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The Alan Gregg Papers

[Notes on the essential function of a foundation] pdf (61,662 Bytes) transcript of pdf
[Notes on the essential function of a foundation]
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1 (61,662 Bytes)
1952-08-22 (August 22, 1952)
Gregg, Alan
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"Notes on Giving"
Box Number: 22
Folder Number: 8
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Orig. sent to DR
The essential function of a foundation is to aid the progress of man and the adaptation of man to advances already made in knowledge. To discharge this essential function it is absolutely necessary for a foundation to be free from tradition and to be free from the threat of the loss of its income if its interests and activities depart from tradition.
Neither land-lease nor the organization that led to the discovery of atomic weapons was within the tradition of the United States. Is it to be inferred that Congress has the exclusive right to ignore as well as define what is in the tradition of the United States? The Congressional resolution directs a committee especially to determine which foundations and organizations are using their resources for purposes not in the tradition of the United States. It would be better for an American foundation to terminate its existence unwillingly than to be confined to tradition as the guide and source of its interests and activities. Nor is it tolerable for men to search of truth and the welfare of their fellow men, whether in universities, research institutes, or foundations, to live in fear that if their work goes beyond tradition they will be subjected to crushing taxation. If anything deserves to be considered un-American and for purposes not in the interest or tradition of the United States, it is this very threat of excessive taxation on those who venture to seek for truth in other ways than following tradition.
August 22 '52
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