Dr. Visscher: It will be to try to talk with Sen. Magnuson tomorrow. Am making an appointment with Kingman and me to see him.
The situation seems to be this, that no member of the Commerce Committee is willing to introduce an amendment, and the other
people that we've approached are equally unwilling. Sen. Ellender who is Chairman of the Agriculture Committee will have
nothing to do with it. Sen. Hill is very sympathetic and very much annoyed that this whole thing has come up at all for the
Congress to act on, but he is in no mood to take on the Commerce Committee over this issue. They tell us that with practically
no doubt the Bill will pass the Senate as it was delivered to it by the Commerce Committee, and that our only hope of ameliorating
the situation in any way is by encouraging Congressman Poage and the other Members of the Joint Conference Committee that
will have to be appointed to insist upon some compromises. Now on Friday afternoon Harry Kingman and I spent about an hour
with Congressman Poage and he said yes we will unquestionably stand firm on the business of getting some compromise. But he
said, gentlemen, compromise means that both sides give in something, and he said the thing that you can probably get in a
compromise is really wanted, is to have the "other animals" eliminated from coverage, and he said I think you can
get an agreement that the search provisions, that's Section 15 of the present Bill that's been put out by the Commerce
Committee. (By the way have you seen a copy of it?)
Dr. Dennis: No, I haven't.
Dr. Visscher: Well, you know, we have been unable to get more than just a few copies and well we got them on Thursday, they
weren't printed until Thursday, as a matter of fact and we've just doubted that it was worthwhile having a lot of
them printed up because it is our understanding that this will probably be taken up by the Senate so quickly that there would
be no great point in sending out quantities of them to people out in other states, to try to do anything about it. In fact
we are encouraged to believe that nothing that we would do would change the intent of the Senate to pass this Bill in its
present form. The Congress is just so sick and tired of the whole blessed business that they want to get the thing out of
their hair. Now there is a silver lining in it, Clarence. If the Monroney amendment as it's now written, it's considerably
modified from its original form. It's now in such a way that the Department of Agriculture's control over animals
could be construed to be control only in storage areas. Before animals have been taken over by scientists for use.
Dr. Dennis: I see.
Dr. Visscher: Really, just reception areas. There is a little confusion in their minds about this. Monroney says that while
the animal is under observation of any sort that's under experiment and it's up to the investigator to decide that
the institution to decide when animals are and when they are not under experiments. That's the way the Bill is written
. . . and there is this to be said about it. If that is passed so that the Congressmen can say to Christine Stevens and Oliver
Evans and the others, look we've handled the situation in and out of the laboratory . . . well put it differently, we
handle the situation fully with regard to dealers and we've handled it in the laboratory until the scientists takes the
animal under experiments and we are not prepared to go any farther, it might be several years before we have another Senate
hearings. This is what Poage said, and so did Lister Hill as far as that's concerned.
Dr. Dennis: I thought that they were thinking in terms of a bigger assault on the 90th Congress.
Dr. Visscher: Well, they probably are, but the Congress has to agree to be assaulted.
Dr. Visscher: And at the moment the Bills other than these that we are dealing with now are bottled up in Committees, the
chairman of which have no intention of holding hearings.
Dr. Dennis: I see.
Dr. Visscher: One chairman, the chairman in the Senate is Lister Hill. And the reason that Lister Hill would not hold the
scheduled hearings on his Bill so we are led to believe is because he didn't want to have to hold hearings on the other
Bills before his Committee.
Dr. Dennis: Yes, he is afraid that put in crippling amendments as I understand.
Dr. Visscher: That's right.
Dr. Dennis: Yah
Dr. Visscher: And there is a new chairman of the House Committee on Interstate
foreign commerce that is Mr. St . . . from Morgantown, West Virginia and our friends in W. Va. say that he has no stomach
whatever far hearings on these Bills, and that he could probably live with a refusal to hold hearings or to allow his subcommittee
to hold hearings, you see. The Chairman of the Committee is an
important guy. He can prevent his subcommittee's from holding hearings. Consequently I think there is a fair chance that
we will not have any more legislation if we . . .
Dr. Dennis: If we can stomach this.
Dr. Visscher: If we can stomach this.
Dr. Dennis: Yes. Can you set initially when we started talking that nobody wants to introduce an amendment . . .
Dr. Visscher: Not on the floor of the Senate.
Dr. Dennis: I see.
Dr. Visscher: But, holding it closer to the House version in conference committee, joint conference committee, that is a different
matter. There you see we are not bucking the tradition of the club. The trouble with getting anybody outside the Commerce
Committee to introduce an amendment is that traditionally those amendments unless they be very, very dramatic revelation that
can be made, it was not known to the Committee at the time it took (effect)? We're told these amendments by other people
just never get anywhere.
Dr. Dennis: Never get any place, eh.
Dr. Visscher: And, we're told that to introduce an amendment, you see we can get some others to . . . amendments. For
example, I am sure that Fritz Mondale would introduce an amendment. But if it were voted down 98 to 2, we would be in worse
shape with the conference committee than through the amendment hadn't
been voted on,
Dr. Dennis: I see, yeh . . . weathervane. Do you think it's worthwhile for me to fix up sheets like these last 2 sheets
I had with this paper of mine far distribution at the meeting, or is there no point in that at all?
Dr. Visscher: When will the meeting be?
Dr. Dennis: Sunday.
Dr. Visscher: The senate will have acted.
Dr. Dennis: It will have acted?
Dr. Visscher: Yes Sir. It's going to act this week. Sa we're told. It may be tomorrow or Wednesday, or Thursday, but
they intend to do it this week.
Dr. Dennis: The Joint Conference then will come sometime . . .
Dr. Visscher: Next week . . . Now, the best I think, the best we can hope to get out of this is knocking out the other animals
and restricting the rights or the Federal authorization or law enforcement officers searching for lost or stolen pets is to
limit them to the same areas that the Secretary of Agriculture is limited to. ?Aimless storage facilities.
Dr. Dennis: Yah, O.K. That wouldn't be so bad, would it?
Dr. Visscher: No. We have our place open to them anyway, you know. This is what Poage said, well don't you let people
come in anyway. I said, of course we do, but we don't want to have it be on the basis of a Federal law that says they
have a right to search every nook and cranny in our institutions.
Dr. Dennis: Yah. Well then I won't mimeograph anything then.
Dr. Visscher: I don't think it's worthwhile, my honest opinion, is that anything we are going to get at this juncture
is going to be by personal conference with people like Magnuson, which I am hoping to do tomorrow morning.
Dr. Dennis: Yah . . . and Ellender isn't going to ask for re-referral of the Magnuson Bill.
Dr. Visscher: Nope, nope. Secretary Freeman, this is confidential, but Secretary Freeman asked him personally to do it and
he said no.
Dr. Dennis: I see.
Dr. Visscher: I don't see how we can get more.
Dr. Visscher: I don't want to have anything to do with it either.
Dr. Dennis: They're all fed up with the anti's, aren't they?
Dr. Visscher: This is to our advantage. I may sound very pessimistic, but as a matter of fact I think we've won a pretty
good share of the first round. One indication of this is the fact that the Humane Society of the United States and the American
Humane Association and the National Catholic Society for Animal Welfare are all vocally unhappy with even the Senate version.
Dr. Dennis: That's nice. I'm glad to see them unhappy.
Dr. Visscher: The only person of consequence who is supporting the Senate version is Christine Stevens.
Dr. Dennis: What does she have up her sleeve?
Dr. Visscher: That's to be wondered at. I don't know. I think what she probably has up her sleeve is this. To be able
to say now look, mine is the only bill that deals strictly with the experiments themselves and the experimenters. You've
got the rest taken care of, now go at the heart of the problem.
Dr. Dennis: Yes, this is what I was expecting. She and Cleveland Amory.
Dr. Visscher: Yes, but the Congress is so fed up with the lady that I don't think she's going to get very far. She's
got a few stalwarts like Jill Clark who will fight
for her but Jill is not an influential person.
Dr. Dennis: Well, that's good to hear.
Dr. Visscher: In other words, I'm not totally unhappy. I'm unhappy - yes, but it could be a lot worse.
Dr. Dennis: Some day we can get a bill in that guarantees all the pound animals to
us. That would be good.
Dr. Visscher: That would be good, but the Congress is never going to do this.
Dr. Dennis: No, that's not federal. Ok Maurice, thank you very much,