Original Repository: Rockefeller Archive Center. Rockefeller Foundation Archives
Reproduced with permission of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
"Rockefeller Man" in Brazil and Europe, 1919-1930
Letter from Richard M. Pearce to Alan Gregg (February 13, 1929)
Letter from Barbara Cairns to Alan Gregg (August 5, 1952)
January 23, 1929
Hugh Cairns at his house, 26 Norfolk Road, St-John's Wood, N.W.8 Small house. The meal was rather frugal in the living
room. Mrs. C. daughter of A.L. Smith, former master of Balliol. She is the eighth of a family of nine, and her hands testified
to house-work. Their financial position is roughly this: C. supports his parents to the extent of about 200 pounds a year.
Income tax is 20% on all amounts above 450 pounds a year. They have three children, the eldest six years old. In the two recent
months private cases urged upon C. have brought in 288 pounds. I told C. that our object was to help him over the next 3 to
5 years in such a way that he would not have to take outside work at the expense of his work at the London Hospital. We did
not expect him to effect revolutionary reorganization in the hospital but merely to do the best that he could without the
worry of supporting his father and mother and his family. If private cases which were interesting and useful for his own training
and experience were available and if he received important sums from them this money might fairly be deducted from the amount
which we would otherwise contribute. This agreement, of course, was contingent upon his remaining on hospital work. He asked
in what way could he secure assistance (anaesthesist, histological investigator, surgical assistant, etc.) I said that Ellis
had indicated the willingness to allocate funds at present being paid to him directly and that though I did not want to present
a definite request, nevertheless, I thought that Sir W. Fletcher would probably help Knutsford to see the advantages of a
friendly attitude on the part of the hospital. Emphasized the importance of his thinking of the eventual implications and
repercussions of what he did and the way he did it. Important to think two jumps ahead of what he is doing. The senior surgeon
in whose ward C.'s beds are situated, and who has been bluff and critical of him has nevertheless advised a junior in
his firm to go to the U.S. for further surgical training. I think this is a recognition, in a rather striking way of what
C. has accomplished thus far. Rigby discussed the subject of mixed infection in surgical wounds recently with G. Apparently
this was a difficulty with the recent Royal empyema.
I got a very favourable impression of C. and of his work and prospects.