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The Alan Gregg Papers

[Notes to Richard M. Pearce] pdf (639,687 Bytes) transcript of pdf
[Notes to Richard M. Pearce]
This series of dated entries includes Gregg's suggestion that the Rockefeller Foundation's Division of Medical Education should further develop the field of psychiatry.
Number of Image Pages:
6 (639,687 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
1 December 1925 - 4 January 1926
[Gregg, Alan]
[Pearce, Richard M.]
[Rockefeller Foundation]
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Exhibit Category:
"Rockefeller Man" in Brazil and Europe, 1919-1930
Box Number: 20
Folder Number: 8
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Document Type:
Physical Condition:
December 1 Met Collins the IHB man who is going out to Turkey. He comes from Colorado. Graduate of Hopkins and the New Haven Hospital, I thought it would do no harm to talk to him a bit about SMG and the fact that he needs a bit of handling on points where Collins should conult and inform him in generous advance of any actions to be taken by Collins, but left this interview for a later date (Dec 4th). C laughs at my jokes and may be said to have a sense of humour therefore! He seems to have a great respect for Francis Blake, A husky level headed sort. Darling leaves a great stamp on these men who have worked under him.
Decemebr 2 Poor old Croxton is down to his last 2000 francs and has come in in despair. He wants to be taken on the Pay-roll again. GEV definitely opposed that when he was here. There is a good deal of translation to be done and with Bakeman away no one of the staff here who has the time to do it, I approached Mann of the IEB about giving Croxton some work and he has some for him. I told C. that there was definite reason why we could not take him on again and told him what it was and that though I was not personally in sympathy with it it would have to stand. He seemed glad to know what had been the reason and cheered by the immediate prospect of earning even a little. Considering that C's translations are very good and that we are under no obligation to him I see no reason why this should not be done, at least until Bakeman returns to take over the running of the personnel of this office.
Speaking of Bakeman TC tells me there is evidence of some antipathy from FEC and her assistants against Bakeman. Already! When the time comes for a difference of procedure or opinion between me and FEC I shall be tempted to tell her as openly as I used to tell Carl Binger that persistence didn't do any good after I had made up my mind. Hermethodss are at times Semitic in persistence and Teutonic in imperativeness.
I put Mann onto the whole Eversole scurrilous letter business and told him I suspected Eckle of being the author. E. has been with Hutchinson, and will come back in mid Decmeber I think.
Decmebr 3 I wonder if the scheme used in Sao Paulo or Siam perhaps minus any aid for buildings, i.e., a loan of a professor, might not be feasible in Russia, if events and Russian feelings were favorable? That would solve the problem of foreign fellows from Russia until such time as we could learn really what the situation was. Probably however they would resent such a scheme as condescension or spying or inadequate to their needs. Perhaps not.
Word from Mrs. Parsons to Miss Admas suggests that she is seeing more than she expected to in her travels. It was a good scheme to get her to make the trip.
December 4 I have been mulling over an idea the practical objections to which are obvious enough , but which is still rather attractive.
December 4 continued
As time goes on and the various schools for which we contemplate aid have been given it and a fair chance to round themselves out and show what they are good for, would it not be a very useful field for the DME to start, one or two subjects at a time, a study of say physiology and bio chemistry, or pathology and bacteriology, or social medicine and hygiene, some studies of the teaching and research methods and facilities throughout Europe? We are in a decade where nationalism and indeed localism is complicating our efforts to aid medical science as such, very considerably. A study of the methods and status of teaching and research in physiology would uncover some very valuable leads for which RF support would give tremendous help.
I don't think anything could be done in this direction much before 1930. But our foreign fellowships and the general breakdown in nationalistic frontiers of the intellect, which will come on more strongly from 1930 to 1940 are going to result I think in an attitude in Europe much more receptive to migration than 1920 to 1930 have seen. The increase in the importance of especially good places of study will be large, and I do not think that we should miss being among the first to study and assist the development of one or two centers for each subject, based upon thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the field.
I don't feel that such studies can be made with the pressure of emergency and nationalistic-constructive programs as heavy as they must inevitably be until 1930. The beginnings of a study of the field of Psychiatry, which my visit to Kraepelin's clinic provided, is somewhat the thing I have in mind developing, in relation to other branches of medicine. Six months of such intensive study and I should know something about the situation.
The criticism I'd make of this myself is that it is too largely concerned with research and graduate teaching to appeal immediately as a field of medical education; yet where can you educate teachers of a subject except in graduate and research institutes? And if the undergraduate teaching were superlatively well done it would hardly escape the attention of the future teachers who could observe it. The more valid criticism is that it is schematic and doctrinaire an attitude to the needs of all these European faculties--as with our present obligations and the present conditions in Europe it is. But all great politics or policy is the politic of an idea and I think the idea is sound, for the decade I speak of.
December 5 Timms has been out with a bad cold and as I felt weary and with a headache and what in the callous language of the hospital history is called "general malaise" I stayed in bed late this Saturday morning and let Mlle Guerrier catch up with all the dication I gave her yesterday, Slept most of the PM too, and again all night.
It is a good cold winter were having, with the thermometer falling with the franc.
Decemebr 6 Another lazy day but feeling much better. The knowledge of mechanics and the social instincts of an 18 months baby are amazing. I find watching a child more fun than playing with it or trying to interest it. My young one has a passionate interest in animals especially horses; as my grandfather was a livery stable keeper and E' grandfather a harness maker there is--well what is there? It reminds me of some of the clinical inferences in the J.A.M.A.
December 7 The Italian program seems to be going well with two exceptions: Dionisi has no students to propose for fellowships and I have never had a. reply from Sclavo in Hygiene (Sienna) though I have written him a second time, I don't think I will trouble him further but perhaps make an offer to Manfredi in Palermo instead. Sclavo I chose in part influenced by Hackett and I think I was wrong.
December 8 Have begun to make a small collection of notes and transcriptions on policy which I think may be increasingly useful for me and almost invaluable for any assistant I might get later. Am collecting the material from memoranda and keeping it in chronological order--not unlike the case system of Law school fame. Will keep in triplicate and send to you when it is voluminous enough to be worth reading.
The financial and political and social situation here in France is giving me a good deal of food for thought. Am collecting material which I hope I can get time to study soon. It will not surprise me if we should have to work out an emergency plan for French institutions one fine day in 1926.
Decemebr 9 Raff came in with a longer face than ever and asked me if I thought it wise for him to go to the American relief fund people here. His wife has had a row with his aunt and there is no help from that quarter apparently. I said to go--I cant help him out of my own pocket. He went and got a job with Batsell who is a man running an information bureau in the building of the American Library. Incidentally this man Batsell was ingenuous enough to tell SMG that he was a secret agent of the State department, and not long ago SMG was asked by some of the Soviet representatives who the RF man in Russia was. He said that there was no one so far as he knew."Well," they said, '"we understood he was connected with the RF". It happened to be Batsell. SMG was worried for fear B. might be decorating a lamp post cross bar as a result of his denial but I said it served B. right if he had given that impression. SMG might be annoyed if this were to be acted upon in any way and I don't pass it on to become anything but part of your general information.
Decemebr 10 It seems to Me that if the Franc fall it will go down slower than the mark and perhaps the anemia of medical education will be more gradual but perhaps no less profound eventually than it was elsewhere. The teachers, govt officials and soldiers (officers) I see on the train every day look very troubled and shabbily dressed or next door to it.
Decernber 14 I think I will take up with FEC the question of DS fellows being taken care of by her instead of by HOE and AG. It doesn't seem though that she is in quite the same position regarding ERE's field that I am to you or SMG is to FFR. She's had a rather disappointing time of it with Mrs Parsons, the latter being too absurdly sensitive and even ill mannered to make a good visitor to places. I must say that Mrs P's stock took a tumble with me this time. I think she's superficial and mentally very lazy, and plays the "why-didn't-you-pay-me-some-attention- yesterday?'' stuff ad nauseam.
Decemebr 15 HOE and I are at work on a letter to the fellows asking for a report on their work, It is amazing to see the zest with which that man kids himself into believing that he is influencing young men to high unselfish lives etc. He is a great help to me (in other ways) just the same and is hooking after the work in good style.
I have seen some of the letters which Wellard wrote to fellows and others in Germany which are really serious I think. In one he refers to "The Potentate Poll" and to the motives upon which certain men are acting in a way that I think calls for letters of disavowal to the individuals who have received them, They are incredible and I am making a detailed investigation to see what can be done. Our letters from Germany have begun to have a noticeably better tone, I think as a result of HAW's departure.
December 18 HOE adds a further chapter to the incident of the letter attacking him. He says that shortly after the letter came to the people here in the office he got three letters at his own house, one from Paris, one he siad he thought was from Germany and one still later that was clearly from Italy. The first two he did not mention the contents of but the one from Italy read "I herd an Dr Eckle talk violence against you. You hurt I tel polic". Needless to say unsigned. He says he has destoyed the letters (!) and did not tell me because he wanted to see how Eckle would behave on E's return, E came back yesterday and HOE said his greeting was frank cordial and "gracious"., HOE was therefore convinced that E was not involved in the letter and therefore proposed showing him a copy of the above given letter "to protect Eckle". I said I wouldn't do that because Eckle would not understand HOE's motive and would think HOE was trying to accuse or scare him, HOE was not convinced until I told him that Timms had told me that Eckle had said he was going to "get" HOE if he could. I think that I have shown HOE that I know enough about the situation so that he wont take a move without consulting me. The fishy part of the account are his not knowing whether the second letter came from Germany or not and his destroying the letters. It is a curious tangle but will straighten out with watching a good deal and doing very little--that is my hunch. I wouldn't be surprised ifEcklee were found superfluous to the organization after a while, since Hutchinson isnt especailly content with him. I'll take counsel with SMG only on the thing and it seems to me trivial but curious.
In answer to your letter of Dec 6th which came two days ago: I am glad you didn't take up Timm's case specifically. I think we can arrange that satisfactorily. I think next summer I will know pretty definitely about the assistant, and what I will need. Thanks for your saying to take a bit of time off at home--I will when Italy is off to you, and perhaps an occasional morning to read in peace anyhow. I agree about ERE's likelihood of being on with new love at the expense perhaps of the old and told FEC last summer I thought she might consider the implications of his zeal for biology.
SMG is in a much better frame of mind: it turned out he was worrying over one small program in France he had handled he thought badly, but it broke just right for him at the last moment and he has been much cheerier ever since. He's a delightful companion.
December 19 This I am writing rather long after the event, on Jan 8th as a matter of fact. I find it hard to get the time for this sort of a thing on the ordinary days.
On Hutchinson's return today we talked over the conduct of Eckle during the days when he might have been involved in the HOE matter. It seems that Eckle was not worth a great deal to H. anyhow and it is likely that he will not stay with us very long.
No especial points that I can remember during the next ten days. Eckle did depart and apparently without any signs of ill feeling.
December 29 In the note about HOE'S impressions of Gantt I am not sure that HOE may not be prejudiced. I have had no indication as yet as to what HOE is going to do next year and it may be that he thinks he may get a chance to keep on here--which I am definitely off of . . . and may be discouraging me from considering G seriously. I have not spoken to him in any way to indicate what I had in mind in asking him about Gantt but he broods and broods, and maybe has thought of it.
Decemebr 30 Bakeman has begun to take hold of the fellowship job but at present only on the travel arrangements end of it. I rather doubt if he can or anyone could take the large amount of time necessary for interviewing fellows who pass through here, from anybody's shoulders. It is the best way we have of keeping in touch with them, to see them at some length here. It is a great help to have the details of travel taken away howevere and I think he is doing well thusfar.
I am beginning to lean towards fewer scholarships in al the countries we have had the program in force for the past two years and to the stricter demands regarding the qualifications of those we do recommend.
It seems that the important things for 1926 are to familiarize myself with the Central European countries, to get something of German and Germany, and to get a grasp on things we are already in so that I can know the field thoroughly by the time HOE leaves. For this reason. I want to get some visiting done this spring.
SMG has Hackett, Bevier, Mitchell, Collins and Bailey all here now for a series of conferences. They are proving useful and interesting. Object is to inform each other of their work and of their views on certain phases of their possible fields of activity. I think the best work the IHB has done and the greatest contibution they can make is through cooperation on specific and single disease problems, rather than general assistance in public health programs which are too diffuse and general for any clearcut appeal or definite results to be obtained. The usefulness of a larger personnel is also strikingly evident.
December 31 FEC tells me she has nothing to do with D of S fellows except nurses. They are not at present too numerous and I suppose ERE will always furnish us with full information on just what he wants done with them.
I hpe Golder will see you when he gets to the US. He took the attitude that he would be glad to if you asked to see him. He ao apparently knows Gantt well and could give you all the information you as asked for. Ruml will see him probably in Feb. I have a hunch that either next fall or in the spring of 1927 I will get to Russia. I don't want to go to Russia with him: I got weary of his insistenoe and his wisdom in the course of two interviews.
John Kelley observed that Jack Reed's widow has married William Bullitt "who is as busy as he can be being a great man . . . and everybody fails in that race".
January 1 to 3 at home. EBG a good deal better and much more comfortable.
Jan 4 AF went through today. He told me to take my time on all this work and to learn German, before going into Germany. I think I could take a month in the summer alone in Germany and pick up a lot.
Jan 4 cOntin AF said that the more he saw of the post war Europe the more it reminded him of the post war South of reconstruction days and that the only thing that will really serve to reconstruct is the death of those who cannot adjust themselves to the new conditions.
I thought the man Creange whom he introduced to me was Abe Stevens used to call "a damn slick Jew" to which he would always add (being a Yankee woolen manufacturer) "I admire 'em too . . . that's their business".
AF recommended me to read Koenig's Life of Helmholtz Paulsen's Aus Meinem Leben Waldeyer's Erinnerungen
Jan %5 SMG has the good news that his wife is willing for their little girl to go or rather to be sent to school. This will perhaps serve to simplyfy his life since Mrs G will either stay in America or li live with him in Paris.
Jan 6 Fischer told me an interesting thing apropos of prohibition. He said that Danish sailing masters never tell their crews how much water they are allowed each day of a long voyage since it has been found that the crew get too conscious of the restriction and always drink more than the ration. An amusing curtain raiser could be made for a modern NY audience showing memebrs of the crew surreptitiously drinking the forbidden water in secret rendezvous during the dogwatch.
Croxton continues to turn out good translations.
In your letter of Dec 19 you mention AF as wanting me. He did not mention it to me and thus saved himself what the London Times reports of Parliament invariably call "a reply in the negative". I didnt like it the time he tried to change the GEB contribution to the NRC fellows without telling me from $50,000 to 25,000 just because they were not following his ideas enough. The RF as you remember was "cooperating" with the GEB, and you were in Germany.
I enclose under separate cover a picture I took in Vienna last year in the courtyard of the University. The translation of the Greek inscription on the base of the statue is ''I am Castalia daughter of Achelous My sleep became a dream Then the dream , Knowledge"
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