Dennis: Well, I would appreciate it immensely if you would, because this bothers me. O.K. thank you.
This has been a conversation with Dr. Robert H. Williams, Professor of Medicine,
University of Washington, Seattle, May 26, 1966.